You Can Become a Better and More Loving Spouse

As soon as the words "I do" leave our lips, the process of radical transformation begins for both spouses.

My husband and I had our first fight in the grocery store. I am a list-shopper, and he is a browser. Stopping for nothing, I steer the shopping cart around corners on two wheels, while he lingers over a cheese display, comparing relative merits and flavors at long leisure. I was raised in a home… Continue reading You Can Become a Better and More Loving Spouse

The Best Birthday: Receiving God’s Gift of Love

Birthdays are a big deal because people are a big deal.

Every Sunday morning, we sing and celebrate the birthdays:  the toddler clutching three sweaty pennies for the bank, representing his three years of life; the grandfather who contributes a dollar to the bank and jokes about not needing much change. Birthdays are a big deal because people are a big deal to God. So we… Continue reading The Best Birthday: Receiving God’s Gift of Love

Vibrant Hospitality: Opening the Window of Relationship

"An invitation is a slight opening in the window of relationship." Leslie Verner

When we moved to Mid-Coast Maine, we set ourselves a goal of inviting someone new  to dinner every month. We gathered around crock pot roasts, mashed potatoes, home-canned green beans, and usually a pie for dessert. The elderly couple we invited for August was a delight:  we talked books, they filled us in on local… Continue reading Vibrant Hospitality: Opening the Window of Relationship

Sunday Scripture ~ Romans 15:13

 "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  (Romans 15:13) With this verse, Paul is winding down a letter to the Romans that included his travel plans and instructions for the gritty process of doing life… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Romans 15:13

Loving and Listening to God in Every Season

Predictable and yet ever new, the cycling of beauty and fruition, the presence of thorns and the dirt under my fingernails together corroborate the peaceful truth that heaven and earth conspire in declaring the glory of God.

In every season, my garden speaks, reinforcing in leaf and humus Scripture's messages around patience and diligence, inviting me to rejoice with the arrival of every cucumber and blazing pumpkin and to lament with the erect skeletons of sunflowers, their heads bowed at season's end. Predictable and yet ever new, the cycling of beauty and… Continue reading Loving and Listening to God in Every Season

The Myth of a Successful Prayer Life

Before asking myself whether prayer works, let me first define my terms. Is prayer a lever for moving the universe according to my whims, or is it a tool for molding my will to God’s?

Spring showed up bleak and gray this year, but we barely noticed. The weight of waiting occupied every minute, with question marks bristling where daffodils had been delayed. An army of friends prayed for our family when we could not, waging war on our behalf, inquiring with kindness about obstacles that made no sense and… Continue reading The Myth of a Successful Prayer Life

Sunday Scripture ~ Psalm 119:18

A review of Journaling for the Soul by Deborah Haddix

August overwhelms the senses with brilliant hues of color and light; the vibrant aroma of growing things alongside their fresh taste and crunch; bird song in early morning; the persistent peepers in the evening; and the haunting cry of a loon after dark. Maybe it's because of all this--or because we fill our summer daylight… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Psalm 119:18