My first few substitute teaching gigs in the fall always generate a bit of anxiety--butterflies over the unknown, anticipation of challenges, always the possibility of conflict. To my great surprise, on my first day of school, as I inserted my key into the car's ignition, the words of Isaiah 12 rushed into my mind, and… Continue reading Give Thanks! Sing Praises! Solid Disciplines Foster Strong Habits
What do you want in 2023? Most of us will come up with a long list of things. Possessions, jobs, relationships, goals--hey, it's a new year, and hope is in the air! I wonder, though, if any of our things have any resemblance to the things God recommends to us in this collection of Scripture… Continue reading The Crucial Question for Beginning a New Year: What Do You Want?
We are covered to the elbows in red and green paint, but the festive wrapping paper stretched out to dry on the table before us more than justifies the mess. The toddler points to his distinctively tiny handprints and smiles his satisfaction, as his older brothers start wondering aloud about cocoa with candy cane stirrers.… Continue reading Find Room for Hope in Your Heart this Christmas
Advent Series Part One: Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6) The Christmas story overflows with certainty. Both Mary and Joseph received specific guidance in supernatural dreams. The shepherds were told precisely where to look for Jesus, and the wise men from the East followed a star that led them across the miles and directly to the toddler… Continue reading Where Do You Go When You Need Wisdom? Who Will Be Your Counselor?
Welcome to the season of ceaseless striving! Of course, Thanksgiving and Christmas are never billed that way, and I truly hope that it's NOT your experience! However, if you're paying close attention to all the flickering candles and peaceful white twinkly lights on your Instagram feed, it's entirely possible that you're getting a different version… Continue reading A Peaceful and Joyful Holiday Season Begins with a Request for Rest
Switching the microphone over to my left hand, I hooked my right thumb into my skirt pocket to still the trembling. My always-forgiving church family might have attributed the tremor to nerves--and it's even more likely they didn't notice it at all. But I noticed it, and while I find this symptom of Parkinson's disease… Continue reading Celebrate Grace and Gratitude on the Coat Tails of Mourning
By the time I was 21, I had been thoroughly inoculated against any threat of marriage by the wistful comments of my married friends: “Oh, you can do that now, but just wait till you get married and have kids…” They painted an image of a small, constricted world with no scented candles (dangerous open… Continue reading 3 Mothering Insights I Learned on the Job, but Wish I Had Known from the Start
My grandchildren are learning to sing hymns, and I love it! There's not much cuter than hearing a two-year-old's rendering of timeless theological truth. And whether or not he understands it today, the words are in his brain just as all those crazy advertising jingles from the seventies will forever be stuck in my own… Continue reading Rest: Growing in Our Understanding of the Words We Think We Know
I live and worship on the fringes of a fishing economy. On the drive to church, I observe nets festooned and floating on the water, and my husband and I ask each other, "What's running right now?" or "Is it time for alewives already?" I've noticed that I need a translator for sorting out conversations… Continue reading I’m Not Interested in Standing on the Fringes of Life
I'm planning a party for the kids who attend the church I call home. On the first Sunday in September, we will celebrate Promotion Sunday--and we'll do it with Promotion Sundaes! Before we start a new year of classes, we're going to pile ice cream and sticky toppings into bowls and pause to give thanks… Continue reading What Is Truth and Why Is It Important?