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

Self-Care and the Rare Gift of Spiritual Friendship

A partner in prayer, another set of eyes, a companion in trouble:  these are the benefits of spiritual friendship.

“Hey, we have a lot in common! Maybe we should meet for coffee?” Coming from Facebook, a place where “friendship” usually remains distant and virtual, this was startling content. Add to that a full schedule and a hard bent toward introversion, and there was every reason for me to log off, click on “unfriend,” and… Continue reading Self-Care and the Rare Gift of Spiritual Friendship

Drawing Out a Handful of Light

Wounds Are Where Light Enters

Wendell Berry poured this wisdom into the mouth of one of his fictional characters: “Telling a story is like reaching into a granary full of wheat and drawing out a handful. There is always more to tell than can be told.”  (Jayber Crow) This is always the nature of story, and in Wounds Are Where… Continue reading Drawing Out a Handful of Light

Musings — October 2017

The sturdy wooden stakes that supported my tomato plants through their season of growing have been pulled and re-purposed. Now that the garden lies exhausted and well past fruition, those beat up stakes have been pressed into service holding burlap to protect our rhododendron bushes from the weight of snow and the whip of howling… Continue reading Musings — October 2017

Life, Life, and More Life

We picked raspberries a couple of weeks ago -- the free kind that grow along the edges of fields and in the company of thistles.  They were succulent.  I could wrap words around a description of raspberry picking:  the gentle encompassing pressure that releases a perfectly ripe berry from its stem; the empty white cone… Continue reading Life, Life, and More Life

Awakening Courage in Community

Whether it's feelings of inadequacy, parenting anxieties, or panic over the latest terrorist tactics in the news, the challenge to face down our fears and to move forward into new, healthful, and bold behaviors is a common thread for January writing and thinking.  The problem, however, with this seasonal booster is that the need for… Continue reading Awakening Courage in Community

The Freedom is in the Falling

Because I'm a planner, I carry a planner, but the truth is that my planner carries me.  All pristine and un-besmirched, the 2017 edition holds out the promise of glorious accomplishment and blessed organization in a life that often feels like spinning plates and chaos management.  Shannan Martin started her marriage and motherhood in much… Continue reading The Freedom is in the Falling

Come Together for the Better

Weekly we gather -- seldom daily as they did in New Testament times, the era of ravenous lions and Nero's flaming, pitch-dipped Christians, human torches to light his gardens.  Lugging our three pound Bibles and a week's worth of accumulated angst, we gather, having in common our hearts of flesh and likely the scar tissue… Continue reading Come Together for the Better

The Glorious Right Angle

The patient husband and I have challenged ourselves to be more purposeful in our practice of hospitality this year -- to "meet the stranger at the gate" in our own little rural setting by inviting someone new and different into our home each month.  January was wonderful!  We enjoyed an evening with a couple we've… Continue reading The Glorious Right Angle