Now that winter with its "firm, business-like cold"1 has arrived here in Maine, bare branches open up the landscape for a good view of the horizon, but the sun does little to mitigate the monotonous gray or the hard-as-iron ground under my feet. I'll admit that most days I take to the basement exercise bike… Continue reading Do You Ever Wonder if God Has a Reason for Your Suffering?
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?
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 had brought my walking stick, so with careful navigation and a moderate pace, I managed the nearly mile long trek along the breakwater without incident. It felt like a tiny victory, because even before being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, I had begun to notice some balance issues. The uneven surface, the movement of the… Continue reading What Number One Priority Controls Your Decision Making Process?
Prayer is hard work, perhaps because it's hard to quantify. I can spend fifteen minutes praying or fifteen minutes cleaning the bathroom. The results of one are far more obvious than the other--at least in the moment. But what about the long term "results?" And exactly what do we mean when we talk about "results"… Continue reading Do You Ever Have the Feeling that Prayer Doesn’t Really Work?
At 7, my oldest grandson is already a contemplative, a fellow who asks a lot of questions and registers an opinion on just about everything. Maybe that's a family trait (for better or for worse), but a recent reading of Psalm 131 has given me good reason to rethink the merits of over-thinking and the… Continue reading What If the Key to Rest Is Ordinary, Down to Earth Faith?
This week, I started listening to Christmas music in the car on the way to work. Our 24/7 Christmas music radio station plays everything from crooning Bing to the musical equivalent of an ugly Christmas sweater. One frosty morning, fresh off my Advent devotional reading and a mug of hot tea, the radio wished me… Continue reading Do You Know What Song Your Heart Will Be Singing This Christmas?
Have you ever gritted your teeth over an annoying behavior in your child--only to connect the dots back to its origin in your own behavior? The power of example is monumental in parenting, and nowhere is it more needful than in the area of gratitude. I'm welcoming the month of November with a guide to… Continue reading 5 Great Resources for Raising Grateful Kids
I remember weeding our very first garden with white knuckles, in a cold sweat. All the sprouting vegetables in our tiny plot looked sort of alike to me. The weeds were just as green and leafy as the seedlings we'd planted, so I proceeded with great caution. Too afraid to be ruthless, I left behind… Continue reading When You Know What’s Important, You Find the Courage to Be Ruthless
Today I attacked the kind of cleaning chores that I envision other more diligent and domestically devoted women doing all the time, the tidying that requires pulling furniture away from the wall, vacuuming under beds, and applying a ferocious dust cloth to the rungs of chairs and the hidden recesses of bookcases. Homely household routines… Continue reading The Unexpected Gift of Homemaking and What I Learned from Elisabeth Elliot