Every year in late spring, we till up an admirable crop of rocks as we prepare the garden soil for planting. Some years I have been diligent about collecting them. Other years . . . not so much. Regardless, there always seems to be a plentiful supply, and after twenty plus years of gardening in… Continue reading There’s a Big Purpose Behind Every Small, Unseen Task
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 Every Sunday Come Together for the Better and Receive the Story Anew
My parents and my husband Calvin's parents met for the first time over a lobster dinner, two nights before our May 12 wedding. That was thirty-two years ago, but I still remember my apprehension. Our two worlds were colliding there at my mother-in-law's sprawling dining room table. If you had asked me then, I'd have… Continue reading One Guiding Question that Will Impact the Story of Your Marriage
Fear is a powerful motivator. Even the reluctant student might memorize lists of data for fear of failing a class. Motorists maintain a more conservative driving speed in areas where police regularly patrol. Unfortunately, there is also the fear that paralyzes, which leads to irrational decisions and self-protective behaviors. Fear of God, however, is the supremely rational fear,… Continue reading Fear Bravely as You Are Strengthened with the Courage to Love
In February, I finished my slow read through the Psalms. One hundred fifty psalms should have taken a mere hundred and fifty days, but I'm sure the math wouldn't come out right if one were to check the dates in my journal. My purpose was to pray my way through the psalms, a goal that… Continue reading Embrace the Subversive Practice of Rest. Celebrate Lent in a World of Hurry and Hustle.
Brushing crumbs off the dining room table, I plunk down my portable pile: Bible, journal, devotional book, another Bible, and they all land with a THUD. The pens go skittering across the table, mirroring my scattered thoughts. Then, pushing my mug of tea out of the danger zone, I settle into reading, my favorite of… Continue reading What Are Spiritual Disciplines and Why Are They So Important?
The parties in this mini-drama will remain unnamed, but I will reveal that the scenario is taken from an old journal entry (which accounts for its truncated style): The Dad: [Reading from the Bible] “My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother; They will be a graceful ornament on… Continue reading 3 Reasons to Embrace the Precious Pitfalls of Family Discipleship
Sunday Scripture On Saturday, I filled the bird feeder, and before I had time to close the front door behind me, an enterprising chickadee had already landed for a late breakfast. Soon, the front yard needed air traffic control to regulate all the landings and take offs. And those honking Canada geese that pass overhead… Continue reading What Makes the Birds Seem So Much Smarter than People?
Sunday Scripture Conversations at our house tend to follow a pattern. We make a plan, and my husband assumes that all will be well. That's my cue to begin thinking about the details and coming up with at least five things that could (and probably will) go wrong. I've been honing my catastrophizing skills for… Continue reading How to Fight Fear and Anxiety by Hitting Your Mental Reset Button
Sunday Scripture My three married sons have chosen wisely, smart women who love God and love their husbands well. Therefore, my grandchildren have wise mothers who limit screen time and access to junk food. Humans, both big and small, develop an appetite, an acquired taste, for what's-good-for-them when what's-good-for-them is what they are given. As… Continue reading 4 Strategies to Help You Develop an Appetite for Reading the Bible