Sunday Scripture ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“You mustn’t wish for another life. You mustn’t want to be somebody else. What you must do is this: ‘Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks.’ I am not all the way capable of so much, but those are the right instructions.”

According to the Apostle Paul, gratitude is more than a pumpkin-spice-feeling. It is a matter of obedience to the will of God. Author and poet Wendell Berry put words into the mouth of a fictional, elderly widow named Hannah Coulter who, in addition to being a crackerjack farmhand when needed and probably making a great… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Sunday Scripture ~ Isaiah 12:1

Gratitude is a choice!

I love a decisive verb, especially when it appears in the setting of a solid, declarative sentence. Isaiah 12 is just right for this season of gratitude, falling leaves, and stiff breezes.  The prophet’s bracing words stand up to the fading light here on the far edge of the Eastern Time Zone with a pronouncement… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Isaiah 12:1

Musings: February 2019

"Everything in the Word of God is relevant."

Cold February is no context for thoughts of spring. Like the daffodils, our hopes are asleep under a crust of dirty snow. Nonetheless, retailers rush to display Easter candy and sleeveless, frilly dresses for us to admire in our winter coats and boots. Thoughts of resurrection seem out of place somehow when bare trees can't… Continue reading Musings: February 2019

Gratitude Is a Gift for All Seasons

Gratitude is a gift for all seasons.

The distance around my elliptical driveway is one tenth of a mile. I know this because I drove around it, watching the odometer—and then did it again just to be sure. This fall I’ve been doing a careful jog-trot around its leaf-strewn gravel, a compromise intended to jump start a flagging metabolism without putting undue… Continue reading Gratitude Is a Gift for All Seasons

Following the Instructions for a Grateful Heart

Following the Instructions for a Grateful Heart

One morning, deep into the throes of our kitchen renovation, it dawned on me that I had no idea where our toaster was. Having reduced breakfast to the lowest common denominator of toasted bagels with cream cheese, my quest for the toaster was more than idle curiosity, and when it showed up in the furnace… Continue reading Following the Instructions for a Grateful Heart

The Beauty of Sacrifice and the Joy of Giving

When our children learn to live generously, they become world changers in a changing world.

It's the terminal milestone on the parenting journey: "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." III John 4 Even so, there are a good many ways of measuring its achievement. It's what we aim for and pray for, but how do we know that are children have made the leap from… Continue reading The Beauty of Sacrifice and the Joy of Giving

Following the Trail Back to Hope

Hope, Transition from Complaining

Sometimes it’s the very thing that makes you wild, the thing that feels as if it may be your undoing, which ultimately saves your life. For me right now, the pebble in my shoe is a 15-foot speed boat parked parallel to the north side of our house. The college-aged son is a project magnet… Continue reading Following the Trail Back to Hope

Thanksgiving Celebration and Lament

Nearly thirty years ago, I married into a family that celebrated Thanksgiving Day with All-American fervor, featuring a day-long gathering and a loaded table. As the new bride, I was eager to prove that I had what it took to be the holiday hostess. Having done my research, I had planned all the best sides,… Continue reading Thanksgiving Celebration and Lament

November Musings — 2016

4988 -- Warm zucchini bread smelling like a cinnamon candle 4989 -- Church supper to celebrate our new pastor and our family connection 4990 -- Clanging of wind chime in the chill autumn breeze On the Monday before Thanksgiving Day, I recorded gift number 5,000 in my gratitude journal -- confirmed evidence of God's goodness… Continue reading November Musings — 2016