The November Book Talk and Why I Think Gratitude Is Like a Bouquet

Gratitude Bouquet

This month I have been making a practice of noticing all the regular, ordinary parts of my life that inspire gratitude. If we’re friends on Instagram, maybe you’ve seen that I’ve been posting a gratitude journal (almost) daily in my stories, but I haven’t been calling it a gratitude journal. I’ve been calling it a… Continue reading The November Book Talk and Why I Think Gratitude Is Like a Bouquet

A Melody Above the Noise of Your Grief

God sings a song of renewal and restoration within your pain.

Written by real people with genuine feelings--often worn closer to the surface than this stoic New Englander might like--the Bible gives voice to a full range of emotions. There is plenty of joy, lots of celebration, and this has found its way into our worship. However, we are less comfortable with the practice of biblical… Continue reading A Melody Above the Noise of Your Grief

You Can Cultivate Lasting Friendship in a Lonely World

In a lonely world where isolation is the norm and competition is the default, the deep connection of friendship is a rare gift.

There's Abby, my resource, the friend I call on when I need advice--or a place to vent; There's Sandi, my ministry colleague and voice of reason; the friend I laugh with and work alongside; There's Lori who sets the example for me:  hard-working, huge-hearted, and the friend with whom I have grown into mothering. There… Continue reading You Can Cultivate Lasting Friendship in a Lonely World

Desperate to Hear God’s Voice

He Holds My Hand

Imagine the shrill ring of the phone and the jolt into wakefulness. The voice in your ear carries unthinkable news. Is it possible that you are still dreaming? "Your son has been been arrested." "The charge is murder. The victim: his wife's ex-husband." As daylight comes, you learn more. Your son was desperate to protect… Continue reading Desperate to Hear God’s Voice

Nurturing Faith and Strengthening Family Ties Around the Table

If my dining room table could talk, it might begin with a story about cinnamon rolls whose aroma can pull family out of bed like a giant magnet. Smiling and sleepy, they sniff their way toward the dining room and the warm welcome of a breakfast gathering. My scratched up table might share memories of… Continue reading Nurturing Faith and Strengthening Family Ties Around the Table

Love Hides Close By

Until I put it on display, love is sometimes hard to see. Dr. Mary Manz Simon invites pint-sized theologians to embark upon a delightful scavenger hunt, looking for all the places love hides in the daily life of a preschooler.  She does this with precision, because when we demonstrate the love of God to others,… Continue reading Love Hides Close By

Grateful Parents: Grateful Kids

Finally, about ten years ago, the light began to dawn, and you can't imagine how disappointed I was.  I realized that parenting is not a cause and effect proposition.  It's not a vending machine in which I insert my actions (seizing teachable moments, training in character, consistency in discipline) and then am rewarded by equal and… Continue reading Grateful Parents: Grateful Kids

5 Smooth Stones

David stooped down and picked up a handful of stones, smooth to his touch and weighty.  The rest of his story tumbles effortlessly into memory:  the battle with Goliath, David's rise to fame in Israel, the finger of God upon his life.  In Five Traits of a Christ Follower, Doug Nuenke fills up the metaphor of those five… Continue reading 5 Smooth Stones