There is Always Hope

The hospital room where my twenty-six-year-old daughter lay against snowy sheets grew quiet as a tomb. Her husband sat next to her. He leaned his back against the wall, holding her hand, which was covered with bandages. Tubes pulled at her pale skin. His thumb caressed her palm back and forth, back and forth. Each […]

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6 Questions That Will Center your New Year 

New makes me skittish.  While everyone else revels in the thought of a blank-slate New Year ahead, I’ve always anticipated a new beginning with a bit of fear and dread. When others see possibilities, I’m wondering what will go wrong? I know something is a little wonky in my thinking.  This morning I read Paul’s […]

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Who is that Baby in the Manger?

Every year, of my childhood, the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, Christmas pageant practice began. The characters were the same every year, the players different… …In all the sweetness of Christmas, its magic and traditions, it is far too easy to become trapped by the legend at the detriment of truth. Who is that baby in […]

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Looking for Immanuel in the Christmas that Almost Isn’t

When sparkling lights are only beeps and monitors on a hospital screen.  When money is lean and gifts few.  When a bucket sits next to a miserably fevered child.  When uncertainty shrouds hope ahead.  When relationships shatter like broken ornaments.  When grief pours like cold snow showers.  When it’s the first empty nest year, the […]

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Joseph Did You Know? 

Rows of little feet too short to reach the floor, swung like swing sets on long wooden pews. Lined up by grades, and bookended by teachers, the oldest sat in the back, the littlest in the front.  The rite of pageant belonged to each grade-schooler in our church. From first to eighth, we met in […]

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It is Good to Give Thanks

“I’ll still be here,” he whispered as he climbed back into bed next to me. The sun still slept outside the dark window. Chill replaced the warmth of good-bye hugs, of little arms around my neck, of wet kisses on my cheek. The car door’s final bang echoed in my ears. Like hundreds of times […]

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Train Up A Child

In the small town where I grew up, “turning out” was a big deal. A person turned out right when they got a steady job, got married, had a family, and stayed in the same church in which they were raised. It was the formula hovering over each parent, judging their success or failure. Nothing […]

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How One Honest Admission invited a Myriad of Support

“So far so good,” I text to a friend when asked how my husband is doing after surgery.  The crazy thing is he may be doing ok, but, I am so far from so good.  It is a terrifying ride for me, like the roller coaster of our daughter’s health spiral years past all over […]

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Can my prayer reach his suffering?

He sat alone at the table, palms pressed together like hands praying, shoulders hunched, and chin resting on the tips of his fingers. He stared into space a million galaxies away. Together since kids, bonded in marriage, and hammered in trial, we faced grief like two strangers on a separate road. In that poignant poise, […]

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Banana Stickers and Big Questions

Charity bounced into the kitchen. Two braids swung behind her. Her black Italian school uniform covered mismatched pants and shirt. The hidden kaleidoscope of colors was her way of nose-thumbing against the system’s imposed social equality. It was hard to stand out in a standardized sea of black robed children. But not our child. Oh […]

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