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18th of January

Family Vacation Fiasco [How We Survive and Grow through the Breakdowns and Meltdowns of Transitions and Transmissions]


  When January rolls in, we start reminiscing about family traditions, one being our annual ski trip “up nort” as the Uppers (people living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) like to pronounce their homeland. Every January for I don’t know how many years, we’ve been stuffing our car like those Johnsonville brats we Cheeseheads are famous for grilling at Packer game parties. We pack our suitcases with layers and layers. And MORE layers. Because


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11th of January

Sacrificial Love and Letting Yourself Be Held By the Very Able Hand of God


Anne asked me.  Said she needed me to come. Her past few phone messages in my voicemail sounded different—not quite desperate but certainly bold in expressing her request. “I need to see you.” Five strong words. Does a new diagnosis of Alzheimer’s do this to a person?  When you’re 69?  Do you suddenly wonder how long you’ll have before your world closes in on you and you even forget those you hold most dear?  Do


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5th of January

Dog Gone [When You’re Lost and Need to Know You’re Sought After Still]


She flew out the door with her friend at dusk on Friday night before Christmas. They had places to go, things to do. Two hours later, I began to worry.  Darkness had enveloped the farm but they hadn’t come home.  No sign of them.  I whistled and called.  Nothing.  A silent night.  I could feel my heart thumping hard in my chest. Where ARE they?  Are they alright?  Did they run into a coyote—or a


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29th of December

My Second Best Christmas Gift of All Time


Of course, the best Christmas gift of all time is Christ himself. On Christmas morning, I received my second best Christmas gift of all time. We’d been to church on Christmas Eve and seen and heard all the kids dressed up as Mary, Joseph, wise men, shepherds and a bunch of shaggy, smelly sheep.  We’d come home and brought all the gifts we’d bought or made for one another and arranged them beautifully under the


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21st of December

For the Joy Set Before Us


Joy to the world!  The LORD has come!  Let Earth receive her King! JOY? Fact is, some are sad right now.  Like the loved ones of the twelve mowed down by ISIS in the Christmas market on Monday in Germany.  While we’re singing peace on Earth, some are creating chaos and spreading terror and grief. How do we have JOY when we grieve with our fellow brothers and sisters in a foreign country, knowing one


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15th of December

The Presence of Peace in the Midst of Grief


The second week of Advent, we light that second candle.  The peace candle. Peace. I want that flame to touch every wicked thing around the world this Christmas. I want peace on earth and goodwill to spread towards all.  This is what we sing this season, isn’t it?  Peace?  Goodwill? And yet, Aleppo’s without water and there are reports of civilian executions and it all’s so far away.  But there’s the “bombings” we don’t see


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7th of December

To Have and Hold Hope


“How can you sit and listen to people in pain all day long?” People often asked me this question when I worked as a therapist. Truth is, I viewed my job as a privilege to sit face-to-face with people in great inner pain, holding hope for them when they could not hold hope for themselves. Because HOPE is what we all need, isn’t it?  Hope for today?  Hope for the future? Hope is the fuel


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30th of November

Stand Firm and Speak Up


I was 27 years old that perfect July night when I watched my friend run to the end of the pier following others who dove in first.  Before his feet left the wood-slatted edge, I thought, “Don’t dive!” I thought it. But I didn’t say it. I watched Dan’s diving body disappear under the water. I jumped in after him. When I surfaced, I saw all my friends’ faces glistening, laughing under the full moon.


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16th of November

My Personal Post-Election Lament and Encouragement


Influenza did me in before the election. For four straight days, I was literally sick and tired. When not sleeping, which wasn’t often, I just prayed. I prayed for my health. I prayed for my family and friends. I prayed for our country and our leaders. In fact, I’ve never prayed so earnestly about the presidency of our country than I prayed in those four bedridden days. How would I vote? I wrestled. I waffled.


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2nd of November

When You’ve Loved and Lost and You Need Another Miracle


MaryAnn Lammers smiled through her tears as Pastor gathered our attention during after-service coffee downstairs. “Today is MaryAnn’s 63rd wedding anniversary.” Only, MaryAnn’s love went to glory last year right before Christmas. Her heart still cries for her loss—63 years of walking as one and raising a house full of kids. When heart and soul are knit together by God, the grieving doesn’t end when the casket closes and the people go home and you sit


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19th of October

The One Right Choice in This Election


‘Tis the season to be jolly Fa la la la la, La la la . . .   Bah!  Humbug!  Some are thinking it. Some are feeling it. Some are saying it. This season, opinions are flying faster than migrating birds. What the hell is happening to us? (Yeah, go ahead.  Raise your eyebrows. Get upset. I said “hell” on purpose. Read on.) I never thought I’d see the sort of cannibalism I’m seeing these


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17th of October

How Can We Turn Away from Such a Great Love?


Leslie Leyland Fields  is a multi-faceted, precious jewel—brilliant, wise, accomplished,  humble, and generous. She has been part of her family’s Alaskan commercial salmon fishing operation for decades on the edge of a continent. For the past four years, she has welcomed writers to her Alaskan wilderness fish camp each summer, teaching how to create beauty with words and encouraging all.  She fillets wild salmon pulled from the surf each day and serves it to her guests as gift.  Mostly, I


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Come stroll the trails with me on our 44 acre Midwest horse farm where I seek God in the ordinary and always find Him--the Extraordinary--wooing, teaching, wowing me with Himself. Thanks for visiting. I hope you will be blessed!

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