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11th of May

When Mother’s Day Reminds You of Death—The Way to Find Life


Mother’s Day, 2002 I called my mother to make sure she received the dozen red carnations I sent as a surprise. “They’re gorgeous!  But you said you weren’t sending me flowers for Mother’s Day this year because of the bench.” “I know.  But you’ve always told me flowers should be given to the living, not the dead.” She laughed. I hadn’t planned on sending flowers.  I had bought her a bench.  A pale yellow, wood-slatted


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27th of April

Encouragement for the Broken and Stigmatized


I stepped out of the shadows and declared—on Facebook—during Holy Week—that I was suffering with clinical depression. I had hit the hard floor of desperation on Wednesday before Maundy Thursday in the midst of a medication change, one of several I’d been through over the past twenty years. So why did I dare post and ask for help?  Because too many don’t.  People are suffering and dying all over the world from depression.  Consider the


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12th of April

What Happens When the Hurting Seek Help


He comes up to me and leans in close to my ear. Will you pray for me? Of course, I say as I look into his eyes starting to well with tears. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a handkerchief, dabs both his eyes, and with trembling voice tells me straight . . . I don’t feel God’s love.   Instinctively, I reach out and wrap my arms around this silver-haired man in


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6th of April

Dust to Dust And The Peace that Comes with Letting Go


They carried her to the altar, their mother.  They carried her, all ash in a small wooden box. They covered her with a white cloth, embroidered with a cross.   A cross.   Where Christ paid for our ultimate reconciliation—restored relation between holy God and sinner.  Between sinners and sinners . . . All watched as the two brothers carried her, their mother, the one who once carried them in her womb, knit together by


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29th of March

Over the Edge


Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7 Soon, I will watch the swallows nest in the barn, hatching naked in cups of twig and feather. Soon, fat bodies will crowd and I will wonder why they stay stuck when there’s a whole world to


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What Has a Strong Hold on You?
8th of March

What Has a Strong Hold on You?


How do you define “stronghold”? I used to think strongholds were just negative.  Because most strongholds tear down and destroy. There’s only one Stronghold who laid down His life for us so we can have True Life now and forever.  Jesus is the One-and-Only we can turn to, run to, cling to who will surely shelter us from all that would destroy us physically, emotionally, spiritually. If we turn to Jesus, He promised to be


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3rd of March

When You’re Faced with The Unexpected, Expect Joy


Life consists of lists.  Surely, we can all list our stresses.  Surely, we can all list our joys. We can offer a litany of complaints.  We can offer our lips to give thanks. Our loving God invites us to cast all our cares onto Him, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Truth is, our good Lord told us we’d have trials and that in our trials He’s still good. But how do the


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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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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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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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