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8th of November

What We All Need to Know About Respect and Servanthood


We rolled slowly along the street, meandering our way to what would soon be two new graves dug in Arlington National Cemetery—two of 400,000 already grassed green. Our vehicle stopped. Six men in crisp Army uniform stood in front of us, facing the awning where we would memorialize and pray for our friend’s father, Sgt. Glen Elste, and his wife of more than 50 years, Diane, who preceded her husband in death 10 years ago.


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5th of July

Abundance from Dependence


What do you do when your dreams aren’t coming true? What do you do when your heart breaks from the ache of wanting something so much and it looks like that one dream may never be yours?  Like Hannah who wanted a child.  Desperately. So what did Hannah do?  Instead of lashing out at her tormenter Peninnah, Hannah went straight to God with her lament and her request.  (1 Samuel 1:1-20) In short, Hannah poured


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21st of June

Fear Not—An Invitation to the Freedom of Dependence


The men in my life are laying out clothes, filling up containers, packing enough for five days of their ten away in two cities where terror has struck again—London and Paris.  And they’ll be standing on the beaches where some other mother’s boys landed and turned the waters red at the same ages as our sons—19 and 23.  They’re going to witness history and pay their respects. Will my husband and sons return? Our daughter


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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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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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22nd of March

UNRAVELING THE UNKNOWNS


He’s in critical condition with broken bones and a ripped up brain in an induced coma. He’s the 16 year-old brother of one of my former art students.  Our families attended the same church for a few years. Headed to school last Friday morning, he comes to a curve.  His car tumbles sideways—three times, I hear.  I see video of  his car being dragged out of the woods.  But he’s not out of the woods


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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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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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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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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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