Stop. Look. Admire. Repeat.

How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all. Psalm 104:24a (NIV) I checked the time on my watch. Dad had been out on our deck for two hours. I’d been in and out several times, making sure he had coffee and was still comfortable. Again, I stepped out to the deck. “Hey, Dad, want to come back in now?” “Look at the trees, honey. They are so tall,” he said with wonder in his voice. Then he seemed to hear my question and answered, “I’m fine right here, thank you.” And he was. He sat out on our deck hour after hour, coffee cup beside him, looking. Admiring. Marveling. You see, for years the poor circulation in his legs had […] Read more »

Random Advice on My Birthday Week

It’s hard to believe another decade has flown by. What? Wasn’t I a tiny girl, a teenager, a young mama just a few short years ago? Yet, here I am. A grandmother of five and about to be an age I always thought was “old.” Now I realize it’s still quite young. 😊 I’ve learned a thing or two along the way, and today I’d like to share random pieces of hopefully helpful advice. Pull up a chair and let’s talk about life. More is Not Always Better Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15 (NIV) I’ve lived long enough to notice that people with tons of […] Read more »

How God Treats Anxious People

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Psalm 94:19 (NIV, 1984) Dear Anxious One, Do you beat yourself up—and even get anxious about your anxiety? Do you read verses like Philippians 4:6 (do not be anxious about anything) and feel like a total failure? Do you find it hard to explain to people that you don’t look for anxiety … it looks for you and grips you and shakes you like a pit bull, not letting go? Just let your eyes read Psalm 94:19 slowly … with wonder. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. This, dear friend, does not sound like a God who is angry with the anxious guy who wrote Psalm 94. […] Read more »

Invisible

Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. Proverbs 14:31 Yes, I know it’s pretty ragged. And probably needs to be washed more often than it is, but I’m afraid it will fall apart. The zipper is coming unmoored and needs to be sewn back into place. It’s splotchy in spots and decidedly unattractive. But it is warm. Super warm. When you live in New England and you love walking outdoors in below freezing weather, warm trumps attractive. At least that’s what I believed one February day when I put this jacket on and headed to my favorite ocean town. The day started out beautifully. It was a Sweet Selah Day for me: a day […] Read more »

First

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35 I don’t know about you, but I’m easily distracted. I walk downstairs to start the laundry and notice a dirty glass and saucer in the family room. I put down the laundry basket, pick up said glass and saucer, and take them upstairs to the kitchen, where I wipe the counter while making myself a cup of tea. While the tea is brewing, I remember a card I need to get out to the mailbox before the mailman comes. I grab the card, look for stamps, and then realize I never started the laundry. Or drank my […] Read more »

Focal Point

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-2a (NIV, emphasis mine) It often happens during the most innocuous of circumstances. This time, I’m relaxed in my overstuffed chair, reading a magazine. The hum begins in my right ear and then increases in fullness and intensity. I know what to do. This isn’t my first rodeo. I breathe deeply, slowly. I wait to see if this will be a minor attack or a major Ménière’s episode. It’s major this time. The pressure builds […] Read more »

Anna’s Hope

There was also a prophet, Anna … She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting, and praying. Coming up to them … she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38 (NIV) Anna was a woman who never lost hope. Imagine life as a widow after only seven years of marriage. Hard at any time, but in an era when a woman couldn’t just go out and get a job, losing a husband meant poverty and hardship. Only seven years with her husband, only […] Read more »

Three Resolutions for Life

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 (NIV)  Sometimes we get more complicated with our New Year’s resolutions than we need to. This year, consider the advice of Micah, prophet of God, who speaks God’s very words to us. For God has shown us what is good and what is required: To Act Justly Help me, Lord, not to play favorites, but to treat difficult folks with the same standard I accord to easy-going individuals. Show me causes worth supporting, where godly people are working toward justice for those who are oppressed. Guard my mind when I am tempted to […] Read more »