Because Sometimes We Don’t Actually Feel Thankful

In the season of Thanksgiving (which, in my humble opinion, should be every day), let’s be honest – sometimes it’s hard to muster up gratitude. But, friend, our choices make our lives. It actually can be as simple as looking at your situation, naming your feelings, and then remembering the reality of God in the midst of your life, thus CHOOSING a path of Gratitude. May I challenge you (and myself, of course) to CHOOSE…

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3 Words We All Long to Hear

A few years ago, a nationwide poll asked, “What word or phrase would you most like to hear uttered to you, sincerely?” The third answer might surprise you: 1. “I love you.” 2. “You are forgiven.” 3. “Supper is ready. Sometimes grace looks a whole lot like supper. At someone else’s table. But before we can sit down, we must first be Acknowledged, Known, and Invited. Not overlooked. My eldest son, born with intellectual disabilities,…

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When God Spoke to Me through a Stranger in the Ladies’ Room

She was waiting by the sink in the Ladies Room as I began washing my hands. “Excuse me,” she interrupted, “But the Lord has given me a word for you.” What? More than 20 years ago, I was in Colorado Springs for a meeting with my literary agent and publishers. Honestly, it wasn’t going very well and I had escaped our dinner table at the restaurant to have a moment alone. And now this. The…

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One Woman I Can’t Wait to Meet in Heaven

On this day — every year on October 26th — I think about someone I never met.Forty-one years ago today my husband’s first wife died from liver cancer, leaving  three small children ages 5, 4 and 1, and a young 36-year-old widower. One day I suspect we will have a grand time together in heaven since we love all the same people!  I will first tell Inka how grateful I am that she was able to willingly surrender her…

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When You Need to be Held

After Mama died, I began sleeping under a weighted blanket. Yes, even though I hadn’t lived with my mother in more than fifty years. Even though I am the age I am, I felt a deep need to be Held. Comforted. Secure. I realize that’s a lot to ask from a mere blanket. But yet… I had heard that weighted blankets take their inspiration from a therapeutic technique called deep pressure stimulation, which uses firm,…

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In Every Change He Faithful Will Remain

I awakened early this morning with this ancient hymn “Be Still My Soul” by Katharina von Schlegel on my heart. And as I heard Jesus singing over me, I responded. Always remember God delights over you with singing. Be still my soul But Lord, my heart is churning, my emotions are all over the place, my mind keeps spinning, playing out recent events and imagined future scenarios… The Lord is on thy side. I don’t…

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Will September Begin a Harvest?

It is now September and for most of us, that means the Fall Season has begun. Colorful leaves. Apples and Cornucopia baskets. Cozy sweaters. New sharpened pencils. Hearty soup. Pumpkin everything. How desperately we need a time of Harvest in our lives! And now, God, do it again— bring rains to our drought-stricken lives. So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest, So those who went off with heavy hearts will come…

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Rejoice

Rejoice always. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16 “I’ve been living without the use of my hands and legs for more than fifty years!” Joni Eareckson Tada recently wrote. When she first broke her neck as a teenager, she met a guy who had been in a wheelchair for eight years—unimaginable to her at the time. And yet today this vibrant woman remains full of joy. How has she been able to “rejoice always”? Joni answers, “I…

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Sunset

From sunrise to sunset, let the Lord’s name be praised! Psalm 113:3 My husband calls me out on the porch to watch the sunset. It is glorious—fiery red, dazzling orange with a bit of purple mixed in. We are in awe and enjoy the companioned silence. Eleven years ago we decided to downsize—give away or throw away half our life’s “stuff.” After living for twenty years in a beautiful, large, colonial parsonage, we were eager…

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List

Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise him enough? ~ Psalm 106:2 “I tell you I’m going crazy,” the woman shouted to her mentor. He gently replied, “Here is a yellow pad and here is a ballpoint pen. I want you to write down your blessings.” She refused, overcome by the despair that had seized her soul. But he didn’t give up. “Think of the millions of people all…

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Praise

Declare God’s glory among the nations; declare his wondrous works among all people because the Lord is great and so worthy of praise. ~ 1 Chronicles 16:24-25 In my green hymnal, it’s the very first song. Praise, my soul, the King of heaven; to his feet your tribute bring. Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, evermore his praises sing. Alleluia, alleluia! Praise the everlasting king! Praise him for his grace and favor to his people in distress.…

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Silence

It’s good to wait in silence for the Lord’s deliverance. It’s good for a man to carry a yoke in his youth. He should sit alone and be silent when God lays it on him. ~ Lamentations 3:26-28 When prompted to add the spiritual discipline of silence to my daily prayers, I fought it. Sustained periods of silence do not come naturally to me. But in sheer obedience to God’s Word, I began to sit…

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