Best Advice Mother Ever Gave Me

Advice your mother gave you stays with you all your life, right? When I was a college freshman and going on a spring break trip to New York City with friends, my mother sent me off with this advice: “Remember who you are and what you represent.” At the time, […]

My mother

Montreat gate

Choosing the Narrow Gate

When I think of gates, the first one that comes to mind is the archway at the entrance to Montreat, North Carolina. It’s not really a gate anymore since there’s no blockade to prevent you from entering–unless you’re driving a truck. This double stone gateway is barely wide enough for […]


Never Back Up

My husband tries to avoid backing up in a parking lot. It’s dangerous, he says. Whenever possible, he chooses a space where he can pull through–not so he can exit faster, but so he can see what’s coming and avoid being hit by someone else who is backing up. He’s […]

Parking-never back up

Do You Have a Dream?

It’s summer, and sometimes we need a break. So I’m repeating one of my favorite posts. Perhaps it’s just the reminder you need today. Do you have a dream? Is there something you have always wanted to do since you were a child? Is there something you have discovered recently […]


Are You a Fixer-Upper?

Are you a fixer-upper like me? I’m not talking about rehabbing houses–or even making minor repairs, although I enjoy restoring or updating houses to give them new life. I’m talking about “fixing” other people–giving advice, seeing exactly what they need to do.¬† Jesus called it hypocritical: “How can you say […]


freedom

Freedom of Two Kinds

This week in America, we will celebrate our freedom. There’ll be fireworks, parades, flag-waving, patriotic music, and cookouts. No doubt,¬†there will also be demonstrations, protests, and division. Because of our Constitution, we have the freedom to express our opinions and to voice our objections when we disagree with governmental policies […]


Water, water everywhere? Flood or drought?

I know we’re not alone in feeling like it has rained enough this spring. Iowa, which has only a handful of decent recreational lakes, currently appears to rival Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes–only most are flooded cornfields, wet lawns, and water-filled ditches, everywhere we look. Meanwhile, in other places around the country […]

high water

Miracles of Modern Medicine

A visit to a medical museum in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, last week reminded me how grateful I am to live in this time period. A hundred years ago, a lung problem might have been treated–if at all–by putting the patient in an iron lung–a huge contraption that left one […]


Growing Like Pigweeds

A farmer friend talked about his five grandchildren. “They’re growing like pigweeds,” he said, laughing. He explained that a single plant seems harmless enough but if you look closely at it, the pigweed plant contains hundreds of seeds and, before you know it, the one weed has multiplied and taken […]

pigweed

Father and daughter walking

Memories of Daddy

With Father’s Day less than two weeks away, my thoughts drift back to one of my favorite childhood memories of my daddy. I had fallen and cut my knee open on a gravel driveway. Today, the injury would probably warrant stitches but our family had no insurance and little money […]