Marie Wells Coutu


God called us out of the darkness
Many years ago, we had a dear friend who became like a grandmother to our young children, since our own families were many miles away and she had no children of her own. Edna told us of her husband, who had long since passed away, and the faith he had. […]

Out of the Darkness


Isaiah 55:12
Iowa’s not flat, after all. And it’s not all cornfields. Most people who don’t live in the Midwest probably know little more about the state of Iowa than what they saw in the movie Field of Dreams, with its classic exchange: A baseball player asks, “Is this heaven?” The Kevin […]

Iowa’s Got More Than Corn



My mother
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, […]

Best Advice Mother Ever Gave Me


Montreat 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 […]

Choosing the Narrow Gate



Parking-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 […]

Never Back Up


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 […]

Do You Have a Dream?



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 […]

Are You a Fixer-Upper?


freedom
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 […]

Freedom of Two Kinds



high water
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 […]

Water, water everywhere? Flood or drought?


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 […]

Miracles of Modern Medicine