Marie Wells Coutu


Jesus' birth
The story is familiar. At Christmas, we remember and celebrate Jesus’ birth: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:11-12, ESV). Did you get […]

Christmas: He Was Born for You




The customer service representative was pleasant enough. She repeatedly said, “I’m sorry, but…” I was frustrated after spending a total of two hours on the phone and on chat. I did not feel like I was being heard. I knew I was in the right, and good customer service dictated […]

When ‘I’m Sorry’ Isn’t Enough


Give thanks to the Lord!
As we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday this week, the praise song “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” seems especially appropriate. Don’t worry, I’m not going to try listing that many blessings. But given enough time and patience, I’m sure I could come up with more than 10,000 reasons I am thankful […]

10,000 Reasons to Be Thankful



Our lives are guided by faith, not by sight.
I just got back from the eye doctor’s office, and my vision is still adjusting to the light after being dilated and then having bright lights shone into my eyes. Am I the only one who feels as if I’m failing the test when I can’t tell which line of […]

Keeping Your 20-20 Vision


Pray for leaders
With midterm elections occurring this week, it’s hard to escape the campaign ads, the political discussions, and the messages encouraging you to vote. And I agree: one of our responsibilities of citizenship in a free country is to be informed and to vote our conscience. As the old saying goes, […]

Elections, Politics, and Citizenship



Daddy & little girl walking
As an author, I write characters with wounds and scars. Often those occurred in childhood, they are usually invisible, and they resulted in a lie (or lies) the character believes that affects his or her actions in adulthood. Just like real life. I’m sure I have wounds that have influenced […]

Scars Remind Us of Our History


God forgives our failures because of his overflowing kindness. Eph. 1:7
Sometimes I think I’m not over my growing pains yet. Remember those aches and pains when you were growing up that your mother called “growing pains”? And those raging emotions over broken friendships, broken hearts, and broken dreams? Yeah, those were growth pains, too. Seems like a long time ago, […]

Growing Pains



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