Marie Wells Coutu


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


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