Growing Pains

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, […]

God forgives our failures because of his overflowing kindness. Eph. 1:7

God called us out of the darkness

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. […]


Iowa’s Got More Than Corn

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 […]

Isaiah 55:12

My mother

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, […]


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 […]

Montreat gate

Parking-never back up

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 […]


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 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 […]

freedom

high water

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 […]