hope

The Carol of Traveling Sounds

“At Christmas, all roads lead home.” ~Marjorie Holmes The sound of travel thrills me. My earliest memory of this auditory obsession dates back to the early 80’s. I remember walking up and down the dirt drive in front of my grandparents’ old chicken house just to hear the gravel crunch beneath my Jordache sneakers. Besides listening to my grandmother read, it was my favorite thing to do at [Read more...]

The Light of the World Brings Hope at Christmas

Don’t you just love this time of year? As soon as the turkey is cold, many people rush to the attic for the red and green boxes full of Christmas decorations. They tack lights to the eaves of their house and hang treasured ornaments on the branches of pine-scented trees. The smell of cinnamon and sugar plums rise from strategically placed candles. Ceramic Baby Jesus rests safely in an [Read more...]

How to Get Rid of Glass Half Empty Gratitude

I have an almost-teenager at my house which means sour attitudes float around here like pickles in a jar. My middle schooler is generally an optimist, but this stage of emotional development sometimes sabotages her sunny disposition. Phrases like “I will never…” and “it’s always…” transform temporary hardships into eternal absolutes. Hope flutters away as [Read more...]

Numbers Make a Lousy God

Another rejection letter hit the inbox last week. A popular site for women sent out the woohoo’s and thank you’s on the latest round of submissions. Perhaps you received the polite “thanks for playing,” too. Did your heart sink a little? As I submit my words for approval and receive rejections (or worse, the rejection of silence), my writer heart sometimes sinks low. I [Read more...]

Loss of Hope, Loss of Love

Do you ever get the feeling something bad is about to happen? In my younger years, I loved to watch horror films. Something about the anticipation of disaster thrilled me. The innocent girl walking down the steps into a dimly lit basement. The fateful decision to enter the creepy woods while a killer is on the loose. In each scene, the music was key, letting me know when something bad was about [Read more...]

Don’t Play with Matches and Other Bad Advice

One blistering hot day, I stepped off the deck and found my daughter holding a magnifying glass over a smoking leaf. She used a cheap toy to magnify the power of the sun’s light in order to start a fire. I complimented her use of scientific principles and then reviewed fire safety principles with her. Don’t start a fire—not with matches, not with a magnifying glass, not by [Read more...]

The Light of the World

The beach is a favorite vacation destination for many people, and beachgoers all seem to have their favorite time to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf. Some love the action of midday, surrounded by people and peak UV exposure. Others prefer the cold sand and mysterious swish of the waves after dark. I fall into the third category of beachgoers. I cherish quiet mornings under the rising sun. My [Read more...]

No Longer and Not Yet

“Honor the space between no longer and not yet.” ~Nancy Levin Big transitions are often preceded by a period of waiting. It can be torturous. We can get frustrated with delays and speed bumps. If the next big thing would just hurry up and get here, we think, we could get on with life. We look up to the heavens and ask God, “How long must I wait?” Three long months separate high school [Read more...]

Finding a Different Beautiful in Unexpected Places

“When we can see the beautiful in the unexpected, we learn to find joy and celebration in what is, instead of mourning what isn’t.” (Courtney Westlake, A Different Beautiful) The beaches of the Florida Panhandle are hard to beat. White sand and blue water under the pinkish-orange sunset sky is a true masterpiece of our Creator. If you ask me to take you somewhere beautiful, this [Read more...]

Letting Go of the Doubt in the Middle of the Storm

I’ve never been on a sinking ship, but I have been under a sinking jet ski. A few weeks ago, my family enjoyed some water recreation at a friend’s lake house. Through a series of unfortunate events, one of the jet skis started to sink. All of the adults zipped up a life vest and jumped in to try to hold it afloat. Man versus water is not my favorite scenario. The situation seemed a [Read more...]