I love to read. This week’s pick reminded me of a story I read two years ago. This is my tale of two stories–both well written, but two very different perspectives.
Early in January of 2014, when my own private hell broke loose in my mind, I was taking an advanced fiction writing course as a part of my bachelor’s degree requirements at Oregon State. As one of our assignments, we read “Train,” by Alice Munro.
I wrote this in my assignment: “I find in this story an interesting juxtaposition of a circular story that runs along the sides of a straight railroad track. Jackson is trying to run away, but his life keeps turning in circles, despite his horizontal trips up and down the railway train. The story essentially is about figuring out what Jackson is running away from and why.” Read more
Recently, my husband and I took a long-awaited vacation to Disney World. If you’ve never been there, what they say is true—it really is the happiest place on earth.
It’s not just a vacation; it’s a slip-from-reality trip to a magical land of pure joy. Three days without seeing litter, poverty, or having to think about maintenance of any kind. (Well, I did fix my hair and makeup, but other than that, I lived in a fairytale.) Read more
Last year at this time, I stood over four graves, gazing at stones laid twenty-five years ago in the ground next to our grandparents’ and great-uncles’. Family members too young to remember what happened asked how it came to be that a woman thirty-four years old, and boys only 11, 10, and five years old had the same date of death.
As I reflect on the shootings last week in Oregon and Arizona, I remember the horror of hearing how my four relatives were gunned down in their own home. Only three words summed up the senseless tragedy. “What a waste.” Read more
I credit three things for all the healing I’ve experienced in the past year:
God pursues me. He reached down through the fog and told me that my story mattered to Him. Without Him, I don’t know to what depths of misery I’d have sunk.
The Holy Spirit has given me a fresh hunger for God’s Word, especially concerning His character. The more I know Him, the more I can trust Him.
Faithful friends, old and new, continue to express their love and appreciation for me. Their affirmations hold me up on those days when I sink back into performance-driven living instead of authentic relationship with my Creator Abba.
Choosing our friends well makes a huge difference in our healing process, especially coming to terms with our self-worth. The voices we listen to either lift us up or drag us down. Sometimes the healing process means letting go of toxic relationships, and sometimes it means less time in shallow friendships and investing more in valuable relationships.
It’s not often that I come out of a movie theater with deeper spiritual insight. This weekend I viewed War Room; the Holy Spirit spoke to me.
Some critics implied that War Room addresses a straw man issue. Of course prayer changes things, they say. Reviewers claim no one would argue that God doesn’t want us to pray more fervently or that American Christians as a whole haven’t become apathetic. They may be right, but I needed to see the movie anyway. Read more
“All the world’s a stage,” Shakespeare quipped. I can appreciate his enthusiasm for the theatre; I’ve been doing community theatre for about ten years, and I never get over the thrill of stepping onto the stage to put on a dazzling performance. There’s nothing like curtain call, the flash of the cameras and sound of applause.
Recently I realized I had created a stage-perfect life. My husband and I have a great marriage. We have beautiful daughters, and I had the fortune of being a homeschool mom until the youngest one graduated. My husband works for a national Christian radio host. We’ve been leaders in church. We have a nice house and lots of wonderful friends. Life was great. Read more
Jesus passed over the border to the region of Tyre and Sidon to escape the Pharisees’ ire. He entered a house, hoping no one would notice Him there, but His fame had spread throughout the land inhabited by people the Jews considered heathen. Read more
Yesterday I celebrated the first Father’s Day since my dad passed away on September 11, 2014.
I say celebrated, because that’s what I chose to do. Honestly, it was hard. I would have rather curled up in bed with a book (or three) all day and avoided it. But since I have another father to honor—the man who has devoted so much love and care over the years to our now-adult kids—I wanted to make it special for him. He deserves it.