hope

Porchtime at the Parsonage

June 29, 2017
parsonage porch

When I visualize my mother, the first image that always comes to mind is of her with her worn Bible across her knees, index cards and pencil at hand, preparing her Sunday School lesson. Her old King James Version was falling apart, the spine of its cheap leatherette cover peeling off, pages spilling out. But she treasured it because it had belonged to her beloved …

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Lessons Learned in Widowhood

April 20, 2017
I-press-on

Grace is the bottomless well of God’s unconditional love, mercy, forgiveness and pardon. It is the gift of unmerited favor. Those of us who receive His grace are bound to extend the same grace to others. And in the giving and receiving of grace, we find inner peace and peace with others. In our despair, we cannot imagine that life will ever be good again. …

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Resolved: To Be Healthy

January 19, 2017
Bartlett Farm truck

Most New Year’s Resolutions are goals to change. This year most of mine are not. As I prepare to officially enter the “fourth stage of life,” that period from 76 until death (a depressing subject I prefer to ignore), I am spending more time than usual evaluating where I am and where I want to be. I want to become more proactive in cultivating habits …

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“God Bless Us, Every One!”

December 22, 2016
Christmas card 16

Sadly, not everyone’s Christmas will be merry this year; and wishing a “Merry Christmas” to those who grieve or battle serious illness, family discord or financial disaster is thoughtless at best and—at worst—deeply hurtful. But we can all experience God’s blessings this Christmastime—the blessings of courage, peace, faith, hope and love. So I join Tiny Tim in saying… God Bless Us, Every One!

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12 Keys to Reclaiming Joy

October 6, 2016
1 Ph 1-92 Ph 1-103 Ph 2.24 Ph 2-45 Ph 2-146  Ph 2-29Advent wreath illuminated by candlelight8  Ph 4-69 Ph 4-810 Ph 4-1111 Ph 4-1312 Ph 4-18

Weekly Meditations to Prepare Your Heart for the Holidays paraphrased from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi With wisdom and discernment, grow in love for others. 1:9 “Love…Knowledge…Discernment” Be sincere and blameless, approving all that is excellent. 1:10 “Sincere…Blameless…Excellent” Seek unity and a shared purpose. 2:2 “Family Unity Matters” Look out for others’ best interests, not only your own. 2:4 “De Tocqueville’s Advice for Widows” Do all things without grumbling …

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Mothers and Daughters

August 4, 2016
Mirror, mirror on the wall

After my husband died, I worried about my future. I had been robbed of the most significant person in my life. And every holiday, every major life event where Lev was absent was a new robbery, new bereavement. The losses kept coming, and our family was not prepared. Nobody warned us that death was only the first loss. When I did not fall apart immediately …

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Starting Over

June 2, 2016
diet handbook

A year ago, I began a diet that called for eliminating carbs and fats for two weeks, while eating large amounts of lean meat and vegetables plus a small amount of low-fat dairy products. Gradually, I added small amounts of fruits and carbs, while reducing the protein. It worked. I was never hungry, and I lost about three pounds a week at the beginning, 20 …

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Memoirs Help Normalize Grief

May 5, 2016
On My Own

Grief experts agree that widows get too much advice—too many people telling them how to grieve, how long to grieve, when to make decisions, when to move on. What works for one person may not work for another. There is no single right or wrong way to mourn the loss of a spouse. Nevertheless, most books on grief are how-to books written in second-person. Self-help …

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Solace or Sinkhole?

March 31, 2016
church steeple

Part 2: The spiritual aspect of grief I was so smugly sure last week that I was prepared for Easter. I had taken precautions to avoid sinkholes, inviting family and friends to a big meal after church and spending the preceding days decorating my house and table, planning my menu and cooking. All of that was good; and in the end, the day was good. …

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Easter Hope: Celebrating Resurrection

March 24, 2016
Horseshoe Bay

Part 1: The Spiritual Aspect of Grief Lev was buried on Maundy Thursday, seven years ago. It seems like yesterday…and a lifetime ago. The approach of Easter is much more a reminder to me of his death/my loss than the calendar date, April 7. While I have written often about those sinkholes called holidays, Easter is not a sinkhole for me, for the resurrection story …

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