fear

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 Count My Blessings

January 12, 2017
Philippians 4:6

In my grief after Lev’s death, I could not imagine that life would ever be good again. I moved from despair when I started living in gratitude mode—counting my blessings, continually saying thank you, God. Only then was I able to find joy in my memories of the past and—eventually—in my anticipation of the future. I began to take time before lunch every day to …

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Seeking Peace in Troubled Times

November 24, 2016
Philippians 4:8

As we gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, the words of the Apostle Paul seem more relevant than ever. I first reflected on his advice December 13, 2015, and I have returned to it over and over during the ugly election campaign. Now I am reminding myself to seek peace first of all with those I love most. That begins with me. After I …

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Bumps in the Road

June 23, 2016
brick sidewalk

Here on Nantucket for the summer, my great fear when I’m alone on the streets after dark is not the perceived threat of someone lurking in a dark corner ready to assault me or snatch my purse. It’s the fear of stumbling on the old brick sidewalks and cobblestone streets. Ancient tree roots push up the bricks and make the sidewalks treacherous for those who …

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Home Alone and (Almost) Ambulatory

January 17, 2016
leg propped on walker

Home alone. I managed to dodge my greatest fear for almost seven years—being sick at home by myself. Few widows want their children to physically care for them, but the alternatives seem worse to me—a stranger in my house who might rifle through my papers or steal small items, a rehab or extended care facility. I simply am not ready to be dependent! Actually, I …

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Amazing Peace

December 17, 2015
Corpus Christi bayfront

In this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters, Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air. The world is encouraged to come away from rancor, Come the way of friendship. … We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas, We beckon this good season to wait awhile with us. We, Baptist and …

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Don’t Worry; Be Happy

December 6, 2015
Be anxious for nothing. Ph. 4:6

Key 8: Don’t be anxious; instead, be thankful when you pray. The lyrics of the 1988 song Don’t worry; be happy seem trite, but the song writer’s advice was about the same as the Apostle Paul’s 2000 years ago. I don’t know many chronic worriers who are happy, do you? Speaking from personal experience almost seven years into this role of widow, I will admit that saying my …

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Complaining Won’t Change Things

November 15, 2015
Philippians 2:14

Key 5: Do all things without grumbling or complaining. When I read the Apostle Paul’s admonition, memories of my great-aunt flash before me. She was the original grumbler and complainer, choosing to remain a spinster rather than marry a man who wore the uniform of a New Orleans streetcar conductor. On every trip back to New Orleans during my childhood, we made an obligatory visit. …

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