Gratitude Attitude

Gratitude Attitude

It’s Thanksgiving week in the United States, when it’s almost as important to head home “if only in my dreams” as it is at Christmas. This wonderful holiday, perhaps contrary to secular depiction, gives us an annual opportunity to reset the focus of our lives, recalibrate our values, and recommit to expressing a gratitude attitude…

Not a Sparrow Falls

Not a Sparrow Falls

When we were building our current home in the country, a small bird flew in the open front door. My husband tried to wave it out through the open back door, but instead the creature beelined for a newly installed window. Which was not open. You can guess how this story ends. Except it’s not…

What Breaks My Heart

What Breaks My Heart

My adopted country held a plebiscite yesterday to approve/disapprove a new constitution, which just may be one of the most radically avant-garde in the world today. At the moment I’m writing this, I have no idea how the vote may turn out. Does it even matter? Whatever happens, I can tell you this: It breaks…

Follow Your Heart…Or Not

Follow Your Heart…Or Not

What strange clichés we so often feed each other: Believe, have faith, everything will work out fine. Live, love, laugh. And how we like to hear: Follow your heart. Follow your dreams, your arrow, your passion. Pursue your own path to happiness. Follow the yellow brick road. And by all means, follow the money, honey….

My Anchor Holds

My Anchor Holds

Ruth Caye Jones, a busy pastor’s wife and mother of five, wrote these words in 1943: “In times like these, you need a Savior, in times like these, you need an anchor; be very sure, be very sure, your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!” She had just read the World War II casualty…

The Treasures of Travel

The Treasures of Travel

My husband and I were hiking along a colorful waterfront street in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, spotting the differences and similarities to Punta Arenas, Chile. That last small city in South America, overlooking the Strait of Magellan, is one of our remaining bucket list trips, but we imagined it couldn’t be more unlike this tropical town…

The Bend at the End

The Bend at the End

As we wander through the pages of a book or wend our way through the books of our lives, we often find a bend at the end. You know what I mean? In books, it’s the twist before the tie-up, an incident that might just take the story off in an entirely different direction. In…

The Heart at the Start

The Heart at the Start

Surveys suggest that 83% of North Americans want to write a book. A worthy ambition. However, a lot of blank space whitens the pages between “want to” and “done so.” Most people not only don’t finish their first chapter, they never even pen the first word. They just don’t have the heart to start. As…

The Storytelling Gene

The Storytelling Gene

At bedtime in my family of daughters, I heard more “Read me a story” than “Tell me a story.” Now that they’re adults, the clamor has evolved to “Write me a story,” but the urge is still prompted by our storytelling gene. Recently, I attended three days of seminars in a fabulous online writers’ retreat….

Winning Crowns in 2020

Winning Crowns in 2020

Somehow I doubt if the psalmist David enjoyed many trouble-free years in his tumultuous life, but my husband reminded me a few weeks ago that Israel’s greatest king praised the provision and providence of God during the year. “You have crowned the year with your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance” (Ps. 65:11). Despite…

Launching into the Deep

Launching into the Deep

In a Door-of-No-Return moment, the Lord of the Rings character Samwise Gamgee halts in the middle of a field. “If I take one more step,” he announces hesitantly, “it’ll be the farthest from home I’ve ever been.” But at his companion Frodo’s encouragement, he takes that next step. And basically launches into the deep. He…

The Fall of Eden

The Fall of Eden

A year and a half ago, Chile pranced on the cusp of the First World. In complacent security, the country hovered near the apex of prosperity, about to scale the summit of Mt. Ambition. Just ahead, the mirage shimmered. Then, instead of the “happy copy of Eden” our national anthem lauds, we watched the Fall…