Tag: Hope

Giving Thanks

Voice and Vision Prayer Team’s Thanksgiving Prayer Psalms 9:1-2 I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.  I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. We are thankful for Your love. Through Your love we are bound by Your Holy Spirit and come together each week to pray to You. Through Your love You give us instruction how to pray to You always with our requests.  Others have seen...

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A Voice for the Voiceless: A Tale of a Brave Little Knight

In April, as the pandemic was building and the world seemed to be spiraling out of control, our son lost his battle with depression and anxiety and made the decision to end his life. Our family was already going through other difficult issues, and this seemed like just one more challenging blow. I wondered at our resilience and how we could ever recover. By the grace of God, we are healing and doing better than expected. My last interaction with my son was so completely normal that it felt...

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Sowing a Lasting Legacy

For the first 4 years of our marriage, my husband and I lived in old farmhouse that was converted into two apartments.  We lived upstairs and our entryway was the original front door.  Neither of us are ‘gardening’ or ‘plant’ people and being in a second-floor apartment kept us happily removed from maintaining the outside.   Each spring, however, we were surprised by the bright, cheerful daffodils that seemed to pop up out of nowhere.  We’d get so busy with work and...

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The Contest and the Prize

I was feeling so frustrated. I had stories inside of me—lots and lots of stories. Almost every day, I saw something or experienced something that made another story begin forming in my brain. But I had no outlet for my stories, no place for them to go, no one to read them. There was other frustration going on in my life, too. My husband Bill and I had dropped everything to move from Alaska to Pennsylvania to be near our elderly mothers. We had surrendered jobs, friends, our house, our church—everything....

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Words to Remember

Last week found me missing my mom. Not because Mother’s Day was approaching, but because I was having a rough week and even though my mom has been gone for 5 years, when I’m upset my first instinct is to call her. She was my wisest counselor, my most ardent cheerleader and my most effective anti-depressant. I suppose all mothers are encouragers, at least they should be. But my mother had a bit of an edge in that department because she was a pastor—an encourager by calling and by profession. As...

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Never Too Late to Bloom

When I was getting ready to go off to college and deciding what to study, I found myself torn between the two things that most interested me. As a young child, I loved building houses for my Liddle Kiddles out of shoe boxes and odds and ends. When I got a bit older I bought a subscription to Metropolitan Home and began dreaming of unique and elaborate houses. I spent hours imagining myself as an architect, drawing floor plans of the houses that were in my head. The other thing I really enjoyed...

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The No Make-Up Day

I had a birthday recently—my 56th. Not a milestone. No zero in it. Not at all traumatic—even though I am now officially closer to 60 than 50.   All-in-all, it was a fine birthday. Celebrating another year of my life reminded me of something kind of funny that happened to me a few months ago . . . It was a rainy day. Shopping was on my agenda—the kind of shopping that would have me in and out of the car all day. I got up, got dressed, styled my hair then got sidetracked by little tasks around the...

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The Mysterious Power of Giving Thanks

About 9 years ago my husband and I began seriously talking about selling our house, quitting our jobs and leaving the life we knew, to make a move of 4,000 miles to spend more time with our mothers—while we still could. It was a scary proposition. There were so many uncertainties. Where would we live? Would we find meaningful work? Would we make new friends? How would we pare down our possessions and pack up and move the rest? How would we adjust to the hectic pace of the East Coast after so many...

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Just a Bad Day. Not a Bad Life.

I had a crummy day yesterday. Not all of it was crummy, not even most of it was, but by the time I was heading upstairs to get ready for bed, I had convinced myself that it had been entirely crummy and that today would be more of the same. I was convincing myself that crummy, in fact, was going to be my new normal. As I was brushing my teeth, my memory transported me back to another remarkably crummy day which took place about 8 or 9 years ago when my husband and I still lived in Alaska. It was...

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The Treasure in an Earthen Vessel

When my daughter Alexis was a little girl, her dad used to say to her, “Lexie, repeat after me: I am a young lady of quality.” She would stand up straight, pull her shoulders back, and say with conviction, “I am a young lady of quality.” This ritual happened often and usually ended with hugs and laughter. It is among my fondest memories of the years when my children were growing up. I loved that my husband did this for our daughter, and I secretly wished my own dad had done it for me. There’s...

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