Grow Wool

My anxiety had teeth that day. In the quiet darkness of the early morning, apprehension stealthily lurked in my dreams and poised to strike with the initial ray of the sun. Before my first cup of coffee, my heart was hemorrhaging with fear as the deceitful claws of panic gripped my soul. I knew the feeling all too well. My …

The Field Trip

There is something enchanting about getting out of the classroom and onto the streets, no matter your age. Even as an adult, I welcomed a break from reading characters and learning sentence patterns. Living internationally for 30 days had raised plenty of questions, and Rebecca’s field trips proved magical.  Whenever we were together, I peppered my Taiwanese guide with cultural …

Bonbons from Heaven

The height and depth and breadth of parables happen around us all the time. But sometimes, you must wait a lifetime to realize the significance of the moment. Kernels of truth dropped in mundane soil will bear fruit only when given space in your memory. My parable starts with a sticky preschooler I knew well and was trying to raise …

Expecting the Voice

Personal journal entry, June 26, 2023: “Even after all these years of growing up in Christ, I still have knotholes of doubt that God will speak clearly to me.” Both the Old and New Testaments emphasize Jehovah as the God Who speaks. I’ve read, heard, and memorized it, but in some situations, I don’t expect to hear from God. Why is …

Elizabeth: Expectant with Hope

By: Melynda Schauer Has hope ever looked to you like a pregnant belly? Or felt like morning sickness? Or arrived as a screaming baby? I can’t stop thinking about Elizabeth and her role in the Christmas story. Her story and her son, John, are linked both relationally and chronologically from the beginning with Mary’s story and Jesus’. Elizabeth and her …

A Carolina Christmas

As I wound down the narrow road, I felt anticipation build. Every bend of the foliage and arc of the bridges increased my expectancy. When the shuttle bus rounded the last corner, I gasped as the 55-foot-tall Norway spruce and encircling evergreens illuminated the front lawn. Over a century ago, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted suggested this spectacular approach to …

The Keeper

My people were keepers for a reason. The Great Depression left many with little, so the stubborn survivors saved anything useful. Things like bacon grease, ham bones, chipped cups, and cracked bowls. Food scraps, fabric scraps, wood scraps, and tin scraps. Cardboard hand fans and shoes resoled with the cardboard of broken fans. They reclaimed delicate love letters, sturdy Sears catalogs, …

How to Hope

The reassuring news arrived unexpectedly, and my discouraged and thirsty soul soaked it up like a sponge. “Thanks, Lord, for that hopeful word,” I prayed simply. “Would You grant me more encouragement?“ As softly and gently as a whisper, I heard His voice, “I am the God of Encouragement. You should pray for this more often. This is a prayer I am always …