Signs of Fruitfulness

blog wild blackberry leaves

I kissed my husband goodbye before he drove away to work a couple Mondays ago. I’ve heard somewhere that this will prolong his life. Or maybe it only prolongs his departure. Either way, he didn’t seem to mind. Before he reluctantly drove off, he asked, “Did you get pictures of the blueberry blossoms over the weekend?” As much as photography consumes my... Read More

Spring: A Walk Around the Farm

farm calf 1

I don’t always spend a Saturday with my husband at home and the sun shining warm… but when I do, it involves something like planting a hundred gladiolas, lilies, hibiscus, and bleeding hearts… and, of course, a walk around the farm to see how everything is doing. We found a newborn calf this morning. While we were out there, my husband dropped off three lick... Read More

Sweet Potato Haul

potatoes 2 in back of jeep

“Hey, you have to come outside and see this!” my husband burst through the phone from 30 yards away. Last spring, he happened to see sweet potato slips at a feed store. He planted 20 of them (roots with a little bit of leaf), right next to the tiny, spring version of the annual fall tomato jungle. Sixteen of the 20 plants came up. We ignored them until after the first... Read More

Asking God the Big, Scary Questions (Waiting on an Answer)

3 double rainbow in contrast clouds

Something happened yesterday morning that made my skin prickle… Over the years, there have been two key times when I’ve asked God a Big Question (unless you also count the years I kept asking Him, “Will I ever get to be a mom?”). The Big Questions were: – God, do You exist? and – God, how can anyone logically believe that a man rose from the... Read More

Three Sheets to the Wind: Cognitive Flexibility and Self-Control

I’ve been having nightmares recently. Mercifully, I haven’t remembered what they’re about — but something in my subconscious must be working through a mysterious source of unhappiness. After last night’s nightmare, I fell back to sleep and dreamed about a sailboat with its rigging fixed in place. The ropes (“sheets”) that are attached to... Read More

Leaving My Childhood Church

church palm branch fight slide

I loaded the kids into the van early yesterday morning… Got to my childhood church to attend 8am service. I think I teethed on the backs of the pews below… Folded myself up in the squeaky balcony chairs… Got married there, too, on beautiful steps that my dad built and gave to the church for weddings. I attended 8th grade Sunday School in the little room that... Read More

Irish Determination

irish sign 16 slideshow

Ever since my younger sister, Annie, learned to talk, she has been paving my way to adventures I never would have attempted on my own. I remember when she called to invite me on a trip to Ireland. “What??!? You get a trip to Ireland for graduation?” I shrieked through the holes in the now-obsolete receiver. “Mom and Dad only got me a ring!” “Well,... Read More

Pure Valentine Sweetness

lollipop 3 girls big eyes

After our bizarre experience last week, our family has been set on our feet again. My kids are more aware now that “bad” people exist — people who are inexplicably mixed up, selfish, and twisted. That was just a stranger, though… The capacity to inflict much deeper hurt lurks inside even the “best” of us, even when our intentions are only to... Read More

What Hour the Thief Was Coming

burglary

Exploring ancient history and the riddles of long-dead prophets seems like an interesting hobby, and harmless enough. Lately, though, I feel like Indiana Jones, and I’ve just disturbed the rubble over the Lost Ark. A thief entered our home Saturday. My kids and I were home, although we were spared the trauma of ever seeing him. The past few days have been full of the details... Read More

The Best of Resolutions in the “Worst” of Times

dusting of snow

Yesterday my husband and I woke, weak and bleary-eyed, to a dusting of snow that had settled over our house, like a halfheartedly apologetic attempt to cover the events of the day before. The day before, a virus from the underbelly of hell had knocked us on our backsides, wrenching our insides to the outside. I can’t remember ever being so violently ill before. When I ventured... Read More