December is always a time of reflection for me as the new year approaches, a season that serves as a poignant reminder of the gift of Christ. In these moments, I often find myself searching for the definition of “who I am” in Christ, recognizing the importance of staying connected to the true vine. While I have found peace with God through my faith in Jesus, the question lingers: Am I truly relying on Him to foster genuine growth within me? Christ, in his wisdom, calls me to abide first in him before charting my course forward.Read more
With the snap of the corporate fingers, a company abruptly eliminated a friend’s job after dedicating twenty-eight years to them. The company car, her passion for the industry she served, her phone, her computer, and her connections were all wiped away in the blink of an eye. The cherished job and her entire sense of self-worth turned upside down.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This sentiment held its truth as I gazed upon a photograph capturing a family member, their infectious smile stretching from ear to ear. Yet, behind that smile lay a narrative of struggle — one of worry, sadness, sickness, and rejection. The path leading to that climatic moment had been fraught with immense efforts. Though the outcome was positive, the journey resembled a turbulent roller coaster, a truth obscured by the photograph.Read more
I value physical markers of momentous occasions and people in my life. I have two particular plants which represent significant lifetime events. One is a Peace Lily and the other, a Schefflera. I have had the Lily for 26 years and the tall, now lanky Schefflera for about 14 years. At some point, I had replanted the Peace Lily from its original container many years ago. The Schefflera was still in its original plastic pot from when it was delivered to me. As I was repotting them recently, it reminded me how our bodies need the same type of nuturing in spirit, soul, and body before we face a life transition instead of waiting till we are withered.Read more
During a walk in March, bright yellow daffodils caught my eye as they were peeking up out of the late winter ground. They are the first signs of renewal bursting forth even though the vegetation surrounding them still has yet to come to life. Daffodils are paradoxical, sunshine yellow surrounded by shades of weary brown. The visual leads me to ponder the beauty that is actually occurring in us during our times of despair and emptiness. In this hollow period, we often are aching for the new growth to spring forward instead of leaning into the germination sprouting inside of us during the darkness.Read more
One of my favorite Christian authors is Jen Pollock Michel. In a recent email, she asked a series of questions for reflection of 2022. One of her questions caught me by surprise – “What did I lament?” This is certainly not something I typically allow space for in my thoughts but it made me curious enough to explore.Read more
(A devotion from the Fall of 2020)
This question caused me to stop and ponder during the delivery of a recent Sunday sermon. Honestly, my first response in my head was “Blessed!?!”; this is 2020. As I continued to reflect on the words in Psalm 67, the passage is pointing us to God’s desire in acknowledging our blessings, even when they might seem more bleak or small. The Bible actually calls us to give thanks in ALL circumstances, joy and suffering. That call has certainly been difficult in the year of 2020 as COVID has caused much grief, anxiety and strife in our lives. The moments we looked forward to in our children’s lives have been squashed; experiences we hoped to celebrate with them also extinguished. Trips and family gatherings have been put on hold for an indefinite time. We have quarantined till we are blue in the face. Sadly, some have had to say goodbye to those who have succumbed to COVID or other illnesses. But God in his goodness, gently reminds us in his word to look up and forward to the hope we have in Jesus Christ. He calls us to continue to run the race set before us regardless of the thorn in our side. God calls us to give thanks in ALL things; “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” [1 Thes 5:16]
A while back, I began contemplating a decision regarding an upcoming long-term recommitment. During this same time I was dreaming about what I wanted to do professionally once my son graduated. I came across a podcast called The Next Right Thing hosted by Emily P Freeman. As I began listening to her narratives of encouragement on my daily fall walks, her soothing voice penetrated my heart and soul about contemplating my choices.
I think we can all agree the holidays require quick ways for us to put a healthy and nutritious meal on our table. I love a yummy stir fry because it is so easy to use up vegetables and proteins left sitting in my fridge/freezer. I found this recipe for a very easy stir fry sauce on Kristine’s Kitchen Blog.
It was a dreary, rainy day as my son and I traversed across a college campus for a tour. The rain was turning to ice on the trees. As the night wore on, ice continued to weigh down the branches of all our trees. What compounded the ice accumulation were the leaves still remaining on the trees. The combination was devastation waiting to happen as the rain and cold pursued. Slowly, the drooping sagging branches could no longer carry the burden of all the weight, causing both small and large branches to snap, thundering to the ground.