The Interpreter

Years ago, a friend of mine decided to learn sign language so she could communicate with a lady at church who is deaf.  She not only did that, but now has made a career of bridging communication barriers. She helps those with hearing impairment “hear” what’s happening, but maybe more importantly, she helps other people understand ...

Ghost Gifts

I am a visual learner. I have to see something to learn it, and too often, to believe it.  On top of that, I don’t like scary things.  I remember in third grade being upset that my birthday was in October.  Everything in the stores at that time of year was about witches and goblins.  (Why ...

Gratitude and Broken Arms

Growing up, I was an average-type athlete.  I might make the team, but usually not the starting lineup. Although loyal and hardworking, I was never the star on the court or on the field.  But the summer after fifth grade, I had finally risen to the top of the pitcher pile for the Harper Youth Softball ...

The Doughnut

Uncharacteristically, we got a babysitter and cleared our schedule.  Guest speakers held a marriage seminar at church decades ago.  My husband and I were young parents, healthy and busy, but sponges for information about this marriage/family venture we were starting.  We loved to learn everything we could, since we so often felt like we had ...

Joy Thief #2

He didn’t ride a horse every day. But he wore jeans and cowboy boots all the time. On the rare occasion that he did saddle up our old horse Sugar, my dad was impressive. Especially to Peggy, my neighbor. Both four years old, she was then my only friend who wasn’t related to me. So ...

Changing Joy

Few things in life I loved more than being a mom. I spent many years dreading the approaching emptiness that grown children leave behind. My husband worried that this change would do me in. Nearly all change is hard for me, but that one seemed especially cruel. So spending time with my brother and his ...

Preserving Time

If I could save time in a bottle The first thing that I’d like to do Is to save every day ‘Til eternity passes away Just to spend them with you   I used the popular lyrics as the basis for a graduation speech in high school in the 80s. (“Time in a Bottle” by ...

The Infinite and the Edge

If I had a thousand years, Lord, I would still run out of time…. As I sang the song in worship, my mind wandered, distorted the meaning, and made up extra verses: for Him, for me, for my family, for what I want to do here. But what is the magic in 90 or even ...

Protective Peace

My heart and my memories will always be there. Although there is much more to my home state of Kansas, thanks to Dorothy it is known as the tornado state. Growing up I heard many tales of them, but I don’t remember ever experiencing one. Sure, we all had basements in our midcentury ranchers and ...

The Giant

Our dog Pearl is tiny, even for a miniature dachshund. Six pounds of muscle and spine. She has assumed the role of protector of our yard, which is frequented by all sorts of unsavory characters: armadillos, chipmunks, moles, squirrels. But mostly, deer. If we start to say, “Pearl, there’s a deer…” she is at the ...