Surviving the Stairs

I was petrified of those stairs.   When I was in Kindergarten, my family moved into our unfinished basement while another story was added to our two-bedroom rancher. My mother took care of three children and a baby in that awkward, damp space for more than a year. We had a makeshift kitchen and beds ...

Finding God in Soggy Cereal & Cold Coffee

02. March 2020 Blog Posts 18
As a kid, I was pretty good at math. Not to brag, but I won my fair share of chalkboard arithmetic races.   So I could usually finish my homework in class or during study hall. But I chose not to. Instead, I saved my long division to work on during the nearly hour-long bus ...

Locust Years

17. February 2020 Blog Posts 8
Locusts don’t invade wheat farms in southcentral Kansas.   At least they didn’t when I was growing up there. But plenty of other pests did.   And grasshoppers sure could make a mess of a family garden overnight. Now as a resident of wooded northwest Arkansas, I’ve learned a placid deer family can decimate a ...

Parenting from Afar

03. February 2020 Blog Posts 18
When my son was 16, he passed the notoriously difficult written driver’s exam and got his learner’s permit. He was timing it to be able to drive independently for a special event, (i.e., future date).   He practiced driving with an adult, and was ready early to tackle the driving portion, but two other children, ...

To Manage a Mountain

20. January 2020 Blog Posts 2
Warm, barefoot summers in Kansas I avoided them at all cost. Those feisty red ants had hills stationed throughout the farmstead. If a kid wasn’t looking where she was going, she got a painful reminder that she was infringing on their territory. Still, I spent hours observing those little guys at work, hundreds scurrying, carrying ...

Anticipating Bad Days

06. January 2020 Blog Posts 2
I had planned and expected a really good day.   As I was just emerging from my psychotically-shy cocoon, my mother appliqued a dress for me. I loved everything about it. The careful hems, the shiny buttons, but mostly the humpty dumpty assembled from familiar bits of fabric on the front. It was a work ...

Tweaking Tradition, Part 2

16. December 2019 Blog Posts 0
Christmas is thundering closer. But something just doesn’t feel right.   We just spent five days traveling to the Cleveland Clinic for my heart failure evaluation. Not a journey I wanted to make the week before Christmas. But this is where God has us now, and it’s been a mixed bag with lots of blessings ...

Tweaking Tradition, Part 1

02. December 2019 Blog Posts 2
Tradition is not a neutral word.   Like college football, or Jesus, or anything political, it evokes a strong emotion, reflecting how traditions have played out in our lives.   I, too, have had a love-hate relationship with traditions over the past few years.   The following article was first published last year for the ...

What to Remember When Gratitude Is Elusive

18. November 2019 Blog Posts 14
Like love, gratitude is not something you feel, it’s something you choose to practice. While we would all love to feel thankful on a regular basis, it is the times we struggle to feel it that we realize gratitude is a way of life. I have begun to understand this more and more. It is ...

Borrowed Words

05. November 2019 Blog Posts 8
Precious friends, I want to share with you my piece that was recently published by Yahoo Lifestyle and The Mighty. But I also want to include here more personal content than was distributed in these publications. As we approach the four-year anniversary of my diagnosis this month, I am especially aware of the debt I owe each ...