The Benefits of Reading

 

 

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn…” (Rom 12:15)

The cold months of winter were made for curling up with a cup of tea and a good book and of course, Lilly. When I read, Lilly likes to curl up in my lap (on top of a blanket, of course), or right next to my feet on the end of the recliner. She is always curious about what I’m reading – she will give the book a good sniff or two and then lick it a couple of times before giving her approval and settling in next to me. When my mom reads the newspaper, she jumps right in the middle of my mom’s lap and steps on the paper before turning around as if she’s reading, too. Continue reading “The Benefits of Reading”

The Heart: The Center of Ourselves

 

 

Pictured from left to right: Uncle Venoy (photo courtesy of Sarah Foust); Grandpa Cecil and Grandma Rena (my mom’s parents); Staci, Grandma Velma (my dad’s mom), and Stoney; and Grandpa Fred (my dad’s dad)

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” (Mt. 22:37)

Heart problems run in my family. Of my four biological grandparents, all had heart problems. Of my mom’s five brothers, two have now passed away from heart attacks. Two years ago this March, my uncle Venoy suffered a massive heart attack, passing away just hours later. Were there signs? Yes. He had terrible back pain for three days prior to the heart attack, and even though he rarely suffered from that particular malady, none of us recognized it as a sign of an impending heart attack. Continue reading “The Heart: The Center of Ourselves”

Love Is Action

 

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love…” (Eph 4:2)

Each year as Valentine’s Day approaches, thoughts turn to expressions of love. What does love mean to you? It means something different to me now that I’m – ahem – 40 than it did when I was 20. I’m in a different season of life and have had experiences that have reinforced some of my beliefs and caused me to question others. Continue reading “Love Is Action”

Is Stubbornness Ever a Virtue?

 

“Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are now far from my righteousness. I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed…” (Is 46:12-13)

We walked along the side of the road, Lilly trotting on the raised curb beside me. One of my many podcasts droned in my ears as I took advantage of the nice weather to get outside but still learn something new about the craft of writing. I wrapped Lilly’s leash around my hand and wrist to ensure that she couldn’t suddenly break free and take off for parts unknown. Continue reading “Is Stubbornness Ever a Virtue?”

Celebrating Christmas All Year

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness…” (Eph 4:22-24)

The holidays are over, and I’ve taken down all the Christmas decorations and put them away for safekeeping until next year. Each year, this ritual leaves me feeling a little sad, but also a little energized. There’s just something about the joy of the Christmas season that makes me want to leave things out as long as possible, but as much as I enjoy the decorations, I want my house back in order even more. Continue reading “Celebrating Christmas All Year”