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Gratitude

  • What We’ve Got to Tell Kids About Living Extraordinary

    On Monday, March 31 st, 2014

    So yeah, you won’t likely find it making the headlines of People Magazine. But that shouldn’t stop real people from really knowing. Marjorie Knight told me when I was nine. She turned to me while we were hulling a heap of strawberries over her sink, and her white hair caught all this afternoon light and her gravelly voice rolled over those words like smoothened stones: R...

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  • Why Right Now is the Time to Shatter the Myth of ‘Not Enough’

    On Tuesday, February 25 th, 2014

    When he got to the top of that wobbling ladder, he whipped out the pencil from behind his ear and marked an X. Marked an X on the ceiling of the church. And then drilled. The Farmer made this mark and then broke through the ceiling of the church. Broke the ceiling with a hook — so he could hang a frame. Yeah, the pastor and the Farmer spend this evening hanging a couple ...

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  • Don’t Read This. But READ THIS. Because WHO WOULD HAVE BELIEVED THIS would happen?

    On Thursday, February 20 th, 2014

    So there’s this 19-year-old cutter who laid down the blade in her hand and brandished a pen. And Mrs. Stoope, this 78-year-old Michigan grandma who has seven sons, her hair wrapped up in a white bun and has this Bic blue list she’s scrawled in her own hand, numbered now up over 10,000 graces. She always keeps a copy of the book on hand too, Mrs. Stoope who’s handed out ov...

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  • [After the SuperBowl]
    Why It’s Good to Think About Losing This Week (Because This is How You Win)

    On Monday, February 03 rd, 2014

    In the middle of a stiff winter wind, she asks to go to the beach. That’s where she says she wants to celebrate the turning of her calendar year. To stand on the frozen snow and turn her face directly into whatever is coming this way. We’re the only ones there. Nothing can mean nothing, and everything means something. Yes — everything. We walk the long boardwalk, o...

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  • How to Live When You Only Have So Much Time Left [Pt. 1]

    On Monday, January 27 th, 2014

    Yeah, who knows how long we’ve got? Somebody answer us that. Somebody get up on your tipsy soapbox and wring just that out of a grimy, holy world. Flip over your neat little nursing chart and scan the scans of our broken hearts that somehow just keep on beating brave and you run your finger along all the fracture lines and just tell us that — how long have we got. ...

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  • How to Draft an Ideal Day & Get New Habits Down {Free Daily Planner}

    On Monday, January 13 th, 2014

    Good thing every dawn is Day One. Because it’s the third week of January. You know —  when the rubber meets the road, when the glossy on the resolutions begins to chip off like flaking nail polish, when things  get, oh — just plain ol’ hard. The Farmer wraps his arm around me in the early morning dark. “Hear it?” He whispers the words close...

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  • How to Move Forward into the New Year… when you feel like you failed the last year

    On Monday, December 30 th, 2013

    How Maggie Pluim knew to ask that question, I’ll never know. Grace has it’s unending ways. True, I had told her straight up that I had no intention of showing up for the church’s annual New Year’s Eve party with Marian Brubacher’s caramel popcorn and Viola Gingerich’s raspberry punch and Mr. Vaness’ countless rounds of Dutch Blitz. R...

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  • The One Way You Can Keep Opening the Presents
    [a story in photos]

    On Friday, December 27 th, 2013

    So it came and went and she didn’t get it all done. And the basement was a mess and two of the boys got into a squabble and there was no ham, only soup, and somebody slammed a door — hard. And she’d smiled thinly… and then smiled relief. The One coming to the manger, is the Messiah who assures you: It. Is. Finished. He came to d...

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  • The Shortest, Surest Way to All Happiness

    On Wednesday, November 27 th, 2013

    As stoves are turned on for feasts, as thanks to God is quietly offered up to God from all over the world, as kids print out and put up their own thanksgiving trees or Christmas trees, as homes and families prepare for a season of holi-days, holy-days, and the music is turned on low in the background – from the classic, of old theologian, William Law, (1...

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  • Ending the Stealing of Thanksgiving: A Parable

    On Monday, November 25 th, 2013

    So there once was this Farmer. Yeah, he could have been an electrician, a mechanic, a vet — and a story like this could have easily been about a salesman, a mother, a nurse, a teacher, a trucker because we’re all kin with stories that are kind of the same and we’re all the same kind of different. So, yeah, there once was this Farmer — and the guy knew dirt. He had dirt....

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  • How to Get Through When You Want to Give Up

    On Friday, November 22 nd, 2013

    from Desiring God president, and author of Not by Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking by Faith,  Jon Bloom: Jon Bloom’s post last week: “Grumbling is a symptom of a myopic soul. Selfishness has caused tunnel vision and has fixated on a craving(s). Grumbling is evidence of soul-vision impairment. Gratitude is a symptom of a healthy, expansive soul. ...

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  • How to Put One Foot in Front of the Other

    On Wednesday, November 13 th, 2013

    Some guy I ran into said you should walk through life as though your feet are kissing the earth. I tell him he really shouldn’t use the word should. Yeah, the irony of that is not lost on me. But, hey, neither is the sharp edge of his point: The week that a couple thousands people are washed away by walls of raging water – screaming toddlers with big eyes and wrinkled grand...

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