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  • A Prayer for When You’re on the Edge: ‘grant me grace to fall into His arms’

    On Tuesday, April 24 th, 2012

    To be read, prayed, slowly… ‘O God, I bless thee for the happy moment when I first saw thy law fulfilled in Christ, wrath appeased, death destroyed, sin forgiven, my soul saved….   I want no other rock to build upon than that I have, desire no other hope than that of gospel truth, need no other look than that which gazes on the cross…   May m...

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  • What Your Scars Can Really Be …

    On Monday, April 23 rd, 2012

    In the kitchen, after supper, while we stack the plates, she pulls up her sleeve to shows me her scars. “Did you see this one here on my arm?” When she bends, a tendril falls across her face, and her finger traces this whorl and I can see how the skin pulls, how pain is embroidered right into her. She is six and she is marked. And there is still so much road ahead. ...

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  • When You Desperately Want God to Hear Your Prayers

    On Wednesday, November 02 nd, 2011

    When we buy her two pygmy goats for her birthday, who knew how big faith could get? We bring them home in June in a mini-van with no air-conditioning. Two miniature goats neighing back and forth —  on the laps of two boys making jokes about something warm running down their legs. “We do need to name them,” the birthday girl announces. She strokes one goat’s speckl...

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  • when it’s all pressing in : the fluid principle

    On Wednesday, October 19 th, 2011

    I‘m standing at the counter, day seeping in without knocking, jotting down a list of the day’s tasks, the work of a week, in my journal, and it’s just a tad overwhelming. I’m trying to remember just to breathe… And then I am fifteen again. That summer I gripped the handlebars of a Honda Goldwing, weave around margarine tubs set up as pylons in the ...

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  • when things get broken

    On Tuesday, September 20 th, 2011

    The morning’s barely warm, early and breaking. On the way in from the hen house, she trips on the back step and drops the only egg she’s found. How do you tell someone that there are times it’s best to leave some of the pieces of your life behind? That sometimes leaving pieces of the shell behind just might release you. You never break apart — you break ...

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  • for the hard and windy days

    On Wednesday, September 14 th, 2011

    The seasons are changing — it’s there on the wind. We find socks again. We clean out the flowerbeds, plow up more of the garden, tend to the trellis with all its last blooms. Beauty, it can be a strange flower, unfurling in the hard seasons — most fragrant in the wind. I wonder at that too — In the pruning of the branches, the vinedresser is closest, bre...

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  • when you need peace …

    On Tuesday, September 06 th, 2011

    So ends come, and beginnings too. They always come together those two —like friends trusting each other. The summer that was, it ends, slips behind us, and we’ll all spin a bit further around the sun and how do I know if I’ve followed you out on enough limbs yet? I love how you grin and lean. I think I’d like a few more bare foot days with you. Because...

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  • So all is grace?

    On Tuesday, August 23 rd, 2011

    So Shaun Groves drove up the gravel lane here last night. We heaped mashed potatoes and roasted herbed ham and fresh sweet corn from the garden onto his plate. The Farmer made him ice cream. And the boys wore him down with jokes and dares to slip down their little backyard zipline and after we all laughed too hard and then held hands and prayed, we sent him to bed with promi...

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  • Hope

    On Tuesday, August 09 th, 2011

    Walking east of the barn in the silence, through the field and the straw left behind after the thrashed wheat, it was right there, in the soil there under the feet — in each stalk lying … waiting — that the earth knows nothing wasted, that all that falls, turns, this long moist breath of ruin and rot, but  a warm whisper of renewal of next year’s crop ...

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  • how to be outstanding in your field

    On Tuesday, July 12 th, 2011

    Knee high by the first of July is what they say. That’s how high the corn needs to be in this neck of the woods by that day on the calendar, if we are going to make crop before fall and first frost. When we walk the fields in early evening, he says it too, how he had wondered if we’d make it this year. “Hardest spring I’ve ever had. All that rain.” He kneels down...

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  • what’s needed when embarking on motherhood

    On Tuesday, July 05 th, 2011

    The train moves slow. The children, all six, dangle happy out windows. I fumble for our tickets. Look for answers I can’t find. The train lurches and I reach for a seat and a boy grins at me trying to hold on. When did all their limbs become long? When did I turn and miss that all the days are the destination? Two brothers stack, hands on shoulder, leaning to see down th...

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  • What to Sing in Your Storms

    On Tuesday, June 21 st, 2011

    ‘If God really works in everything — then why don’t we thank Him for everything?” She asks me this straight out. My daughter, Hope, and I, we sit in the truck on the field’s hem, waiting to give the Farmer his lunch. The Farmer’s planting bean seeds into earth’s dark bed. The sky’s rising darker in the west. He races rain. “For every drop of rain ...

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