• Hemmed In

    This week I had the opportunity to video chat with my daughter and her three young children.  Every time we communicate with each other my heart goes out to them.  They are restricted to a small townhouse with a tiny yard.  My daughter, being cautious, and wanting to keep her children safe, doesn’t want to let her children go outside those parameters.  Their world is confined, complex, and energetic. They are a classic case of being hemmed in. Tripping over each other most days.  Tussling and active on a regular basis.  Bouncing on the furniture.  Camping out in improvised tents.  Their lives are governed by circumstances that are out of…

  • Being Invisible

    As I sit here alone it is easy to feel like I am island.  My country home is lovely but very lonely when my husband is away.  The days stretch ahead of me, one like the other.  Limited interactions, other than some through my phone or computer, make me feel insignificant at times.  I realize how easy it could be for me to just get lost in the isolation.   These times of solitude make me pensive.  Too much time to think is not necessarily a good thing.  Without the perspective of others, some things easily get magnified and cause more havoc than I would like.  It is definitely a…

  • Joy in the Lord

    A man sits in prison, unjustly accused.  His living conditions are deplorable.  It is cold and dark and he never sees the light of day.  Rats infest his living quarters and the minimal food he gets does little to nurture his failing body. Yet, this man is filled with praise to God.  He continues to encourage those around him and share the good news of faith in Jesus with all who will listen.  Not only does he find cause to rejoice each day, but he actively encourages his followers and friends to do the same. A woman sits in a prison camp, put in there because she and her family…

  • Doubt versus Trust

    Let’s face it, in troubled times, we are looking for help.  We want a way out.  We want someone to solve the problem and make it all better, preferably right away.  When life gets tough we can lose our perspective.  Let me share a story of two men and observe how perspective makes all the difference.  Both men want something from Jesus, but take a close look at how they approach the matter. The first man is a troubled father with a son who is possessed by a spirit that has taken away the boy’s speech and causes him dangerous convulsions.  The man is frustrated and troubled and is looking…

  • Letting Go

    Today I sit alone at my table looking out at my snow-covered yard.  My heart is heavy.  Family invigorates me, but my loved ones aren’t here.  As I face the prospect of weeks and possibly months of little or no physical contact, I grieve.  The tears are close to the surface today.  I want what I cannot have and I ask God – why? As He has many times in my life, God asks me to let go.  That is so hard.  I don’t want to.  I want to snuggle my grandchildren and share intimate moments with my children.  I want to embrace my family and show them how much…

  • The Choice

    A woman loses her husband and grieves. She is unemployed and times are hard in her location. What is she to do? Her immediate family is not really able to offer her any assistance. It is a time of difficult choices when she is emotionally distraught. She has two directions that are possible. One would be to stay where she is and hope that somehow she can make her way. It is her hometown – surely there is someone who would take her in and help her find some kind of livelihood. Even without immediate family there – it is what she knows and where she was raised. But she…

  • It’s All How You Approach It

    The night sounds of the house are all around me – the click of the furnace, the creaks of the house, the movement of my spouse. As I lay there I watch the clock move from 11:00 to 11:30 and eventually to 2:00 and 3:00 and so on. Insomnia is a rare event in my life and it troubles me. Eventually the tears come as the pain that had been keeping me awake persists. I pray to God, not so much to relieve the pain, but to give me answers. What is this pain? What do I do to treat it? I have been in discomfort for weeks. What is…

  • Passersby

    I am a people watcher. Whether I am walking down the street, sitting in a waiting room, or standing in line at the grocery story, I am observing those around me. It intrigues me what makes people tick and how they choose to handle various situations. I ponder what their lives are like and where their journey is taking them. I laugh at silly antics and empathize with those in pain. I puzzle over them and wonder in general what their life is like. Not everyone I observe appeals to me. Some obnoxious, abrasive people do turn me off. I get perturbed seeing the bad effects of people who are…

  • Great Delight

    The gleaming red faces sparkle with delight as they race down the hill on their sleds.  For the younger ones, it is the satisfaction of accomplishment – climbing up the large hill on our property and learning how to manoeuvre a sled on their own.  For the older ones, it is pure fun and a remembrance of carefree days past when sledding was a favourite winter pastime.  There is much laughter and good-natured teasing as siblings reconnect with each other and newer family members find their place.  It invigorates me to have my family around me throughout the season.  I love the glowing faces of the grandkids as they anticipate…

  • A Little Voice

    On my drive to work lately I have been listening to a dramatic version of the Book of Exodus.  As the Scripture comes alive I am amazed at how again and again the Israelites had their issues and doubts concerning God.  They saw Him part the Red Sea and yet days later are upset wondering how they will be fed.  They saw the Egyptians experience all the plagues sent by God, yet they build a golden calf to worship.  Why was it so hard to trust God to provide what they needed? Things are no better in the time of Isaiah.  Many had left God’s path and were looking for…