A Different Edit

I’ve recently been asked to edit a book. On the surface it sounds easy. What could it take, right? Just some proofreading – edit – suggest a few changes – correct  – re-write  – and proofread again  – and that’s how I commit my time helping a friend with a project powered by his passion.  I love writing, creating word pictures, choosing words that unravel complexity making a subject easier to understand. I love writing, stirring imaginative thought, inspiring joy, encouraging resourceful acts. I love writing, even though an intense, …

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Let’s Talk

Once Upon a time – and the story has a beginning. Do you ever wish for a place to let down all your defenses, a place where every curtain could be opened, a place where you could say whatever is on your mind, a place to be at peace? Where is that place for you? Where would you begin to pour out the contents of your soul to someone who listens at heart level? Walking the trail in my neighborhood is a lovely, tranquil escape. It winds four miles alongside the Thornapple river …

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The Standard for Extraordinary

I regularly receive email messages announcing events designed especially for women. There’s one that catches my attention every time. It isn’t that the organization is authentic and reputable, it’s the label. This label: Extraordinary Women represents ministries to women through conferences and Bible study resources.  The women of this network are extraordinary, gifted speakers, singers, and facilitators. I know a countless number of women whose gifts are in areas unlike those of notoriety, yet are truly extraordinary. I attend a women’s Bible Study with Extraordinary Women from my home church. Together …

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It all happens between the bookends

Are you a peace seeker? I already know you said yes. We want peace in the world, peace in our communities, peace in our relationships and peace for our own hearts. But when we’re suffocating under anxiety, there is no peace. Where can we find peace? Here’s a clue. It doesn’t come from within when we are overwhelmed by “What-if” producing anxiety. There’s this verse in Proverbs 12:25  that spells it out pretty clearly: “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” Not …

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The more I notice …..

A few weeks ago friends on Facebook started talking about closing their account because all they saw was negativity. I couldn’t relate because at that time I saw none of that. This past week has changed everything. It’s been a struggle to find the diamonds in all that black coal, but listen – I’m still trying. I’m not going to quit trying either.  I’m not going to close my accounts or stop using Social Media. The negative things of this life will never go away, but they don’t define me …

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A Friend is Someone Who Saves Your Place

A few days ago on Facebook one of my friends posted something like “I’m babysitting kids, that don’t need a babysitter, on a Friday night. I must not have any friends.” I giggled inwardly because I knew this funny, sweet girl has lots of friends and she was totally joking about her evaporating prospects for a fun Friday night, not lamenting. I posted back, “Oh no, you don’t. Once you’re my friend you’re always my friend.  Yeah, true, I’m the older version of a friend.” This made me stop and think …

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Hidden Faith

I had to stop singing. We were in the middle of a song at church, music resonating from the worship band, the words projected on the screen flashed through my mind. “The riches of your love will always be enough” I had to stop. Could I really sing those words and mean them? If I couldn’t find work, if my car broke down, if suddenly I was financially destitute, would the riches of God’s love really be enough? I thought of my childhood friend sitting across the aisle from me whose life …

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Go toward the light …

When I enter a room to relax, kick back, veg out – in short, to become the epitome of a couch potato in appearance and momentum – I dim the lights, grab my blanket, and enter the state of inertia.  Not so when I enter a room with intentions to work on a project, read a book, do some cleaning, or check off items on my to-done list. When I’m on a mission, I turn the lights on, sometimes more than one, because I want to see clearly, need every …

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What we own

Have you ever had a blue day… maybe not dark blue, but not the sunny sky blue that lights up the sky and feels like summer. It’s more like the gray blue that’s tinged with sadness and mutes all joy.  It’s not unusual for blue days to slither through places we visit multiple times in a week:  the gas station, grocery, other stores, church, workplace, restaurants and other places where people meet and greet.  It’s common to hear complaints, see people in subtle conflict, or witness unforgiving anger.  After while, …

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Refining Grace