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Does Your Heart need a Total Christmas Makeover?

I absolutely love Christmas. I always have. This year, however, as the blessed day draws nearer, I feel a tightening in my chest. A heaviness settling on my shoulders and my teeth grind just a bit harder. I feel it…the suffocating pressure for a solid Christmas “performance” in my home. I don’t usually feel this way, but I think the year of working full time outside the home for the first...

The Blessing of A Bloom

This post first appeared on my old blog a few years ago. It’s message resonated with me today, so I wanted to share it with you again. We planted it back at the beginning of summer. Along with the strawberries that never quite made it, and the sweet pea that bloomed in beauty. It was the first of the three plants to sprout, and the excitement was palpable. Day after day we’d rush to the pot to see what...

When You’re Missing Out on the Blessing

The air hung thick and hot as the sun beat down on my face. The usually dry heat so familiar to this place had given way to a muggy and heavy blanket tucked over the city. On the horizon, circling all around our neighborhood, clouds towered high. Thunderheads rose tall and powerful, teasing with the promise of the sweet relief of rain. Rain that would never come. In the small towns surrounding us, at least a few...

Are You Building Your Own Soil?

Have you ever heard of the Aran Islands? They are a set of three small islands off the west coast of Ireland, famous for their rich wool sweaters and being a heart of Irish cultural preservation. When we lived in Ireland, we could see these islands from our living room window—when it wasn’t raining, anyway. Folk used to say, “If you can’t see Aran, it’s raining. If you can see them, its...

Why I’m Doing the Job I Didn’t Want to Do

I recently accepted a job. This job was an answer to prayer in so many ways—and it’s a job I said I’d never do again. Before we ever went overseas, I taught first grade for a year. That was one tough year. First year teacher, mid-year created class, and a group of students who hadn’t been told why they had been moved made for a deadly combination and one defeated teacher when the end of the year...

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