Divine Spanking: Hurting to Heal

Divine Spanking: Hurting to Heal

I had a telephone conversation with one of my daughters-in-law yesterday that took me back to my own toddler-raising years. Two-year-old Livi is as headstrong and highly intelligent as her father (my oldest son) was, and is therefore very challenging to train. Her blond curls, baby blue eyes and unwitting charm of a smile disarm even the most exasperated parent (or grandparent), however.  Little Olivia is tough as a boot, too (like her daddy), so spankings don’t seem to deter her…

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Worthless Worry

Worthless Worry

Our old van was getting louder every time we drove it. The ride got rougher over time and our four kids in the back seat had to yell to be heard. (Not that they ever needed an excuse to yell at each other, ha-ha!) Finally, our old navy-blue-and-wood-grain-exterior minivan started jolting uncontrollably and sounding like a single-engine airplane coming in for a crash landing. Oh, boy… my husband and I realized the inevitable truth: we needed a new vehicle. When our…

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Remodeling Job

Remodeling Job

They dropped the price of the empty house again, now below $30,000. What could we possibly expect for that little money? But we asked our realtor to show it to us, anyway. Since my husband retired, we needed additional income, and there is a shortage of rental property in our town. Also, since my dad was an architect, and my mom in real estate for many years (and we’d conquered adding onto our own home a couple years earlier to accommodate our…

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An Angel By My Daughter

An Angel By My Daughter

It was late May 2015, just over a year ago. I was in my fourth month serving as interim worship/music director at a church in a nearby city, and had really been missing being with my family at our home church. My nine-year-old daughter, Jaycie, would ask almost weekly by then, “Mom, when are you coming back to our church? I miss you.” I loved the people, and I knew that God had called me there for a season —…

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Powerfully Imperfect

Powerfully Imperfect

I was mortified, but the small congregation was gracious as the sound man turned knobs, trying to remedy the problem. Whenever I sang into the microphone, the music (being played by my CD) disappeared. If I stopped singing, the accompaniment music magically reappeared — then faded instantly again when I sang. Ugghh!! I finally opted to hold the mic farther away, singing mostly a cappella, so they’d at least hear the words and hopefully be encouraged by the message that Sunday…

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Piano Tuning: Proverbs & Providence

Piano Tuning: Proverbs & Providence

In December 2006, when I felt compelled to resign my full-time teaching (music) job and stay home to teach piano lessons, my [shocked] husband was fearful that we’d lose the house, unable to pay the mortgage. I sent email to a few families of my students and church friends who’d expressed interest in piano lessons, and had twenty students committed within 24 hours, and a waiting list within 48 hours. But it still wasn’t anywhere near the steady paycheck I…

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Hope Springs Eternal (Fr. Duffy, Guest Blogger)

Hope Springs Eternal (Fr. Duffy, Guest Blogger)

Hope Springs Eternal by Father Hugh Duffy, PhD, Guest Blogger for “Inspiring Hope” 7-10-16 We cannot live without hope. Take the case of a little girl, waiting for her Mother to return home. She may be distracted for a while but she will return with hope to the window and silently look out, again and again. A few treats and toys may hold the child’s interest for a moment, but the thought of Mother is much stronger. When Mother returns…

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Fierce Love

Fierce Love

“Mommy, come outside and see the baby bird in the rose bush!” My ten-year-old daughter was thrilled to discover a baby cardinal, camouflaged carefully inside our backyard rose bush. Out I came, camera in hand, whispering so as not to scare the young chick. As we approached the bush, however, the apparent parents of the fledgling swooped down to rescue their child from the giant humans who threatened it’s safety, as far as they could tell. We stepped away, hoping…

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