Redeeming Ruth

Everything Life Takes, Love Restores

releases May 2017, Pre-order now.

Redeeming Ruth

Photograph by Jacqueline Zimowski

Meadow Rue Merrill dreamed of the perfect family: two boys and a girl. Then she and her husband would adopt. Together they prayed, “Lord, if you have another child for us, you will have to bring that child to us.” Miraculously, he did. Only that child wasn’t anything like they’d imagined. Born in Uganda and abandoned at birth, Ruth had severe disabilities. Would they adopt her? That was the question God seemed to be asking. The answer would stretch their faith, test their endurance, and bring them more joy than they’d ever imagined. It would also break their hearts and open them to other abandoned children and people with disabilities.

My Work

Meadow Rue Merrill is an award-winning journalist with two decades of published writing experience. She began reporting for The Times Record, a daily newspaper in Brunswick, Maine, and spent the following eight years corresponding for The Boston Globe. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Family Circle and other regional and national publications. Most recently she has written for Harvard University. Merrill has regular columns with The Portland Press Herald, Maine’s largest newspaper, and Down East magazine, where she is a contributing editor. Her memoir, “Redeeming Ruth: Everything Life Takes, Love Restores” releases in May 2017.

Redeeming Ruth

When 16-month-old Ruth arrived in Maine from an orphanage in Uganda, she couldn’t sit up, roll over, or speak, but her life spoke volumes about the importance of family, the meaning of faith, and the power of love.

Faith Notes: Words that Encourage

Life is often rough, mine included. Some days seem designed to crush your hopes and dreams. For inspiration and understanding, I turn to the same words that have guided generations, the Scriptures. Are you weary? Searching for encouragement? Me too! Faith Notes are weekly, Scripture-based meditations drawn from my everyday life and shared in the hope that they will strengthen your faith and brighten your day. Subscribe below.

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Facing a difficult journey?

Lately, I’ve been reading through the beginning of the Old Testament, an unexpected source of comfort and inspiration if you are walking through a difficult phase or journey. What could be harder than an entire civilization packing up their homes and families and herds to cross a perilous wilderness? On a good day, I have enough trouble packing up my kids to catch the school bus. Snacks? McDonald’s money for away basketball games? Who has time? And we are not usually being pursued by an angry army in chariots.

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This new year, resolve not to quit

If your heart has not been pulverized by sorrow, disappointment and injustice by the time you reach midlife, you are either sorely disconnected or extremely lucky. During the first week of this new year, I find myself wanting to lay my head down and weep at the hardships that encompass from within and without. I have much to be thankful for – a safe home, the love of my family and a few close friends, opportunities to pursue meaningful work. But along the way, the losses and regrets and awareness of my own limitations have snowballed to such a degree that the utter weight and size of my sadness threatens to bury me.

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Book Review: The Year of Small Things

There’s something about the start of a new year that beckons us to set goals. According to the website History.com, the custom of setting New Year’s resolutions began in ancient Babylon 4,000 years ago. Each March people celebrated a 12-day religious festival and made promises to their gods. Those who kept them were assured favor in the coming year. The New Year offers an opportunity to reflect on what we’d like to change. In the West, often it’s our health habits. But what if instead of measuring our midriffs and kicking off another diet, we measured our lifestyle? That’s the prospect authors Sarah Arthur and Erin Wasinger offer in their book, “The Year of Small Things: Radical Faith for the Rest of Us” (Brazos Press, 2017).

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Advent, wk. 5: True Worship

As a college student studying in Jerusalem, I was privileged to spend one rainy and cold Christmas wandering around Bethlehem with my mother. In the days before a concrete wall divided Israel from the West Bank, this majority Muslim city about six miles south of Jerusalem was an easy fifteen minute taxi or sherut ride from our school. Arab shopkeepers, with their open-sided kiosks lining the streets, sold strings of Christmas lights along with olivewood nativities and traditional sweets. With a flock of other worshipers, we knelt on the stone floor near the shrouded hollow in the Church of the Nativity where Christ is traditionally believed to have been born.

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Advent, week 4: Take time to contemplate

We decorated for Christmas last week on the first anniversary of buying our home. At this time last year, we were packing boxes in one house and frantically hammering down floors and painting walls in another. Rarely are the holidays Hallmark perfect. Congested stores, empty wallets, strained relationships, difficult family situations and unmet expectations have a way of crowding out the joy. That is why it is so important, during this third week of Advent, to take time to contemplate.

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Advent, week 3: Sharing the good news

Is there anything much sweeter than a baby announcement? Who doesn’t love receiving a card in the mail with the pucker-faced picture of a relative or friend’s new arrival? I enjoy posting such proclamations on the fridge, eager to share the good news with any unsuspecting visitors who may walk through my door. So it was when a baby announcement reached a Judean hillside long ago. Only, this message didn’t arrive via a rural mail carrier. It arrived with an eruption of light via a heavenly angel. Friends and relatives weren’t the recipients, but a band of frightened, uneducated shepherds watching over their flocks.

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