A narrow escape

I had been warned. Loading heavy sheets of plywood and lengthy strips of siding and a storm door into the back of my minivan at a lumber yard tent sale, I had been warned not to tie the tailgate of my van open to fit it all inside. “Once you get going, you’ll create a vacuum,” the man who’d sold it to me warned. “It will suck exhaust into your vehicle.” Happy with the deals I’d scored, I paused for only a moment, considering the danger.

Rules for right living

For all the freedom that summer offers—for all the lazy mornings and late nights and drives to the lake—I welcome the steady, constrained days of fall. There’s something comforting about falling back into a routine, something secure. Summer’s unrestricted schedule, when kids bounce in and out of doors and from their beds at all hours, leaves me rather bewildered.

Trusting God when your heart is breaking

It was the last time I would ever be in my mother’s house. I’d been dreading this moment since she’d died 18 months before. Neither of us was prepared for her to go so quickly. Diagnosed with cancer in the middle of summer, she’d died six days before Christmas. Could I trust a God like this?

Letting go of yesterday

Letting go of yesterday

While taking kids to the pediatrician for a check-up, I glimpsed a poster hanging on the wall. “Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today—Will Rogers.” I often find myself contemplating some part of my past that I wish I had handled differently – a difficult relationship, a financial decision, taking better care of my health. The truth is, that no matter how much I might wish to change the past, God has only given me the ability to change today.

When you need to ask for help

When you need to ask for help

A little more than a week ago, we moved from our roomy New Englander in the small shipbuilding city of Bath to a snug fixer-upper in the woods. “Do you need help?” a friend asked the previous day at church. “Oh, no,” I confidently replied. “It should only take an hour or two to load up the last U-Haul. Then we should be on our way.”