Redeeming Ruth: Everything Life Takes, Love Restores
Winner of a 2018 Christopher Award for books that inspire
and the 2018 Maine Literary Award for memoir!
Meadow Rue Merrill dreamed of the perfect family: two boys and a girl. Then she and her husband, Dana, would adopt. Together they prayed, “Lord, if you have another child for us, you will have to bring that child to us.” Miraculously, God did. Only that child wasn’t what 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 their eyes to the needs of other abandoned children and people with disabilities in the developing world. All royalties benefit orphans and people with disabilities in Uganda.
Faith Notes: Words that EncourageLife 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.
Like many, I was shocked last week when a painting “Girl With Balloon” by the British street artist Banksy sold for a record $1.4 million at Sotheby’s auction house only to instantly self-destruct. Like many, I’d never heard of the enigmatic artist before his stunt flashed across the world’s news feeds, showing a painting of a girl with a heart shaped balloon slipping through the bottom of its frame and being destroyed by a shredder as a wealthy, art-loving audience looked on.
I laughed. Then I contemplated what it means to live in a world that often values paint and paper more than people, the temporal more than the timeless.
Early this past summer, between the rows of kale and marigolds in my make-do garden, I planted four leafy-green Brussel sprouts. Tomatoes I knew. Cucumbers and green beans and zucchini too. I’d never grown Brussel sprouts, but the thought of harvesting my own organic, farm-to-table mini cruciferous cabbages was too delectable to resist. So I scooped four shallow holes in my loamy soil, packed it around the promising shoots and waited to see what grew.
All summer I watered and weeded—sometimes too much, sometimes too little. The shiny red orbs of cherry tomatoes ripened first, followed by prickly-skinned cucumbers. Heavy leaves grew wide from the now thick shoots of the Brussel sprouts.read more
As a member of a small, rural Maine church, I often wonder how to make our congregation more relevant to our community. For the people who walk through our doors on Sunday morning, we are a friendly, encouraging bunch – so much so that the coffee hour often eclipses...read more
With one lap to go, my child fell behind his teammates running around the soccer field. From the look on his face, I knew something was wrong. Not something as simple as a stitch in the side or a sore ankle, but a wound that burned far deeper.
As soon as practice was over, he followed me to our truck. “I don’t think I want to play soccer anymore,” he confided, head hanging.
“You don’t?” I asked. “Was it hard today?”
No way did I plan to come home from the Litchfield Fair with a pig. Sure, when our family moved to the rural countryside of Maine my husband, Dana, and I had talked about the benefits of raising a couple of pigs. Humanely raised meat. Fertilizer for our garden. Less dependence on the grocery store.
Only, we don’t eat much pork. And there was the whole process of pig farming, which we knew nothing about. There didn’t seem to be much risk, however, in entering our youngest son, Ezra, in the pig scramble at the local fair. While my husband and Ezra sat in the bleachers of the exhibition barn, waiting to see which children’s names would be drawn to participate, I wandered off with our 8-year-old to hear the results of a free bike raffle.
She was rescued from the middle of a Florida highway, a soft brown ball of fur surrounded by whizzing cars. One driver stopped, scooped her up and brought her to an animal shelter. Ten days later, when no one claimed her, she was vaccinated, spayed and trucked to Maine by an animal rescue organization.
“We’re getting a puppy,” I told a friend.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said with more certainty than I felt.