Learning to say no

My earliest Easter memory is of my mother cautioning my older brother and me that if we didn’t pick up the nails we’d spilled on the front porch of our Oregon ranch, the Easter bunny couldn’t come to our house. He’d hurt his feet. Then there was the time she cleverly disguised a carpet sweeper as an Easter gift. We’d get to clean floors? Oh, joy!

How do we respond to evil?

Although no one marched through my sleepy Maine town this week, carrying torches and hate, I recoiled as I witnessed the images broadcast from the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. One photo, captured by resident Jill Mumie, shows a black police officer, head bowed and hands clasped, standing in front of a barricade as Klansmen wave a Confederate flat and raise their hands in a Nazi salute behind him. How do we respond to such evil?

Living God’s best life

Ever wonder if you are receiving God’s best? It’s trendy to talk about “living your best life.” We all want the best life. But what about living God’s best life for you? Where does it start? One of my favorite stories is the romance of Isaac and Rebekah. Told in Genesis 24, Isaac’s father, Abraham, wanted to ensure his son found the best possible wife. So he loaded some camels and sent a servant on a journey to his homeland to find a wife for Isaac. There, the servant met a girl named Rebekah, who was from Abraham’s family. She agreed to be Isaac’s bride.

Surviving post-election angst

I had a post-election meltdown this week. Overwhelmed by the rage and fear and blame being fired like bullets on Facebook, I accidently ‘unfriended’ people who I deeply care about in an effort to make the name-calling go away. ‘Accidently’ because I thought I could see their profiles again once the angry rhetoric quieted down. But the next day, poof, a couple hundred people had completely disappeared from my contacts. By acting in haste without realizing the consequences, I ended up injuring myself and others.

Every day is a day to vote

For months – OK, years – I watched the tightly wound rows of two braided throw rugs pull apart. One under the kitchen sink. One by the back door. Each time someone stepped on them, the tears grew longer. And each time I tossed the rugs in the washing machine, I silently swore I’d stitch the rows back together. But I kept putting it off. By now the tears were so large that my favorite rug, shaped like a heart, was unravelling from the inside out, threatening to come apart in two pieces. Finally I could stand it no longer.