Extravagance

People love their kids excessively. Christmas is a great example. The gifts, the toys, the proud photos and stories. The things we do for our kids know no bounds. Beyond rationality. Expressed in different ways, in different cultures, at different times, but always a bit mind-boggling. Even as I observe it in myself. Why? This is

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A New Day, A New Year

I had given myself “permission” not to write. It is a holiday, after all, the first day of 2019. My eyes opened a few minutes before my alarm; if not entirely rested, I am awake. With a song running through my head. the Love, that gives you strength from day to day, it will never lose

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Merry Christmas

May the joy of new birth and the hope of salvation encourage your hearts and minds this Christmas. With love and prayers for peace, Renée Small Things: God’s Work in Us

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A Time is Coming

One week ’til Christmas. Are we excited, like children, filled with anticipation? Or panicking about all that is still undone? As we get older, a week is a smaller and smaller proportion of our lives. Our sense of time changes- not just how we use it, but also how we understand ourselves in the context of the whole. Where do

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a thankless job

Eeyore’s classic response came to mind. I was surprised by the grateful “Thank you!” It was my turn to do the dishes, since my spouse had cooked dinner. Why thank someone for doing their job? But it was nice to be noticed, and the gratitude made cleanup easier. There is so much work to be

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unlearning our understanding

Do you see what I see? Unlikely. Scientists, prophets, and artists might all agree. What we believe shapes what we observe. We see what we expect. So how can we prepare our eyes to recognize a new reality? I’ve been taking to heart the Advent encouragement to open my eyes, to see differently. (If you missed Kevin’s

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Our Hands

Prepare. A turkey sandwich with Lawry’s seasoned salt, cranberry relish, and lots of lettuce for school lunch. Toast up a remaining bagel with layered lox. What is my plan for the leftover pie dough? So many possibilities as we recover from one holiday to anticipate the next. All holidays require preparation. Hm. That doesn’t sound very

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down in the dust, up in the tree

I’m not the type to greet newcomers at church. I like to roll in barely on time, slide into my regular seat to support the singers when they start, and be the first to scoot out the door after the final song. The grandma juggling the toddler, squirmy six year old, and teenagers with their

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Earning Our Reputation

I am a bit of a perfectionist. Well, perhaps that’s not possible. But I try to keep my perfectionist tendencies in check. And I am often aware of how imperfectly I manage this. :). Perfectionists aren’t easy to live with, or work for. We are hard on ourselves and others. The term has fallen out of style, probably because

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Mission Calling

“What keeps you up at night?” Besides sick kids, night sweats, indigestion, or general anxiety. Daniel Harris was talking about something else. Identifying your passion, your calling. Daniel stood out among the many brilliant speakers at the Chicago Christian Community Development Assoc. Conference; we strained to understand his words as the sole spokesperson with visible disabilities. But his

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