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Little Cat Feet

A recent major home improvement project involved removing a 30-year old wood deck and replacing it with a concrete patio. There were the normal issues, of course, which structurally included adjusting the size of the steps leading inside the house and figuring out what to do with a tricky area around the basement entry. More

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Fullfillment of a Heart’s Desire

“Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – Who forgives all our sins and heals all your diseases. Who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”  Psalm 103:

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I Have Seen the Lord

The empty tomb makes all the difference, doesn’t it? I admit I am profoundly uncomfortable with Holy Week. I couldn’t bear to watch the movie The Passion of the Christ, and the Stations of the Cross are unnerving. It’s too achingly painful. Too much. Of course it is – that’s the whole point of Jesus’

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No Dead Ends

The path was untidy from the ravages of winter and a cold, wet spring. This labyrinth was new to me, and I felt oddly anxious as I stood at its entrance. I could barely see where to begin, and the dividing bricks outlining the winding, switch-back path were nearly buried beyond sight.   I took

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Morning Prayer

The recitation of the Twelve Steps was my first introduction to liturgy, though I had no idea of that practice at the time. I didn’t grow up in a church that used the liturgical calendar or shared spoken readings. I did know that my spirit soothed every time I practiced a moment of silence. I

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Missing the Obvious

These days I’m often meeting with people about joining the effort to match the Challenge Gift for our own space. On a recent morning I was running a couple of minutes late for an appointment (which is one of my persistent character defects), and I dashed out the door without the lunch I had packed.

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Birthday Celebration

I’m not a big gifts person, at least not in terms of wrapped presents to open. Even at Christmas I’m not interested in a pile of packages with my name on them. My love languages are more words and invested time, which I confess I crave like a child who wants a pony with a

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Feeling Your Feet

For several months we have been afraid our ancient, arthritic dog is on her last legs, literally. At age 13, her gait and energy have been declining for a number of years, despite the various medicines available. (Believe me, she’s taking them all, including pain meds, to the tune of a significant amount of money

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Hallelujah for Home!

Bethesda Workshops is thrilled to share that we have secured our own home! After many challenges, all the pieces came together in recent days, and the ministry’s board of directors voted unanimously to move forward with a lease-purchase arrangement. We couldn’t be happier! Our heartfelt gratitude flows to all of you who prayed for us

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Passionate

I’m passionate about football. I especially favor the SEC teams, of course, and our struggling Tennessee Titans and all things Manning. But really, any team will do. Many of the best fall and winter hours are those I get to spend curled up in front of the fire watching a good football game. Add a

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A Meal for a Prayer

The warm and fuzzy video, captured by a customer’s cell phone, went viral. It showed an encounter between a manager at a popular fast food restaurant known for its foundation on Christian principles and an apparently homeless young man. Or at least one in need of food. The manager immediately said yes to the man’s

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Stages Big and Small

The Super Bowl is one of professional sports’ biggest stages, and Sunday offered the chance for a performance of a lifetime. Sure, there were many noteworthy moments, especially the routines of the Denver defense. As the game went on, though, I became more focused on the human element on display. Peyton Manning captured the most

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Tending the Fire

Since childhood I’ve always loved a wood fire. The English Tudor house where I grew up had an enormous stone fireplace, and I remember warming my toes in front of the sooty mesh screen. During my teens and college years my dad owned a 1860s era restored Southern mansion, and the fireplace in the kitchen

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Trilogy of Thanksgiving

Bethesda Workshops refers to these posts as “Encouragement Emails,” and as some of you have noticed, I haven’t written one for weeks. My spirit has been too burdened and distressed to write – or to write something that is publishable, at least. Life is difficult, as M. Scott Peck said succinctly. Indeed, it often is,

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At a Standstill

In all fairness, I had some warning there was a problem on the road ahead. A flashing sign at the edge of the dark interstate alerted motorists to tune to a certain radio frequency for “Important Travel Information!” I ignored it, of course, since I knew there was significant bridge construction ahead that for years

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Lessons from Little Ones – Part 2

The last blog shared some insights I learned from our adorable little grandsons during a lengthy time of being responsible for them while their parents were enjoying an anniversary trip. The little guys taught me things like we all need our person – our go-to safe haven; it’s good to indulge often in healthy play;

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A Small Fire, A Huge Destruction

The scene looked like something out of a movie: two huge firetrucks and a dozen firefighters milling around. It took me a minute to realize I didn’t see smoke streaming into the sky and there weren’t any huge firehoses snaking into the building. Regardless, the atmosphere felt clearly serious. About 20 minutes earlier I had

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Lessons from Little Ones

For almost two weeks recently David and I were full-time caregivers for our little grandsons: Jim, age five and Liam, age 2. Their parents, our daughter EA and son-in-love Chris, were enjoying a trip to Italy for their tenth wedding anniversary. That’s right, Italy, not somewhere a mere couple of hours away! And yes, I

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Reaching for the Toothpaste

So much of life is automatic. There’s something to be said about just going through the motions. It greatly simplifies daily living when you don’t have to think through every next step. Sometimes it’s fine to do what you’ve always done, because it works to get what you’ve always gotten. Like brushing your teeth, for

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Love Wins!

Some things are beyond my ability to get my mind around. They’re just too horrible, too egregious, too unbearable to absorb. My first knowledge that something horrific had happened in Charleston, SC, came from my son-in-law’s Facebook post: “God be with the devastated people of Charleston. Kyrie eleison.” To be honest, I wondered if I

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Suffocating Overload

Recently, I dutifully kept a semi-annual appointment to get my teeth cleaned, and when I positioned myself in the dentist’s chair (an uncomfortable, vulnerable place to start with) I was assaulted with a blanket of the previous patient’s perfume. The hygienist assured me she had wiped down the surfaces, and she quickly did that again.

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American Pharoah – A Winner!

A Winner! When thoroughbred American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes, I whooped so loudly our arthritic Lab struggled to her feet in alarm. The beautiful bay colt with a faint white star on his forehead and fire in his distinctively long-striding feet had done it: after a 37 year drought, Pharoah had become only the

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Being Found

“To have and to hold, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish.” Brides and grooms take their vows with sweet sincerity and joyful anticipation. With eyes bright as diamonds, they pledge their devotion and dance to their dreams. Our family rejoiced last weekend in our son’s marriage

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A Robin’s Message

A robin has built a nest in the angle of the downspout outside our garage door. It’s not a good spot, because the sound of the heavy automatic door startles her every time it opens or shuts, and the people door right under her nest is equally disturbing. She’s been a persistent builder, because twice

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