Single Spark of Hope


I’m the first one awake in my household most mornings. I grope my way in the darkness to resurrect myself with a cup of coffee as I curl up in my favorite chair. In the stillness and silence I turn on one soft lamp and then begin to read, pray and mentally prepare for the day. Gradually dawn streams into the room. Once again the light overcomes the darkness and I can see beyond my book to the rest of the room and down the hallway.

For so many years we were lost in our journey amid the darkness of mental illness. There were so many days when we couldn’t see where to turn or how to find our way. At times we felt the darkness would overcome us and we would be swallowed by the uncertainty of it all. Continue reading

Pondering Promises

Luke 1-45 2As a mother, I am drawn to Mary in the Christmas story, but I am also drawn to Mary in the story of Golgotha. I identify with her joy at the manger and grieve alongside her at the cross. From the beginning to the end, Mary is there, pondering the miracle of her baby’s birth, preparing for the burial of her Messiah’s body. What bewilderment must have danced in her head. What prayers must have crossed her lips. What tears must have carved her cheeks. What courage must have mounted in her heart. Continue reading


James 5-7a 2One of the holiday traditions we celebrate as a family is lighting candles on our Advent wreath while we sing the hymn, “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus.” We start with only the first stanza, then add another through the four weeks of Advent, so that during the week before Christmas the song is sung in its entirety* with meaningful reverence. I am glad, though, that my favorite lines are in the first stanza. That way they stay fresh on my mind for the full month as we sing the words over and over.

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