What God Thinks of Scaredy-Cats {#RelentlessStudy}

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She refused to saddle the carousel horse, and demanded I hold her as we spun around. She ran as fast as she could in the opposite direction when her big sister boarded the baby roller coaster. The rides were not for her, or so she thought.

When I see my two-year-old’s hesitation, I don’t feel angry at her for being afraid. I don’t force her to do the things that frighten her, wrestling her down and buckling her in for a ride her little emotions can’t handle. I get down on her level and see how large and looming everything looks from there. Then, I comfort her and counsel her. I tell her how the ride is slow enough for her, that she’s safe, that this will be fun, that she can look at her brother, sister, mom, and dad, for assurance. Continue reading

A Playdate with Poe

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Gray low-hanging clouds block the blue and sunshine. The air is warm, but the violent wind hisses this won’t last long. It rips leaves from high branches and sends them flying.

Down a hill and off the path, we swish our feet in fire-colored leaves already on the ground, ankle deep.

In fall, things morph–
shadows lengthen,
night kidnaps morning,
wind groans,
owls spook from skeleton branches.

A walk in the woods makes you feel like you’re living a page in a mystery story. Continue reading

What to Wear When the Bad News Rolls In

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She pulled a crumpled surprise from her canvas bag. My friend had heard that our favorite little Italian fusion restaurant was giving away these hip Vespa T-shirts, and she rushed over to snag one for me.

When she lifted the shirt from the bag and shook the wrinkles out of the brushed cotton, I knew it was a gift not only from her, but from the Lord. Continue reading

On Corsets and Fear {One Word 2014}

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Maggie Smith doesn’t wear a corset. She’s the only woman on the cast of Downton Abbey who doesn’t. I heard this bit of gossip at a recent event with visiting writer Jessica Fellowes, niece of Downton Abbey screenwriter Julian Fellowes. Smith says she’s served her time all these years of doing period dramas in the movies and on television. She’s flat-out done with the corsets.

That’s what I want to say to fear, the way it laces me up tense and leaves me gasping. Continue reading