What makes you so special?

  “Good morning, Dr. Phil!” I said, silencing my clattering phone. Laughter greeted me. “I’m always amazed that you know my voice.” “Call display helps,” I told him. But even without that, I’d know my friend and fellow scribe’s voice; the soft stretches of syllable and sharp curving of consonants …

Church, kids, and faith

I stood in church the other day, holding one grandbean, standing beside another. Wondering what faith concepts they’ll bring with them into adulthood. In my own childhood church, we stood, spoke and sang when told. Our prayers followed the pastor’s directions. Sometimes we stood, “every head bowed, every eye closed.” …

Truth and Wisdom to you in 2014

Thanks to wider newspaper coverage, Sunny Side Up has acquired some new readers recently. (Welcome, if that means you!) “Why do you always call your husband “the Preacher,” one asked me recently. Since some of my regular readers may also wonder, here’s why: First, the Preacher has been a card-carrying …

Messed Up for Christmas

I wished him a Merry Christmas, just before Christmas.  “Same to you,” he said, but his words felt flat. Then, rather than carrying on, he paused. A strapping young man whose name I don’t even know. A man with something on his mind. Something it seemed he hated to confess, …

Christmas love notes from God

I picture you at Christmas. Do you see what I see? Crazy busy. Perhaps crazy lonely. Wondering how you’re going to fit everything in, or wishing you had something to fit in. Wondering how you’ll survive. Oh, I picture you at Christmas, because I’ve been to some of those places …

Don’t miss the true star of Christmas

The comet ISON, astronomers predicted earlier this year, could prove a heavenly Christmas gift to sky-watchers. The 2013 “Christmas star,” bright enough for daylight viewing.  I decided not to miss it. “But comets are like cats,” one expert noted.  “Unpredictable. To reach maximum brilliance, ISON will have to survive a …

Abruption

On November 21st, two and a half-weeks before her due date, our daughter made a panicked 4 a.m. call to our house. We’d expected that call, just not quite so early—and not quite so terrifying. “Mom, I’m bleeding like mad. We’re leaving for the hospital NOW. We’ll leave the door …

Perfect Imperfect Family

Family. It confines us, it defines us, it refines us, and it aligns us. Our lives are spent in the context of family—natural or other, whether or not we appreciate it. Best-selling Canadian author and artist Michael O’Brian, in his book Father at Night, a collection of personal stories and …

Beautiful Expectation

I began 2013 by compiling, with regret, my potential “grand-lasts.” No grand prospects on the son side. Four grandbeans on the daughter’s—the youngest, newly turned two. I suspected I’d entered the final season of beany babies. Last rock-a-byes, large eyes locked onto mine. Last tiny arms encircling my neck. Last …