God brings good surprises on the other side of pain

When necessity forced me from the world of freelance writing and speaking into using those skills to earn a regular paycheque, I never imagined the blessing of a desk of my own in a quiet office. Three desks, actually, in three different offices so far. As a former interior decorator, …

Every ending means a new beginning

An hour before church is set to begin, I find the pastor’s wife weeping in the church nursery. She’s huddled in the chair in the corner by the playpen, pressed deep into it, like a wild thing cornered. Over the last dozen years, she has sequestered herself often here during …

Butterfly Bean gets baptized

Tabatha. Butterfly Bean. Water baby. Newly baptized Christian. As a grandmother with a passion to see her grandchildren following Jesus, that last one thrills me. Nearby water has a magnetic attraction for our grandbeans, especially during the dog days of summer. Our warm weather visits to nearby Good Spirit Lake, …

The cat that needed someone to get in her face

With the Bean family’s vacation just around the corner, the Preacher and I agreed to care for their sweet, though somewhat reclusive, female cat, Smokey, in their absence. Usually we check in at their house, because Grace (our own feline) has never tolerated other cats. That’s slowly changing, thanks to …

What are you diffusing?

“Hey, Anth, what’s that smell in here? It’s wonderful!” A few minutes earlier the Preacher and I had entered the door of our son’s house. I’d noticed the fragrance wafting through the tidy space instantly, but waited until after his and Kelly’s warm welcome until I asked about it. They …

My two hoots for this week

My neck hurts from looking up. I have been owl-gazing and owls rarely perch on bottom branches.   When you read this, the family of long-eared owls that has enlivened our backyard and thoroughly captivated me will no doubt have moved on. My head will sit properly between my shoulders …