Knowing Jesus brings joy in hard times

These are excellent times to prove the truth of God-inspired words of scripture. Ancient words promising that even in hard times, following Christ brings serenity, peace and joy. I miss talking about this with my Bible study friends. Most of us were working women, grabbing a warm island of companionship …

Once upon a porch

Anything can happen on a porch. Connection. Refreshment. Reflection. Rejection, sometimes. Even buying and selling. As a child in the sixties, I had the chore of sweeping our small front porch clear of its weekly accumulation of dirt and spiders. Rarely do I remember anyone but company using that porch …

It’s not romance the world needs – it’s love

I’ve learned some things about romance over my life. ·       Flowers wither, gifts pile up, and too many chocolates make you chubby. If that kind of romance is all you’ve got, your relationship won’t survive. ·       The occasional romantic gesture sweetens even old marriages. ·       The most romantic offerings rise …

Exploring COVID-19’s other woundings

At this writing, our globe has grappled with COVID-19 for almost a year. It has changed everything for too many people, and too many things for everyone. “I don’t want a new normal,” my friend said, referring to those pandemic changes. She stamped her foot a bit and fumed. “I—we …

Saying good-bye to dear friends

Glenda and I have been best friends almost 30 years. I don’t need to explain the close friendships of women to the ladies reading this. How you can laugh together so loud and long that your eyes get all squinty and your nose and eyes and makeup run and you’re …

Can this marriage survive the eagles?

The Preacher’s eagles—many dozens, collected over years—have flown.  Eagles have always inspired Christians. The Bible makes many references to the majestic lord of the skies, none better known than Isaiah’s reminder to the downtrodden Israelites: “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up …

Photographs of my father

He’s ninety-six now, living in a residential care facility in B.C. I can’t call him on the phone anymore. He hears very little and struggles with dementia. My sister tells me that until she mentions me, he doesn’t speak of me. Then our father remembers the daughter two provinces away. …

A most important journal entry

After years of teaching journaling workshops, the regular habit has slipped away from me. Life is moving faster. I’m moving slower. Taking an hour at the end of each day to jot my thoughts and prayers simply rarely happens anymore. I’m poorer for that. Quiet reflection, pondering both simple and …

Family funerals – hello, good-bye, see you soon

I said a final farewell to a pair of beloved relatives this week: my father’s identical twin brother, Dave, and his wife, Dorothy. Though they died many months apart, their memorial service waited until relatives could gather. Gather we did, a collection of Neufeld cousins and friends from as close …

Love notes that matter

“Dear Nana. I’m good. But I’m in love with you. Benjamin.” He wrote that note at around five. His crooked, pencilled letters sprawled across the full eight and an half inch width of paper. I keep it in my Bible to show his future wife, should he marry, that I …

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