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Bob Robinson

Visit (re)integrate

A Letter to My Younger Self

Hi Bob, It’s me. Bob. I know! Right? Freaky that I’d write you from the future! But the community at The High Calling are writing our younger selves to give you some advice as you grow up. I’m writing you this as I turn 50 years old. Yep. You made it to half a century! […]
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Amy Sorrells

Visit Amy Sorrells

Finding focus in these times.

I went to the field of sunflowers to live deliberately. At least that’s what I’d tell Thoreau. But really, I went to capture the bent and spindly yellow necks arching in unison towards the sun rising up and over the field, over the chaos … Continue reading →
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Tom Volkar

Visit Delightful Work

Delightful Work Rides Again at a New Location

Copyright © 2014 Tom Volkar. Visit the original article at http://delightful.server265.com/delightful-work-rides-again-at-a-new-location/.This post is for all of you faithful Delightful Work subscribers. I’ve been wrtiing again at Coreu.com. Please join me to subscribe to my blog there.  Here are some recent posts if you want to know what I’ve been up to. How to Live a […]

Duane Scott

Visit Duane Scott ~ Scribing the Journey

lost in love

Someone once said, “Let my heart be broken by the […] The post lost in love appeared first on Scribing the Journey.
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Glynn Young

Visit Faith, Fiction, Friends

A Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Glynn,I’m looking back to a moment, sometime in the spring of 1970, when you considering a decision to switch majors. You were discouraged by chemistry, and how many courses lay ahead for a pre-med major. And you knew that you heart wasn’t in pre-med; instead, your father’s heart was in pre-med, because he had wanted to be a doctor. And you were toying with two ideas simultaneously – the ministry and journalism.You made the right decision. You didn’t know it then, and you disappointed your father by abandoning pre-med, but you made the right decision. You were not cut out to be a minister. And truth be told, you weren’t cut out to be a journalist, either. But journalism was the closest thing you were cut out for, because of the way you thought and the way you would be trained to think.You could have been a poet, too, but you would have starved to death.Be encouraged: you will reach the seventh decade of your life and not regret a single decision about your marriage, your work, your children, and your faith. You will look back and say I would change nothing about any of these major decisions, even if I could.You will find disappointments, frustrations, and often – perhaps usually – tremendous stress. You will find anger and hurt. You will experience unhappiness and grief. But you will have no regrets. You will learn to understand that life does have meaning, and that includes your life. And everything happens for a reason and a purpose.You will discover that you will come to love your wife even more than you did when you married her.You will find joy in your two sons (and it shouldn’t be a surprise that you will have only sons, because that’s all your family ever has). You will find joy in your grandsons (you see what I mean about our family and sons). You will take extreme career risks. You will challenge status quo thinking, often fearlessly, and sometimes you will frighten and threaten others who believe in and own the status quo. You will pay a career price for that, but you will change things.The dream you had in your 20s – you know which one I’m talking about – will become real in your 50s. You will come to writing fiction and poetry late, but you will come. And you won’t get rich, but you will write. You will understand that the image of God that is in each of us is first the image of the creator.Not long before you retire, you will find poetry at work, in the most surprising ways and places. Seeing work as a kind of poetry will allow you to look at the everyday and see it in a new way. You will find the poetry late, but when you look back, you will see it is the poetry at work that has always led you to challenge the status quo.I would tell you not to sweat some of the things you will worry about, and sometimes obsess over, but those things, too, will become part of who you are, the decisions you make, the opinions you hold, the stories you write. Life is a whole, and all things in a life make it a whole. Your stories are about the pieces, but they all come from the whole.That is what your life will ultimately be about: the whole. And you will want to be remembered for the whole.The High Calling is hosting a community linkup this week on Writing a Letter to Your Younger Self. For details (and the deadline), please visit The High Calling.Photograph by George Hodan via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.

Sheila Lagrand

Visit Godspotting with Sheila

Weekend Reflection: A Black Armband

I mourn with those who mourn. The Lord is near to the brokenheartedAnd saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 (NASB) Shhh. It’s the weekend. Remove your shoes and step into the stillness. Stop by Sandra Heska King’s place for Still Saturday.  Then stop in at Lisha Epperson’s place for Give Me Grace. (We all need that, amen?) Join us. We […]

Michelle DeRusha

Visit Graceful

How to Be Done with Not Enough

I recently whitened my teeth for the first time ever. And the last. Two hours after I’d dropped the gooey, used strips into the trashcan, I was standing at the stove when a jolt of white hot pain stabbed my lower left incisor and traveled like a lit fuse along the nerve, through my nasal […]You just finished reading How to Be Done with Not Enough! Consider leaving a comment!
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emily wierenga

Visit in the hush of the moon

An Open Letter to Mothers Who Have Miscarried

Dear Mothers Who Have Miscarried,I've lost two, and it's near torn me apart, this longing to be in heaven with my babies, but I've learned the secret to staying on earth.I learned the secret, just weeks ago, and I want to share it here with you, if I may?It was December, a cold afternoon and I was meeting in a church with a prayer team. They asked me about the babies I'd lost and I wept so hard I couldn't speak because this past spring, God had told me my Madeleine would live. And then she'd died. He'd told me about her personality, and then she'd slid from my body, and I gave birth to Stillborn Faith that day.I've been grieving ever since and sometimes it's just a white lace shoe that undoes me. Or a pink dress.  Or the sight of a woman's rounded womb.And I met with the prayer team and they prayed over me, that the Grief would end. I nodded tearfully.Following the prayer, one of the women pulled me aside and told me she'd heard a pastor speak once, on miscarried and aborted babies, and that this pastor had received a vision of a nursery in heaven. In this vision, the pastor saw a nursery filled with miscarried and aborted babies, angels watching over them, and upon reaching heaven, mothers who'd lost their babies would be given a second chance to raise them.Now, friends, I don't know that there's anything in Scripture that talks about a nursery in heaven but I also know that heaven is mysterious and unfathomable and eternal, and that a nursery is something akin to the loving character of God the Father. He may just give us a second chance to raise our babies.I breathed long and hard and fast after she told me this. Because if this nursery does exist, then suddenly God's words to me in the spring made sense: his words saying that my baby would live (even though on earth, she died); his words describing her personality, as though she were already alive.Because no life is lost to Jesus.The night I lost my first child, I had a dream, even as I slept: a little girl with golden curls sat outside my bedroom door playing with toys, and when she looked at me, she had her father's eyes. And then I looked down at my arms and there was a little boy asleep in them, but I couldn't see his face.If this nursery exists, that dream was of my daughter, playing in heaven (and the baby in my arms? My eldest son, who was conceived months later).And my daughter's waiting for me--even as your children are waiting for you.13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139)Friends?Our God does not lie.If he's told you that your baby lives? She does. Maybe not on earth. But nothing can separate us from the love of God--not even death, Romans 8 tells us.May you be filled with hope. This world is not all there is.Hallelujah.Your sister,e.*** Hey guys--I hate asking this, but I guess it's part of being a "professional" writer; I created an Author page yesterday and am wondering if you'll consider Liking me? Here's the link: https://www.facebook.com/emilytwierenga. XOXOSubscribers that had been using the RSS method may have tore-subscribe and choose the non-comments feed. Old (dead) link: http://canvaschild.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/defaultNew (working) link: http://www.emilywierenga.com/feed/

Tod Bolsinger

Visit It Takes a Church

Community and Necessary Things

“So, Charlie, when are we going fix that wall that’s falling down?” My good friend, Charlie heard the voice from the yard next door. Frankly, he hadn’t noticed that the wall was falling down. Charlie is not the kind of guy who notices these things. But, Jim, the next door...

Jeanne Damoff

Visit JeanneDamoff.com

You’re Invited!

“Oh, goody,” you say. “What are we invited to?” I’m glad you asked. And I’ll tell you. But first I want you to fall in love with these people. I could jump right into a long list of admirable character traits to describe Ruslan and Zhanna, but let’s start with a true story instead. We […]
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Susan Jones

Visit Just ... a Moment

No Regrets ~

 (a little click will enlarge) "The lovely flowersembarrass me.They make me regretI am not a bee.” Emily Dickinson *  *  * actually I prefer looking at them but Miss Dickinson does have a way with words you can read more about her here
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Brock Henning

Visit Lifesummit

Paying Yourself Extra for Free

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.comAt 4:30 a.m. on a snowy December morning, all I had on my 13 year-old mind was getting each nearly-frozen newspaper off my sled and onto each customer’s porch. The faster I could unload papers, the sooner I could melt back into a toasty bed. But I stopped after ten houses, glancing back.Four newspapers had missed their targets by a mile, each sticking out halfway in the snow. Hey, I was paid for delivering newspapers to the premise, not customized handling. And besides, my toes were cold.I thought of the elderly couple who lived at one of those homes. The next morning I returned to my usual route. This time every newspaper landed on a porch, and I placed a few, the ones I'd went back to the day before, just inside the storm doors. And for the elderly couple, whose storm door was locked, I deposited a plastic bag-wrapped newspaper in the mailbox adjacent the door, same as I’d done the day before. But when I opened their mailbox this time, I found a small package wrapped in Santa Claus gift wrap, with my name on it. Inside was a pair of wool gloves that fit perfectly, and a note shakily written to match the writer’s voice. Thank you for placing the newspaper in our mailbox. Sometimes it’s hard for us to pick it up.And when I got my first real job on a payroll at 16, at the local hardware store, I pushed the shopping cart for a middle-aged woman and loaded paint cans and houseware items into her car. She couldn’t walk very well.I was paid to work in the store, and to load heavier items like bags of sand and mulch and salt rock, and to only go out to the parking lot to retrieve empty shopping carts. I wasn’t paid to push a customer’s cart, but I did it anyway. She thanked me and offered a five for my trouble. I politely refused.I think of the numerous times during my professional career, when I’ve stepped outside of my hired job role to fix a problem that was not my responsibility to fix, but I took a shot at it anyway, foregoing my own work for another. I didn’t always fix the problem, and I certainly didn’t get paid extra for the effort, but it was a chance to communicate something that always pays off, and in some cases can change another’s life. Somebody cares.When a person says ‘no’ to something they are not paid to do, is that wrong? No, it is not. Then should we only say ‘yes’ to those things we are paid to do? After all, we need to make a living, and we’re all limited by time. We can’t be all things to all people. But didn’t Jesus Himself say “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant...the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28 NIV)? How do we know where to draw the line?I think you’ll know.I never hand-delivered every customer’s newspaper to their door or mailbox. I couldn't finish my job if I did. I’d offer that 9 out of 10 newspapers flung 30 feet from the curb to the door every morning, most largely missing the doormat. But that 1 out of 10, the one I knew I should help, I gave extra for free.This post is part of The High Calling's Community Post topic, "Working for Free". Click here to read more insightful posts on this topic!

Heather Holleman

Visit Live with Flair

Calm Down and Eat Cookies

The week we transition back to school, everything erupts around here. We all have frazzled emotions, more conflict, and more stress in general.Yesterday, we slowed down and made Lunch Box Cookies--hundreds of them!--to freeze for future lunch boxes.They are so yummy that we've been eating more than we've frozen. Either way, we've had a relaxed time making cookies.Here's the recipe from my own mom:Lunch Box Cake Box Cookies 1 box yellow cake mix1/2 cup oil (we use coconut oil!)2 eggs6 ounces chocolate chips1/2 bag flaked coconut2/3 cups of either chopped nuts, toffee chips, or peanut butter morsels (depending on your taste! We used toffee.)Throw everything in a big bowl. Stir well (use your hands; it's fun!) Drop by spoonful onto your baking stone at 350 degrees for 11 minutes. If you want to make some more to freeze, go ahead and triple the recipe (we did!)They are amazing, and you will all pour a big glass of milk, eat cookies, and calm down.Plus, you know my problem with coconut? Well, these hit the spot.You're welcome.

Marilyn Yocum

Visit MarlynYocum.com

Dumping My Blog

I’M THINKING OF DUMPING MY BLOG - been thinking it a while - but is it one more step away from writing? Or toward it? Unsure. I admitted to these very thoughts while riding to church a few weeks ago and wouldn’t you know it? The morning’s passage included “immediately they left their nets.” I […]

Marni Arnold

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Depression, Anxiety and Robin Williams

The past 24 hours has been a flurry of emotions for me running from one end of the spectrum to the other. For the most part, I’ve maintained a fairly decent balance with them all…but alas, it’s not an easy task by any means. I am normally not a bandwagon blogger, but in light of […]