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cheerful expectancy

The Art of Cheerful Expectancy

Five days before Christmas, I sat in a booth with a marble table, swallowing a bite of mint-chip ice cream I’d barely tasted. “Okay,” I said. “Let’s schedule it.” Garth’s eyes danced. “We’re gonna have a baby tomorrow?” I smiled. “We’re gonna have a baby tomorrow.” We’d been huddled in our favorite ice cream parlour […]

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simple advent

A Simple Christmas Starts with a Simple Advent

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already observing Advent, even if you’re not sure what Advent is. In the 1960s, kids like me growing up near Pacific Grove, California had something major to anticipate in addition to Christmas Day. We didn’t have snow, but we had Candy Cane Lane. Every year, my parents chose […]

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jar

The One Thing We All Need to Can for Winter {Hope}

  Oh, October! So much to admire, to ponder, and only a wisp of time to do either. Here’s the season when creativity comes in gusts but awe strikes me dumb. Plus, I’m overly sentimental and half-crocked on chai tea lattes. I’m like the chunk of Parmesan swimming in a pot of Nana Tosello’s rich […]

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coming home_no text

If You Just Don’t Feel Quite At Home

We did it. We downsized. And if I just ignore the island of boxes where the coffee table ought to be, I like our charming new space. So why do I feel so profoundly sad? I took Marie Kondo’s advice and kept only the things that spark joy. Over there on the bookcase is the […]

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Joys are always

The Untold Story: Yours and Mine

A glint of gold caught my eye, something shiny tucked down in the shag carpet of our guest room-slash-office. Aha! A thin necklace belonging to our oldest daughter (the married one), proof that for several days prior our house had twittered with the happy bedlam of an extended-family visit . . . Days sprinkled with […]

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sunny with a chance of tears-inst

Sunny with a Chance of Tears

The only thing I was (consciously) grieving when I left town was that I’d forgotten my precious. My iPhone, that is. Don’t get me wrong; I relish being disconnected. But with five errands to run on a business day, in a town thirty minutes away? I might’ve been a wee bit panicky. At first. But. […]

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joy

Joy for the Day After Christmas, and the Day After That

  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. -Romans 5:5   On this 20-degree day after Christmas, a little boy across the street bounces with glee, chasing a remote-control truck up […]

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christmas-longing-full

A Christmas Longing

Surely your goodness and love will follow me     all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord     forever. –Psalm 23:6   Before my dad lost his battle with lung cancer, he helped me memorize Psalm 23. The year I graduated from high school, he died. In December. And […]

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