Goal Setting Prompts Forward Motion

The subject of resolutions always pops up on the cusp of a new year. Some faithfully make a list and approach the new year with determination to follow through. Others, after years of resolving to do better with exercise, diet, money management, tackling difficult tasks, or whatever, don’t even bother to set goals anymore because […]

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New Year, Clean Slate

A new year is refreshing. Part of the allure of January is the idea of new beginnings. No matter what happened the year before, here is a chance to start fresh. The promise of possibility beckons. Anticipation and hope mingle to propel you forward into the unknown. Just as snow blankets the ground and covers […]

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The Wise Still Seek

Often assigned the names Melchior, Balthasar, and Gaspar, I’ve enjoyed taking a closer look at the Wise Men this Christmas. I’ve always liked the minor melody of the carol We Three Kings and speculated on the background and personalities of the men from “orient are.” If you follow the perspective of children’s picture books, nativity […]

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Grief at Christmas

Christmas is almost here, and while I am very thankful for the addition of two sweet babies to our family, I feel a familiar grief. I miss my parents and other family members who are not longer with us. While my grief isn’t acute, it is there nonetheless. Some days grief manifests in waves of […]

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Prepare Your Heart for Christmas

Last week, our church choir offered two presentations of Christmas music. As a member of the choir, I know all that went into the preparation—hours of listening to and singing along with practice tapes, memorization of difficult passages by studying the printed music, extended rehearsal times, “bonus” rehearsals, and tedious technical rehearsals for diction and […]

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Broken Things

Tucked away in my kitchen cabinet are broken things—a ceramic boy with a cello, a favorite china Santa Claus from my childhood, two decapitated figurines, other assorted bits and pieces, as well as the cracked pottery basket that houses them. While my intentions are good to restore these pieces to wholeness with glue and a […]

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The Refining Process of Gratitude

With Thanksgiving behind us and the flurry of Christmas activity upon us, it’s not unusual for thankfulness to fade from our attention. But the focus on gratefulness doesn’t have to be short-lived. By cultivating an everyday gratitude mindset, you refine and redefine your outlook, not just in November, but throughout the year. An attitude of […]

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Growing in Gratitude

Increasingly, Thanksgiving is the forgotten holiday. Sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas and largely ignored by merchants, Thanksgiving is probably more associated with family gatherings, a big spread of food, and Black Friday shopping strategy than it is with gratitude. But gratitude really ought to be an attitude of our hearts all the time, not just […]

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Live in the Light

I recently heard a woman complaining about how much she dislikes the early darkness in the evenings now that we’re no longer on daylight saving time. Amid her whining, she seemed unaware that we traded extended light in the evenings for sunlight earlier in the mornings. Our world is full of darkness, not the kind […]

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