I Think You Should Resolve to…

What if someone else made your New Year’s resolutions?

That was the question our pastor posed to us. It got an embarrassed twitter of laughter. Seems we all have something that needs changing, but we don’t want to admit it. Or maybe we do admit it—but we aren’t willing to put out the effort to deal with it. We laugh, but the question obviously hits home.

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What I Wish I Had Known (Before Getting Married)

1978Aug P&L MtRainierOur 35th anniversary is in three days, on July 14. In those 35 years we’ve had long stretches where life seemed to just flow along—work, family time, kids, church—and other times when it felt as if we were wading through muck. But even when life is at its hardest, I love being married to Pete. If I had the choice all over again, I would marry him in a heartbeat. However, there are a few things I wish I had known before I said “I do.”

Lest you think I had some sort of unpleasant surprise once Pete and I moved in together, let me assure you that’s not the case. Oh, he has a few bad habits. He leaves sock lint on the carpet and apple cores in the car. He spends too much time helping other people, and not enough time spoiling me. And he puts ketchup on my homemade macaroni and cheese. But all in all, Pete is one terrific guy, and I’m blessed to have him.

The ugly things I learned as a newlywed weren’t about Pete at all. There were about me. You see, I’m not perfect. Continue reading

Weird Relations

The holidays are coming, and with them, the relatives.

For most of the year, we get to choose the people we hang out with. My close friends are my friends for a reason. I admire them, enjoy their company, trust them with my struggles and celebrate their successes. Usually, they meet a need in my own life—I have birding friends, gardening friends, “deep topics” friends and friends who provide an unending source of encouragement.

Relatives, on the other hand, just… are.

Sure, we pick our spouses. Parents, siblings, and extended family, on the other hand, we are stuck with. They just sort of come with the territory. We may enjoy some of these relations, but every family has at least one weird aunt, uncle, parent, whatever.

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Spirituality for the Rest of Us

 

Why would you want to read a book on spirituality written by someone who admits he’s really bad at it?

Right up front, Michael Yaconelli explains that his life is a mess. He describes his Christian walk—“The best I can do is a stumbling, bumbling, clumsy kind of following”—and then asks, “So how can someone unspiritual presume to talk about spirituality? How can someone unholy presume to talk about holiness? It makes no sense.”

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