DAFFODILS

Institutions are . . . well, institutions. That generally means you can’t expect their employees to respond in kind and gentle ways. They must adhere to rules and protocols set up by their superiors, right? My eighty-three-year-old sister Connie lives in a care facility. She’s lived there since 2004. Since that time, staff turnover has been staggering . . .
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A SMILE

Years ago, I volunteered as a chaplain at a hospital. Comforting people I didn’t know and sharing the Gospel with them created a lot of anxiety in me and I became very discouraged at my lack of “results.” One weekend I stayed overnight at the Oregon Coast (my “escape of choice”). Hoping to hear an encouraging word, I attended a Lutheran service the next morning. The pastor spoke about “taking up your cross.” I could feel my mood slipping down another couple of notches. About twenty minutes into his message, the pastor stopped...then he said...
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WHEN THE WELL RUNS DRY

Most of you know I love working with clay. After I discovered the artist’s studio here last fall, I started out strong with some definite ideas, but then the well dried up. Now what? One day at the studio, I panicked when I couldn’t decide on a next project. What will the other students think of me if I come up with something stupid? They are all doing professional work. I scrambled through art books looking for inspiration...
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CHRISTMAS IN JULY

No, I haven’t lost my “marbles.” I know this is July, not December, but let me ask you a question. Is there anyone reading this post who still has Christmas decorations “hanging” around? I keep my Christmas decorations packed away in a trunk, one of those old fashion trunks with brass corners and locks—like I used to have when I was a child. Oh! Except one year a string of lights cascading across my kitchen window took up permanent residence. I had a perfectly good excuse for not taking down the lights...
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