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'yada, yada, yada'
The Wednesday morning before turkey and pie and black Friday flyers, I wake up to this smothering of fog and this teen muttering it through the kitchen... (read more)

Related Articles: How to Learn the Language of Happiness | Never Be Afraid to Listen

Never Be Afraid to Listen!
When the woman told me she'd heard round that there were rumblings — she said she was just going to do it... (read more)

Related Articles: How to Learn the Language of Happiness | Defying ISIS togESTHER!

Almost Destroyed by the Actions of Another
The house in this picture is personal to me, although I've never met the owners and haven't been... (read more)

Related Articles: Hopeless? | Letting Hatred Go

Older Articles from 'Just for Women'

The Emmaus Option
It can feel like the sky is falling in. Can feel like the edges of all things sane and good and beautiful and right are ... (read more)
Defying ISIS: #togESTHER
Dear North American Church, Go ahead — wave to a nine-year-old kid today. Sit on the edge of her bed and just watch — just watch your... (read more)
Art by Faith
Growing up on my grandparents' farm, I was too busy playing outside with my sibling and cousins, chasing butterflies or climbing... (read more)
Finding Happiness?
During my twenties, I was a bridesmaid in several weddings. Unfortunately, most of those couples are now divorced. It will come as no surprise... (read more)
Sorry Happy for You
"I'm sorry happy for you." It's a weird statement, and perhaps even weirder that I'm the one who said it under the painful circumstances... (read more)
A Grey Sponge or a Pure Heart
My little granddaughter is not yet 2 years old and she hasn't outgrown the "put everything I find in my mouth" stage. Today I pulled a... (read more)
Letting Hatred Go...
"Your hatred of her is unjustified," the teacher said as a man ranted about his ex-wife. "What do you mean unjustified?" he spit out. "You have... (read more)
Praise from the Pit
We know the story: God said go one way, Jonah went the other. Waves crashed violently against a boat and the crew decided... (read more)
The Scent of Myrrh
My jammie pants ended up in the dryer... again! At 5'10", I have a hard enough time getting them to reach my ankles without ... (read more)
The Gift We Really Need
Christmas and tragedy are poor bedfellows. In this season of Advent as we remember the coming of Christ, we long for... (read more)
How to Heal the Internet
The world's wide — both the real one and the reality of the world wide web. There are words all over the map. I tell myself... (read more)
Welcome to the Dance
I wrote this poem after a very difficult dry spell in Thailand in 2001. During this difficult dry spell, I felt like the Lord had allowed... (read more)
What Women Need to Say to Each Other to Shatter the Dark
It's when you came up behind me and put your arms around me in the kitchen last night while I was making food for your Dad. The way you laid your head on my shoulder and you held me, mama in the daughter arms after all these... (read more)
The Great Challenge Facing all Women
Rain on a tin roof this morning. The rocking chairs out in the ash grove sit quiet, solid — steady in the wind. Steady in the wind. They're calling for... (read more)
What If?
July 26 was the 24th anniversary of the day we buried my mother. It's a day I will never forget no matter how ... (read more)
Loveliness: The Greater Problem of Good
So after dinner, she picks coneflowers in the garden. Cradles the long stems in her apron skirt, carries them... (read more)
When Home Makes a Heart Call
He had whined about going but church camp meant only six days away from home. I wondered if my 11-year-old son, Russell, our homebody child... (read more)
Going to the Dogs
Our family loves dogs. We live on a large farm, so we have several. Some of them were adopted from the animal shelter while others are pure-bred. They each... (read more)
All Undone
At a loss, Cynthia fingered the intricate lace bordering her handmade pillowcase. Its silken threads slide through her fingers. Just like life's energy... (read more)
Faith, Hope, Love & Deployment
True love tattoos itself on your heart. You are scarred. In a good way. It's a scar that serves to remind you of something so powerful it transformed... (read more)
Listen to the Rain
We have a screened-in sun porch where I love to sit, especially when it's raining. There's just something about the sound and smell of rain that is soothing... (read more)
The Thing about Sorrow
One minute you're sitting in a Nigerian classroom or you're running a half marathon or your family is joyfully anticipating the birth of a baby ... (read more)
A Mother's Beautiful and Tenacious Grace
Real beauty has depth. When I looked into the face of Lucy, a long-term caregiver, I saw true loveliness — carved by sacrifice and choice. In a cozy tearoom... (read more)
Take Heed!
About a month ago, I was at my daughter's house keeping my granddaughter when I saw a flash of red go past the window. When I investigated, I found... (read more)
Deep Roots
Another tree fell at our church this week. Her name was Mrs. Virginia Beasley, known to her church family as Miss Beasley. For the past 15 years... (read more)
Mountains and Mulberries
The Master of Prayer encouraged small-faith disciples to go lumber jacking after big targets. Mountains and mulberry trees seem not to have much in common, but Jesus used both ... (read more)
how to learn the language of happiness
There's sun on the snow and in the morning porridge bowls. The boys argue loud, who knows about what — sometimes we don't understand each other. Sometimes we're speaking the same language but we... (read more)
Those First 5 Years
My mother was a teacher. She told me many, many times that the first 5 years of a child's life were the most important. I knew... (read more)
Asking and Honoring
Few could disagree that he was a strange sort. His appearance alone reflected that, as did his diet of locusts. Yes, locusts. But that isn't what set... (read more)
God at Our Feet
Our friend had quadruple bypass surgery and his first hospital stay. Instead of parking in the ministers' reserved area and visiting the sick... (read more)
What Jesus Said Is a Life-Changer: The Sozo Habit
I sit at the prayer bench before my bedroom window. Outside, our boys roll millions of flakes into a snow fort. I read the passage in the Bible open in front of me, one I remember from the musty basement ... (read more)
When You're this Close to Giving up Hope
She'd dropped her voice when she told me that first Sunday of Advent that the kid had tried to kill himself. That there had been texts, photos of a... (read more)
Alms and the Red Kettle
Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Do you ever read a scripture that has on steel-toed boots — a pair that steps on all ten toes? For several months, one such scripture traipsed... (read more)
How to Put One Foot in Front of the Other
Some guy I ran into said you should walk through life as though your feet are kissing the earth. I tell him he really shouldn't use the word should... (read more)
Pool of Mercy
Imagine you're holding your newborn son. Perfect in every way. No treasure rivals a healthy child, but a few weeks later, an uneasy feeling invades. Your son... (read more)
When You're Missing Being Loved
"Each wheat head is full this year — large. Like that year when you were in France." He pulls out a long, slender stalk — shows me the wheat kernels filled... (read more)
The Real Love Stories... and Why There Really Are No Blurred Lines
It was the music pumping through the speakers at the optometrist's that made me see you clear for who you are. The lyrics kept thrumming loud when I was... (read more)
Living the ultimate Romance
I watch you in the kitchen, slicing up a pie, summer evening sloping gold across your face. How do you know... (read more)
The Prize
There are times in our lives when troubles seem to fall faster than raindrops from a summer shower. There are times when we feel... (read more)
The 'How!' for hard Days
Ken opened wide the front door so I could wheel out to the van. For a long moment I sat squarely in the door frame, staring and taking it all in: the shade tree... (read more)
Where Is Your Olive Oil?
I was sitting in my makeshift office one day lamenting over my financial state. After being laid off from a job I held for eight years, I had decided to go into... (read more)
WOOHOO! Let's Do this Thing!
Adventure! "Woo-Hoo! Let's Do This Thing!" Adventure... — Risk-taking, danger, a bold and wild and exciting undertaking... (read more)
No More Miss Nice Girl!
I'll never forget this extremely cool guy I was into when I was nineteen and stationed in Germany. What's-His-Name (I can't actually remember his name) was a... (read more)
Why Faith Is an Answer to Prayer and Prayer Is an Answer to Faith
Imagine if each time you had the urge to text, tweet, email, log onto Facebook, or phone a friend to share some heartfelt need, you stopped and prayed instead. Really prayed, trusting God to answer. That's ... (read more)
The Second Batch
Imagine you are a seven-and-a half-year-old named Eleanor. You have brown, mid-length hair with matching brown eyes. Your grandmother... (read more)
Boy vs. Coffee Mug
Mindless destruction irritates me. Which was all well and good until... Enter Boy. Boy was born with tendencies that could be written into quotes... (read more)
The Work of My Father
I listened as a gifted speaker told a story of when she was a young child. Her grandfather would wake her up early... (read more)

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