The one thing that people invariably ask me when they see my sheep for the first time is, "Can you really tell them apart?" I never cease to be amazed and tickled by this. It’s like asking a mother of a blonde-haired brood if she really knows who’s who. I want to laugh out loud and exclaim, “Well, for starters, the boys have horns!” (The girls do, too, incidentally, but they are such dainty little adornments that you really don’t notice them ... Read More about He calls them by name
When Philip and I finished the last book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy I sat in silence for some time, the tears chasing one another down my cheeks, wrapped in a lovely melancholy over the end of the Third Age and the pilgrimage of the fair folk beyond the Grey Havens. I couldn’t stop brooding over what it must have been to have had a mind like Tolkien’s: crammed with such beauties and terrors: the birthplace a world so real that a reader’s ... Read More about Something Tookish
Last week my sister-in-law had two of my friends and me for lunch. It had been arranged before Christmas, a flurry of emails having saved and secured the date, but as I set out on that dour January morning, it seemed to me that the timing of our little gathering was exquisitely providential. My mood was as heavy as the dark clouds piling in from the west; tears seemed even more imminent than raindrops and the headache that had been brewing with ... Read More about Teacups and Paintbrushes
No matter how old I am, or how many times I've read it, Little Women will never lose its first charm for me. I'm indulging in it all over again this summer and rekindling my girlhood friendships with Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Indeed, I really do feel like I grew up with those dear girls. Reading it now, with the perspective of years, I appreciate perhaps as never before the personal struggles and little daily battles the March family faces. That's ... Read More about A good word from Marmee
I've been thinking a lot about obedience lately. There are things in life that we know we should do. Things we have been called to do, and specially equipped by God to fulfill. Each of us has our own place in the Body, our own heaven-sent 'to-do list', and throughout our lives we all get many opportunities to be a part of what God is doing in the world around us. Sometimes we serve cheerfully and easily out of a particular talent or strength; ... Read More about Obedience…or Obligation?
I love that Jesus taught in stories. That has always given a lift to my writer’s heart, has always made the effort of putting pen to paper seem so worthwhile. In His parables He comprehended the fact that we are a story-loving lot, that tales of the just and the unjust are a universal language that people of every time and place can easily relate to. The power of the narrative often holds the key to the heart where sermon and lecture cannot yet ... Read More about the power of a story
I received an email some weeks ago from a dear younger sister approaching marriage. It was peppered with question marks, sincere queries from a woman that truly wants to be the best wife that she can. As I read them over, I thought how blessed her future husband already is to have a girl so desirous of fulfilling God’s potential as his mate. Her attitude, far from a self-righteous sense of ‘knowing it all’, was humble and honest and teachable ... Read More about Preparing for Marriage
Here are some simple ideas for making the ceremony of afternoon tea a special occasion. Homemade scones, or ones from the bakery, are delicious served with fresh strawberry jam and a dollop or two of this decadent cream. Mock Devonshire Cream: Whip ½ cup heavy cream with 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar till stiff peaks form. Then gently fold in ½ cup sour cream. Serve generously with warm scones or tea biscuits. Tea Sandwiches Tea ... Read More about Tea Time Sweets and Savories
What could be a more delightful prospect than dinner on a tray by the fire (Chinese take-out, at that!) and a pot of orange blossom tea, and a brand new (old) Elizabeth Goudge book? I was so excited to start this one last night—I felt like I was spending the evening with an old friend. And so I was, for Elizabeth and I go way back. Even before I had had the intensely wonderful pleasure of reading one of her books for myself, I remember my ... Read More about City of Bells
January is an excellent time to reaffirm our priorities and desires for the kind of life that we want to live. In this yearly assessment of past projects and future hopes it is of great value to ask ourselves the striking question that Wesley’s Methodists were wont to probe one another with: How is it with your soul?What is the tenor of your heart, your very being, from which spring all of the other issues of life? Is it resting in God? Or is it ... Read More about How is it with your soul?
It's deliciously cloudy out--and suitably chilly--and I'm relishing to the prospect of a day in my kitchen full of happy bustle and preparation for Thanksgiving. We'll be going to my parents' tomorrow, and we're looking forward to a day on the farm with Philip's family on Friday. But today is 'at home' day and I have a lovely list of rituals to set my hands to, not to mention the delight of a precious friend on her way over for tea. :) There's ... Read More about Thanksgiving Eve
One of my dearest friends moved away today. To be sure, not away away—Birmingham is little more than a two hour drive, and I visit there quite often as another of my dearest friends lives there as well. But she’s not here anymore. I can’t meet her for coffee on a busy errand day, savoring the sanity of good conversation, a refuge in the midst of the city’s roar. I can’t run over to her house for tea and prayer when I need it. I don’t know that I ... Read More about Sisterhood