Family

Challenge yourself with these stories and reflections about loving both our biological families and our sisters and brothers in Christ.

It’s time to go deep

–by Elizabeth Hunter The first day of summer—the longest day of the year—felt like the longest day of my life. Years of stress had taken a toll in the form of lost sleep, lost weight and lost relationships. Yet I was gaining much-needed perspective. You might call it...

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Ancestral tables

–by Venice R. Williams In some ways, I had been preparing for these days most of my adult life. I just did not fully understand it until my 98-year-old grandmother, Ora, arrived at our home for a two-week visit. My excitement about her stay spilled over into...

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Still listening

–by Sara Zarr When I was a child, I prayed like a child. I chattered to God while walking to and from school, in the hours alone as a latchkey kid and when going to sleep at night. Often these prayers sprang from joy, or at least the kind of good mood one seems to...

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My father’s pajamas

—by Karen G. Bockelman My favorite photo of my father was taken more than 20 years ago. There he is, staring straight at the camera, his nearly bald head rising above a fringe of faintly visible hair. His round, German face beams. His eyes sparkle behind gold-rimmed...

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God knows what we need

—by Elizabeth Hunter The questions and demands for quantification from my youngest son can be so numerous they overlap and tangle. His persistence can tire me out, yet I appre­ciate it. I’m grateful for opportunities to communi­cate everything from the fact that...

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Alleluia! Hallelujah!

by Meghan Johnston Aelabouni— In the last few weeks of my grand­mother’s life, while she was still alert enough to talk with us, she started recalling old memories: her childhood in New Jersey, seeing the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and a certain snowy night...

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Sojourner

by Sojourner White— Growing up with the name "Sojourner" is a lifelong ice-breaker. People say: “What a beautiful name! What does it mean?” Or “I love your name. Where have I heard it before?” I’ve come to embrace their questions. I’ll tell you what I tell them. My...

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Enough

by Susan K. Olson— I spend a lot of time watching my daughter skate. In summer and winter alike, I shiver in the bleachers while she glides over the ice, silver blades flashing. She twirls, she spirals and she jumps. I tend to close my eyes when she jumps. She’s been...

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When wolves come to dinner

by Liv Larson Andrews— A wolf killed my uncle’s favorite llama. She was old and weak, with dark brown hair and kind eyes that would follow his truck up the dirt driveway. For many years my uncle has kept eight or nine llamas on his plot of Montana hill­side. One...

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An “Oh yeah” Advent

by Sarah Carson— Recently I needed to clean out my medicine cabinet. On one shelf were prescriptions from ailments past—pain medications, antibiotics, several jars of cranberry cap­sules (there must have been some sale at the pharmacy when I needed those!). On another...

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Soon and very soon

 by Angela Khabeb— When I was eight, my father took my older sister, Chrystal, and me to an Andraé Crouch concert. Often called “the father of mod­ern Gospel music,” Crouch was playing at the historic Orpheum Theater in my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. The experience...

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A God who lives and dies

by Sarah Carson — When I went in for my check-up at 31 weeks pregnant, I had no idea anything was wrong inside my body. The nurse said my blood pressure was high, and I was sure it was a fluke. When the doctor announced, “You’ve just won yourself a trip to the...

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Sacred objects

by Kimberly Knowle-Zeller In our dining room sits a purple, crystal vase. Most days it’s empty of flowers. It’s there for decoration but also so much more. The vase, like many objects, has a story—a beautiful story of hope, of love beyond death and of the connections...

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Out of the darkness

by Anne Basye Sherry Bryant had already been a social worker for 10 years when her son, Todd, took his life in 1993. Her graduate and professional education had prepared her to face many human struggles, but not this one. In a survivor’s group, she heard the word...

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As God sees us

by Audrey West In the house where I grew up, there is a large plastic bin filled with glittery scarves, 40-year-old prom dresses, baseball caps, a broken stethoscope, gardener’s gloves and a pile of fabric scraps. One day I encountered my niece digging through the...

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Seeing Jesus at night

by Elizabeth Hunter One night at bedtime, my youngest child surprises me by asking God to bless the people who will be awake while he sleeps. His firefighter uncle, putting in a 24-hour shift. The bakers, making fresh bread for the morning. The police, charged with...

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Jesus the shepherd

by Karen Craigo There is a huge, illuminated print of Jesus on the wall of the guest room where my family of four sleeps at my mother-in-law’s house. My mother-in-law is Catholic, and depictions of Jesus hang or stand in every room. They often show the Savior in his...

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The gift of generations

by Sarah Carson Lately I’ve been thinking about what my future might look like. Will I get married? Have children? Will I always be happy living the single life with my two dogs? I’m blessed to have great people in my life to go to for advice.  For instance, a few...

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