The Lily in the Valley

Hidden Lilies The rake clears away fall leaves and winter twigs, leaving fresh white blossoms peeking out from under newly grown leaves.  It is spring, and I am surprised again when I discover Lily of the Valley blooming in my flower bed. After all these years, you’d think I’d remember these flowers.  Somehow I never do. By the time winter is over, another year has come and gone since these flowers last bloomed. In those … Read more

On Gardening and May Day

It is May Day eve, and it is raining hard. For hours, the sky has threatened its downpour, and now it has come. I hear the pelting on the roof and I hear the wind. Inside, I am safe and warm. And tomorrow? Tomorrow is May Day. Tomorrow, the sun will shine. Tomorrow, “the flowers will appear on the earth, for the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the … Read more

Teacher Appreciation Week

I was on my way to the mall when I noticed the bumper sticker on the car in front of me.  “If you can read this, thank a teacher,” it said.     It had been twenty years since I enrolled in school as a first grader, and I had never taken the time to thank her with a note. I went home that day and wrote a note to my first-grade teacher.


National Teacher Appreciation Week is May 4-8, 2015,.  There are so many ways to say thanks.  Our children have many “teachers” in their lives.  Whether your kids are in public school, Christian day school, or are being homeschooled, there is always a teacher to thank.  Additionally, if your children attend Sunday school or participate in kids’ clubs on Wednesday evenings, there are teachers to thank.   When your child is involved in sports, there’s a teacher-coach to thank.

We do well to model that appreciation in front of our children.  We do well to help them develop an attitude of gratitude for those folks who invest in their lives and the lives of others.  When Dave and I were raising our brood, we attempted to model appreciation and helped them with notes to their teachers.  Sometimes, I confess, I had to hide my frustration with a certain teacher and find good, truthful things that could be said.  Amazingly, when we took the time to say thanks, we saw things to appreciate we had not considered before.

When our half-dozen were in school, we invited their teacher(s) to our home for a family-style meal near the end of the school year.  Our house wasn’t fancy.  In fact, in those days, we had plaster peeling from the dining room walls. Yet we had a great time showing our appreciation for the hard work done those 180 days a year.

You might not be into serving a meal in your home, but there are plenty of other ways to say thanks.

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Memories of Chicken Gravy and Faith


Fifty-five years ago today my papa went to Heaven.  I was five; he was fifty-seven. When you lose a parent, you want to know more than you yourself can remember.  It  helps if there are others who are willing to share their memories of the person you are grieving. Over the years, I gathered bits and pieces about my father.  Sometimes it happened in unplanned, casual conversations.   Several times I was able to learn … Read more

A Pie for the Deacon’s Wife

cherry my windowsill

You know what amazes me most about this story?  The fact that someone committed herself for a year.  A gesture done once is great.  But a weekly gesture – fifty-two of them?  Now that’s commitment and caring.

I have never forgotten the story, even though I heard it a quarter of a century ago. It was the daughter of the deacon’s wife who shared it with me.  I think you’d like to hear the story, too.

Somewhere in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, there was a country church experiencing conflict.  This church wasn’t much different from any other church because there were people in that church. And where there are people, there is sin.  And with sin comes conflict, resulting in pain, hurt, and anger. It’s a shame to have to say that these things happen, but they do.  

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