I’m Taking Off My Crown

By: Mary Ellen Collins I’m taking off my crown. For almost 50 years, I have lived under a curse. “We don’t like you.” “You are not a part of our family.” “Stay away.” “You are not welcome.” I have even had birthday cards returned to me. These words have pierced...

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God Sees Your Tears

By: Danielle Ilacqua (Guest Blogger) As Mother’s Day approaches and I see hundreds of commercials for flowers or cards, I just shrink back into a hole and wish for the passage of time quickly. The first year, which is the firsts of everything without your mom, is the toughest. That’s what “they”...

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Grieving in the Garden

By: Cara Barth “Woman,” He said, “Why are you crying?” John 20:15 As I sat in church this past week and we read the “typical” after Easter story about how Jesus rose from the grave, I had some pretty amazing insights that had NEVER been there before. Now please don’t...

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One Word Challenge

By: Julie Thompson Two years ago I gave up making New Year’s resolutions (since I always failed anyways) and starting focusing on one word for the entire year. Taking the “One Word Challenge” has been such a positive experience in my life, that I knew I wanted to do it...

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Letting Go

By: Cara Barth “Don’t hold on to someone who’s leaving, otherwise you won’t meet the one who’s coming.” ~ Carl Jung As we begin a new year, it’s hard not to feel some sadness, almost as if a death has occurred. One does not leave a year in the same way that...

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Ghosts of Christmas Past

By: Cara Barth “Christmas is a time when you get homesick – even when you’re home” ~Carol Nelson “The holidays are a time to be spent with loved ones” has been imprinted on our psyche from almost day one. Many of us see the holidays as a way to mark...

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An Unexpected Gift

By: Julie Thompson Growing up, I loved the Christmas season. I loved listening to Christmas music, watching Christmas movies, eating way too many Christmas cookies, and having a few weeks off of school. The best part, though, was opening gifts on Christmas morning with my family. My younger brother and...

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Awakening to Advent

By: Cara Barth “It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope.” ~ Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Thinking about the approaching Christmas season, I am very aware of how quickly my spirit wants to feel heavy and “burdened.”...

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40 Days of Prayer During the Holidays

By: Mary Ellen Collins I hate the hype of Christmas! Holidays are such a lonely time. The commercialism of the holidays drills home the loneliness I feel. Perfect Norman Rockwell family portraits splashed everywhere – magazines, ads, and TV channels. Pictures of multi-generational families gathered together with large smiles, hugs,...

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Holiday Stories: Truth Vs. Fiction

By: Cara Barth “That’s what the holidays are for, for one person to tell the stories and another to dispute them.” ~ Lara Flynn Boyle The holiday season is fast approaching, and with the coming Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then the New Year’s festivities, many stories will be written! The stories I...

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