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    Practicing A Four-Letter Word

    “The answer is on the Danube.” A friend encouraged me with these words as I explained my husband’s and my plans for a summer vacation along the Danube River. I laughed at her statement. She repeated with more emphasis, “The answer is on the Danube.” As it turned out, she was right. Let me explain. My husband and I just finished an extremely intense, challenging, and difficult season of our lives. That season had included many accomplishments and successes, but it had also included sickness, medical expenses, heartache, and loss. And it had been three years since he and I had “run away” together for a bit of respite. What…

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    God is Ready to Help You

    I did quite a bit of chaotic fun over the summer. I went here and there and everywhere. I visited my sisters, cleaned part of my attic, and helped whomever, whenever I could. Several weeks ago, however, something bit me. My fun summer stopped. Fear would now engulf me at the site of my bite.   What started as a “this is just a simple mosquito bite” turned into a “this could be a spider bite.” I knew something for certain—I got bitten and not just once, but thrice. The quarter-size area of blistering skin over my right knee spread out like a wildfire. I decided to do the logical…

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    Adios Summer!

    Have you ever had a moment in time when you felt completely unworthy? Out of nowhere a season of wrestling, heartache and loneliness takes a hold of you and you don’t know what to do? You can barely breathe and everything you do just feels wrong? You feel disconnected from everyone and from God? Ever felt like this before?   Let’s face it, feeling unworthy is for the birds! It’s not fun at all. Talk about a joy killer! I felt like this most of the summer and it brought me to my knees. I’m seriously thankful to say adios to a very difficult time in my life.   Yes,…

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    Clear Summer Days

    Ah, the first weeks of summer vacation—a blissful time in the life of a mother and her children. Kids have finally finished the school year and moms have hung their chauffeur hats for a while. The Monday morning rush has come to a halt, the emails from school have completely ceased and at the end of the day, mothers across the country can finally stop asking, “Did you finish your homework? Did you study for your test?”    The beginning of summer brings such sweet hopes. It gives mothers and children an opportunity to commit their time to each other. Mothers make endless promises of fun and the kids—especially teens—realize they…

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    Slowing Down

    The summer I was 16, we went to Yosemite National Park for our family vacation. My parents invited my sister and me to give input on what we would like to do and see while on vacation. Being an avid researcher, I scoured travel guides, read Yosemite tourist blogs and requested tourism literature from numerous California cities. I dreamed of whale-watching cruises, waterfalls, and Hearst Castle. I looked at breath-taking photos of Half Dome and Monterey Bay, and decided that we would just have to do it all. I didn’t want to miss a thing! I submitted a 12-page itinerary down to the hour, detailing everything from lunch breaks to…