Not Every Hardship

Difficult tasks often have easy beginnings. It is easy to learn the first few pages of a new piano piece when the melodies were familiar, the chords simple, and the accidentals few. It is easy to run the first mile of a marathon surrounded by the contagious energy of a hundred other runners. It is…

No Room in the Inn

I used to shake my head at the Israelites who complained about bitter water just after they watched God deliver them from the strongest nation in their world. I also thought proudly that, if I had lived in the little town of Bethlehem, I would have given up not just a room but my entire…

Towing the Tow Truck

As I rode behind a tow truck that was pulling another tow truck the other day, the first thing I thought to myself was, “that awkward moment when you are a tow truck that needs a tow truck yourself.” You are on your way to help, and now you, the helper, are in need of…

Keep Calm and Fight On

We would live differently if we realized that we lived in a war zone. It is socially acceptable to complain about the amount of foam in our coffee when the sun is shining and flowers are blooming. But soldiers know how to appreciate even lukewarm coffee. It is also socially acceptable to complain about the…

The Echo Chamber

Those educated in studying people have observed a phenomenon they describe as the “echo chamber.” You might not have heard the term but you probably know the symptoms. Your friend posts an article on Facebook explaining some conspiracy theory. No matter what evidence or arguments to the contrary are presented in the comments, your friend…

Figurative Fig Leaves

What do entrepreneurs do when they pull up a carrot and discover that there is only one inch of carrot for every ten inches of carrot greens? They market the half-grown carrots as baby carrots! Marketers know how to position products so that consumers see products in the best light possible, even overlooking some obvious…

Twenty Thousand Tomorrows

Chicago came into view as my plane touched down and began to taxi across the O’Hare tarmac, the plane finding its niche among the grid of city lights that shone brightly against the night sky. I stared blankly at the safety card in the seat pocket in front of me, not able to read the…

Light Enough

Mysteries beg to be solved. This explains how I could get so engrossed in mind-bending puzzles at Science Museum Oklahoma that I lost my son. That also explains why I have a hard time putting down a detective novel but not so much when reading a political primer and why movies are so much easier…

Leaves and Roots

I love to shop. I love pushing carts and carrying bags, no matter if I am shopping for shoes or groceries. I especially love it when my mom takes all five of my sisters and me on an all-day shopping adventure for our annual Girls’ Day celebration. We usually start at Goodwill and then drive…

Bug Bites

I once arrived home from a camping trip covered with mosquito bites. I had tried to protect myself from getting bitten, for I react pretty severely to bug bites. My skin gets all red, swollen, itchy, and hot, and I sometimes feel feverish and fatigued. I mixed up a blend of oils—citronella, peppermint, lemon balm,…