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Walking is one of the best things we can do

Today, I clipped the leash onto Dewey, my most reliable walking partner — he always says yes, he never says no — and coaxed him 4275 steps, according to my iPhone. It was a fruitful walk. I complimented a woman on her purple corduroy pants — wide wale.  “Thanks!” she called out, and seemed mildly …

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How to write your life

I am waiting with bated breath for a memoir to arrive in my inbox, written by my father. Working title? My Story by Russell S. Durling. I’ve been a tiny bit coach and a big part cheerleader for my 85-year old dad, as he worked his way through a project he had talked about for …

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Here’s to the good pastors

Discouragement over pastors and leaders who fall is weighing heavy on almost everyone I know, especially women. It is a thick, wet fog. A long and depressing bewilderment. I spoke to a good friend the other day, and part of our conversation was groaning in pain over the miserable, latest, greatest, spectacular fall from grace. …

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Pass the peace, please

Every now and then during church, Brent does something that makes me so uncomfortable that I try not to glance around nervously to see how other people are taking it. (Generally speaking, spouses try not to swivel their heads around to see how things are going…) I’m not referring to his jokes, because usually I’m …

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Little moments that keep us going

The other day the bottom fell out of my bag of pears. If the bag is the flimsy grocery store produce one, light green and very difficult to open once pulled from the roll (especially now that we do not lick our fingers in public), the bottom is likely to fall out if your pears …

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What is your daily creative ritual?

Ta da! This is an announcement that I have finally finished Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, compiled and edited by Mason Currey. My sometimes-writing partner Patricia owned it first, and intrigued, I ordered it from a bookstore called Perfect Books, using a gift card given to me by another friend. (So, a perfect combination of …

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How to recover from creative rejection (according to me)

“Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug,” has got to be one of the best lyrics from a Mary Chapin Carpenter song to which I have ever sung along poorly. It also sums up nicely the experience of being a creative person trying to find a place in the world for your work. Sometimes …

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Married to the Minister Event is coming up on Nov.29

It’s been another long year for people in ministry, and yes, it’s true, for the entire planet. In my work as a podcast host and editor of a magazine — and as a member of several Facebook groups for pastor’s wives — I am hearing again and again about weary pastors, and the families who …

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Build a writing foundation before a platform

I chatted with a young writer the other day, and she asked me how important it was to focus on platform building. The lack of a platform can keep a writer wide awake at 3:00am, eating grapes straight from her fridge. Platform, of course, is  your visible, countable presence in the world — your spheres …

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As we leave Covid behind

My cat-watching days are almost over. When quiet settled across the land in general and Arlington Street in particular, I sat on my bed and looked out the window to where the only activity on our street was the curious cat across the road. I remember thinking that it had been a very long time …

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How to be with an old dog

These days Dewey and I walk more slowly than we ever have around our neighbourhood. It used to be exercise for me, and now it’s more of a stroll of sniffing. Dewey starts out beside me and ends up behind me, tired. How do we love an old dog well? Old dogs are loved best …

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Married to the Minister Event coming up

I have something fun to share. On Thursday, May 20th, if you’re married to a pastor you are warmly invited to “Married to the Minister” a virtual gathering to be heard, seen and encouraged. Since the release of The Minister’s Wife: a memoir of faith, doubt, friendship, loneliness, forgiveness and more I have heard from so …

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