Good Fences Make Good…Family

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“Good fences make good neighbors.”

I was a teenager and had no idea what Dad was talking about, so he explained:

There are plenty of opportunities for neighbors, even very good people, to get into conflict with one another. Well-built, well-maintained fences help to reduce many of those conflicts by keeping our business (pets, livestock, children, etc.) on our side of the fence and their business on their side.

While I didn’t necessarily appreciate that wisdom at that time, 27 years of counseling ...

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Passings, Passages and the Empty Nest

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This past weekend was a rather emotional one. Valentine’s Day was the 30th anniversary of our engagement to be married. The following day two beloved members of our household passed away.

Over 18 years ago I returned from work to find a long-haired, black and white kitten at our house. Ruth had been approached by children pulling a wagon full of kitties at five-year Tyler’s soccer practice. Needless to say this one came home and was aptly named Oreo.

Oreo’s beautiful long ...

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How Do I Love Thee?

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Several years ago I was surprised in an interview with a church leader when he asked me, “How do you love your wife?”

I am embarrassed to say that my mind immediately reached for Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. You know the poem: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach…”

Then I occurred to me: He may not be asking me how much—but what ...

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