How Can Courage Make You a Better Spouse?

A great marriage, like a great relationship of any kind, starts with communication. Communication, contrary to what most of us believe, starts with listening–not with talking. And listening, really listening with the intent to understand, starts with courage. How so? Listening is a selfless act; it requires us to let go of our ego, stop […]

Uganda’s New Anti-Gay Law: Part of a Broader Trend in Africa

Uganda’s New Anti-Gay Law: Part of a Broader Trend in Africa. We are so afraid of those who are different from ourselves that we feel the need to outlaw their behavior. A useful stance if we’re protecting children from molestation, or keeping intoxicants out of the hands of people who might hurt others under their […]

Hero #4: Pope Francis

Most folks don’t normally think of the Pope as a hero. To Catholics, he’s a leader, spiritual guide, giver of laws. To non-Catholics, he’s a role model, maybe. In some unfortunate cases, he’s a misguided–or even malicious–purveyor of hatred and intolerance. To many, he’s irrelevant, just an old guy in a funny hat. But a […]

Heroes #3: Deb Cohan and Antoinette Tuff

These two women aren’t celebrities. Most of us didn’t know about them before last year. They aren’t heroes for seeking our attention, or seeking thrills, or seeking danger–they’re heroes because when their lives called for them to do something extraordinary, they didn’t shrink from it. Ordinary people who did something extraordinary, then went back to […]

Love Is a Decision

A few days before Christmas, our daughter asked me: How did you know [Mom] was The One? [Now, this young woman is not our biological daughter. She’s not even really adopted–she came to us when she was eighteen, five or six years ago. But we’ve claimed her, and she us, and we can’t imagine our […]

Two Turtle Doves – Bringing Strangers (Also Known as Families) Together

Most of us have been or will be in this situation sooner or later: newly married, or newly serious, we have to decide whose family to spend Christmas with. The question can lead to conversations every bit as awkward as yesterday’s office holiday party; after all, which of us wants to tell mother we’re not […]

The Twelve Days of Christmas–In Courage

It’s a challenging time of year for lots of folks. The holidays can be a wonderful time: we take a few days off work, spend them with people we love and don’t get to see very often, eat and drink too much, give and receive gifts, rest, recharge, prepare for the new year. They can […]


There is a host of reasons folks have trotted out in recent years to be disdainful of our tradition of Thanksgiving: The way we celebrate has little in common with the way the original settlers celebrated. It’s a celebration of gluttony. It’s a celebration of genocide. We don’t focus enough on the giving thanks part. […]

38 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 38 Years : zenhabits

38 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 38 Years : zenhabits. I’ve come to love Leo Babauta’s zenhabits site since I discovered it a few weeks ago. He and I seem to share an interest in quiet living and finding joy within rather than without. I thought it would be appropriate today to share this list […]