Enjoy the Blessing

After a fairly traumatic early childhood, I was a very anxious and self-conscious tween. My fifth-grade teacher noted to the whole class that I wouldn’t speak up when called on during instruction time and made a snide comment about how she would be shocked if I ever did, causing every classmate to turn and stare furthermore when I was called on to read aloud or answer a question. As you can guess, my social skills didn’t improve much that year. In another didactic effort to help me blossom, she offered me a nickel for every week she didn’t see me nibbling on my nails. I had a few good friends and an empty piggy bank. I was polite with adults but pretty terrified of having to make conversati

Getting It Right the Second Time

On a placid, cloudless July afternoon in 1988, I stood on the altar at the First Baptist Church in Batesville to marry Chris Lawson in front of almost everyone on planet Earth I held dear. When it was my turn, I solemnly repeated my vows — the very most significant, spectacularly life-altering words I would ever speak from that day forward. And I meant them with every fiber of my being. I really wish I could remember what I said. In fairness, our vows were hardly notable. We picked them out of a well-worn little leather-bound book lined with notes from the many nuptials my dad had officiated before ours. It was full of Scripture and a variety of Over time, life teaches us what’s essential to

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