Seeds of Devotion
By Julia Attaway

Do the Right Thing

Do you let others' behavior distract you from fixing a problem?

A friend of mine works for an elected official, and the other day she told me she’s been working on a problem brought to her office by a constituent with an extremely challenging personality.

No matter what how much time my friend puts in the issue, the constituent complains loudly–and publicly–that nothing is happening.

Living with Uncertainty

There are times when not-knowing is the cross we’re asked to carry.

I read an article the other day about how to determine God’s will. It was good, suggesting we should search scripture, pray and seek counsel. Something about it niggled at my brain, though.

Have You Said You're Sorry Today?

Reconciling yourself to others requires only two simple words.

One of my closest friends is Jewish, and as Yom Kippur–the day of fasting and atonement–approached last week she sent me a link to a great blog post called How to Say You’re Sorry.

Are You a Slave of God?

Or are you looking for some loopholes?

On Saturday as I walked home from the farmer’s market, I stopped in a church to pray. I put my big bag of apples and chard and Kabocha squash on a pew and smiled at the thought of ten minutes of unexpected quiet time.

Almost without thinking I said silently, “Jesus, I am here to be with you. I want to be your slave.”

Stepping Out in Faith

Which of Christ’s calls to action are hardest for you?

I started an online course yesterday on the history of world architecture. It’s a topic about which I know next to nothing, which is one reason I decided to try it. Another reason is that it’s free, one of the many classes over at EdX.org.

The third reason is perhaps the most important one. I’ve reached that point in middle age where new names escape me, and at least once a day I can’t remember where I put something.

When Your Teen Turns Mean

The wisdom of waiting when you want your teenager to listen

One of my children texted me an angry message the other day, and it took a bite out of my heart. It’s the kind of thing that happens occasionally when you have teenagers.

Because I was hurt, my instinct was to text my feelings back. But I’m learning: I carefully put my phone away in a zipped pocket of my purse. Though my child was in the wrong, I would still be right if I waited an hour. I could do my correcting then, after my emotions (and my teen’s) had quieted down.

A Christian List

4 things every Christian should know.

I ran into a neighbor yesterday as I walked out the door to my apartment building, and we ended up riding together on the subway for 20 minutes. 

We chatted about this and that, and at one point I commented, “The way I look at it, by the time you get to middle age you need to know four things: how to shrug your shoulders, how to laugh at yourself, how to shift from Plan A to Plan B without missing a beat, and how to rebound.”

Dealing with Anger

So mad you're about to become a fire breather? Here's some cooling advice.

I’ve been stressed lately by many things, and it leaves me open to snappishness. Then last week on Elizabeth Duffy’s blog I read this:

When we feel angry, and want to breathe fire, we should take a drink of water and hold it in our mouths. Boil the water with our tongues. Go somewhere to be alone, holding the water in our mouth until it cools. Sit down in the bathroom if necessary. Maybe no one will bother us there. And soon the Spirit will descend on us. 

The Two-Mile Mark

We each have an inner odometer that measures the distance we must travel from inner discomfort to peace.

Last Sunday morning I had to grapple with a deep disappointment, the kind I knew could easily morph into anger. I needed to be alone, so I sent the family on to church and stayed home.

The Reason for Abundance

Peppers, onions, cucumbers, squash–and a kindness meant to be passed along.

I headed up to the park last Tuesday to pick up my weekly delivery of farm produce from the Community Supported Agriculture group I’ve been part of for years. Actually, I was picking up a double share: our upstairs neighbors were on vacation and had given us their week’s worth of veggies. Thinking of all that green goodness awaiting me put abundance on my mind.

Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.

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