Friends and Family

What is a family? Sometimes your family includes friends who stand by you in every season of life. The heart of your family might also be your marriage, or the meaning and purpose you derive from parenting, caregiving, or even loving the pets who never let you down.

Tonya Avent (left) with her friend, Ma’isha; photo by Jim Graham

These Faith-Filled Sorority Sisters Found Common Ground

They had opposite personalities and were of different religions. Could they find a way to work together?

A woman serves as caregiver to her spouse

Spousal Caregiving: 5 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong

Strengthen the bond with your spouse by renegotiating your roles, finding new hobbies and more.

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Kathy Norton and Harry at her home in Hahira, Georgia. Sept. 2020.

A Horse Helped Her Heal From the Death of Her Son

Caring for the troubled ‘Handsome Harry’ taught her how to accept God’s comfort.

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A giant woodsman's peeking through pine trees; Illustration by Chris Wormell

A Woodsy Angel Helped Him Find the Perfect Solution

This heaven-sent dream helped him build the perfect dog house for the cold winter.  

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Lou Dean and her dogs, Tuck and Dell

The Incredible Bond She Formed with an Unexpected Pet

At almost 70, she thought she was too old for a puppy. Someone had other ideas.

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An artist's rendering of a goshawk in flight; Illustration by Christina Wald

This Heaven-Sent Bird Eased Her Worries

The rare Goshawk helped her rediscover the joys of nature—and distracted her from her Covid-19 anxiety.  

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Chuck Avery training a dog

This Cancer Survivor is Giving Shelter Dogs a Second Chance at Life

Chuck Avery rehabilitates dogs with aggression and other behavioral issues.

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Summer play

Dreaming of Sun and Warmth and Longer Days

Ready to say “so long” to snow and cold and dreaded wintry mix

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Stephen Wilder and Nicole Figaro`

How Two Neighbors Grew Even Closer During the Pandemic

New Yorkers Stephen Wilder and Nicole Figaro, who have been friendly neighbors for 30 years, explain how the Covid-19 crisis has brought them even closer.

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Neighbors Stephen Wilder and Nicole Figaro; photo by Kerry Ryan

Best Friends: The Deep Bond Between Next-Door Neighbors

A New Yorker shares how he and the woman in the next apartment learned to lean on each other.

Dog trainer Chuck Avery

A Dog Trainer Offers Tips on Training Difficult Dogs

Chuck Avery discusses his therapeutic approach to training dogs who have been emotionally and physically abused.

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A happy couple embracing; Getty Images

5 Keys to a Thriving Relationship

Patience, trust and commitment to truth will help keep your love strong, even during tough times.

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Living with depression

How to Help a Friend Living with Depression

The simple but powerful ways to walk with someone through their misery and mystery.

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Gracie and Edward relaxing

How a Dog Can Teach You to Live in the Present

There’s nothing like a napping pet to inspire serenity and spiritual equilibrium.

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