Riceford Streams

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Summer Reading about Home, Family, and Belonging

Summer Reading

One of my pleasures of summer has always been leisurely reading books. As a child I would pull a book from our shelf and retreat from my family to my favorite chair in the living room or my bedroom upstairs.  There I enjoyed the luxury of reading for hours on end.  So this summer I pledged to myself that I would read more books simply for the joy of it, departing from my reading basket full of nonfiction.

My favorite book so far is Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, and Me: What My Favorite Book Taught Me about Grace, Belonging, and the Orphan in Us All. Isn’t that a mouthful to consider?

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Summertime Sips

Our summer solstice will be on Monday, and I’m enjoying these long, warm days bathed in sunlight near the 45th parallel.

After a busy week, I’m enjoying a slow day at home…

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Our Home: A Reflection of Who We Are


Make Room for What You Love

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It’s a Good Day to Have a Good Day

Coffee on Porch Swing

If we were having coffee, we’d be sitting on my porch swing, and I’d be drinking from my buttercup mug that brightens my day.

This morning I’m thankful for little things that warm my heart.

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I Admit It: I’m a Chicken

A couple of weeks ago I admitted to my Facebook friends that I fear cooking for guests. (Yes, I’m that kind of a chicken: a person who lacks confidence.)

I also shared an article by Denise J. Hughes, Hospitality Redefined, in which the author shares her inability to prepare a meal for guests and subsequent feelings of failure. However, Denise wasn’t satisfied to miss out on time with friends in her home, so she decided she could buy food and still show true hospitality. After all, she concludes, “hospitality is about creating a space to make others feel welcomed and know they’re wanted. And that’s what I love doing most.”

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“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” 

magnolia blossoms

A Fragile Beauty


Beautiful Living

If we were having coffee, we would be sitting outside because warm weather finally arrived in Minnesota.

We would talk about signs of spring: mourning doves cooing for their mates, wild turkeys gobbling in the distance, the scent of freshly turned soil, perennials emerging in garden beds, and the last daffodils still blooming.

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If we were having coffee

I would fill two mugs with French roast and offer you my favorite Girl Scouts Caramel and Coconut creamer. However, if I baked white chocolate scones, you would be wise to drink your coffee black so you could savor the buttery treat to its fullest.

After discussing highlights of the past week or an upcoming event — and our kids, because we always talk about our kids —  you would tell me about the book you’re reading.

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Why Easter Is a Big Deal

As I prepared for Easter Sunday my emotions felt flat. There wasn’t anything specifically wrong, yet I felt physically and mentally weary from the cares of life.

I’m glad my faith doesn’t rely on feelings because on Resurrection Sunday I still was able to quietly rejoice in confidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and what that means for those who believe in him.

John Piper wrote a short, powerful devotional entitled The Stupendous Reality of Being “in Christ Jesus.” I encourage you to read it and consider what Jesus Christ means to you.

Historic Lake City, Minnesota

Lake Pepin

Lake Pepin: Minnesota on the left and Wisconsin on the right

When Laura Ingalls Wilder was a little girl in the big woods of Wisconsin, my great-great-grandparents were young immigrants from Sweden living on the other side of Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minnesota. I wonder if their paths crossed when the Ingalls family crossed the frozen lake in 1874 and checked into a hotel while Laura recovered from Scarlet Fever.

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