Tag Archives: Personal Accounts

  • The power of gratitude

    In a video clip I watched on YouTube some time ago, one of the participants in a panel was talking about a trying time in her life that had led to serious depression. A friend advised her to put together a list of 1,000 reasons for gratitude, so she started keeping track of the good […]

  • It’s good to be alive!

    When I was 17, I went with friends to spend carnival in the city of Salvador. We rented a very cheap house and slept on the floor like most of the locals. Even though our neighbors were very poor, they were exceptionally nice to us. The simple life they lived and the love and friendship […]

  • Live with joy

    As I was skimming headlines on an online news website, I saw this headline: “He’s a Fighter: Guo Youming Won’t Succumb to Rare Disease.” Intrigued, I clicked on the article and started reading Guo Youming’s incredible story. As a child, his mother noticed that he walked unsteadily and had frequent falls. His condition worsened until […]

  • The tree

    I lived in a village in Tanzania that had a big, old avocado tree that was a local treasure. The tree grew in the middle of town, and its fruit was available to anyone in the village. The tree was cherished and protected by the villagers—for some of whom an avocado might comprise most of […]

  • The Giovanna solution

    After four years and a 44-hour bus ride, I was finally visiting my daughter and son-in-law and seeing my young granddaughter, Giovanna, for the first time. She had my heart instantly—so cute, so smart, so active. Other grandparents will understand if I say that my granddaughter is the most adorable, wonderful girl in the world! […]

  • Troubleshooting with God

    On my second day on the job, my new supervisor handed me his laptop: “I need you to upgrade this to the latest Web-based operating system.” I was in a foreign country, surrounded by coworkers speaking a foreign language, and as a junior IT technician, I was finding it challenging to familiarize myself with the […]

  • Prayer secrets

    In his book A Year of Living Prayerfully, Jared Brock describes in a humorous but poignant way his journey around the world to discover and explore how different believers pray—their practices, methods, habits, and styles. More than compile a list of techniques, he wanted to experience prayer in full from different perspectives and denominational outlooks. […]

  • Anxiety and the deep blue sea

    I grew up around creeks, lakes, and rivers, but when I was sixteen I went to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and saw the ocean for the first time. At the boardwalk the night we arrived, I walked out on a wooden pier. As the first thunderous waves crashed beneath my feet, I grabbed the railing, […]

  • Sometimes, you don’t need a miracle

    I wasn’t born a citizen of the United States of America. Earning the right to be here was a process. I had to fill out piles of forms, spend hours on the phone with officials, pay a hefty sum, get fingerprinted, and have an interview to determine if I indeed met the requirements to earn […]

  • The circle of prayer

    The ringing of my phone interrupted my quiet evening drive. It was a close friend on the other end, “Marie, I need you to pray for me!” She only had a few minutes to talk, just enough time to tell me about the very stressful things going on in her life, and I assured her […]

  • A stranger in the parking lot

    I was sitting in the car inside a parking lot, taking a moment to think about changes in my life and work. It felt like I had hit a plateau, and I was honestly a little worried. Suddenly a man popped up next to my window. Short, straggly, and with an air of boundless cheer, […]

  • The offer

    Some years ago, after a series of mistakes left me exasperated and discouraged, I pleaded with God to turn me into a robot, programmed to always do what He knew was best. You know that deep down I want nothing more than to do what’s right, but my wrong decisions and harebrained ideas keep getting […]