Categories
Community Holidays Perspective

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day 2020! I hope all women who are moms can relate to Proverbs 31:25 today. I know women experience this holiday differently, as I have myself during different seasons of my life.

In my early twenties, married and working long hours as a cancer researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and leading a youth group at my local church as a volunteer, the holiday was a day to stand out as different in my church community. The majority of the women in my church were young mothers who did not understand a woman studying to be a scientist. Some looked for every opportunity to belittle my decision to pursue an advanced degree instead of starting a family. I knew at the time that their behavior was a means of making them feel better about themselves at my expense. However, interactions with them were never pleasant. When my mother died of cancer, Mother’s Day was a reminder of loss and a day of longing for a future when I would have children of my own.

Of course, today I enjoy celebrating Mother’s Day with my own beautiful daughters and remember my own mother, dead for more than twenty-four years, with fond memories but no lingering sadness. Thus, I encourage all women to celebrate Mother’s Day today. Celebrate the gift of life given to you by your Mother, whether she is still here to celebrate with you or has gone to her heavenly home. Celebrate the women around you who are mothers, for they give all of us the gift of new life in our society. If your own day is still one of longing or of grief, please remember that there will be different seasons of this holiday for you. For now, celebrate for others. For the women who will remain childless, celebrate how you “mother” the generation to come, either in your profession or as a volunteer. You are valuable and loved. Blessings to all!

Categories
Achievement Holidays Influence

With Thanks to My Friends

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

The shorter, colder days that signal the beginning of the holiday season create a perfect time to gather with friends and family next to a warm fireplace and a glittering Christmas tree. The spicy aroma of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves from a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie baking in the oven, or the taste of peppermint flavoring a mug of hot cocoa provide comfort on snowy days.

Holiday celebrations also offer an opportunity to reflect on the events and accomplishments of the year drawing to a close and the people who have impacted our lives. In 2014, the publication of my book, Questioning Your Doubts: A Harvard PhD Explores Challenges to Faith, gave me many reasons to express gratitude to friends who have been faithful over many years as well as new friends who have joined me on this journey.

The editors, publicists, and members of the marketing team at InterVarsity Press are relatively new friends who have taught me many things this year and brought joy into my life. Editors, leaders, and friends in the National Office of the Assemblies of God have been a source of ongoing encouragement. WordServe Literary Agency, and the staff at FaithHappenings.com have provided first-rate support, and I appreciate the many new friendships I have formed with other authors represented by this same agency.

Recently, the opportunity to appear on several radio shows, including one broadcast from KDKA1020 in my native city of Pittsburgh (the world’s first commercial radio station) has connected me with readers of my book across the country. I am especially grateful for readers like Jason on Brave Reviews, who have taken the time to share their insights about my book.

Discovering my book on sale worldwide in bookstores and through online retailers, has enlarged my circle of friends. However, knowing that my own local church named my book as Book of the Month filled my heart with gratitude, for they have been with me since the beginning of my ordained ministry.

Many of you receiving this message by email also have been with me since my early days as a writer and as a scientist. Thank you for your friendship. Have a wonderful holiday season!