Another Way Archive

A Short List of Great Books on Marriage

April 29, 2016 Melodie Davis

Any weddings coming up among your family or friends? Many of us are picky about recommending books on marriage. We don’t want books that make marriage seem too easy, or too pious, that have unattainable goals and standards, or that talk down to us. But over the years, I’ve collected (and find it hard to part with some of these when I try to thin my collection) five excellent books plus two new ones worth mentioning. Because who can’t use a little help improving marriage? “If love isn’t blind, it does squint a bit. Love idealizes both of us.” —Walter […]

Women in Leadership: Who Do You Admire?

April 22, 2016 Lauree Purcell

Editor’s Note: Lauree Purcell is a freelance writer and mother of two teenage daughters in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Last month at a local community college, I represented my branch of the American Association of University Women in a panel discussion on women and leadership. As I researched this topic, I learned some helpful ideas for some current models of women in leadership. As she covered the Haiti earthquake, Hurricane Katrina, and other major events around the globe, she influenced others toward much-needed humanitarian work in those areas. Soledad O’Brien stands out as an exceptional leader to me. As an award-winning journalist, […]

Where Does Inspiration Come From?

April 15, 2016 Melodie Davis

Over the years, the questions most asked of me as a writer or columnist are “Where do you get your ideas?” and “How do you decide what to write about?” I often must grab 10 minutes before a meeting or before going home to just write a few words or a paragraph. Recently I was asked to create a handout on this topic for a Sunday school class at our church that has been exploring the creative urges within all of us, whether art, poetry, knitting, woodworking, gardening, or whatever. I write because I live. In other words, the things […]

Vaccinate against the Gripe!

April 8, 2016 Melodie Davis

First a backstory. A sign at my pharmacy that was written in Spanish first caught my eye. Diehard fans here will know I spent a year in Spain eons ago and that I still like to practice my Spanish. Many stores today have ample signage in English and Spanish, and since my husband loves browsing in home supply stores like Lowes and Home Depot, I look at signs and practice Spanish vocabulary and usage to my heart’s content. Most of us do not mind, when given in a loving spirit, a valid gripe or careful criticism from which we can […]

Where Rigor—and Community—Helps Form Strong Young Men

April 1, 2016 Melodie Davis

In the midst of disheartening U.S. presidential campaign rhetoric, terrorist attacks all around the world, and domestic racial issues always on simmer or boiling over, I was encouraged and moved to happy tears recently. We were watching an episode of 60 Minutes showing a Catholic preparatory school in Newark, New Jersey, that is educating young men—black, brown, and white together—to be the best they can be. With amazing results. They are taught and internalize that their lives have meaning, and students urge their brothers and friends to enroll. I have not been able to watch 60 Minutes for years because […]

New Life: An Easter Pep Talk

March 25, 2016 Lauree Purcell

Editor’s Note: Lauree Purcell is a freelance writer and mother of two teenagers in Harrisonburg, Virginia. As I live out my 50th year, I am going through some exciting challenges that are stretching my thinking and helping me grow. My father passed away last year, so I’m helping my mother clear out the home where they raised me. Going through all the letters, papers, photographs, and all our accumulated possessions brings back both happy and sad memories. Mom and I have been having some painful discussions, but we are also having a lot of fun doing new things she wasn’t […]

When It’s Raining a Glorious Candy Mess!

March 18, 2016 Melodie Davis

I’ve never met Marianne Jantzi, but after laboring with her for about eight months to bring her first book into the world, I feel like I could be its grandmother. The effects are long lasting. We all feel bright and refreshed and go at our work and play with more vigor. Marianne has four children and is about the age of my own middle daughter. She has been writing stories of their life together as an Amish family in a monthly column in The Connection, a paper read mostly by plain Mennonites and Amish. Marianne’s forthcoming Herald Press book (March 29 […]

When You’re Wound Up like a Rope

March 11, 2016 Melodie Davis

How do you experience stress? Do you get hyper? Depressed? Blocked by too much to do? Do you nibble constantly, or maybe you don’t feel like eating at all? Become aware of how your body is feeling—and loosen up those shoulders, wrists, and ankles. When I am overly busy and stressed, I feel tension in my neck and shoulders—sometimes with a headache. Back in January, stress was loading up because of a mix of both happy and stressful events. At home, my husband and I faced a looming deadline for a decision; some important factors related to our decision concerned […]

When Baby Makes Four

March 4, 2016 Melodie Davis

I was standing in line at a bagel shop, behind a mother with two children; she had one propped on her hip with a pacifier, while also hanging onto the hand of her toddler. I suddenly recalled myself as a new mother of two and how overwhelming everything, even simple errands, felt at times. I felt busier yes, and more harried than ever—but also more into the family thing. My thoughts turned to the evening before, as I was privileged to help one grandson get acquainted with his new little brother at the hospital, after a routine but very quick […]

Clumps of Trees Holding Hands

February 26, 2016 Melodie Davis

We enjoy visiting the churches our daughters are a part of when we get the chance to spend a Sunday or weekend in their community. Not only does it give us a taste of the spiritual nourishment they are getting and the people they see and pray with every week, but participating in their worship also offers us a chance to sample sermons from different pastors. It’s better than just being a straight-up cold-call visitor (so to speak) in a church you’ve never visited before and will likely never visit again—where the attachments and connections are nil. Pederson talked about […]