By Cindy Koch

If you are reading this, it means that Paul and I are still out hiking the John Muir Trail. I wanted to leave you with a few thoughts while we were out of touch this month. Yes, that’s right, 23 days on the trail—no phones. By now, we have been out of communication with the family for about a week. Writing this ahead of time, I predict I am somewhere absolutely beautiful, missing my kiddos a lot right about now. Even though they are a little older, it usually takes me about four days and then I need to talk to at least one of them. It’s strange, like a new mom who can’t sleep through the night because she just has to hear the baby breathing to be able to relax, my angst to know they are safe doesn’t really go away.

By Cindy Koch

Well, that’s right. I’ve taken a long, lingering look over the last twenty years of marriage, and I’m actually going to go through with it. It’s been a long time coming, and I really can’t believe I’m brave enough to be doing this. This last month together, it has been an intense scramble of plans for this all to work out. But in one week—kids, minivan, dog, nice little neighborhood, cell phone, my favorite coffee cup—all of it will be left behind. I’m leaving.

By Cindy Koch

His eyes were focused and nervous as he watched that beautiful woman brought to him from the back of the room. Her father held her arm, proudly and sadly, as she walked out her childhood into a new life with another man. Her heart was happy and scared as she slowly stepped closer to this defining moment of union. Quiet smiles, hopeful hearts, kind wishes surround the man and woman who have come here to be married.

By Tim Winterstein

What would happen if an entire country took independence and individualism to their logical and extreme ends? We don’t have to wonder. We have Sweden. For the last 40+ years, Sweden has been engaged in a social experiment which now has borne its desiccated fruit. The Swedish Theory of Love is the documentary telling that story. (You can find it online here. If you don’t want to subscribe, you can simply share the movie—I shared it to be visible only to me on Facebook—and you can watch it for free.) 

By Cindy Koch

It was only the beginning of a fight. She said. He said. But it turned ugly when she said too much. His anger flared, and his voice got louder. She stood her ground and said so much more. They felt the pulse of the evening race out of control as their words fueled a fire. Anger prickled his neck. Tears choked in her throat. Panic and pain washed over their hearts deep in the middle of their broken conversation.

By Cindy Koch

What a question. It has been pondered throughout the ages, and the arguments go back and forth. God gives his man and woman companionship at the beginning of creation, but soon after, as a result of sin, both man and woman feel the pain of this union. In Scripture, St. Paul responds to the Corinthians about sexual immorality questions, personally judging that it is better to not be anxious about pleasing a wife.