Melodie Davis Archive

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 […]

Dogs, Sin, Shame, and Me

February 19, 2016 Melodie Davis

I’m sure most readers have seen the hilarious videos on YouTube of dogs being shamed by their owners for chewing up a pen, taking apart the new dog cushion they so lovingly provided, snacking on their slippers, and so on. While I would never shame a dog just to make a video, I’m always amused—even if angry—when I have to shame our one-year-old overgrown pup, Velvet. Will she never learn? So, afresh, I got to see her turn her head, put on the sad face, and suffer my glare. They know your wrath is coming even as they mischievously enjoy […]

The Language of Human Need

February 12, 2016 Melodie Davis

As a college student I spent my junior year in Barcelona, Spain, in the early ’70s. One incident still stands out in my mind, offering a reminder for me even today. Between the three of us, we did not share a common language, except the language of human need and desire to help. On our Christmas break, I traveled with two other friends by bus to Germany and then to Austria. I ended up sitting by myself but landed a tall friendly Spanish guy, Juan, as a seatmate. Juan spoke his native Catalan (the birth language spoken by most natives […]

Imagine It

January 29, 2016 Melodie Davis

My middle daughter works for a symphony in a mid-sized city, and frequently we get to take in concerts when we visit. “Did you ever imagine when you were growing up that you would someday perform all over the world?” Last fall my youngest daughter and I attended a piano concert there with a young artist, Behzod Abduraimov from Tashkent, Uzbekistan (located in central Asia). He blew me away. His playing style was to hunch—potter-like—over the piano keys, indeed, sometimes curving his back and neck down to where his eyes were level to the piano keys. He pulled amazing sound […]

Top 10 Films of 2015

January 27, 2016 Melodie Davis

Editor’s Note: We’ve given up trying to regulate the creative geniuses who review films for Our critics here have selected anywhere from 4 to 10 films for their “Top 10 List”; some go in reverse countdown order, and we’ve retained their formats. The writers also give their reasons how they came up with the number of films they included! OH, AND SPOILER ALERT IN JERRY’S SHORT LIST!! Finally, at the very end of this feature, we’re introducing a movie list from Nancy Myers. The films that made her list here all rate “5 stars” in her estimation. Nancy is Mennonite blogger […]

What Makes Your House a Home?

January 22, 2016 Melodie Davis

When we in 2007 moved out of the house we had lived in for over 30 years, we didn’t feel truly “at home” until an unusual argument erupted in the new house. Do we devote at least as much time and energy in truly caring for each other as we do in caring for the house? It happened at Christmas that year when the kids were all back home in our new house. A noisy argument erupted from a bedroom where two of our girls were sharing space for the holiday (and before any of our daughters were married). Upon […]

The Church and Racism: Some Fresh Thinking

January 15, 2016 Melodie Davis

“Once more the car drove by, but this time the police officers stopped and got out. They immediately arrested my brother for ‘fitting the description’ of someone who had recently committed a crime.” The responses to racialized arrests, beatings, and trials we’ve seen in the United States are so “predictable, as many people fall into their default defensive positions,” Drew Hart points out. Drew G. I. Hart was on a road trip with a carload of white college friends when his mother called and told him about his brother’s erroneous arrest. It was a critical wake-up call for Drew, who […]

Find a Way to Say Yes

January 1, 2016 Melodie Davis

A niece of mine works in upper management at a “members only” big box warehouse chain store. They are particularly known for their customer service and generous return policy. She says they are often told that when dealing with any customer’s problem or a return, they should “find a way to say yes” even when they don’t at first see a solution. I’m sure other businesses have “yes” as a policy, but it seems like some are the exact opposite: they try to find reasons to say no. She shared a story of how one woman—on the phone from another […]