Parenting

Finding the Magic

A Tuesday in Early Spring The kids head to the backyard around 8:30 and play well together until lunch. During my daughter’s favorite ballet class, my son and I got to explore a trail for 45 minutes. “You be a storm trooper and I’ll be Han Solo. I found a stick! Be mama for a minute and pick me up so I can throw it in the water!” Our daughter took off on...
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Loving Others

On Assumptions

  As we finish up our week, what if we set aside our assumptions? About our spouse’s motives. About what’s going on inside our kid’s head. About our coworkers’ intentions. What if instead we ask questions? What if we stop assuming that people know what we’re thinking or what we mean without adequate explanation? What if we make our needs and wishes known? What if we check our assumption that the...
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Loving Others

For Everyone Who Ever Grew Up

Maybe you were labeled the class clown. The shy one. The reckless one. The know-it-all. Maybe you were the smart one. The one going places. Maybe your current reality doesn’t match their fantasy. Maybe that stupid mistake you made 13 years ago somehow gets brought up every summer at your family reunion. Or the whole family spends Christmas Eve with scandalous stories swirling in their heads, but no one dares talk...
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Personal Growth

Grateful

We’ve been back in Michigan for almost three years. And at least once a week I stop, realizing how grateful I am to be here. Close to family. Close to the family cabin (and hence nearly free vacations). Close to Lake Michigan. Able to experience sledding and idyllic Michigan summers. But having grown up here, I guarantee I wouldn’t have appreciated it without going away. Chicago taught me to be...
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Faith

Christianity, Candy, and the Stories We’re Handed

He struggled. He overheard the adults whispering, as if his inability to recite the memory verse made him unable to hear their criticism. As if he were immune to the insensitivity. One adult actually asked him, “Why can’t you be more like your siblings?” The candy didn’t pass his lips, and the badges were conspicuously missing from his sash. She excelled. She heard the adults openly praise her for her superior...
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As a Family

4 Things We Learned in April

1. How quickly we forget We watched our adorable one-year old nephew this month. Even though he’s less than two years younger than our youngest, I was amazed by how much I’d forgotten about one-year olds. Their sweet open mouth kisses, their easy excitement, and their ability to get into places you forgot existed! 2. Self-care is worth it How often I lay this aside. But a haircut and...
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Inspiration

On Doing the Work

You know what’s fun? Coming up with real-life solutions to perplexing problems. Solving the mystery of something that isn’t working quite right. Analyzing a dilemma until the perfect fix is found. This may or may not sound like a blast to you, but as an INTJ, I love theorizing. And planning. And tweaking. What I don’t love? Doing the actual work. If I could get paid to simply troubleshoot while...
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