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Love God & Love Others

Welcome to the season of Thanksgiving. Bring on the cooler weather; the “I’m Thankful For….” lists; the gatherings around our table; and the millions of ways we will say “thanks” to each other by giving. This whole season–this season of thankfulness before Advent–inspires me. I’m grateful for each of you who has gathered your friends...
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The Screaming Toddler of Book Releases

If you’ve held a toddler having a temper tantrum, you know they pass through phases, like a speeding train through stations. The kid begins with feral screams of anger. These might go on for a while, and then the screams fade into choking sobs of self-pity. You hold the writhing toddler the whole time. And even though you...
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Real Faces are Better than Emoticons

Old friends are like the bread machine hidden in the laundry room cabinet. Over the years, our family has enjoyed loaves of cinnamon raisin, sticky pecan, and plain old white from that machine. Now it’s neglected. And missed. When I lug the machine out and bake with it, the smell of homemade bread makes me ashamed of all the months it’s collected dust. It...
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Ten Birthday Reasons to Celebrate Forty-one

Forty-one doesn’t actually feel as old as it sounded when at 21. After 40 you start to realize every person does not have the capacity to become who you hoped they would. They are probably doing their best. Let it go, Elsa. Forty-one is young enough to still exercise but old enough to realize that doesn’t have...
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Dear Catie (on your first day of middle school)…

Dear Catie (on your first day of middle school)… Suddenly, here you are, at the tipping point between childhood and adolescence, right at the center of growing up. The teenager-you is slowly emerging. You’re suddenly taller than some grown-ups, your wide brown eyes are pretty, in the way that will never need mascara. You can cook dinner, beat Daddy and me at trivia, and understand...
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The Really Big Problem with Living in Your Tiny Comfort Zone

  Comfort zones are big liars. You’ve probably already learned this, but I’m just starting to understand how tiny and controlling our comfort zones are. What if God is more creative than our comfort zones? What if God gives the fantastic dances to the epic players, the ones willing to take out their headphones and listen to His...
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Storms, Control Issues, and Why We Buy All the Water

What a weird week for the weather. And for us control freaks. Tropical Storm Bill has caused an infinite loop of if-then scenarios for our family. If they cancel swim team, then we’ll have more time to get to camp. If they cancel camp, then we’ll go to Target. If we try to get groceries, then...
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My Mothers Day Gift to My Kids

Yesterday my kids were on their best Mothers Day behavior. They told me they loved me, made glittery cards, and showered me with Rainbow Loom bracelets. But today is a new day, and my kids are back to fighting. My kids fight because they’re jealous of each other. Each of them wants to have all my...
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Capturing Memories

While moving furniture around this month, I discovered a bookcase full of old photo albums. Some were those cheap books where you slide the picture in between the plastic. Others were massive, labor-intensive Creative Memories albums, complete with coordinating scrapbook paper and perfect stick-on letters. I hadn’t looked at these photo albums for such a long...
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Insect Murderers

Every year it’s the same story. The weather warms up and the kids and the insects take over the backyard. The insects want to feast on the tender green leaves. They want to burrow into our landscaping, eat bark, and drink the fresh rain water. They want to have a nice insect life. However The Insect Club...
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