2020: The Year We Learned Grace

What actually went down this year? None of us saw this coming—and yet it has changed us in ways we will never understand. 2020 has changed all of us in the most important way. This is the year you learned grace. This will be our most important lesson for the people we want to become....
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Family Christmas Gift Guide

Here are my yearly suggestions about what your nearest and dearest might want for Christmas. This year is a little different. Instead of curating strange and wonderful gifts from all over the Internet, these are all from Amazon and they are all available for Prime shipping. Because, let’s face it, if you still need gifts...
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Dear Nate… (on your first day of 5th grade)

Dear Nate- Here’s the funny thing I see happening in our family right now, Nate. Long ago you were assigned to be The Smart One, The Sweetheart, and The One with No-Drama. As the fourth child in a big family, you didn’t get much of a say in who we decided you would be. Except...
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Dear Sam… (on your first day of 7th grade)

Dear Sam- You know that sign in our gameroom? The little one that says, “Love like Catie, Live like Elisabeth, Laugh like Sam, and Look like Nate?” When we jokingly hung that up, everyone agreed we had one part right—laugh like Sam. Because you, my dear boy, know how to look at the world and...
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Dear Catie… (on your first day of 11th grade)

Dear Catie-  Wait. Hold on What is happening here?  You—my oldest daughter, young woman, sixteen-year-old—are changing right now more than you ever have before. I did not see this coming.  You, who has always been so exceptionally sweet and laid-back—and a certified black belt at relating to other people—are becoming something even more.   Just when I thought I knew you completely,...
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Dear Elisabeth (on your first day of Seventh Grade)…

Dear Elisabeth… My dear El, you are a devourer of books. You are a voracious teller and reader of all the stories. For most people, this year—Seventh Grade—is an epic chapter of dramatic proportions in their life stories. It’s the awkwardness of sudden growth spurts (or the lack of those spurts). It’s the hormones and the crushing peer...
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Three Truths Your Kids Need You to Teach Them This Year

Life in 2020 sounds like a terrible melody of treble notes—-scarcity, panic, and complaining. But our souls need the bass notes. We’re all craving real truth and encouragement.
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Everything I’ve Learned about COVID, I Knew from Living on the Gulf Coast

Hurricanes are Dramatic. So is COVID. Hurricanes change lives in dramatic, unstoppable, irreversible ways. So does COVID. The difference, though, is most of the hurricane drama happens in one long night of trees crashing, windows shattering, and floodwaters soaking everything. Through that one night, everyone is praying for the hurricane to pass and morning to...
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The Secret is Grace–For Yourself

To run a 5K, or redecorate your living room, or crochet a scarf, or write a book, you have to start with tons of grace—like endless heaps of it.
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Quarantine is a Rollercoaster

Wow. The highs are high and the lows are low right now, my friends. Before this, there were so many weeks that I wished for just one quiet day to be with my people–maybe accomplish some house projects? Ha. We are on Day 32 of exactly that. The Ups and Downs of Control. There is...
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