Emotional Tool: Contentment

This one sounds so zen.  This is the one, ladies.  This is the sneaker wave.  Contentment seems like it should require zero work, like it would come from floating in a pool with a lemonade.  I want my emotional homework to be, “Find yourself a flattering swim suit and a pool floatie.  It’s time to […]

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The Gospel of Motherhood

She sat rocking her tiny infant – her third child in four years – to sleep in the carrier with her foot.  She sat silently looking at her hands while the rest of us gabbed about ourselves.  Then, one of our group asked her, “How is life for you now as a mom of three?” […]

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Mothers: Isolated, Together

She leaned a hip against the kitchen counter while I pulled pieces of smoked turkey meat from the bone, dropping them into the simmering pot beside me. “I feel like I don’t have any time to stop and talk to anybody.” She confided.  “Between nursing school, work, and driving my daughter to school and to […]

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Emotional Tool: “I Feel” Statements

There was that day at the beach.  Sunny, windless, and clear.   In my brain, I had built up some ungodly expectations about the amazing adventures we were going to have.  I packed the kayak and everything.  But my hard-working husband told me he planned to do nothing but rest his weary bones on the sand.  […]

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DishPan Hands: A Love Story

One morning, years ago, my fiance and I were driving on our way to look at wedding bands. I looked down at my bumpy knuckles and calloused palms while sitting beside him in the car.  I grimaced. “You’re marrying a girl with kind-of burly hands,” I sighed.  He looked over at them and smiled. “I’ve got a […]

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Emotional Tool: Be Present

This year was supposed to be all different.  I blame a wonderful New Year’s tradition my friends and I have. Would you like to hear a story? For the past few years a group of mommy friends and I have held a tradition.  Each of us picks out a word as our focus for our […]

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Emotional Tools: Self-Control

To have and to hold: myself – until I come back to my senses. It’s the first thing to reach for: before we even start dealing with the problem. It’s the very first tool. Some call it mindfulness.  Or awareness.  Or curiosity.  Actually, it comes before curiosity.  It’s hard to be curious about why you feel […]

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The Toe Jam of Life

I was clipping my toenails this evening. I know. Lovely imagery. You’re welcome. Every once in a while, I like to meditate on the humanity of Jesus by imagining Him doing whatever I’m doing at the moment. It helps me feel closer to Him. So, naturally, I asked myself: “Would Jesus Christ have ever given […]

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To Open My Emotional Toolbox

I bend down, reaching under a shelf.  I find the hidden handle of a heavy metal box.  It scrapes the floor as I pull it out into the light.  A latch un-clicks and the lid creaks open.  Layers of metal shapes lie inside.  Some look scuffed and worn.  Others shine new. This?  This is my […]

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New Year’s Day: First Thing Come Spring

New Year’s Day is all wrong.  You can blame Caesar for it. Look outside:  It’s the dead of winter.  Does anyone else feel just a little weird about a new year beginning in the worst possible time of year?  The animal kingdom has it figured out: they wait until the warmth of spring to have […]

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