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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The Nativity: When God Doesn’t Listen to Our Plans

Mary’s birthplan didn’t work.  How do I know?  Well, what new mom dreams of having her baby in an animal barn, on the floor, and laying him to rest in a feeding trough with flies buzzing overhead?  The fact that she didn’t get a terrible infection from the unsanitary conditions was proof alone that God […]

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SOMETHING to Get Us Through the Season

‘Tis the season to be miserable. I practice thankfulness.  I get outside in the sunshine.  I eat an extra cookie.  I feel bad about that, then I eat an extra salad.  I feel empty after that, so I eat an extra turkey leg. Extra, extra, extra. ‘Tis the season to overdo just about everything.  What’s […]

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Cheer Yourself On

Grumbling was definitely more my style. I stood high up on the ladder in the bedroom, with a bucket of paint in one hand, and an edging brush in the other. Thirty minutes ago I finished putting all the kids to bed.  Ten minutes ago I finished cleaning the dinner dishes, and packing school lunches […]

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