Parenting

Unrequited Horse 

I wanted a horse. I wanted a lot of things and I never reached for them. I wanted to study in Mexico for a semester (too much effort?). I wanted to switch majors and train orcas and dolphins at Sea World (this was before Blackfish). I wanted to win a debate trophy.  When I was […]

Waiting and Giving

My eldest daughter caught on to the concept of “Christmas as gift-giving” long before she caught on to the concept of “Christmas as a single day.” As a preschooler, she’d spend the weeks leading up to Christmas wrapping anything and everything she could find around the house in towels, pillowcases, tissues, etc., before giving them, […]

Muddy-Handed Hope

He’s seven now. But I often remember him as the two-year-old who looked into my catatonic eyes. I have a hard time forgetting what this little one must have felt when I went crazy. Because Grace is real and memory imperfect, his little mind has no recollection of when I had to enter the mental […]

Freedom

It was in that Bible study that I realized I was not free. We were eight couples, all of us fresh into our time as expats in Singapore, struggling to find our footing in what we jokingly called “Fantasy Island.” That group was a lifeline in the midst of our turbulent transition to a new […]

On Sabbath Joys and Small Leaks

 Beware of little expenses. Small leaks will sink great ships. Like too many people I know, the concept of “Sabbath” is difficult for me. Perhaps I’ve sold out to the belief that my inherent worth is directly related to what I can achieve…or perhaps I’m just a mom with five kids, and some special needs […]

Despair and Fuzzy Blankets

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of hearing Miroslav Volf speak at our Diocesan Lent Day. One of the topics he touched on was despair. Drawing on the work of Alain Ehrenberg, Volf suggested that despair flourishes where “Everything is possible, and nothing is prohibited.” In other words, our modern life. Volf also spoke […]

BronyCon and Belonging

I’ve never been one for personality tests. When I was first introduced to the Myers-Briggs in college, I found the test ridiculously limiting. Either/or choices have never been my friend: Would you prefer nitrogen or oxygen in your air? Pick one. My feelings haven’t changed much since then, even with the surge in popularity of […]

5 Don’ts for Authentic Talk with Kids

I’m not always authentic with my kids when it comes to saying what I really think or feel about them. Or what I want from them in the moment. But I do try to be true to myself as the kind of parent I believe they need. I realized this lack of “authenticity” when I […]

The Ten-Year Challenge

Not too long ago, my (admittedly limited) social media feed blew up with something called “The Ten-Year Challenge.” I scrolled through predictable pictures of glossy people apparently untouched by time, alongside regular folks like me who have (shockingly!) aged ten years in the space of a decade. I pulled up a random picture of myself […]

Authentic Living is Hard

You know I am from the Midwest because when you ask me how I am, I answer you. This is, as my children’s minister pointed out to me, a trait I have passed on to my girls. Lucky for the Norman girls, she finds us charming. Don’t ask us how we are if you don’t […]

Forget “The Talk”: Focus on Chastity Rather Than Purity

“You see those two grasshoppers on top of each other over there?” I asked my daughters when they were preschoolers. “What do you think they are doing?” Biology I started early teaching my kids about sex by focusing on biology. My husband and I don’t believe in the concept of a “big talk” where primary […]

A Prayer for My Children’s Teachers at the End of the School Year

Dear God, Hi. It’s me again. First off, thank you for making the hot water heater start working this morning when I kicked it really hard. I promise I will call and schedule a repairperson to come and look at it tomorrow. For real this time. It’s just that I’ve been a little busy, Lord, […]