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1000Gifts

  • Because Hard Days are White Horse Days

    On Wednesday, May 30 th, 2012

    When that window shattered into 7 billion pieces, a sliver stuck my heart and maybe a sliver is all we ever have? It wasn’t so much that our farm boy had turned the tractor too sharp. It wasn’t that he’d backed the tractor into the auger of the wagon hitched behind him. It wasn’t even so much that the steel auger had slammed into the full window of the tractor — e...

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  • How to Really Survive a Heart Attack

    On Thursday, May 24 th, 2012

    Mama calls me to tell me that her mama’s had a heart attack. I hold the receiver close. Lower myself into a chair. Granny of the tea biscuits and the white light netted up in her white hair — she’s hardly standing at the side of her bed when her heart gets blocked and bits of her on the inside explode. On the other end of the line, Mama unwinds the day like...

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  • What Grateful Love May Look Like

    On Wednesday, May 23 rd, 2012

    The bride, she always wears white. And the day I get married, I do, yet most of my life I’ve worn black. I know who I’ve been. The first memory I ever held was the blood of my sister running, ponding, everything alive draining away. I came from there. We breathed grief. Black fears formed me. There were years I cut myself along the thin skin of the wrists, wild for a way ou...

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  • 3 Ways to Be a Happier Family …… {because we all are a bit broken}

    On Monday, May 21 st, 2012

    to print photo 1 and photo 2 :: The kids laugh loud and the floors shake a bit with the stars and the laundry sprawls across the mudroom floor. I pick up pencils and socks and all these pieces that keep breaking off us and a broken world. And I remember how to smile, how the shoulders feel in the chuckle and the shake and the parts all falling into place. I put thing...

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  • For the greatest gift is becoming a gift…

    On Thursday, May 10 th, 2012

    Mothering can spin you in these dizzy circles and who doesn’t need an encircling of grace? Women could do this for each other. Two years ago or so, I tell my firstborn of my crazy idea of this wooden wreath. A wreath going round and round and round, to put on the table for advent with a silhouette of Mary, large with child and all this love, on a donkey, on her w...

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  • Because this is the Truth about the real “Mother’s Day Card Mothers”

    On Wednesday, May 09 th, 2012

    I became a mother on the eve of Mother’s Day. And when they placed that vernix-covered, wrinkled babe into my 21-year old arms that muggy Saturday evening in May, no wave of relief, or ecstasy washed over me. Being the first to caress another human being’s cheek, I only felt raw, unadulterated, strangling terror. If I could have ran? I would have. The newborn baby bo...

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  • What Every Mother has to Know …. {Before Mother’s Day}

    On Monday, May 07 th, 2012

    Everything beautiful always begins with a willingness to suffer. Just ask any mother. When you’d bake up raspberry kuchen for Sunday afternoon dinner, you’d make two pans and you’d make more of who we are. You made double batches and you made beds and you made more of heaven on earth and a mother can do that with just two hands. I saw how you folded yours....

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  • If You’ve Been Looking for a Sign

    On Monday, April 30 th, 2012

    When I find out what a teenager’s done, I’d like to ring one slender neck. Dirt rings the mudroom sink like nasty vandalism. To-do lists keep scrawling ugly, longer and longer. I can’t find my watch. The bathroom mirror is splattered and smudged. The weather forecast makes it impossible to know if we should plant our next field or wait till the next rain or wh...

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  • Why You Really can Celebrate in the Midst of Messy

    On Monday, April 16 th, 2012

    She asks me how it’s going. And I have to smile. And I tell her that there are pots on the stove and crumbs on the counters and yes, wherever we are, there’s always so much good and there are always hard things. There’s the lists. And the laundry, the books and the homework and the learning. And these kids we’re raising, they keep falling, a lot like...

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  • What You Really Need to Know the Day After Easter

    On Monday, April 09 th, 2012

    The shoes they wore Easter Sunday morning, us all sitting there in the very front row of Gorrie Bible Fellowship, they looked like they’d crossed 47 rolling dirt fields with a herd of tramping camels. And then had an all-out dust bath with a flock of sparrows. So much for new Easter threads and crisp white shirts and rooster tails smoothed down with a spit and a lick. For...

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  • If You Want to Start Your Holy Week off Well {A Holy Week: Day 1}

    On Monday, April 02 nd, 2012

    My Grandma, she told me if you found a man who’d weep over a story — that was a man you could marry. The morning of Palm Sunday, the porridge boils over and burns on the stove. Hope tries on three dresses, slumps into the kitchen and declares she has nothing to wear. Shalom can’t find her pink hair bow — only a blue one that’s missing the barrette....

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  • 15 Happy Ways to Teach Kids to be Grateful

    On Monday, March 26 th, 2012

    How long do I really have to figure it out? How long do I have to figure out how to live full of joy? So my husband might find himself married to a woman he loves being with. A woman who knows how to laugh at the days to come? So our children have these memories of a mama who smiles easy, listens long, makes jokes and praise and all these good days out of crazy messes. So the...

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