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  • How to Draft an Ideal Day & Get New Habits Down {Free Daily Planner}

    On Monday, January 13 th, 2014

    Good thing every dawn is Day One. Because it’s the third week of January. You know —  when the rubber meets the road, when the glossy on the resolutions begins to chip off like flaking nail polish, when things  get, oh — just plain ol’ hard. The Farmer wraps his arm around me in the early morning dark. “Hear it?” He whispers the words close...

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  • For All the World’s Children: Why We Need First-Responders, the Purple-Hearted, and the Brave

    On Wednesday, September 11 th, 2013

    You talk with a police offer on your last Sunday. Your last Sunday still living at home —  after the Preacher had said his Amen 10 minutes before noon, you walk up to one of the guys milling around with these smooth stones of small talk out in the chapel foyer – and you up and ask the cop how to shine a pair of shoes. There are people who find small talk soul shrin...

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  • 5 Secrets for Every Day One: First Day Back to School

    On Tuesday, September 03 rd, 2013

    So, yeah, you can find yourself on the First Day of School, standing at the kitchen sink right under the clock ticking loud – ticking just like your own heart pounding down — and the faucet’s dripping slow and steady, and you can stand there really wondering. Because after a parent makes a kid, what they do is wonder if the kid will ever make it. If the kid who can...

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  • What to Do When You May or May Not be a Control Freak

    On Thursday, July 18 th, 2013

    Simply put, author and pastor Mark Buchanan is one of my all time favorite writers. His insights into Scripture, the way he turns a phrase, his keen perspective — never fail to startle and astonish. I have been reading his words for the last decade and am always famished for more. I quietly invited Mark today to the farm’s front porch — and his words here are ...

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  • Why Your Kids don’t Need a SuperMama

    On Tuesday, July 16 th, 2013

    When one of the boys pulls off his Sunday shoes, the filthy ones ridiculously still clinging to “Sunday Shoes” status, he catches my eye and grins like he’s swallowed a canary. “So I only wore one sock to church.” What are you going to do but laugh with the grinning kid? Yeah, I am that Mom… Yeah, after 18 years, there it is: I have be...

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  • How to Make a Home

    On Thursday, April 11 th, 2013

    Sometimes in the middle of the night, her hip would graze his and his arm would find her waist and she would lay awake in the middle of their life. She didn’t know what would come next and how it all would unfold, but that new mercies always would. He made it simple. Raising, teaching, the children, wasn’t. And the meals she always had to kee...

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  • After Steubenville: 25 Things Our Sons need to know about Manhood

    On Wednesday, March 20 th, 2013

    Dear Son, When you’re the mother of four sons, Steubenville is about us. Steubenville is about having a conversation with sons about hard things and asking you to do holy things. Because a Steubenville doesn’t begin with football and it doesn’t begin with alcohol and it doesn’t begin with unsupervised jocks with inflated egos and shriveled morals. ...

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  • Why Doing Lent This Year Is What You Really Need . . . . . (and a Free Family Lent & Easter Devotional)

    On Tuesday, February 12 th, 2013

    I can’t seem to follow through in giving up for Lent. Which makes me want to just give up Lent. Which makes me question Who I am following. Which may precisely be the point of Lent. Last week, I’m standing on a table, snapping the shutter on a bouquet of roses, when by brother calls. Levi picks it up, his eyes twinkling, stars risen early. I can only hope Levi doesn...

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  • Why Weak is the New Strong: Radical Right Where You Are {Pt4}

    On Wednesday, February 06 th, 2013

    So I fell extremely anemic in the fall. Could hardly drag out of bed, felt like jello, looked like a gaunt ghost, and got winded walking from the sink to the stove. I’d draped arms around the Farmer’s neck and told him I was sure I was right broke. So the nurse at the doctor’s office drew this vial of blood to see what was the deal. I dragged myself bac...

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  • When You Give Up, and You Break, You’ve Made It

    On Tuesday, January 29 th, 2013

    So that’s what I told my pretty wondrous friend, Sarah Mae: “My kids don’t need a SuperMama. They need to see a Mama who needs a Super God.” And  Sarah Mae, author of Desperate, she nodded — and she guest posts with this story here today: ‘I don’t want to be a servant – I want to be a Caroline.” So says the three year old...

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  • A Life Plan When You’re Overwhelmed: Sanity Manifesto Printable

    On Saturday, January 26 th, 2013

    So I’m a mess and we’re all failures — at least all the honest of us are. And the truth is, no one ever runs before they take baby steps.  So I scratch down these 25 points, like my own sanity manifesto, and there are a thousand ways in a thousand seasons to make a life glorify God. I scrawl out mine, which would be different than yours, and make a place for...

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  • Best Way to Get Through Hard Times

    On Friday, January 18 th, 2013

    It’s what I sang over dishes. Sang on the days when I felt too weary to take another step, clean up another mess, change another diaper. Keep singing when I need to keep going on. It’s what I sing when the enemy attacks with lies, when I feel alone and scared, when I fear the future and whispers in the shadows. It’s what my mother-in-law, a Dutch farmer&...

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