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  • How to Be the Parent You Want to Be: 40 Things Every Child Must Know Before They Leave Home

    On Friday, January 11 th, 2013

    Dear Son — You have to know how your unfolding from me was a miracle. That’s the miraculous thing about miracles – they really do happen. How is it in this crazy, holy world does a girl-woman bear a boy-child? How does she raise a squalling boy-child into a man? What can a woman know about raising a man? And this the thing: there’s only so much time to go from po...

  • Pt. 1: How to Begin New Habits {Free Daily Planner}

    On Wednesday, January 02 nd, 2013

    When we read this book , there’s this character that just goes ahead and puts on her “habit.” Shalom pats my shoulder and asks, “What’s a habit?” The amaryllis on the sill, it’s swelling in hope. And I tell Shalom this: a habit is something that is worn. She flickers recognition, nods, turns back to the page. She waits for me to read th...

  • How to Not Miss Your Real Life Calling

    On Friday, November 16 th, 2012

    When they cut the three right open and start pulling out the inner guts, there isn’t a sound in the room. They’re focused and silent and pulling at strings and ripping away at things and I wonder if I am doing any of this ridiculous thing right? Not the pumpkins — I could care less how we hack these three up. It’s the kids, this year, my life. I keep ...

  • What Every Hard Week Needs to Know

    On Monday, September 24 th, 2012

    Sometimes, even right before it really begins, you know how the week’s going to go. I look in the mirror early on a Monday morning, the bedhead looking more like a monsterhead, and I look right into that water-splattered mirror. And tell the woman looking back at me how the next seven days are likely to go down — are going to likely try to take me down. The mail...

  • The Truth about Really Having it All

    On Friday, September 21 st, 2012

    I t was after the waves. After the waves of contractions, after the waves of blow out diapers and wet nursing pads that leaked through the let downs and the damp spit blankets that piled high at the bedroom door. Long after the waves of colic at 3 am and the 4:30 am crying, both the swaddled and terrified toddler, and the sleepless nights in that faded worn flannel that bl...

  • How to Cultivate the Habit of Focus . . . . . in an Age of Distraction

    On Wednesday, September 05 th, 2012

    The rest of us cracked open books here. A certain little someone walked around with posies of pink erasers on the end of slim yellow stems. We read about maple trees and conifers and the Canadian Shield and made the ivories sort of sound of mostly like Ode to Joy. When I turned a page and read about the ceremonies of native Indians, the kid with the curls and the posy of pen...

  • What Fills the Space after a Goodbye

    On Tuesday, September 04 th, 2012

    He wasn’t yet a week when I changed his diaper in the front seat of that Ford Escort and he’d christened his father’s steering wheel with this stream of pale gold. The Farmer had muttered something about this boy of his being the death of him yet. I’d chuckled, tucked the falling hair behind the ear, sealed the lumpy diaper and snapped up the buttons ...

  • How to handle (parent) temper-tantrums

    On Tuesday, August 21 st, 2012

    ‘M y boys come in from the barn. I lay out bread. They banter, hard, the brother-scrape. One of the boys tosses in slices of bread for toast, careless. I set out plates in sun. The Tall-son lathers butter on toast, but only his. I notice. “Son, your brother? Could you butter his toast?” He reaches for peanut butter, fires me a white-hot glare. Morning flas...

  • 10 Ways to be a Happier Mom

    On Wednesday, August 15 th, 2012

    10 Ways to be a Happier Mom   1. Life is not an emergency. Life’s a gift. Just. Slow. Down.   2. Now is not a forever grace but amazing grace. Do whatever it takes to wake to wonder right here.   3. Sometimes the slowest way is the fastest way to joy. Make time today, even a moment, to read Scripture and memorize it. Without the lens of Hi...

  • The Very Best Way to Schedule Your Life {The Law of Life}

    On Thursday, August 09 th, 2012

    I confess, it felt counter-intuitive—just plain wrong. Just plain, straight out wrong to bend over each strawberry plant, press the delicate white petals —  and all subsequent hopes of fleshy scarlet sweet —  press between thumb and index finger — and then just pluck it off.   I had forced myself on because of the Googled reassurance: “Pick off a...

  • how the size of your house has nothing to do with the size of your life

    On Tuesday, July 03 rd, 2012

    After such a week as last week, I’m feeling very small & hushed & I’ve slipped away to the woods with the Farmer & kids. Thank you for prayers last week, for grace as our family tucks away quiet for just a few days…and we’re delighted to invite you up to the front porch to share with some of the best writers on the Web — today, with a ...

  • 1 Step Towards Raising Happier Kids…

    On Thursday, June 21 st, 2012

    Dear Ann, This morning my 12 year old son told me he’s about to reach his four thousandth thankfulness journal entry. I bought One Thousand Gifts at the 2011 KWCHEA homeschooling conference and heard you speak there [about How to Raise Grateful Kids]. At the time, my son was preparing for a regional track meet and was quite beside himself with anxiety. [He had a long...

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