Stranger Things Holidays: Like Home Alone, But Without the Feel-Good Ending

When my firstborn daughter was one, we moved approximately 8,000 lonely miles from all our friends and family. After 32 hours of travel, we arrived to our new country,  on her first birthday (we did celebrate that occasion with loved ones before we left). Her birthday falls on Halloween, so we left our home country …

A Prayer for Tired, Weary Parents

I don't know about you, but I've been feeling pretty worn down recently. Pandemic, politics and parenting have my baseline anxiety a bit higher than normal -- I've been catching my jaw clenched, my breath shallow, my back sore with tension. When anxiety is high, my threshold for other stimuli becomes lower. So when my …

4 Ways to Stop Toxic Thoughts During the Holidays (for FamilyLife.com)

The holidays are stressful. Schedules and to-do lists are packed, we see people we don’t often see (like your cousin’s father-in-law’s nephew), and there’s pressure to make everything magical for everyone. And while there are plenty of things vying for our mental and emotional attention, toxic thoughts don’t need to be one of them. What …

Anger Issues: How I’m Helping My Kids … and Myself (for FamilyLife)

I was walking through a friend’s house when immediately, a frog leapt to my throat. A painting hung there in her hall—and somehow, I felt more understood. I comprehended a nugget of that transcendent truth art can mine in the soul. The title? Jesus and the Angry Babies. Anger issues—angry babies (and angry children and angry mom)—is …

Day 33: Mailbox

There are many things that come into focus as the dust of our overly busy culture settles in the midst of quarantining and “social distancing” -- one of those is that human beings are created to celebrate.

Day 32: Pen

The family happened to be all occupied. With what, I’m not sure, but it was calm and I decided to try slipping onto the porch without being missed. I grabbed a few quick supplies: drink, phone (always), book, and pencil and headed out to the swing camp chair. The pencil -- I’m pretty sure my …

Day 31: Dust

The whirring of the sound machine beckons me into my girls’ room. Their beds have already been abandoned, in favor of climbing up next to my husband or I as we sip coffee and read or journal. “It’s bright, Momma,” is Irene’s way of announcing a new day has begun and she is ready to …

Day 30: Bud

I have sometimes wondered  Why the pet name for little boys is so often bud or buddy While little girls get one of a thousand iterations of loveliness, sweetness, beauty or preciousness. We want our sons to be kind and We want our daughters to be friends And still, when I see my friends’ boys, …