Embracing what is

This isn’t a milk and honey season for us. Everything– time, money, the ability to stop and simply be present for a few hours each day– seems to be in short supply.

The temptation, then, is to mourn the loss. To look backwards at those years when the bank account was fatter and we could routinely bless others, to regret that days are no longer spent curled on the couch reading book after book to the children splayed all over the floor. To recall all of the moments that are not now and wish them here, to be lived again and again, forever.

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Open hands

There are plenty of things I don’t understand in the Bible. Some are routine, “how did He do that?!” impossibilities that my brain can’t wrap around. Others are bits that I cringe away from, like God saying, “That people group? Wipe them out. All of them. Women and children, too.”

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The starting gate

I was 17 when I met the man who would become my husband. Seventeen! Today that seems ridiculously young and yet, somehow, perfect timing. I love the fact that we grew up, in many ways, together. Yes, we had a steep learning curve in having fallen in love before the realities of mortgages and careers set in, but we climbed those hills hand in hand. Not always gracefully, mind you. But as a team, nonetheless.

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What is it with us moms? We’re so often so focused on finding the great recipes to feed our people, picking the perfect read-aloud, or balancing the best of the play dates and the free museum days and the opening of the splash pad that we forget to stop and abide– just linger — in the very season we are so grateful to be in.

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Perfectly imperfect

Dear lady standing next to me at the public bathroom sink,

Yes, I have an issue, and it’s called OCD. The chemical misfires in my brain tell me that if I don’t wash my hands exactly as prescribed by professionals, my hands will be contaminated with all sorts of nastiness from touching the stall room doors– to the detriment and deterioration of my personal health.

Of course, you realize this too, that’s why you’re washing your hands. But you don’t do it with the same urgency, the same conviction, the same desperate scrubbing motions and the “Oh man, I lost count there, am I at two minutes or only one and half?”

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It {what parents fear most}

We all blink. All of us.

Good parents blink. Bad parents blink. Even those of us in-the-middle, just-trying-to-be-decent parents blink.

In the seconds when we close our eyes– at night, when exhaustion consumes us, while our back is turned and we’re stirring the soup, in the millisecond it takes to reach into a diaper bag and retrieve a Kleenex for a snotty nose– things happen.

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Keep the small things big

A friend, whose oldest child is inching towards kindergarten, asked me recently what advice I had to offer. As a member of the Mom With Mileage Club, I guess she assumes I have a tiny taste of the hindsight that comes with parenting through several stages. I remember well clinging to the words of wisdom offered up by just about anyone in those earlier days of trying to discern just what on earth I was supposed to do with and for this family in my care.

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