New Every Morning

Particularly after having kids, I was struck by how different one day could be from the next. As an infant-mama, I might have had a great day that included a shower and engaging with the world alongside a baby who is both napping and feeding on a predictable, doable schedule. These days would include sun…

Crowns, Kingdoms, and Us

Are you familiar at all with the story of Prince Philip, the Queen of England’s husband? Watching the first few episodes of The Crown on Netfix gave me pause. I have since looked up other biographies of Prince Philip. I’m not sure how accurately the show portrays his character, but there are facts of history…

A Model Substitute

I sometimes substitute teach at the elementary level. I showed up to a classroom one day, adorned with my official substitute badge on a lanyard around my neck, to find an observer standing outside, waiting for me to arrive. Well, she was waiting for the actual, real, certified teacher to arrive, but she got me…

A Celebratory Dinner

We had been sitting at the table waiting on our food for over an hour. “We” included me, my husband, all four of our children, and all of their grandparents. We had called ahead to make sure a table would be available for us when we arrived. We were coming to celebrate. A few hours…

On Welcoming and Being Welcome

A young boy smiled delightedly at the line of children waiting at his front door. He clapped his hands awkwardly and looked to his mother for verification that it was really true—his entire class had showed up for his Christmas party. And his mother smiled back down at her sweet son, her son who must…

Fixing the House

I’m listening to my husband and my son walk around the house fixing things. They declared to me, “We are fixing the house!” There’s talk of plungers, squeaky hinges, baking soda and vinegar in the sinks, screwdrivers, and safety rules about the garbage disposal. It makes my heart happy. My husband is being intentional to…

The Beauty of Being Still

For my birthday, my mother gave me this beautiful weekly planner. A soft shade of blush, it is adorned with pretty flowers. I imagined writing out my weekly plan in beautiful calligraphy-type handwriting, floating through each week in beautiful, elegant peace. I haven’t written on it yet. I like looking at it, though, all pretty…

On Hiking and Husbands

So let me start by telling you how I feel about hiking. First, my husband loves to hike. He’s hiked in places all over the world. He has a Camelback and one of those fancy overnight hiking camping backpack things that strap around your waist. He’s legit. I am not a natural hiker. I do…

A Gallon of Water and God

Have you ever poured liquid quickly from a gallon jug to another container? At first, because of the jug’s small round opening, there is—for lack of a better word—“glubbing.” The water pours in glops that splash and then there is a smaller stream and then another glop. Eventually, you pour enough water out of the…

My Notes for Talking to My Kids

Watching the Olympics with my family this past weekend, you can’t escape it. Athlete after athlete after athlete has overcome some amazing challenge or hurdle or disability or life-change to train and prepare for being an Olympian. The have a goal, they make a plan, they pursue it with diligence, and then they revel in…

Fireworks and Freedom

I watched the fireworks last night. One child likened them to fairies. A different child called them missiles. As I watched the fire fall from the sky, I realized that in some ways they were both right. For so many of us, fireworks are almost a magical spectacle of dazzling light, a symbol of freedom,…

When Something is “Mostly Dead”

My girls had their annual dance recital this month, and their sweet daddy bought them both a bouquet of tulips. The flowers were in water, but being in the hot car for hours caused them to wilt. By the end of the long day, I had no hope of their recovery. My husband, though—he had…