In the Valley

I took this picture of a Grand Canyon valley because it gives me hope. It is a steep and far descent to the lowest place. But there, at the very bottom, is a bit of green. Looking from the top, you can’t see the stream that runs there, but it does. When you feel like…

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…

Wake Up, Sleeper!

So, I’m getting over a fairly serious bout of bronchitis combined with a sinus infection. It all started with a benign cough due to allergies…nothing a little over-the-counter meds can’t handle. But it didn’t go away, and I ignored it. And ignored it. No fever meant nothing too serious, right? Deep down, I think I…

Reflections on Bravery and Turtles

My daughter entered an art competition last year where she had to explore the concept of imagination. She chose to dance to a song about bravery because she felt if someone wants to soar away with their imagination, it takes guts. I agree. Many people try to muster the courage for new beginnings or try…

Muppets, Motherhood, and God’s Best Ways

My kids don’t watch a lot of television—practically none during school weeks, and rarely ever at night. But the other night, I sat down with my kids to watch the first episode of a new show about the Muppets. I told them that I hadn’t previewed it, so we were going to watch it together…

Why I Love Stories

As a child, the Snow White fairy tale fascinated me beyond all the others. She had dark hair like me, which helped, probably. And I always hung on the words “hair as black as ebony, skin as white as snow, and lips as red as blood.” It sounded mysterious and elegant, and then there was…

My House is Super Quiet Now

For twelve years, I have had a baby or a toddler in tow with me all the day long. My youngest started preschool this year, and now I have nine hours a week to myself. Many mothers would jump and cheer about this, but as having a child on my hip is truly my sweet…

The Heart of Art

I was the little girl who got a bloody nose during her first dance recital, slipping in her tap shoes. My daughters, who are much more talented than I was, recently participated in their annual dance recital, an end to which they’ve worked the entire year. The taps, the kicks, the twirls…our house is full…

Those Annoying Mattress Warnings

My new mattress set came with a “please note” in the paper brochure: At first, your new sleep set may feel firm in contrast to what you have been using, but you should not be concerned. Within a short period of time, you will become adjusted to the feel of a properly supportive sleep set….

On Pruning Trees and Life

Before I begin, let me assure you I am not speaking as an expert on growing plant life. In fact, people talk about those with green thumbs and brown thumbs…well, mine are way brown. Very few plants that come to live with me survive. Though, in my defense, I do try. But while I am…