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It’s Time to Sing, Sister!

It’s Time to Sing, Sister!

Last week I directed readers to Lucille Zimmerman who had shared some coping techniques for those struggling with trauma. One of her suggestions: Sing She said that though it sounds odd (the idea, that is), singing actually helps. That suggestion piqued my interest. My dad was a music minister for several years and my mom played the piano. We sang a lot in our home. On occasion, my dad would line up us four little girls on the church podium…

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Limited by Finite Compassion

Limited by Finite Compassion

I’m struggling y’all. A month ago I wrote on Facebook, “Here we are at September already. Wasn’t August a doozy? Muscle-showing between the US and North Korea. Racism and riots in the east. Hurricane Harvey in the south. Drought and fires in the west.” I had hoped September would be better, but it was not. Two more hurricanes, an earthquake in Mexico, and October started with a mass shooting, the threat of another storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico,…

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It’s Cross-Country Season. Four Tips for Running Well?

It’s Cross-Country Season. Four Tips for Running Well?

A few weeks ago Bob told me about the dream he’d had the night before. We were trying to leave for a trip and he was being slowed down by a myriad of obstacles, including a pool of ice cream. WHAT??? Have you had those sorts of dreams—where you are trying to go somewhere or get a job done, and a thousand things (even good things) keep slowing you down and tripping you up? That’s not a dream, you say. Welcome…

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Jail Is Not My Monkey

Jail Is Not My Monkey

We sat on the restaurant’s patio, lulled by an unusually cool, late-afternoon breeze. Friends drawn together ten years ago by the common experience of mothering adopted children. Over the years we’ve shared challenges and losses, blessings and wins. Even with our kids now all grown, some of these moms are still going through the wringer. One mom, near tears, relayed her heaviness. Her fear that her child might end up going to jail, again. Thinking she was alone in this…

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Was I a Racist in My Own Home?

Was I a Racist in My Own Home?

Do you see yourself as a racist? Probably not. You certainly hope not. Right? Me too. You know I’m probably going to say something like “we are more racist than we like to think.” Yep, I am. But then, if we’re honest, that’s no surprise. Don’t we all prefer to hang with people just like us? People who look, talk, and smell the ways we prefer. But that’s not really being racist, is it? The problem comes when we want…

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My Tongue Needed a Fire Escape

My Tongue Needed a Fire Escape

I have a confession to make. Believe me, it’s not an easy confession. It’s confession of a sin I’ve never heard other moms confess—which leads me to think I was a really, really bad mom. Can you tell how hesitant I am to admit it? But in learning to deal with this horrible habit, I learned a very important lesson I’d like to share with you. My confession: I used to swear at my kids. (Cringe.) Because I still feel…

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Souvenirs for the Soul: When You Have to Stay Home

Souvenirs for the Soul: When You Have to Stay Home

I wanted to go! Oh, I wanted to go. But the Lord said, “No. Not yet. Not this year.” It was the summer before my junior year of college. My church denomination offered a summer missions program for college juniors and seniors. I so wanted to sign up and see where I might find myself for ten weeks. I did get to go the next year, to Anchorage, Alaska. But for the summer of 1983, the Lord told me to…

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Souvenirs for the Soul: The Testimony of God Shows Up in Unexpected Places

Souvenirs for the Soul: The Testimony of God Shows Up in Unexpected Places

In my pre-waking moments, I thought I was on a subway again. I’d been in the country only a few days, and with my group of journeymen missionaries had ridden several trains and subways, touring the city as we acclimated to the culture. Awakened long before my alarm rang, I thought someone was shaking my bed. My eyes rolled open to realize my bed was indeed shaking though no one was near it. I sat straight up wondering, “Is this…

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Souvenirs for the Soul: Wild Horses Are Not Lone Rangers

Souvenirs for the Soul: Wild Horses Are Not Lone Rangers

You don’t want to be out there after dark. It turns pitch black and there’re no street lights to guide you back to town. Homeschooling afforded us some far-reaching field trips. Some people call them family vacations. But since we traveled during the fall—after the heat settled down, the mosquitoes were hopefully dead, and the masses of other families were back home with their kids tucked away in public/private schools—and since I made sure our kids wrote in their journals,…

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Souvenirs for the Soul: A Glass of Ice-Cold Water

Souvenirs for the Soul: A Glass of Ice-Cold Water

It started as a tiny drug store in a prairie town of 326 people. The new owners took possession in 1931, serving the community which had been devastated by the Great Depression and was just entering the dust bowl years. The owners lived in a small space in the back of the store, separated only by a blanket suspended from the ceiling. After four-and-a-half years of hardly a customer, they considered selling and moving on to better opportunities. But one…

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