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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: Never Judge a Four-Room Motel by Its Size

Souvenirs for the Soul: Never Judge a Four-Room Motel by Its Size

Talk about last minute. In three days, Bob and I discussed, decided, and departed on a 4,000 mile trip. We hadn’t planned to go to my niece’s wedding. The distance and cost seemed prohibitive. But my sister-in-law was in her final days of life* so we made an impromptu decision and headed west. Last minute airfare was too expensive. So we drove most of the 1900 miles in two long days. Needing low-budget accommodations, we chose to spend the second…

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Family, the Beautiful

Family, the Beautiful

What comes to your mind when you think about Independence Day? I think about … The brave who’ve fought, and died, for our freedom; The stars and stripes swaying proudly at front doors; Sizzling hot dogs, watermelon drenched grins, and homemade ice cream; Parades, glow sticks, bug spray, and fireworks; And a kaleidoscope of people from sea to shining sea. We’ve so much to be grateful for. Don’t we? Abundant resources. Awe-striking landscapes. Amazing people. We’re not perfect. Not by…

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