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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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When the Enemy Comes in Like a Flood

When the Enemy Comes in Like a Flood

{I’m excited to share with you a piece I wrote for (in)courage that published, September 13, two days after this blog posted. Head on over to read A Terror-Defying Vacation. (in)courage is an online Christian women’s community, built by DaySpring, the Christian branch of Hallmark. (in)courage’s daily devotionals offer simple encouragement for women from all walks of life. Head on over and check them out. If you want to sign up, their daily notes will come straight to your email.} I wasn’t there…

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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: Dangerous or Stunning?

Souvenirs for the Soul: Dangerous or Stunning?

Call me unorthodox, but they didn’t look beautiful to me. Oh, they took my breath away, but they looked… Dangerous … like gaping jaws, ready to suck me in, crush me to pieces, and finish me off. I felt threatened by their enormous, jagged wildness. My initial response was to beg the Lord to keep me far away—at a safe altitude as I flew high above them toward my destination in Alaska. Last week I shared about my experience flying…

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Souvenirs for the Soul: Lessons Learned on Summer Vacations

Souvenirs for the Soul: Lessons Learned on Summer Vacations

Ah, the summers of my childhood. Raised in a typical middle-class home, my parents somehow managed to take our family to new places across the country. Camping on Minnesota lakes. Visiting friends in the Missouri Ozarks. Stopping at the painted dessert, petrified forest, white sands, and the Grand Canyon, enroute to extended family in Arizona. I’ve a bucketful of memories from up-close-and-personal interactions with America the Beautiful. My husband also enjoyed childhood opportunities to experience life beyond his home town….

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I Often Don’t Like Easter Services

I Often Don’t Like Easter Services

I often don’t like Easter services. I don’t. I like parts of the service—usually. But I often come away less than satisfied. The Easter story is packed with lessons: The prophecies of Passover fulfilled “Not my will but Yours” Peter denying Christ Christ bearing the punishment for our sins By Christ’s stripes we are healed The crushing of Satan’s head Light in our deepest darkness The defeat of death and the grave Eternal hope And so on, and so on,…

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