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Tag: holidays

Sometimes Halloween Creeps Me Out

Sometimes Halloween Creeps Me Out

I hope this doesn’t sound like a rant. Just an acknowledgement of where I’m at. I’m not interested in swaying anyone into my way of thinking. (Actually, that’s probably not true. Otherwise I wouldn’t be writing sharing my thoughts with you. What is true is that I’m not interested in arguing about a topic that has been debated for decades without resolution.) What I’m wondering is … How can I feel more enthused about Halloween this year? Or should I?…

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What Mom Gets a Labor-Free Day?

What Mom Gets a Labor-Free Day?

Welcome to September. In fact, Happy Labor Day. Labor Day, you say. The holiday that honors laborers with a day of rest from their long hours of back-breaking work. Are moms included? Who else slaves like I do, 24-7-52? A day off? I wish! But it’s not gonna happen. The little one has a runny nose; bickering tongues need silencing; school starts tomorrow; and stinky heaps of whites, lights, and coloreds have engulfed the laundry room. Somebody, slap a hand…

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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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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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Experiencing Eternity in Moments

Experiencing Eternity in Moments

Five of us circled around a corner booth. We snuggled cups of warmth while sharing about our Christmases, wedding plans, and future concerns—close friends who never tire of laughing and crying and praying together. We stayed so long, one friend left an extra tip and I ordered dessert just to give a little extra money for the use of the corner. (Besides, I had resisted ordering the gluten-free turtle bar way too long.) Are there people in your life you…

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Believe it or Not, You are the Gift Your Family Needs

Believe it or Not, You are the Gift Your Family Needs

He swindled his parents repeatedly in order to support his prodigal lifestyle. He was intimidating and demanding. For years his mother sat in our adoptive moms’ support group as we encouraged her to buckle down. Eventually she attempted to make a stand, but the entire family, including her husband, turned on her. In grief and self-rebuke she back-pedaled quickly to restore peace. Years later on a Mother’s Day, this son posted—for all his friends to see—how much he loved his…

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Does This Gift Come with a Return Receipt?

Does This Gift Come with a Return Receipt?

In April of 2010, Tory Hansen put her seven-year-old adopted son on an airplane and returned him to Russia. Her reason was that her son frequently exhibit violent behaviors and she had run out of ideas for how to safely manage him. While the world reeled with scorn at Tory, my reaction was, “Good for her. Finally, someone is letting the world know what we moms are going through.” We, who are attempting to parent children with early-childhood trauma, attachment…

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The Gift I Always Wanted – But Not Very Much

The Gift I Always Wanted – But Not Very Much

“Behold, children are a gift from the Lord … a reward …” (Psalm 127:3, NASB). Sure, maybe a white elephant gift! I didn’t just say that, did I? I’m not trying to be irreverent—and I’m not saying I think my children were lame jokes. But there were times it sure seemed God got me confused with some other lady when handing out “rewards”. Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt like I did. Let’s all just agree right here, this…

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An Unexpected Thanksgiving Lesson

An Unexpected Thanksgiving Lesson

After only nine months of life as a new family, we buckled our six-, eight-, and almost nine-year-olds into the backseat of our two-door Honda Accord and traveled an entire day from central Minnesota to southern Illinois for our first Thanksgiving together. Settling in with snack buckets, water bottles, tiny toys, and each other, they rode (mostly) happily for hours. A few days later, in a large room of a cousin’s heating and cooling warehouse, 30-40 of us feasted on…

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