When You Need to Remember: Seasons Change, God Does Not

When You Need to Remember: Seasons Change, God Does Not

Seasons change quickly around here.

I don’t know about you, but the sudden onset of fall temperatures usually has me scrambling for jackets and jeans after a summer of shorts and t-shirts. And I was NEVER ready with my kids’ wardrobes! I remember many a fall day when my girls went to school completely underdressed because I hadn’t pulled out the sweaters or jackets yet.

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End of Summer Wrap-Up

End of Summer Wrap-Up

Hi Friends!

I've written here exactly five times this summer. Five! That must be some kind of worst-ever record for me. But it isn't because I haven't been writing--

I have

. Just not here.

I thought I'd take a few minutes to catch up today since I haven't been around much lately. Our summer was great, and even though I haven't documented much of it, I've enjoyed every minute.

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Letter to My Daughters :: About the –isms

Letter to My Daughters :: About the –isms

Dear Daughters,

Racism.

Feminism.

Terrorism.

The –isms. Words that have become part of our everyday language. Issues that scream for our attention, our compassion, our consideration. Issues different from one another, but important just the same.

And that’s not to mention so many others we talk about.

Atheism.

Capitalism.

Socialism.

Ageism. (I’m kinda sensitive to this one.)

A quick online search for a “list of isms” will produce over 200 words that have become their own distinct belief systems. But, more than that, they are ways of categorizing people or keeping them apart from one another. Worse yet, they become ways of discriminating against people who aren’t like us.

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But God . . . {A fun, exciting, crazy announcement!}

But God . . . {A fun, exciting, crazy announcement!}

Sometimes you wait for something for such a long time that you think it may never happen.

Sometimes you hope and dream for so long that you almost decide to give up.

Sometimes you wonder if your dreams are just crazy or that you’re not up to the dream after all or that you’re getting too old to actually accomplish it.

Sometimes you doubt. A lot.

But then God does something so entirely unexpected that you just have to believe He was in it all along, just waiting to gift you with your dream when the timing was just right.

That’s my story these days.

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Intentional Parenting :: Reprise :: Intentional Service

Intentional Parenting :: Reprise :: Intentional Service

When I wrote about teaching our kids about service a few years back, I talked about the benefits of service and how we can model service for our kids. I still think those points are valid. I still think serving others is fulfilling, joyful work. I still think there is so much to gain by serving others.

But as I’ve been thinking about this post since my last parenting post, I’ve been convinced that there is and should be something more to our thoughts about serving others and to what we teach our kids about service.

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Catching Up and a Book Review

Catching Up and a Book Review

Well hello there! As much as I hate having to do a "catching up" post, it seems like one is warranted today because I realize I've been AWOL lately.

The past two months, frankly, have been crazy. It's a wonder I've been able to write here at all with all of the commotion of end-of-school activities, graduation, a quick trip to PA, a family vacation, and a couple of birthdays thrown in for good measure. I hate to recap like that because everyone has busy lives and everyone can say that things have been crazy and everyone has an excuse as to why they haven't done what needed to be done.

Still, I want to catch up with you!

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On Dying Trees, Retiring Chefs, and Graduating Daughters

On Dying Trees, Retiring Chefs, and Graduating Daughters

As I write this, I’m watching history being cut down. A large maple tree, which has probably stood in the middle of my back yard as long as this house has stood on our street, is being removed. The upper branches, still bright with new, green leaves, floating to the ground like blades of grass blown in the wind. The larger branches dropped, one by one, onto the plantings below.

And the main trunk, which from the outside still looked strong and sturdy, sawn in half and brought down with a *thud* that shook the whole house.

Problem is, that trunk was half dead. Full of rotting wood that crumbled at the touch.

This tree, the one that turned golden-orange in the fall and had been the source of many a jumping pile when my girls were younger, the one that held memories of high-soaring branches against winter skies, the one surrounded by hostas planted by previous owners, had become a hazard.

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Do Hard Things

Do Hard Things

At least twice a week someone asks me, “So what do you DO now that you’re not teaching?”

Seems that people like others to live in neat little boxes, to work regular hours, to have a job or kids at home to fill their time.

They like titles.

I like titles too. I tend to categorize people—“She’s a doctor;” “He’s a plumber.”—just as much as the next guy. Yet, my season of life right now can’t be categorized.

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Intentional Parenting :: Reprise :: Intentional Stewardship, Part 2

Intentional Parenting :: Reprise :: Intentional Stewardship, Part 2

Spending

“One for God, one for saving, two for spending.” Our family mantra. 

B learned it another way when he was growing up: “Give ten percent, save ten percent, and spend the rest with joy and thanksgiving.” 

Those numbers may have been tweaked a bit over the years, but the principal remains: if God has blessed you with money to spend, enjoy it. Don’t squander it, make sure you’re giving, but also don’t feel guilty about it.

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Fabulous Friday Food :: Mexican Food Done Three Ways {slow cooker recipes}

Fabulous Friday Food :: Mexican Food Done Three Ways {slow cooker recipes}

Some days call for taking it slow. Some days call for Mexican food. Some days call for walking in the door to a dinner that's ready to go.

And some days call for all three.

This week we're talking Mexican food done in a slow cooker for just those days when you want to throw something together and forget about it until dinner time. And, bonus! I'm giving you not just one, but THREE ways to do Mexican in the slow cooker.

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Intentional Parenting :: Reprise :: Intentional Truthfulness

Intentional Parenting :: Reprise :: Intentional Truthfulness

As you are well aware, we're in an election season. The races are tight. Talk to a handful of people and you'll get a handful of opinions on candidates and their character. 

Frankly, nobody I talk to seems to know for sure who to vote for this year because the candidates appear to be less than forthright about who they are or what they believe. 

Scandals abound on both sides of the political aisle. No political party has the corner on the integrity market, that's for sure. It's hard to know who's telling the truth anymore.

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A Letter to My Daughters Featured at "For Every Mom" today!

Hi again! (Twice in less than 24 hours? I think that's some kind of record!)

Just wanted to let you know that my post, "Letters to My Daughters: Let's Talk About This Election," is being featured over at For Every Mom today. I'm pretty excited and hope you'll pop over to read it there (if you didn't read it here first).

And if you're stopping by from For Every Mom, welcome! I'm so glad you're here and hope you'll poke around a bit. I've got some of my favorite posts highlighted over on the right there. And if you need help with dinner, just click on my "Recipes" tab and you'll find a ton of family-friendly recipes.

Feel free to sign up for my newsletter. And I'd sure love it if you'd follow me on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

Spring Has Sprung (Or Has It?)

Hi there!

I thought I'd just do a quick update post today since I feel like it's been a little while since I've been around. I posted last week only because of the magic that is blogging--I scheduled the post ahead of time, shut the front door, and walked away.

So let's talk about spring, shall we? What is with this crazy Midwest weather? We've had warm, then rainy, then last week it was apparently warmish again, and today I PULLED OUT MY WINTER COAT! Seriously?! I'm feeling schizophrenic here and am definitely ready for the roller coaster of early-spring to be gone. Away. Out of here.

I'm ready for all out WARMTH.
 

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Intentional Parenting :: Reprise :: Intentionally Disciplined

Intentional Parenting :: Reprise :: Intentionally Disciplined

It’s funny that I should be writing about discipline because, truth be told, sometimes I feel like the most undisciplined person ever.

It’s not that my parents didn’t discipline me—they did. For sure. They made sure I behaved properly. They made sure I finished piano practice and homework before I watched T.V. They made me play outside and get plenty of exercise.

My parents tried their best to raise disciplined children . . . and yet . . .

And yet I fail so often.

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Jesus at My Kitchen Table

Are you doing any special reading for Holy Week? Our church sent out some booklets of brief devotional thoughts for the week, so I’ve been working my way through those.

 

This morning’s reading was about Jesus before Pilate (found in Luke 23). This chapter of the Bible tells how Jesus was put to trial, first before Pilate who couldn’t find any fault in him; then to Herod who mocked him and sent him back to Pilate; then to Pilate a second time. Still, Pilate could find no wrong in Jesus, but because Pilate was a weak leader and a coward, he ordered Jesus to be flogged and killed, releasing a thief and a murderer instead of Jesus.

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