School’s Out For Summer

School’s Out For Summer

It’s that time of year again. The weather is getting warm and students are counting down the days until the end of the school session. For us moms, the thought of summer vacation typically inspires two different responses. Some moms look forward to summer vacation with joyful anticipation. “I can’t wait! We are going to have so much fun.” Some moms think about summer vacation in a fearful panic. “How am I going to entertain these kids all summer long without school, sports and other scheduled activities?!” And there are many moms who vacillate between these two reactions, depending on the day!

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Four Mother’s Day Gifts

Four Mother’s Day Gifts

I’ve been thinking a lot about moms lately. Big surprise there—right? Of course I think about moms all year round. Quite continually, actually. But especially at this time of year. Our local Mom to Mom group just said our summer goodbyes. Mother’s Day is coming up. I marvel regularly at the heroic love the moms in our family (Erika, Kelly, and Abby) give their husbands and children. 

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I’ve Got a Lot of Questions . . .

I’ve Got a Lot of Questions . . .

I live in a world of questions. Mostly unanswered—or unanswerable, this side of Heaven—questions. I’m betting you do, too.

Young moms I dearly love are asking tough ones. Why did my 13-year-old have to die? Why does one young family have so many children with major medical problems and special needs?

Why does a pregnant mom with three young children have cancer? Big questions are circling around my neighborhood, too, as one of our own—an incredibly resilient, positive, fun-loving friend who has struggled gracefully with unimaginable challenges for years—now grapples with yet another seemingly insurmountable battle. To name only a few recent questions. Come to think of it, I have a lot of my own right now, too.

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Lookpots, Grinches, and What If’s

Lookpots, Grinches, and What If’s

“Daddy, are you coming to the Look-pot today?” A wide-eyed three-year-old looks over at her daddy at the breakfast table. 

“The Look-pot?” A moment of confusion, and then the daddy (our son Lars) replies: “Oh, you mean the potluck. Yes, I am coming, Linnea.” 

“And Daddy, are you gonna look?” 

Linnea’s question remained with me long after this charming little conversation. It remained even after we ourselves got to go to the Thanksgiving Potluck at our granddaughters’ preschool during a recent wonderful visit to Kodiak, Alaska.

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Does It Really? Change Everything?

Does It Really? Change Everything?

“The biggest thing I’ve learned at Mom to Mom is that God loves me. Really loves me. Even me. Others have tried to tell me. But somehow I couldn’t believe it. You know, the way I am. But this year through Mom to Mom, I have truly felt God’s love. And you know, Linda, when you know God loves you, really loves you, it changes everything.”

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Thanksgiving Dissonance: Going Deeper

Thanksgiving Dissonance: Going Deeper

“How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” (Psalm 137:4 KJV)

I keep hearing this plaintive cry of the Israelites from the pain-laced Psalm 137. Though I’m not living in exiIe as they were, I am living in a strange land of my own. It is strange for many reasons, some sharable and some not. As I near completion of radiation for breast cancer, I am also struggling with glaucoma issues that cause me to live my life between the radiation clinic and the ophthalmology office—and the couch. And November is always my month of special thanks-giving.

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Enough

Enough

The word bounces around my brain these days. Echoes through the chambers of my heart. Enough. We use it in all kinds of ways. “Enough is enough,” proclaimed the Prime Minister of Britain after the most recent tragic terrorist attack in that country. “Enough!” we tell our children. “I’ve had enough!” Authors, commentators, and wise observers of life remind us: “We live in a ‘never enough’ culture.”

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Gutsy Gratitude

Gutsy Gratitude

“I feel as if I can never cease praising God. Come and rejoice with me over His goodness.” The words keep echoing in my mind. Really, in my heart. They’re the introduction to a paraphrase of Psalm 34 that is, in a sense, our family Psalm. More on that to come.

“Really? Praising God? Now? In the midst of this mess? As I sit by this hospital bed? After I’ve just buried my husband? When I am so desperately concerned about my child’s special needs? While it seems I’m always waiting for a doctor to call back about the next diagnosis/surgery/meds? When my marriage is struggling so? Rejoice? Really?” These are the other words that echo in my head—and heart.

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Groans and Grace

Groans and Grace

There’s a lot of groaning in my world lately. Not whining. Not self-pity. Not, to use the Irish word that says it perfectly, whinging (it’s pronounced “win-jing,” and according to my daughter, my Irish grandkids do it a lot. I think I do, too). Groaning. There’s a difference. Whining, self-pity, whinging—they’re all full of words. Groans are wordless. They’re the deep-down ache of ongoing, private pain.

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