Name tags as a symbol of belonging

name tags

Little A just adores her name tag at our church.  We have a wonderful woman in our congregation who calligraphs beautiful name tags for anyone who wants one.  They are so much nicer than the type you find at workshops or events, where everyone scribbles their name with a marker onto a sticker.  We do have those available for first time visitors, but then if they put a request in the book, the next week (usually) there will be a calligraphy name tag available for them in a protective sleeve with a string to loop around your neck.  Little A has put a pink chalice sticker on hers to personalize it even more.  She stares at it adoringly when she first puts it on each week.  It brightens my heart to watch.

My two middle daughters both played soccer two years ago when they were in 7th and 8th grades.  One of the other moms arranged to have hoodies made up for all the girls with their last names and their player numbers on them in the school colors.  My girls (since they share a last name) also got their first initials to better differentiate them.  I nearly cried.

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How to use a Personal Tracker

Personal Tracker

Today’s post is a guest post by my daughter Caitlin.  She is so wise that I often wonder that she came from me.  I am so privileged to be able to share some of her wisdom with you today.  To get the trackers that she designed, click here.


Life can be difficult to manage. We have so many obligations from day to day, week to week, month to month – it all seems endless. On top of these obligations (work, college, childcare, friends, family, health) we all have personal habits we’re trying to cultivate and goals we’re trying to meet. These come in all shapes and sizes and range from simple things like keeping the house clean or decluttering the pantry to larger goals like publishing that book, opening your own business, or meditating daily.

No matter how big or small, meeting goals (or building good habits) involve the same basic steps – organizing a plan and following through. The same is true of personal, professional, or health related goals. We need to have a plan to know exactly where we’re going and how we’re going to get there and then we need to follow through with that plan.

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Parenting from a fearful “reality”

Parenting from a fearful reality

The other morning I was cruel to my beloved 6-year-old.  It was stupid, it was unnecessary, and I was completely in the wrong.  When she got home, I apologized to her, and she, being the sweet, loving child that she is, immediately forgave me.  It was another reminder that I am not yet where I want to be in relation to my children, nor am I parenting from a reality of abundance.  So what exactly happened?

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Human Divinity: My Sunday Service

human divinity

I was invited back to the pulpit yesterday, and it was my great honor to create my second Sunday service.  My first one was in November, 2016, right after election day, and I got great feedback on it.  This time was a bit easier, having gained confidence from the first time around.  I had so many people ask me yesterday to please email them my sermon so they could read it over again, or because they were unable to be in church (the weather made travel very tricky).  I’m afraid I cannot remember everyone who asked for it, so I am publishing it here so anyone can come and read it, and, hopefully, be inspired. Continue reading “Human Divinity: My Sunday Service”

What is my identity?

identity

I fell out of the habit of writing here a year ago.  Almost exactly.  2017 has been a hard year for me, and I have been focusing my energy in other places than this blog.  But I am still trying to post at least once a month.  Last night I listened to a podcast by Shawn Stevenson in which he interviewed Tom Bilyeu.  They discussed self-esteem and how to reprogram your brain.  One tool that I felt I could immediately put into practice is to decide just who I am.  What is my identity? Continue reading “What is my identity?”

Apologies and other manners

Apologies

When I was young, my parents taught me my manners. I’m sure yours did, too. But I have noticed that those manners have evolved over the decades. The manners I teach my children are slightly different from what my parents taught me. Why? Aren’t manners considered timeless? Well yes, but not really. Politeness varies from culture to culture. In some cultures, slurping your soup is considered polite, while in others, it is considered rude. Continue reading “Apologies and other manners”

Open letter to my mom {Thankful Thursday}

open letter to my mom

Dear Mom,

I have often berated you for all the things I thought you did wrong in raising me.  Since our relationship over the years has fluctuated between close and very distant, it has been easy to find fault with your decisions.  I have made it very clear that I was not happy.  But as we have our space from each other again (and we both know that the quality of our relationship has been in inverse proportion to how close we live to each other), I am coming to see just how many things you did right for me.  I keep hearing myself saying, “Oh, my mom taught me …” and I am seeing now just how ungrateful I have been. Continue reading “Open letter to my mom {Thankful Thursday}”

On being a stay home mom

Stay home mom

Over the last twenty years, I have spent time as both a working mom and a stay home mom.  For as long as I can remember, my career plans were to be a mother.  My mother left the workforce when I was born to be a stay home mom for me and my brothers-to-come.  Nearly all of my friends while I was growing up had stay home moms.  This was in the ’80s, and the poor children who didn’t have stay home parents were called latch-key kids.  I haven’t heard that term in a very long time now.  It seems to have become the norm rather than the exception.   Continue reading “On being a stay home mom”

Where have I been?

Where have I been

Wow, it has been silent here for a while hasn’t it?  We have had a very crazy February here at our house.  I have been struggling with feeling helpless and hopeless for the last few weeks, which is not a great motivator for me to write.  We have had snowstorm after snowstorm, with another one due to hit today.  We battled a stomach virus, with five of the six of us succumbing.  And my second oldest has moved back home.  That is a lot of upheaval for two weeks. Continue reading “Where have I been?”

Juggling priorities

juggling priorities

I have been struggling with my blog over who owns whom lately.  I have been doing a lot of work on my relationship with myself over the last year and my priorities have shifted.  I am now taking more time to do things that I enjoy, especially time that I have previously used to zone out online reading clickbait from Facebook.  I have come to value my time more and be more productive.  My house has gotten into better shape as I have kept up on the chores better, I have been publishing this blog three times a week, and I have picked up my crafting again.   Continue reading “Juggling priorities”