The World All Around: How We Can and Can’t Shield Kids From Violence

I recently wrote a post about letting our kids have their privacy and not sharing every blessed part of their lives on the internet. I stand by it. That said--I'm going to share this thing, because it is important. And not just about my kid.Last week there was a terrible shooting in our neighborhood. In what is now (finally) being called a hate crime, a man in a local bar and grill shot two Indian natives, as well as another man who tried to stop it. One of the men has since … [Read more...]

Overshared Childhood: Parenting and Privacy in the Social Media Age

Friday night situation: everybody's home after Dad's been traveling all week, nobody has anyplace to be, the house is clean, and there's Chinese takeout for dinner. I'll add to this perfect tableau that my kids have mostly graduated from watching cartoons full of grating, whiny voices and now like to watch kids cooking shows on the Food Network.  All in all, a lovely evening--and if you've got a busy family, you know that these kinds of peaceful home nights don't happen often. Or at least, they … [Read more...]

Assemble: Word 3, Advent 1

One of the best parts of Christmas at my house is getting out the nativity sets.When I was a newlywed--with no children--I decided that I was going to be a collector of international nativities. My husband and I are both kind of minimalists in the home decor department. We don't do knick knacks, we think less is more, and anything that has to be dusted is probably more trouble than it's worth. However, I felt like nativity sets were the perfect thing for me to start gathering. They would … [Read more...]

Anticipate: Advent 1, Word 1

I spend a lot of my time and energy anticipating future needs. Mine, and those of other people.I anticipate the needs of my kids: That one is starting to whine and look kind of puny--better fix a snack before she has a meltdown. His jeans are getting too short, again; better order some, because he will outgrow them in his sleep, AGAIN. They should go to bed now or we will have a difficult morning. Make sure everybody pees now, or somebody will have to go behind a tree when we get to the pa … [Read more...]

10 Meaningful Ways to Start Your Kids’ School Day

We've probably all read the beautiful, powerful, tear-jerking letter that Glennon Melton (of Momastery fame) wrote to her son Chase for the first day of school. The letter is several years old, but it always re-circulates in the newsfeed this time of year.I love that letter. I shared it far and wide. I used it in a sermon. I read it and cried into my latte with the best of them.But also, that letter is long.  It is a special occasion letter, not something you are going to sit down and t … [Read more...]

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Ticking Clock and Turning Tide

We are not theme park people. We are National Park people.We are beach people. We are long-roadtrip-to-visit-friends people. We are mountain people. But we are not Mouse people, Princess people, or long line people.So it's a mystery to me, why I was recently overcome with the overwhelming urge to take my kids to Disneyland. I think I felt some magic window closing... I know that older kids can still get excited, and still have a great time. But there is an age at which they move past the … [Read more...]

5 Small Steps to a Simpler Closet (and Safer Planet)

Earlier this week, I shared a post about my family's Sock Scavenger Hunt. I paid my kids actual money to track down every sock in our house, so that we wouldn't have to go buy more. And...it worked!  This exercise was related to growing concerns about textile waste. In addition to wanting to scale back the amount of stuff in our house, I am trying to be more conscientious about where my clothes come from: and the related environmental and humanitarian impact of what I consume.Here's what I've … [Read more...]

Lost and Found: A Parable In Socks

You know what was great about living in the desert all those years? Among other things--not having to wear socks. Ever.Maybe occasionally with running shoes or hiking boots, if you were going out on a trail. Because, you know, rattle snakes. But otherwise, it was 10 months a year of sandals. Glorious, breezy, open-toed, sock-less freedom.Sure, I love a warm fuzzy pair to wear around the house on a cold winter day. But even better was the complete absence of cold winter days. For the most … [Read more...]

This Magic Window

Most years, I’m a Christmas minimalist. My kids get 3 or 4 gifts each—some of which are books, some “boring” things they needed anyway. I refrain from planning lots of festive family outings, opting instead to nest in and avoid the rushing, shopping madness out there in the suburbs. We do our church things, we put up a tree, we bake stuff for the neighbors. It is simple and good.So why is it that, this year, I cannot stop shopping for toys? And have thrown myself into the ‘daily surprise’ fre … [Read more...]