My kids surprise me. A fly on the wall would have heard this conversation last night: Younger Daughter (12): Mom, I don’t think I can read Men of Iron. It’s sooooo boring! Me: Really?? Aren’t you liking Ivanhoe? [Our current knights and castles read-aloud.] YD: Yes! Me: If you like Ivanhoe, trust me, you’ll like Men of Iron. And anyway, sometimes you have to push through. Do you think [Older Daughter] is enjoying reading The Inferno? Do you think she likes reading about a trip…Continue Reading “Overheard”

  For several years I’ve meant to write more descriptively about our Easter countdown. It’s an important family ritual. I remember that I did it for the first time when my daughter was in kindergarten, and I’d seen “Resurrection Eggs” in Walmart. “Hmm,” I said to myself. “That’s a good idea. But I’ll bet I could do it more cheaply by gathering the items myself.” When all was said and done I had abandoned the eggs idea altogether because as you can see, my objects…Continue Reading “Easter Countdown”

I blew it today. Not as badly as I would have ten years ago. But badly enough to hurt my daughter’s feelings. All I wanted to do today was go for a walk at the same pond we visited last year on the first day of spring. We hurried through our schoolwork so that we wouldn’t miss the sun. We gulped down our lunch, grabbed cameras, coats, gloves, hats, and drove to the pond. As we pulled into the mud slick parking lot, my 9-year-old…Continue Reading “Everyday Angst”

Lately during my morning devotional time, I’ve remembered how when my girls were little they would come pattering out and climb on my lap when they woke up. Usually when they wake up now, they turn on their lights and lie in bed reading for awhile before they get up. So I’ve been feeling nostalgic. But this morning my 9-year-old came out fully dressed at 6:30 and snuggled up next to me on the couch. I often feel like I do a crummy job discipling…Continue Reading “Morning”

“The truth is that years ago, before this generation of mothers was even born, our society decided where children rank in the list of important things,” writes Rachel Jankovic. Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what…Continue Reading “The Parent Trap”

A friend posted a link to this article, titled “What Not to Say to a Working Mother.” It’s a good article, and it really raised my awareness. What’s interesting to me is that though I doubt that I would ever actually say any of the things on the list, it includes things I have heard working moms say themselves. I don’t know any working mothers who are without angst about it at some level. But I am not without my share of angst about my…Continue Reading “Living from the Heart”

My husband is working long hours these days. Last night he worked from 8 in the morning till 11:30 at night. As a small business owner, his job is feast or famine. This is a feast. Everyone wants their plane worked on at once, everyone has a deadline. We’re grateful for the business, but also exhausted. Sometimes I think that it would be easier if I worked too. Maybe it would take some of the pressure off him. I worry about the future, and the…Continue Reading “Peace on earth”

I’m finding much to provoke reflection in UnChristian, which I was prompted to read after registering the communication breakdown between generations in the debate over A Year of Biblical Womanhood. My plan is to read it, then follow up with the sequel, The Next Christians. I’m going to record a few passages here that I don’t want to forget. The first seems very important to me as a parent: Based on extensive research on this topic, our data points out clearly that the faith trajectory…Continue Reading “Reading Journal: UnChristian”

Terrors are to come. The earth is poisoned with narrow lives. I think of you. What you will live through, or perish by, eats at my heart. What have I done? I need better answers than there are To the pain of coming to see what was done in blindness, loving what I cannot save. Wendell Berry wrote these lines, from “To My Children, Fearing for Them,” in 1968. In some strange way, I find them encouraging, bleak though they are. As a child, I…Continue Reading “Camaraderie and Comfort”

Telling God’s Story: A Parent’s Guide to Teaching the Bible has been food for the soul. I first saw the book over at the Peace Hill Press site and felt mildly curious. Now that I’ve read it, I’m putting it on my shelf of formative books. The Bible has always been a central part of our family life. I’ve read Bible storybooks to the girls, and this year we’ve tried a Bible-reading plan. My approach has been basically to make sure the Bible is heard…Continue Reading “Telling God’s Story”