Gift Guide: 12 Awesome Toys Your Kids Will Actually Play With

I’m usually a big fan of giving my kids “experience” gifts like zoo memberships, museum passes, and amusement park tickets. Since many of these places are not ready to open safely, or make me nervous about crowds before COVID is under control, I decided to put together a gift guide for kids. What follows is […]

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4 Truths About Doing the Dishes

A Guest Post by Emily Sue Allen I show up at the sink to an insurmountable pile of dishes. Nothing is scraped. Nothing is sorted. My frustratingly miniscule counter space is overrun with remnants of our previous two meals—room-temp food, wadded up napkins between plates, stray silverware, and pans that need to be soaked. I […]

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It’s Time to Act Like a Village

“So, are these two extra kids mine now?” She gestured to a five year-old splashing water in the shallow end of the pool and his little sister toddling dangerously close to the edge without a swim vest. Meanwhile, her own three year-old played with pool toys on a towel nearby. “I don’t know,” I told […]

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How to Handle Interruptions Like Jesus Did

One morning last week, I grabbed my pen and notebook and set out to do my daily fifteen minutes of writing. The boys were watching some morning cartoons and I pressed pause to let them know I was starting my writing. “Please don’t interrupt me for the next fifteen minutes,” I said. They nodded, eager […]

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How baseball taught me to be a better parent

“Do you mean to tell me that your parents came to every single one of your baseball games?” My then-boyfriend looked at me like I had two heads. “Of course,” he said. I was still trying to wrap my brain around what Max was telling me. His childhood in rural Michigan was so different than […]

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How to nurture gratitude in the hearts of our children

Growing up as a missionary kid in France had its perks, and the local bakery (or boulangerie) was one of them. In the front counter space of our nearest boulangerie were pastries of all sorts—elegant creations low on sugar and high on butter. Bins lining the wall boasted candy you could purchase by the gram—my […]

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How to leverage the power of stories

It was my turn to teach the sixth graders at youth group last Monday night. To prepare, I braced myself and read over the lesson on the love of God. When it came time to pull the four students aside, I found myself facing a squirrelly bunch. We opened our Bibles to the right passage. […]

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How to live life to the full

My seven-year-old looked adorable in his basketball jersey. It hung down way past his waist, but he didn’t care. He was too excited for his first day of the basketball program through our YMCA: skills assessment day. He was one of the most enthusiastic participants on the gym floor, and we cheered him on from […]

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Lessons in humility from a three year old

I’ll never forget the day when my three year old turned the tables on me. We were on our way to a birthday party, but had to stop for a quick errand first. After we left the store, I stowed some groceries in the back of our car, then buckled Henry into his carseat. Just […]

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How to revive your soul with silence and solitude

In our family, the day after Thanksgiving officially marks the day we start decorating for and preparing for the Christmas season. After a cup of strongly brewed coffee, I set about the task of digging out the Christmas boxes from our garage. I unfolded our tree from its resting place. My husband helped me string […]

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