Do You Think There Is Such a Thing as a Successful Prayer Life?

Before asking myself whether prayer works, let me first define my terms. Is prayer a lever for moving the universe according to my whims, or is it a tool for molding my will to God’s?

The spring of 2019 showed up bleak and gray, but we barely noticed. The weight of waiting occupied every minute, with question marks bristling where daffodils had been delayed. An army of friends prayed for our family when we could not, waging war on our behalf, inquiring with kindness about obstacles that made no sense… Continue reading Do You Think There Is Such a Thing as a Successful Prayer Life?

3 Mothering Insights I Learned on the Job, but Wish I Had Known from the Start

3 Mothering Insights

By the time I was 21, I had been thoroughly inoculated against any threat of marriage by the wistful comments of my married friends: “Oh, you can do that now, but just wait till you get married and have kids…” They painted an image of a small, constricted world with no scented candles (dangerous open… Continue reading 3 Mothering Insights I Learned on the Job, but Wish I Had Known from the Start

Managing Big Feelings in Little People: 5 Strategies for Emotionally Healthy Kids

Little Kids and Big Emotions

When you’re five years old, baking cookies with your Sunday school teacher at her house on a Saturday morning is just about the best thing in the world. The moment I arrived to pick up my son, I could tell by his beaming face that he had enjoyed every minute of the baking, the snacking,… Continue reading Managing Big Feelings in Little People: 5 Strategies for Emotionally Healthy Kids

3 Parenting Insights for Raising Emotionally Healthy Men, Good Husbands, and Strong Fathers

Parenting Insights for Raising Good Husbands, and Strong Fathers

Remember when most households consisted of a married couple and their children? Friends my age who grew up in single-parent homes back in the 60s and 70s have confided to me that they felt the weight of their uniqueness in the pit of their stomachs. By contrast, statistics reveal today the proportion of households consisting… Continue reading 3 Parenting Insights for Raising Emotionally Healthy Men, Good Husbands, and Strong Fathers

The Practice of Curiosity and the Rewards of a Lifelong Quest for Knowledge

The Practice of Curiosity

Part of the delight of spending time with my oldest grandson is that he takes nothing for granted.Nothing.“Bam, why bubble pop?”“Because you stood on it.”“Why?” Well, good question.  Why indeed, and even now, our conversations still routinely run on in this vein of relentless curiosity.  Now that he’s old enough to have moved from bubble… Continue reading The Practice of Curiosity and the Rewards of a Lifelong Quest for Knowledge

The Best Father’s Day Gift: A Loving Dad

The Best Father's Day Gift: A Loving Dad

Happy Father's Day! If you have a loving dad in your home, or if you grew up in a home where there was a supportive and involved father, you have so much to celebrate! Children are blessed when their father contributes his unique gifts, perspectives, and personality to the family. One of the best gifts… Continue reading The Best Father’s Day Gift: A Loving Dad

How to Persevere in Hope When the Outcome is Uncertain

Persevere in Hope When the Outcome is Uncertain

We sat in silent disbelief, neither of us knowing what to say.  When my husband’s job was eliminated without warning, the news landed like a tidal wave:  completely unexpected and comprehensively devastating.  Then, as the wave receded, applications, interviews, and the thin hope that accompanies waiting seemed to set the agenda for our family’s unknown… Continue reading How to Persevere in Hope When the Outcome is Uncertain

Mothering Ourselves Out of a Job: Launching Our Children into Adulthood with Joy

Mothering Ourselves Out of a Job

Armed with passwords and last year’s tax forms, we gathered at the dining room table with my youngest son and his new wife. They had asked for help in the annual ritual of completing the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which college students must submit in order to qualify for scholarships of… Continue reading Mothering Ourselves Out of a Job: Launching Our Children into Adulthood with Joy

Hunger Is an Effective Teacher (And 6 Cheap and Easy Meal Plans with Recipes for Your Family)

Hunger Is an Effective Teacher

I hope manna will be on the menu in the New Earth--not because it sounds particularly delicious in the biblical account. On the contrary, it sounds pretty bland, and if you put any stock at all in the Israelite's reviews of this bread from heaven, it was quite monotonous fare. I like to picture the… Continue reading Hunger Is an Effective Teacher (And 6 Cheap and Easy Meal Plans with Recipes for Your Family)

The Benefit of Keeping an Open Mind to the Possibility of Gratitude

The Possibility of Gratitude

The distance around my elliptical driveway is one-tenth of a mile. I know this because I drove around it, watching the odometer—and then did it again just to be sure. Sometimes in the fall, I take a careful jog-trot around its leaf-strewn gravel, a compromise intended to jump-start a flagging metabolism without putting undue wear… Continue reading The Benefit of Keeping an Open Mind to the Possibility of Gratitude