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Love Notes: When Past Becomes Present

“Love Note”

I found a slice of my past in the garage last weekend. Flash flooding had forced me to empty and clean the entire space. But before I could throw away a box of water-soaked childhood mementos, I had to take one final look.

So I sat on my driveway, surrounded by bicycles, paint cans, and old car seats, and opened this portal to my past. Two seemingly unrelated things caught my breath: Read more

The School Slide—Avoiding School-Time Parenting Pitfalls

“The School Slide”

Feeling that back-to-school vibe yet? If not, I’ve got a two-part pop quiz that’ll get you in the spirit of the season.

  1.  Complete this analogy:

The “summer slide” is to kids as the “school slide” is to ____________.”

Answer:  Parents!

2.   Define “school slide.”

This one’s a bit trickier, so grab your notebook, Parents, and join me in the classroom for three lessons that just might change the way we all approach the school year . . . Read more

Pause the Moment: Annoying . . . Or Creative?

Not even sure I should call this version “chess.”

I like to win but really hate to lose. I’ve tried to force this part of me out, but it refuses.

It’s been with me since childhood, when I cheated at board games and left the room crying after a bad round of Uno.

Though usually hidden, a chess match with my 6-year-old surfaced this pettiness. Read more

The Things We Leave Behind

What are you leaving behind?

It was her pair of black sandals that initially made me pause. I could remember her wearing them at family gatherings and now they lay on the floor, resting indefinitely.

But it was more than the shoes.

My husband’s grandparents’ home was filled with things Grandmother had left behind when she recently passed away—papers, clothes, quilting projects, and even a pie crust patiently awaiting its filling in the freezer.

But it was more than these items, too.

It was the things she’d been leaving behind for years, though you’d never see them stacked in a corner or overflowing from a box. In fact, you couldn’t see them at all.

They’re the same things each of us leaves behind after every encounter with another:

Read more

Three Directions Every Purposeful Journey Needs

“The Stream”

Imagine a journey with no packing, no airport security, and no overtired-yet-astonishingly-loud children. Sounds easy, but this type of travel’s tough stuff. In fact, this journey of self-development challenges our strength as we discover who we are and what we’re meant to do.

It’s traveling inward, outward, and back home again.

Kinda sounds like we’re going in a circle, right?

Sort of, but this is no simple circle. Where we start and end may be the same, but are we the same? Luckily, nature recently provided me the perfect explanation . . . and it begins at a beach in Cape Cod. Read more

Thoughts Bothering You? Five Steps to Stop the Worry Cycle

“Worrisome Thoughts” –Courtesy of Charlotte Meyer

There’s a small metal box, trimmed in pink pom-poms, that sits on my daughter’s bedside table. In it rest handwritten worries—a collection of thoughts she’d prefer leave her alone.

It’s a special item I loved giving her, but not the first “worry box” I’ve gifted. The original belongs to a friend I met fifteen years ago. And I even have my own version, though it’s only in my mind.

So we have an 8-year-old, a then twenty-something, and a thirty-nine-and-three-fourths-year-old all with one common problem: Read more

Pause the Moment: Hidden in the Familiar

“Swishy-Swashy”

Ever pass something dozens of times until one day it quietly steps into your field of presence? This happened to me last weekend just outside my favorite place for an iced almond milk latte.

I was on an early morning Father’s Day coffee mission but something about this familiar plant made me stop. And I realized the magic I’d mindlessly passed during so many previous visits: Read more