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06.09.2016

The obligatory answer to the question "How are you?" is understood to be "Fine."

Maybe a "Good, how are you?" or sometimes an "I'm OK, thanks."

Nobody really expects (or desires) for you to say, "Well, truthfully, everything stinks right now. My kids are driving me nuts, my husband and I can't seem to get on the same page intimately, and I kind of want to punch my coworker in the face."

If we said such things, we'd get a whole lot more than we bargained for, and truthfully, we don't need to share that much with acquaintances who innocently ask how we are...

03.09.2016

I wanted so badly to do it right. Whatever the Christian life looked like, I wanted to represent it well.

A people-pleaser by nature with perfectionist tendencies, I knew that if I could just find the hidden list of do’s and don’ts, I’d be set. I’d memorize it, practice it, and ace the Christian test.

I would make Jesus, and those around me watching, proud...

31.08.2016

  OK, son. You're in that weird stage right now where you're technically not a teenager yet, but you're not a little kid anymore, either. I know it's super strange. Your body is changing, your voice is sounding different, and your brain is struggling to keep up. The next few years are going to be different for both you and for me. I've been thinking about some things you should know, and while this list is definitely not exhaustive, I figure it's a good start. Deodorant and foot washing are not optional. Ever. They're just not. As your body changes (you'll learn this in sex-ed), your hormones go berserk, and you. will. stink. You already do. (No offense.) It's not your fault, and it's nothing to be ashamed of, but Lord have mercy, it is something you can control. The deodorant is in the top bathroom drawer (I'm assuming you forgot?) and foot washing involves soap. With a washcloth. And a vigorous scrubbing motion. No, you cannot count standing in the soap suds on the shower floor. Not sufficient. Scrub those stink cells off your feet. Then repeat.  You won't always (or maybe ever) be the best athlete on your team,...

13.07.2016

Think about what you want. What you really, really want. I bet without much coaxing, you could make a list of things you'd love to have - or be. I bet you have dreams, both big and small, tucked away inside your heart. I bet you have goals, both lofty and mundane, on that list inside your brain. We all know what we want, even if we've never told another soul. And yet we remain without those things. What I want us to consider is why. Naturally, we have no control over some of the things we want. They are out of our reach or are not meant for us. But just as clearly as some things are out of our control, some things aren't. Some things we want could be ours today if we had the courage and drive to go for them. But we don't. Many of the things we want are on the other side of a sacrifice we'd have to make, and when it comes down to it, we aren't willing. It's easier to dream and lament and complain about our lack than it is to work for all we could gain. I want so many things I don't have: a six...