What Amish have to teach us

Oct 31, 2018 by

I live in Lancaster County, Pa., home to one of the largest Old Order Amish communities in the world. My work brings me into regular contact with the Amish. I have come to believe that one of today’s notable...

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Foster care and our own refugee crisis

Jun 28, 2018 by

In our yard is a huge oak tree, its branches shading the sandy dirt underneath. Under the tree, a collection of spoons and cups pilfered from my kitchen litters the ground. My 6-year-old daughter is the queen...

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Book review: ‘Fledge’

Apr 9, 2018 by

When my children were very young, there was all manner of reading material at my fingertips, ready to tell me exactly how I might raise perfect kids. I could read books on attachment and potty training, blogs...

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‘Something like the grace of God’

May 1, 2017 by

Whenever I drive through the reserve, I’m always struck by how little seems to have changed over the past 30 years. I remember coming to play hockey here as a kid, remember how it seemed like a different...

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Fostering faith beyond Sunday school

Feb 21, 2017 by

Nurturing and building Christian foundations is paramount for being able to create a long-lasting successful spiritual walk once a child hits adulthood. Yet too many parents fail to see the importance of...

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Learning to plow — a New Year’s resolution

Jan 2, 2017 by

Ever since the second week of Advent, I had planned to write a piece. Some brilliant little nugget about beating swords into plowshares, wolves and lambs, and children leading us. I wanted to write something...

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When to stop praying for our kids

Sep 13, 2016 by

“I’ve quit praying for my kids,” she said. “It’s no use. God hasn’t answered my prayers, so there’s no use in keeping on. If I’m honest,” she continued, “I have to say that I’m kind of...

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On stories, sadness and spoilers

Aug 17, 2015 by

I was pacing in the living room. My son had been making his way through the Harry Potter series all summer, and he was reading the climactic chapter in the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince....

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Reflections on my teenage faith

Jul 14, 2015 by

“Wow! I sure was fed some crap theology when I was a teenager.” I came to this realization while going through an old chest full of letters, notebooks and other papers from my high school years. (I won’t...

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Say five things you’re thankful for

Jun 11, 2015 by

I began a ritual with my boys. It was one of those attempts to draw us closer to each other, to remind us of what matters, to cultivate a way of thinking about and being in the world. Each night, after...

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We don’t have to give up

Jun 8, 2015 by

One great thing about being a parent is how heartwarming moments can happen at any time and often take us by surprise. Such was the case the other day as my daughter, Julia, and I discussed the end of her...

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Providing kids with faith — and freedom to ask questions

May 21, 2015 by

On Sunday I baptized two young people in my congregation — one was 13, and one was 30. Both talked — from their own developmental place — about the importance of faith and the church in their lives. The...

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Why motherhood matters

May 11, 2015 by

Since my book Mom Seeks God came out last year, I’ve spoken to many moms’ groups, and one thing has stood out to me as a need common to all moms: To know that our job matters. Whether we’re exhausted new...

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Knowing my identity for the sake of my kids

Apr 17, 2015 by

I have middle school-aged children now. My daughter has just finished her first year and my son will start in the fall. This baffles me, for it seems like just yesterday I was the one in middle school worrying...

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About my humanist son

Mar 17, 2015 by

A year ago, my son Bart announced that he no longer believed in God. He wanted to, he told me, but he just couldn’t. There were too many things going on, from his point of view, which gave evidence of the...

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Loved — no matter what

Mar 11, 2015 by

I’d like to think that my kids, ages 11 and 14, would come to me and tell me anything. I would like to believe that there is no problem too big, too difficult or too painful for us to discuss. We’ve talked...

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Too safe for faith?

Feb 16, 2015 by

I ran across an article exploring why the era of kids’ adventure movies like E.T. and The Goonies is over. Similar modern films “just haven’t caught fire the way they once did,” writes Lisa Risra at...

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Engaging faithfully with music

Nov 7, 2014 by

The first time my 4-year-old sang “All About The Bass,” I paused to reflect. It’s an imperfect number to be sure, despite its attempt at affirming a body-type outside the norm put forth by Vogue, but she...

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Talking to preschoolers about race

Oct 21, 2014 by

My daughter and I were sitting outside of seminary housing when one of the few married, male black students in our apartment complex walked by. My daughter, then 2, shouted, voice ringing across the...

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We still need to talk about Ferguson

Oct 10, 2014 by

I know, I know. The news cycle on this is over, and thoughts are elsewhere. But, Ferguson’s story happens in some form every day in our country. The sad truth is that too many folks consider brown bodies to...

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Parenting and the Bible

Sep 29, 2014 by

It is the things you assume that really sink into them. It is the things you forget even to teach that they learn. — G.K. Chesterton I recently received a postcard in the mail from a local church advertising...

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Thought we were special

Sep 10, 2014 by

Last month Jamie and I renewed our adoption home study. The home study is the standard process through which a social worker evaluates our fitness to be adoptive parents. She teaches us about adoption. She...

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My foster parenting story

Sep 4, 2014 by

When my husband Gabe and I decided it was time to grow our family by trying to get pregnant, we had no idea what our journey would be or what our family would look like three years later. After over a year of...

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Kids and God

Jul 18, 2014 by

Each day my kids see me reading my Bible and praying. They know that I attend Bible study and understand the value that attending church holds in our family. However, there are many things about God that I...

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Parent-child relations

Jun 2, 2014 by

Our diagnosis: Parent-child relations. At last. After a fast-moving, slow-motion spiral that had led to my daughter’s hospitalization for emotional and behavioral health, we at last had an answer and a...

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