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The Best Way to Radiate Beauty This Prom Season

We walked into the shop and both gasped. Crystal and glass chandeliers hung dotted throughout the store, and jewelry and scarves of every color clustered in carefully-coordinated corners. Morgan headed over to the white silver section of accessories, seeking a studded silver headband. Fake rhinestones sparkled against her dark hair. Photo Credit: Flickr user Janine,…

Your Best Witness Protection Plan

“I’ve been part of two shop-lifting experiences,” she told me this week, leaning across the coffee-shop table. Her blue eyes were wide in astonishment. “You witnessed them?” I clarified for anyone eavesdropping. Photo Credit: Flickr user Fourbyfourblazer, Creative Commons cc license “Yes,” she continued, telling me of brazen behavior by two bootlegging rogues. “What did…

What Cowlicks and Warriors Would Tell You about Living Well

The fir tree has a cowlick. Spouting out from conical symmetry is a two-foot-long branch, and I want to snip it each time I see it, but it’s twenty feet up and in my neighbor’s yard. The branch points north to my neighbor’s front yard where at night Orion the Warrior is tangled in a…

Living Two-Handed and Two-Faced

“Where’s the video on college dorms?” she asked. We clicked computer screens until the welcome week college video started playing. Smiling faces toured the university campus, music pulsed, and Morgan and I watched footage of dorm room move-ins and bunk bed assembly. Joy welled in me, and I thumped her back. “I’m so excited for…

Watching You

I’ve watched you. You smoothing tablecloths across MOPS tables with your kids latched on to a leg or perched on your right hip. You carrying egg bakes in one hand and round-faced, red-cheeked toddlers in the other, welcoming new moms with warm smiles. Photo Credit:Flickr user Elvis Kennedy, under permission of Creative Commons cc license…

Oops, God.

Groggily walking through the kitchen, I buttered three toasts, drizzled honey, and cored apples, quartering them. Photo Credit: Flickr user Amanda Slater, Creative Commons cc license Strapping one blonde-haired nephew into his blue high chair, I watched the two older boys climb into their chairs, cheerfully talking. Hot toast crumbled and steamed on small white…

What Marbles and Ice Slip Significant into our Lives Tonight

“Every year I take one out,” he says. He describes a glass jar of marbles that hulks on a corner of his desk. He is professional, efficient, an accomplished businessman, and his words have stuck in my brain ever since. “I set up the jar, estimated how many years an average person lives, and now…

When Alarms Sound and You Want to Be Brave

Under a torn moon in a black sky, I push my cart. Groceries rattle against rustling paper bags. I’ve been wondering this for several days now. How do we live bravely? That’s my word for the year: Brave. While I don’t think of myself as a fearful person, I’m realizing how often stories of great…

The Surprising Thing about God’s Christmas List

Nutmeg-flecked eggnog rises in sweet slow-moving waves to my tongue. I smile with closed-lips and mull it around my mouth. On this last day of December, our Christmas tree still sparkles red, green, orange, pink, despite olive green rigor mortis setting in. Photo Credit: Flickr user Anne, Creative Commons, cc license You probably saw glimpses…

Finding Joy When You’re Fighting to Stay Afloat

Photo Credit: Carolyn Pinke He’s singing and the echoes bounce off shower walls, YMCA tiles, and slip under door number three to us in the family locker room outside. Daniel’s happiness slides out and over, a cacophony of joy in a bathroom of strangers. The door cracks and he appears, hair wet swirls on his…