Family

Challenge yourself with these stories and reflections about loving both our biological families and our sisters and brothers in Christ.

When we know better, we do better

When we know better, we do better

A while back, one of my children was struggling with some behaviors that I thought might indicate a mental health issue. It created a challenging situation at home; it upset our daily life. I didn’t know where to turn. First, I talked to his elementary school teacher....

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Let’s eat!

Let’s eat!

By Lisa A. Smith “Who knew that the hardest part of being an adult was figuring out what to cook for dinner every single night of your life until you die?” asks a popular social media meme. As a parent, I feel this deep in my bones, especially after I’ve chopped,...

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Feeling homesick

Feeling homesick

Moving in, moving on By Susan K. Olson BY THE TIME THE MIDDLE of September hits, the college campus where I work settles into a rhythm of sorts. We’ve made it through the orientations, the adding and dropping of classes, the meeting of roommates. The new notebooks...

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What makes home holy

What makes home holy

By Erin Strybis— When I think of home, I imagine my childhood bedroom. With sky blue walls and matching sheer curtains, it was my oasis. As a shy, introverted child, I relished my alone time. Sometimes I’d lie on my queen bed and pretend the pastel ceiling was a...

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I’m a Martha. My kitchen is my holy place.

I’m a Martha. My kitchen is my holy place.

By Elise Seyfried I AM NO STRANGER TO SACRED SPACES. For 20 years I worked at a church where, several times each week, I’d leave my office, slip into the sanctuary, and sit in welcome, peaceful silence for a few minutes. On frantic Sundays, I had a hard time feeling...

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Sing out loud

Sing out loud

By Karen Wright Marsh THE REFORMER MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546) gave out a great deal of advice, much of it documented in his 3,000 letters to parishioners, friends and family members, princes and commoners. Topping the pastor’s “Don’t” list: lying late abed, gluttony,...

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The blessings of a nap

The blessings of a nap

By Elise Seyfried WHEN I WAS YOUNG, I spent a lot of time with my dad’s mom, my beloved Nana. Nana would rent a cottage at the New Jersey shore for the whole summer and invite our family down for weeks at a time. It was a welcome respite from the brutal New York City...

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All in good time

All in good time

What I love about Ecclesiastes by Anne Basye MY MOM KEEPS A TO-DO LIST. It shows everything she is going to do the rest of her life. When my son wrote these words in a long-ago grade school essay, I was pleased... and uneasy. His assignment was to recommend me for a...

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Clinging and letting go

Clinging and letting go

by Lisa A. Smith I’VE BEEN A MOTHER since the week of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I was on a work-related training trip out of state, my heart already full of emotion, when I first heard about the shooting. My husband and I had been trying to start a...

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Rocking chair prayers

Rocking chair prayers

Sacred time at the back of the sanctuary by Kimberly Knowle-Zeller Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. —1 Thessalonians 5:16‑18 Excerpted from The Beauty of Motherhood:...

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And why has this happened to me?

And why has this happened to me?

The visit of Mary to Elizabeth by Audrey Novak Riley MARY SET OUT AND WENT WITH HASTE to Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, she was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women! And why has this happened to me,...

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Feet tell the story

Feet tell the story

by Jennifer M. Ginn A mom living, and dying, with purpose MY MOTHER WAS ALWAYS on the way somewhere, her heels clicking briskly across the church parking lot or her Daniel Green slippers clomping on hardwood floors toward the kitchen. She moved with purpose you could...

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Moms and miracles

Moms and miracles

by Elizabeth Hunter CAN YOU REMEMBER A TIME when a mom or another mother figure turned and gave you “the look”? That look may have communicated something like, I’m not worried about what you just said. And you are going to help me with this now. At the wedding at Cana...

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Light in the darkness

Light in the darkness

by Lisa A. Smith WHEN I WAS A CHILD, I thought the Ten Commandments weren’t for me. I considered myself a responsible and rule-keeping kid, and these rules seemed so easy. Since I hadn’t murdered anyone, stolen anything, worshiped Babylonian gods or coveted anyone’s...

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Our holy longing

Our holy longing

Making my peace with death and life By Elise Seyfried MANY YEARS AGO, on an elementary school field trip to a local nature center with my daughter Julie, I volunteered to put my hand under an electron microscope for observation by the class. What on earth was I...

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