Toss and Turn

It’s 3 a.m., and I’m wide awake, tossing and turning like it’s my own signature dance move, all to the tune of grief and fear. Back and forth I spin on the deep gray sheets that prove there is no thread count that can stop my midnight moves. That tune is just too loud.  The…

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Embracing Change

At five foot two, he reaches his arms up to hug me. My arms underneath his squeeze tightly as I breathe him in. He is both familiar and mysterious. Stepping back, I stand still as he studies my face. “Mom, my armpits stink,” he says. “Oh, I’m sure they don’t buddy. Let me smell,” I…

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A New Way Forward

“Where do your boys think you are right now?” my counselor asks.  I am surprised by her question, which seems out of left field. “I told them I had an appointment,” I reply. It’s vague, I’ll admit, but it’s not a lie. “What would happen if you told them the truth?” she asks, interrupting the…

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Sins of the Father

Many times, I’ve told myself that I’m my own worst enemy–my own harshest critic. Perfection has been my goal for as long as I can remember. Sometimes this exaggerated need compels me to stop short of completing a task because I know, just know, it won’t be perfect. The roots of this behavior are multi-generational.

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Turning Away

I grew up in the paradox of an abusive Christian home. It’s a surprise, then, that my siblings and I each clung to Jesus in our own ways. We were desperate for stability and truth.  When I became a mother, I reinvented the parenting wheel. I prayed for inspiration, for wisdom, for the ability to…

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Between Joy and Sadness

“Can I watch Joy’s movie, Mama?” “Joy’s movie?” “Yeah! The yellow lady with the blue hair!” Frantically searching my memory bank for the missing puzzle pieces, I stare confusedly into space until a bright light blinks into existence above my head. “Aha! Joy! You mean Inside Out.” My sweet boy, with swollen eyes and a…

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100 One-Minute Conversations

My eyes are red and teary, and my dad’s arm is around me as we sit together on our white, wooden back porch swing. Even though I don’t remember this moment in many details, the photo taken by my mom brings back a variety of emotions. The backyard of my family home is staring at…

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“Mad, Mad, Mad. It Helps to Say I’m Mad.”

I often find myself looking at my two girls and longing for the level of ignorance they are afforded at the ages of 2 and under. There’s so much they are protected from, so many worries and responsibilities they don’t have to engage. What do they have to be stressed about?

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Kitchen Battles

I am crumpled up on my kitchen floor, head in hands, hiding beneath a soundtrack of Fernando Ortega and Bifrost Arts, hoping my kids don’t notice I am weeping, It’s holy ground, but it feels like falling apart.

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The Evidence Is In

I am done proving me. My life is not one prolonged job interview, a permanent Olympic trial, an ongoing all-state music audition. I am not a college application for admissions officials to peruse, an employee scrutinized for business acumen or her annual performance review, an associate striving to make partner. I refuse to be

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