Practicality Vs. Extravagance

Fifth grade me walked around elementary school wearing a pink sweat suit with penguins embroidered on the front and Velcro sneakers. Glasses framed my brown-black eyes, and my teeth boasted braces. I had a vague impression that this look wasn’t quite right for a preadolescent, but I couldn’t figure out how to make the jump…

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Do Not Disturb: A Touched-Out Mom

Music was softly playing in the background and my three-year-old and infant were sweetly sleeping in unison while my husband and I were driving on our way to a fun family outing. Breathing in deeply, I quietly savored the calm that surrounded us in the car. My husband must have also been enjoying that moment…

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Wit’s End

Defeat is not bitter unless you swallow it. —Joe Clark How do you help a friend who never asks for help? Women are incredibly strong and delicately resilient. We move through life like the well worn pages of our favorite chapter in the Bible, coupled with unique wrinkles, markings, and creases. Many of us glide…

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Settling Into Self

“During Sabbath, we can listen with openness and curiosity…Here, voices can speak to us, voices we can only hear in the quiet. Only at rest can we hear what we have not heard before, and be led to what is most deeply beautiful, necessary, and true.” – Wayne Muller In the early afternoon of April…

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Reclaiming Play and Rest

On Fridays Asha is at home with me. We stay in pajamas and linger together as I drink several cups coffee. Asha and I play, navigating our steps through scattered crayons layered with paper, toys, and stickers. Asha’s young presence is remarkably jovial and peaceful. As we play, I find myself falling in love with…

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The Essentials

To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work. – Mary Oliver A few evenings before Christmas I moseyed into my daughter’s bedroom where my husband had set up camp, ferociously wrapping the stocking stuffers he’d purchased from the dollar store. I’d finished most of my preparations for the holidays, and the kids were…

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Bone-Deep Weary

“Rest doesn’t improve restlessness because you’re not tired, you’re weary.” – Jody McPhearson   It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving and I’m back to the grind at work. I just had 6 days off from work and…I’m uneasy. Exhausted. Simultaneously bored and overwhelmed and my motivation is waning. There’s less room in my chest for my lungs…

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Mashed Potatoes and Trust

“Mom! You agreed to let us make the mashed potatoes, and we’re doing it. You don’t need to micro-manage the whole process!” The words my daughter spoke stung, but they were true. I had allowed her to be in charge of creating the decadent, buttery-smooth potatoes that were her favorite part of our traditional Thanksgiving…

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Home

A Voxer notification appeared from my friend Mike: Hi Rachel, I’ve been thinking about you and wondering what you would think of spending a half a day or a whole day on a silent retreat away from social media and family and friends. We would be happy to help with your kids to make this…

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Returning To My Rested Self

You would think apple picking is about the smell, but it’s not. At first, it’s about the feel. The air is always colder than you think out in the orchards. Even with a stocking cap pulled down past my ears and a cozy green flannel zipped up to my neck, a shiver occasionally runs the…

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