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Don't forget to make some memories!

Grandma’s Bible

Posted by on Mar 12, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

Each Wednesday night I have the honor of helping young girls at my local church memorize Scripture. One young lady who struggles to read has become my best friend. She’ll often curl up beside me to work on a new verse. But, in recent weeks she has been using a King James version for memorization, and it’s not gone so well. The bigger words and older language structures were proving difficult for her limited skills. When I suggested that another version that might be a little more kid friendly, she looked at me with big eyes and said, “Well, this Bible is special because my grandma gave it to me, but I would be willing to try an easier version.” Long story short, we still use Grandma’s Bible every week, but partner it with a simpler version of Scripture...

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Freed from Being a Child Abuser

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

I was at the end of my rope.  My anger toward my two-year-old daughter, Darcy, was getting worse. “Oh, God,” I prayed again and again, “deliver me from this anger right now! I’m afraid I’m going to kill Darcy in one of my rages.” But each prayer seemed like it bounced off the ceiling because nothing ever changed. Whenever I tried to figure out what caused my anger, I concluded, “It’s Larry’s fault!” My husband, Larry, worked as a policeman and real estate agent, had a flying hobby, and he was never home. I hated him. “If he would just stay home and help me, I wouldn’t be acting like this.” It was easy to blame him. During one particularly angry day when I’d hurt Darcy again by kicking her, I remembered Larry had left his off-duty service revolver...

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Thank God I Didn’t Miss This

Posted by on Mar 8, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 1 comment

I wrote this for myself last night. Maybe someone else needs to hear it, too. We will have a house full of company tomorrow, and so my to-do list is about a mile long. It’s ten o’clock at night already and I’m kicking myself for not finishing my tasks earlier, but they didn’t get done earlier because … well, because I have children. There were tears and conflicts and messes and spills … and it just didn’t get done. So here I am, broom in hand, whipping this place into shape. And then I hear it. “Mama?” So much meaning in that little voice. In that little word. I need you. Only you. Do you have time for me? It came from one who is, arguably, my easiest, most low-maintenance child, and he was up, out of bed, staring at me with those...

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Seashell Assumptions

Posted by on Mar 7, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

We wandered down the beach in the early light, the first to imprint the sand with our feet. We stopped with almost every step, scanning for seashells. I was selective, only making the effort to bend over if I saw exceptional colors on perfectly formed shells. My four-year-old wasn’t so selective. “Look at this one, Mama!” she said for the forty-seventh time in ten minutes. More often than not, “this one” was dirt-brown and broken, well on its way to becoming sand. “Oh, throw that one back. It’s not beautiful,” I told her more than once. “Look at this one, how perfect it is, how nice the colors are.” “But I like it.” She looked a little sad. “It’s interesting. Look how you can see the inside—all the spaces. I think this is beautiful, too.” An objection formed in...

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The Purpose of Pounding

Posted by on Mar 5, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 4 comments

I thought the day would never end. There were tears. There was screaming. There was irrational ranting. And the kids got upset, too. (See what I did there?) Seriously, though, when the day did finally end—when we’d wiped up the pee that never quite made it into the potty, scraped the remains of dinner from under the table, and picked up 3,748 LEGO bricks—when it was all done, I slid down into the recliner for my daily “Staring Blankly at the Wall” time. Between a teething baby who decided that sleeping through the night was just not working for her anymore and a potty-training toddler who liked to use said potty as a means of manipulating his teetering-on-the-edge-of-sanity mom, I felt empty. I just wanted to sleep. For like three or four days. In a row. Not too much...

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Gentle Rain or a Hailstorm?

Posted by on Feb 28, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 3 comments

I gave the last of three kisses goodnight to the sweet objects of my exhaustion and shuffled down the hallway toward freedom. My evening plans centered on a bowl of popcorn and a few hours of mindless television. The day had been a whirlwind of errands, mounds of laundry, sibling squabbles, and endless cleaning. This mama was clocking out. As I slipped into my end-of-day sweatpants and t-shirt, my gaze fell on my Bible and devotional journal. With a groan, I surrendered to the stab of guilt and settled in for a few minutes of “quality” quiet time. My daily reading included the song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32 and focused on verse two. Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. Thoughts of...

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