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Newborn Wonder

Christmas Wonderings

When each of my three children were born and the midwife lifted them up for me to see and placed them on my chest all I could do was stare at them and whisper, “Oh my God. Oh my God.” This was the only prayer I could formulate and articulate: a prayer of thanksgiving, of amazement, and disbelief at the tiny, heartbreakingly beautiful little person we were blessed to be entrusted with. The night of the first Christmas, before the heavenly host sang their Gloria, before the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem, and before the wise men brought their gifts, there…

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Feeling New

What does it feel like when you’re new? It’s like your first pair of shoes: squeaky clean and ready to go, but they don’t quite fit yet. It’s like the first snowfall of the season: fresh and unblemished but frigid. When you’re new, it’s as if you are walking in to your first day of freshman year all over again, except you’re not. You’re older now and supposedly a bit wiser, but you feel like that awkward, bumbling teen who doesn’t know where she’s supposed to go or how to act in order to fit in. When you’re new, what…

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Prayer Time With Toddlers

In this week's blog post, contributor Kaitlyn Mason shares 11 creative ideas for family prayer time with toddlers and young children.  If you are a parent of toddlers or have toddlers in your life, read on for some fun strategies! I’ve talked to a lot of moms who struggle with creating or maintaining a prayer time with toddlers and young children.  Our family has found a couple of ways to make family prayer time more enticing and more relaxing for everyone.  So, I thought I’d take a moment to share what’s working for our family. Authors Michele Faehnle & Emily…

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Broken And Beautiful

Beautiful Brokenness

“I hope nothing’s wrong with this one,” my friend brazenly blurted after my pregnancy announcement during our monthly women’s Bible study. A few cringed following her comment, and I caught their discomfort in my periphery. Somehow, as calloused and cruel as that statement could be, I knew my friend was well-intentioned, so I politely thanked her and changed the subject. Still, my heart was torn in the aftermath of her blunt statement. It wasn’t even like she attempted to package it with consolation or preface it with an explanation. It was just spewed out of her mouth without warning or…

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Tangible Movements of Grace

  There are moments when I simply don't know how I'm going to get through it- the stacks of dirty dishes, the floor that seems to be perpetually covered with crumbs, the endless needs of 3 small children. Sometimes, when I'm faced with these moments of overwhelm, I remember to pray; sometimes it's a memorized prayer, repeating an encouraging quote or Scripture verse over and over to myself, and most times it's a spontaneous "Lord, help me!" There are moments when I am overcome with gratitude- when I hear all 3 children singing happily together from the next room, when…

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Motherhood: Full of Grace?

“This is SO not graceful right now!” I thought to myself as I leaned half-way into the back seat of my sedan attempting to put my 1 year old in his car-seat with one hand while simultaneously pulling my shirt down and my pants up with the other. I have found myself thinking similar things as I walk waddle, up and down dormitory halls doing nightly rounds, or squat to clean up the ever present goldfish crackers from under the kitchen table, or chase my son around for 10 minutes simply trying to get him dressed. Motherhood is not graceful. Motherhood…

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Faith Foundations

Foundations, Faith and Fighting for Little Souls

Eight years into this parenting gig and suddenly I'm keenly aware of how experiences outside our home have an impact on our kids, and how truly important the influence of family and the Church is. Sure, we've struggled with parenting challenges – going from one kiddo to three in an instant (if you're the parent of multiples, you know nine months in utero is no preparation at all). Sleepless nights, tandem infant feedings while a toddler demands attention, and the run-of-the-mill things every parent deals with. We all face trials of one kind or another. Yet what I realize now:…

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Participating with the Divine

s I’ve been moving through my ordinary, everyday life, lately, I’ve become aware of something incredible. I’ve realized that every day, without leaving my house–heck, without even getting out of my pajamas, I am partnering with God. I partner with Him in fulfilling His plan and His will, through the way I love and care for my family. I play a crucial part in bringing His plans to fruition through my prayerful participation with Him each day. We are participating with the Divine through the way we live out the ordinary responsibilities of motherhood and marriage. What a beautiful, purposeful…

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Handle with Care

here are a few articles of clothing in my closet that I am especially fond of. One is a blue silk dress that is the rare combination of flattering AND super comfortable. Another is a lightweight white wrap-style sweater that goes with everything and is perfect for cool summer evenings. Being wary about causing damage when it comes time to clean either of these favorites, I am thankful that each comes with a care tag with specific instructions for safe handling. The other day, after ANOTHER challenging interaction with my teen, I found myself wishing that he came with care…

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