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Inside (with Music)
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Winter closes us in like forced hibernation. Rare sunny days find heads poking out all down the street, squinting like Piggy into the shocking brightness. I watch people bake and cook on tv, healthy and scrumptious meals, and I eat my warmed up Chinese food from last night. Those who can’t do, watch. And my Paul Simon Pandora station plays “Tangled Up in Blue”...

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The Most Powerful Word
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No really is a beautiful word.  Here’s why: No allows you to preserve the passions in your life.  You say no to lesser things and protect the boundaries of your passions.  Like stones lining a garden, your no forms the lines around that which you will weed and water and cultivate. 2. No makes your yes stronger.  When you know your limits, you will...

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You Like What You Like
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If you are a compliant person who likes to connect with others and make them happy, you might sometimes struggle to express your own opinions. But the principles of boundaries show you that your opinions, even your likes and dislikes, are what makes you, you.  They are the line in the sand between you and others.  This is good and healthy. I remember going...

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Boundaries are Biblical
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  Are boundaries Biblical? Yes. I believe they are. The Bible records Jesus’ life on earth as a time of endless ministry with miracles and teaching.  Yet, it also records that on occasion, he went away by himself to pray.    He had to refresh his inner well by communing with the Father.  He was bringing physical and spiritual healing to the needy, yet...

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Boundaries are not Selfish
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Aren’t boundaries selfish? I get it.  It will probably be your first response as you learn about boundaries.  It was mine as well. And it’s a fair response, but stick with me because it is a false dichotomy. Our priorities are our most sacred people and places.  Think about your life in terms of concentric circles, with the smallest one in the center.  Imagine...

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Only My Plate
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Only My Plate

Jan 21, 2018 by

Not long ago, a student walked into my class when it wasn’t his hour to be there.  I had already had him for English that day, yet he waltzed in during another English hour, presumably just to “hang out.” He was sorely disappointment when I promptly sent him on his way. “But I’m bored!” He whined as he was ushered back into the hallway....

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When You Hate to Disappoint People
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  It’s true that when following the principles of healthy boundaries, you will disappoint people. And you will say no to things you used to say yes to.  And certain people won’t like that. At all. All of that is true. And all of that is worth it. My kids have this Kool-Aid stuff they love. It comes in a tiny bottle and it’s...

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Finding Peace in Boundaries
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I found my peace during the crazyness of Christmas between the long arms of the treadmill at the gym. That makes it sound like I logged a lot of hours there, which would be false.  I did not. But I did go sporadically and when I found myself either walking or jogging on the treadmill, I found peace in shrinking all the concerns of...

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Dry
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Dry

Jan 17, 2018 by

Everyone is dry. I smear colorless, scent-less Aquaphor under Susanna’s nose, above and below my own lips, on the bumpy red splotches of Isaac’s eczema behind his knees. Lotion, chap stick, hand cream, coconut oil… the same heat that makes our homes cozy dries out our fragile bodies. Spiritually, I feel dry, too.  Two Sundays of illness without the benefit of listening to the...

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This is Us
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This is Us

Dec 29, 2017 by

Ben and Isaac play a raucous game of Spider-Man UNO by the bird cage while Susanna smiles secretively at Daniel Tiger on the tv, who is singing about what to do when you feeling jealous. Daniel Tiger asks, “Do you ever feel jealous?” And Susanna answers emphatically, YES!  She looks at me and giggles. I felt the sting of jealousy myself the other day...

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A Dood Day
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A Dood Day

Dec 5, 2017 by

I hear the wind whistling restlessly at my window, and it matches my own restless, anxious spirit. The more the Christmas season amps up, the more I crave simplicity. Simple recipes, simple decorations, simple schedule.   At the end of a very long day full of many cares, worries, and frustrations, I flop down on my bed and Susanna joins me, wanting to tell...

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Autumn Anxiety
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Autumn Anxiety

Nov 6, 2017 by

A friend sent me this poem she wrote and it was such an accurate description of irrational anxiety and couched in this current season, that I had to share. Autumn Anxiety Fear flushes out all else, Leaving only a wiry ball of instinct Poking at the inside of my abdomen. Autumn leaves skitter across the pavement, Like nervous squirrels terrorized by the thought of...

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To the Wednesday-Weary Teacher
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It’s Wednesday. This means that you are worn down from Monday and Tuesday, but the week is not yet almost over.  Maybe you wonder if you have the emotional or physical energy to make it through the rest of the week.  Maybe you wonder if you have the emotional energy to make it through the rest of the day. I feel you. You with...

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Brain Soup
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Brain Soup

Oct 3, 2017 by

Isaac stands by me trying to tell me about his newest Lego creature. Susanna competes with his volume as she loudly proclaims her disappointment in my channel choice–the news. It’s Saturday morning: I try to catch bites of the outside, adult world. Donald Trump: “I think out of all my good qualities, my temperament is my best quality.” Susanna: I want to watch Daniel...

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This is Our Great Love Story
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Tim and I have reached the age where a browse through Facebook might mean updating each other on whose is the latest marriage to dissolve.   I don’t say that to shame anyone, but it’s simply true that in our mid-thirties, we begin to see the marriages collapse around us. I think on this as I am vacuuming bird seed from the carpet in...

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Summer Setting
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Summer Setting

Aug 3, 2017 by

The sun is setting on summer.  The kids start school August 10, and I start August 16. Last year, I was eager for a fresh start in teaching.  It was a great year and I am thankful for it, but this year, I am holding onto the last shreds of summer a little tighter.  I feel we have made the most of it, but...

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