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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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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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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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An Open Letter to You on My Birthday
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Sometimes in life it feels like we are all running frantically on hamster wheels, lined up in a row, shouting hey to each other occasionally, or stopping for a few seconds of weekend, then back up and going, going, going. It’s easy to stay on our self-contained hamster-wheel-lives, but when someone steps off their wheel to touch my life, that connection sparks light, love,...

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13 Reasons Why–A Book Review
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“You have to read it, Mrs. Haupt!”  The student insisted I borrow the book, against my protestations that end-of-year duties had me buried.  It sat on my desk for weeks, and several students tried to borrow it throughout the duration of the school year. The book 13 Reasons Why has stirred up a lot of conversations lately, due to the recent Netflix series based...

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Not a Victory March
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I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch Love is not a victory march It’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah So much love for this song.  Especially Pentatonix version. I’ve been thinking lately about how much different love is from what both what we want it to be and what is portrayed in media.  I remember one time when an acquaintance was...

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Mental Health May
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She just disappeared from school one day.  She had always been quiet in class, but her absence spoke loudly to me. She wasn’t someone I would have been concerned about struggling with emotions.   But I should have been concerned. But it’s the quiet ones you have to watch. And the ones who smile every day. And the ones who act normal. And the...

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The Fear of Making Mistakes
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Last night, Abby and I attended a paint night for Mother’s Day. The idea behind the paint nights is that someone who is actually good at painting teaches you how to paint your picture step-by-step to make it easier for us non-artists.  It’s pricey, but it is a fun and relaxing experience and you come away with a product you made yourself.  It’s my...

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Chasing Down Grateful
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It’s that time of year. Students are grumpy and unmotivated. Teachers are tired of students’ annoying behaviors that have been going on all.year.long. Last week, I had spent some time planning a class activity I thought the students would enjoy. Tim helped me think through it. As we discussed it later and the lack of enthusiasm, he said, “Man, I really thought they would...

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