Three Versatile Just-In-Case Items to Carry on Every Trip

Any backpacker will tell you to leave the just-in-case stuff at home. They’re right. Don’t carry those fancy shoes and tailored suit for months on the off chance you might get invited to a wedding. The toy, the book, the extra pair of pants, even the extra socks can be left behind.

You can get by. Or you can buy.

I make an exception for three small, but oh-so-handy items. Read more

One Important Clue it’s Time for a Change

When I grow up, I, too, will visit faraway lands and when I grow old, I too, will live by the sea,”

Emily Freeman tells us to pay attention to what makes us cry. She writes, “…maybe our tears are tiny messengers, secret keepers of the most vulnerable kind, sent to deliver a most important message…” A message about what’s going on in our own soul.

This line from a children’s book did it for me. Read more

Home Again, Home Again: Here’s What to Expect

You’ve anticipated this moment. Your people are here, expecting you with open arms. After months or years away, you are coming home!

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Now you can just slip back into all that is familiar. Except all that is no longer familiar.

Do not make this mistake: Expecting life at home to be exactly as you remember it will make for one rough ride.

Thinking through your expectations and experiences can help ease the transition to life at home. Today, let’s talk expectations. Here are 8 things you should see coming: Read more

Make Reverse Culture Shock Less Shocking: 7 Simple Steps

 

Just as astronauts endure tremendous impact when re-entering the earth’s atmosphere, re-entering your own culture can make you wonder what hit you.

The first time I moved back home from abroad, I was unnerved by how poorly I fit in my own life. I’d been eager to get back home. Homesick, even. Yet I landed to find the place I’d always called home no longer felt like home.

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There are ways to ease the transition to life at home. I’ve learned what to expect. Here’s how our family is preparing as our re-entry to Canadian life approaches (for the third time): Read more

Moms Living Through Transition

May my words encourage families walking through periods of transition, in particular expat women.

I want readers to turn to my site for grace filled perspective and hope for the overwhelmed expat, for tips on travel and adjusting. May my words help readers offer grace to self and to their family members when the most basic daily activities threaten to overwhelm.”

I wrote these words as a purpose statement for this blog.

About eight months ago, as we were preparing for an international move, I felt an urgency to write. I’d been thinking of blogging for ages. 

I so wanted to write. To sort my thoughts. To have a project and creative outlet of my own. One thing not tied to a place. Something I didn’t need to leave behind when we move. Read more

Best Find: Screen Free Stories

I am not a homeschooling mom, and yet, I find myself homeschooling.

I am a little out of my element. And I am always looking for help, inspiration, and a hack or two. This month I have discovered a keeper!

I allotted 70 lbs for books when we flew from Canada to Argentina, but many are homeschool texts, so I still find we run short of stories. Read more

The Heart of What We Say

This has been a frustrating season and I’m bothered by how often my mouth has run away from me. I wish I’d spoken differently. Used kinder words. Been more patient.

I take comfort in knowing I am not alone. It is hard to control your tongue. James says only a perfect person could control their speech perfectly. We all slip up from time to time. The frustration boils over and the words spew out.

I don’t want to be that mom. I don’t want to be a yeller. I don’t want the messages my kids hear most, the ones they internalize, to say they are too time consuming, too needy, too demanding. I want to affirm them. I want them to know they bring me joy. We all do.

Jesus pointed out that our words come out of our hearts. Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

So when nasty retorts fly, when mean spirited sarcasm is on the tip of my tongue, I have to ask what is going on in my heart. Read more

Being Present: The Art of Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

“Art is all just perfectly imperfect.
Once the word Art enters the description of what you’re up to, it is almost like getting a hall pass from perfection. It thankfully releases us from any expectation of perfection.”

 – Nicholas Wilton in Brene Brown’s, Daring Greatly.

Parenting is Art. And that “releases us from any expectation of perfection.”

How freeing is that?! There is no ump waiting to thunder, “You’re out!” No one is eager to dub you the weak link. Perfect is not expected of you or anyone else.

There is no perfect to measure against. No metric for the perfect parent.

We get ourselves in such a mess when we think parenting is a puzzle to solve, a code to crack. Read more

Unproductivity -Kicking off the New Year in Vacationland

When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.”  – Clifton Fadiman

I want to write and I must figure out how to do it efficiently, or it is not going to happen.

Enter the productivity experts’ advice.

  • I should know what time of the day I work best and work then.
  •  I should do work in focused blocks of time.
  • Jumping between tasks slows me down.
  • And FYI, a major barrier to success is an environment that does not support my work.

I couldn’t agree more. But implementation is a struggle…

Read more

7 Ways to Squash Entitlement

Entitlement. Just hearing the word gets my back up.

If you’re like me, you cringe when your kids act entitled. Like, they deserve the newest and best, just because. When they complain about the tablet they don’t have just days after you bought a new iPad for the family.

The insult! The ingratitude!

Worse, I see the same discontent in myself. The two hour break that was a wonderful gift last week is no longer enough. I need more. I deserve more.

Long before tablets were a thing, Peter wrote that, as followers of Jesus, God’s “divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

I have enough for this life I am living today. God has given me enough.

And, I can even be godly in my attitude and interactions. Imagine that.

There is no room for entitlement here. So, how do we kick it to the curb?

Read more