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

Why Everyone Should Think like our 2-year-old

When our little guy was two, he never uttered the words, “I love you.” Never.

He always said, “I wuv you, too.”

Even when no one had recently spoken the words, “I love you” to him. Even when he was first to speak. Even then, he was returning love.

At two, he knew – no matter how much trouble he’d gotten into – that he is loved.

When do we lose that confidence? At six or seven or ten? In middle school sports, or high school band, or writing resumes? When our BFF moves on? Read more

When it Doesn’t Feel like Christmas

Around here, it is not looking a lot like Christmas.

Author’s note: We are in the Southern Hemisphere for Christmas this year. As Canadians, accustomed to short, cold, snowy December days, I reflect on having Christmas away. 

Today is the longest day of the year. It’s hot. Curling up with Christmas movies? Not feelin’ it.

And that is a little sad, and liberating at the same time. Read more

The Rest I’d Rather Resist

“I not hungry and I not tired!” our three-year-old shouted across the dinner table.

Clearly, he needed food and bed. And fast!

Psalm 23 says, “The Lord is my shepherd… He makes me lie down in green pastures…” In a desert full of thorns and dirt, this sheep is munching luxurious green grass. Yet he must be forced to lie down and rest. Silly sheep.

Just like my little guy. All too often, just like me. Read more

Finding Beauty in Life’s Seasons

Work-life balance.

Lofty aspirations and suffocating guilt in just three little words. We’re told this balance is something you and I, and our spouses, should aspire to. And we fail repeatedly. (At least our spouses do!)

What does that even mean, to balance work with life? Isn’t work part of life? If everything else is living, then work is… what, exactly? Purgatory?

Besides, the whole notion of balance simply doesn’t fit in nature. Read more

On Missing Fall and its Routines

Summer, in Eastern Canada, has a sense of urgency to it. You have to squeeze every ounce of enjoyment out of every sunny day.

Because it’s short. And winter is long.

We live by the ocean. Our “really hot” days are a balmy 80 F (28oC). Hotter is rare and short lived.

You blink and summer is over.

And our family just had our first real Canadian summer in a very long time. Read more