Self-care and Nurture

Running in Calgary, Running to Calvary

Running After a Hiatus After five short days in Bozeman, we headed north to Alberta. Unfortunately, we started late in the day and only made it to a Calgary Wal Mart parking lot the first night of our adventure. I decided that the time had come to get back in shape—I hadn’t run very much for the past three weeks. After a good night’s sleep, I got dressed, laced up my running shoes, grabbed my bear spray and cell phone,…

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Why it’s Better to Have a Learner’s Attitude for Life’s Tests

My First Driving Test My first real driving test came when we left Bozeman and headed towards Canada. We decided that I would drive so that Pedro could work while we still had Internet. He hooked up the trailer, and I nervously hopped in the driver’s seat and adjusted it for me. I like driving his truck, don’t get me wrong. But I feel like I’m driving an army tank down the road—and now I would have an army tank…

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How to do Life With Confidence

Riding With Confidence I met my nemesis in Bozeman this summer. Ok, maybe that sounds a little dramatic. Let me explain. Back when we lived in Bozeman, we had a favorite mountain biking trail—the Bangtail Divide Trail. Pedro always rode it with confidence. I tackled it with trepidation. This 25-mile trail spans the Bangtail range just north of Bozeman. Of course, we love the trail for different reasons. Pedro loves the trail because it has epic single-track downhill stretches and…

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Off-Kilter Perceptions Make ME Unbalanced!

Perceptions Motivate Us Back to that desire of my heart I didn’t want to mention. I really wanted to visit Sarah at her summer job in Alaska. Ever since we stood Sarah up for a Christmas visit to Argentina, I’ve felt the need to visit her during a vacation. I know it seems silly, maybe even a little helicopterish, but there you have it. Deep down, I know it has to do with providing a positive context for reconnecting with…

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Don’t Miss Out on the Rewards of Hospitality

Hospitality Has its Rewards “Can I visit you in May and bring a friend?” our Chinese daughter Weixuan asked in a text message. Sarah’s junior year, Weixuan lived with us when she attended the school I worked at as part of their foreign exchange program. That year we also opened our home to Jeanne, a young lady from France. I loved listening to the three girls study math together—it sounded like an exchange at the United Nations. In the years…

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The Importance of the Master Switch

Messing Up the Maiden Voyage of Beauty After signing the papers for Beauty, we quickly realized that we couldn’t just throw on a hitch and haul her home. For one thing, the dealer wouldn’t let us drive off the lot pulling an RV unless our truck had the proper accouterments. They offered to sell the special trailer braking system and hitch with sway bars for twice the amount that we could purchase them on Amazon, so we declined. In addition,…

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Do You Expect God to Fulfill Your Heart’s Desires?

Secret Desires Sometimes I think the thought of admitting the desires of our heart to the Creator of the universe scares us (as if he didn’t already know). We fall into two camps: we expect nothing (humility rules) or we expect God to bless us with millions (prosperity rules). Let me tell you a little story about one of my secret desires. Blame it on the Birds! I forgot to mention an important fact yesterday when I told about buying…

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The Number One Pitfall of Suffering from Stuffism

What Comes After Caregiving? At times, I wondered if the constant round of caregiving worry and stress would ever cease. First, during the year of my husband’s cancer and second, during the year of our daughter’s undiagnosed mental illness. I knew without a doubt that God had things under control during those times of caregiving, but I would indulge in whiney fits at times where I wondered, “When?! When will things turn around and back to ‘normal’ again?”

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September’s Lessons-From Crazy to Crazier

Crazy Things I Learned in September 1. The Milbert’s Tortoiseshell is a crazy-beautiful butterful (and it posed so nicely on a yellow flower). I had no idea that such a butterfly existed. But, you know me. I see something beautiful and I want to take a photo. Once I load the photo into Lightroom, I have to label it (ok, I don’t HAVE to, but I can find it easier if I assign labels), which means I have to figure out…

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Do You Delight in and Collect Kids’ Quirky Conversations?

Why I Should Collect The Things My Students Say My students crack me up. I’ve had the privilege of teaching teenagers for the last 28 years, and every week involves a good belly laugh over something one of them said or wrote. Unfortunately, I’ve failed to collect all of their funny sayings over the years. Just think of the collection I’d have by now! During my mixed-grade study hall, Kyle—a constant work-avoider, wanted to know who got to sit in…

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