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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Fairy Tales for Young Adults

If you’re looking for a graduation gift for a young reader, look no further! (Ok, I loved the book and I’m not exactly young). If you love fairy tales and medieval intrigue, you’ll love The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson. If you’ve read The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest you’ll remember the mysterious Margrave of Thornbeck (Jorgen Hartman’s employer). You don’t need to read The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest first to enjoy The Beautiful Pretender. The reclusive margrave needs a wife and he needs…

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