Easter weekend 2017

Easter weekend 2017

Recently I noticed that my motivation for creative activities with my kids has really plummeted. To my credit, I think it’s in part because my kids are much more likely to entertain themselves than they were two years ago. When I had a 3- and 1-year old, they were aimless unless I gave them direction —

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Lent for stay at home moms

Lent for stay at home moms

One day last week, Tom came home and as he was telling me about his day, he mentioned he’d gone on a prayer walk during lunch. Then he added the disclaimer, “That’s not something you can do, I know.” This year during Lent Tom is taking part in several specific habits and spiritual disciplines. As Lent approached

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This unavoidable conversation about love

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8 On Tuesday, Tom came home a little early and we piled all three kids in our double stroller and ran to the

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Thomas’s baptism

Thomas’s baptism

Last Sunday, just before his first birthday, Thomas was baptized. Baptism is a practice in which the pastors of a church increase the faith of parents by asking them to stand on stage with their young children. (Picture Tom reading this, looking up at me and saying in a stern voice, “Amanda. Do not make

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Putting on our actual Easter best

Putting on our actual Easter best

Last Thursday I dressed my kids in their Easter clothes, took them out in the front yard, and made them take re-do Easter photos. I did this because Easter was rainy, hectic, and we didn’t get photos. I also did this because, apparently, I’m insane. My kids are going to grow up with stories of

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Hippity hoppity, happy Easter day

As holiday celebrations go, we had a very low-key Easter this year. Easter baskets on table, hard-boiled eggs and jelly beans for breakfast. Simple, and still, we were positively scrambling out the door to get to church on time. At some point in the chaos of getting seven people dressed and out the door my

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The arrival – Thomas’s birth story, part 2

The arrival – Thomas’s birth story, part 2

This isn’t the craziest birth story you’ll ever read. It isn’t the most dramatic or fastest or the closest call. But it is my craziest birth story. I’ve already told this story several times, and each time I feel a bit like I’m lying, or at least exaggerating because the timeline just doesn’t feel real. Whenever I tell it, I

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Easter weekend 2015

Easter weekend 2015

It’s becoming an Easter tradition for our family to participate in David’s preschool race and Easter egg hunt. Tom ran last year but this year he volunteered to help. Which reminds me, sometime after the half-marathon, Tom and I retired from running and all other forms of exercise. We just decided to surrender; our kids

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Easter smiles

Pretty dresses, a toddler-sized sport coat, Tom in a tie, and our last Easter as a family of four. As if I needed another excuse to take a family photo. Before we left for church, our kids were more than happy to sit with my parents’ dog for photos. They sat there and smiled perfectly. We had plenty

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Good Friday

Every year spring seems a bit like a miracle. Even my yard, which was cold and brown a week ago, is blooming. The past few weeks have felt unrelenting. We have dear friends who are mourning a great loss, those waiting, aching for answered prayer, others who are trusting God for healing and His sovereign care. It feels heavy.

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A call to prayer

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” – Lamentations 3:22-24 We recently switched Internet providers, and during the process of the switch Internet provider #1 cut our service about 24

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The Season of Advent

The Season of Advent

Yesterday (November 30) was the first day of Advent, which means today (December 1) is the second day of Advent, which means it’s not too late to start an Advent devotional Advent is the season of waiting. And OHMIGOSH we are waiting in this house. We have a little bag of treats we got for

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A family exercise in gratitude

As Thanksgiving approaches, lots of my friends do “thankful” activities with their kids. The idea is simple, ask the kids what they’re thankful for and display their answers — and yours. This is our take on it. I decided to trace our hands and hang them like a garland in our dining room. Initially I

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The three-year-old class

The three-year-old class

This silly boy started school last week. My goodness he’s grown so much since last year. He wouldn’t stand still for photos, but I like this next one anyway because you can see his shoes. Just before we walked out the door, David ran to his room and grabbed these shoes. He hasn’t worn them

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#rememberwhenc1wasfun

I could turn thirty all day long and not think twice about it, but nothing made me feel old like realizing I graduated from college ten years ago. I’ve been out of college for a DECADE, for two and a half times longer than I was in college. Ew, gross. Forget I ever said that.

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My amazing wife: 5 years in

My amazing wife: 5 years in

Guest post from Tom: When we were dating I used to write Amanda letters all the time. On our five-year anniversary, I wrote her a letter. She always writes blog posts encourage friends and family and tell them how much she appreciates them, so instead of just writing her a letter, I decided to write

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Overcome the lie

The good folks at Overcome the Lie asked me to write a post for them, and I was immediately excited because I knew it’d push me to take some time for self-reflection. I started ruminating in a leisurely way, with a cup of coffee and my journal. And then just after the holidays things in

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Student

Student

The color for the month of November at David’s school is brown. This shirt isn’t exactly brown, but it’s the best we could do. David loves preschool. Loves. I can’t emphasize that enough. He would go to preschool every day for 18 hours if he could. When he’s running away from me in the morning

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Perspective

We’ve had a long week over here on Grace St. All weeks are long, but this one was extra long. It all started with a runny nose, which turned into a fever, which turned into four skipped naps and multiple night wakings, which turned in to frayed nerves, short patience, and lots of moments when

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A living room full of answered prayers

We celebrated July 4th with two of Tom’s best friends. He grew up with these guys, and they’re all married with kids now. Nothing much has changed except they don’t play nearly as much GoldenEye on Nintendo 64 as they did back in middle school. Between the three couples there are seven kids under the

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Boston

I walked in the Monument Ave. 10k last weekend, and during the race I thought, “Why am I doing this?” It’s a thought that crosses my mind in nearly every race. The question isn’t, “Why am I running?” The question is, “Why did I pay an entry fee, wake up early, and fight traffic to

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X-games

For the past several months I’ve been spending my Saturday mornings doing long runs, so the week after my race, I bundled up on Saturday morning and went to the park with some kids (many of whom were part of our Track Club). The trip to the park is called X-games, and it’s an informal ministry

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Track Club

Track Club

For me, running has always been more about community than winning races or setting PRs. Maybe that’s because I’ve never been super fast, and if that’s the case then my speed limitations are a mercy from God, because running has brought me some great friendships. Even when I was in high school and racing all

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Attention Attention: Adoption Yard Sale

Check this out. My friend Elizabeth is having a huge yard sale.  And see where it says adoption Yard Sale? That’s because all of the proceeds go toward helping Elizabeth’s family adopt a little boy from China named Charlie.  (Her blog is choc-full of their decision to adopt, but you can read the beginning of this particular

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Lent

I’m a day late. Ash Wednesday was yesterday. BUT if you’re interested in daily Lenten readings, check out:  http://lentreading.wordpress.com/  “Lent is a time to ask God to confront our own mortality and sinfulness; to ask Him to show us our need for grace; to grow in repentance; and, to reflect on the amazing truth of

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Vows

After David was baptized, people in church kept telling me congratulations. I didn’t realize that was what people tell parents after their children are baptized, but it makes sense. We don’t believe the water saved David, but that it represents Christ’s cleansing power, union with Christ and David’s inclusion in God’s covenant community. When Matt

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David’s baptism

David’s baptism

David was baptized this weekend. I grew up in a church that didn’t baptize little ones, so if you’re like me and are unfamiliar with the practice of baptizing infants, I found this explanation. In addition to claiming God’s covenant on behalf of David, it was also an opportunity for Tom and me to stand

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Since we’re on the subject of goal setting and new years’ resolutions

tumblr_lyohdqfu8k1r2ys05 Since we’re on the subject of goal-setting and New Year’s resolutions, this sermon on 2 Samuel 6-25 made consider success and failure in a whole new light.  “Failure is exposure, and exposure can lead to repentance and repentance can lead to Jesus, the ultimate arrival… “Our success and our sinfulness may lead us to think

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“For unto us a child is born,

   to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder,    and his name shall be calledWonderful Counselor, Mighty God,    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;

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Well said.

I follow a blog called Paradox Uganda, and it’s different than any other blog I’ve read. It’s written by Dr. Jennifer Myhre, she and her family have lived in Africa (mostly Uganda, most recently Kenya) as missionaries through World Harvest Mission for almost two decades. Like most missionaries, Dr. Myhre has abundant tales of trials,

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