I am looking through old pictures when my eyes begin to blur with salty tears. So many of the pictures I've been looking through are pictures of my father. Whether summer or winter, there he is - his familiar face with his ready smile. My dad smiled from his bones. It was never fake, never … Continue reading Losing My Umbrella – Some Thoughts on a Father’s Death
It's my daughter Annie's birthday today. Annie is our firstborn. She ushered us gently into parenthood 32 years ago. On day two she slept so long that we sat around her woven Moses basket like we were humans examining an alien being. The conversation went something like this: "She's so perfect." "Yes. She is SO … Continue reading Remembering those First Days of a Newborn
Every summer I begin thinking about change and transition, about reentry and culture shock. With the first warm breezes of the season, I am transported to places and times where this was my reality. And I begin to hear stories from others who are going through these transitions. The stories are told in photographs and … Continue reading A Life Overseas -Thoughts on Entry, Reentry, and Third Culture Kids
Each year, I pick some TCK quotes to pass on to parents. Some of the quotes are poignant, some funny, but most of all - I think they are wise. The third culture kid is not a single person with one viewpoint; instead it is kids all over the world, each with their unique story … Continue reading Keep the Lego! (and other thoughts from adult TCKs)
"All the world feels caught in these goodbyes, goodbyes that bruise and hurt but remind us that our hearts are still soft and alive. For a dead heart doesn’t hurt with a goodbye, only a heart alive to others feels the pain of that goodbye, the difficulty of leaving….” From the Goodbye section of Between … Continue reading Some Thoughts on Parenting and Goodbyes
This past week Brenda Barnes died. She was 64 years old. You may not know much about Brenda Barnes, but she is an interesting role model for women looking at work choices. Brenda was the first CEO of PepsiCo. She broke the proverbial glass ceiling, but for her it wasn't enough. After working as … Continue reading Let’s Talk About Lack of Choice in the Workplace
Is God's protection realized, not through isolation, but through exposure? We had been in Cairo only 2 weeks when our son Joel slipped and hit his head on the sharp edge of a bed. He sustained an open cut right above his eye. With Joel screaming and bleeding profusely, we somehow made our way to the … Continue reading Isolation or Exposure?
Readers, my mom and dad were in the country of Pakistan and raised five of us in that context. Yesterday on A Life Overseas my mom shared a poignant story on children, choices, and ultimately learning to trust God with our kids. Would you join us there? I have included the beginning of the piece … Continue reading No Easy Answers – A Life Overseas
Note: I wrote this piece four years ago, right after my fifth child graduated from high school. Before this past weekend, I felt exactly like this post. Then came the weekend and the gift of rest, the gift of peace. So I'm not in the same place right now. But perhaps some of you are … Continue reading A House of Cards
In this two part series Robynn suggests ways to successfully survive summer! School is about to get out here in Kansas. For many moms that’s a sweet joy. They anticipate leisurely time with their children, afternoons at the pool, evenings in the park. For the rest of us summer is a stir-fry of a wide … Continue reading Surviving Summer!
A few years ago, a good friend and I were talking about our children. How we loved them, how we were exasperated by them, how we struggled to parent well, mostly how we hurt when they hurt. She talked about a quote she had read somewhere, that when we have children we wear our hearts … Continue reading With Hearts Outside our Bodies
Part three: Don’t burn your Bridges – A Home to Come Back To This is the final segment in a three part series Robynn has called, The Spelling Bee. “Lowell and I squeezed hands. Connor seemed to hesitate. There was a long pause. The audience had time to spell out the word in their heads … Continue reading A Primer in Parenting–Part 3
Part two: Bible Trivia. Shmible Shnivia. Robynn continues unpacking the list she and Lowell have followed as they’ve attempted to raise their children in the Faith. “I don’t want them to lose faith or to abandon God. We’ve made ourselves a sort of silent checklist…an unspoken, yet agreed upon “How To” guide…to help us parent … Continue reading A Primer in Parenting–Part 2
Over the past several weeks I’ve met several moms that are, by their own admission, floundering. They love their children but they experience moments of great rage. They love their children but they long for quiet times without them. They love their children but guilt falls thick when they experience other longings. I want to … Continue reading The Spelling Bee–A Primer in Parenting
Dear New Mom, A year ago I wrote a letter to you. I saw you on the subway, and you had that amazing look, a look I know so well -- the look of a woman in love with her newborn. So I wrote to you, and I meant every word that I said. … Continue reading Dear New Mom – Part 2
It’s tough to be a junior (grade 11) in high school. There are so many pressures. This is the year many students choose a college, a career, a life. Lowell and I watched Connor stumble through the agonies of these seemingly huge decisions. Now we’re watching Adelaide do the same. Of course as adults we … Continue reading It’s Okay Not to Know
Firstborn children have the joy and burden of being first. The joy of newness and expectation, the burden of insecure parenting and wanting to get it right. No child should have to be the firstborn. But someone has to, and they deserve special applause as they teach their parents more of what it is … Continue reading No Child Should Have to be the Firstborn….
Thank you Taylor Swift by Robynn All summer long our youngest daughter has been dreading entering the eighth grade. Seventh grade wasn’t a positive experience for her. She really loathed it. Friendships changed. She bravely tried out for tennis and basketball but didn’t make the teams. She ran for student council but didn’t win the position … Continue reading Thank you Taylor Swift!