Last night thirty-five women packed into my living room to talk, eat, sing, dance, and dye our palms orange. It was definitely another Middle Eastern moment to remind me that I actually do live here. We celebrated the upcoming marriage of a friend with a traditional henna night. The evening started out as a bridal shower, but at 9:00 the bride-to-be donned a red gown and veil. Friends danced around her with a candle lit henna platter before dying her palms. [Read more…]
If you’re like me, you feel overwhelmed on Monday after a busy weekend. You spent Saturday at the mall shopping for clothes with your kids, and Sunday was the church picnic. Before you know it, Monday morning comes, and you’re wishing you had a few more hours to get ready for the full week ahead of you. Overwhelmed is what happens when you look at your day-timer and add everything up without putting God into the equation. [Read more…]
My kids are now bigger than I am, but my favorite family routine is tucking them into bed every night. Amazingly, they still love it too. Most nights I ask them what the highlight and low point of their day was, and I share mine as well. Then I pray for them, thanking God for the gift they are to our family.
Last week I wrote about celebrating milestones as a way of reinforcing identity and family culture. In their book Sticky Faith, Kara Powell and Chap Clark also talk about daily rituals and routines as a way to build family culture and encourage our kids’ positive self-image. [Read more…]
I wake up to joy in a fresh way during September. Cooler breezes and sunny blue skies bring me a feeling of exuberance. Gifts from nature’s bounty abound in our local market: ripe tomatoes, grapes, figs, and the last peaches of summer. I love returning to regular family routines when school starts. It feels like all is right with the world. It’s like I just got new glasses and can see God’s blessings more clearly now.
“Enjoy God and the life He’s giving you” is a personal catchphrase I repeat to myself. It encourages me in the face of monotonous daily tasks like going to work, making school lunches, and doing laundry. [Read more…]
Last Wednesday I started my day by turning on the kitchen faucet at 5:30 a.m., but no water came out. It was cut all day for a repair in our apartment building. I ended the day by dropping two large pyrex casserole dishes at 10:30 p.m.! They crashed to the floor and shattered. I’d like to say that I stayed calm and cheerful as I surveyed the layer of glass rubble all over the kitchen floor. [Read more…]