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Archive for Parenthood

I am convinced that love is the fundamental energy of the human spirit.

~Gerald May

Categories: Love and Parenthood. Formats: Monday Moment and Quote. Interest Areas: Monday Moments.

Children, Chaos, and Contemplation

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef

There is never a dull moment at our house. My wife and I have four children—amid the flurry of homework assignments, birthday parties, sibling spats, and dinnertime squabbles—there’s a lot of constant noise and movement.

One of the delightful things about having young children is their unbridled enthusiasm and overwhelming energy. They are fully present, without a sense that there is anything else to be. They are fully in the moment. This is a gift of being a child, not being weighed down by thoughts of the future, or by a sense of responsibility, or worry. They are right here, right now.

The downside is that everything is so important, and when something doesn’t go their way, right now, it’s reason for complaining, crying, sometimes even—panic. Spilling milk really is something to cry over. A favorite toy breaking feels like the apocalypse. Even as I write this there is fighting in the sandbox. (Don’t worry – we have plenty of moments of calm and laughter as well in our household!)

I long as a parent to be able to maintain an inner calm amid all this outer chaos and confusion. I find that I very seldom am able to cultivate that on the spot. It is something I need to consciously develop in other moments, so that when the chaos comes, I have a reserve of calm from which to draw. It might be a daily time of prayer and silence, a quiet walk outside, Scripture reading, or some other practice.

The Power of Being Present

Today’s post is by Bryan Berghoef “Hello? Are you there, Dad?” I am awakened from my thoughts by my youngest child poking me, as I had apparently gone somewhere else while playing a game with her. This is a less common experience than it used to be, but still happens from time to time. We […]

We are all meant to be mothers of God.
God is always needing to be born.

~Meister Eckhart

 

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There is a child in every one of us who is still
a trick-or-treater looking for
a brightly-lit front porch.
~Robert Brault

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Categories: Parenthood and Self Compassion. Tags: child, halloween, and trick-or-treat. Formats: Monday Moment and Quote. Interest Areas: Monday Moments.

Letting Go

Today’s post is by Scott Landis I just dropped her off at the airport. I drove away with tears in my eyes as I felt that deep sense of pain that comes each time we say goodbye. Why is it so hard? Why does love come with such a painful flipside? But this time, as […]

August 08, 2016 by Scott Landis 1 Comment
Categories: Contemplative Living, Loss, Love, Parenthood, and Self Compassion. Tags: death, divorce, goodbyes, grief, letting go, and loss. Formats: Article and Friday Blog. Interest Areas: Friday Blog.

A Challenge to Everyday Life

We are all traveling somewhere, whether we regularly find ourselves at the airport, on a path through some untamed wilderness, or at the kitchen table. Life’s journey moves us from one place to another, and we are the unwitting (and sometimes unwilling) passengers.

What is true, life-giving power?

I happened to be watching a home shopping channel the other day for various reasons, none of them particularly grand. In the midst of hawking that day’s best value, the host mentioned she had been talking with her daughters about the meaning of mercy. Surprised, I thought, “Huh, what an interesting word to explore with young children.” I began thinking about my seven-year-old son, Gabe, and our adventures in spiritual formation. Feeling expansive, I decided to choose a “word of the month” to explore and discuss together, not unlike a vendor’s Today’s Special Value, perhaps. I guess you just never know where inspiration will crop up.

In honor of summer’s effulgence and the sun’s ever-reliable gift of light, we began with the word “generosity.” There were many life lessons and examples to share, and inspired by this initial success, I decided to be a bit more daring in my choice for September. I chose “power.”

Our world is full of examples of the abuse and misuse of power, but what is true, life-giving power? Could I explain it, not just in the negative but in a positive way that left a meaningful impression on my son’s young life? I researched examples, stories, and quotations looking for a wise and solid definition, eventually defining power as the ability to take action for good. Such a simple definition, though, belies power’s great complexity. Power certainly conveys a sense of dynamism, but it also includes the choice not to act. Power carries a sense of strength, whole-heartedness, clarity, and resolve. But power is also experienced in vulnerability, tenderness, and tears. Power suggests freedom, but we all know epic stories of those who have been imprisoned and deprived while still possessing great personal power and freedom of spirit. True power holds together freedom and responsibility, strength and wisdom.

October 10, 2015 by Kate Coffey
Categories: Parenthood and Spiritual Deepening. Tags: generosity, life, power, and wisdom. Formats: Article, Article by Shalem Staff, and Friday Blog.

Grounded in Gratitude

 Today’s post is by Savannah Kate Coffey “Whatever comes, the great sacrament of life will remain faithful to us, blessing us always with visible signs of invisible grace.” ~John O’Donohue The Bless the Space between Us The days of 2014 are waning and I am venturing a guess that we all began this year somewhere […]

Pause, Wash, Rinse and Drain

Today’s post is by Christine Berghoef. Growing up in an old farm house with limited kitchen upgrades, I used to question my mom and dad’s sanity in their choice to not install a dishwasher. Between my parents, me, and my three growing brothers who seemed to put down several meals between meals throughout any given […]