Finding Freedom in Traditions

By Miriam Walsh

christmas-countdown-wallpapers-2-1024x768Christmas traditions can feel like traps to me, silent pressure to assimilate. They seem so appealing from my vantage point outside of other people’s families.  Other moms gracefully weave their traditions into meaningful celebrations saturated with spiritual significance. Yet when I tried to engage what other moms successfully did, I ended up feeling captive to my own unmet expectations. I also ended up feeling more conformed to the image of the Grinch rather than to the image of Jesus.

Continue reading

Tracing the Hand of God

By Miriam Walsh

ID-10058213 Remember the art project our kids made when their hands were small and chubby? Even craft-challenged moms like me could have success in using a pen to trace their sweet little hands on construction paper. Then together we would adorn the paper fingers with feathers and the thumb with a candy corn beak and black licorice hat. Draw in some feet and—voila—it’s a perfect turkey.

As the kids get older they soon learn to trace their own hands and the designs that could be made from a traced hand seem endless. Whether it was macaroni shells or dried beans or watercolor paints the end result was always original and somewhat of an adventure in creativity to achieve a satisfying result.

Continue reading

Three Discipline Pitfalls to Avoid

By Miriam Walsh

33823nvtg4pw41eNumber One: Are you inconsistent?

Does disciplining your kids depend on things like the schedule or the fallout that’s sure to ensue from them once you do?  Does it depend on whether or not you can even remember what the rules are? This generates stress and more importantly, is ineffective. If we can’t remember our own rules, how can we expect them to remember? Establish the consequences ahead of time—maybe even post it somewhere—and be sure to stick to them.

Continue reading

Faces like Angels

By Miriam Walsh

UntitledI had no idea I was capable of such a visceral, ugly response until someone wronged my kid. Anger was an understatement. No kid is perfect. And every good mom wants her kids to get what’s coming to them when they deserve it. But this situation was borne out of one kid unashamedly defending his faith and helping a newer believer to do the same. That made both of them a target.

Continue reading

Surprised by Praying Kids

By Miriam Walsh

prayer When the boys were little we each prayed out loud in the car on the way to their schools in the mornings. I loved hearing them talk to God. It gave me insights to them I wouldn’t have had any other way. They shared things during that time that they never would have said directly to me. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.

Continue reading

Holy30 ~ Lamentations 3:25

By Miriam Walsh

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1) Lamentations 3:25 “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.”

The troops were getting restless. Boys have some innate inclination that makes them extra wiggly and mischievous in a mall setting with rounds of clothing as far as their little eyes can see. I asked my younger son, who was 4 at the time, to please wait patiently while I tried to find the right size. He agreed. Moments later I heard him singing a song he had just composed. “How’s your bottom? How’s your bottom? How’s your bottom today?!” Now that’s waiting creatively.  We still are joking about it ten years later.

Continue reading

Holy 30~James 4:4

What is Holy30?

By Miriam Walsh

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1)“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”

It was never our intention to send our son to preschool. But when his younger brother was born, he had a lot of feeding issues and was very colicky. The house was filled with tension. Preschool was a way to give my older child a couple of hours of peace. An escape. One day I stood watching through the window into the classroom and observed my son playing with the roughest, meanest kid in his class.  They had nothing in common.

Continue reading

Holy30 ~ James 1:27

What is Holy30?

By Miriam Walsh

cream-floral-design-powerpoint-backgrounds (1)Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father… and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27

It’s been a tough season. For the past year our family has dealt with difficult situations. One son sustained a serious brain injury. The other son had two major hip surgeries. Both continue to navigate challenging recoveries. We have given up much and I face this new school year…spent.

Continue reading

Put-ups

By Miriam Walsh

ID-10075285I curled up in my favorite chair, flipped through the pages of my new photography book and began reading. Though I read the same sentence repeatedly, I still had no idea what it was trying to convey because my thoughts were being drowned out by the bickering voices on the other side of the living room.

 

“Why do you have to be so close to me?

“What’s it to you?”

“Just don’t touch me. And quit looking at me.”

“I’m just asking you a simple question.”

“Well, I don’t want to talk. I’m trying to read.”

Continue reading

Paper Stones

By: Miriam Walsh

Baby (12-18 Months)“Hey, mom, I’m going to need one of my baby pictures for my high school yearbook.” Why does that statement send waves of panic rushing over me? Every few years I tell myself this will be the year that I take all of our photographs and file them chronologically and also get them converted to a digital format to join the computer images. But I always seem to forget about that soon after the sought after picture has been found. It’s so easy to immerse myself into other facets of motherhood.

Continue reading