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Evaluating the Worth of Anger

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My husband and I had good relationships with our son and three daughters before they were teens. So as our children entered their teen years, my husband and I had one simple goal: We wanted to have good relationships with them after the teen years, too. I’d heard other parents of teens say, “I can’t wait until my kid turns 18 and is out of my ...

Let’s Be the Ones Who Show Up in the Pain

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My dad’s high school yearbook told the story of a popular teen with the world at his fingertips — track star, editor of the school paper, class council president. Countless black and white photos of a handsome young man surrounded by smiling peers in matching horn-rimmed glasses. An athlete and academic full of promise and potential. But that’s ...

When Nothing Is Left But Love

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I was in my early thirties, established in my career and comfortable in my skin, but I was still nervous when the time came to meet my future mother-in-law. Would she like me as a person, approve of me as a daughter-in-law, accept me into the family, even with my bad-girl past? Our first meeting was cordial, and she always made me welcome in her ...

When God Transplants You

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I grew up in Chicago in a neighborhood where the houses were like little boxes made of brick sitting in neat rows along the city streets. Even though we had a small backyard, my mama always made space for a garden. Every spring we would head down to the local nursery and pick out packets of seeds and plants. We dreamed of making Italian pesto ...