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Cherishing My Body

Monday, June 18, 2018

Words & Photography
by Anna McParlan



After my Dad had a stroke, I made a promise to myself to cherish my body. One moment he was clocking 50 miles a day on his bike, and the next he was paralyzed on his whole right side. Everything he had done on the daily had now become an act of grit and courage- fighting for every ounce of movement. I spent many nights by his bed holding that weak arm, tears rolling, begging God to bring healing and make the muscles that once moved with fluidity work again. I learned a lot about living on those nights as we danced with him on the edge of heaven.

And so instead of wishing I was a smaller jean size or that my chest didn’t show the wear of nursing through the scars of stretch marks, I’m just so thankful for a body that helps me do what God made me for. A strong body that lifts and carries my babes every waking hour of the day. A body that helps me take flight, carefree and bounding into a frigid Lake Superior on a heavenly night in May. Arms that both work when I outstretch them to offer a safe place for my people to land, and wrap David up in a bear hug after a long day at work. Hands that can write out the strung-together words of my heart, and a mouth that utters, "I love you’s" almost non-stop.
And so instead of wishing I was a smaller jean size or that my chest didn’t show the wear of nursing through the scars of stretch marks, I’m just so thankful for a body that helps me do what God made me for.
Wishing I could tell Dad about all the gold that came from the fire. All the nuggets of truth that stuck to my soul when we walked through the valley. Every single time I run or leap or dance, I think on you Dad. How you’d tell me to thank God for every wildly beautiful mundane moment I get to unwrap - for every bike ride, and sunset swim, and each opportunity I get to swing my babies around the kitchen dancing.

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Summer Spritzer

Friday, June 15, 2018

Words & Photography
by Shilpa Iyer



I made a non-alcoholic version (for my son)
of my lavender gin and tonic...and wow, it is so refreshing!
Mix a little lavender-rosemary simple syrup,
citrus seltzer, and a splash of ginger ale,
and you have yourself the perfect summer spritzer!
A splash of gin would be a perfect addition!

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Breathe It In

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Words & Photography
by Nina Landis



We celebrated the birth and continual blooming beauty of a dear friend the other night, and I caught myself trying to breathe in the moment. Do you ever do that? Freeze a sweet moment in time and try to inhale it? Maybe I’m just weird that way?
...and I caught myself trying to breathe in the moment. Do you ever do that? Freeze a sweet moment in time and try to inhale it? Maybe I’m just weird that way?
Well, weird or normal I had a swell of gratitude looking around this table. When you are surrounded by gold, don’t forget to savor it. I dined and laughed with rich wisdom and grace, and a kind of beauty that can only be forged in the fire. Each one of these women have stories that eloquently articulate the beauty of God and lives that attest to his wonder working power.

Look around you today...find the gold...breathe it in...and then...say thank you.

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Date Night

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Words & Photography
by Brittany Viklund



Times when my husband and I have left our babies for a date night out (thanks to some amazing friends and grandparents) add up to 6.

We still find opportunities to date each other every weekend, even within the walls of our home. We order takeout, light candles, watch movies, play Mario Party, or simply just sit on the deck and talk. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or wild to date your spouse, it just has to be intentional.
It doesn’t have to be extravagant or wild to date your spouse, it just has to be intentional.
I’m grateful I had three nights this weekend to stay up late with him even if the majority of the time we end up talking about our babies anyway.

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Something Creative

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Words & Photography
by Bethany Fray



Do something creative today.
For yourself. For someone else.
Either way, it will bring you joy.
 

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