Family Uncaged

how to uncage your whole family

What I love about my Mom

When I dig my hands in the dirt and consider it pure therapeutic joy, I thank my mom in my mind, grateful for her love for the earth. She didn’t always garden, at least not until we had ten acres and horses and the free fertilizer they provided. And even then, she had a job to juggle, my emotions to handle (as a teen), and life to navigate.

We moved away from the farm to a suburban home, and that’s when the bug bit even more. But when she settled in her forever house, stately on…

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Happy Birthday, Aidan!

Today my son is eighteen years old. He’s six foot four, intelligent, thoughtful and amazing. (Yes, I’m a biased mom.) I can’t wait to see what God will do with his life in the coming years. Here are 18 things I love about Aidan.

  1. He has a heart for the less fortunate. When he was in sixth grade, he singlehandedly decided to raise money for a well in Africa, which ended up happening ($10,000!). We flew to Ghana together and experienced life change while there. Wow.
  2. He loves music. He’s awesome at trombone and euphonium. He gets…

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The Power of Staying

This post is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! 

In a quirky corner of the house, in a box tucked away, I came across a strip of paper. Dot matrix printing. Penned in names. Folded in half. A printing of our marriage vows.

It reads “I, Mary, before our family and friends take you Patrick to be my wedded husband. And I promise and…

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My son’s senior pictures

Aidan and I had fun snapping these today. I can’t believe he’s a senior!!! Wow! Just a few more months before he graduates and moves on to college.

DSC_0047DSC_0059 DSC_0062 DSC_0065 DSC_0068 DSC_0073 DSC_0075

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23 Years of Marriage!


Patrick and I have been married 23 years today. What a beautiful, amazing, surprising, sweet relationship God has wrought between us. I’ll celebrate with poetry…

The Journey we’ve walked together—a sonnet for my husband


The years we’ve journeyed through joy’s wilderness

Have brought us to a place we dared not see

From evergreens and clouds that never rest

To flattened lands where sun beats down on tree


It’s odd to think that such a…

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Merry Christmas and a Blogging Break


I sincerely wish you an amazing Christmas and a joy-filled time with family, friends and food. May you experience peace in your heart, conviviality in your relationships, and hope for your future.

I’m taking a weeklong (much needed) blog break as I celebrate Christmas with my family and my 23rd wedding anniversary! Catch me back in this space January 1. It’s going to be a great year!

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Happy 21st Birthday, Sophie the Magnificent!


21 years ago you hollered your way into our world on Christmas Eve, and you’ve been an instrument of God’s grace ever since. Here are twenty-one things I love about you, Sophie dear!

  1. You absolutely, truly love Jesus.
  2. You value family, and you prioritize your time with us.
  3. You are so very, very funny (and you have your dad’s dry sense of humor. I love it!)
  4. Your face! You are a girl of one million crazy faces.
  5. You adore your brother and sister and seek to encourage them.
  6. You…

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We Lived in a Barn one Christmas


The Christmas of 2006 we were homeless. We didn’t have keys. Not to a car, not to a home. We’d flown halfway around the world, leaving behind a ministry we toiled over. Much, particularly in our hearts, lay in ruins.

Some friends owned Sabine Creek Ranch, and on their grounds stood a barn. A tiny apartment was tucked inside a horse and cow barn, flanked by a red caboose and hundreds of acres of Texas pasturelands. We’d never been there before, so we…

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Stress Less Badge


The Lord recently reminded me of something I needed to internalize again, and it came from my own writing. I pray these words BLESS you and give you peace, particularly during this holiday season. This passage is excerpted from my very first book, Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God in 2005 (which is why I refer to my kids as young!)


The Girl Scouts of America launched a new merit badge—the Stress Less Badge. The…

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Three Acorns


I ran a few miles recently and picked up these “acorns.” They’re huge, folks. More like small plums in size. But they captured me with their whimsy. I could see fairies living inside them, like little imp-sized thatched cottages. (Click to tweet.)

I placed these fairy houses under my monitor where I work as a reminder to be thankful. To choose three things daily that I would clap about, savor, reminisce.

With tomorrow being thanksgiving, I’m…

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