When Online Distractions Steal Our Joy

Last year, I slowly worked my way through a book called The Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World. Penned by Canadian writer Christina Crook, the book grew out of the lessons she learned during a 31-day “fast” from smartphone data, email and the Internet.

It’s a fascinating—and often sobering—look at the way technology has consumed our lives, affected our brains and changed the way we relate to people. At the same time, it provides a hopeful way forward for those of us who long to be fully present in our lives but still struggle with distractions that suck our time and steal our joy.

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One Way to Respond When “Life” Happens

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

That’s how the saying goes, anyway, so I might as well give it a shot. You see, I started writing this the morning of Sunday, Nov. 5. Ordinarily I would have just gotten home from church, but today—which also happens to be my birthday—has been a little different.

Randy left for church—a 20-minute drive from our house—much earlier than the rest of us because he had tech duties to attend to there. The girls and I got ready and loaded into the van right on schedule, but when I went to start our trusty vehicle, nothing happened.

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When All the Change Gets to be Overwhelming

Nothing fits.

It was a frequent thought of mine not too long ago.

Clothes, places I’ve long held dear, songs I’ve always loved, communities I’ve been involved with, personal relationships, even my own skin.

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What You Learn When You Teach Your Kid to Drive

When I was growing up, my parents had some rules for me and at least some of my six siblings about learning how to drive.

We had to take driver’s ed before we could drive, and we had to be 16 before we could take driver’s ed. As a result, I didn’t start driving until just before my junior year of high school, a year later than many of my friends.

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Persevering in prayer when there is no answer

I get a little antsy when an answer I am expecting takes longer than expected to arrive. OK, maybe antsy isn’t quite the right adjective. Anxious, irritable, practically beside myself with frustration—that’s more like it.

Recently, I found myself in the unfortunate situation where I was waiting for two responses—one pertaining to a health insurance issue I was trying to untangle for my parents and the other related to a freelance editing project I was working on.

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When God Closes a Door with a Resounding Bang

Today’s post first appeared about 18 months ago, as part of a series on my friend Bethany’s blog. It’s about the end of a writing dream, but it also could apply to any situation in which God seems to close a door with a resounding bang. My prayer is that this little chapter from my life will encourage you in some way, especially if you are struggling to accept an outcome you weren’t expecting.

When I was in my early 30s, I wrote a book about infertility. I worked on it during the long months after my husband and I ended our three-year effort to conceive and before we adopted our first daughter from China.

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