Author: Autumn Ward

Fight for the Heart, Not Your Traditions

One night last December, I found myself sitting at the kitchen table making Christmas cookies…by myself. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it just wasn’t the plan. That was not our tradition. Now that my kids are teenagers with busy schedules of their own, no one else was home but me. So there I sat, clinging to my tradition, making cookies alone, feeling pretty sad about the whole thing. (I’m sure I let everyone know about it when they got home.) One thing parenting has taught me about traditions is they are easy to start and hard to...

Read More

Cultivate Thankfulness with a Thankful Tree

Have you ever planted a fruit tree? I’ve always wanted to but never have gotten around to it. I have done a little research, though. Do you know if you plant a two-year-old apple tree, it could take another five years to bear fruit? Pear trees can take another six years and cherry trees up to seven years. That’s a lot of tending and watering in hopes you’ll reap the reward of some sweet fruit. But as any fruit lover will tell you, it is so worth it! I’ve been trying to grow a different kind of fruit in...

Read More

Just Listen

“Mom, I just need you to listen.” These were the words of my 16-year-old daughter this past week. I had been sitting on the edge of her bed for a good 45 minutes listening to her talk for what seemed like 3 hours. I had a list as long as my arm of things I needed to do before I went to bed. I was exhausted from a long day at work, taking her younger sister to softball practice, cooking dinner, laundry, homework, blah, bah, blah. And now it was 11:00 PM. 11:00 PM. I had only gone into...

Read More

Open Your Home

I love beautifully decorated homes with every little thing in place. A candle quietly burning, fresh flowers in a vase, soft music playing, the floors and bathrooms are spotless and the furniture is freshly polished – and vacuum lines on carpet – ahh they make me feel happy. As much as I would love to say this describes my home, it does not. I mean I still try. I haven’t totally given up on the dream, but I learned a long time ago that hosting kids in my home does not, in any way, help my dream become a reality....

Read More

Wipe The Slate Clean

So there we were, standing on a sidewalk in the middle of downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee. A couple in their mid-thirties with three kids ages 5, 8 and 10 struggling to have fun and enjoy a vacation together. It wasn’t happening. People were passing us on either side much like water going around a rock in the middle of a stream as we argued over kids not obeying, how much money had been spent, who was chewing too loudly, and whatever else we could get mad about. To be honest, I don’t really remember what we were upset about ....

Read More