Author: Sarah Anderson

A-List Prayers

A couple of months ago, I attended a beautiful ceremony to celebrate a friend who decided to commit her future to missions. At a certain point in the celebration, my friend’s mom made her way over to where I was sitting. We small-talked for a bit, and then I asked her a loaded question,“How are you doing?” In other words, “Your mid-thirties single daughter is about to pack up her whole world and move to a different continent for the unforeseeable future. Are you okay with that???” This mom, looked me in the eyes and said confidently, assuredly, beautifully,...

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To Shine My Face

By Sarah Anderson The other day I came across a chart highlighting the first five years of life, drawing distinctives for each stage. My youngest having recently turned one, I was drawn to his age noting the things unique and true to toddling toddlers. I couldn’t help but smile when reading the last thing, the thing a one-year-old so badly wants his caretakers to know. “I am not a baby.” No surprise there. These days my “not baby” is all curiosity and exploration and climbing and tasting and feeling and attempting. In this new season for me—a season every parent eventually knows—Pace just isn’t as “hold-able” anymore. In fact, these days, I feel slightly beside the point. There is less carrying, snuggling, and juggling—and more watching. Observing. Standing on the sidelines scrutinizing this “not baby” catapult into independence. One of my favorite verses, one I often pray over my boys, is found in Numbers 6:24-26—a blessing Aaron, the first priest of Israel, and his sons were to speak regularly over God’s chosen people. The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26 NIV). In psychology there is a term called “mirroring”—referring to the silent cues being exchanged when two people are communicating. Through mirroring we...

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The Necessary White Space

By Sarah Anderson Every night at 6:45, the evening bedtime routine begins. My husband takes two lively and squirmy boys upstairs for a bath that usually ends up as a splashing, wrangling, wrestling match of sorts. Sometimes it results in clean boys, and sometimes just very wet ones. While managing that chaos, I pick up the abandoned toys and rinse the abandoned dishes. I make a sippy cup of milk for the boy who is in diapers, and the tiniest sippy cup of water for the one who is not. I find pacifiers and blankets. I lay out pajamas, I collect towels and then boys, to read to,  sing to, kiss on, hug on, and then bid goodnight. And once their doors are closed for the night, I start preparing for the next day—to do it all again. Parenting is hard on so many levels. It can be monotonous. Demanding. Filled with thousands of tiny selfless acts not prone to being noticed. It is saturated with times when a parent is compelled to forego themselves for the sake of another—rarely with the “other’s” notice. It is tiring work. To lose oneself in the making of another—in the routine, in the familiarity. It is easy to wonder where we went. In Judaism, they teach the idea when it comes to the text of Scripture, that the words are black fire...

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Joy in the Chaos

My son is asking for a car this Christmas. He’s four. He started asking for one months ago. And I— foolishly—thought it would be an idea that waned with time. Not so much. He gets fixated on things and doesn’t let go. Which can only mean one thing. Christmas morning is sure to be a little disappointing for my boy. He is his mother’s son. I can relate. I have a long history of being a bit of a wreck on Christmas. I love anticipation, hype, excitement. But I hate the letdown. And every Christmas, with big hopes and...

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Lightening Up Christmas

It seems to me, in recent years, Christmas has become quite the conundrum. Maybe it always has been as complicated as it now feels, or maybe I’m just more tuned in since becoming a parent, but it seems like everything you do—or don’t do—this time of year is intended to make a statement: Is Santa coming to your house? What about Elf on the Shelf? How many presents are you giving and getting? Are you caroling, serving, reading, s’moring, Operation Christmas boxing, white elephanting? And no matter where you land, your choice, for better or for worse, seems to...

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