One Question To Ask When the Going Gets Tough

On my first day of kindergarten, my mom gave me some advice. She told me what her mother told her on the first day of school: when you walk through the doors, don’t worry about making friends. Just focus on finding the girl who looks even more upset about all this than you do. Go over to her and say hello. Smile. Then, you’ll have a friend. My five-year-old-self was incredulous. Could it be that simple? With a little prompting, I gave it a shot. I walked up to a weeping girl and said, “Hi, I’m Caroline. What’s your name?” ...
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Cross Everything Else Off Your List, Leaving Just This.

Photo: Brian A. Taylor Photography. Used with permission. Friends, the weather outside is frightful, so I'm glad to be here in my writing room, sharing this post on the true meaning of the holiday season. I'm also glad that we have central heating this winter. Happiness really is the small things, like not having to wear a hat in the house. And this reminds me of another story about four girls backpacking through Europe. It's one of my favorites, because I was one of those girls. Now, I could tell you a lot of dramatic stories about that ...
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The Momastery Guest Post (Seriously, Bring Champagne)

This is a big day. My guest post, What We Have Left: A Letter, is live at Momastery. It's a break out the kazoos, call a babysitter, and uncork the champagne!!! kind of day. (Or it would be if I had kazoos, or children, or champagne on hand ... ) Momastery, created by Glennon Melton, "is where we practice living bigger, bolder, and truer on this earth. Where we remember what we already know: We can do hard things, love wins, and we belong to each other." How do Momastery readers ("Monkees") do this? Through sharing stories, telling truths, and ...
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Announcing: A New Documentary (Hula Skirts Ahead)

Dear friends, It's Tuesday afternoon, and I'm camped out in the guest room of my dear friends' home. I've been traveling for two weeks, from an Alabama lake house to a Pittsburgh conference center and everywhere in between. There are plenty of stories to be told, but today, I'd like to share a short documentary with you. Longtime A Wish Come Clear readers may recall a mention or two of this film; it's been in process for two years. In 2011, Edwin Mah -- an American University professor and independent filmmaker -- wrote to me and asked if I'd be ...
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Fill Somebody’s Cup: An Unconventional Birthday Wish

Home renovation projects: they can wear on you. Viva la tiny bathroom! You stumble over construction supplies, and everything is forever out of place. The cat dips her paws in the polyurethane your husband's using to top-coat your wood floors. (And then she proceeds to lick it off.) Everything takes so much longer than it's 'supposed' to take. Need a glass of water? Too bad. You can't have it right now. Your entire kitchen, including the sink, has been blocked off for a week. The water pitcher doesn't fit in the bathroom sink, so you take it to ...
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What Do I Have to Offer? A Story of Wine, Wonder, & Worth

As she spoke, the rest of the women in the circle grew still. We were gathered to celebrate a friend expecting her first child, and together we'd shared stories and blessings for her journey. We'd laughed, cried, and laughed some more, but now we were quiet. Hello to a friend's sweet baby. (2012) We were listening to a young woman who shared that she and her husband wouldn't be having children. Her story moved us all. But she didn't just focus on herself; she encouraged the mother-to-be, offering help and support. Afterward, I made sure to say hello ...
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For You, If You Don’t Want to Get Out of Bed in the Morning

It's a bright, beautiful day, but I'm not really seeing it. The world looks bleak. A bombing at the Boston Marathon, a city-wide manhunt, ongoing violence and terrorism the world over ... the hate seems very heavy, and the love feather-light. Part of me wishes I could be a small child again, blessedly unaware of all this. And what is the deepest wish of a child but to be safe, held, home? *** Photo Credit: Brian A. Taylor Photography And that calls a story to mind. To begin, I should tell you that I co-led the opening of ...
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In the Silence That Follows: A Love Story

My dear friend Brooke recently wrote, “I want to listen to what I really want to be working on, what I really want to be writing, where I really want to be spending my energy … and then do that.” This resonated with me, because I've been having trouble listening lately. And when I am having difficulty listening, I am most in need of guidance. Authentic listening is a lot more demanding than it sounds. It asks that you stop and be still. And in the terrifying silence that follows, it asks that you open your heart to what you ...
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Launch Day: I Was a Stranger to Beauty is Here!

Oh, happy day! Thanks to ThinkPiece Publishing, my new Kindle Single* is here! It's titled I Was a Stranger to Beauty: A Story of Special Needs, Simplicity, My Brother Willie, My Friend Miguel and A New Way of Seeing the World. (I'm fortunate to have a fantastic publisher who shares my affinity for ridiculously lengthy subtitles.) *If you don't have a Kindle, don't worry! You can read Kindle books with Amazon's (free) Kindle Cloud Reader. If you have Amazon Prime, you can also borrow the book through Amazon's Lending Library. *** This book is the story of a family moving ...
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In a Dark Time, Do You Dare to Welcome the Stranger?

About a year ago, I encountered a few words that changed my life. When we first met as roommates, we weren't sure we had a thing in common. Nearly 10 years later, her friendship is a treasure. You know what I mean -- it's the moment when a lyric from a song or a verse from a poem suddenly shoots right through you. It's that AHA of recognition that comes when you read something and say, "That's it exactly." This happened to me last year when, after leaving a stunning photography exhibition featuring actors and actresses with developmental ...
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