Author: Julie.Sanders

When Summer Loving Looks Like Launching Your Son

Warm air blew across the back yard announcing summer’s approach. Images stirred of sweet days when our once small boy ran from early to late and ended days dirty and satisfied. I smiled at the thought of the college semester coming to a close, returning our son to us for a different, but equally rich season. My heart ran ahead with hopeful plans for family adventures and vacation conversations. What could be better for a mom than having children close for the exhilarating days of summer? And then he called to ask if we would pray. He wanted to...

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The beautiful moment when boys become a safe place

The bars of the iron gate clanged against the wall around our yard. Jacob ran to the compound’s safety and through the open door where I stood. Breathless and trembling, he sputtered a story of narrow escape from attack. As newcomers in our foreign home, I had urged him outside to overcome language barriers and forge friendships. We were hopeful, until a neighbor boy wielded a metal pipe as a weapon, sending our son retreating. “It’s going to be okay son,” I assured him as I pressed his sweaty head against my waist, trying to believe it myself. We...

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How to Reach a Distant Heart

The day we walked across the sand, he gripped my hand so we could go together. My attention delighted him, and when he broke away, he called me close. His eyes met mine and we shared joy at shells, foam, and birds. In that day of sun and laughter, I didn’t imagine his heart could be pulled from mine. That growing up could take him away like a wave takes a shell and drags it under. I didn’t know how hard it would be to reach his heart when he drifts away. When a man-child is small, smelling of...

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A Prayer for Direction in a Future of Corruption

Summer light faded from afternoon to evening. We strolled past the White House, as homeless people reclined on nearby benches and families posed for selfies. This year my son would vote in his first election. How do we pray about what our sons should do in this uncertain future? Armed officers interrupted my thoughts, pushing crowds to stand at a distance. Chaos took over the fragile peace, as scattered people formed a shouting crowd aiming angry messages at the president’s residence. Selfie groups merged with the makeshift mob, adding to the volume and volatility. A father raised his son...

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Finding Hope After All the Bad News We Hear

Before we could even taxi for take off, the occupant of 10B was gasping for hope. Unhindered by age or expectations, the seven year old warbled out worries about the impending flight and the monstrous airplane swallowing us all whole. “Will it go really fast, Daddy?” she asked. “I heard it will go really fast, faster than a race car,” she admitted. “I don’t know what it will be like, but I think it’s going to be really scary,” she told her patient father who tried to calm her with conversation. “I’m too scared to even talk, Daddy. I’m...

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