Archive for ‘Happily Even After’
A Christmas two-for-one special: two posts about Christmastime by Stacey and Josh. Stacey writes about the importance of “presence” – not just presents – at Christmas, while Josh writes about the importance of traditions for families and faith life.
Josh and Stacey’s oldest son is 13, and sometimes feels like the world – and his parents – are against him. Josh writes that intentionally spending time together, especially playful time, goes a long way in fighting bitterness and building unity.
Have you noticed that we often try to express our gratitude to someone by giving them a gift, i.e. something that costs money? Stacey reflects here on an experience that taught her that there’s no greater gift one can give than the gift of self. Free, but far from cheap.
How do you talk to your children about tragedy and suffering? Josh offers some practical advice here about how he and his wife help their children respond with hope and charity to other people’s suffering.
Getting married doesn’t mean that you’ll never feel attracted to someone other than your spouse. Stacey writes here about how she and Josh have navigated this situation with honesty and clear boundaries. The key: “Always and everywhere, I am Joshua’s wife.”
Hospitality has always been important to the Noems. Here, Josh talks about being hospitable…to his wife: making her homecoming after work pleasant and tending to her needs.
“Parenting is a constant call to conversion,” says Stacey. Read the second half of her top ten list: things to remember as a parent.
In the first of two posts, Stacey explains five key pieces of advice that have guided her as a mother over the years, including setting boundaries and establishing routine.
Josh recently returned from a great weekend with his dad, watching baseball and making memories. In this post, he expresses his gratitude for the sacrifices Stacey made to let him have this trip: “I felt like she had my full thriving in mind – that she wanted the best for me, regardless of what that might mean for her.”
A phone call during her workday, from her sick son, illuminated the “internal contradiction” Stacey feels between her identity as a mother and her weekday work responsibilities. In this post, she reflects on the challenge of reconciling motherhood and work outside the home – a challenge well-known to many.
Josh recently spent several weeks away from his family, working at a nuclear power plant. Removed from the routines and responsibilities of family life, Josh reflected on his identity as husband and father. He writes that the “lines of connection” in a family – which can seem like constraints at times – are “freeing and fulfilling because they…anchor me to my truest and deepest identity.”
Josh and Stacey’s oldest son is almost a teenager, and in her latest post Stacey reflects back on what it was like when Oscar was a baby. While he wasn’t an “easy” baby, Stacey realizes something about Jesus’ words, “My yoke is easy.” She writes that God gives us work that “is enough to stretch us but not too much to handle.”
“Having a boy who is almost a teenager at the dinner table is kind of like eating with a vacuum cleaner,” writes Josh. In this post, he reflects on the importance of sharing meals as a family, and how it’s about more than what’s on the plate.
When Joshua and Stacey speak about “good community” or “good marriage” they try to convey that good community (marriage) comes down to good communication. Here they share three golden rules, or guidelines, for good communication.
The Noems now have an in-house babysitter! Josh reflects on preparing the children to take on roles of increased leadership and responsibility.
Last week, we traveled a day and a half to South Dakota to join a Noem family reunion. It was everything that an MTV spring break special is not: a weekend packed full of sweet rolls, baseball, and thoughtful conversation marked by easy silence and friendly nods.
Diagnosed with a brain tumor, Stacey’s mother is facing surgery. Stacey shares several observations from that difficult day.
Stacey’s Mom has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. In Part 1 of a two-part blog entry, Stacey recounts her Mom’s reaction–and her own–to the scary news.
Family vacation season is here! Josh writes: “I am really enjoying the quiet pace of this vacation, which has been about sleeping in, resting, and playing. It has led to great connections with the kids, for example, because of the meaningful time we can spend together.”
Stacey writes that Oscar and his younger brother Simon have “a veritable brotherly love fest 24-7.” Unfortunately, little Lucy often gets left out. Stacey reflects on how to expand her children’s understanding of generous love.
This summer, Josh and Stacey are learning how a hobby can enrich their lives. Devoting time and energy to an activity that’s “just for fun” has brought a new balance to their lives.
Stacey takes note of the “busyness” of our lives, a phenomenon that seems to track with technological advances. She’s looking forward to the summer and the opportunity for some “unplugged” time with the children.
May has been a busy month for Josh and Stacey, with end-of-school activities and numerous house guests. Josh shares a spiritual reflection on the rhythm of coming and going.
“There is a space in the basement [that]…had come to accumulate a number of odds and ends that we didn’t feel like dealing with when we first moved, and then items that we just didn’t feel like dealing with at all. Yesterday, the time came to open it all up and pare down.” The cleaning process yields an important insight.
“For our 15th wedding anniversary, my wife took me mushroom hunting, and it was every bit as glamorous as you might imagine.” Fortunately, there was also a beautiful bed-and-breakfast and time away from the daily routine.