Looking in the Face of Inspiration

“If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves." -Carl Jung

If there are certain characteristics about your children that bug you, first of all let me say, you are not alone.

Second, let me say, the reason those characteristics bug you so much may be worth investigating.

It could prove to be a life changer.

This is my story …

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Bringing Lightness out of Darkness

If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or whispers a kind word of encouragement, or attempts to understand, extraordinary things begin to happen. — Loretta Gizartis

Six months ago, my older daughter spoke to our church congregation about her experience sponsoring “Priscilla” through Compassion International.  It was her intention to inspire others to do the same.

And that she did.

A curly-haired girl sitting in the second row pew, who had been asking her parents for a year if she could become a sponsor, was now suddenly determined.

It was my youngest child.

As soon as the service was over, my 5 year old daughter raced to the back of the church where photographs of available children lined the table. By the time I reached the display, my daughter held the image of a petite boy named Marco with tousled hair and a reluctant smile.

I knew what was coming.

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The Hands Free Effect


 As a child, the Fourth of July was always bittersweet for me. I loved the fireworks, the cookouts, and time spent with family, but what it represented on the calendar was a different story.

In the small white box of my daily planner it read: “Independence Day.” But in my mind, those words translated to: Summer is half over. Even now, as an adult, I get that wow-it’s-already-the-Fourth-of-July-feeling when that date arrives on the calendar—and it makes me feel a little sad.

And this summer that melancholy feeling hit me harder than in past years … possibly because I’ve been living up to my “Hands Free Summer Contract” and soaking up countless moments that matter in the process.

But I believe in being real in this space I call “Hands Free Mama,” so here’s some reality …

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How To Miss a Childhood: Update

"The best inheritance a parent can give to his children is a few minutes of their time each day." ~M. Grundler

On May 10th an employee from the technical support department of my website’s host server contacted me.

His words were unforgettable.

“Miss Stafford, either your site is under attack or something on there is going ‘viral.’”

He added that if the traffic to my site continued at this rate, we’d have to make changes.

I couldn’t help but smile through my tears. I knew my site was not under attack … I knew something quite wonderful was happening. “How To Miss a Childhood” was being shared all over the world …  and hundreds of thousands people were coming to my site to read it.

In the days and weeks following the publication of that post, the traffic did not let up and changes did, in fact, have to be made. But I am not going to talk about the changes made to my site. I am going to talk about the changes made in the hearts and lives of those who read the post. Their stories keep coming. Every day for the past 60 days, their stories just keep coming.

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