One Mantra We All Need

Kara Powell | Aug 2, 2013

I'm thrilled to be a guest blogger this week over at A Holy Experience for Ann Voskamp. Ann's honest gut-check writing prompted me to write about a gut-check of my own:

Purple ballpoint pens.

On last year’s “back to school” supply list for my kids, they were the straw that broke this Mama camel’s back.

When I was a teenager, I only needed two school supplies: paper and a handful of pencils.

Now my kids’ school says they need a thumb drive. Plus a protractor. Not just pencils but a certain brand of No. 2 pencils. It’s not a list for the faint of heart.

After 45 minutes at Target, our shopping cart was 90% full but our supply list was only 70% crossed off.

That meant more visits to school supply stores and websites.

More miles and hours that I didn’t have.

As my three kids hopped in our minivan in the parking lot, I asked a question I have asked so many times I find myself repeating it even when only adults are in the car: “Is everybody buckled?”

Two of my kids answered.

The third was already buried in a book.

Our unsuccessful search for purple ballpoint pens had pushed me too far. So I growled at my daughter, “KRISTA, ARE YOU BUCKLED?”

The tone of voice, the tension in my hands as I grabbed the steering wheel, the tight forehead. I was 180 degrees from the mom I want to be.

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Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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