shovel
Preparing to Let Go of Your Kids Starts When They’re Born
Al Andrews
By Al Andrews
1

The day he was born, I walked outside with my tools and began to dig. I wasn’t sure why I was digging. I simply knew I must break into the hard ground to make it something it was not.

I wasn’t digging a hole. Rather I was preparing a smooth surface, free from obstacles, small and large. Daily I tore into the ground, breaking rocks into small pieces, cutting down trees, and tearing out roots that would find their way to the surface again. Sometimes my boy would work alongside me, not knowing what we were building or why, but glad to be with me and a part of the task.

I don’t remember the day […]

gift
A Surprising Way to Become More Generous
Allison Vesterfelt
By Allison Vesterfelt
5

I used to think I was a generous person. Then, I met my husband.

At our wedding, his best friend pulled me aside and told me a few things he thought I should know about Darrell before we were married. One of them was, “He will give anything to anyone. He’ll give the shirt off his back. He is the most generous person you will ever meet.”

Sure enough, in our first […]

cigarette
What Makes This Paragraph so Great?
Donald Miller
By Donald Miller
8

When I first started writing I made the mistake of thinking I should be descriptive. I’d envision every scene and describe things, the trees as tall as flag poles, the wind coming across the field like music and all that flowery like this and like that. But in truth, many of the great writers don’t describe much at all. It’s true you’ll read Fitzgerald or Steinbeck and feel like you are in the scene, but when you take a second look at the description, there isn’t a whole lot there.

Instead of adjectives, great writers often use verbs. Their characters do, and they are always doing. In this example from Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, a Mother and Father have recently […]