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Diane Stark

Smarter than You Think

By Diane Stark

A while back, I attended a banquet to honor that year’s high school graduates. Each student was asked to share their plans for the future with the audience. Most of them announced plans to attend college or join the military. But one boy said, “I’ve just completed an online course to become a Certified Life […]

“Mom, look at this Star Wars Lego set,” my eight-year-old son Nathan said. “Can I get it for my birthday?” Before I could answer his first question, he continued, “If you’ve finished shopping for my birthday, can I get it for Christmas instead?” I smiled. My son had definitely figured out how things work in […]

Just Joyful

By Diane Stark

“Diane, sit down,” my first grade teacher reminded me for the hundredth time. “You’ll need to be quiet too.” I wanted to be good. I really did. I loved my teacher, and I longed to please her. But sitting still for too long made me feel anxious inside. Like I might burst or something. And […]

Forgetting the Rules

By Diane Stark

“I’ll be right back,” I told my seven-year-old son, Nathan. “I’m just walking down to get the mail.” “Ooh, can I go?” He asked. “Can I eat a popsicle while we walk?” I frowned. “Not this time, Honey. You’re still in your pajamas.” “So? Why can’t I go? I really want to eat a green […]

“Where are we going, Mom?” My siblings and I asked from the backseat of our woody station wagon. But Mom just smiled like she had a big secret. Finally, she stopped the car at a place called the Humane Society.  “Where are we?” I asked. Mom smiled again. “You kids have been begging for a […]

“Mom, what’s for dinner?” I sighed. It was 7am, and my children were eating breakfast. And one of them just asked me what’s for dinner. It happened nearly every morning. Finally, after being asked about dinner over breakfast one time too many, I asked, “Why do you guys ask me that all the time? It’s […]

The Best Laid Plans?

By Diane Stark

Five years ago, my husband, Eric, and I went to Hawaii to celebrate his 40th birthday. While we were there, we went into an art gallery, and I fell in love with a painting of a Hawaiian sunset over the ocean. It was beautiful, and I knew I had to have it. “Where are you […]

What Works for Me

By Diane Stark

While visiting my sister and her family, I noticed a small notepad sitting on their kitchen counter. On the open page, someone had written a list of dates with a number next to each date. My nephew, Ben, saw me looking at the notepad. “That’s my dad’s weight notebook,” he explained. My mouth dropped open. […]

The Photo Gift

By Diane Stark

“Jules, make sure you take a lot of pictures today, OK?” I told my 14-year-old daughter on a recent family outing. “I will,” she promised without hesitation. She knew how important the pictures were to me. They were very important to me, but they weren’t actually for me. No, I needed lots of pictures of […]

Unexpected Blessings

By Diane Stark

“Do you think we should pay for those ladies’ meals?” My husband, Eric, whispered. We’d headed to Subway to grab some sandwiches after church, and it was obvious that the three elderly ladies behind us in line had attended services that morning as well. They were dressed to the nines, but their outfits were complemented […]

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