Sisters Weekend


I’m back from Seattle and Sisters Weekend, a weekend my sisters and I set aside each year to spend with our parents and each other. We don’t have any brothers, and we don’t bring our husbands or kids; it’s just the girls and our mom and dad.

We do this because relationships with family matter. How often do we say we’ll make that call to a sibling, or go on a short visit to see a parent, but our lives are busy, and it’s easy to think we’ll do it in a few months, or even next year.

I’ve been reflecting on how short life is. We truly don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I never, in a million years, would have dreamed that we would get in the car and have an accident, losing Kalkidan only 45 minutes later.

I’m very intentional about how I say goodbye to my children now. Whatever I’m doing, I try to stop, hug them, and tell them I love them. When I left my parents and sisters, I did the same.

To be perfectly honest, Russ and I had a tense conversation the morning I left for Seattle. I was plagued with an uneasy, bad feeling, and knew I had to connect with him and make it right before I stepped on the plane.

I imagine that most losses leave a sense of regret, we wish we would have said something, or wish we could undo what we did say. Once the person we love is gone, so is the opportunity to make things right and bring them into balance. Thankfully, the love of God and his healing hand can bring us peace.

It’s a gift that my parents and sisters carve out a weekend each year to spend together. I’m so thankful for the time we had, the laughter, long conversations over coffee, stories, and catching up on each other’s children. This year we even made a little craft – we cut hearts out of maps to represent special places. Mine has north Idaho, Seattle, and Minneapolis; the places where my children live. I’ll replace the silver heart when Samuel finishes his masters degree and moves.

I’m aware that I need to be more intentional in many of my relationships. The people who are precious to me need to know how much I think of them and love them.

Is there somebody you need to call or visit? Is there someone the Lord keeps bringing to your mind? Don’t wait – pick up your phone, send an email, write a short note and drop it in the mail, stop by with muffins. You will never regret the time you spend on people who are dear to you.

How do you connect with your people? How do you show them how important they are to you? Moms with large families, and even grandchildren, how do you stay connected with everyone?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Love to each one of you today.





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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Sophie
    January 26, 2016

    My family lives 4000 km (I am Canadian, sorry, no miles!) away.
    Twice a week, I e-mail pictures of us, without words, that represent what we are currently doing.
    One on Wednesday called "Wednesday in the country" and one on Sunday called "Happy Sunday".
    Some family members say those pictures are the highlight of their day.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 26, 2016

      I love that idea! thank you for sharing it, Sophie.

  2. Laura
    January 27, 2016

    It was a great weekend and I am glad we do it every year. It is important to make the time and intentionally spend it with Dad and Mom. I know they LOVE it too—even if Dad thought we were crazy to make a craft!


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