On Being a Writer – Surprise!

surprise cupcakes

A week ago, I accompanied my dad to several appointments, muting my phone to comply with the doctors' office rules. To stay focused I left it muted all day long, so from 8:00 in the morning until 8:00 at night I was only vaguely aware of texts and notifications. I'd glance at the phone when I was … [Read more...]

Book Response: Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers by Leslie Leyland Fields

Forgiving our Fathers and Mothers Leslie Leyland Fields

When I picture my two college-aged daughters at their universities, sometimes I imagine them lying across their bed or in the hallway of their dorm, discussing their peculiar childhood and frustrating parents. After all, the college years mark the first time most young adults have moved away and … [Read more...]

Tomorrow Night, Marshmallows


When my childhood friend returned home from vacation, I’d run to her house and ask about the trip. She hiked in the mountains and slept in a tent and fell asleep to night sounds of crickets and tree frogs and hooting owls. They cooked meals wrapped in foil and roasted marshmallows on … [Read more...]

Pursuing Your God-Given Dreams

Pursuing Your God-Given Dreams

As a boy, my father-in-law, Clement (also known by his English nickname, "Bud"), accompanied his dad to some remote African villages where they planned to distribute a small quantity of leaflets with a message of the Bible in French. The family served as missionaries in what was then known as … [Read more...]

For My Writer-Mom: A Bouquet of Memories


My writer mom worked as the editor of our local newspaper, covering news all over the county. If a reporter couldn't make it to an event, Mom would grab her camera, reporter's pad, and pen—and quite often her daughter—to capture the news herself. This meant that whether I wanted to or not, I … [Read more...]

Not So Fast at Soul Stops, Pt. 2

Sunset Kids LOVE Not So Fast AnnKroeker.com

If you're moving a little too fast today, feeling rushed and stressed, I encourage you to take two minutes to listen to the following song. I suspect you'll be grinning by the time the Smothers Brothers step in to help with the ending, and you'll feel far more relaxed, even groovy: When … [Read more...]

Not So Fast at Soul Stops

Not So Fast book balanced on van

I overheard one of my daughters talking with her sister on the phone: "Well, hurry up," she said, "but don't break any laws." Despite over a decade of committing to a slower, more sustainable pace, "hurry up" has crept into our family's vocabulary. Then again, perhaps it is our more relaxed pace … [Read more...]

How to Form a Daily Habit: Don’t Break the Chain

Seinfeld Calendar January

My junior year in college, I started scribbling each day's to-do list the night before. I'd always include "wake up" so that I would have the pleasure of marking off one item first thing in the morning: a visual sign of accomplishment. I've always joked about how pathetic it was to include "wake … [Read more...]

Coming Home to Scotland – The Poetry of Place


Until 2001, my mom thought our genealogy traced to England and Germany, but that year she and her brother discovered to their surprise that the ancestors they presumed were English actually came from Scotland. After tracing our family name to Kirkcudbright, where Robert Burns visited the Selkirk … [Read more...]

Simplify Life with Habits

habit routines rut to run in

“You need a rut to run in.” When I read that years ago in a book about home education, I bristled. A rut? People get stuck in ruts and never change, never take risks, never explore new possibilities. Ruts feel like tedium. Monotony. Boredom. Ruts seem unimaginative and unattractive. Everything in … [Read more...]