• Family,  Parenting

    Happy Maycember!

    “I love the last two weeks of school!” (…said NO MOM EVER!) Friends, we are in the homestretch, and let me tell you, with all honesty, I am phoning it in! As much as I love my children and want them to succeed in school, I am over all the last-minute projects and end-of-the-year field trips, the awards ceremonies and the concerts, the sign-ups for year-end party donations and the requests to be in eight different places at once. My second grader was upset with me that I couldn’t attend her last field trip because I had already promised my sixth grader that I’d attend her class’s year-end picnic. (I…

  • Family,  Holy Spirit,  Hope,  Pain,  Prayer

    Progress Not Perfection

    I grew up in a military family. For my siblings and I, this meant lots and lots of moving, developing the ability to adapt to change and newness very quickly, growing accustomed to being the outsiders, and outwardly presenting perfect behavior. I remember my dad making us do his version of drills as punishment, and these drills ranged anywhere from doing laps around an outdoor football stadium followed by pull ups on the monkey bars at the nearby park to marching in a circle repeating, “tick, tock, I’m a clock,” when we were late in starting our school day, as all of the moving necessitated a homeschool education. We wore…

  • Faith,  Family,  Holy Spirit

    Spiritual Spring Cleaning

    This time of year always gets me so excited for all that’s coming next. Here in Indiana, we generally say by the end of the March Madness Basketball competition, that Old Man Winter has calmed down and we can prepare for spring. By this time, in general, the threat of snow has passed, and a few years back, we began to participate in Daylight Savings Time, so our mornings begin a little earlier by April. The sun greets us bright and early, the birds begin chirping a little louder, we start considering what we will plant in our gardens, and our flowers begin to bloom.   In my house, all…

  • Family,  Motherhood,  Parenting,  Stress

    A Mess too Big to Bless?

    It’s a Monday…again. I knew it was coming back—it does every week. Mondays are like the movie “Groundhog Day” around here. Laundry needs folded, dishes need washed, and even though I recall cleaning the house thoroughly just seven days ago, there is no evidence of that anywhere. I am in my typical Monday-state of rushing from room to room collecting misplaced items to return to their proper homes when I step in something wet as I enter the living room. I take a deep breath before I brave investigating the source of my now-damp sock. “Please don’t be pee,” I say to myself, as I look down to discover a…

  • Faith,  Family

    Spoiler Alert

    For her eighth grade English class, my daughter is currently reading one of my all-time favorite books. I won’t tell you the title for fear of spoiling it for anyone, but she knows how much I love the book and was excited to bring it home and tell me she had begun reading it. She was only a chapter or two in when it—the thing she almost always does—started… Her: “Why did so-and-so do such-and-such?” Me: “Read the book.” Her: “When do we meet so-and-so?” Me: “Read. The. Book.” Her: “Does so-and-so die? What about so-and-so? Please tell me so-and-so lives!” Me: “READ THE BOOK!” Her (skips to the end…

  • Faith,  Family,  Parenting

    Teaching Moments

    “Lucas, can you please pick up your toys before dinner?” (Me) “No. I don’t want to.” (Lucas) “Lucas, that isn’t how you answer Mommy. You say, ‘Yes, Mommy.’ And then you are obedient and do it.” (Me) “No! I don’t want to.” (Lucas) “That is being disobedient. You are not listening to me, and that is not how you respond. Now you are getting a consequence.” (Me) “NO!! Okay, I’ll do it.” (Lucas) “I’m glad you are doing it, but you are still getting the consequence for being disobedient. When Mommy tells you to do something, you need to listen and obey, and you need to do it with a…

  • Family,  Love,  Marriage,  Relationships

    Intentional Cultivation: Dating Again

    Intentional cultivation—the act of growing, raising, educating, or bettering something on purpose. One skill I was most definitely not gifted with was that of a green thumb…everything I plant dies. Even a cactus has perished under my care. I really have no defense here…apparently, plants require watering, weeding, pruning, proper amounts of sunlight, etc. Thus far, my approach of “plant it and watch it grow” has remained ineffective. You reap what you sow. Galatians 6:7 Just like plants, we can’t expect to have relationships grow when we don’t tend to them properly. My marriage has been in a tough season; I consider it “winter”…harsh, cold, elements not favorable to growing.…

  • Family,  Love,  Marriage,  Relationships

    The 5 Love Languages

    Have you ever found yourself being presented with a theme or idea throughout your day-to-day without you seeking that information? Does that make sense? I have had the love languages permeate my life recently; much like after you Google a product or place and what you searched for pops up all over your Instagram and Facebook accounts! The difference in this situation is that I didn’t go searching for the five love languages; they found me! The 5 Love Languages, written by Dr. Gary Chapman, was first mentioned by my best friend’s husband, though I don’t remember exactly why. I remember thinking (this was months ago) how cool it was…

  • Blog,  Faith,  Family,  Motherhood,  Parenting

    It Won’t Be Like This For Long

    There are a lot of things that can be used to test our patience. Am I right? Just take a minute to think about it, and then stand back as the floodgate of examples in your life pours down on you. Right now, I am living in the land of toddlerdom, where I am crusading in unfamiliar territory on the daily, the tantrums come by the hour, and the lessons in patience come by the minute. I’m sure you have heard all of the familiar maxims: “The days go slow, but the years go fast.” “It will only be like this for a short time.” “You can do anything for…

  • Faith,  Family,  Love,  Marriage,  Motherhood,  Uncategorized

    Everyday Gestures of Love

    Love is in the air! As the month of February approaches, everyone gets ready for Valentine’s Day. Some exchange cards, purchase overpriced flowers, and there is candy galore! As far back as I can remember, we exchanged valentines at school, and my parents got us a small gift and a card expressing sweet thoughts.   Some people call it a Hallmark-created holiday to elicit more spending on cards, flowers, and candy. Over the years, even single people have embraced the holiday, and now, ladies even do “Galentine’s Day” events! My oldest daughter switched schools this year, and Valentine’s Day is a big deal there! Parents are encouraged to order balloons…