Two Shorten A Road

So, We went to Ireland. It is as beautiful as you imagine. It's as if the Irish are quilters and they only use varying shades of green. And don't get me started on the baby sheep. So stinking cute. We rented a car, and my husband tried his hand (and risked our lives quite frankly) at driving on the opposite side of the road and the opposite side of the car. It was weird for everyone. At one point, I casually reached over and lovingly touched his arm and said, "You're driving on the wrong side of the road." To...

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Move Toward The Mess

I know what you're about to say. "Nonsensical girl, you just did a giveaway." Well you aren't lying. But I have to give someone this book. You HAVE to own it. Have to. Have. to. Move Toward the Mess by John Hambrick is one of these books. Ever meet a book that makes you talk out loud to it as if it's a Baptist Pastor? If you said no, you need to get yourself some new books. (I will consider that I am the weird one here, if you will give it a try. Just try it. Give an amen...

GIVEAWAY: The Easter Story Egg

I am convinced nesting eggs are the world's greatest equalizer. What is it about the way they snuggle on into each other that grabs any kid of any age? I set my Easter Story Egg out a little early, just to see how my kids would like it. The answer is there's no age group for this little bunch-oh-eggs. We have a lot of teenagers around here. Some of them belong to us, but a whole lot more do not. They come for tacos or sometimes pancakes and even a ride to youth group. And lately, they come for the egg....

How To Raise Kids Who Aren’t Jerks

If you have been here for longer than four minutes, you might already know that I don't do subtle. My parents should have named me Frank. So people would know. SIDE NOTE: This isn't the same idea as my husband saying I should get a black heart tattooed right up front on my forearm or something. He said people should know what they're getting into. I am apparently Cameron Diaz in The Holiday.   So here it is. Sometimes, kids are jerks. No kidding. They'll be these super rad mid-sized humans that I want to hang out with, and then...

Dear Daughter, We Are Not Friends

Dear Daughter, I can't be your friend. I just can't. Friends keep secrets even when they should probably tell someone. Friends borrow clothes and lend clothes and talk for long periods of time about nothing. They turn an eye, even when they know what you're doing is kind of wrong because they are doing that same kind of wrong and don't want you to point it out either. Friends agree with you when you say your parents or some other authority figure is wrong. They tell you what you want to hear. Sometimes, these friends even give you terrible advice...

What Does Your Community Look Like?

You know what was never meant to be? Parenting alone. For real. We aren't cut out for it. Not even a little. I need you. And if you don't need me, that's fine, but chances are you need someone. Or you will soon. It's in the little things and the big things and it's really in ALL the things. My sister-in-law offers to help me shop for an upcoming trip and adds easily, "Let us know if you need any help with your kiddos." That's as it should be. I do the same back. What's not meant to be is...

Are You Living In the Ruins?

Where do you live? We live in a tiny 1960s farmhouse smack dab in the middle of our city. Weird, right? It works because I only ever wanted to be a teacher in a one room school house amid farmlands in some great state. The specifics didn't matter. Except it turns out I am allergic. To all of it. My state and any state where things grow in nature. All animals with fur or hair or saliva. And farms. I am allergic to farms and anything they would raise or grow or harvest. My problems run deep, but there isn't...

Mind the Gap!

At all times we are called to stand in the gap. Have you heard this saying? Are you doing it? Have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous? Joshua 1:9 I am absolutely not the only one who has stood before a friend and practically begged for prayer through a rough time. You know when you walk in church and the only thing you care about is that spot at the end when Pastor says, "come on up if you need prayer," or your warrior friend is talking to the new people and all you can think is,...

My Word For The Year

Do you guys do this thing, where you pick a word for the year? I've done it for the past several years. A lady I knew was reflecting on her previous year and the word that went along with it. Seemed to make sense, so I chose a word. This year I have chosen the word COURAGEOUS Worst mistake of my life. You know all that's happened since I prayed about my word? Since I innocently looked to God and said, "Hey, do you have a word for my year?" and he answered with, "Heck yes, man. You gotta be...

Are You Sure About Them Five Minutes?

Time out. A mamma's best friend and biggest nightmare, right? Half the time I don't know if I should put my kid in time out or put MYSELF in time out. On more and more occasions I lean toward sitting myself in the corner, no talking to anyone, just sitting and thinking about what I've done. This would probably be some of the best five minutes I spend in a day because thinking? What's that? Sitting down for no good reason? Never heard of it. As moms we don't really function in thought. We are more like ninja cats, always...

Dear Men, I Need You: Will You Say Yes?

Our day to day was never meant to go forth with so few men leading the charge. This is not a sexist post. Nor is it a man bashing or feminist post. This is simply me saying, "I can't raise my kids without solid men around my children." I need men willing to pour into my world changers. My husband, my brothers, our youth leader, men we work with: these are some of the guys my kids look to as they make decisions, but we need more. My teenagers spend about 40 hours a week at school not counting when...

Don’t Be Carl

Have you ever been called to something straight scary? Maybe you heard from God, and you jumped, and now some time has passed and you find yourself still as a statue. Full of doubt? Maybe he said something like, "start this ministry" or "go to this country." Maybe he went super crazy and he said, "start this business," or "become a pastor" or my personal favorite deranged message, "write this book." I've seen done it all. I've taken steps. I asked for the accountability. I asked for prayers and even had people I hardly know approach me and say they...

I Wish I Had a Morning After Pill

Ever argue with your kids? Ever get really angry over something they've done? Of course you work through it in some way. You have to, but it isn't always easy. I wish there was a magic pill to reset everything to right. But that's really my pride talking. Kids are kids. They just are. Even when they are our grown up kids, they expect us to be even more grown up. So offering the silent treatment or pretending yesterday's offenses didn't happen don't help at all. They don't learn how to properly put a problem to rest. They certainly don't...

You Are An Amaryllis, You Just Don’t Know it Yet

Do you know what God calls you? Not good enough. Strong enough pretty enough tall enough short enough smart enough skinny enough? No. Not my Jesus. We know better. But if we know better then why do we so often get stuck so deeply when we hear these? Why do our shoulders stand with the slump of disbelief? If you are living and breathing you have probably heard at least one of these told of you in your lifetime. And if you are a woman, there's a good chance you are still carrying that bit of baggage like a dead...

My Grasp Is Just Too Small

As brand new parents, we have these dreamy ideals of what life will be like when we bring our children home for the first time. They are always sweet and happy and snuggling. They play and make funny faces when you feed them a lemon, and if they HAVE to be crying it's as a result of something small. We just look on with amusing smirks, right? Well that all goes out the window pretty quickly. Couple hours in maybe? When all we want is ten minutes of sleep in a row where something isn't leaking or crying or rustling...