Thursday, May 19, 2016


It seems my voice has been drowned out by my own thoughts.  The busier I become, a slave to my own ideals and expectations, the more I seem to push writing to the wayside.  What purpose do my words play in the big, old blogosphere?  I don't know.  I don't know that even matters.  However, I do know I will not find my true, authentic voice unless I write.  I will only be silenced by the onslaught of picture perfect Instagram posts, followed by links to blogs that inspire and make me aspire. . .but stifle my onslaught of words.

Sometimes it seems my words are all I have to offer as a gift to a hurting friend, a confused child, an angry person, or my best friend.  Writing for me is an undisciplined practice, a dream that was born in my heart as a child who filled journal after journal with stories I now share with my own kids.  Where did that dream go? Did it die because it wasn't practical?  It wasn't an easy feat so I locked the memory in the deep recesses of my mind?  I don't know.  I don't know that I'm the same writer today, anyways.  Fiction seems a far away avenue that I wouldn't even know how to begin.  I'm an avid reader, but a writer?  Not so much these days.

Is it a book contract that makes ones words matter more than someone else's?  Or is the writer offering a glimpse into their world that should be accepted as an invitation to understand them from their perspective? Again, I don't know.  I do know I've been silent for too long now in this space.  I also know that my thoughts don't stop just because I haven't written any of them down.  So today I write some words.  Maybe tomorrow I'll write some more.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Breaking Dawn

With each new dawn, comes an invitation to be a better version of yourself than you were the day before.  Each day is filled with beauty, wonder, mess, madness, and enough grace to cover a multitude of sin.  That old adage, everything looks better in the morning, may not, it turns out, be true.  It may not look better, but it is your chance to do better.

Of this I am certain: we will live and we will die.  All the breathing that is done between those breaths will likely build up and tear down. . .on a day to day basis.  This is life.  Offenses that offend, slips of the tongue, attitude adjustments, tone of voice needing to be taken down a notch all in the course of the first hour of our feet hitting the floor!  All of these infractions causing a slow death of self over the course of a long, sometimes very long day.

But God. It is only when we lean in to the pain, we heed our Father's voice, we ignore the critiques or criticisms of others, we trust that where we are right now is exactly where we need to be. . .only then, can we view the dawning of a new day as an opportunity to do better. To be better.  We can rest knowing He directs our paths.  He holds us in the palm of His hand.  He is cheering us on to complete another day, no matter how good we handle it or how badly we blow it.  He already knows tomorrow is a new day filled with unlimited opportunity. . .to do better.  To be better.

16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.--Hebrews 4:16

Whatever you're going through right now, before you even open your eyes from slumber, pray that God would help you be the best version of yourself for today.  Pray that you would feel his mercy and grace cover you, as soft as your favorite blanket.  Only then, get up out of that bed to face today with a confidence that you've got this.  You and Him are a team and together you can do anything!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Top Two Tuesday

Today's top two thoughts:

  • Faith is caught not taught. Children are always watching. Living lives we want our kids to exemplify in a way that is aligned with our values and faith is of utmost importance to me.  It makes me think of a song we used to sing in church: 

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they'll know we are Christians by our love

We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we'll guard each man's dignity and save each man's pride
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they'll know we are Christians by our love.
Let them know us by our love.

  • Racism is real.  As if that alone isn't heartbreaking enough, it shatters me to my core that there are elementary aged children who already carry out this message of hate.  Shatters me.  Just as faith is caught, so are the ugly, dark messages of hate passed down from one generation to the next.  So devastatingly sad. . .But God.  He already knows how this pains my heart and the hearts of my children and He is enough.  He says we are enough.  He sees no color, only love. Let them, the rest of them, know us by our love. . . because it is real.  

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Silent Invitation

It sits on an antique checker table owned by my great aunt beside my comfy faux leather recliner.  Some days it is on the bottom of a stack forgotten by other books I'm reading.  Too many times it goes unopened as my cell phone houses my daily devotions and one year bible reading plan. Yet, when all is tidy, books put in their proper place, it clearly sits there with a silent invitation.  Come here, open me.  Let me speak love, wisdom, and truth into your day.  Let me inspire, motivate, give you hope and a future.  

The bible beckons all of us.  No matter the day, the circumstances, the weather. . .a bible is that silent invitation that serves to entice us into a relational world with our Father.  I've found God has a tendency to speak loudest in the silence. . .to be doing the most work in the gaps.  He has this way of directing what I need to hear with what I read when I flip open to see how He will speak to me just because. It's a bible roulette, so to speak.  Tell me I'm not the only one who plays this way!

We are all waiting for that next invitation to be included, to celebrate, to interact with friends or family, to be engaged with a community for a common purpose.  But God.  His invitation is a silent one.  It comes in the form of His book, the bible.  It is just waiting to speak to you whether it is in the middle of your mess and chaos, or in the center of jubilant times where all is well. He is there.

I'm a word girl.  I might not be the word girl who knows bible verses verbatim, but I am the girl who knows where to go to find the words I need.  Today I'm vocalizing the silent invitation.  I'm inviting you to crack your bible open and see what He speaks into your heart and soul.  It might just change you forever for good, but it starts with an invitation.  Consider yourself invited!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Quick Lit

I'm always looking for good books to read, and Anne's recommendations usually do not disappoint.  I thought you might be looking too so I wanted to share what I'm thumbing through this week.
 I am making my way very slowly through The Fringe Hours, The Life Giving Home, and Hands Free Life. They are the types of books that require deep thought and reflection.  They can't be rushed through because there is simply too much to ponder and journal.  Reading through them has become one of my favorite parts of my day.  I usually read when all is quiet and I have time to take notes, highlight, or journal. These are the books I devour a chapter at a time and then sit. Their words resonate within and land on soft spots of my heart.

This week I have my Mom's group at church so I will read Priority Four of Walking With Purpose.  We move one priority per month through this book.  I enjoy the pacing.  I love the discussion among mamas who have gone before me and those still in the trenches. This Catholic mama lays a foundation of priorities that gently help you to prioritize your own life without being preachy or acting like it is an exact science, which we all can agree it isn't!

Although I finished Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, it is still very much on my mind and I find myself going back and flipping through to see what jumps out at me.  This is a read that I believe will be life changing if you are in the throes of raising children.  I can not recommend it enough.

As you can see, all of these are non-fiction.  While I love learning, I also enjoy reading for the sheer enjoyment it brings; however, nothing has really stood out to me lately. With that in mind, I decided to jump in to The Mother Daughter Book Club I purchased these a year ago Easter, but neither my daughter nor me has dug in.  I'm hopeful they will be engaging and it will be a series I want to read through since I do happen to have ALL the books.  That means no waiting at the library for books to come in.  It's those little things that make me happy. . .so very, very happy!

We are almost through with our read aloud of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.  I'm not loving it, but I am curious to see where it ends up. Reading is one of those solo activities that brings me joy.  I love being drawn in and engulfed in a good story.  I'm about to go browse some of your selections for a good fiction book.  I'm hungry for a good read.  I feel like it has been awhile!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Mom Hearts Matter

This weekend history repeated itself and found me at a Mom Heart Conference. . .solo.  It's ironic that I was alone as this is the last year of this type of conference, so I finished exactly the same way I started.

Not much has changed in the past five years as far as stepping out of my comfort zone when it came to being alone.  I wasn't a fan of the idea, but I was obedient and went even when my babysitting fell apart and my husband had to work.  I knew I was supposed to be there even though it may have been easier not to go. But everything has changed in terms of how I mother, and my ideals and standards for my kids.  This night away filled me up, inspired me, and reminded me that I am not alone in my ideals.  I may have not known anyone but I was supported by over 300 women who have similar values and ideals when it comes to creating a Life Giving Home.   In my absence of company, I was reminded of so many truths that I needed to hear again:

  • You can't accomplish anything of value without investing greatly.
  • Decide before your darkest time to be faithful through your darkest time.  
  • My home is my glory. It is a refuge in time of storm.  It is a light post of love and beauty.
  • Pass on the message you want to live.
  • Teach our kids the habit of: working, taking initiative, and stepping out in faith.
  • Order our life with what I want them to embrace.
  • Trust God to do more than I can do.
  • Kids will make mistakes that don't define their lives any more than it defines mine.
  • Give my kids the freedom to be whom they are meant to be.
  • My investment in eternity will always matter.

Over the course of the last five years, I have led book studies in my home thanks to Sally Clarkson's mentorship.  I have become a co-leader of the Mom"s group at our church.  I never for a second saw that coming.  I'm able to use what I've learned at conferences and through Sally's books to educate, inspire, and lead in my own way.  Five years ago I entered that conference alone and I walked out to go on to create a community of support for moms simply because Sally gave us an invitation to go and spread her message.  I simply invited women into my home.  It was that easy.  One never knows what words will land on fertile soil. I am grateful for the years of messages Sally has spoken.  I am thankful I found her on an internet that is so vast!  Five years ago a shift occurred in my parenting, my view of my role as mom, and my children's lives have changed for the better because of this shift.

Our family doesn't look like hers: it's not supposed to.  It's our version of our own story we are co-authoring. It's a story that has eraser marks and revisions.  It is a total work in progress, but I am sure it will be the best book ever written...because my kids are the best story I have ever written.  It's as messy as it is beautiful. It's ours.

By wisdom a house is built,
         And by understanding it is established;

4And by knowledge the rooms are filled
         With all precious and pleasant riches.--
Proverbs 24:3

In honor of Sally's influence over my life, I'm revisiting all I've learned through my years of conference attendance:

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
Year 4
Last Year I can't find a post about the conference, but Sally's son Nathan released a movie that was kind of a big deal in our house.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


As today begins our Lenten season, I've spent some time reflecting on what I need to subtract from the soundtrack of our lives to keep our focus solely on our Father.  I've started off this year with some fabulous reads--books about savoring slow, being hands-free and more intentional, breaking up with busy, and creating a life giving home.  With all these books swirling through my brain, I can't help but know I'm in a season that I need to put down my phone.

So for me, giving up a mindless scroll through social media is going to be hard.  Waking up and reaching for my bible before my phone to check email, even harder.  I've gotten out of practice.  I need to use this Lenten season to renew my mind and refocus my attention on who matters most.  It is only through Him that everything else flows.  My attention needs a season of solely focusing on him and his place first and foremost at the center of our lives.

We are in a season that my modeling of mindful device usage will speak louder than my words.  We are in a season that if we want them (tweens and teen) to keep talking to us, we have to be ready to listen.  My eyes need to meet theirs as they tell me their stories. My enthusiasm has to be real not forced because I'm distracted.  Life on the other side of the email notifications and text message is not an emergency.  It just isn't.  Once upon a long time ago, all of this information wasn't readily available at our finger tips.  All of this noise wasn't sucking the time away, literally stealing it right from underneath us.

Lent is a season of restoration to prepare for the miracle of the resurrection.  I want my own miracle of sorts. I want a different kind of resurrection to fully embrace the real life being lived right before my eyes.  It will take restraint.  It will take a different kind of sacrifice--not being in the know, being out of touch with the instant updates from family and friends. . .but it will restore my mental white space.  It will give me the margins I so desperately need this year.

Lent is so much more than what we're going to give up.  It's about what can we add into the tapestry of our life that is going to grow us closer to God.  I'm on this continuous path of discovery to deepen that relationship and I feel certain that withdrawing from social media in this season is the right way to go about deepening that bond.  What about you?