My husband recently wrote a piece entitled "Ten Quotes That Changed My Life." I was intrigued by the thought as I read it, and my mind has been composing my own list ever since, making me realize my life has indeed been impacted and forever altered because of both written and spoken words. Coupled with that realization was a recent walk through a bookstore and the face of a book I spotted with a title along the lines of Chance Encounters That Changed My Life.Read More
"Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it." - L.M. Montgomery
I grew up reading the Anne of Green Gables series, and even at a tender age, that line fascinated me. Now that I'm an adult and understand what it means to regret mistakes on a grander scale than when I read those words at age eleven, I appreciate them even more.
And it's that same sentiment that has caused this week to have always been one of my very favorite weeks out of the year. The last few days in December, when last year stretches behind with all of its memory, its triumphs, and yes, its mistakes, while next year stretches out ahead with all of its invitations and opportunities.
A fresh start, with no mistakes in it.Read More
I most often write about the things God is doing and speaking in the quietest places of my heart. But, today, there's just something I need to confess. And it seems loud and not very spiritual at all. But, it has to come out.
I am a fashion mess right now.
I'm not really sure how this happened. For most of my life, I've been able to look around the room, take stock of the styles and trends represented, and think, "Yep. Smack in the middle. Not too far ahead, like a Paris runway model, but not far enough behind to be reppin the Amish runway style." And I was good with that.Read More
My son is home from college on his fall break. He brought a friend home with him who needed a place to stay, since he lives across the globe and can't fly back for the few short days of break in the school routine. It's been good to have them here, sleeping until almost noon and eating all of our food. Evidently it's really exhausting being a college freshman.
But, what I've loved most is listening to these guys talk and plan for the future. Next semester's classes. Next summer's mission trips. What comes next, after college.
They're in such an exciting time in life. The time where "next" is wide open and could contain anything. Nothing is set in stone and nothing is impossible. And yes, "next" is a little scary, too, since it's wide open and could contain anything. But, judging from these men's faces, it's more exciting than scary.
And that's where I pause.Read More
have a bathrobe I adore. It was once white and it was once fluffy. It's now mostly white and decidedly unfluffy. But, I don't mind. I wear it every morning to shuffle in to the coffee maker. I put it on every night with my glasses and a messy bun to watch Netflix with my husband. And sometimes, when I come home on my lunch break, I put it on over my clothes and curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee to just breathe before I head back into life at full speed.
As much as I'd like to be known for Princess Kate fashion, I have a sinking feeling that if my kids were asked to draw a picture of me, I might be wearing that robe. And I don't even mind. In fact, I'm not sure I'll ever get rid of my bathrobe. I can't. Because when I put it on, I feel at home. When I wear that robe, I'm completely, absolutely, 100% comfortable. And I like that feeling.
It's a feeling I don't have much of at this particular juncture in life. I am completely, absolutely not comfortable. Instead, I am in transition. Transitioning in every conceivable part of life.Read More
My son is eighteen years old.
It doesn't matter how I say it or how many times I repeat it, nothing about that sentence makes any sense to my brain. But, it's happening. Happened already. He's eighteen years old.
One of hardest parts is facing the fact that I'm actually old enough to have an eighteen year old. I vividly remember turning eighteen, being eighteen, loving eighteen. Eighteen is when I spent two months in Peru, moved to college, met my husband, and started doing grown-up things like voting, buying my license plate tags, and eating salad. It's the year my parents moved across the nation, and I had to find my own place to live when school let out. The year I got a real job. The year I looked into the face of a man who wasn't too much older than me and said yes when he held out a ring with hope in his eyes.
For the past couple of years, my husband and I have made it a priority to get a way during the month of December to spend some time together. It's a hectic, crazy time of the year to try to carve out a couple of days, but we are discovering it's actually a wonderful time to do it.
Because disconnecting from the noise at the end of the year makes it easier to start fresh in a new year. We've had some late night talks, a romantic one by a fire and a humorous one by a space heater, where we've emptied our souls of the clutter and kindled some new dreams. We've asked each other uncomfortable questions, laughed together, and prayed together. And somehow, on the other side, we were ready. Ready to plow into a new season, confident we're playing on the same team.
It's been a blessing to see the fruit of this simple act in my marriage, but I was even more surprised to discover that for the last couple of years, the same thing has been happening in my relationship with my God. Somehow in the turning of the calendar page from one year to the next, He speaks.Read More
Today is the last day our house will have a child in the single digits. Tomorrow, the youngest turns 10.
She is thrilled.
Her mama is trying to be thrilled.
I love this season we are in, with children getting older, able to do things we've never done before, having conversations we've never had before, laughing together at things they've never understood before.Read More
Our family came across a poster this last week that caused a good laugh in our house. It read, "Introverts UNITE.....separately....in your own rooms."
Because we have a full house of six people that is also pretty evenly divided when it comes to introverts and extroverts, we could see the humor. The extrovert bunch love to go and do, they love crowds, and they are energized by being around people. The introvert bunch loves the moments of solitude (hard to come by in a house our size), intimate moments with close friends, and being energized by quiet reflection and creative endeavors.
Neither are wrong. Just different from each other...Read More
My pastor husband made me ask myself a startling question in his sermon on Sunday. It caused me to pause. It caused me some discomfort. It caused me to keep asking it of myself until I had an answer.
Am I growing in maturity? I am obviously growing older. My ability to bounce back from a night spent sleeping on the floor testifies of that. But, am I maturing? And much more specifically, am I maturing in my spiritual life?
Our oldest turned sixteen last Sunday. It's taken me a week to wrap my head around that.
I remember turning sixteen. I remember writing in my diary that night that a woman had told me she wished she was sixteen again. I felt sorry for her and told my future self not to live looking backwards.
And now my son is sixteen.
onight, I tucked in an eight year old for the very last time. Tomorrow, she turns nine. And she's our last.
Which means we are to the "half way" point with our youngest.
And this mama heart of mine is full of gratitude for the joy these kids bring and at the same time full of something that makes my throat hurt.
We are hurtling through time and space, these kids and their Daddy and me, flying past one milestone after another...
have a bad feeling the following confession makes me a lazy dog owner: My favorite way to play fetch with our doggie is in the dark. Not because it's more fun for her, but because she can't find her fetch toy in the dark.
And oh the joy of sitting on the porch in peace while she searches high and low.
Terrible, I know. But, she really could avoid the trauma of the fifteen minute search if she would just get smart. As it is, every time she sees me stand to throw the toy, she takes off running in any direction that strikes her fancy at the moment. Not once has she ever waited to watch me throw the toy to see which direction it took flight. Not once has she ever paused to listen for where the soft thud comes from as it lands.
There is a verse of Scripture jostling around in my spirit today. A verse that speaks of my Jesus.
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin." Hebrews 4:15
I love this verse because it removes the "God card" factor. Jesus didn't just play a God card and exempt himself from the possibility of sin. No. He was tempted. In every way I have been tempted, and then some.
Most of the time, our youngest two get along beautifully. When they don't, something like this soundbite from last week happens:
"Sweetheart, your big brother told me you two weren't getting along. You want to tell me what happened?"
"I was mad at him."
"Really? Why is that?"
"Because he wouldn't play what I wanted him to play." Long pause. "So, I said some mean things."
Twenty-nine years ago today, the seven year old version of me decided to become a follower of Jesus. Compared to other childhood memories, I remember it quite clearly.
I can picture myself in the Sunday School room of the church where my parents served on staff. I can remember the teacher talking about the time she asked Jesus to be her Savior. She went on to something else, but my mind didn't. I could only hear those words "asked Jesus," over and over.
I always love to turn a calendar page, but I can not remember a time I have been so excitedly anticipating turning my weekly planner from one week to the next. It's not that this week has been terrible, it's just that next week holds something precious---a respite.
It was my husband's idea. After a season of intense labor in our ministry, he felt we both needed to take some time away on our own. A time for each of us to get away from daily life to recharge, refuel and be re-envisioned.Read More