April 2016

Consider the Ways You Make Motherhood Beautiful

With mop in hand and the smell of pine stinging my nose, I watched the mail truck pull away. I knew what my deliverer put in the box.   The Mother Letters: Sharing the Laughter, Joy, Struggles, and Hope by Seth and Amber Haines. I rubbed down my hardwoods quickly, giving a spray and a promise that next time I would take better care. I walked to the mailbox and pulled out the brown package, [Read more...]

What the Bible Says About Standardized Tests

We are smack dab in the middle of standardized test season. I get an email every few days encouraging a healthy breakfast, early bedtimes, and practice tests at home. These days usually pass by the Smith household without much fanfare. I don’t make a big deal out of it and my kids treat it like an ordinary day. This year, however, one of my kids developed test anxiety. The night before her [Read more...]

Reasons We Want to Relive a Day and What to Do About it Today

My kids help me stay up-to-date with what the cool kids have on their playlist these days. One of the songs they introduced me to is twenty one pilots’ “Stressed Out.” It’s a bit of a whiny song for this up-and-coming generation, but one of the lines stuck with me. Wish we could turn back time, to the good ol’ days, When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re [Read more...]

Mother’s Day Gift Guide for the Proverbs 31 Woman

There is a lot of pressure for excellent gift-giving on Mother’s Day. How do you adequately wrap up your love and gratitude? You want to “rise and call her blessed,” but a Hallmark card and potted plant seem to fall short. Never fear! I have a Mother’s Day gift guide for the Proverbs 31 woman in your life!   An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious [Read more...]

The Importance of Discipleship, or It Doesn’t Have to Be Big to Matter Big

“You don’t have to start a new organization, or write a book, or start a new blog. Just make disciples.” ~David Platt We see so many “big” efforts for Christ, especially on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Fundraisers for charity organizations. Viral blog posts encouraging others. Campaigns to end human trafficking. Crusades bringing the lost to Jesus. And sometimes we allow them to [Read more...]

Breakthrough Insights from an Astonishing Answered Prayer

I learned some things about answered prayer from two Hondas and three friends. It started with a 2002 Honda Odyssey. I really wanted my minivan to make it to 300,000 miles. I babied her, took her to my mechanic faithfully, and beamed at the progressing odometer. It’s not so much because I was attached to her, I just don’t like a car payment. When the oil puddles started growing, I [Read more...]

The Tension of Motherhood: Parenting vs Passions

In seventh grade, I wanted to be a live-action news reporter. An F-5 tornado swept through a nearby town, and I stayed glued to the television for the next few days. I became enamored by the guys on the field standing in the aftermath of such a beast. They demonstrated stoicism in the midst of turmoil. They kept their cool while the people around them lost their minds over their lost homes. As I [Read more...]

5 Things That Will Make You Stop and Listen: Musings From A Middle School Field Trip

This week I went on a twelve-hour field trip with my sixth-grade daughter. Yes, twelve hours. With middle school kids. I chaperoned five girls. They talked. A lot. I tried to listen and pick up on trends in the hearts of girls that age. I heard a few things that encouraged me and a few things that discouraged me. I tucked all of it into my trunk of wisdom to help me be a more intentional parent. [Read more...]

How to Make Room for the Important

When I lay my head on my pillow at night, I rarely feel like I’ve finished everything on my to-do list. More often, I sing myself to sleep with the laundry list of the incomplete. Homework papers left unsigned, dishes left unwashed, and books left unread. Women have a jumble of demands pressing down on them all day, every day. With responsibilities dictating how we spend our time, the most [Read more...]

Looking for Lovely: Collecting the Moments that Matter {Giveaway!}

Last week, my kids were out of school for spring break. I probably saw them less last week than any in our recent history. Between a wonky work schedule, evening activities, and wonderful grandparents, I essentially missed an entire week of their life. When I planned it all out, it didn’t seem so bad. When I lived it, it was quite sad. After a week of rushing and missing life, I realized [Read more...]