February 2017

How NOT to Panic When Your Kid Asks for a Cell Phone

“Mama, I want a cell phone.” The requests for a cell phone started around third grade. The list of friends who possessed this technological treasure started growing. By the time fifth grade rolled around, my daughter was sure she was the only one without an iPhone. I pointed out a few friends still on the outside. She relented, outsmarted once again. At middle school orientation, the [Read more...]

What I Learned from My Fast (and Why You Should Try It)

In my years of following Jesus, I never fasted. Not once. Not social media, not television, not sugar, not food. I didn’t see the need. Fasting seemed like one of those things you did to enhance your prayer life. My prayer life was good enough—no self-denial necessary. Pride much? However, this year I felt God telling me it was time. Maybe he said so in the past and my pride kept me [Read more...]

Is Real Life Getting in the Way of Your Big Dreams?

Do you dream big dreams about making a difference in the world? Maybe you see yourself behind a podium delivering a message that makes a crowd laugh, cry, and run to Jesus. Your dream may involve bandaging wounds or ladling soup for the sick and hungry in a developing country. You may quietly hope your pastor will choose you to head up an exciting new program at your church. My own dream [Read more...]

I’m Going to the Dominican Republic!

Walking with you in the shadow of the cross is the thing that gets me out of bed before dawn. I most often write in the dark part of the morning, praying that the words here might propel you forward in the disciple’s journey. While my desire for this space is to encourage and equip you, I have a personal update and prayer request to share with you today about an upcoming mission trip. [Read more...]

Love Your Neighbor (but Who is My Neighbor?)

One thing I love about living in the south is the cultural hospitality. I’m sure it exists in other parts of the country, but around these parts, casseroles and coffee cake are a love language. My fondest memory of love baked at 350° was after the birth of my first baby. I came home from the hospital on Mother’s Day. I found a casserole in my fridge and a Mother’s Day card on [Read more...]

How to Date Your Mate Without Spending Money

My husband and I lived on a thin red line in our early years of marriage. I was in OT school which kept me from working. His first job out of college paid well, but the starting salary was “just enough.” I remember eating our dinners on an overturned laundry basket because we couldn’t afford a dining room table. When we wanted to be really fancy, we set up the ironing board on [Read more...]

10 Powerful Truths to Fight Financial Discouragement

For anyone living check-to-check, nothing lifts the spirits like payday. In the days leading up to payday, we bite our nails as we check our shrinking account balances. The minute the direct deposit hits, we can breathe a sigh of relief. Margin feels good after living so close to the red line. That’s why they call it breathing room, right? And for anyone living check-to-check, nothing can [Read more...]

The Gift of Presence

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.” Thich Nhat Hanh Not many things motivate me to reach into a toilet. Through a series of mishaps involving my potty training three-year-old, his blankie, and my phone, my most prized electronic device took the plunge. My floating phone was enough to make me reach in the germ infested water without so much as an, “Ew, [Read more...]