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...]

If You Think You’re Not Enough, You May Be Right

My guest bathroom is a mess. About a year ago, a little section of paint started peeling. One child (no one will admit to it) pulled at the little bubble. And pulled. And pulled. Soon, a big section of drywall with rough brush strokes of the original yellow glared at us. We scraped and peeled until forty years of paint came loose. This, combined with the ugly vanity, the cabinet door that hangs [Read more...]

5 Effective Organization Resources to Make Life Easier

January is a time for new beginnings. New calendars inspire fresh starts. Many of us made a list of goals or resolutions for the new year. Right about now, you may wonder to yourself, where did I put that list? Goals for health, home, and habits are buried under a pile of past routines. The work required to achieve change often results in discouragement, even abandonment. While 41% of Americans [Read more...]

Mamas, Be Kind to Your Future Self

Do you ever get to the end of your day and say to yourself, “Good job! You got it all done?” No? Me either. I perpetually transfer tasks from today’s to-do list to tomorrow’s. I am never finished. Yes, I am busy, but my main enemy is procrastination. Why ruin this moment by doing something I don’t want to do when later seems like a perfectly good time to do it? What [Read more...]

Parents Can Make Digital Media Matter with SmartFeed

Every Friday night, my family gathers around our living room for Pizza Movie Night. Plates piled high with pizza and cups with lids (because we spill a lot) sit in laps and on the oversized ottoman. Because we rarely turn the TV on during the week, the kids buzz with excitement. Mom and Dad exhale the final breath of our week-long race, wordlessly proclaiming, “we made it through another [Read more...]

5 Ways to Help Give God Your First 15 Minutes

The early days with a newborn are pure survival. Sleep when you can, as long as you can. At some point, the baby begins to sleep a little longer, a little later. It took almost four years for my first born to sleep through the night. Those years of minimal sleep were difficult, to say the least. I quickly learned the importance of priorities and planning. Showers required strategic timing. [Read more...]

Reflections on Winter: the Lessons We Learn in the Cold

An Alabama winter’s day can move from warm sun to snow in a matter of hours. Last week, my kids enjoyed a snow day because of the threat of sleet and snow. Central Alabama shut down when sheets of ice covered our roadways. This morning, I enjoyed my coffee and prayer time sitting on the deck. My kids walked to the bus stop without a jacket. The temperature is 73° as I write this. All of [Read more...]