flashback

When Christmas Isn’t the Way You Want It

The concept of “leave and cleave” sounds lovely when you stand at the altar with your husband-to-be beside you. But when it comes to the holidays, it isn’t so lovely. The question of where and how to spend Christmas can cause discord in the most harmonious of marriages. My first Christmas as a Smith was dramatic. My husband’s job was as new as our marriage. He had to work on Christmas [Read more...]

Finding the Man of My Dreams

I played house a lot when I was a child. We had a square back porch just big enough to serve as the kitchen. Two patches of earth on either side served as the living quarters. The grass was worn away from the pounding of our feet making it easier for me to “sweep.” I gathered dark, black berries and leaves from the edge of the yard—most likely full of poison—that made the [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...]

The Sacred Connection of Flavor to the Heart

I haven’t had a bite of my grandma’s coconut cake in over twenty-five years, but I can still taste it. It is remarkable how deeply connected our taste buds are to our hearts. Never does a bite of coconut cake pass my lips that I don’t think of her. I think Grandma’s coconut cake was the best on this side of heaven. As the knife sliced through the three-layer cake, the smell of vanilla and [Read more...]

God Will Heal the Broken Places

We all experience things in our youth that shape us and change us. Some change us for the better, and some leave deep wounds on our soul. There is value in revisiting our past to examine those trying times. Liz Jones explores hurts she experienced at sixteen. It affected her, but she didn’t let it scar her. God heals brokenness. This is a letter to her sixteen-year-old self. Dear Liz, [Read more...]

Can Abundance Crowd Out Gratitude?

Abundance is a tricky thing. It seems the more you have, the more you want. Take restaurants, for example. My favorite restaurant when I was a little girl was Burger King. We didn’t eat out much in the 80’s, but when we did, it was two-for-one Whoppers on payday . When I moved to the city to go to college, I discovered a great little Greek restaurant, a swanky Thai place, and The Cheesecake [Read more...]

Climbing the Family Tree

Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation. Joel 1:3 Last Sunday was Grandparent’s Day. I missed it. Sometimes I stink at these Hallmark card moments. What can I do to make up for missing a chance to honor my generational heroes? I can write about them, of course! For most of my adult life, I have worked with older adults. [Read more...]

How Right Living Was My Brokenness

I believed in Jesus and redemption before I could spell it. “Jesus loves me, this I know.”  “I once was lost, but now I’m found.” At 8-years-old, lost doesn’t mean much. Because I am a rule-follower made righteous in Christ, I never felt lost or broken, until a broken home during my high school years fractured me and birthed unrest. The rules didn’t work. The law didn’t lead me [Read more...]

Dear Long Term Planner

Dear long term planner, Life has been a breeze so far.  Recent college grad, engaged, life has fallen into place smoothly.  You have been blessed with strong women surrounding you; all care deeply for you and mentor you.  Much of what they have said has been recorded for a future day, it doesn’t seem to apply now.  To date, you cannot recall a prayer request that wasn’t answered [Read more...]

The Holy Delay

By the time I turned 18, I had my 5-year plan figured out. Graduate high school. Enroll at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Marry David. Graduate Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy. Get a job. Buy a house. Have a baby. Bam! Five years mapped out from beginning to end. I be-bopped along that pathway with a few little bumps here and there. Statistics almost marred my 4.0. [Read more...]