#FridayFive

Stuck between Your Calling and Your Life: What Now?

My first decision of the morning starts around 10 pm the night before. As I sit on the edge of my bed, alarm clock in hand, I decide between sleep and an hour of quiet reading and reflection. I can’t do both; there is only enough time for one thing. When my alarm sounds the next morning, I face the decision again—snooze or rise and enter into that predetermined quiet space. These [Read more...]

5 Songs to Include in the Christian Writer’s Playlist

I remember the days before Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon Music, where a swipe of the finger pulls up your favorite songs. I even remember the pre-CD days, when I had shoeboxes of my favorite music neatly organized beside my stereo. In my high school days, I kept a blank cassette tape in the jam box. When I song I liked came on the radio, I would rush over and press “record” so I could [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

What I Did Instead of Setting New Year’s Goals

I am tired of feeling overwhelmed. Years of goal-setting and driving hard to achieve those goals left me feeling frazzled, stretched, and out of focus. When presented with an opportunity to read Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregorie’s new book, Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity, I knew I needed whatever they had to say to me. The book did not disappoint. Kathi and Cheri [Read more...]

Christmas Joy #FridayFive Style

When #FridayFive started, it was a place to share favorite things—memories, books, links. It took on a life of its own with writing prompts to challenge us to think a little deeper and write a little more consistently. I love reading your different takes on the weekly themes. As I turn “joy” around in my mind, it seems like a good time to go back to my #FridayFive roots and [Read more...]

Gifts to Encourage Spiritual Growth in Your Tween Girl

This time of year, kids can’t get through a conversation with an adult without being asked the million dollar question: “What do you want for Christmas?” Around October, I start jotting down ideas for my own kids. We keep it simple with three gifts per child, so I only need a few ideas to get me started. This year, my tweenager surprised me by asking for a new Bible. The [Read more...]

How to Get Rid of Glass Half Empty Gratitude

I have an almost-teenager at my house which means sour attitudes float around here like pickles in a jar. My middle schooler is generally an optimist, but this stage of emotional development sometimes sabotages her sunny disposition. Phrases like “I will never…” and “it’s always…” transform temporary hardships into eternal absolutes. Hope flutters away as [Read more...]