grace

Dear Daughter: Perfection Isn’t the Goal

Today, I share a daughter letter in Lauren Flake’s “Dear Daughter ” Letter series. Dear Daughter, You are a good child. Your heart wants to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing. When presented with two choices, you often think about the rules and the consequences and choose accordingly. You take pride in the straight line you walk, and I do, too. Mamas need a [Read more...]

Living in Fear of Bad Blood

I love to hear stories of generations past. Family reunions and holiday dinners give us an opportunity to meander down memory lane. Courageous war veterans, brave law enforcement officers, and strong women who beat the odds grace the pages of my family’s history books. Perhaps you have an album full of treasured photographs of family heroes and legends, the kind of people who shape history and [Read more...]

Eliminating the Dead Zone in Your Home with a Little Salt

I have a dual personality. Just call me “Two Face.” I am one person to my children and someone different with my spouse. When my sweet children wake, I meet them with hugs and back rubs. I ask them how they slept and if they had good dreams. I sometimes offer to fix them breakfast. I pour sugar all over our interactions. It doesn’t matter how many times I told them to get in the [Read more...]

Sometimes Grace Looks Like a Nap

Mothers, you probably know the scene well. Maybe you are here with me. A few busy summer days in a row and all of the kids and all of the parents are cranky. We say unkind things and react instead of respond. Before you know it, everyone’s crying in their salad. Sometimes, on these hard days, my two-year-old says through his tears, “time go night-night.” I couldn’t agree [Read more...]

When My Worship Is All About Me

I stood in the worship service, hands lifted as music filled me. Emotions swirled in those moments: love for the God who first loved me, gratitude for both life and eternal life through Jesus, a sense of awe at the presence of the Holy Spirit. The speakers rattled just a bit as the volume of the music rose, my thoughts were lost in the chords and phrases. Worship is a sacred place for us to [Read more...]

Returning to the Adventure of Doing Life Together

After eighteen years of marriage, my husband and I have this thing figured out. We know who takes out the garbage, who pays the bills, and who gives the little one a bath on which night. He is a night owl and I am an early bird. He likes to brew coffee and I like to drink it. I know he hates to fold clothes and he knows I hate to scrub the shower. We make great roommates. Married people should be [Read more...]

5 Ways to Prepare Your Heart for Easter

I grew up thinking Lent was what you pulled out of the dryer between loads. The churches we attended in my early years never mentioned this practice of preparing for Easter by fasting and praying. In my early twenties, I told a Catholic co-worker she had a little something on her forehead. I wondered how she could miss that big black smudge across the top of her head. It was Ash Wednesday. Cue [Read more...]

Today Is the Day to Believe What I Don’t Believe

“Mama, how many years will it be until 3000?” My middle child was apparently deep in thought in the back seat. I replied, “Nine hundred eighty-four.” Very matter-of-factly she said, “I don’t believe it.” We spent the rest of the car ride doing math in our head and debating the fact that 3,000 minus 2,016 does, in fact, equal 984 years. I was unable to [Read more...]

Look Up for Your Freedom

Look down! Look down! You’ll always be a slave. Look down! Look down! You’re standing in your grave! The opening lines from Les Miserables remind me of the days leading up to my grown-up decision to follow Jesus. You see, I asked Jesus into my heart in elementary school. I was a good girl, seeking to know all the rules so I could follow them.  And then, life took a turn. I lived like [Read more...]