Reading List

My Favorite Books of 2016

I love reading, but when I became a mom, my reading time was devoted to Dr. Seuss and our weekly children’s library stack. I love a good rhyming life lesson as much as the next person, but I missed getting lost in a good story or learning something new about the world or myself from a new non-fiction selection. When I became super-intentional about goal setting a few years ago, I set out to [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...]

Scatter Kindness with the #5dollardash

Have you seen the latest challenge working its way around Facebook? In the spirit of The Ice Bucket Challenge, the #5dollardash arrived on World Kindness Day (November 13). I took the challenge and went live on Facebook to share. It was so exciting to be a part of a coordinated kindness attack! Karen Ehman’s newest book, Listen, Love, Repeat: Others-Centered Living in a Self-Centered [Read more...]

How to Be an Extraordinary Blessing in an Ordinary World

Do you ever wish a kind, gentle Christian woman would hold your hand and help you figure out how to be a blessing to others? Titus 2:4 lays out the model for such a relationship: “By looking at [older women], the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives (MSG).” In her latest book, Listen, Love, Repeat: [Read more...]

She Reads Truth: The Story We All Share

Do you ever find yourself in the pages of a book or on the movie theater screen? The Little Mermaid captivated me in the junior high years. Emerging from childhood into adulthood isn’t a graceful transformation. Ariel knew exactly how I felt. I remember singing “Part of Your World” with such gusto and heart. Wandering free, wish I could be part of your world.  Ariel’s [Read more...]

When You Are Tired of Listening to the Pundits

Y’all. The debates. The campaigning. The analysis. I’m ready for November 9th—with the new President elected, we will have a bit of peace on the airwaves. That is, until January when he or she takes office. Then the arguing and debating will fire up again. Sigh. I haven’t tuned into all of the radio talk shows and news programs this go-around. I love to dialogue with [Read more...]

On Love, Religion, and Falling Free

I am happily trapped in English literature these days. As I spend time with Jane Austen and her compatriots, the theme of love over money persists. Men and women of position and fortune are expected to marry position and fortune. To choose a spouse of lower standing for love is to do your family and yourself a disservice. The brave heroes and heroines in these novels faithfully follow the [Read more...]

Don’t Play with Matches and Other Bad Advice

One blistering hot day, I stepped off the deck and found my daughter holding a magnifying glass over a smoking leaf. She used a cheap toy to magnify the power of the sun’s light in order to start a fire. I complimented her use of scientific principles and then reviewed fire safety principles with her. Don’t start a fire—not with matches, not with a magnifying glass, not by [Read more...]

Finding a Different Beautiful in Unexpected Places

“When we can see the beautiful in the unexpected, we learn to find joy and celebration in what is, instead of mourning what isn’t.” (Courtney Westlake, A Different Beautiful) The beaches of the Florida Panhandle are hard to beat. White sand and blue water under the pinkish-orange sunset sky is a true masterpiece of our Creator. If you ask me to take you somewhere beautiful, this [Read more...]

9 Books to Prepare You and Your Child for Middle School

My family embarked on the middle school adventure last year with some trepidation. We were already riding the emotional roller coaster of adolescence at home. I feared the prospect of adding middle school drama into the mix. Memories of my own sixth-grade awkwardness, self-doubt, and tumultuous friendships fed my apprehensions. My go-to anecdote for fear is knowledge. Instead of allowing myself [Read more...]