Thanksgiving is about expressing gratitude. It's a time to reflect on the things we have been given, the things we have been kept from, and the things the Lord has removed from our lives. To get into the spirit of the holidays, we moms typically create daily exercises of gratefulness by making lists of what we are thankful for and posting them on our Facebook pages. We make paper or stick trees to hang leaf ornaments on, until finally we gather around a table overflowing with food, and one by one we share our Thanksgiving appreciation with others. Teaching our children and reminding Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
My 16-year-old son came home from spending a week at a renowned Christian camp and announced that he didn't know if he believed in God anymore. Not the thing a mom would expect to hear within five minutes after getting in the car with the kid who was just high-fived by the entire coach bus of students and leaders and seemingly couldn't stop smiling. Nope. I was expecting the typical camper spiritual high. The on-fire-for-Jesus excitement after total Jesus immersion for a week. Instead I got the "I don't know if this God stuff is for me." My heart sank and the tacos from the night before Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
School fliers arrive in the mail touting one-cent glue and crayons for a quarter. Week after week in August, big chain stores make me believe that I need several hundred binders; they make me wonder how I am existing without hole reinforcements for loose-leaf paper. Flash forward to September when I have enough glue for three kindergarten classes and possess more hole punches and push pins than any family would ever need in their entire life. Not to mention, my collection of binders in rainbow colors has grown exponentially and all of my children are wearing hole reinforcements like French Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
My friend posted a beautiful picture of her daughter jumping at the water's edge on a sandy beach with the caption, "Because she's happy!" It made me think about my own children at the beach. They jump, shriek, dance, and roll in the water and sand for no other reason than pure joy. It's a beautiful thing, with inhibitions lost in the moment of expressing unadulterated happiness. Her photo made my soul smile, but the more I thought about it, it made me a little sad, too. My sadness wasn't for my friend or her daughter, but for my children and me. My friend's daughter has Down Syndrome Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
My children wear seat belts in the car. I make them wear helmets when they ride things with wheels. I limit their candy intake. I have a water filter on our sink to ensure the water they drink is clean. I don't allow them to play by the road. These are typical boundaries to ensure our children's safety that I think most people would agree upon, because they physically protect our kids. However, when I say my children are not allowed to watch certain movies or t.v. shows, people tell me I'm overprotective. If I mention that our teenagers are not allowed to date, people think I am robbing Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
My family is in the midst of one of the biggest transitions of our lives. We have moved back to the state where both my husband and I grew up. It's where we went to school, where we fell in love, and where all of our extended family resides. Prior to the move I imagined the greatness of the move, how it was going to benefit our family, and how we would have a part in impacting our community alongside a church family. I was a bit fearful of the unknown and sad to leave 18 years' worth of friends who had become our heart family, but regardless of my apprehension, my husband and I really felt Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
Learning happens all the time. No matter what we are doing in our lives, we are gleaning new information, perfecting past actions, figuring out what will result from our current efforts. Even when we are doing "nothing," our brains are churning thoughts, processing past experiences, and pondering future possibilities. Life teaches. It's what it was created to do. My husband and I believe life is a better teacher than we will ever be; after all, when a life is lived fully, few important things slip through its "curriculum." A while ago my daughter, Brynna, began talking about chickens. Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
Sometimes writing comes easily for me. An idea will pop into my head and it spills out of my mind onto the paper effortlessly. If it's a piece that brings encouragement or laughter, I think there is nothing I'd rather do than write. Other times it is a painful process. My mind is a blank canvas and there is not an artist to be found; I am at a loss to write something...anything. I'll jot down a few lines and then cross it out. I'll write something else, only for it to become a crumpled ball on the floor. Other times, there is a disconnect between my mind and my fingers, and the thought stays Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
My husband and I were given a trip to Hawaii by a friend who couldn't use it due to unforeseen circumstances. I'm very excited for this getaway since my husband (of almost 18 years) and I have never truly taken a vacation together without our children. As if that weren't fantastic enough, it just so happened that the incredible week on Maui that she gifted us was a Christian couples' getaway, and we are going to enjoy music from Mac Powell, not to mention daily encouragement from Pastor Greg Laurie. We leave in less than a month. I've purchased a new bathing suit, decided what clothes I Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
Four years ago I took my two school-aged children from public school and began homeschooling. We signed up under a state charter school, and I had romanticized my role as my children’s educator. I had wall calendars, alphabets, space posters, and presidential bios posted on our walls. It was my first day homeschooling and it took exactly one hour to realize this was not matching what I had envisioned. Eight hours later, the night ended with a to-do list and nothing crossed off as I sobbed to my husband over some frozen pizza. I felt like a failure. I was so wrapped up in what I wanted for my Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.