Category archives: Parenting

How I'm Blessing My Baby (Before I Know Their Name)

When I found out I was expecting a fourth child, (and even though we were planning and hoping for another little one) I still groaned. I groaned because I don't like having a big belly. I just don't like the way I look or feel, at all, with a big-o belly. A couple weeks went by, and every time I looked in the mirror, I felt disappointed. Disappointed in myself for never losing the weight from the second kiddo. And somehow I let that disappointment turn into regret for this new life. There's something in our culture that seeps into our thought process, without us being aware that it's happening. It's this notion that children are an inconvenience. An unwanted burden. It pervades our society and even when we don't want to buy into it, even when we know better, somehow we still l[...]

When You Feel the Weight of Things (And How to Feel the Love of God)

Some days I wake up and feel the weight of the aching world upon this little chest of mine. I don’t even know where all the angst is coming from. Is it really that bad, or do I just need some breakfast? My children need a hundred things from me. How did they become so awake in just five minutes and need all these things? Someone starts to scream. Someone’s kicking someone. Someone just stole someone else’s chocolate milk. Someone says they are NOT going to the library with the rest of us today. Someone's hiding in the closet. That sounds like a good idea to me. I sigh. I need a hundred things from God. Like hope, comfort, energy for these little ones, and a protein breakfast, just to name a few. Mostly I just want to be held. Is that too much to ask from the Maker of the[...]

Diary of a New Momma

  Today, I came across an old note I'd written, right after I had my firstborn. (That was nearly seven years ago. Wowsers. How do I have a  nearly seven year old?! Aaaagh!) Okay. Anyways. It went something like this: .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... I’ve only been a momma for about three weeks, but oh, the whirlwind of thoughts and emotions I’ve been having. I've never felt this sort of terror before. The sheer weight of responsibility all of a sudden. I'm only confident of this one thing—I don’t know what the heck I’m doing!!! I took Gideon to the grocery store. No o[...]

Dear Children, If You Could Just Learn This One Thing (This One Really Hard Thing)

Brent and I, we’re raising this little tribe of kids. It’s the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever experienced and yet the hardest job I’ve ever had. So much of raising kids is trying to teach them how to live together in love. Seems like God provides a family for us, to learn just that. It’s like He knows that if we can learn to love our family—the little brother who’s always crashing our block towers and pulling our hair when he gets mad-- then we’ll be pretty equipped to love the world out there, hateful as it gets sometimes. The family is the best training ground. At least, that’s how it ought to be. It’s meant to be a community of deep knowing and unconditional love. Because who knows you better than the folks who see you first thing, with the morning breath and the bed-head?[...]

What the Summer Days are Teaching Me

Today, as the kids played in the warm sunshine out back in the yard, I remembered how much I love summer. And then I recalled all my growing up years under an Arkansas summer sun. There were popsicle days and creek exploring afternoons. There was honey suckle dripping on the tip of our tongues and strawberry nibbling.  I vividly remember the dandelion blowing, dirt digging, frog catching moments and the times when the afternoon storms would blow in and we’d dance around the yard in the rain and “take a shower” in the waterfall that flowed from the eaves. I used to begrudge my momma for having us play outside so much in the hot sun. We’d sit in the shade and make tents and forts from old sheets and me and my little brother were sure we were languishing out there in the heat. But, [...]

For All the Parents of the House Wreckers

I’ve got this one kid in particular who just happens to be a real house-wrecker. (Well, they’re all house wreckers but this one…he’s just the worst.) He doesn’t mean to be, I don’t think. It’s just they all seem to go through this exploratory stage right about the time they’re two whole feet tall, and they really do need to examine every single content in the Tupperware drawer. And this kid, he gets a strange compulsion to pull every article of clothing out of the chest of drawers, say oh, five times a day to see if that one pair of underwear will fit around his scrawny little head. I've been invited to Kimberly Wagner's blog today. She's the author of Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior. Keep reading over here? And enter to win a free copy of  my book, Finding God at [...]

When You're Having a Bad Day (And You Want to Have a Good One)

Sometimes you might wake up to a bad day. Well, it might be a good day outside. There might be light everywhere and flowers bloomin' and birds singin', but there on your insides, everything feels overwhelming. And it might not be your fault entirely. It might have even started the night before when things didn't go as you had hoped or planned. And so you went to bed not quite at peace with God and the world and you woke up with some internal struggles right from the get-go. Yep, the sunlight could be streaming in that window and you might feel like a train wreck before the cereal is even poured. The world does its own thing, and you can't change what's going on around you, but there are some things that you can do to help your insides. To get your day back on track. For on[...]

For All the Mommas of the House Wreckers (How to Keep Going, and Keep Loving)

I’ve got this one kid in particular who just happens to be a real house-wrecker. (Well, they’re all house wreckers but this one…he’s just the worst.) He doesn’t mean to be, I don’t think. It’s just they all seem to go through this exploratory stage right about the time they’re two whole feet tall, and they really do need to examine every single content in the Tupperware drawer. And this kid, he gets a strange compulsion to pull every article of clothing out of the chest of drawers, say oh, five times a day to see if that one pair of underwear will fit around his scrawny little head. And then he notices the strangest things. Like that one pile of laundry in the bathroom, that looks an awful lot like that other pile of clothes over there by Daddy’s closet. So I suppose he de[...]

God Still Speaks

There’s this old, old story about a bush that once caught on fire, and burned, a crimson blaze but it didn’t burn up. (Exodus 3) And as the flames crackled and sparked, that bush caught someone’s attention. And so this curious shepherd, who was just minding his own business, taking care of his sheep out in the rocky desert, went over to check out the amazing sight. And when he came close, he heard a voice. God Himself was calling that raggedy old shepherd, right out of that blazing bush! Moses! Moses! God hollered out. And a baffled Moses replied, “Yes? I’m right here!” And then the Maker of that bush, who chose to show up like a blazing fire just kept on talking, “Don’t get too close. Take your shoes off. You’re standing on holy ground.” I have this burning bush and c[...]

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