Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Why Your Kids Need the Church - The Glorious Table



Murphy’s Law would say everything goes wrong as you’re trying to get your family out the door for church. People wake up late, and they wake up grumpy. The baby poops through his diaper onto your pants just as we are walking out the door. Big homework projects due on Monday are suddenly “remembered.” I’ve actually arrived at church with a barefoot kid. More than once. Apparently hopping into the car in a warm attached garage makes my kids forget shoes are necessary in the winter.
Sunday mornings are often hard, yet despite all the forces of nature that work against us and the Sunday morning trauma we’ve endured, regular church attendance is a family priority. For us it’s a clear case of the benefits outweighing the costs.
Why Our Kids Need Church
In the heat of the moment, when baby poop is running down your leg and the toddler can’t find his shoes, you need to have conviction and purpose to keep going. You need to be convinced that giving your kids a church family is something you can’t afford to miss. Click here to read five reasons I think it’s worth it to brave the Sunday morning craziness.

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Have you Glimpsed Your Soul - The Glorious Table

An unexpected reflection as I passed a store window or mirror used to clue me into some form of self-care that needed tightening up. Now a notification that I’ve been tagged in a friend’s online photo makes me throw out an old favorite sweatshirt or lean closer to the magnifying mirror with my tweezers. A non-curated view of myself encourages better self-care.
The same thing can drive changes in my soul.
Soul mirrors are harder to come by than physical reflections. Although the messages they hold are less obvious, they’re a precious treasure. After the initial uncomfortable flinch, if we learn to stay in the moment, the truth will emerge. When it does, we can become something new. Writing for the Glorious Table has been this type of soul mirror for me.

I sent my first submission to our editor, Harmony, on July 31, 2015. It came back with much-needed red ink and kind but firm instruction. “Also,” she wrote, “you need to work on eliminating ellipses. I suggest looking at the CMS section on ellipses and thinking about when it’s appropriate to use them . . . You had eight ellipses in 800 words—that’s a lot.”
Alone in front of my computer screen, I felt myself blush. I was embarrassed to need a Google search to define ellipsis ( . . . ), but I was also excited to see a path to grow. I thought Harmony was holding up a mirror for my writing, but it turned out to also be a mirror for my soul.
Please join me at The Glorious Table to read the rest of my ellipses lesson!

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Live Your Genealogy Well - The Glorious Table

“When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug. And after he became the father of Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters. When Serug had lived 30years, he became the father of Nahor. And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.” Genesis 11:20-23 (NKJV)
I bet you didn’t memorize these verses in Sunday School when you were growing up. If you’re like me, your eyes glazed over as you stumbled through them to finish your Read Through The Bible in a Year plan. Maybe you think of Ancestry.com commercials you’ve seen and wonder about your own lineage. Did the line of your nose come from a distant descendant from a foreign country? Was your outlook on life shaped little by little as it filtered down from a culture you’ve never directly experienced? And the most weighty question: what legacy am I crafting for the generations who follow?

If each word of the Bible is truly God-breathed and useful in our lives, genealogies must have precious gems of truth hidden in them. I think one of those gems is a perspective bigger than ourselves. The genealogies are a tool God uses to give us an eagle-eye view of his work and our place in it.
Read my tips for living your genealogy well at The Glorious Table!


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Friday, May 11, 2018

Motherhood Ain't for Sissies - The Glorious Table



Someday I’ll be a white-haired lady talking with friends or gazing out a window alone with my thoughts. My conversation and thoughts are sure to center around moments when my life was busy with little people who called me Mom. Among the everyday moments, other memories will float to the surface and demand my attention above the rest. The highlights will be the clutch moments, the pivotal points in my children’s lives when a decision was made or a new ounce of courage was found. The moments I got to watch them become.

Those clutch moments are the same desires I dreamt about when my babies were growing inside me. My prayers were full of desire to be there when my kids needed me most. I was desperate to offer support and put the wind in their sails. The same moments I longed for at the beginning will be the exact ones sustaining me at the end.


What I didn’t see coming were the tears. My early dreams and the memories real life has given me bear many similarities; what they don’t share are all those tears. My dreams didn’t consider the ripping required for the butterflies to emerge from their cocoons. They didn’t compute the necessary tearing of muscles to make them grow strong.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Devotion - How to Be Prepared for Trouble - The Glorious Table

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)
We all love a good police drama. My favorite episodes are when they call in a guy (or woman) to defuse a bomb or talk down a hostage taker. One guy steps forward, close to danger, willing to defy great odds. He knows he has expertise and preparation the rest of the world doesn’t have to offer.
The expert has high-level training and has honed his skill through hours of practice. He has learned to mitigate the effects of stress on his body. He uses deep breathing to slow his heart rate and steady his hand. Good sleep and healthy living are serious issues to him, knowing he could get a call at any moment.
Why is he this extreme? What has made him willing to sacrifice time and pleasure to prepare with unusual skills? He knows he’s on call and that his phone will ring when disaster strikes. He expects trouble and has prepared to meet it with skill and strength.

I go about my days without ever practicing bomb-defusing skills. I never check my phone expecting to see an urgent call from the local police negotiations unit. They never request my help. My job doesn’t demand expert skills in hostage negotiations or bomb defusing. It makes sense that I don’t have those skills. It would be utterly foolish if I applied for and got a job in special operations and was put on call, because I’d be unprepared.
***I'll share my secrets for living life as prepared as the bomb expert over at The Glorious Table. Please join me there to read more!**

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Giver Gets the Greatest Blessing - The Glorious Table

Tigist invited me into her home in Ethiopia because I was—and still am—her American sister/sponsor. When my heart was stirred toward orphan prevention, my girlfriends joined me, we pooled our money, and I earned the opportunity to be Tigist’s honored guest.
The inequities of our lives churned inside me during our visit. Our two birthplaces make our realities wildly different. Her entire home is the size of my master bathroom. I have access to medical specialists, while her community has one doctor per 33,333 people. My hard work has the power to significantly change my situation. Her hard work, day in and day out, barely keeps malnutrition at bay.

Trying to make sense of these disparities has been an open, working file in my mind since the day I met Tigist. I need to understand how God is working and what he expects from me. The privilege of my birthplace is a sacred offering I have to give to the world.
Wrestling with these questions has caused unexpected certitudes to appear. The most brilliant is that what I’ve gained by giving far outweighs what I’ve given.
Join me over at The Glorious Table to read the conclusion of this post.

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

The One Thing You Need to Age Gracefully - The Glorious Table



Twenty years ago, when I imagined myself mid-life, I curated a mental list of the things I imagined myself doing. I expected my forties to be busy, bustling with action. I hoped for a full family life and strength to check boxes on important lists all day long. I hoped to maintain a sense of style that didn’t embarrass my daughters but stayed unique. I wanted my forty-something self to be doing things that felt satisfying.
Here I am at forty-six, and it’s almost exactly as I expected. It seems to be the sweet spot of both strength and perspective. A peak from which I can see how far I’ve come and am starting to turn my face toward new vistas. Thinking about the future is quite different than in my twenties. Then, life seemed limitless, but now it’s easier to see time’s constraints.
The One Thing You Need to Age Gracefully
I used to think I wanted to age like Sophia Loren. She’s stylish and drop-dead gorgeous; she doesn’t try to be any age but the one she is. She gives off an air of embracing the best pieces of who she is today. Twenty and even forty years from now, reality tells me that my strength will wane–of body and mind. In my eighties, I may not have the eyesight necessary to pluck my eyebrows evenly and apply eyeliner well. Without Sophia Loren’s team of stylists, my eighties are bound to look much different than hers. Already I’m doing regular double-takes in the mirror, surprised by gravity’s power. I’m not putting a date on the calendar for when I plan to let myself go, but I do feel a strong pull to be something significant on the inside and not just the outside.

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