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Showing posts from 2016

The Story of Esther - in honor of adoption month

When she asked the question, the dam broke. I'm surprised she could even understand my answer through the sniveling. With my newborn second son cradled in my arm and the phone balanced between my chin and shoulder I threw caution to the wind and told her all my fears. We didn't know each other that well yet, but she was an experienced mom of 4 kids and had called at just the right time to ask me how life was at home with my new little one. She reached through the phone with her voice and sternly told me that I would be fine, my boys would be fine, LIFE would be fine. She beat back the wild fears that had overtaken me and calmed my heart with these words, "The best gift you can give your child is a sibling. Stop worrying about all material things you might not be able to give and think about all you've already given him by giving him a brother."
Fast forward 20 years and it's pretty obvious that we've taken that advice and run with it! My brood has grown fr…

Everyday Satisfaction - The Glorious Table

As I fill my plate, the odds are stacked against me. Even with the aid of a forgiving waistband, I almost never lick the plate clean at Thanksgiving dinner. This celebration elevates the average dinner’s protein-vegetable-starch trifecta to an Olympic level. Why settle for one kind of potato when you can have baked, mashed, twice baked, and sweet? Who would eat only green bean casserole when squash can have marshmallows and pecans toasted on top and still be called a vegetable? I don’t know about your house, but at mine, no one asks if I would like dessert; instead I’m invited for a tour of the dessert table as if it’s round two of dinner. I routinely forego breakfast on Thanksgiving Day. In fact, the big dinner is quite often my only meal of the day. It takes absolutely all my stomach space to fully experience it. I lean back in my chair and eat slowly to maximize the number of bites I can take without risking combustion. It’s just that good. The dinner table’s lure isn’t solely in …

Five Ways to Love Raising Teenagers - The Glorious Table

Her words were the opposite of what I was used to hearing. I had a baby in my arms and only one hand free to herd my other kids—eight, seven, and three-year-old twins—out the doors of the church sanctuary. Phyllis caught up to me with a smile. “You are so lucky! My favorite part of being a mom was having two teenagers in my house, and you get to have all these!” she said.
There wasn’t any pity or the “Just wait until they are teenagers—you’re in for it” warning I had come to expect from observers of my little circus. Instead, her eyes glittered with excitement as she recounted fond memories of being a mom of teens. She left me with a conspiratorial squeeze and a hopeful spin on the future. Now I know where that sparkle in Phyllis’s eye came from. I’ve learned to love having a houseful of teenagers and I’ve got some tricks to pass on to help you feel the same. Head over to The Glorious Table to read my five tips to make life with your teens awesome!
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On Being Strong - The Glorious Table

My mom would tell you that me growing up unscathed by dysfunction and trauma is a complete miracle. My mom is a chain breaker. She worked hard to avoid passing on the unhealthy patterns of family life in which she was raised. Instead, she set me on solid ground with a strong dose of healthy habits and thought patterns as I started adult life. As a little girl, and then later as a teen, I regularly heard a prayer whispered over me: “Please protect this child from her Momma’s mistakes.” She believed God would do exactly that and help her to raise me up better than she could on her own.


My mom didn’t hand down the depression and chronic fatigue that have been her own battles. In their place, she passed on to me her fierce determination to believe what God says and trust him. She is the bravest women I’ve ever met... Join me over at The Glorious Table to read more! 
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Ordinary Sacred Places

One week of every summer deposits our family in the heart of Michigan's up north beauty. My husband speaks for one of the programs at Lake Ann Camp and I spend the week with no agenda, breathing deeply and soaking up beauty.



Each day, my walks from our cabin to the dining hall take me past a lone picnic table in an out of the way location. With only the wind in the trees and scampering squirrels to interrupt my thoughts I find my mind wandering over the past 20 years of summertime memories I've collected here. That picnic table played host to a couple serious and emotional conversations with one of our students. The discussion pushed me as I tried to offer equal doses of grace and truth. 
I have similar precious memories of a park bench in Brazil, a campground trail in New York, the front seat of our car, the backyard hammock, a conference center back hallway, a paddle boat in the middle of a lake, the darkness of the bunk room after lights out and around campfire in Canada.…

The Seasonality of Motherhood - The Glorious Table

I am writing over at The Glorious Table today as part of their Motherhood series. I have learned so much about life by being a mom. One lesson is that a well lived life needs to be lived in seasons...

The Seasonality of Motherhood

 I am ignoring the barbecue sauce I just found on the toilet seat. It came from the beard of a thirsty dog who finished off some rib remnants she found in the trash while we were sleeping. Dishes are crusting over in the sink, and my fingernails are four days past in need of polish remover. It’s hard to stay here with my computer, trying to focus my mind and write. But the house is quiet now. I see a string of minutes, maybe even hours, laid out ahead. So I will stay, because this moment, this season, was made for writing, made for accomplishing a call on my life, a purpose I was made for. There will be moments in this day, or maybe the next, for the barbecue sauce. Housework doesn’t win this hand–writing does, unless the trump card gets played. I ignored the …

To My Kids on Mother's Day

The house is quiet and all I can think about is how crazy I am about you guys and how much I want to be better for you. Being your mom is, hands down, the thing about my life that makes me feel the most like I'm working hand in hand with God to do something massively important. It is my life's work and my life's love. Belonging to you is something I always dreamed of.



Funny thing, I'm finding today that there are more things I'm wondering about and feeling uncertain about than ever before.  Part of that is the change and shift that comes with new roles, ages and stages, needs changing - just life. Part of it is also my age and experience. Twenty one years of being a mom hasn't taken me to a spot where I feel certain that I have it all figured out. Instead it's highlighted how many things I still have to learn.

Today I'm ok with the uncertainty and the shifting and I hope you are too. We've got a couple solid rocks to stand on that will hold us up to…

A Mile Wide and an Inch Deep

I didn’t rush out and buy a red convertible, so my mid-life crisis wasn’t obvious. The tipping point was sending my youngest off to full-day kindergarten two years ago. I drove home that morning without a preschooler in tow for the first time in twenty years. The empty car was filled with my racing thoughts. The plan I put in motion during college was to get a teaching degree (check), put my career on hold to stay home with my babies (check), and then head back to the classroom full time. That day in the car, my pencil was poised to make the third checkmark on my plan, but suddenly, I wasn’t sure I still wanted number three to be on the list.
The responsible planner in me (I’m a typical firstborn) recoiled at the possibility that I might consider “wasting” my degree by not making it a career. But there was something in my spirit I couldn’t ignore... I'm over at The Glorious Table today - please click HERE join us to continue reading! 

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Why Discipleship Is Worth Sweating Over - The Glorious Table guest post

She was young, she was loud, and she made me sweat. This thirteen-year-old girl could get me more off my game than most. She wasn’t like the other girls in my group. Those girls nodded their heads while I talked and hid their nerves behind polite conversation. Not Britt. Every Wednesday I fought flutters in my belly as my mind settled on Britt. She had questions about everything and those questions felt like a bright spotlight on all the things I didn’t know.  Read more at The Glorious Table... Enter your email address:


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The Awakening

I can imagine the face of the Samaritan woman in John 4. You would expect downcast eyes but I think bold, challenging eye contact was her armor. Her face bore the hardness of one unfair day after another. There was a forced beauty about her...evidence that she was an expert at trying hard. I wish I could know her name. I would love to friend her on facebook and then meet up for coffee. She knows secrets about how Jesus wakes up a dry, numb heart. Those are secrets that all of us who mentor and reach out to lives around us need to hear.
The first words out of her mouth when Jesus asked her for a drink sound like echoes of the attitudes I've encountered over the years in my small group of high school girls. For every handful of soft, eager learners I always find a girl with a heart like a rock. A girl who makes even an innocent request for a drink a challenge. I imagine the Samaritan woman pointing her finger at Jesus and spitting out the cold, hard truth of her unworthiness before …