Grilled Corn on the Cob {& Filling the House With Life and Laughter}

Grilled Corn on the Cob

It wasn't about showing off our new house. The idea of "showing off" my house to family members who have yet to see our new home kind of rubs me the wrong way. Showing off implies a "me me" perspective when really all I want to do is focus on them - to make them feel welcome, invited, cared for, and loved. Josh's grandfather drove for two days, all the way from southern California, to spend time with all of us, his family, and maybe even to be encouraged. You see, I think I … Read More

For Girls Like You: 70 Days of Encouraging Devotions for Your Tween Girl

For Girls Like You: 70 Days of Encouraging Devotions for Your Tween Girl

So you already know that I have four daughters. Four teenage daughters whom I love and adore. Who were themselves "tweens" not so long ago. And can I just tell you something? A moment of complete frankness between us both? IT IS NOT EASY BEING A TWEEN. There! I said it and it's true. People told me that being a teenager was a challenge, so I was as ready for that as a parent can be reasonably expected to be. But nobody told me that there was also this in-between age - sometimes called a … Read More

What Makes the Proverbs 31 Woman So Surprisingly Fearless

What Makes the Proverbs 31 Woman So Surprisingly Fearless

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.  ~ Proverbs 31:25 As I imagine her, I'm in awe... She stands in her front yard, hearing her neighbor out. The neighbor lady whose forehead is always wrinkled in worry. The one who's forever forecasting doom. Doom that very well may come. But the Proverbs 31 woman is unruffled. She listens. Speaks a few sincere words. Puts an arm around her neighbor's shoulder and then smiles with confidence. A laugh even bubbles up. … Read More

Now That She’s Turned 18 {& What I Love About The Strong-Willed Child}

Now That She's Turned 18 {& What I Love About the Strong-Willed Child}

So you've turned 18 and you've got big plans. But no big surprise. Because you were always like that. Right from the beginning. You were the baby who was born without any help---didn't wait for the doctor to arrive and even Daddy's strong, capable hands missed you. Oop! There you were. Born, breathing, and ready to start living. You were also the toddler who put me through my paces. You responded to my clear, specific instruction to STAY ON THE BLANKET . . . by sticking one toe over … Read More

What to Do With Tricky, Beautiful Relationships

What to Do With Tricky, Beautiful Relationships

Relationships can be a tricky thing. They can be difficult and messy. They can cause us heartache and pain. If we’ve been hurt in ministry, we can tend to pull back from the church as a whole. When friendships have caused us heartache, we often choose to retreat. Family lets us down and we learn to keep those closest to us at arm’s length. We retreat to our safe corners, we set our fists in a defensive stance, and we harden our hearts because the pain…? Well, the truth is that it … Read More

How to be a Successful Homemaker…When You Feel Like You Fail at Keeping House

How to be a Successful Homemaker When You Feel Like You Fail at Keeping House

Tears of frustration streamed down my cheeks. “Homemaking is the thing that defines my entire life, and I'm not even any good at it!” It was the end of another long day. As I looked around, all I could see were the toys littered over the floor, the dirty dishes that still weren't washed, and the mound of rumpled clothes that wasn't yet folded. The hateful self-judgment screamed at me, “You're a loser! You can't even keep a house clean! Other women with more kids than you keep their … Read More