• When You Feel Like You’re Carrying the Weight of the World

      Little cries from the closet next to my bed have become a bit of an alarm clock, although it’s not yet fully morning.  For some reason this sixth baby has decided to chart her own little course and refuses to consistently sleep through the night.     Last Friday, it happened at 3:45, and after feeding her, I settled back under the covers to sleep until my actual alarm went off.  But no matter how hard I willed it to happen, sleep never came.   Summer is coming to an end.  There are school supplies to buy, clothes to sort, planners to fill, and appointments to make.  Meetings dot…

  • Thirteen Words for the New Mom

        Those first few days and weeks with a newborn are some of the most difficult and wonderful ones you will ever experience.  May these words, listed out as part of a Five Minute Friday, give you hope and encouragement.   Rest as much and as long as possible.  Receive offers of food and help. Ask for help when you need it.  No one expects you to be a superhero. Renew your mind with the truth of God’s Word. Rejoice in the gift of new life. Reflect on the delivery of your baby. Persevere in the midnight feedings and hormonal challenges. Believe that the promises of God are true for you today. Come to…

  • God’s Word: An Exquisite Feast for the Soul

        During the summer between my junior and senior years of college, I spent six weeks living with a missionary family in France.  It was my first time in Europe and I loved every moment. From the cobbled streets, to the bustling city, to the fields of lavender in the countryside, France was just as romantic and picturesque as I had imagined.  And the food, oh the food was irresistible. Almost every corner hosted a bakery or cafe, and on my walk to work each morning, I would stop and stare at the displays of pastries behind the counter. Smells of freshly baked bread, spits of lamb roasting for…

  • When You Don’t Want to Do the Next Right Thing

        Yesterday was one of those days in the summer where you feel like being at home with no agenda, but then you get antsy by mid-morning because you have no agenda.     There were plenty of things to do, mind you, I just didn’t feel like doing them.  After a little pep talk to myself, a whispered prayer, and an attitude adjustment, I started walking from room to room picking up toys and straightening shelves.  I checked in on the kids playing and mixed up a birthday cake.   As I went through the motions of my day, I realized that there have been a lot of…

  • What’s the Bread For?

        “What’s the bread for?”   This question from the little girl who, the day before, told me she hated going to church.  We were smashed together playing in the little inflatable pool out back. She wanted me to pretend with her animals, and so I set my book aside to engage with my daughter.  It’s not often I get one-on-one time with each child, so I’m learning to take advantage of these moments when they come.   In between conversations with the palace pets, we chatted about her first year at school, how she misses her teacher, and what day of the week it was.  I told her…

  • How To Live Victoriously When You Feel Defeated By Life

      For my fifth birthday, my parents allowed me to invite a few friends for a party at the fun new pizza place in town.  There was an arcade area with a variety of silly games, so we all got coins and could play to our heart’s content. My favorite was “Whack a Mole”, the one where you pick up a padded mallet and proceed to hit the heads of moles as they pop up through the holes on the board.  They surface so fast you can barely react quickly enough, and while you’re trying to knock one down, another one appears. The goal, of course is to make contact…

  • The Marathon of Motherhood: Persevere, Hope, & Turn Toward Heaven

      The cabinet gets filled at least once a month, and each time I stare at the shelves of diapers and pull-ups and wonder, “Is this the last time I’ll do this?  Are we getting close to the end?  When will this season be over?”  Nine years — and counting — that we’ve been changing diapers.  There was a two-month break in 2012, right before our third child was born, but other than that, the most consistent thing in my mothering has been the buying, changing, and disposing of diapers.  It’s a never-ending cycle and lately I’ve been feeling weary from the monotony–and let’s be real, the disgust–of changing multiple diapers…

  • The Startling Reality of Saying “Give Me Jesus”

      On the ledge above my kitchen sink sits a little postcard with the phrase: “In the morning when I rise, Give me Jesus” The phrase comes from an old song, which happens to be one of my favorites: In the morning when I rise In the morning when I rise In the morning when I rise, Give me Jesus. Give me Jesus Give me Jesus You can have all this world, but give me Jesus. And when I come to die Oh, and when I come to die When I come to die, Give me Jesus. Whenever we hear this song, I nudge my husband’s arm and remind him…

  • Ability vs Capacity: Joyfully Embracing Your Season of Life

    “I’m just not sure who I am anymore.” “I can’t seem to find my place.” “Before kids there were so many ways that I was able to serve and now I feel like my life is only about wiping bottoms, feeding people and trying to keep my children alive.” “If I could just get beyond this stage of parenting, then I’ll be able to get back into ministry.”   These statements are just a sampling of ones I have heard, either from people in my real life, from women online, or from my own soul through the years of raising little ones.     It’s easy to fall into the…

  • Reflecting on a Year of Practicing Sabbath

      “I’m prescribing rest for you.” Words I never would have expected to hear from my Doctor  had me fighting tears in the examining room.  I’m not sick, in fact my health is stellar with low blood pressure, no abnormalities in this pregnancy, and minimal discomfort at this phase.  But I think she could tell from our conversation that I was tired and possibly trying to do too much. Rest doesn’t come easily to me.  “There will always be something else that needs to be done,” were her words to me that day and that has always been the battle in my mind when I try to take a few…