• “I Love…”: A Gratitude List

    Inspired by my friends Ashlee Gadd and Katie Blackburn, I decided to begin Thanksgiving week with a list of things I love. Writing this list brought me much joy; I could keep going. And even more than this, I realized my love for each item on this list runs much deeper than the thing itself. There’s joy beneath the thing, gratitude beyond just the gift itself. If you love lists, I’d encourage you to create your own, “I love…” list this week. I think you’ll be glad you did. I love sunrises. I love chasing the sunrise down the street in my slippers so I can get a better view.…

  • The Surprising Gift of A Child’s Prayer

    As she climbed up to join me on the couch, she inched her way closer and turned her head toward me. “Why are you sad, Mommy?” I wasn’t crying, but I know my face looked dejected and she could tell something was wrong.  “Sometimes there are things in life that are really hard, and today is hard, and it’s just making me really sad.” She snuggled in a bit closer. “Do you ever feel sad,” I asked her. She nodded. “What makes you feel sad?”  “When people kick or hit or they’re mean.”  We both paused, silent with our thoughts, and then I looked down at her and asked, “What…

  • Whispers of God’s Greatness

    Each fall, I do a quick read through of the Bible. Beginning in Genesis, I read as much as I can each day, and then pick up the next day where I left off. It’s been a helpful rhythm for me over the past several years as I seek to understand the bigger story of the Bible. Today, I picked up my reading in the book of Job. We know Job mostly as the man who suffers, and rightly so. An entire book of the Bible records his account with suffering. Suffering which God allowed him to endure (Job 1:8-12). Even though I’m familiar with this story and have turned…

  • Write It Down

    Sometimes we shy away from what Scripture teaches because we don’t like what God has to say. It’s a sin as old as Eden. A sin which had severe consequences for Adam, Eve, all of God’s good creation, and extended to all mankind. But God’s commands and instructions were always for his people’s good. The Lord established ways to help keep them faithful. His laws offered protection, security, provision, and peace. (His laws also included provision for redemption when they strayed, ultimately finding fulfillment in Jesus. Praise the Lord!). Why am I telling you this in a series on marriage? Because God’s Word has specific things to say to wives.…

  • Ask for Help

    If you’re anything like me, you don’t like to feel needy. We don’t want to be a burden to anyone and we think other people’s needs are more significant than ours. Sometimes we feel embarrassed by our inability to cope when life is hard. We hide our feelings of inadequacy behind a smile and a cheerful voice. When someone asks how we’re really doing, we offer half-truths about the realities in our families and the fears we carry in our hearts. Our culture doesn’t help. The world is constantly feeding our aversion to neediness by telling us we can do it all and be it all. So we start believing…

  • Count the Moments

    To fellow military wives (or future ones): You’re going to be tempted to keep track of all the things your husband misses. Anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, algebra homework, broken bones, looking for a home at your new post, major decisions in your kid’s lives, news of a diagnosis, the hardest phone calls you could ever imagine. You’ll be tempted to count all the times you lived in uncertainty about his whereabouts or what tomorrow’s schedule might hold. Please, don’t do it. Yes, grieve what you’ve lost. Cry over his absence. Be sad that his face his missing from the photos. We’re free to ache over the memories we can never share.…

  • Take Your Time: Marriage is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

    After six years in coastal Virginia, I expect a slow transition to fall. But every year I’m still a little disappointed. Our maple tree in the front yard is still green, there are no leaves to rake, and we’re still wearing shorts and sandals. Until yesterday. For the first time this season, we put on long sleeves and cardigans. I even wore a jacket to sit around the firepit with friends last thing. She might be slow to make her entrance, but fall is finally here. In many ways, our feelings about marriage are similar. We want everything to be easy, smooth— and sometimes even perfect—right away. Know all there…

  • Remember When

    Remember when it was all so new? Holding hands, our first kiss, crawling into bed together after the wedding. We were eager, excited, and expectant for everything in store. We knew to expect hardship and challenges, but we didn’t know what shape or form they would take. We never imagined a tragic death would claim my brother and forever alter our family. Nothing could have prepared us for a child with a disability, and a life marked by Down syndrome. We had no idea we would lose two of our babies before they ever took a breath. We didn’t know how often you would travel for work, the number of…

  • Lighten Up: Making the Most of Alone Time in Marriage

    I will be the first to admit I often sabotage our alone time. My expectations are high: we must go deep, fast; meaningful connection is mandatory; and we can’t afford to waste time with light-hearted conversation. It can go something like this: Me: (Silently hoping we can discuss the current state of our marriage, set goals, or do a deep dive into our feelings), I will ask, “What are you thinking about?” Him: “I’m trying to figure out what color to put on the body of my motorcycle.” Instantly, I’m disappointed and concerned and thinking, oh my goodness our marriage is crumbling. We only have this one date and we’re…

  • Carve It Out

    We sit in the living room at the end of the day. He leans his head against the back of the chair, feet propped on the reclining chair, eyes closed. I settle into my spot and sigh. We conquered the bedtime routine. Finally, a few moments to enjoy an uninterrupted conversation. About three sentences into our much needed alone time, a child emerges from the downstairs bedroom. “I’m thirsty.” So, we fill the cup, return him to bed, and start again. Three minutes later, we hear footsteps on the stairs. “My lips are chapped.” She rifles through her backpack for the chapstick, then pauses to give us both another hug.…