• 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…

  • 4 Creative Ways to Re-engage Your Heart in Your Study of the Bible

      About three years ago, we had just moved to a new city, and I was in the midst of unpacking our belongings, homeschooling our oldest, adjusting to a very cold Virginia winter, and eager to get settled and make friends.  I was reading my Bible, trying to maintain as much normalcy as possible and longing for connection with the Lord, but it felt empty.  I would open my journal, write down some thoughts, and then open my Bible, hoping for some fresh insights to guide me through my day.  Each time, though, I walked away feeling as if nothing was happening in my heart. I guess I would liken…

  • 9 Things I Learned This Summer

        We are closing in on the final days of Summer here, with just four full days of no schedule remaining.  I find myself both sad to lose the carefree nature of no school, but also ready to get back into the regular rhythm of all the things.  The kids are very eager for Tuesday to come, but it’s going to be a lot quieter this year with FOUR kids in school, and just Cooper to hang out with me all day. Once again I’m joining in with Emily in sharing “What We Learned”, a practice I enjoy participating in at the end of each season.  In no particular…

  • The Spiritual Discipline of Remembering

      They say nothing really prepares you for motherhood.  Almost nine years in, and five kids later, I agree.  I read the books, I asked the questions, I watched those ahead of me on the path. And yet when I started having babies I had to figure everything out.  The nursing, the quieting down a screaming infant, learning how each child responds differently to structures, their own emotions, and the people around them.   One milestone is reached, one routine established, one question answered, and the next day you find yourself starting all over again.   If you like order, routine, and predictably, motherhood will throw you off your game in…

  • Natali’s Bohemian Style!

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur laoreet cursus volutpat. Aliquam sit amet ligula et justo tincidunt laoreet non vitae lorem. Aliquam porttitor tellus enim, eget commodo augue porta ut. Maecenas lobortis ligula vel tellus sagittis ullamcorper. Vestibulum pellentesque cursus risus, in ultrices odio. Morbi dui metus, fringilla quis urna vitae, fringilla tristique nibh. Donec ultrices est ut dapibus dapibus. Nunc fermentum viverra risus, et mollis ante commodo sit amet. Vestibulum eu enim nec lectus volutpat dignissim vel sit amet dui. Maecenas sodales mi non nibh egestas gravida. In in dolor orci. Mauris viverra eu enim eu luctus. Praesent vel orci pulvinar, semper augue et, interdum sapien. Pellentesque…