It’s given us, to overcome.

The other day a friend called me. She was struggling to see light at the end of her tunnel of despair, and I hope I was able to encourage her.

We talked as I sat in my car in the Grocery Outlet parking lot because this is the reality of life in community: to go on a rescue mission between client calls and grocery shopping.

After we talked I went into the store. I don’t normally shut out the world in public. I like to smile and say hello to fellow pear squeezers. But on that day I needed to pray, to decompress, to go inward.

This song by Josh Garrels came into the mix as I rummaged through packs of chicken thighs, looking for the largest one. As I heard a particular lyric – I can’t remember which one – I gasped.

And I must have gasped out loud and not just in my head because the lady next to me turned quickly and looked concerned.

“Wow, these prices are great,” I said, and chuckled. Nothing to see here! All is well! Surely no one despairs in the meat department!

But when she turned away, I cried a little. And worshipped a little. And I can’t be sure, but I may have sung this out loud a little. I really hope I didn’t, though, because I’m no American Idol.

To be clear, my life is pretty great right now – I don’t have much to cry about. But Jesus wept with those who wept. And Job’s friends sat down and cried with him (before they turned into jerks, but we’ll ignore that part of the story for now). So if I want to cry and worship in the meat department on someone else’s behalf I think there’s plenty of Biblical argument in favor of that.

So, this song is for you, friend. And it’s for anyone who is struggling to see light at the end of despair. It’s not a battle cry that calls you to kick ass, but a meditation, a beckoning, an invitation to believe He will overcome.

It’s one of the reasons I follow Jesus. He’s a God who restores everything I lose, squander, or have taken from me.

p.s. Thank you, Bandcamp & Josh Garrels for letting me share your music with a file embed.


I hung my head, for the last time
In surrender and despair
Before I’m dead, I’ll take the last climb
Up the mountain, face my fears
The time has come, to make a choice
Use my voice for the love of every man
My minds made up, never again
Never again, will I turn round

Though they may surround me like lions
And crush me on all sides
I may fall, but I will rise
Not by my might, or my power, or by the strength of swords
Only through, your love, my lord
All we’ve lost, will be, restored

Take courage sons, for we must go under
The heart of darkness, and set them free
But don’t lose heart when you see the numbers
There’s no measure for, the faith we bring
It’s given us, to overcome
If we run, where the spirit calls us on
The greatest things, have yet to come
With the dawn, we will rise

Though they may surround us like lions
And crush us on all sides
we may fall, but we will rise
Not by my might, or my power, or by the strength of swords
Only through, your love, my lord
All we’ve lost, will be, restored

no more excuses

Snowing on my bad attitude.It’s snowing on my bad attitude.

Today I got up in a foul mood. I’d been awake since 3am, the kids weren’t getting out of bed in time to eat a decent breakfast, the internet was down, and it was snowing.

This meant that even though I was exhausted by 7am, I couldn’t stay home and work in my pajamas. And not only couldn’t I stay home and work in my pajamas, but it was snowing between me and the closest coffee shop.


Clearly these are irritating circumstances and not end-of-the-world events, yet I use excuses like this every day to justify my bitterness, anger, and foul moods.

So when this went down today, it didn’t take long before I grew tired of my own complaining tweets and thoughts, so I opened my Bible in hopes that it would shut down my attitude.

I read this:

But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:20-24

What caught my attention was the phrase, “be renewed in the spirit of your minds and put on the new self, created in the likeness of God…”

My old self is bitter and angry whenever I don’t get my way. Or maybe I should say my “old self,” because I don’t act very much like it’s old. Unless you consider 5 minutes ago as old. Then heck yeah, that was my old self.


(If Paul had a blog he’d have used all caps there).

The gospel doesn’t allow for my shitty attitude to be justified by circumstances. This is bad news for people like me who embrace an Eeyore outlook on life, but I’m praying for a more… how shall I say?… overt renewing of my mind.

Beauty In the Breakdown (repost)

A few months ago I bought a Groupon for two nights at the Earthbox Motel on San Juan Island. The islands are a favorite summer destination for us so I’m excited to visit in the off season. Earthbox boasts the only indoor pool on the island, which is really what sold me on it since we may get rained out of everything else to do on the island.

(Ruthie just asked me if we could go swimming RIGHT WHEN WE GET THERE, so this pool may be the best $150 I spent in a long time.)

My goal for this weekend is to enjoy playing with my family and to be present in the moment. I’ve noticed that my comfort and contentment tend to hinge mostly on whether my own expectations are met (peace and quiet! solitude! let me read my book!), at the expense of everyone else’s enjoyment (rrraawwwrrrrr!).

If that sounds like the description of a teenager, I accept your rebuke.

This weekend I desire to play and be silly and explore and snuggle and say Yes more than I say No. I don’t do any of that often enough, which is probably why Bryan is such a rock star in this house. He does it all with his eyes closed and standing on one foot.

For inspiration, I looked to a favorite vacation post from February 2007. If you overlook the fact I’m STILL the same control freak I was five years ago (STAY IN MY HAPPY PLACE! DON’T OVERTHINK IT!), you’ll see I had a magical time being free with my kids.

This is my hope for the weekend. Also, I’d love to find my sense of humor again.

Finding Beauty In the Breakdown
February 2007
Original Post

Our trip to the San Jose area couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve spent the last couple months reorganizing and reprioritizing my focus as a mother and household manager, trying to correct the part of my brain that sometimes finds it easier to focus on the latter and see the former as a distraction. I want to be present with my children. I want to enjoy them. My goal in spending ten days apart from the household duties of cleaning, laundry, and other such necessities was to develop good habits in spending time with my children.

I believe I did well in accomplishing what I set out to do. We played hide and seek. The tickle monster attacked. We went to parks and visited attractions. We left the hotel every day. We talked. And we didn’t watch t.v. Even in the midst of being away from the comforts of home, I only used the morning PBS programs to occupy Ruthie while I showered. We kept busy, and I remained focused on them until they were sleeping.

For me the pinnacle came on Monday when we visited Santa Cruz, about an hour from our hotel. We were nearly alone on a wide open beach, running around and digging in the sand with nothing but our fingers and some empty coffee cups. I stretched myself, and offered Ruthie some freedom from my control, and I watched her revel in a world with few boundaries. The beach was so empty, so expansive, and the ocean before us was so never-ending, that my need to control every situation, every moment, every move seemed insignificant. I realized how rigid I had become, how inflexible. But that morning I was able to let my children run, and I practiced trusting them, and I patiently corrected them when they wandered too far, and I became their biggest fan once again.

It was the silence, and the time, and the space provided by this trip that allowed me to grow as a parent in this way – to remember that my job is much more than just keeping them fed and clothed, but to also disciple and teach and model, and to sometimes play with them. I developed a taste for getting out, for exploring, for inspiring my children and giving them opportunities to run and jump and play – not that it couldn’t have happened in the absence of a vacation, amidst the everyday life I live, but it seems a trip to San Jose is how God chose to get through to me.

As we left the beach in Santa Cruz my kids immediately crashed into a coma, and I listened to the Garden State soundtrack. I love it for its mix. Many soundtracks have a schizophrenic feel to it, accommodating for love scenes and fight scenes and war scenes all within the same album. But the Garden State soundtrack has a vibe, and it’s a good vibe for a quiet ride home from the beach. When the song, Let Go, by Frou Frou began playing I immediately knew it was the soundtrack for the day at least, and maybe even for my overall struggle through anger and control.

You’ll know why when you hear it.

So, the video you are about to see is more than just a video scrapbook of a fun day. I had a vision for this project the moment I heard the song. It is a stone for me to carry, like the ones Much Afraid carried. It is a rock cairn to remember the path I have taken to get where I am now. It is an alter built to God, in praise of who he is, like the ones built by my spiritual forefathers in the desert.

I’m proud of this one. I hope you like it.

Zugtastic Snowblast 2012


It snowed last week. I lived in Minnesota for 18 years – a place where your nostrils stick together if you breathe too deeply, and your eyeballs freeze if you’re outside too long – so I’m not one of the crazies who gets all excited about the snow.

But about once or twice a year it taunts me.

Abandoned Street

The depth of my selfishness revealed itself during the snow week. I couldn’t even muster enough excitement for the sake of the children.

“Come play in the snow, mom!”


Fortunately, we have a neighborhood full of play mates, so my presence was not requested often. But still. Would it have killed me?

(I think it might have.)

But I more than made up for it as the Queen of Hot Cocoa and Indoor Entertainment. Name your game consol, we’ve got it.


My big win for the week was that I didn’t lose my mind. I was in the middle of writing a script with a deadline on Friday, and it was not at all convenient to have the kids home from school.

Historically when Things don’t go According to Plan, I end up going Momageddon on the kids. But thankfully I’m 40 now because that behavior is sooooooo 39.

Checking Up On Snowman
Thomas wanted to say goodnight to the snowman he built in the park.

lost and found

On Sunday last week I started wearing contacts again for the first time in two years.

On Monday, Ruthie poked me in the eye and my contact disappeared. Into thin air.


Usually when my hard gas permeable contact lens pops out, I hear a little tick as it hits the floor. Or it lands in my lap or I find it in my bra. For twenty-five years I’ve been that Drama Queen who yells, “NOBODY MOVE!” when the tiny plastic disk hits the floor, and then it’s miraculously found among the dust bunnies. Only a couple times in the 25 years that I’ve worn contacts has it completely disappeared.

But last week as I did my usual sweep over my sweater, in my cleavage, on my lap and the floor beneath my feet, I found nothing. Ruthie whined, “Mommy, can I move? My arm hurts.” Thomas giggled. My kids sat frozen in place, literally not moving as I had commanded.

One by one I brushed my hands over their arms, their legs, and the ground near where they sat, all the while listening for that familiar tick of the contact hitting the hardwood floor, brushed loose from an unsuspecting piece of clothing. But the contact did not turn up.

I checked under my chair, under the cushion, in the laundry basket that sat next to us. I repeated all of the above several times. Nothing. It was gone, probably carried away by Murphy and his fucking Law, who was likely sitting by the pool at a Vegas hotel, smoking cigars with the tooth fairy who, by the way, never shows up around here.

It was an accident that Ruthie poked me in the eye. She was sitting on the arm of my comfy chair, playing with my hair as I searched for something on the internet. As she brushed a piece of hair from my face, her pinky grazed over my eye and I never felt a thing.

But the next time I blinked, I couldn’t see my screen.

“What just happened?!” I yelled.

As the search went on for my missing contact, I became more agitated. I was angry that it would not be found. I was angry that I can’t seem to have nice things. I was angry at Ruthie for “causing” it to happen. I was angry that I can’t afford to replace the contact lens.

There was nothing I could do about it, and this infuriated me. There was no one to blame for it, but my rage needed a target.

After hearing Ruthie’s voice echo in my ears again, “It was an accident!” I realized I’d been barking all my frustration at her.

“I’m sorry, Ruthie,” I said. “Sometimes when things don’t go my way, I want to blame somebody for what happens.”

“Like I do sometimes?”

I smirked. Surprised, and yet not, by how easily she made the connection. “Yeah. Exactly. Will you forgive me?”


We hugged and I calmed down and put on my glasses, resolved to be spectacled forever.

The next night Bryan and I were out late, and when we got home the kids were in bed. And because I can never seem to accept defeat, I lifted up the chair cushion to look for my contact one more time.

I swear I’m not making this up, but it was sitting right there. Right next to the pink pencil, Z-bar wrapper, and roughly $1.42 in change (among other disgusting things), not at all obscured from view.

It absolutely WAS NOT there the day before. I’d looked several times, feeling for it all around the couch crumbs and on the bottom of the cushion.

I should have taken a picture of it, but I was too exasperated to do anything but roll my eyes to the ceiling and beyond and yell, “THAT’S NOT FUNNY, GOD.”

Believe Like a Child

I feel overwhelmed this week. Weighty things are on my heart, and a busy schedule intensifies the emotional stress. In addition, several friends are in the midst of weighty circumstances as well.

My first reaction is to want to do something – about their circumstances and my own – but there is often nothing I can do fix or change the circumstances. This is not an easy pill to swallow for a task-oriented person.

Recently Thomas and I were talking about things that were opposites, and he blurted out that Jesus was BIG and outer space was small.

It was so great how matter-of-fact he said it.

This is the child-like faith God desires for me to have – a faith not jaded by cynicism and chronic eye-rolling, or even by my own expectation of how God should solve the problem.

Most of the time my ego is too proud or my fears are too dark or my anger too festered to rest in his peace. But Thomas would think this is silly, for how can my anger be too big for God, my grief too deep, my circumstances too weighty?

I wish I were more like Thomas.

The Long View

When I lose my temper and yell at the kids, I take the short view. I just want them to shut up, or sit the fuck down, or put on their jacket, or quit antagonizing each other.

When I eat poorly to satisfy a craving, I take the short view. A bowl of cereal will get my blood sugar back up, chips and salsa are easy to grab, and I looooove a good charbroiled hamburger with a side of fries to fill my belly.

When I delay a task because I’m having “me time,” I take the short view. I want to read just one more blog post, refresh Pinterest one more time, read another chapter, or lay in bed a few extra minutes.

When I do the chore myself rather than put up with their whining, I take the short view. I’m tired, they’ve been fighting me all day, it’s so peaceful when they’re not in the room, I’m just not up for being the bad guy.

I could go on an on, but these are my hot spots, my most frequent offenses.

So many decisions I make are based on what I want in that moment, and I’m continually amazed by how short-sighted I am. I’m less surprised by how selfish.

In everything I do, Christ beckons me to take the long view.

I hate the long view because it doesn’t allow for my selfishness or laziness. I’d rather lay on the couch and yell at the kids than get up and walk them through their conflict.

The long view is harder. It tries my patience. It interrupts me.

I hate the long view so much I’ve been staring at this post for days trying to figure out a way to wrap it up in a neat little bow of cheeriness. But since that’s not going to happen, I’ll talk about Jesus…

God had a plan – a magnificent dream. One day, he would get his perfect home again. And one day, he would wipe away every tear from their eyes.

You see, no matter what, in spite of everything, God would love his children – with a Never Stopping, Never Giving up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.

And though they would forget him, and run from him, deep in their hearts, God’s children would miss him always, and long for him – lost children yearning for their home.

Before they left the garden, God whispered a promise to Adam and Eve: “It will not always be so! I will come to rescue you! And when I do, I’m going to do battle against the snake. I’ll get rid of the sin and the dark and the sadness you let in here. I’m coming back for you!”

And he would. One day, God himself would come.

The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Jesus is the ultimate long viewer. He is patient and long suffering. That’s a Bible word: long suffering. Looooong suffering. As in, a loooong time of watching me do the same thing over and over again.

Compare that to what I am: short tempered. As in, NOT long suffering.

Jesus models the long view for me every day.

He modeled the long view for me twenty minutes ago when I “nudged” Ruthie off the bed with my foot because she played dead after I asked her to brush her teeth. If I were God, I would have rolled my eyes at me and said, “Dude, you can’t be serious! AGAIN?! Where is your PATIENCE, yo?”

Because apparently if I were God, I would talk like Jesse Pinkman.

Thank God I’m not God.

Restful Worship

Sunrise through trees

“Before long, the king made himself at home and God gave him peace from all his enemies” (2 Samuel 7:1, The Message).

This is the verse that stared back at me this morning when I opened my Bible after a long hiatus of being “too busy” to read the Bible.

The king referred to here is David. He’d just spent the previous few years running from a mad man who tried to kill him, and fighting wars to defend God’s people.

No doubt he was tired – bone weary as well as emotionally spent. His best friend was killed, he watched another man become so consumed by his own lust for power that he eventually fell on his own sword, and he struggled to understand God’s presence in his circumstances through years of war, conflict, and strained relationships.

In the end, God’s promises all came to pass, as they always do. And when they came to pass, God gave David a season of rest.

Three things come to mind when reading this story:

David faced circumstances outside of his control, as we often do.

He couldn’t change Saul’s maniacal behavior or bring Jonathan back to life or go back to the way things were when he was a simple shepherd boy on his father’s ranch. I’m sure that would have been a nice alternative to years of war – sitting in an open field, playing the harp and watching the sheep eat grass.

If it were me who was uprooted from my blissful life and plopped into the middle of David’s plot, I would’ve spent valuable energy writing blog posts about how sad I was to leave my awesome, introverted, non-conflicting life behind.

Most of the time we can’t control what’s happening to us, but we can control how we respond.

David was all in, as they say.

Sure, he had doubts. Sometimes he wondered where God was in the midst of his circumstances, and sometimes he wished he was dead. But according to the many Psalms he wrote during that time in his life, God was the primary target of his worship and his pain.

When God gave David a season of rest, he worshipped.

I’ve noticed this about all the patriarchs of the Old Testament: God sustains his people through some really tough shit, then he provides a season of rest. And while his people are resting he re-tells the story of everything they just experienced, play by play, while reminding them of every instance that he provided for them.

God is a delicate documentarian. In these playbacks he captures the heart, the spirit, and the accurate facts because he knows his people will forget, lose heart, and try to do things on their own (like build golden calves to worship, for instance). But like a loving parent, he reminds his people that he is always with them, that he’s always been with them.

While David rested, God spoke through his prophet, Nathan, and recounted everything David experienced from the time he was a shepherd in his father’s fields. As per usual, he reminded David of all the times he provided. David responded in worship through adoration, thankfulness, and action…and then he went back to war.

Whatever circumstances I find myself in – whether emotional turmoil, financial hardship, or even just a busy schedule – God will not only sustain me in the midst of it, but he will provide a season of peace.

But it’s not the sort of peace where I catch up on laundry, sleep, and 30Rock episodes, but a peace that’s intended to remind me of who God is and how he sustained me through the day (or week, or month, or however long I’ve been slogging along).

He provides an opportunity for restful worship.

This kind of worship is what I’ve been missing, because no matter how much I “take it easy” in the midst of my current busy season, I can feel myself drying up like a leaf in October.

God doesn’t provide a season of rest so I can focus on myself, but on Him.

On Working Alone.

Lately I’ve been experiencing a creative conundrum.

You see, I have it made. I’m one of the lucky ones. And no, I’m not talking about my hair. It’s amazing, to be sure, and the world is generally very jealous of my thick and gorgeous mane, but I am talking about my lifestyle.

It’s amazing that I get to write for a living. It’s amazing that I get to work from home. During school hours. And that I don’t have ongoing expensive day care costs. This luxury is not lost on me, and from a working parent’s perspective, this is a perfect arrangement.

But it also means I work alone, which can be lonely. And uninspiring. And depressing. And did I mention lonely?

Amazing things happen when I’m in the same room as my creative team. The creative process is sometimes internal, but most of our best ideas happen in collaboration, and most of the time that collaboration is ambient, meaning it happens organically as we’re crossing paths in the hallway and not necessarily during a scheduled brainstorming session.

The watercooler conversations, if you will.

Anyway, back to the conundrum.

I like that I’m in control of my schedule, that I can be highly productive in my pajamas and use my laundry cycles as an excuse to stretch my legs and take a break (it’s better than smoking!). I like that I can be a “working mom” without compromising my affinity for being a “stay at home” mom.

But I hate that it sucks the creative life out of me to work alone.

I’m certain there’s at least a handful of solutions to my conundrum, but I can’t think of one that doesn’t involve compromise – either by me, my family, or my team.

Really, I just want to have it all. Even more all than I already have, apparently.

Mrs. Grumpy Pants and the Terrible Tuesday


You know what I do a lot? I do a lot of yelling.

Like today, for instance. I gave the kids a list of chores to do, after which they were to get screen time and a trip to the farmer’s market.

Did they do their chores?

Of course not. They screwed around in their room, and somehow their window screen was punched out and is now laying on the deck.

So what did I do?

I started yelling. Because I’m a yeller. And my disgust is best communicated with great volume and adrenaline.

Technically it wasn’t necessary to yell at them. They were on a time limit, so I could have just ignored their antics and let them deal with the consequences of their folly when the timer went off. Maybe they would get their act together, or maybe they would feel the weight of NOT getting their act together.

But no. I had to rob them of either opportunity by yelling.

I made it about me. I was mad they weren’t listening to me. I felt out of control. I took their disobedience as mockery of my authority and identity. I viewed their actions as a big Fuck You to my worth as a mother.

There might have been some of that, but mostly they were just screwing around. You know, the fart on your sister’s head kind of screwing around. There was no conspiracy to make me look bad in front of the dog.

I haven’t talked about my anger issues here in a long time. Mostly because I’ve been busy, but partly because I’ve been talking about my anger issues for about seven years.



While I’m not the same person I used to be, I’m definitely not who I want to be. I would give anything to be able to laugh it off, or roll my eyes, or shrug and say, Whatever, you guys are NUTS.

But no. I take it personally and yell. Still.

Okay okay, so I’m probably being a little mopey. It was a bad day, to be sure. But as usual, I perceive every day is as bad as Today. But thankfully, there’s tomorrow. And hopefully there will be no yelling.

Friday Link Love: Conversion Diary

No, son, the F-word actually won’t make your life better : Conversion Diary.
I would not have chosen this particular battle with my own kids – I’d much rather they just know the word and eliminate all the mystique. HOWEVER, I fully appreciate the whole Garden of Eden drama thing.

My son immediately mistrusted my motives. The more he thought about it, the more the word seemed better and my intentions seemed worse.

Knowledge is power. Isn’t that how the saying goes?

I totally saw myself in this post. I’m pretty quick to mistrust motives and question intentions. Especially when it comes to Bryan, who, ironically, has never displayed any evidence of malicious intent (though he can sometimes be a jackass by accident). I also need to know every detail of What Went Down – I’m never content with a conversation summary because there just might be a detail I need to know!

And my son? Oh boy. He takes it personally when I don’t know the answer to one of his (very complicated and insightful) questions, like I’m out to sabotage his ability to know.

It’s very easy to get caught up in a need for knowledge, but the desperation of it can be poisonous to our faith in the One who knows everything. Really appreciated this post.

Tragic endings into love stories


“Maybe we’re not meant to be together.”

“He said he never loved me.”

“He told me he wants a divorce.”

“I can’t keep letting him treat me that way.”

“I don’t see how reconciliation is possible.”

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

“I can’t stop crying.”

These are soundbites from some of the conversations I’ve been having lately. It’s a bit agonizing to know that I can’t fix the complex web of other people’s problems, that I can’t solve it and make it better with more talking and little wine.

Some things will simply remain broken.

I love hearing stories of restored marriages, of recovery from addictions and healing from serious illness. What a great time to be on Team Jesus! He’s so awesome to mend our broken lives!

But then sometimes sin and selfishness corrupt a marriage so deeply that we reject the mending; the idols of our desires are so strong we are not open to being rescued; the tragedy of Adam so final that our bodies do not heal.

It’s more difficult to see Jesus working in these situations. Sometimes I don’t want his comfort because I’d rather he fix it. I don’t want to mourn a loss but rejoice in the miracle of restoration!

We sing a song in our church community called We Have Overcome, and recently – the day after I first heard one of these soundbites from a friend – this particular lyric stood out to me, and I burst into tears:

“…a savior who turns tragic endings into love stories, this is the God I know…”

Some of the endings to our stories are tragic. They crash and burn or slowly smolder; they sometimes catch us by surprise. But thankfully we are not in our own story – we are a part of God’s story, and his stories always end lovely even if brought through a tragic climax.

This is the God I know.

Image of invisible God
Stretched across a tree
And all to take my place
Oh, the divine mystery

A savior who turns tragic endings
into love stories
This is the God I know

You have overcome, You have overcome deathʼs sting
Celebrate the rising of a king
You have overcome, You have overcome, letʼs sing
The power of an everlasting king

Friday Link Love: The Danger of Moralistic Parenting

The Danger of Moralistic Parenting | The Resurgence.
I loved everything about this post, then realized at the very end that it’s an excerpt from a book I just ordered on the Kindle. WIN!

An excerpt from the post:

Certainly the faith that has empowered the persecuted church for two millennia isn’t as thin and boring as “Say you’re sorry,” “Be nice,” and “Don’t be like them.” Why would anyone want to deny himself, lay down his life, or suffer for something as inane as that?

I really struggle in sorting out my role vs the Holy Spirit’s role when it comes to my children’s conscience. My parenting style is built on a solid foundation of being a control freak, so I end up requiring some sort of proof that the kids are really truly sorry for what they’ve done.

This has turned them into great actors – Ruthie especially. She gets that striking George Clooney gaze from the top of her eyes thing down really well. And sadly, this often satisfies me. I know it’s highly possible she’s just telling me what I want to hear, but in my lazy moments I’m okay with that.

(If I haven’t mentioned this before, parenting is hard. It requires effort. I don’t always feel like doing it).

It’s only recently that I’ve admitted to myself I’m not actually the Holy Spirit.

I wrote that last sentence before I found this post from THREE YEARS ago, so I guess this is something I’m fairly slow at learning (ya think?!). Here’s an excerpt:

My first instinct when Ruthie gets this stubborn is to make her life as miserable as possible until she cries UNCLE and repents. In my imagination we play a game of chicken to see who lasts longer – me or her. Forcing behavior seems to be what I am most comfortable with, though I know intellectually it’s the worst way to parent.

I had a revelation awhile ago. I realized that Ruthie is a person, not merely an object I own or control. She is a person with a conscience who can feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Or not. I realized there are more consequences to our actions than just the circumstantial ones, that she is growing up not only in body, but also in faith. I realized that I won’t always be able to make her feel sorry, that sometimes she will rebel against repentance and have a hard heart, and that there’s not really anything I can do about it in the moment.

I’m ready to be over the whole control freak thing. It’s what makes me take things so personally and respond with unholy anger. I’d much rather just parent obediently and trust Jesus with the outcome.

I can’t wait to read the whole book!

even if we lose it all


Every once in awhile I put this song on repeat and turn it up to eleven. I can’t speak to why the song writers feel okay, but it reminds me of the peace I find in Jesus no matter what stresses me out.

Lately I’ve been inspired by a friend who’s had to make some very tough decisions and accept new life circumstances that are out of her control. But even though she spent many years fearing and resisting this situation, she’s walking through it with grace and peace.

In Jesus, she’s okay. Even if we lose it all, as the song says.

falling down in the dirt
we’re okay
we are tired we are hurt
we’re okay

crashing cars dying stars
I can love you like you are
hit the wall have to crawl
even if we lose it all
we’re okay

I’m just glad someone else did all the legwork.

What happens when you let your children have it all their own way?.
A friend posted this to Facebook and a discussion ensued. It’s an interesting experiment, but I think it spoke to me more about my own bitchyness than it did my kids’ ability to govern themselves. After all, it’s our job to shepherd them in the right direction, but we can’t do that if we let them do whatever they want.

I’ve seen first hand the logical conclusion of that lifestyle.

But I think this mom had the same realization I would have had – that I say NO a lot simply because I’m lazy or inconvenienced by my kids’ request. I can’t say YES all the time, but I know I could say it more. Here’s an excerpt:

Experiment nearly over and I feel I have proved a point — one that is very interesting to all of us.

For a start, by the end of the week the children are imploding. My acquiescence to everything has meant that they are not only buzzing with e-numbers and sugar, but are exhausted, too

But I have also learned some important lessons. The hassle of clearing up the kitchen after they have made a cake is nothing compared to the joy I feel when I hear them laughing so freely.

They just wanted to have fun, to laugh more; to not have every request quashed by a negative.

They also, I think, really started to understand why I create boundaries in their lives, because as much as they don’t like them, they are lost without them.