Spoiler alert….if you are behind on This Is Us, this is your heads up that I will be revealing something that happened to Kate, but even if you aren’t caught up, I hope you’ll still read on because what I’m going to write about is more important than a TV show. (And even if you aren’t a TIU fan, I still hope you’re read on.)

Just an FYI going forward, I will be talking about abortion and briefly mention abortion procedures in this post in case this is a sensitive topic for you.

In last week’s episode of This Is Us, Kate revealed to Toby that back when she had been dating that awful Marc guy, she’d gotten pregnant and had ended up getting an abortion. If you’ve watched much of the show, you’ll have probably already meet Marc. He was an absolute jerk to Kate. He was moody and mean and not anywhere near the ideal boyfriend. You may have even seen the time where he drove off and left her on the side of the road in the dark in the middle of nowhere. (Been there, done that. My high school jerk boyfriend got mad and did the same to me once, but that’s another story for another time.)

Last week’s episode opens with Kate sharing with Toby about the fact that Marc had gotten her pregnant and she’d chosen to abort the baby. She tells Toby that it was the toughest decision she’s ever made, but that she doesn’t regret it. She goes on to explain about how horrible Marc treated her and how he made her feel and that her relationship with him was one the the lowest points in her life. She wasn’t ready to be a mother and she certainly didn’t want to be tied to Marc the rest of her life either. And that was kind of it about the abortion part. The whole rest of the episode relating to Kate surrounded her relationship with Marc. She searches him out on Facebook, finds out where he works and Toby drives her to find Marc and she tells him off. The end. She doesn’t even tell Marc about their baby that she aborted. And on the drive home, Kate mostly just talks about how empowered she felt putting Marc in his place.

But what about the baby? What about the child she destroyed? It really bothered me the way they just kinda skipped over that part. Three or four sentences about the baby, whose life is no more, and it was all about Marc and how Kate had been so broken by him and how destroyed she had been by their relationship. I wanted to give the writers the benefit of the doubt and waited until this week to see if they would address it further, but they did not. This week was all about Randall and it’s looking like next week will be all about Kevin. I am hoping that they will eventually delve further into the issue of the abortion itself because the way they’ve portrayed it so far, Kate had an emotionally abusive boyfriend, he treated her terribly, she took years to recover from it, all the emotional abuse she suffered played into her obesity and food issues…oh and by the way, she had an abortion in there somewhere too.

But then I think, why would they address it further? Hollywood tends to be so liberal in their agendas and blowing past an abortion to focus on Kate’s relationship with a bad boyfriend is the typical worldly response. The feminist response. It’s all about me and how I feel. The actual baby is mostly irrelevant. Because it’s my body, so it’s my choice. The child doesn’t get to choose. What matters is what’s convenient for me. What my plans for my life are. No regrets here.

But what about all those women out there that do regret it? This Is Us is a show that has become known for it’s tackling hard things, but here they just breezed by what is a lifelong, deep regret of many women who have had abortions. For many women, it as a memory that haunts them as long as they live. They carry overwhelming guilt and shame because of it. Some carry physical scars and are unable to have children later in life because of damage from the abortion procedure itself. What about the women who may not have fully understood what they were doing until later when they realized that they hadn’t just sucked out a clump of cells, but they’d actually killed a child they carried in their womb? How do you just skip over all that? How do you just brush all that aside and make it the lesser part of the conversation?

Because this isn’t 1980. There was a time when saying that an abortion was just removing a clump of cells from the uterus might have been somehow believable. Women could have honestly not really understood it or known any better. But we live in a world today that’s advanced well beyond blurry ultrasounds. You can get 3D images of your child in the womb. We see babies sucking their thumbs, hiccuping and moving all around. And we can see clearly what’s happening during an abortion. But still, the world manages to overlook all that.

If you go and read the description of an abortion on Planned Parenthood’s website it says this:

During a suction abortion procedure, a doctor or nurse will use a small, hand-held suction device or suction machine to gently take the pregnancy tissue out of your uterus.

Further down it says this:

During a D&E abortion, the doctor or nurse will use a combination of medical tools and a suction device to gently take the pregnancy tissue out of your uterus.

It all sounds so simple doesn’t it? But if you’ve ever actually watched a video showing via ultrasound what’s happening during an abortion procedure, it’s not nearly as simple as what’s being described here and that there is, in fact, nothing gentle about it. You’ll find that that small hand-held suction device is tearing your child limb from limb. You’ll find that those medical tools are used to crush your child’s head so that it will easily fit through the birth canal. How many women would choose life if they really understood what was happening inside their body to their unborn child during an abortion procedure? If abortion clinics are going to provide this “service” to women, let’s at least be honest about it so these women know exactly what’s going on here.

As much as I love This Is Us and have appreciated the way they’ve dealt with difficult issues in the past, I think they really blew it on this one. But then, I guess I shouldn’t expect mainstream media to actually call abortion what it is – taking the life of an unborn child. What the writers did though, was take what is an incredibly painful choice made by many women that carries with it lifelong guilt and regret and turned it into an afterthought. Again, I’m hoping they will eventually get back around to further discussions about Kate’s abortion and the emotional side of it, but based on the lack of regret she expressed, I’m kinda doubtful. And while it’s not surprising, it is beyond disappointing.

I’m just finishing up reading Help Her Be Brave by Amy Ford of Embrace Grace, a non-profit organization that helps churches provide support to women with unplanned pregnancies. It’s an incredible resource for us, The Church, in learning how to not just make abortion unthinkable, as Amy says, but also in giving tons of practical tangible ways for us to help mothers who are considering abortion to instead choose life. We have to do better in educating women about the truths of abortion, but it can’t just stop there. We also have to seek out and be ready to offer love and support to those mothers with unexpected pregnancies in real ways and Amy’s book has pages full of how we can do just that.

Click the image to purchase a copy of Amy’s book!

PS….Affiliate link included…for purchases made using this link, I’ll get a small, but much appreciated commission.

2020, amiright? I know. That’s like the main topic of discussion. The year opened with promise, like all years, but it wasn’t long before it became evident that 2020 was not going to be just any old year. COVID turned everything upside down. And what started out as a virus, somehow became a political issue. Adding to that here in the US, not only were we dealing with COVID and all that brought with it, but there was also the presidential election and then all the chaos that has followed it. Who our president currently is all depends on who you ask.

When I think of 2020, polarizing is the word that comes to mind. The elections brought out the worst in us Americans, but then that’s nothing new. Politics in this country have long since been a topic avoided at family gatherings. Everyone has an opinion and in the age of social media, everyone now has a platform from which to shout their opinion. And also a platform from which to shout about why the other side’s opinion is wrong. The level of verbal attacks I’ve seen in the comment sections of posts has been brutal.

I’ve watched church leaders become political experts and virologists. I’ve listened as they have made snarky remarks about meeting in Walmart for church. Prayer marches for the elections. Protests because people were asked not to gather for worship. Facebook posts completely missing any compassion. All this bothered me, but I just couldn’t quite put my finger on why.

Then I read an article from a friend in my Jesus Come! community and it all became clear to me. (You can read it here and I encourage you to do so.)

I’ve thought for a long time…years really…that the Western church had gotten off the rails quite a bit. In fact, my husband and I left our church a couple of years ago after serving faithfully for well over a decade. We were just worn out with it. Everything had become such a production. So planned out, right down to the minute. Buzz words and gimmicks. Always trying to figure out what will make people want to serve, what will make people want to give more money, what will make Jesus more interesting to the unchurched. Bigger. Better. Best. Like it was some code to be cracked or some formula to be followed. If we say these words enough, they’ll become part of our church culture. But you know, it just doesn’t work like that.

Enter COVID. And lockdowns and quarantines and gathering limits. Suddenly you can’t do things the way you’ve always done them. Everybody is scrambling to find a work around. Some churches get creative, trying to figure out how to keep going business as usual within the parameters given. Some churches refuse to submit to the gathering limits and mask requirements and continue meeting as usual, as if it was some sort of badge of honor to do so.

And I just kept thinking, maybe all this is meant to serve a purpose? Maybe suddenly having all the trappings of Western church removed was allowed by God because some or all of that needed to be stripped away? Maybe we have become too comfortable with our climate controlled spaces and our scriptures on the big screen. We’ve gotten too comfortable with being able to show up on a Sunday morning and sit and “consume” worship for an hour. We’ve forgotten what it means to lament. Based on the turnout for most of the prayer meetings I ever went to, we’ve also forgotten how to pray. People want to be entertained. People want to be comfortable. People want to be catered to.

And in all the scrambling to keep it going, to work around parameters, to ignore mandates, to protest and shout, what I didn’t hear very much of at all was repentance. That was the thing that was missing that I just couldn’t put my finger on until I read my friend’s article.

“Where is the repentance? Where is the selah?” he asks.

And as I read that line, I just thought, yes exactly. That’s exactly it. Where indeed.

We’ve long established this idea that church is something that happens in a building. We come, we sit in a seat and we listen while somebody else teaches us. Half the time we don’t even bother to bring a Bible with us to church, even though most of us probably have several sitting on a shelf at home somewhere, which incidentally is a freedom not allowed to lots of Christians around the world. (We think because the government temporarily closes our doors during a pandemic that we’re being persecuted? Go read up on the persecuted church around the world. You’ll find that we here in this country don’t have even the faintest idea of what persecution looks like.)

Church has become a place where we go to “get fed,” which is a phrase I despise. It says that I’m coming to church because I need somebody to give me something. I’m arriving on Sunday morning or Saturday night or Thursday or whatever cool day church gathers now because I need someone to meet my spiritual needs and teach me about God. But that’s not why we go to church…or at least it shouldn’t be. We go to church and gather corporately to offer God worship. We come together to bring him glory and honor and praise. You should “eat” before you come.

But then, I think that’s one thing many people either forgot how to do or either never really knew in the first place. We rely so heavily on pastors and Bible teachers that we’ve let ourselves get lazy with scripture. I heard a friend once say, well I’m no Bible scholar and to that I say, you don’t need to be. That’s just an excuse the enemy gives us to not have to study the scriptures for ourselves. You don’t need to be a scholar, you just need to be a lover of the scripture and a seeker of God’s heart.

“Where is the repentance?”

Maybe God has been using this time to call out his Church. Not little “c” church, but big “C” Church. The Church. Maybe God has been using this as a time of sifting. Maybe God hasn’t been calling us to fight, to protest, and to shout. Maybe he’s not calling us to scrape and scramble to maintain church as we’ve always done it. Maybe God has been calling us to our knees.

Maybe we’ve had freedoms afforded to us that have made living the Christian life easy and we’ve become accustomed to that. But it wasn’t ever meant to be easy. Because we live in a country that is free, we fully well expect to be able to just waltz through the doors of a church anytime we desire and we’ve come to take that for granted. We don’t show up with our hearts prepared for worship. We don’t come bowed low, humbled before an Almighty God, but rather stubborn, arms crossed during worship, waiting for someone to give us something, waiting to be served.

Maybe we’ve forgotten what it looks like to really seek the heart of God. Maybe we’ve been doing things a certain way for so long that we haven’t thought to ask God if we’re even going in the right direction. Maybe God’s desire for us is so far removed from what church staffs spend hours planning and creating for the masses that we’re missing the mark completely.

As my husband put it this morning, we have become receivers instead of givers. We’ve come to expect God to prosper us, to heal us, to speak to us…to fit into our parameters of who He is. We’ve become so familiar with God that we’ve lost our reverence of Him. We march willfully into His presence when we should on our faces.

Maybe God has been using this time to wake us up. To throw cold water into the face of all those familiarities and expectations.

Maybe God has been using this time as a mirror for us to see ourselves as we are. Have we been looking? And is the reflection we see looking back at us truly a picture of what God has called his Church to be or are we just dancing around a golden calf? Are we a church that is holding on with a death grip to the way things have always been, the way WE think they should be? Or are we a Church that is so fervently seeking God’s heart that we are desperate to humble ourselves and repent for all the ways we’ve chosen ourselves over God?

Are we willing to consider that maybe, just maybe, this isn’t an attack on our churches, but rather a shaking and a sifting meant to bring us to our knees in repentance? Maybe God is using this time to strip away the easy Christianity we’ve so enjoyed. To cut off the branches of “self”. To open our eyes wide to all the idols we have been serving.

Maybe God has been using this to ready us for what is ahead. Will we be ready?

My husband, my oldest son and I got to spend a little time with my mom and dad yesterday. My aunt and uncle were there too. And several friends I grew up with. I wish I could say we were gathered together to celebrate Christmas or just to enjoy time together, but that’s not why. We were standing on the wet ground under a gray sky at the burial service for a dear family friend. She’d spent the last few weeks in ICU thanks to COVID and it ended up taking her life. I watched as my dad and my uncle and the rest of the pallbearers carried her coffin. I stood next to my mom and listened as the preacher shared about Mrs. Susan’s life, the woman who’d been like a second mom to me growing up. My mom and Ms. Susan have been friends since before I was born and my dad and Mrs. Susan’s husband grew up together. There’s never been a time in my life that this family hasn’t been in it and now Ms. Susan’s gone.

The preacher spoke of Lazarus and how Jesus called him out of the grave (John 11:1-44). Jesus had friends in this little place called Bethany and he’d gotten word that one of those friends, Lazarus, was very sick. Jesus actually waits a couple of days before heading to Bethany, knowing that meant that by the time he and the disciples made it there that Lazarus would already be dead, but he tells them his reasoning behind this…so that they might believe.

So they go to Bethany, where in the meantime Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, are grieving the loss of their brother. And Martha is confused. She says to Jesus:

If you had been here, my brother would not have died.

John 11:21

You can almost feel the hurt and confusion in her words. That questioning of why? Why weren’t you here Jesus? You could have stopped it. You could have healed him. Where were you?

But then she tags that with what feels like hope.

But I know even now that God will give you whatever you ask.

John 11:22

She’s confused, she hurt, she might even be a little angry. Some might also say she may be a little crazy. She’s standing before this Jewish man, her friend and her rabbi, and basically implying that all he has to do is ask for her brother’s life to be restored and it will be.

Except this is no regular man. This is not your average rabbi. This man is God with flesh on. He’s the one who commands the sea and the wind. He’s the opener of eyes and ears and the straighter of twisted limbs. He was and is and is to come. He is Immanuel.

And he’s the one who calls this dead man out of his tomb and out he comes still wrapped in the grave clothes that say he’s forever gone from this world. He was dead and now he’s not.

And his two sisters, who had been grieving, hearts broken with tears spilling down their cheeks, suddenly had returned to them what was lost. They suddenly understood. They saw Jesus…his power, his love, his mercy…right there before them as their brother stumbled out of death and back into life.

There was grief and then there was glory.

As I thought about this, it occurred to me that we are there in the grief. We are here in this world that is wrapped up tight in grave clothes. We, in this world, are waiting for Jesus…the one who we know can make all of this right. The one who can wipe the tears away and heal all the hurts. The one who can straighten the crooked places and repair what’s broken. We are in Bethany, awaiting the arrival of the Restorer of All Things and he’s coming soon.

He will crack the skies open and shout for the grave clothes to be taken off and we will be caught up in the air to meet him. All the sickness and the hate and the evil of this world will be gone and we will be as we were meant to be.

But in the meantime, we wait here in the grief as we ache for the glory. O Lord, come soon.

My mom and I were walking in our neighborhood yesterday and she pointed out mistletoe in the branch of a tree. It was this clump of green on a branch that had lost all its leaves for winter. I was confused because here I guess I always thought mistletoe was some kind of little bush like holly. Turns out, as mom explained, that mistletoe is a parasite and grows on branches of trees that become their hosts. I thought that was pretty interesting, but then it got me thinking how in the world mistletoe went from being a parasite to becoming a kiss-inducing Christmas staple.

The word mistletoe was actually “mistiltan” in Old English. You know, back when they used “ye” a lot. The word was actually derived from two Anglo-Saxon words:

“mistel” meaning dung
“tan” meaning twig

That’s right, friends. Mistletoe is poop on a stick. Basically, the idea here is that mistletoe can potentially run its way through a bird’s intestinal tract in a hurry and so they poop out the seed usually on the next tree they land on, hence poop on a stick. The seed then grows and although the mistletoe can produce some of its own food, it mostly feeds off the tree it grows on, which makes it a parasite. From what I read, it seems the only way to really get rid of the mistletoe is to prune away the branch of the tree that’s effected.

Mistletoe has a history of being used for all sorts of things. The Greeks used it to cure menstral cramps and treat spleen disorders. The Romans used it to treat epilepsy. Native Americans used it internally to induce abortions and externally to treat rheumatism. Europeans used to for everything from arthritis and high blood pressure to epilepsy and infertility…which is weird since the Native Americans used it for the opposite of infertility. In medieval times, it was even thought to ward off witches and demons, so sprigs were tied together and hung in doorways of homes and also in barns to protect the animals. Today in America, mistletoe has been studied to use for treating certain types of cancer.

But how did mistletoe end up being a Christmas decor staple?

Well, it seems that the first use of mistletoe as a decoration started with the Celtic Druids in 1 A.D. Because it’s an evergreen and can actually bloom in winter, the Druids saw it as sacred and oddly enough they believed it to be the genitals of the oak tree it grew on, so to stand under it in an embrace was thought to increase fertility. They also apparently used it to heal other illnesses, help stop nightmares, and even predict the future.

I also read of a story in Norse mythology where a prophecy had been issued that Baldur, the chief god Odin’s son, would die. Frigg, Baldur’s mom, did what any mom would do and tried to prevent his death, so she made agreements with all the animals and all the plants that they wouldn’t ever harm Baldur. However, Loki, the god of mischief, noticed that out of all the plants, Frigg left out mistletoe when she made her agreements. Loki, being the troublemaker he was, decided to shoot Baldur with an arrow made of mistletoe and killed him. So going forward, a kiss under the mistletoe was done in remembrance of Baldur.

Mistletoe was also apparently a decoration used during the Roman celebration, Saturnalia, which was a festival to the sun god, Saturn. Saturn represented sowing or seed and so since he was an agricultural god, it was thought that fertility rituals underneath the mistletoe would be pleasing to him since fertility related to seeds and growing things I guess. Thankfully, people only just kiss underneath it now. Shew.

I even read that as Christianity started to take over the Roman Empire, there was a whisper in France that the cross Jesus died on was made of mistletoe and so because of the awful part it played in the death of Christ, mistletoe was demoted to a parasitic plant and was forbidden to grow straight out of the earth ever again.

Interestingly, as mistletoe found its way into Christmas decor, it was said that in Victorian England, a girl refusing a kiss under the mistletoe could be detrimental to her social life. That refusal for her could mean no marriage proposals until at least the next year if ever and she ran the risk of becoming an old maid. Oh the horrors.

So there you have it. Now the next time you and your sweetheart are kissing underneath the poop-on-the-stick decoration, you know just where it came from!

Merry Christmas to you all!

European mistletoe (photos via Wikipedia)







Mistletoe Myths and Mysteries

How mistletoe became an icon of Christmas

Hey there, you. You’ve been in a pretty sideways season for a pretty long while now. You’ve struggled to get back something you feel like you’ve lost, but for some reason, you just can’t seem to get going in the right direction. You feel pretty disoriented and with good reason. There’s a whole chunk of super important pieces of your identity…or at least pieces of what you thought were your identity…that are missing and it’s an ache you feel down deep.

You’ve identified yourself with all the things you “do” at church for so long and since you’ve stopped doing them, you’re all mixed up about what you thought made you “you.” Totally understandable.

And since you’re all mixed up about who you think you are, that confusion has also bled over into your relationship with God and so you’re all mixed up about Him too. That certainty you’ve always felt where God is concerned, doesn’t feel so certain anymore. What used to be black and white seems kinda blurry and gray and the fire in your bones that once burned hot seems to be nothing but smoldering ash.

You keep waiting for something to happen to bring everything back into alignment again. Like for God to do some big miraculous thing to restart your heart and destroy all your doubts so that you can get back to the way things were even though you were so restless then that you couldn’t wait for things to change…to be better…different than they were.

It’s like you keep trying to rebuild a sandcastle in the same place and the ocean tide keeps washing it away, but you just keep right on building and rebuilding with your stubborn self in the very same spot, unwilling or unable to move and then shouting at the sea about it all.

But have you considered that maybe God doesn’t want things to get back to the way they were? Maybe His plan all along was to let some things die because they were growing and spreading and taking up all the space and God ultimately had something new to plant there?

So many times in recent years you’ve said how you wished you could erase all your preconceived notions and bad theology you’ve adopted over the course of your Christian lifetime and just start fresh. How do you know that’s not exactly what God’s been doing? You think He’s been silent, like He’s not been listening, but maybe He’s doing exactly what your heart desperately desired – more than even you realized.

Maybe He’s cleaning the slate,
tilling up the ground,
taking out the trash
…whatever you want to call it.

Maybe He’s doing the exact right thing at the exact right time in the exact right way.

And maybe you need to just wait Him out a little bit longer and see. And maybe in the meantime, you might try and get over yourself and consider a different spot on the beach for that sandcastle.

A few summers ago, my family and I went on a trip to the mountains with a group from church.  While we were there, we visited Linville Caverns, which are limestone caverns in McDowell County, North Carolina.  While I’m sure there’s a big ol’ scientific name for all of it, basically you get to walk inside a mountain.

And inside this mountain, you see all shapes and sizes, and even colors, of stalactites and stalagmites, which are the big drippy things that hang from the ceiling and the things that appear to be peaks growing up from the floor.  The stalactites form when water flows into a cave and drips from the ceiling.  The water as it drips leaves behind calcite, which eventually with all the dripping creates this thing that looks like a big icicle hanging from the ceiling.  And then as the water drips down to the ground, the calcite builds up over time and starts to form a pillar from the floor.  Sometimes the icicle and the pillar end up growing to the point that they connect and form something like a column.

Anyhow, this is a process.  A long process.  Like years and years and years.  The constant dripping of the water, little drip by little drip, eventually grows something big. Something little like drips of water can seem so insignificant, but with time and consistency, it’s amazing what can happen.

I’m easily discouraged sometimes when I have a task ahead of me that seems so big or the mountain (of laundry) I have to climb seems insurmountable. I procrastinate or sometimes I just give up. But if can step back and take that big thing and break it down into smaller things, it doesn’t seem so overwhelming and over time, with consistency, I can accomplish what I set out to do.

So whether it’s losing 40 pounds or paying off a huge debt or just cleaning up the house, it we can be consistent, we can get it done. It may not happen as fast as we’d like – believe me…I’d love to wake up tomorrow morning and be at my goal weight without the effort – but if we can just keep at it, just keeping dripping little drops at the time, eventually we’ll get there.

Is there some task right now that you have to get done that seems bigger than you can conquer? Maybe it’s a small thing like laundry or maybe it’s a big thing like paying off a debt. How can you break that task down into smaller pieces so that with consistency, it’s more easily accomplished?

Two weeks since I last posted. I wish I could tell you I haven’t written anything because I’ve been in Paris taking photos from the top of the Eiffel Tower or in Scotland driving through the lush green countryside and exploring castles. But I haven’t.

It’s been considerably less glamorous than that.

I’ve basically been on my sofa reading. And sleeping. I wish I had more to tell you than that, but that’s basically the extent of it. A black cloud of blah floated into my head a couple of weeks ago and I haven’t been able to shake it. Then toss in a gallbladder attack, as well as gallbladder surgery on the horizon next week, and it’s just been a fantastic first half of July.

And I had all these grand plans for July, too. But then I guess that’s the way it goes sometimes. You think you have a plan and then all of a sudden everything goes sideways and you’re left standing there in the rubble trying to figure out what the heck just happened.

And it’s at that point, you have a choice. You can chose to sideline whatever dream you had and walk away. You can decide that whatever the thing you had in mind to do is just too hard or too big or too whatever else you can think of to make it seem unreachable. You can quit.


You can take a minute to regroup. You can step back and look at what happened and see where it went wrong. Where does that dream need tweaking? Is it a timing thing? Was your idea good, but your plan of attack a little lacking?

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m very easily discouraged. I look at the distance from Point A to Point B and talk myself right out of the journey. I tell myself it’s too much. That it will take too long and I’ll never make it. That it will be better for me to just not try than to suffer the heartache of failure yet again. I wonder if you do that too?

But today, I’m going to take a deep breath. I’m going to get up off this couch and drag those plans back out and see where I need to do some tweaking. I’ll look today at how to get from Point A.a to Point A.b instead of trying to make it all the way to Point B.

But I won’t quit.

How about you? Do you get discouraged easily? Do you have grand plans that ended up on the back burner? Is there a smaller piece of that puzzle you can work on today and tackle something bigger tomorrow?

I’d love to hear how you go about getting yourself back on track when your dreams get derailed. Leave a comment below!

Happy Friday!  Just a few things you might enjoy…

This is the testimony of Amir Tsarfati, an Israeli Jew and a believer in Jesus.  I love his teachings and have gotten so much out of them.  His testimony is so powerful!  


A few books I’ve recently read that were so good!


For a list of my favorite reads, check out my Reading for the Road page.


Have you heard of The Bible Project?  They make the coolest videos to help bring the Bible to life.  This one’s a study on the word “shalom,” which usually translates peace, but means so much more.  


And for laughs….a little John Crist – Trey Kennedy action.  


And finally, a prayer for your weekend.

O God, in the course of this busy life,

give us times of refreshment and peace;

and grant that we may so use our leisure

to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds,

that our spirits may be opened

to the goodness of your creation;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

from The Book of Common Prayer, prayer 32, For the Good Use of Leisure

Disclosure:  This post contains Amazon affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a (very appreciated) commission if you click through and make a purchase.  🙂


Lord. You know those days where you wake up thinking it’s going to be a great day and then you get a reminder text for an appointment you forgot you’d scheduled and what was supposed to be a nice planned out day turns chaotic as you have to rethink the whole of it to make it all fit together right.

Yep.  Today’s that day.  The time I thought I had this morning to work on writing suddenly got cut down to less than half of what I’d planned and I can feel my insides getting all bunched up.  And to add to that, my youngest has got a terrible case of the super wiggles this morning and that just multiple the chaos I’m already feeling.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  It’s not that big of a deal, right.  Just rearrange your day and get it done.  And for somebody who’s way better at time management that I am, that would be easy.  But to me, keeping a calendar goes against everything about how I’m put together and something about having appointments on said calendar makes me anxious.  I’m super selfish with my time and I don’t want to have to use it up going to the dang dentist, you know?

I’ve gone back and forth between using a hardcopy paper calendar and using my phone to keep up with appointments, but I can’t decide which one works better.  Writing an appointment down is way faster and more practical to me, but then it doesn’t help if I don’t actually LOOK at the calendar.  I know, I know.  #FirstWorldProblems

So I’m asking ya’ll for help.  How do you keep up with all the things you’re supposed to do?  Do you do paper or digital?  And do you write/enter everything in?  I haven’t been blocking time out on the calendar for things like writing, because *appointment anxiety*, but maybe I should?  Do you block off time for things that you want to do just like you would for things you need to do?

I’m up for suggestions peeps.  I need some help!

How does it happen so fast?  One minute they’re little babes in your arms and the next minute they’re talking about careers and getting married and all those grown-up things.

My youngest just turned 13 this past week.  I can’t even believe I’m typing that.  13??  Goodness.  And my oldest will turn 20 on his next birthday.  It feels weird to know I have a child who’s almost 20.  I don’t think of myself as being old enough to have a 20 year old.  But then age is just a number I guess.  At least that’s what they say, whoever they are.

I’ll be honest though.  I’ve been in a bit of a panic about it all because while age might be just a number, it’s a number that keeps increasing every year and I look around and think, but wait…I’m not ready to be 45 years old.  I’m not ready to have one child hitting his teen years and the other getting ready to leave them behind.

I’m not ready.  Will I ever be ready?

I look at my oldest son and I worry that I didn’t do enough.  That I didn’t give him all the guidance that I should have.  That I didn’t tell him everything he needed to know.  That I didn’t teach him all the things I was supposed to.  He’ll soon be out in the world on his own.  Did I do everything I was supposed to as a mom so that he’ll be alright as an adult?

I guess, though, that that’s the worry of most parents.  Did we raise them well enough?  Did we do it right?

And really, I don’t know that there is a “right” way to parent.  Every child is different, even children within the same family, raised by the same parents in the same home.  My boys are so different.

Over the years, my oldest has sometimes complained that I do things for the younger one that I didn’t do for the him.  And there’s probably some truth to that.  There’s six years between them, so I like to think that I was less stupid and maybe had learned a bit more about what it means to be a grown-up by the time the second one came along.  (I also remind my oldest that while it seems like the younger one gets away with more than he did, he also forgets what he was like as a little one and doesn’t remember all the things he got away with then.)

And then, you add in all the the things you are either trying to avoid or trying to emanate from your own childhood.  You’re either trying to give them better than what you had and trying to avoid being like your own parent or parents, or you’re trying to be at least as good as what you had because your folks set the standard high for great parenting.   

I guess I say all that to say, on this Father’s Day, that parenting is hard.  You make all these assumptions when you’re standing in the check out line at the grocery store behind a parent with a screaming child about what you’ll do when you have kids, but then you do and it’s usually way harder than you thought it’d be.  Now you’re the parent standing in the grocery store line with a screaming child while some know-it-all behind you is rolling their eyes.

Be kind to yourself, Dad.  Give yourself some grace, Mom.  We’re all out here trying to do the best we can with our little ones…and our almost-grown ones.

Just love them.  Love them and encourage them.  Be there to listen and don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes.  Teach them about Jesus and pray.

And know that God loves them even more than you.

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