Bible memory for the chronically forgetful

Bible memory for the chronically forgetful

Bible memory stinks. Well, it doesn’t stink. Rather, I stink at Bible memory. It frustrates me because I have so many great ideas of verses I want to memorize, but when it comes right down to it, I…forget to get right down to it.  Sometimes I joke that I’d forget my own head if it wasn’t screwed on tight…I say it’s a joke, but deep down I know it’s the truth. I forget to memorize Scripture, but when I do get something in my head, it’s not long before I also forget what I memorized. My long-term memory seems have to have a leak. (Fun fact: I can watch a movie several times and still not remember what happened in the movie. Sometimes I don’t remember even watching it. Ask my husband about how much he loves that…) I stink at getting the Bible into my head, but I love … Read More

The easiest parenting habit with the biggest eternal impact

The one habit

He screamed and clutched me as if monsters were trying to drag him into the pit of hell. Maybe that’s how he felt. The first day of kindergarten can be rather rough on a child, but I wasn’t expecting the teachers to have to PEEL my son off me. I walked into the parent meeting, late, brushing tears off my cheeks. This parenting gig is hard on the soul. I find it extra hard to help my eldest with his emotional struggles. He’s a sensitive and creative fellow with an anxious streak a mile long. I had always hoped that his separation anxiety was more of a trick to induce mommy-guilt than a real, true-blue anxiety, but it turns out I was wrong. The anxiety was real, and it bled into his entire kindergarten year. Dropping him off at school was a nightmare, and he cried every.single.morning. His teacher reported … Read More

What Micah 6:8 means for moms

Micah 6:8 for moms

I’ve been feeling spiritually dry recently. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fact that schedules are changing around here – Dodger has given up his afternoon nap so my at-home afternoons are no longer as quiet as they used to be. Going back to work in April has also been a challenge because our office space has changed: I used to have a room near the back where I could shut the door and pray in peace, and now I have a shared office with a giant window that’s right off the main area. Not that those are insurmountable odds, but it makes spending time in private prayer and the Word a little more challenging to work into my schedule. I imagine there are others of you who struggle with the same thing, no matter what kind of life you lead! For some reason, what is … Read More

3 reasons to meet with God every day

What does "I am the vine, you are the branches" really mean?

The motto of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, is “Nisi Dominus Frusta”, which means, “without the Lord, frustration”. This is a feeling I know well. Nothing in my life has showed me the extent of my sinfulness and inabilities as parenting. Being a mom has brought out parts of my personality I would much rather have remained under the surface! I’m sure that I am not alone in this confession. Docile women become angry moms, flexible people become brick-wall parents, and unflappable men find themselves snapping in irritation at their children. No one is a perfect parent, but you and I have a choice about how we respond when we’re overwhelmed: a) Will we continue to parent out of our depleted reserves? b) Will we try to fill up our own reserves with me-time and hobbies? c) Or will we turn to the Well that never runs dry to be … Read More

The one parenting goal you don’t want to miss

One parenting goal

I have heard it said that parenting is like flying a kite. When they are young, you keep them close, but as they grow, you let out the line little by little. If you let it out all at once, giving them too much freedom, they’ll get tangled in the briars of life. But if you never let go, they don’t learn to fly on their own. The key, the impossible, glorious key, is to let it out knot by knot, at the right times and in the right places. I’m quite sure it’s impossible to get right every time. Today I let out a knot, allowing my 8 year old to ride home from the park on his own. There were only 3 smallish roads to cross, but still, my mama heart beat faster than I would have liked. I have seen the damage that can be caused by … Read More

Why we all need to read the Bible (and how to get started)

Why we all need to read the Bible

According to research conducted by the Barna Group, about 1/3 Americans read the Bible once per week or more, even though 9/10 Americans own at least one Bible. So why are we buying the Bible but not reading it?  We obviously don’t feel drawn to open the Bible and read its contents. But is that because we have read the Bible and found it wanting, or because we have never read it the right way? I’ve heard many reasons for not wanting to read the Bible: it’s outdated…it’s just a bunch of rules…it doesn’t apply to life. But for God-fearing people, there is one powerful reason to pick up the book and read it for ourselves: It is the only way to get an accurate* picture of God.  (*When I say “accurate”, I mean that we get the fullest picture of God that a human mind can handle. God is full … Read More

how to find peace in a busy world

How to find peace in a busy world

  I lay on the tufts of fresh grass, wind caressing my face, wind chimes playing their gentle tune. The sun warms my toes and thoughts wash to and fro on the sea of my invisible mind. One stray idea, plucked from the waves and held carefully, like a delicate ball of hand-blown glass. I turn it around in my mind’s eye, appraising its value. When did I get so busy?   Too busy to sit and enjoy the grass between my toes, too tired to double-bounce my boys on the trampoline, too thoughtless to even sweep the floor. What have I been doing? Many good things. I have been doing many good things. But have I done the good things to the exclusion of the best things? To spend time learning at the feet of my Lord, to worship him as the woman who spent her most precious perfume on him. What is … Read More

why Christians need to care about the environment, and 5 tips to get you started

Environmental awareness is important for Christians! 5 tips to get you started.

My son came home from kindergarten, thrilled about the fact that Earth Day is coming up. His class had a litter-less lunch day and he’s been learning all about the importance of recycling to help our environment. For some reason, this is something all our kids know (and remind us of on repeat!) but we tend to forget about in the daily grind of raising families. Christians are notoriously resistant to the idea of caring for the environment, usually because of misleading end-times theology…if we think we’re going to be raptured off the earth before it goes to pot, why bother caring?* There are, however, two compelling reasons to care for the earth. The best reason to care about the earth is because it is filled with Image-Bearers of God – people created and adored by our God. When our overconsumption and waste affects the atmosphere, severe droughts happen in sub-saharan Africa … Read More

How to walk away from worry in 3 steps

Walk away from worry

It was like a child had unrolled a skein of yarn and tried to put it back together, then placed the ensuing mess in my mind for me to unravel and place back in the proper order. The things I needed to do today mixed with the list I needed to start for a family trip which overlapped with the appointments that needed to be made and the overwhelm of all the writerly things I wanted to, no, needed to get done. It was enough tangled yarn to hang oneself with. Nearly overwhelming, constricting the throat as my heartbeat raced my car down the highway. The thoughts would not untangle. Jesus’ words on worry almost seemed trite. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body … Read More

How to love like Jesus (what would Jesus really do?)

I once heard a preacher man tell of Jesus’ great love for Peter. Peter, the man who stood within earshot and swore upside-down and sideways that he had never met the man he once called Lord. Peter, back to fishing soon after they murdered his heart’s disowned owner, turning back to the job he knew because the job he wanted had broken his heart. Peter, who awkwardly swam to shore, lungs burning, muscles aching, mind afire after a long night of staring into the fathomless depths of Galilee waiting for a bite. And when he got to shore, panting, dripping, heart knotted like a tossed-aside fishing net, he saw that the man he had cursed had breakfast ready. Fish and bread. The same meal the disciples twice passed out to impossible thousands of lost people, now offered to seven fishermen who forgot they were fishers of men, not fish. Jesus … Read More