Are you following Jesus or stalking him?

following Jesus

INSIDE: Learn the difference between stalking Jesus and following Jesus, and how to make the switch. Have you ever stalked someone? Even just a little? When I was in high school, there was this guy I liked. He was a childhood neighbor that I had lost track of. It was a shock to discover, many years later, that he was a friend of a friend and attended a nearby school. I didn’t know much about the guy (we lost touch after grade 1) so I asked around. I found out a bit more about him from his friends, including his email address. And I’m super embarrassed to admit this on the internet, but I created a new email account and emailed him a few times anonymously. And NOW you know what a nut job I am. Go ahead, laugh. Please remember this was half my life ago.  Stalking means to … Read More

The Importance of Forgiveness for Kids

help my kids forgive each other

Let’s talk about the Biblical importance of forgiveness for kids! Imagine this very common scene with me: Olivia and Jack are playing together. They squabble, as kids tend to do when doing anything together. During the fight, Jack whacks Olivia on the head and Olivia starts crying. A few minutes later, the fuss has calmed down, and Jack says to Olivia, “I’m sorry for hitting you.” What does Olivia say? 9 times of 10, Olivia says “it’s okay”. Is that really what she should be saying at that moment? “It’s okay that you whacked me on the head? Go ahead, do it again anytime, because hey, it’s okay!” If you’re anything like me, you’ve coached your kid to say this at least once, but really, the words are meaningless, aren’t they? Assuming that “next time, I’m gonna kick your teeth in” isn’t a reasonable alternative, what should be said instead? I Forgive You. “I … Read More

Why I became a kidney donor

my kidney donation story

I’ve spoken about this event to a few, but always with hesitation because I want so desperately for people not to make a big deal of me. But I realized that in trying to remain behind the curtain, I have unintentionally missed out on an opportunity to make a big deal out of God. So here it is, in plain words. On March 21, 2018, I went to the hospital, where a surgeon cut out my left kidney and gave it to a complete stranger. Why? Because I believe God wanted me to. That sounds crazy, I know. Maybe I am crazy after all. But let me explain. (Watch the video here, or read the full transcript below.) God created this insanely gorgeous and intricate world. Part of that world is us, the humans. I often marvel at how many things could go wrong in our bodies, but don’t. And … Read More

The secret to true inner peace

The secret to inner peace

Un-rest (noun)  A feeling of disturbance and dissatisfaction in a person A state of dissatisfaction, disturbance, and agitation in a group of people Have you ever lived in a state of unrest? Being tugged in every direction, paperwork on every corner, appointments busting out of the calendar? It stinks to live in a state of unrest, but my friend, it is just as bad to live with a feeling of unrest deep in your soul. You know the feeling – like no matter how much water you drink or me-time you get, there’s always that parched bit of soul that never feels satisfied. No inner peace. It’s possible to live with a feeling of unrest even when we live in a state of rest. We can watch Netflix till our eyes crust over and have weekly manicure appointments, but those will not satisfy that parched bit of soul. Likewise, it’s … Read More

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

“Can I ride home by myself?” he asked, eyes pleading to let him have this freedom. He was 8. We were at the park near our house. There were only 3 smallish roads to cross, but still, my mama-heart beat faster than I would have liked. Images of broken bodies raced through my mind, along with the sound of squealing brakes. I shook my head to dispell the thoughts – my son was not my sister. So I swallowed and nodded. Parenting is like… 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. … 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