Broken Goals, Glorious Plans – the “starving time” of summer

I remember a time when I decided to write daily…to read news articles, blogs, and novels. I created a huge summer reading list for myself – both fiction and non-fiction. I was excited and confident about the goals I’d set for the months ahead. It was a perfect summer project, and I needed one. Then I found out I was pregnant. Every time I tried to read a single sentence, my eyes closed, and I awoke some time later to a closed book, my place lost, and an incredulous 10-year-old. “Mom, you were out,” he said. “I came in here
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I Would Have Been a Pharisee – Musings on Good Friday

When I imagine the picture of Jesus dying, I can’t help but believe I would have been a pharisee. I see him wounded and in pain, making effort after effort to breathe – literally suffocating – on the cross. And then I see myself to the side, mocking him and believing he got what he deserved. I see myself denying his identity, convinced in my heart he wasn’t the messiah. This may be a dismal portrait, but it definitely displays the human condition without Christ. If not for his grace, I would be a pharisee today. Reflecting on Passover and
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It’s Not Enough to Just Be Thankful

The last year of our family’s life has been hectic. We endured seasons of late nights, little sleep, over-commitment, too much work, and little rejuvenation. It wasn’t all bad. We have a beautiful baby boy, Tyler and I have put more money in savings than ever before, and we enjoy the community and friendships we’ve built over the last few years. I’ve maneuvered homeschooling E, though it’s rarely easy but amazing anyways, and Tyler has built a pretty decent portfolio in design and photography. I discovered a new-found love for hot yoga and re-entered the running world with some sluggishness.
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A Letter to Our Food Budget

    Dear Food Budget, Get behind me, Satan. Thanks, Melissa   But really. This is all I have to say to our food budget. It’s the biggest source of financial temptation for me. I don’t go shopping and buy new clothes very often. I probably only splurge when I have gift cards, when I’m pregnant and don’t fit my clothes any more, or when my kids need new clothes. I do love a new pair of shoes from Target, though. My food budget, however, is a weekly source of contention for my soul. I so desire to buy fresh,
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Compare to Despair

Have you ever given a friend advice or responded to complaints with words much later you wish you hadn’t used? While it’s certainly not the only time this has happened, one particular instance is stuck in my head. Even today, weeks later, I found myself sitting on the floor in the den, playing with Martin, still thinking of what I should have said and what I would go back and say if we shared the same conversation again. It wasn’t even a really important or life-changing moment, but my faulty advice has stayed with me and plagued me. My friend
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Gospel of God

I notice more and more the religion so many churches preach is the gospel of me. God loves me. God is all about me. God is committed to me. God creates his will and commands around me. God wants me to be happy. God wants me to be free. The risk in holding fast to these statements is that we forget the basics of who God is, himself. While God does love us, we tend to focus the gospel solely on ourselves, and somewhere along the line start to believe this idea – God exists to love and please me. While many of us
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Broken Words and Weeks

My words are spent. I am speechless and empty. At least that’s how I often feel. I’m realizing that in this season of life, I often have no words. I don’t mean words in the everyday kind of sense. I don’t have a hard time saying, “Please clean up your room,” or “How was your day?” I don’t have a hard time jabbering without really saying anything. I apologize if I’ve done that to you. I can’t think. I can’t write. I methodically put one foot in front of the other day by day. I have plenty of ideas, but
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Not Girly, but Feminine

I’m not a girly girl. I never have been, but for years I wanted to be one. I envied all things girly girl, but not anymore. Don’t think I hate girly girls. I don’t. Actually, if anything, I respect them. I don’t know how they do it with matching accessories, jewelry, and lipstick for every outfit. Their manicured hands and pedicured feet are lovely, and a sweet smell always encircles them. So many are incredibly sweet, and I’ve felt loved so many times because of their kindness and etiquette. I am absolutely serious when I say I can’t even imagine
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I Don’t Want to Die When I’m 100

Do you remember ever believing everyone died when they reached 100? For a period in my life, I definitely thought everyone lived to be 100. I was reminded time and time again this week of how we often view life like children, as if we are all invincible with all the time in the world. In a funny way, I was reminded of how we think we’ll live so long when we’re young. I think most people have seen this video of the little girl who doesn’t want her brother to grow up. I avoided it on Facebook for a
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Respect Your Children – the fine line between passive parenting and giving grace

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Doesn’t the Bible say for children to obey and respect their parents? Yes, yes it does. Ephesians 6 to be exact. But Ephesians 6 also says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (ESV). For the longest time I had no clue what this meant, and while I’m sure I don’t completely understand it now, I do feel it makes more sense. When he was younger, E was an easy child. He never threw a temper tantrum, didn’t say ‘No’ to everything as a two-year-old,
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