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Free from Guilt

A couple of friends and I have had conversations this week about the thing that seems to plague all women most of the time...guilt.

I feel guilty about standing my ground when I know I'm right. What if I hurt the other person's feelings? 
I feel guilty about honestly saying no when I don't want to do something.  What if I'm just being selfish?
I feel guilty about not attending every birthday or wedding I'm invited to. Or accepting every friend request on social media. Or volunteering for every empty spot on the church help list. 
I feel guilty about buying myself a new shirt. Or a new book. Because maybe that money could be used for something more important. 
I feel guilty for just wanting to be alone--a lot--instead of out partying it up with people. 
I feel guilty for sitting my kid in front of the TV for a few minutes while I write this. 
I feel guilty for just wanting a foot rub at the end of the day, and not a steamy evening of romance.

I feel guilty that I haven'…
Recent posts

Becoming a Woman

Every time I stretch for my workout... Every time I clean my home... Every time I make a chicken pot pie... Every time I send a thank you card...
...I remember the woman who introduced me to the skill in the first place.  And I smile. I have been made a stronger, deeper woman because of those women that have poured their love and life into me.
In one of my favorite books, Wild at Heart, John Eldredge explains how femininity cannot bestow masculinity. A young man without a father cannot grow to be a man just by watching mom or grandmom. A young man can only become a man by watching and learning from other men whether it's a biological father, family member, or mentor. 
I believe that femininity too cannot be bestowed by masculinity. No matter how much my daddy loved me and my professors and male pastors spoke into my life, my inner sense of worth and confidence in being a woman has come mostly from other women. Sadly, it's only in the past 8 years or so (because of issues with my own…

Seasons

My daughter, my dog, and I were walking in the woods today when we came to a spot that was familiar and stopped. I could just barely tell it was the same place we visited a couple of winters ago. Everything looked so different under the weight and shade of leaves, flowers, and berries. The water was bubbling and the air was alive with both humidity and bugs. This seemed worlds away from the still, barren cold we experienced on our first visit.

This moment reminded of the change of seasons in our own lives. On my own personal journey, my life looked very different a year ago. In fact, this very walk, in the heat and sun, for this long, would not have been possible. I was battling physical and mental symptoms of anxiety that had made even getting out of bed impossible on some days. What a transformation a year has made! I am not the same, nor will I ever be again. Much the same way this spot in nature is both familiar and strange during a different season. 

I live my life in seasons. What…

All I Need

"All I Need is You, Jesus!"

I used to sing it passionately in church. I used to pray it fervently in my quiet times.

But I don't believe it anymore.

Yep. That's right. Jesus is not all I need.

Before I get stoned to death for heresy, let me explain. 

By saying, "Jesus is not all I need," I'm not saying "I don't need Jesus." I'm not saying that I've lost faith in Him. I'm not saying that I don't need Him first and foremost. I am saying that Scripture shows that this "All I need is You" culture was not the Lord's intent.

Even in Eden, the first man was lonely. He had unhindered, face-to-face contact with the Creator, and he was lonely! There was no sin, no shame, no ugliness of any kind, and he was lonely! He was so lonely, that the Lord in his compassion said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." And then when He created the first woman, He told them to "be fruitf…

Giveaway Week!

Having lived in Ohio for about 3 years now, I have learned to embrace the peace and quiet that cold, snowy winters bring. My daughter and I have loved long walks through the quiet woods and crystal clear nights to watch the stars. But we've also enjoyed being indoors more, sipping on broth and tea, catching up on movies, and doing more craft projects.

One of my favorite things to do now on a quiet Saturday morning is turn on some worship or a podcast and color. There is something so comforting about coloring because it takes me back to a simpler time of childhood memories. I love that coloring isn't just for kids anymore. There are so many adult coloring books out there now and they are all beautiful!

Scripture coloring books with tear-out pages and extras like bookmarks and cards to color are my favorite! When I'm done with a picture, I can send it to a friend in a card or hang it on my mirror or fridge to inspire me throughout the week.

This is why I'm so excited to…

Beauty

I was reminded this week that I have a unique beauty that only I can give to the world as a woman and as an individual. It reminded me of this post I wrote 3 years ago...

I walk by her at the front desk every morning. A very put-together, no-nonsense woman. I'm very intimidated by her and usually try to avoid eye-contact.

Until today.
I don't normally use the first-floor ladies room, but this morning the one upstairs was full and so was my bladder, so I ran downstairs and as I walked into the ladies room, so did she. 
I asked her how her morning was going, and what ensued was a conversation about life, love, and loss. She explained how she had moved from Virginia not too long ago to be closer to her elderly parents. Just days after she had moved in, her Daddy passed away. She described sitting by his side and laying her head on his head as he took his final breaths. Now she went home every afternoon to take care of her mom who is a stroke victim. 
I was speechless. I could see the …

Everything I Thought I Knew

Relationship magazines, advertisements for women, submission talks in church, modesty talks in youth group, and my mother's and grandmother's own views about men and their own broken relationships...I brought all these lessons with me into my marriage, ready to be the greatest wife ever! But I have been disappointed by some of this advice and I've had to relearn a few things along the way. 

1) As long as you're a good cook and keep a clean home, your husband will be happy. (Ok, there's sex too, but I'll talk about it later)  A few dirty dishes, which to me are the end of the world, aren't even on my husband's radar. He'd rather me sit with him and watch a movie or work on a project together.

2) You're too fat, you forgot to shave, your tan lines are showing, your breasts are too small, your butt is too big, your hair is too flat. It was absolutely terrifying to stand naked in front of my husband for the first time-- for the first hundred times. It…