I caught a glimpse of her as she rounded the corner and began heading down the stairs. Before I could think better of it, I called out, “Ann! Do you have a minute?” With gracious, loving eyes, Ann stopped to shake my hand, and meet this unknown Chinese gal from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I quickly gathered my thoughts–thoughts that had been burgeoning for some time now–ready to spill forth in love, admiration, and gratitude. And that’s how it came out…a blubbering mess of love, admiration, and gratitude…and one simply phrased statement I knew I wanted to say: “Thank you for your response to him. I now feel free to love, free to connect, free to stand on what I fiercely believe but generously love when there may be differences.” I wanted her to know that I understood the tension. That I could feel the pressure. That I stand with sound […]
I’ve just returned from my first blogging and writing conference. I went hoping to learn how to be more effective and returned with my focus more firmly settled on the “BE,” rather than the “EFFECTIVE.” Pursuing any dream is a bit of a paradox–a dichotomy of ideas that wars within your soul until you reconcile and understand the tension. You know what I’m talking about…you have a dream, a longing, a desire for more. As a writer/blogger here are my personal paradoxes: I have a personal story…but I share it publicly with the world. I desire to grow my reach and my influence…but only One audience actually matters in the end. I write about my life…but I have to live it fully in order to have anything to write about. The business of writing…begins with the business of living. I desire to stand out and stand apart…but in community, we […]
My dear husband, Troy, used to stand at the pulpit and teach the Word of God weekly. I’d marvel at his weekly study routine: the books, the note-taking, the quietly looking out the window with earphones on. I remember asking him one time: “Is it hard to prepare a sermon?” He paused, and replied with this: “I have to prepare a heart before I can prepare a sermon. That’s where the true challenge lies.” I will never forget that. I admire and respect Troy so much, and through the decade of full-time pastoral ministry, always saw him approach ministry with authenticity over professionalism. But that is not why his response that day continues to stir my mind today. Instead, it is the deeply applicable truth it has upon all areas of my life, that keeps me coming back to it. I have to prepare my heart before I can serve […]
Welcome to GraceLaced Mondays, a link up dedicated to sharing any and all blog posts by like-minded lovers of grace–God’s grace! Grace is found in the everyday when you are intentional about taking note of it…and I invite you to share your story, great or small, of how everyday moments are full of Grace. It is found in the sink full of dishes awaiting you after a family meal, it shines in the faces of your imperfect children, it soothes from the pages of God’s Word, and it is tucked into the enjoyment of a fresh batch of cookies. Grace is in a beautiful moment and a heartbreaking one alike. Grace is blessing beyond what you and I deserve. ********************************* As moms, we so often allow our daily challenges and circumstances overwhelm and defeat us. Melissa of Hive Resources, linked up last week and shared a wonderful post reminding us […]
I want to create a new normal for my family, day by day. I invite you to join me…in leaving the past behind and building up what is ahead… *Have a wonderful weekend, friends! If you’d like GraceLaced posts to come to your inbox, I invite you to subscribe here. If you are blessed by this post, please consider sharing it!
Everyone tells you to BE YOURSELF. Unfortunately, “yourself” is not always an easy thing to discern, at least not for me. I’m 37 years old, and sometimes….sometimes I’m just not really sure I really know exactly who “I” am. It’s funny, but don’t we always go to outward things to define us? –what we wear, who we call friends, how we style our hair, what we do with our free time: …I’m a mom who doesn’t wear mom jeans. …I like decorating with thrift shop finds. …I love traveling. …I’m all about talking with my hands. …I don’t apologize for going deep. …who “I am” is often summed up in a list of 10 things others may be surprised to learn about me. But really, I’m not the sum of my likes, my dislikes, and my accomplishments. Maybe it’s because I’m heading to a conference next week where I will […]
I get to regularly comfort and console people who freak out on my behalf. …the folks who practically faint when they hear I have five BOYS and would go back for round 6. Then, there are the ever-sweet people who pronounce me a saint, a mother who has a “special” crown waiting for me in heaven, as consolation for such a tough but honorable mission in motherhood. I have a couple of thoughts about that. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the empathy for the work in raising boys. I do. And, yes, it’s a lot of work. It’s not that there haven’t been sacrifices that we’ve made in order to raise a large family. There have. It’s not that different dynamics don’t exist in a family like ours that may not be present in a family of boys and girls. There are. But, here’s what I always come back […]
“A Christian comes to contentment, not so much by way of addition, as by way of subtraction.” Jeremiah Burroughs, 17th century Puritan Does that sound contrary to all that the world and our own flesh tries to tell us about contentment? It does to me! Please join me over at The Better Mom today, as I share about Christian contentment’s only must-have.
Welcome to GraceLaced Mondays, a link up dedicated to sharing any and all blog posts by like-minded lovers of grace–God’s grace! Grace is found in the everyday when you are intentional about taking note of it…and I invite you to share your story, great or small, of how everyday moments are full of Grace. It is found in the sink full of dishes awaiting you after a family meal, it shines in the faces of your imperfect children, it soothes from the pages of God’s Word, and it is tucked into the enjoyment of a fresh batch of cookies. Grace is in a beautiful moment and a heartbreaking one alike. Grace is blessing beyond what you and I deserve. ********************************* I am privileged to introduce one of my roommates, Rachel Wojnarowski, for the upcoming blogger’s conference as this week’s link up feature. If you’ve read Rachel’s story, you know that […]
I am so pleased to introduce the sponsors of GraceLaced for the month of October. Please take advantage of the discounts and giveaways that some sponsors have offered to GraceLaced readers for this month. ********************************************* The dates, date syrup, and soon-to-arrive date caramel sauce from Date Lady are all organic, gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and never contain processed sugars! Date Lady is giving away a bag of their delectable dates and a jar of their amazing date syrup to one lucky GraceLaced reader! a Rafflecopter giveaway Visit Date Lady and get some date goodness today! ********************************************* Please visit Moses Kountry Health Store for all your health food and supplement needs! For in-store purchases, please save and print above image for $10 off purchase of $50 or more in the month of October. And if you’re fast (as in within 3 days!) you can get in on a current Groupon: $15 for $30 on Supplements, Vitamins, and Health […]
In a few weeks, I will be attending my first blogging conference. It is such a blessing to have an opportunity to finally meet some of my dear online friends and colleagues in person. Three of these special ladies will be my roommates: Kara from The Chuppies, Rachel from RachelWojo.com, and Kelly from The Nourishing Home. I’m joining in with other attendees to share 10 things our roomies should know about us. So…here they are, 10 things you may or may not know about me… 1. I’m not so good at small talk, especially about sports and entertainment. I don’t watch The Office, Downton Abbey, or Breaking Bad, so attempting to talk to me about these, or any show on primetime is a waste of time. I never know what team is playing who, or what sport is even in season, so please, I beg you…don’t try and break the […]
Need. Want. Deserve. Life’s greatest disappointments, frustrations, or struggles in some way involve these words. I need a vacation. I want my home to be less chaotic. I deserve a break. I need a new wardrobe. I want some room in the budget. I deserve a little fun. I need you to understand me. I want to be heard. I deserve some true friends. I need to upgrade. I want the latest. I deserve ease and comfort. I don’t tend to think of myself as a materialistic person (who does!?) but when I look at the things that trouble me the most, they usually include some version of what I believe I must have in order to be happy. Sometimes they are things. Sometimes they are ideas. But rarely is it God alone… Please join me at Beautifully Rooted today, as I share how Christ has met our greatest need and is all […]