Posts tagged raising kids
The Great Pursuit

In the last few years, there has been a spiritual war on peace within my household. My husband and I both struggle with finding peace and contentment in the midst of his work and raising a child that needs a little more care than the average kiddo. The days have been full of triumphs, but we are constantly fighting the spirits of fear, frustration, and even FOMO. That's what the kids call the “fear of missing out.” Our life is much more restricted than the lives of our friends, and it's hard to ignore the isolation. Since this struggle with peace has gone on so long, it has begun to feel hopeless. I start to think if it hasn't changed by now, we will always live in this chaotic bubble of loneliness and frustration. It was not until the last couple of weeks that I've been focusing my prayers on what I can do.

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Leaving Apathy Behind

Getting caught up on the stress of life produces a wide range of terrible emotions. I get scared I'll never catch up. I get sad that I might never feel like I'm enough. But I think the worst thing I often feel in those moments is nothing. Apathy is a frequent opponent of joy. It's also one of my favorite modes of survival. Just a few days ago, I noticed I get frustrated a lot less than I used to. I used to cry when my son woke me up at 3 a.m. for the third night in a row. I used to contemplate the meaning of my life and get a little snippy with God. At face value, the level of calm I've managed to reach seems like a positive change. However, after a few minutes of thought, I realized I hadn't matured in my ability to process.

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How to Find Joy in Every Season

In those early parenting years, I experienced God’s strength and grace to operate on torturously few hours of sleep — and yet, I was able to because God’s grace flowed through me. I was able to love a screaming child after he had bit me, slapped me, and screamed bloody murder just because I was trying to wipe the dirt off his face. That was God’s love flowing through me. I think the key to finding joy in the difficult moments is not a guilt trip that “you better enjoy these moments because someday you’ll miss them.” All that ever did was make me feel bad — and real joy doesn’t make you feel bad.

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Grateful in Love

"I'm sorry you have to love me." These words have fallen from both mine and my spouse's lips more than once. Nothing makes you feel more challenged and more inadequate than taking on the responsibility of jumping into a lifelong commitment with someone. I never saw life coming when we fell for each other. It all looked like bliss. But Disney lied, y'all! Being in love is hard, and I have yet to meet my fairy godmother or get my animals to talk back to me. Feeling love is simple but living that love is a lesson in humility, compassion, patience, and growth.

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New Girl No More

While I’d always considered myself a friendly person, it was pretty intimidating starting high school and seeing cliques had already formed. Many students already knew each other from middle school. I was that new girl I’d never wanted to be. I bounced around from group to group that entire year, but nothing felt exactly right. I was never quite happy. After feeling sorry for myself for a while that summer, I promised myself sophomore year would be different.

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A Perfect Father Who Always Knows Best

For as long as I can remember, I wanted a family. I grew up as an only child, and I was determined to give my kids plenty of siblings, a pristine home, and a golden retriever just like Comet from "Full House." I was so certain this dream fit who I was — and I held onto it into adulthood. Fast forward to my late 20s, and I'm ready to have my perfect little picture. Fairly quickly, God let me know my plans weren't His.

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The Crown of Motherhood

As I sit by the pool and watch my children play frisbee, I am so thankful I wear the crown of motherhood. It has not been an easy crown, but it has been so worth it. I first put on this crown almost 16 years ago as my oldest son entered the world. His delivery almost killed him, but God’s grace is bigger than a doctor’s human error. People used to ask if he was a good baby and I never really knew how to answer.

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Embracing Life’s Unexpected Crowns

My husband Aaron and I were so excited and full of anticipation as the tech started the ultrasound. We were pregnant with our third child. We had two beautiful girls already and I found myself secretly hoping for a baby boy. I was consumed with knowing and had anticipated this day for quite some time — all 21 weeks of pregnancy!  We loved the natural approach to childbirth and pregnancy, fully believing I was born for this motherhood role. Our midwife always gave us an option of having an ultrasound, it wasn’t mandatory. I had to know who this little baby was going to be!

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Embrace the Ankle Weights

I remember it so well. Mom and dad’s face showing such confusion as I told them what my Christmas present request was. They both replied at the same time, “Are you serious? Ankle weights?” Before you think I was a little weirdo, let me explain. I was in eighth grade and obsessed with getting better at volleyball. I was a side hitter, so I wanted to be able to jump as high as possible. The higher you were, the better you would hit that ball. I can almost feel it all over again!

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