Category Archives: Following Jesus

The Lure Of What I Don’t Have: A Confession

It’s been twenty months…twenty months…since I’ve really let myself trip, stumble, and generally get all out of sorts over stupid things. Well, let’s be honest: it’s been twenty months since I’ve decided to tell you about it. This Lent I gave up … Continue reading

Posted in Decor/Organizing, Deep Thoughts, Discipline Issues, Faith, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Matters of the Heart, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Morning by Morning

This past week while I was stuffing my pie hole with a loaded baked potato at our BSF Fellowship, our leader posed a question: “Looking back over this year’s study of Isaiah, what do you think the Lord’s been teaching … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Matters of the Heart, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Leaving Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I’ve never been a big “shopper”…if by shopper you’re picturing a classy, well-manicured Breakfast at Tiffany’s 30-something clicking through the mall with a bouquet of bags bursting from the nook in her elbow. I prefer flip-flops and I’m not all that … Continue reading

Posted in Discipline Issues, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Prayer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Counting the Cost at Lent

My school year has been transformative for several reasons, but the most notable has been joining BSF, Bible Study Fellowship. This international Bible study brings over 200,000 students together over 38 countries each week; it’s truly mind-boggling to think that … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, Discipline Issues, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Matters of the Heart, Prayer, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Building Trust in the Small Things

When the lights fall and I’m lying motionless in a smudge of darkness, my prayers become loose and frayed and worry sets in. While many contend that worrying is “normal,” I know that many more would suggest it reveals my … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Your Baby Doesn’t Come With Instructions

Do you find it rather unbelievable that we are asked to fill out nearly every detail of our existence to rent a movie from Blockbuster, that we are legally bound to take hunting and boating safety classes if we wish … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, Book Review, CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Faith, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Valentine’s Day Part 2: Hunting for Treasure

It’s probably the hibernating teacher within that brings me round to setting up riddles and scavenger hunts for my kids. Yes, after all these years of standing in slippers wiping butts and noses, there are moments when that alter-ego is … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, CRAZY kids, Education, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Gifts, God, Holidays, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Random Fun, Seasons of Life, Silly Lists, Things I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day Part 1: Spread Some Love

Don’t we all wish there was a fool-proof recipe or some sort of silicon mold that promised to shape our children into the caring, generous, love-filled humans we want them to be? Or perhaps some magic powder we could sprinkle … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, CRAZY kids, Decor/Organizing, Discipline Issues, Education, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Food, God, gratitude, Holidays, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Neighbors, Play, Random Fun, Recipe/Kitchen Success!, Seasons of Life, Things I Love! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Family Friday: Compassion Project

I don’t know about where you live, but the past few weeks have blasted West Michigan with painfully icy wind and record-breaking snowfall. I wish I could say that I’m loving it, but in truth, I’m counting the days until … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, CRAZY kids, Education, Faith, Family, Family Friday, Following Jesus, Gifts, gratitude, Home, Kids, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Neighbors, Random Fun, Seasons of Life, Social Justice, Things I Love! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take Care of Your ‘Neighbs With Some Simple Compassion

Today, one of our local news reporters delivered his thoughts on this record-breaking weather while stationed up to his thighs in snow on a fake deck. Nice touch, I thought. One leg was in a “normal” section of the snow … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, Book Review, Compassion, Contest, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, FREE BOOK, Friends, Gifts, Giveaway!, God, gratitude, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Things I Love!, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Book Giveaway Week!

This past week while huffing through a morning deathmatch with our eliptical machine, my gaze fell on the nearby spines of several books have been given to me over the years to review. Having gotten them with the intention of … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Contest, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, FREE BOOK, Gifts, Giveaway!, God, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Things I Love!, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

What a Great Idea!

I love to share great ideas. If it’s something that can encourage or edify–I’m your blogger. [keep that in mind and send my your besties!] Recently my dear friend Lyndsey sent me a link to her friend’s design blog–you know–the … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, crafts, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Random Fun, Things I Love! | 2 Comments

Family Friday: Spiritual Formation

I’ve been thinking about posting this for awhile now, and thanks to the encouragement of a friend am finally getting around to it. This Friday I thought I’d share an idea I had for bringing Scripture into the kitchen–which we … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, crafts, CRAZY kids, Decor/Organizing, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Family Friday, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Recipe/Kitchen Success!, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Women Tell Me: Finding Freedom From The Secrets We Keep, by Anita Lustrea

“As a girl and young woman, I memorized hundreds of Scripture verses in vacation Bible school and in Sunday school.  I grew up memorizing the hymn book. I didn’t, however, grow up understanding much about God’s grace and freedom.” [pg. … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Discipline Issues, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Food, Friends, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Music, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Social Justice, Summer, Travel, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Family Friday: Engaging in the News

Stop rolling your eyes. If you’re honest, I’ll bet at least a handful of you are contemplating a click of the mouse right now, mumbling something like, “There’s nothing good in the news–I can’t even stand to turn on the … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Settling for Reflections

Last week wasn’t the first time that I’ve learned something new–or remembered something old–because of the words or actions of a child. Usually it’s my own kids convicting me of something, perfectly reciting words I wish I never would have … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Slow Unraveling

This fall my kitchen windows have seen more than just leaves changing color outside; they have stood witness to exhausting and unwelcome changes happening within our walls, around our table, in our kitchen.  It’s taken me a more than a … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, CRAZY kids, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Rants, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Bittersweet, by Shauna Niequist

What a delight to have been offered the opportunity to review Shauna Niequist’s latest book, Bittersweet, released last month by Zondervan.  Stitched together with threads of the poetic and honest writing we devoured in Cold Tangerines, Shauna’s voice again rings … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, FREE BOOK, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Play, Seasons of Life, Things I Love! | 7 Comments

Stefanich Stepping Stones

Tonight is one of the many times I’ve sat in my home, buoyant and basking in a deep pool of gratitude.  My good friend Kamarah [Best Neighbor Ever] recently sent me an email sharing the journey of a wonderful woman … Continue reading

Posted in adoption, Education, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Home, Kids, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life, Things I Love!, Travel | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Be Still My Soul

One thing that has always amazed me is how poets and hymn writers of the past so eloquently captured the message of God’s compassion, His immeasurable grace, and the comfort found in the Gospel.  We sang this song in church … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Matters of the Heart, Music, Things I Love! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Found Art, by Leeana Tankersley

“Because such art is essentially redemptive, found art is also deeply spiritual, predating even urinal-man in its origins.  In God’s hands, spit and mud become sight.  Dust and rib become humanity.  Darkness and void become world.  Fishermen become followers.  Virgin … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Nature/Outdoors, Seasons of Life, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Practicing Silence

“Sometimes we need silence.  Not always, but definitely sometimes.  If we will comply, if we will receive the moments of quiet contemplation and rest, we might be surprised by what emerges.  As much as I didn’t want to engage in … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Faith, Following Jesus, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Keeping Christmas Alive

In truth, I can’t completely remember if I read about this craft or adapted it from several other ideas, but this year we actually got out the scissors and did it. We purposely saved our Christmas photo cards so that … Continue reading

Posted in crafts, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Holidays, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

This Little Prayer of Mine, by Anthony DeStefano

“Impress [these commands] on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  Deut. 6:7 This verse has a way of lacing up … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering My Own Thin Place

When I survey the landscape of my life, it’s shocking that fingernails still cling to these hands at all for all the scraping and clawing college required. It wasn’t the academics that pulled me apart; books and essays and ink … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, Faith, Finances, Following Jesus, Giveaway!, God, gratitude, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thin Places: a memoir, by Mary DeMuth

“The Celts define a thin place as a place where heaven and the physical world collide, one of those serendipitous territories where eternity and the mundane meet.  Thin describes the membrane between the two worlds, like a piece of vellum, … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

WIN THIS BOOK!

Zondervan was gracious enough to provide me with a second copy of this book to pass along to my masses of spellbound and excited readers [cough]; to that end I am happy to launch a spiderweb contest to determine the … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Food, Gifts, Giveaway!, God, gratitude, Home, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Random Fun | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Pure Pleasure, by Gary Thomas

Check back tomorrow to see how you can win a copy of this book, courtesy of Zondervan Publishers! Little did I know when I tore into the envelope that I was the lucky recipient of something I never knew I … Continue reading

Posted in Discipline Issues, Discoveries, Faith, Fitness, Following Jesus, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Thngs I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Living with Prepositions

It seems this blog has become my own private confessional.  Be warned: you are all priests and I expect absolution at the end of this post. I regret to inform you, as I’ve regretted admitting to myself, that I’m living … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Decor/Organizing, Discipline Issues, Faith, Family, Fitness, Following Jesus, Friends, God, Growing Pains, Home, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Rants, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

An Apple At Dawn

It is before 5 am as I sit here with my apple. People who know me will realize that something is strangely amiss that I would be pulled from the warmth of the bed I love to descend to a … Continue reading

Posted in Discipline Issues, Faith, Fitness, Following Jesus, Food, Gifts, God, gratitude, Home, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Seasons of Life, Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

BNE: Best Neighbors Ever

I first crossed over the asphalt divide six years ago with a plate of monster cookies and a welcome note, hoping that the new people across the street would be, at the very least, pleasant.  What I never even considered … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Finances, Following Jesus, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Heartbreak, Home, Illness, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Neighbors, Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From “Pure Pleasure”

This coming February I will be taking part in a blog tour for Gary Thomas’ latest book, the phenomenal Pure Pleasure.  When I was invited to do the review, the title intrigued me [subtitled: Why  Do Christians Feel So Bad About … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Following Jesus, Food, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Home, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Music, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Struggle Bus

One of the many lovely things about Christmas and the New Year is the way families and friends come together around the table for a meal.  The dimly lit dining room aglow with reflections of the Christmas tree and Percy … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Following Jesus, Friends, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Illness, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Win A Free Book!

Thank you to Keri Wyatt Kent for the comments she left [below] on the review I posted on her latest book, Simple Compassion: Devotions to make a Difference in Your Neighborhood and Your World.  She is inviting interested readers to … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Neighbors, Social Justice | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Simple Compassion

Yesterday my oldest child came through the door flushed and rambling about the latest bit of excitement in his 7 year-old life.  As he slowed down and afforded me the chance to listen, I surmised that his school was sponsoring … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Friends, God, Home, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Neighbors, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Christmas Meditation

One of my husband’s favorite Christmas songs was written a few decades ago by singer-songwriters Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene.  Mary, Did You Know? is a thought-provoking song that wonders aloud whether Mary fully knew the entirety of who her … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Gifts, God, gratitude, Holidays, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

[We Are] Overlooked: final thoughts

Matthew 25:37-40 (The Message) “When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?? Then the King will say, … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Finances, Following Jesus, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Illness, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[We Are] Overlooked

I happened upon a wonderful organization the other day that captured by imagination and my heart.  It’s called Overlooked, and it’s all about delivering justice to those in this world who are overlooked everyday by their governments, neighbors, politicians, and … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Finances, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Heartbreak, Holidays, Matters of the Heart, Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What I Can’t Carry

Today I just needed a little time.  Some space to breathe and room to think.  Looking outside, the gray ceiling of clouds promised a harsh cold, but I didn’t care.  I found my running shoes, clicked my dog to his … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Matters of the Heart, Nature/Outdoors, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Quote, Unquote…Again

Yesterday my youngest had a couple of cute moments–have to record them since I’ve done a pathetic job with his baby book share them with you! 1.  Our little guy has an adorable lisp [s’s] and can’t quite seem to … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

It Must Be Raindrops…

I grew up listening to Oldies, and to this day I still enjoy a sugary doo-wop song or something that emerged from Motown at the height of its glory.   I love The Platters, The Fleetwoods, Martha & the Vandellas…pretty much … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Food, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Soul Care & Simplicity

Today [November 18]  I listened to another perfectly-timed radio broadcast on Midday Connection [Moody Radio].  The guest speaker was Mindy Caliguire, an author and speaker from Chicago who was discussing soul care & simplicity. This got my attention.  As a … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, CRAZY kids, Decor/Organizing, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Friends, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Last Thoughts: The Year of Living Like Jesus

Tonight, over sour cream-laden chimichangas and icy Cokes, my husband and I had our annual gift-giving budget conversation.  At our house, November and December are packed with several family birthdays and, of course, the simultaneously beloved and commercially vexing: Christmas. … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Holidays, Literature/Books, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

More Thoughts From “The Year of Living Like Jesus”

Top Chef is one of my favorite TV shows.  On it, a group of amazing chefs compete in ridiculously hard challenges under pressures of time and budget, all to win the title of “Top Chef.”  One thing that these cooks … Continue reading

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