Monday Morning Grace

Monday Morning Grace

When I worked in Silicon Valley, pre-kids, Monday morning had a completely different context for me. It would set in at about four o’clock Sunday afternoon that Monday morning would soon be upon me. I needed to “shift” modes internally to put on my “kick ass and take names” hat, ditch self-care and relaxation that I tried to embody on the weekends, and get back to work. Most people who work full-time Monday through Friday jobs don’t have the luxury of taking the beginning of the week – the Monday morning – a little easier.
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Wrestling with the 3 A’s: Anxiety, Approval, Abandonment

Wrestling with the 3 A’s: Anxiety, Approval, Abandonment

No matter who you are, I’m willing to bet you struggle with what I call “three A’s.”

Just when you think you’ve got life figured out, or you got today’s check list done, sneaky Satan will up the ante by suggesting to you that perhaps you need to worry and be anxious, or that you should look to others for approval, or that the people you care most about have really abandoned you emotionally.

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3 Steps to Refocus Your Life on God

3 Steps to Refocus Your Life on God

I recently read a great blog post by Michael Hyatt on the problem of drifting away from your life’s focus. It reminded me that not only can we drift away from our life plans–work, family, creative endeavors, for example–we can also drift greatly from God, and quite possibly, the two go hand-in-hand.

What does it look like when we drift from God? Is this perhaps one of the biggest ways or areas we drift from in our lives? Perhaps when we recalibrate ourselves to be in tune with our Savior, then setting our life’s goals and priorities become that much more clear.Read More

Return [Poem]

Return [Poem]

It is quiet today here in my house.
The children, one-by-one,
kiss me and leave,
the door swinging behind them.

Like the calm after a hurricane,
there is mess in their wake–
and yet the storm will return,
perhaps with less force later on.
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Waiting Faithfully [Poem]

Waiting Faithfully [Poem]

It’s no small task to wait faithfully (and patiently) for God’s timing in your life; when to get married, when to start a new career, when to buy a house, when to move, when to give up, when to say ‘no,’ when to start over–the list is perpetually long, and most of us wrestle with our confidence in the Lord’s timing and our understand of it at one point or another.

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My Jewel [Poem]

My Jewel [Poem]

The past may hold us,
the future may change us,
yet something binds,
it holds and secures—

Memories, old and new,
combine to seal
and hold tight the grip—
the years cement.Read More

A Recipe for Lost Mojo

A Recipe for Lost Mojo

“Dear Cousin, I’m thinking about  starting a new revenue generating blog, but not sure I can take this on right now. My current site is working well, and the additional project would be a great income earner, but first I just have to locate and install my mojo – it ebbs and flows quite a bit during basketball season.”

I wrote this to my tech-savvy cousin via email several years back as we were discussing new work projects. Over the years, I’ve joked about losing my “mojo” during intense periods of child-rearing.Read More

Dwell [Poem]

Dwell [Poem]

I sit here
craving your presence

I close my eyes
hoping to feel you close

All the things
I busy myself with

Seem to pull me further away.Read More

Impossible Christmas Joy

Impossible Christmas Joy

Christmas is a complicated season. At the surface, the media sends us the message that it is the “most wonderful time of year” filled with candy canes, happy smiling children, blissful mall shopping, and of course, argument-free family gatherings and copious amounts of leisure time. It’s tough to stomach this rosy view of the holiday season in light of how it makes many of us feel.

This time of year brings with it a mountain of additional stress no matter who you are, but especially for ministry leaders.Read More

Top 15 Thanksgiving Bible Verses

Top 15 Thanksgiving Bible Verses

As is custom on Thanksgiving Day, giving thanks for all we have can be easy or hard depending on what’s going on in our lives. If things are tough, it’s often hard to give God our thanks; when things are going well, sometimes we forget to thank God too. We praise God first because he loved us and sent his only son to die for us on the cross (John 3:16), everything else should be gravy.

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5 Life Lessons from The Music Man

5 Life Lessons from The Music Man

The story of Harold Hill, Marion Paroo, and all the townspeople of River City, Iowa in the classic music by Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man is one of near disaster and certain redemption. What could have ended with tar and feathering, lost money, and broken dreams in fact, ended in love, forgiveness, and changed hearts and attitudes towards, well, traveling salesmen among other things.

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The Lost Art of Thank You Notes

The Lost Art of Thank You Notes

My grandmother practically lived to write thank you notes, or so it seemed. Upon arriving at her memorial service at her senior residence this past February, the music director, David, who played several hymns during the small gathering, shared after the service that he had never received so many thank you notes, and so many from one person.

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The Best 20 Minutes

The Best 20 Minutes

You could take a power nap.

You could scoot over to Starbucks to get coffee.

You could even get one more load of laundry started, or maybe do the breakfast dishes.

You could check your email, or watch a couple of YouTube videos Read More

Homecoming [Poem]

Homecoming [Poem]

When all the tears have dried
and left a salty stain upon my cheek
I sit and feel the void,
the sadness I now feel
when life has had it’s way.

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The Tension of Motherhood

The Tension of Motherhood

There are lots of different “zones” in life, but the zone of motherhood—with all its different ages and stages—is one zone that can never be completely outgrown. Once you’ve become a mother, it’s always a part of you.  I really love being a mom with all its ups and downs, exhaustion, joys, and tender moments, however, there is an ongoing tension between the call of motherhood and the call of vocation.

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May’s Motherhood Race

May’s Motherhood Race

It’s May again, and like a unleashed torrent of water from a plugged hole in a dam, the flood of activities, field-trips, end-of-year wrap-up events sweeps us moms away at an alarming rate.

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Bud [Poem]

Bud [Poem]

Opening, pushing through
budding, birthing
the cold has done
its work.

Growth under surface
harboring, planning
then release.Read More

Gift of You [Poem]

Gift of You [Poem]

Few things in life can fully capture the impact a loved one can have on us. For me, my grandparents held a very special place in my heart as they were instrumental in my life from the time I was born. While both my grandfathers passed away many years ago, the first of my two cherished grandmothers passed away last week.

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I Need Help (and so do you)

I Need Help (and so do you)

I can’t do it any longer. I can’t do it alone, and neither can you.

I’ve tried to make it all come together perfectly, but I can’t.

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Christmas Claustrophobia [Poem]

Christmas Claustrophobia [Poem]

The lights are all up
the Christmas tree is here
even blinking, twinkling
shining reindeer.

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After Job Loss and Brain Surgery

After Job Loss and Brain Surgery

Having just undergone my sixth surgery, clearly I’m qualified to write about the healing process. My first taste of major surgery was thrust on me at the youthful age of 25, and it was brain surgery at that.

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Seeds Family Worship Review

Seeds Family Worship Review

As a worship leader, writer, blogger, and mom to four kids under 11, I LOVE new worship music that gets me pumped up and ignites my passion (and my family’s passion) for worship. I’ve long been a fan of Seeds Family Worship and their awesome scripture-infused tracks set to upbeat tunes that make you want to dance while sneaking in scripture memorization. It’s a win-win.

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These Feet to Run [Song]

These Feet to Run [Song]

I’m excited to share my first demo recording with you today. I’ve written many songs over the years but never had the opportunity (or time) to record them. Thanks to amazing worship leader, mentor, and friend, Paxson Jeancake, and his in-home recording studio, The Greenhouse, ‘These Feet to Run’ has come to life.

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‘Pink Ladies’ Form Friendship Late in Life

‘Pink Ladies’ Form Friendship Late in Life

It’s never too late to make a new friend, or to visit someone you love and make lasting memories, or so I learned. It might seem that by the time you’ve landed in a senior residence facility you might have made all the friends you’re going to make in this life. But this wasn’t true for Elaine and Betty, who met eight years ago when they moved next door to one another at Brookdale-Arlington (formerly Town Village), a senior living community, in Arlington, Texas.

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Pulling Tire

Pulling Tire

As I pulled into the parking lot of my pediatrician’s office, I paused as three women doing fitness training were pulling tires across my path.

I’ve stopped for ducks to cross the road, I’ve slowed down for wild turkeys and squirrels, but I’ve never had to put on the brakes for three women pulling tires.

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Forever Changed

Forever Changed

Written for my sister when she had her first child, this poem captures – for me – the incredible change I felt when I became a mother for the first time:

Perfect feet, curled in position
Newborn smell, you capture me.

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Stand Still

Stand Still

There are no minutes
There are no days
Time etches on
lengthening, stayed.

Can’t get it back
No clutch and release
Hold tight, run through
Sandy grains, indeed.

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Your Plans, My Plans, and God’s Plans

Your Plans, My Plans, and God’s Plans

Everyone makes plans they set out to accomplish – from small daily goals on up to career-long desires that take years of planning to execute.

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Peacemakers

Peacemakers

Peace is a big deal. When I don’t have peace about something, I’m in a state of unrest. My heart–and sometimes my stomach–are in a knot. I can’t sleep. I’m distracted. I’m worried.

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Friendship, Motherhood, and Dog Years

Friendship, Motherhood, and Dog Years

You know how dog years work, right? For every one year they are alive, it equals about seven years in human years. I often think of this truth in reverse as it applies to my “mom friends,” as I lovingly refer to them.

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Constant Guide

Constant Guide

My heart is staid and true
unwavering, constant.
Set on track
course marked out–
no straying.

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Summer, I’ll Miss You

Summer, I’ll Miss You

For most of us mothers, as the school year edges on, weariness sets in. Christmas comes, then Easter along with the onslaught of spring activities, shows, sports, teacher gifts, and vacation planning.

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A Crossroads

A Crossroads

In the dark hours of the night
I won’t give up on you,
Even if there’s no light
To penetrate the blue.

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Be #likeagirl – the Girl you Should be

What does it mean to “run like a girl” or to “throw like a girl?” What are the perceptions of yourself, your daughters, your mother and how to these affect how you view yourself and parent your children?

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Margin

Margin

I shared this poem I wrote with my Bible study group this past year. Do you have any margin in your life? Are you good at saying no and leaving space in your life? (I’m not terribly good at leaving margin in my life, hence the poem.)

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Brown Rice and Baked Potatoes

Brown Rice and Baked Potatoes

My family bought its first Litton microwave in the early-80s. My childhood is fraught with memories of microwave experimental cooking such as monkey bread, spam, and macaroni and cheese in that wonderful large humming contraption that even had its own stand in the far corner of our kitchen.

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Worship Is . . .

Worship Is . . .

The Bible tells us to “Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.” (Psalm 100:2) Any worship leader can tell you that this can be a challenge given the myriad of variables present on any given Sunday morning.

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Find Meaning, Unleash Your Clout [Book Review]

Find Meaning, Unleash Your Clout [Book Review]

At first glance of the title, you might not be sure that you’re up for a book on “unleashing clout.” Clout isn’t a frequented word these days as we aim to “garner influence,” “build a platform,” or “target our potential” through social media, blogging, marketing, and flashy leadership techniques.

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Growing Through Failure in the New Year

Growing Through Failure in the New Year

Here we are at another year, the clock still ticks onward, seconds lead to minutes, which add up to hours, days and weeks. Although most of civilization aims to focus on accomplishments and goals for the New Year, how would it look differently if we were to measure our lives in terms of overcoming failures?

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