Immovable Identity

two girls in a field

“Am I good enough? Am I deserving of love today?” These are the types of questions that run through my mindas I seek my husband’s approval. Just recently, my husband, Josh, told friends of some marriage advice he received prior to our wedding. The advice was basically  if there is a problem in your marriage, 99 percent of the time, it comes down to the man’s issue. Now, I’m gonna be honest, as a woman, this sounds great. No problems are really mine? If he was better, everything would be better? Sign me up. Of course, what the advice really meant was, please lead your family, outdo her in love, be an example in love and sacrifice. Of course, I know I sin and mess up very often and that these problems of mine in attitude and actions can affect my marriage in many negative ways, just like my spouse’s. […]

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Don’t Believe Everything You Think

kids at table

At any given second of the day, I hear a plethora of emotions.  Angry yells of “mine!” “Stop” or “I had it first!”; tears from falling off a bike, chair, or just tripping on the floor; or giggles at playing with dolls, building a magnet tile house together, or watching a silly show. Our day is filled with ebbs and flows, peaceful moments and chaotic ones. My stay-at-home mom life with my four-year-old and two-year-old is anything but boring.  I love the giggles and times of joy in the day, but I feel pain and heartache when I hear my children cry, argue, or writhe in frustration. As a parent, it is so hard to let them experience discomfort in any way. Do not get me wrong, I am not just sad for them, but sometimes I am also angry, frustrated, and annoyed when their complaints, cries, and arguing destroys […]

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Grace in the Mom Grind

mom toddler

As I looked around the days after Christmas, with all of the toys on the floor and mess everywhere, I thought, “I can’t handle this!” My kids were knee-deep in remote control cars, barbies, kid makeup, stuffed animals, and blocks. My four-year-old daughter was yelling at her two-year-old brother over touching her stuff, and he was hitting her in response. It felt like chaos. As a parent, and it seems like in particular a mom, you want to do everything perfectly. We hear from the world that YOU, the parent, are the one in charge of how successful, smart and well-rounded your child becomes. You need to get the best, most engaging, and __toys, but not TOO many toys or they won’t be able to focus. Moms need to spend as much time as possible playing with their kids and taking them to educational outings, but you better have a […]

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Real estate, the terrible two’s, and God’s peace amidst it all

toddler playing water

My two year old wants to be in control. Whether he says “No, please”, “stop it”, “go away”, or “mine”, he wants what he wants NOW. Patience is not his virtue. We try to give him choices, but when those options do not give him the outcome he wants, he throws a fit.  He throws his food on the floor, lays on the ground, or tries to hit something. This unfiltered desire for control is comical when we are talking about a two year old because we know it is silly for kids to cry and get angry when they cannot  ___ (eat off the floor, color on the table, fill-in-the-blank). Similarly, I long for and search for control in any way I can find it and get upset when things are out of my control. If you are anything like me, we want things our way and quickly. I […]

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Misconception of Perfection

mercies verse

I constantly find myself feeling that life would be better, joyful, even perfect if I just had a bigger or better house, car, calendar, meal plan, fill-in-the-blank.  If I could just be better at controlling my emotions, being slow to speak, and being patient with my kids,  I would be much more happy and joyful. I would finally feel content.  If you’re anything like me, I so often seek to find contentment in my circumstances, not in God. No matter the season; student, single, married, full-time job or full-time stay-at-home parent, kids, no kids, it’s easy to focus on the lack in our circumstances and ourselves, instead of the blessings. We see what we wish would change and put our hope in that change of circumstances instead of in Jesus Himself.  So if true, lasting joy cannot be found in our circumstances, but only in Jesus, how do we find […]

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Fully forgiven, lavishly loved

woman hands up in front of green meadows

Forgiveness seems like such an elementary principle. If you hurt someone, say “I’m sorry”, they forgive you, and everyone goes about their day, right? Even my 18-month-old understands the most basic form of asking for forgiveness when he gives a hug and a kiss after he hurts his sister. Although he can say “I’m sorry” in an infantile way, he most likely does not feel bad for his actions or understand the pain of the other person. He’s just going through the motions. And though I like to think of myself as more mature than this chalk-eating baby, if I’m being honest, I have acted the same for most of my life. I have gone through the motions of saying “I’m sorry” without truly evaluating my wrongdoing (my sin), seeking forgiveness, and turning away from that sin.  In 2010, as a sophomore in college, I gave my life to Christ […]

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Jesus, Our Hope for a New Year

person wearing silver ring on ring finger on book page

It’s easy to search for hope and fulfillment in a new year. If only I had a new routine, a better diet, a cleaner house, more money, a better social life, or more me-time. If these things changed, I’d finally feel happy and at rest, right?! New Year’s resolutions are great, I’m not trying to knock them. It’s an admirable desire to grow, mature, and love more in the upcoming year. Desiring to live a life that pleases God, live with purpose and meaning, and be godly are all good things. They are given to us by God. The problem with those is not the destination of living a life pleasing to God, but the means by which we get there. The problem lies in the push to do everything and be better in our own strength and for the purpose of self-glory instead of God’s glory.  And what happens […]

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Community: Bound Together in Love

silhouette of two person sitting on chair near tree

In the Spring of 2010, I walked into a small room in San Jacinto Hall, a dorm at Texas State University. The room felt vibrant and alive, with lots of smiles, laughs, hugs, and conversation. The room was diverse, from skin color to clothing style, but everyone loved deeply; you could just feel it. I was invited by my new friend, Ellen Porter, to a campus night for a student ministry at Texas State. I knew only one person, but everyone introduced themselves to me and made me feel cared for. This was the start of feeling like a part of a community, a family even, that I didn’t even know I needed at the time. When Jesus truly changed my heart and I became a follower of Jesus a month later, it was this same community that helped me walk faithfully, encouraging me, and challenging me weekly to follow […]

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Feeling Overwhelmed Leads to Reliance

Overwhelmed. We’ve all felt it. Whether it be with school, work, kids, chores, or feelings! I know I use overwhelmed to describe how I feel quite often, especially being quarantined with a two-year-old and ten-month-old while trying to support my husband with a new church plant and find any time to.. paint my nails? I wouldn’t know what to do with time by myself! Although “I feel overwhelmed” can be a common phrase, what does it really mean?  One definition is “to overcome completely in mind or feeling.” Overwhelm can also be interchangeable with anxiety or worry. Feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or worried is not a sin, but our reactions to our feelings can be sinful.  I know when I feel overwhelmed, I just want to sit down, shut everything off, and cry. Anyone else? Or maybe you’re more prone to anger. When too much is going on, you feel the […]

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