When Doubt Creeps in & Guilt Overwhelms You {Free Printable}

The past two weeks I've been consumed with guilt. Illness has left me lying on the couch or in bed while my children watch way too much "Scooby-Doo" and the toddler eats her weight in fruit snacks. And guilt that the house is falling to shambles, that I can't homeschool today, that my husband has to come home after a long day at work to fix dinner and clean up, that the responsibilities I've signed up for are being neglected --  all of it has completely paralyzed me. When your life … [Read more...]

Decompress This Christmas: It’s OK. Really.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm glad it's Christmas time. And not for the obvious reasons either. No, for me, Christmas is about decompression. It's the hiatus from Bible studies and regular appointments, the break from school and other activities that you're just.about.burned.out.from. The Christmas holiday is that small window of time when you can be at home (or not) just because. You have nowhere you have to be. The kids (and Mama) can sleep in, stay in their pajamas, eat breakfast at … [Read more...]

7 Time Management Tips for a Joyful Christmas

There's nothing slow about December. Finding time to take a shower is tricky with all the flurry of activities the holidays bring. Time can become your biggest enemy during the holiday season. If you let it. Last week, Time and I duked it out. A lot. I burned the candle at both ends, and, yes, I suffered the consequences. I struggled with my attitude toward my family. I drank way too much caffeine. I overindulged in bad foods. I let important things--like my prayer time--slide. And, of … [Read more...]

When There Doesn’t Seem Like Much to be Thankful For

When I was in my twenties, I had what I like to call my first midlife crisis. Having recently graduated from college with no real marriage prospects, I felt lost. The natural progression of events in my mind was: college - marriage - children. But the Lord had other plans for me. Those plans, however, did not mesh with mine. So, I rebelled. Instead of trusting in God's providential plan for my life, I took it upon myself to forge my own future, one that involved love, happiness, and pursuit of … [Read more...]

Are You Teaching Your Child Self-Denial?

Recently, the girls and I went shopping for our Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. Several days prior, I shared with them a new rule. "Nothing new from now until Christmas." From the middle of November until December 25th, we spend money only on essentials. No new toys, clothes, books, or music. Of course there can be exceptions, but the point of the rule is (1) to learn self-denial and (2) to thank God for providing all we need.However, no matter how many times we discuss this rule, children … [Read more...]

A Heart at Peace: An Equation for True Contentment

Envy. Discontent. Jealousy. "Is God really enough?""Is He truly giving me all I need?""Why are so many other people better off than me?""Does He love them more?""Don't I deserve ________, too?" As humans it's not uncommon to doubt the goodness and justice of a God we cannot see, especially when we witness people who aren't following Him prospering.     Satan makes us question if God is really enough, if He is truly giving us all we need. And when he fills our minds with these doubts, … [Read more...]

When You Can’t Handle One More Change

The color of the leavesThe seasons, the weather, the length of days    The heights of our children & how they view usOur waist size, shoe size, bra sizeOur hair color, hair line, even how much hair we haveFashion, who's "hot" & who's not  Our love for others  Our thoughts, priorities, & expectationsOur dreamsThe future What do these things have in common?They all CHANGE. Everything changes.The Greek philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 535-475 B.C.) once said:"Nothing endures but change."The … [Read more...]

Relying on the Spirit Rather Than Self

It's easy for me to rely solely on my own strength, but only when I trust in the Lord will anything of lasting value come about. Whatever your trials--big or little--you face today, work in the Lord's strength, not your own. Ask Him for endurance if you feel ready to quit. But know that true might and power are found not in ourselves but in His Spirit.I'm praying for you, sweet friend!Linking up to these lovely parties.If you would like to have posts delivered to your inbox, click: Growing in … [Read more...]

When We Need to Get Back to Work

My to-do list is 10 miles long. Days are overflowing as I move from one chore or activity to the next. And already I feel the pressure of the holiday season creeping in.I wake up early to squeeze in a few minutes of Bible reading and prayer, but I'm so consumed with getting to work on the day's chores that I find myself glossing over passages that would ordinarily bring a man to his knees.I'm far too busy "spinning plates" to let the words I'm reading really sink in. I'm far too full from … [Read more...]

When God Stirs Our Hearts

Fifty years after its destruction by the Babylonians in 586 B.C., the exiles began rebuilding Solomon's temple. After only 6 years -- in 530 B.C. -- their work stopped. Frustrated and intimidated by opposition all around them, the Jewish people abandoned the temple rebuilding process, and for over 10 years, construction on the Lord's house came to a standstill.The hearts that God had stirred up to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple only 8 years earlier (Ezra 1:5) had already quieted. The … [Read more...]