The Ultimate End-of-School Mom Survival Guide

I swear I wake up in some weird, mom-style Choose Your Own Adventure story every day during the last month of school. I check my calendar and think I’ve got plans under control, but still, it feels an awful lot like this:

“You’ve wandered into a school gym full of parents. Are you
A) There for an awards ceremony but just realized you forgot to tell the grandparents?
B) Ten minutes late for a just-scheduled performance and fuming over another “extra” on the calendar?
C) Looking for your child’s missing gym shoes, but when you see the crowd, you wonder if you forgot some ceremony or performance?
Choose your own adventure in mom-stress and/or mom-guilt.”

So how’s a mom to make it through the last month of school with her sanity and sense of humor intact? Here’s my take plus some thoughts from other awesome moms I know. Read More

3 Little Known Ways to Amp Your Joy

Cruising into week three of Joy30,  and one truth about joy stands out: some days you just have to choose it. As in, “This is the day the Lord has made. I WILL rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps 118:24).

I’m not advocating that we fake happy feelings, but I’m learning that God’s perfect joy, the fullness of joy that always exists in His presence, is a gift He makes available to His people if we choose to unwrap it. So how do we connect with this gift, especially when circumstances are anything but joyful? Here are three ways that have helped me. Read More

When You Face Tough Truth, Let Joy Make You Strong

“You need to put your armor on. You’re going out there spiritually naked.”  

Ouch. Spiritually naked? Me?

I had just confided to a ministry veteran that I was battling terrible doubts and anxiety every time I shared my writing online. Tottering out there on my “social media platform,” I had perpetual stage fright magnified by about 1000.

She listened with compassion, but then she gave me something I needed more than her kind hugs and reassurance that things would get easier over time. She started digging into my spiritual life (a.k.a. getting in my business) until she hit a place where I needed to hear truth:

I’d been letting Satan feed me a bunch of lies about God’s ability to protect and empower me to do what He’s called me to do.  Read More

How to Let Joy Find You

I remember the first time Caroline ate blueberry pancakes. Sitting in a high chair at the grandparents, she grabbed fistfuls and shoveled them in. With gusto. Then, she caught me watching (camera in hand) and broke into full-on squeals of delight in the midst of a purply mess.

Joy snuck up on us, turning breakfast time into party time.

I’ve been looking for more of those joyful moments lately. In fact, I’ve put myself on a Joy30, spending the 30 days of April asking God to show me what it means to be

filled with joy,

strengthened by joy,

completed in joy,

led by joy, and

clothed with joy.

But what I’ve discovered this first week of Joy30 is that we have to open ourselves up to being found by joy, to allow it to sneak up in a surprise attack.  Read More

reading roundup: 4 books you’ll love to read and share

Looking for something new to read or recommend to your book-loving friends? There’s always a stack at my bedside or downloaded to my Kindle, so beginning with this first Reading Roundup, I’ll periodically share what’s impacting me. Here are four books to kick us off.  Read More

everybody stresses out. here’s why I say bring it on.

Does your “To Do” list look anything like mine? Sandwiched between get groceries and take kids to practice is one little word that’s got me stress-eating mint chocolate chip ice cream and avoiding my desk at all costs:

Taxes.

I even use a CPA now so it’s not as if I have to go it alone. But every year, the process makes my heart rate go up, my throat tighten, and my mind play the “what if” game. You know that game, right?

What if I can’t find all the forms?

What if we owe a bunch?

What if I omit something, and we get audited?

What if the IRS shows up and drags me from my house kicking and screaming?

OK, I know that last one probably won’t happen, but late at night, I can escalate to Code Red Threat Level 10 anxiety thinking like the champion worrier that I am. You think I’m kidding, but I had to google “What happens if I make a mistake on my taxes?” to make me feel better since evidently, in my mind, tax man=bogey man. Read More

healing prayer when past pain roars back to life

Ever have an emotional hurt from the past explode to the surface at a weird time? Take the infamous “Tamale Incident” at our house. One night as I transferred tamales from bubbling steamer pot to platter, my kitchen tongs betrayed me. Corn wrappers began unraveling and the tongs started slicing through the super-heated corn meal rather than lifting the tamales to safety.

My husband asked if I needed help. I said “No,” and was reaching for a big spatula to remedy the situation. However, within about 6.2 seconds of my reply, he stepped between me and the stove, removed the tongs from my hand like an FBI agent disarming a suspect, and took over the whole shebang.

Hell hath no fury like a woman de-tonged. Read More

love that covers in a world that’s showing its backside

I have GOT to get some new jeans. As I was throwing mine in the wash, I realized all but one pair are sagging in the knees or worse, coming apart at the seams in some highly critical regions.

We are not talking a level of trendy distressing here. We are talking potential wardrobe malfunction in the back-pocket area if I’m not careful.

Reminds me of the time my husband started to stand up in church, caught his pocket on a snag on the pew arm, and ripped open a sizable hole. We had to scurry out with me holding a bulletin over his backside. We’ve been anti-wooden-pew ever since.

Since I’m on the topic of clothes – and how to avoid clothing fails – I wanted to give you a quick devotional on the must-have garment for our spiritual wardrobe:

 And over all these virtue put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:14)

I needed to hear that. I’ve been wrestling with how to engage people around me with compassion but also truthfulness in a climate that stirs up the worst kind of bickering, grandstanding, and frankly, backside-showing that I’ve ever seen.

There is not a bulletin big enough to cover some of that. Read More

3 ways to transform “thoughts and prayers” into substance

Since last week’s shooting, I’ve vacillated between grief and anger like pretty much everybody I know. I’ve fist-pumped at impactful posts only to despair at online arguments that are more about blame-shifting than truth-seeking.

One trending idea that’s caught my attention is that politicians will once again offer only “thoughts and prayers” but no real action. It’s a clever goad, daring the powers-that-be to come up with a solution rather than sympathetic noise (assuming politicians actually read our Facebook posts and Twitter traffic).

Interestingly, I saw versions of the same idea posted after Hurricane Harvey and other disasters, and not just directed at lawmakers. This makes me think there’s something far more cynical and despairing underneath than just a “dare you to act” challenge. Somehow “thoughts and prayers” have gotten such a reputation as useless words in a sea of other useless words that we may be losing faith in them altogether.

So with that in mind, here are three ways we can transform “thoughts and prayers” into something of substance and perhaps rekindle our faith in the process: Read More

dear younger me, here’s what they don’t tell you about parenting

Dear Younger Me,
One day you’ll hear yourself yell in frustration, “If you‘re going to stand on the kitchen table, at least sit down.”

With that nonsense echoing in your ears, you’ll suddenly awake from a parenting stupor. You’ll wonder when exactly you surrendered your home and sanity to a couple of pint-sized preschoolers. And wonder how long they’ve been tap dancing on the furniture.

All is not lost, however. Simply get your game face on and get back to being the strong but loving mama God meant you to be.
xxoo,
Older Me Read More

dear younger me, do less. be more.

Dear Younger Me,

Slow down. Soak up life’s richness, physically and spiritually. Your existence is worth more than a mad scramble for stuff and success. Be still. Know God. XXOO, Older Me

Next to relationship advice, that’s been the second biggest theme for what many of you would love to to tell your twenty-year-old selves if you could.

Grant R. said, “Spend your money on experiences, not stuff.”

Linda H. said, “Before you make your To Do List, spend some quiet time with the Lord.”

Dena Douglas Hobbs (pictured above) said, “I remember starting my 20s being consumed with what I was going to DO, but I ended them working on who/what kind of person I was going to BE.”

In fact, Dena’s comment intrigued me because she’d become a pastor as a young adult and now has her own writing ministry. Since pursuing her calling with intensity and focus has been pretty important, I asked her what it was like rushing full speed into “doing” for God back in the days of grunge bands and flannel. Enjoy her story below and check out her devotional book through the affiliate link that follows. Read More

dear younger me, stop stressing out your marriage

Dear Younger Me,

You pulled off that dream wedding! Just wanted you to know the next 22 years will be an adventure like nothing you can imagine from those church steps. Yes, you’re going to learn some things the hard way, but oh, they are going to make the later years of marriage so much better. Hang in there, and hang onto one another! XXOO, Older Me

Yep, this weekend was my 22nd wedding anniversary. On a crisp January day, I became Mrs. G. McLeod Glass, Jr. at a charming 100-year-old chapel. With Mom’s help, I had meticulously planned the event and then joined the Sisterhood of 90’s Brides, relishing my puffed sleeves, sweetheart neckline, and full skirts. McLeod, in his suitable-for-daytime-festivities morning suit, wasn’t looking too shabby himself.

Especially since the man wore a cravat for me.

He could have gone straight from the wedding to Royal Ascot.

It was the beginning of a series of concessions he’s made for the last 22 years. Thank you, honey! Read More