when the battle for “likes” wrecks your child

when the battle for “likes” wrecks your child

Last week, we looked at adventures in middle school rejection and the “longing to belong” that can drive our decisions and relationships years later. This week, I’ve asked a friend to share her life-in-the-trenches parenting story of just how subtly the feelings of rejection and unworthiness can creep in. She and her husband have spent months encouraging and helping their lovely, talented daughter who found herself nearly wrecked by a constant barrage of social media content that left her feeling unworthy and unlovable. I think you’ll find what they’ve learned insightful and practical.  Continue reading “when the battle for “likes” wrecks your child”

love far beyond any weakness

This summer I’ve gotten the chance to know Victoria Adams, a senior religion major at Baylor University who is interning with the youth ministry at our church. She recently shared a message with our middle school group about how God can meet us in our place of weakness and remind us that we are His beloved children. That resonated with me, too, so I’ve asked her to guest blog this week with her story. 

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On a recent adventure in Wenatchee, WA. In addition to road tripping, Victoria loves talking, fixing up houses, and spreading the amazing love of Jesus. Follow her on Instagram: victoriaadams15

I was born deaf.

Not the “she hears me sometimes then ignores me others” type deaf but fully and completely without hearing. My parents found this out by cupping their hands and yelling at me while I was sleeping as a baby.

I would not flinch. Continue reading “love far beyond any weakness”

like a child

It was unbelievably early one autumn morning, still dark outside, but I was wide awake. I was eight months pregnant with our second child and at that “happy but uncomfortable” stage—probably not sleeping because of my squashed bladder or my aching back. I wasn’t the only one awake, though. Two little feet were padding down the stairs. Two dark-chocolate eyes were looking for me. Continue reading “like a child”

garden thoughts

As a non-gardener, I’m easily impressed with those who have a knack for all things green and growing. I wrote about childhood memories of my dad’s garden earlier this year, and though Dad’s not raising a crop of squash and pumpkins at the moment, he does tame the woods with his chainsaw until it’s an oasis of gorgeous views and peaceful trails.

Recently, though, it was my father-in-law Gerald’s backyard garden that knocked my socks off. I’ve included a video “walk-through” below.

Gerald’s project is meaningful on many levels. It’s an example of re-purposing things that others might discard — the raised beds were constructed primarily from old shipping pallets.

It’s a leafy monument to perseverance through tough times. My father-in-law has battled a serious kidney disorder for almost two years but did not let illness keep him from creating beauty.

And it’s also purposeful and beneficial, providing vegetables that help rejuvenate the body and a joyful hobby that blesses the mind and spirit.

You all know I’m itching to talk about spiritual parallels right now, but I’m going to save them for a future post. For now, enjoy your tour of Gerald’s garden with these ideas in mind:

What’s old can be made new.

What’s hard can become good.

What’s grown can give new gifts.



finding small somethings: a few thoughts on the power of inertia

finding small somethings: a few thoughts on the power of inertia

I just came from coffee with a friend where we talked about the concept of inertia. She lamented that she hasn’t fully come out of the post-Easter slump. I commiserated because we both found ourselves lacking discipline to do some of the things we know we need to do — things like being consistent with workouts and nutrition, getting a handle on the budget, being faithful in spiritual disciplines.

These are all areas we care about and have been working on all year, but once a trip or an unexpected setback interrupts a routine, once things slow down or stop in an area, we tend to remain in a state of inactivity. Indeed, “a tendency to do nothing or remain unchanged” is one of the definitions of inertia. Continue reading “finding small somethings: a few thoughts on the power of inertia”

a letter to my kids

This weekend I set out to revise an old article on how parents can teach their children about God, thinking I’d post some things that worked when my kids were younger and add some new ideas for older kids/teens. But it dawned on me in the process of looking through my material that I’m not exactly sure I have those new ideas.

Frankly, we’ve been in a bit of a parenting slump, and we know it’s time to revamp our playbook for family spiritual growth. These kids of ours are asking for so much more than neatly-packaged family devotions and attending church services together. But it has seemed daunting, and so we’ve continued to let things drift.

But no longer.

What I ended up writing, then, was a letter asking our kids for forgiveness for how we’ve let things get stale and asking them to join us in making some changes. They gave me their blessing to share that letter with you. Continue reading “a letter to my kids”

hasta la vista, funeral suits

hasta la vista, funeral suits

The last few weeks I’ve been talking to women who are serious about ditching their “funeral suits.”

Oh, they looked like they were just drinking coffee and catching up, and I’ve had a blast meeting with them at homes and cafes. But what they’ve really been doing is digging into what God has to say about becoming new women with new clothes. Through intentional Bible study using my book as a guide, they’ve been exchanging old habits and hang-ups (those “funeral suits” I mentioned) for life-giving ways of relating to God and other people. They’ve laughed over a few crazy metaphors I wrote, but they’ve also internalized the truth behind them. To you amazing people, I want to say this:

You’re the real deal. You aren’t just playing dress-up. You’re putting on love and stepping out with courage into messy situations and hard things, and I’m cheering for you because what you’re learning about God and His Word will help you change your world. Continue reading “hasta la vista, funeral suits”