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

dear younger me, someday you get to pay it forward

Happy New Year! I’m glad to be back and hope 2018 finds you well. Did you know you helped me reach over 2000 visitors since Cassia’s Place launched? WaHoo and Thank You!

Did you find something here that fired you up about pursuing your purpose, encouraged you to walk tall with God, or ignited your creativity? I’d love to hear from you via info@cassiaglass.com and also learn what you’d like to read about this year.

What’s NEXT: What advice would YOU give your younger self? Comment below, or come add your #dearyoungerme thoughts on Instagram and Facebook . There might be a pic of me with an 80’s Home Perm floating around out there, or so I’ve heard. I’m starting a new series called “Dear Younger Me,” and I’ll feature some of your answers this month.

Speaking of sharing what you’ve learned, did you know January is National Mentoring Month? Who showed up for you when you were young? One of the best ways to pay it forward is to show up this year in one kid’s life as a champion and friend. I recently guest-blogged on Full of Joy, a site by fellow Write Brilliant Academy classmate Abigail Joy Dubbe, to give readers a behind-the-scenes look at mentoring. The truth about what it takes to help a kid might just surprise you — it’s not nearly as hard as you think! Read more here.

that time I had a baby five days before Christmas

Easter weekend 2001, we discovered to our utter amazement that we were expecting a baby. From a due date calculator, we also discovered our child would be born right around Christmas. Though our son’s birth was 9 months away, a Christmas dream was born in that instant.

In it I would be sitting beside the tree, the soft glow of colored lights washing over me as I held my newborn child, perhaps humming a lullaby. All would be calm. All would be bright.

Yeah right. Read More

uncommon snow and average joe

We had SNOW on Friday. At the end of a hard, sorrowful week following my mother-in-law’s death, we awoke to Houston blanketed in white-velvet gorgeousness. We squealed. We hit each other with snowballs. We built hideous last-minute snowmen before heading to school once the district sent out the world’s saddest tweet: Roads are passable so buses are rolling. See you soon for a great day of learning.  Read More

tidings of comfort and joy

We knew, and yet we didn’t know.

We’ve been preparing ourselves since early fall for the passing of my husband’s mom.

We knew she was likely in her final months, and yet, when the end came on Monday night, we still felt the shock of disbelief.

It’s still too tender a thing to write about much except to say that grief and joy co-mingle in a thousand moments. That it’s nearly Christmas adds both sweetness and pain. Read More

one thing to add to your Christmas list

Show of hands: who’s feeling the push and panic of the holidays? That would be both hands up for me. I have purchased exactly one present so far. One.

And yes, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, but we kind of lost steam with the tree after an initial burst of decorating. It’s still angel-less and surrounded by hideous brown bins of ornaments from the attic. If I wrap the bins, they could stand in for the absent presents. Read More

the stories that make us

The blaze began at the cookstove. Sparks whooshed up the chimney igniting dry-as-tinder wood shingles. The father, an Alabama farmer, was away working the fields, but a hero was waiting in the wings: a fifteen-year-old who refused to let her house burn down. Read More

the tough stuff that made me

IMG_4432If you caught my last post, you’ll know I was a mash-up of competing football loyalties this weekend. Let’s just say 3 out of 4 wins ain’t bad, and one contest pitted two of my favs against each other for an upset that has the whole SEC wondering what’s next.

All I’ve got to say about the hunt for a champ is “Roll Dawg Eagle” and may the best team win. Read More

the places that made me

This week I’m thanking God for the places that made me. I am a Southern girl through and through, but I admit that the Deep South is a complicated place to be from. For all our churches, hospitality, and genteel manners, we can’t deny a legacy of racism, classicism, illiteracy, and poverty. Turns out, though, we’re not the only place on the globe where humans hurt each other or just plain hurt. So I’ll keep being thankful that I’m a Southern girl, and I’ll keep pushing to change the things that need changing where I’m from and beyond.

So where exactly AM I from? I’m thankful to call four Southern states home–or perhaps I should say Southeastern Conference states. When I say I’m from the South, I mean all over it. And yes, I did just make reference to that hallowed football conference, the one that churns out the best games of the season every year.

img_5724 Read More