5 Ways to Fire Up Your Prayer Life

We’ve been fired up around here lately. Not only did we replace our lackluster grill, but we’ve got a fire pit that’s proving to be a huge hit, and not just with the younger set. Fresh pop corn and marshmallow goodness, here we come.

Sometimes, though, it takes a few tries to get a fire going. The grill gave us some grief at first because turns out, the wire to one of the igniters was not plugged in. Nothing sadder on a football Saturday than a fire that’s not firing up at all. Read More

Top Gear Every Woman Needs for a Tough World

What’s it take to put on our “spiritual super suits” and be the wonder women that God created us to be? That’s what we’re talking about is this series of posts as we look at practical ways to live with purpose, lead with grace, and love with whole hearts. Tip number one? Go deeper with God’s Word than ever before.

It’s like the time I decided I’d had enough snorkeling and instead, learned to SCUBA dive. Don’t get me wrong. Snorkeling’s great. You float along the surface, feeling nice and safe while you watch the fishy world swim by your face mask.

However, when my family moved to southeast Asia for three years, I began to meet friends who did a lot more than snorkel. Read More

Where’s Your Super Suit? Check These Places First

1979 was a magical year to be four years old. You bounced around in your family’s barge-sized Chevy Impala, not worried about buckling up in the back seat, and you slurped water right from the garden hose, savoring the metallic tinge. Best of all, you zoomed through your house in your Wonder Woman Underoos, deflecting bad-guy bullets with the aluminum foil bracelets you just made.

Any girl could be star-spangled spectacular in the face of danger as long as she had her super suit.

Somewhere between four and forty, though, you can forget where you left your super suit. Read More

A Year after Harvey: 3 Ways We Still Need Help

It’s been one year since Harvey, and I still can’t take down the green Post-it from my fridge that lists the Coast Guard phone number. I’ll never forget the night we scrambled to move valuables to our second floor as the water crept closer and closer. We were the lucky ones. The water stopped short of our front porch. However, other friends wept as the water inundated, in some cases rising many feet, destroying everything. People had to call the Coast Guard for rescue, and when the Coast Guard couldn’t help, people in fishing boats like Louisiana’s Cajun Navy had to save the day. It wasn’t just houses that were affected, either. Churches, schools, and businesses filled with disgusting flood water, and some have never recovered. People still ask each other, “Did you flood?” in the same way you’d ask, “Where’re you from?” Read More

What Kind of Back-to-School Parent Will You Be?

Just saw on Twitter that a local elementary school is offering a Kinder Parent Information Night and thought, “How progressive to teach parents to be kind and compassionate this year!” Realized later that Kinder was short for Kindergarten. 

But what if it really meant learning to be kind? (Some of my teacher friends just sat up and thought, “HUGE MISSED OPPORTUNITY,” and devised about ten other parent nights you’d like to see. God bless you. You are in my prayers so much right now!) 

So here’s what I’d like to see us embrace as KINDer parents for the new school year. Read More

Access that Trust Fund You Didn’t Know Was Yours

McLeod sat down beside me on the couch the other day with a meaningful look. With the arrival of August, he made an important announcement:

“Just 30 days ’til Alabama football.”

Now the race is really on to finish the covered patio that I was convinced would be done by now–oh, how optimistic I was back in June. However, if game-day grillin’ isn’t happening, I have devised plan B for ribs in the pressure cooker. These have become a go-to meal at our house so you Instant Pot Warriors should check them out. Plus, per tradition we’ll have something like queso in the Crock-Pot, but that’s another sore point around here. Sentimental me just parted with my old version, a lovingly re-gifted 80’s model I received at my wedding shower 23 years ago, and I’m having a few qualms about the new one.

Read More

10 Ways to Say “Be Careful” and Other Mom-ventures in Trust

OH MY WORD, my son is hauling himself around the suburbs as a newly licensed driver this summer, and I’m having an out-of-body experience.

It’s like I’m reliving all at once the angst of Kindergarten drop-off, the first day of sleep-away camp, and the time I sent him on a plane by himself. I know that in two weeks when he’s taking himself to band camp, I’ll be singing the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Right now, though, it’s like I’m willing myself to be in his passenger seat even though I’m actually doing laundry or sitting at my desk.

I’ve never checked my phone so often nor devised so many ways to say, “Be careful,” without re-using those words:
Check your mirrors.
Keep your mind on your driving.
It’s not you; it’s the other drivers that worry me.
Take it easy on that one particular road.
Don’t go some bizarre route.
Check your gas gauge.
Don’t get distracted.
Do NOT have your phone out.
Wear your seatbelt.
TEXT ME WHEN YOU GET THERE (but only after you’re parked). Read More