I'm so excited to share a brand new resource: a lenten journal for kiddos! Each week of Lent includes a scripture reading, prayers, and activities suited for children in preschool through lower elementary. Click HERE for the resource library, download, and print. As always, feel free to print an extra copy for your friend, neighbor, or small group. XO
How can we rejoice when everything around us feels dark? How can we rejoice when trucks are used as weapons and bulletproof backpacks are a thing? How can we rejoice in the midst of hate—when our country is at odds, and lines are drawn? How can we rejoice when we watch loved ones suffer, when relationships are strained, when we just can’t get ahead no matter how hard we try?
Advent is here... and I'm so happy to share this free, printable, four week devotional with you all. I created this book with the hope that it will provide a moment to slow down, and recenter our hearts on the hope of Christmas - yet without being an overbearing and unrealistic commitment. (We've all abandoned devotionals and plans just a few days in, right?)
It’s not often our natural instinct to give someone a redo. After all, sometimes when we let someone try again it means they win, and we lose. This is just as true in our relationships as it is in a card game—but the stakes are even higher. It’s far easier to cut someone out than to let her try to win back our trust again. It’s far easier to let a co-worker look bad for her poor planning than it is to help her out, knowing she’ll be the one taking all the credit.
I recently read that the average short-term memory span of a dog is two minutes. Based on my experience I think this may be generous.
For instance, we adopted Gidgit as a puppy. She has always been let back inside and given a treat when she comes to the door. Always. Yet, whenever she’s ready to come in, she practically panics. Scratching, whimpering, yelping… the instant she walks up the steps. She is absolutely petrified that I will leave her there waiting, she’s afraid I’ve forgotten her, and she is riddled with anxiety. Of course this makes me lose my mind.
Let's walk together through the lenten season. Through scripture and meditative prompts we'll explore why we feel lost, and how our truest self is found in Christ alone. This devotional is suitable for individual or group use - so download your copy, print extras for your girlfriends or small group, and join us as we journey to Easter.
I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of swallowing a tile for the Tile App. Call me crazy, but everything I see on the news has me feeling like abduction is a possibility at any turn. Really I’d just like to pack up my family and hide out. Paranoid much? Maybe For sure. But the constant inundation of tragedies and unthinkable crimes has got me feeling like these are some dark days. It feels a bit like we’re walking under heavy clouds with only the occasional breakthrough of light. It’s the new normal, perhaps.
’m wondering if you’re feeling the way I’m feeling? Like we’re entering the holidays with a good measure of anxiety and stress, with a bit of cheer sprinkled on top?
I mean, it’s been a long year, right? Aren’t we all kind of a little worn out?
It’s almost like Advent arrives at just the right time. When the world feels darkest. When we’ve had more than our fill of tragedies, hate, division, and unrest. When we’re just done from all the projects, responsibilities, needs, and expectations. When it seems that everywhere we turn we see wounded bodies, souls, and hearts.
Advent begins on November 27th – this is a special four weeks in which we can look forward with great expectation to Jesus’ birth, and proclaim the good news of his love to all. This year, let’s invite our kids to be a part.
But wait – am I really asking you to DO MORE this time of year? Yes and no. Yes, this provides a way for your family to come together in spreading HOPE. But no, you won’t need to purchase craft supplies, sew dozens of ornaments, or collect endless goodies and treats.
It’s not that I dislike chocolate – it’s that sometimes chocolate desserts feel a bit like the lowest common denominator. If you throw enough chocolate and sugar into a recipe, it will be consumed without question or discernment.
Eaters, (this means everyone), when you take a bite of dessert, do a favor for yourself and pause to consider is this good, is it WORTH EATING, is there anything noteworthy happening here? If any of these answers is a ‘no’, consider not cleaning your plate. This may be a good time to take the advice of one of my all-time favorite quotes: “I don’t like food, I LOVE it. If I don’t love it, I don’t swallow.” (Bonus points if you know where this quote appears.)
The accuracy of the test depended on complete honesty – and I took it seriously. I knew some of the answers immediately, but others required a certain amount of self-reflection. I’d pause, and consider, “Who am I at the core? Which of these options is my real self?” I was, after all, wanting to be placed in the correct house at Hogwarts.
(If you’ve ever wondered if I am cool and hip, you now have your answer. No. No I’m not.)
It took just over 24 hours to cry through the entire box of tissue. We’d driven up the coast, through a steady rain, for a long weekend on Cape Cod. We had no real plan other than resting up, exploring the area, and working our way through a stack of favorite family games. We’d packed cinnamon tea, red wine, books, sweaters, and walking shoes.
We were, after all, following doctor’s orders. Last
Did you download my free devotional? It’s a little heart-burster of a journal, aimed toward a healthy, courageous, grace-filled new season. Isn’t that what fall is all about? As the air crisps and the windows open, we begin to find new rhythms, meet new people, and nurture a fresh self. And here’s the soundtrack for all our new ventures and new growth.
I crashed out of my seat in the Barnes and Noble café. I fell straight to the ground, with such force that the wooden chair shot across the floor like a rocket. I had been, of course, checking out a hot, tall dude with curly hair. And let’s just say my little stunt didn’t go unnoticed – he asked me out 24 hours later, and the rest was history...
September is my New Years. I’m thinking about a legit celebration this year – champagne, sparklers, the midnight kiss.
No matter my age, no matter how many years have passed since I was a student, I still mark time by the school year. And the fall still feels like the exciting beginning of a new rhythm. It’s all crisp and energetic, and it doesn’t have that weird let down of January 1st, where after a month-solid of eating and drinking, you step out, sluggish and pale, into the freezing cold sleepiness of mid-winter. It’s no wonder those resolutions fail.
The wind was whipping the sails, whipping my hair, whipping the waves—whipping up a healthy dose of fear. I stood in front of a row of sailboats at the edge of the lake. Why!? Why would anyone in their right mind get into a sailboat captained by an 8 year-old? And why does it have to be so windy?
I walked a few feet out into the water and climbed aboard, sat where I was told. “If you start to tip, loosen to rope. Duck when he yells tacking.” she said.
According to my husband, “I’m always hungry.” According to my children, “If you don’t want seconds, you’re not our mom!”
It’s no secret that I love food—cooking it, eating it, serving it, reading about it, photographing it, and when I’m feeling especially ambitious, growing it. There’s something sacred about receiving what the earth has to offer and truly relishing its goodness. Good food nourishes the body and has unending potential for nourishing the soul.
1. You expect every single aspect of the church experience to be catered to your unique needs, taste, and preferences. Of course we all see the world, and our churches, from our unique perspective of taste, past experience, and desires. Yet a church is made up of all kinds of people, and is also poised to engage with those who haven’t even shown up yet. Your church isn’t, and should be, catered to YOU specifically—and when each of us has this expectation, it becomes impossible for a pastor to ‘win’ or make anyone happy. What’s the big deal, you say? The phrase “death by a thousand paper cuts” comes to mind.
Currently I’m packed into a little moving box squashed between beach bags, tennis rackets, golf clubs, suitcases, and my family. There’s also a basil plant sitting between my feet—but that’s a long story. We’ve listened to every song known to man, the swish of passing cars, and the hum of a snoring pug.
Most often, in those moments, I was just as unwilling to search for that beauty as I was worried about everything I could not control. That’s a bleak place to be, y’all. I buzzed with discontent, literally and figuratively hungry for something to fill my body with calm.
If you’ve spent much time on our blog or in my home, you know that Heidi Swanson is my food hero. I quickly became enamored several years ago when I borrowed her cookbook, Super Natural Every Day, from a good friend. This is still my most-used and most well-loved cookbook—and I frequently find myself navigating to Heidi’s blog when I need a new, quick food fix.
I don’t often eat cake, but when I do, I like to eat it for breakfast. Nothing too sweet, no sugary frosting (I’m more of a butter girl). But if there’s an extra little slice leftover, I’m much more likely to enjoy it with an early morning cup of coffee than after a full dinner (isn’t that the worst time for dessert? We need to rethink this…)...
This spring is a mash up of eclectic and mainstream, poppy beats, and sunshiny lyrics. This playlist will make every moment feel magical, whether you’re making breakfast, running errands with the windows down, or hanging on the patio with friends.
For your mother, your wife, your sister, your BFF, or even for yourself (just forward this baby right along ;)... We've put together a quick and easy gift guide just for you. Check out our ideas below, and if you think we've missed something great, we'd love to hear it. Love and hugs to all the moms. xoxo.
Is anyone else tired of hearing about Donald Trump? I mean the guy is EVERYWHERE. News stories, memes, FB posts, viral videos, tweets, and even my kids’ drawings—I can’t escape the guy. Clearly he has a knack for stealing the spotlight—not a bad thing when you’re running for president. The coverage is overwhelming, in part because for every avid Trump fan, there seems to be an equally avid Trump-hater. And no, I didn’t mean to say “Kasich supporter” or “democrat”—I quite literally mean a Trump-hater.
I dreamed that I was at my grandparent’s house in upstate New York. They were dead, just like they are in real life. I was rummaging through cupboards, frantically trying to find a memento of their life.
“Where is the glass jar with Snoopy on it that she kept instant coffee in?!” I yelled to my sisters.
The house was mostly empty. I couldn’t find anything. I was crushed.