Monthly Archives: November 2013

Winner of Women Living Well drawing!

Congratulations, Shannon! You won Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph.

Thanks, everyone, for your insightful comments! Praying for God’s grace to follow through with our commitments.


Deep cleaning where it matters most (And Women Living Well book giveaway!)

From where I sit at my desk, you’d never guess that I love order and beauty.

The pile of junk that sits to the left of my laptop did not accumulate overnight. Nor over one week.

I can’t even think how long this stack of papers (and books and movies and school pictures and printer supplies and a couple random plaques) have been here. So long that it feels normal.

I choose to ignore it.

After all, my bed is made, and the bedspread and pillows coordinate with the picture on the wall. If I want to see something lovely, I’ll just look over there and tell myself I’m a good-enough housekeeper and great decorator.

But far worse than the mess on my desk is the clutter that I ignore in my relationships with my husband and kids.

Do you do this? Tell yourself you’re a great friend? A serious artist? A wonderful employee or boss? All the while ignoring the growing pile of stuff in your family that so desperately needs sorting?

Again this weekend, I reevaluated my priorities.

I realized I’ve succeeded at maintaining the visible areas — my living room usually looks great — but I’ve neglected some hidden corners that my husband and kids experience on a daily basis.

Far too often I glance over the big picture of my house and declare things to be in order, when there is some deep cleaning that needs to be done. First in my heart, then in my treasured relationships.

How grateful I am for God’s grace and help — often in the form of others who challenge and hold me accountable.

Courtney Joseph has done just that in her recently released book, Women Living Well.

If you, like me, are ready to let God help you make a clean sweep in the most precious areas of your life, grab a copy of her book.

You will be cheered, inspired, convicted, and motivated. You will be challenged to love your Savior and your family afresh.

No matter what the level of your faith, your marriage, or your experience as a mom, this book will bring you practical encouragement.

I’d love to share a copy with you today!

To enter the drawing, just leave a comment below sharing one way you are (or will start) investing in your marriage and family.

And then let’s prayerfully tackle those piles of junk…

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6


Three truths that take the pressure off adoptive parents

Family walking

If you’ve considered adoption even for a second, I’m guessing a few questions have crossed your mind:

What if I don’t have what it takes?

What if I mess up my entire family?

What if I love my adoptive and birth children differently?

Join me at The Better Mom today where I ask and answer these important questions about adoption.

You may be surprised and relieved at three truths that take the pressure off!

*Have any other questions about adoption? Feel free to ask!

*Have an adoption story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment!

What every non-runner needs to learn about the race


I live with a bunch of runners. (Note my careful choice of words.)

My husband coaches cross-country and track and can’t resist discipling our own 8-14 year-olds in the art of running in his free time. My eight year-old ran two 5ks in the past two days. They are all putting me to shame.

But though I don’t count myself among these dedicated athletes, I’m learning a couple valuable lessons from them.

First of all, serious runners don’t have an “off season.”

  • When one season is done, they condition for the next.
  • They eat wisely year-round.
  • They go to bed early each night so they’re ready for those pre-dawn workouts.

After all, to stop training is to lose ground.

Secondly, running requires self-discipline: a throwing off of hindrances and entanglements.

Real runners resist the temptations that are accepted as “normal” to everyone else:

  • soft drinks
  • excessive sugar
  • late nights
  • injury-inducing activities

Runners have a goal in mind and persevere to that end.

It’s easy to forget we’re in a spiritual race, isn’t it? Yet it’s SO easy to be hindered, to become entangled.

When others indulge in whatever makes them happy, we look at our well-worn running shoes and our narrow path and wonder what would be so wrong with a break.

Why not enjoy an off season?

Wouldn’t it feel great to sleep in? Put our feet up? Eat without restrictions?

How easily we veer off course when our eyes are fixed on the fun everyone else is having.

But how different the perspective when we are instead,

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:2-3

There is lasting joy set before us too!

If we stay on course, persevere, cast aside the weights and entanglements, our sacrifices will pale in comparison to the reward.

I don’t want to be disqualified.

I don’t want to lose heart.

I want to say with Paul and so many of the witnesses who have gone before me:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

2 Timothy 4:7

Jesus, please strengthen our “feeble arms and weak knees” (Heb. 12:12). Help us fix our eyes on YOU!

*How’s your race going today? Any words of encouragement to add to your fellow runners?

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