Contentment vs. Comparison

The Peony Project

Comparison is the thief of joy. – Theodore Roosevelt If there is one self-esteem lesson I wish all children could learn, it is that they are enough. I wish every girl and boy could believe they are worthy of love because they are a child of God. From a young age, my identity became wrapped up in being “the good kid” and “the smart kid”. I never got in trouble. My grades were always perfect. I accepted nothing less than an A, and usually an A+ at that! I avoided competition, but if a friend tried to out score me on a test … Read more…

One Stitch at a Time

Psalm 139

Our church recently started a crocheting and knitting class. So far, a variety of ages and skill levels have joined us. But regardless of experience or age, they all have one thing in common: they learn one stitch at a time. Which is why when I pick up a new pattern, I have to take it slow, counting each stitch, and keeping my tension uniform. I found this especially important as I worked on my first crocheted baby cardigan. As I learned the new bobble stitch, I discovered that my counting was off. I had to restart the first bobble row several times … Read more…

Faithful Love

Do you have little nuggets of wisdom, verses, or songs that you attach to certain ideas? I think we all do. It is part of the way our brains are wired. I know as I studied and thought about faithfulness this month, one of my favorite church songs kept popping into my head: Faithful Love.  I would love to share the lyrics and an audio recording of the song with you today. May it be an encouragement to you as you pursue faithfulness now and always. Faithful Love (Verse 1) Faithful love flowing down from the thorn covered crown, Make me … Read more…

Creating a Capacity for Compassion #1000 Speak

Sometimes I feel as though my capacity for compassion is low. As a Christian and a youth minister’s wife, I am ashamed to admit this. In fact, the past three years of ministry have made me more calloused. Before full-time ministry, compassion came easily to me. I felt deep, genuine empathy and love for others. We nurtured vulnerability in relationships. Alas, one of the unintended pressures of ministry, (and sometimes church in general) is the donning of a facade. We leave our junk at home and paint on what I like to call my “Michelle Dugger smile” (though I greatly admire her). We … Read more…

Lent and Our Little One

Lent and Our Little One

Last year Lent was an emotional roller coaster for us. We decided to give up meat and go vegetarian. However, a couple days into Lent, I realized I was pregnant. Out of fear of depriving my body of protein during early pregnancy, we started eating meat again. Lent was a new idea to us anyways. It is not a tradition that most churches of Christ practice. A week before Easter we learned that I had a blighted ovum. Easter weekend my body fully committed to the miscarriage. I still remember one of our elders bringing over a white Easter Lily to … Read more…

Make Your “Yes” Count

Over the past couple months, I’ve been more selective about what I say “yes” to. With a baby on the way, I realize our life is headed toward great change. For one, I will have to scale back my list of commitments. Which, I am not all that sad about . . . 😉 Too often I act out of obligation, or the feeling of “I really should help with that . . . ” or even worse, “What would others think if I wasn’t there?” This week, I’ve been reflecting on the idea of faithfulness and how it interacts with our daily choices and … Read more…

Can You Tell We Have a Baby on the Way?

Baby Cardigan

Can you tell we have a baby on the way? We are already 32 weeks?! I can barely comprehend it. Well, at least the 2nd trimester flew by. The 1st trimester felt like it would never end. We are filled with anticipation at the thought of meeting our baby girl: seeing her face, holding her, nursing her, and beginning this new stage of life. Yikes, no “glow” in this picture from 30 weeks. I just look tired! I guess it is a good thing I am embracing more naps . . .  Lately, I have felt a tad overwhelmed. There … Read more…

3 Simple Valentine Activities

In case you haven’t realized it already, I am a fan of simple. I am not inherently crafty. My ability to cut in a straight line is questionable at best. But I do enjoy taking on a fun DIY task. I love that they often save money, not to mention the feeling of accomplishment you have afterwards! I also am pushing myself to gather more fun and creative crafts for kids. This past weekend I found myself in need of simple Valentine activities for young kids. Here are three simple Valentine activities that would work great with kids ages 4-9: … Read more…

“Are You Faithful?” Family Devotional on Faithfulness

Faithfulness: Reflecting God’s Character I would first like to challenge parents who are preparing to go through this character study with their children. Your children are watching you. The example you set in your marriage should be one that lifts up the character traits of love and faithfulness. I believe that love and faithfulness are deeply intertwined. God created marriage to be a reflection of his image. What is your marriage reflecting to your children? Are you leaving a legacy of faithfulness and love, or strife and infidelity? Explore the Meaning: What does it mean to be faithful? (Being faithful … Read more…

The End of Winter (at least here in Phoenix)

My Facebook feed has been cluttered with pictures of snow and statuses about snow days. It makes me homesick and nostalgic. Well, all of it but the pictures of cars buried in snow and status updates about shoveling the driveway. I can’t say I miss those aspects of snow. But I do miss bundling up for the blustering winds, sipping warm beverages of all varieties, and cuddling up with a blanket to read. I’d hoped to accomplish some of these things while visiting family in Nebraska, but it was pleasantly in the 40s and 50s the whole time I was … Read more…

Building Character: Faithfulness

Faithfulness is something we can all relate to on a personal level. All of us have experienced the never-ending faithfulness of God. While we were still sinners, Christ loved and died for us. He is faithful, even when we are not. Many of us have also experienced unfaithfulness. Maybe even in a close friend or spouse. That breech of trust in an established relationship is difficult to overcome. Trust is not built over night, rather over time. Chances are, we know how deeply that unfaithfulness can wound. Yet, when we were at our most unfaithful, Christ still died to make us right with … Read more…

11 of My Favorite Healthy Pregnancy Foods

First Trimester: During my first trimester I never wanted to eat. The thought of food was repulsive. Fixing food made me feel sick. The smells made me flee the kitchen altogether. Yet, I knew Rebekah needed food. She made that very clear. As much as I didn’t want to eat, not eating made things worse. Most of the time that I found myself dry-heaving in the bathroom it was because I had not eaten anything. I was conflicted: Eating was repulsive, but not eating made me sick. Fortunately, through trial and error I discovered that I could eat nutritious foods that nourished both Rebekah … Read more…