Officially Moved!!

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Can you tell I am a Mom to two young boys?? They are Lego-obsessed, and these pictures always crack me up.

I have officially moved my blog to its permanent home.

You can now visit me at

I would love it if you would continue to follow my blog, and subscribe for updates here (in the right hand corner).

Thank you for following my blog. I look forward to connecting with you.

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Where have I been?

How is your summer going?

(Photo – Creative Commons)

I apologize that I have been relatively quiet with my posts lately.

The main reason for this is that I am in the process of updating my blog. I am moving to a self-hosted site, which has been incredibly eye-opening and frustrating, to say the least.

Have you ever gone through this?

If so, you can probably understand my pain and irritation.

I am getting very close to having it the way that I want. However, I would love your patience as I work through all of the details. It’s not quite there yet. I know all of the headaches will be worth it in the end!

I will update you more as I move forward, but I will no longer be posting regularly from this site. I would love for you to follow my new posts at I am having a special guest visit the blog tomorrow.

I have also had the honor of posting at fellow writer friends’ sites, and will be continuing to visit others in the months to come. I am very excited about the community of really great writers that I have around me right now. They are doing some amazing things, and I am thankful to know them and be able to learn from them.

You can check out the recent posts here:

Why Parents Matter – at Tor Constantino’s blog

Can’t Find a Roadmap – at Jim Woods’ blog

Thank you for reading. I appreciate you!


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Mercy vs. Compassion

We are in the middle of a series at church called Be. It’s based on the Beatitudes, and it has been really good. Two weeks ago, the message was about mercy. How Jamey Johnson described it has really impacted me. Here’s what he said.

Jesus is saying this: I will give mercy TO you, when I can get mercy THROUGH you.

He talked about the difference between compassion and mercy.

Compassion is: bringing justice to the innocent

Mercy is: God’s ministry to the guilty

That really hit home. How many times have we mixed up these two words? Compassion is easy. It’s an emotional response to the needs of others. But, mercy? That is just plain hard! Mercy is showing love to the people that you are justified in giving the verdict “guilty” to. Many times, these are the people who are closest to you that have hurt you deeply.

He told an incredible story about his life growing up and how hard his relationship was with his Dad was. It was very powerful. While I can’t relate to the way his Father treated him, I think we can all identify at least one person in our life that needs mercy. It is one of the most difficult things we do in life.

His message really resonated with so many people. He has an incredibly raw, authentic way of speaking and relating to people. I would highly encourage you to listen to the podcast here (titled Jamey Johnson 6/24/12).

I also recently read an incredible book by my author friend Mary DeMuth. It is her memoir, and describes how incredibly difficult her childhood was. Many of us may not have made it through what she endured. But, she did. And she has shown incredible courage by sharing her story and showing mercy to her family and the people who hurt her. You can check out her book, titled Thin Places, here.

As I said, I can’t relate to the horrible things that people have endured in their childhoods. But, I can certainly relate to having someone close to me hurt me. I think we all can.

Jamey’s question at the end of his message was this:

What would it look like to show mercy to the person who has hurt you the most?

For me, it looks like getting over myself and my hurt feelings, and showing the love and grace of God to others.

What do you think about mercy? Have you had a hard time showing it to someone close to you?

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Me first!

First born child.

Incredibly stubborn.

Strong willed.

Wants his way.

Demands to be first.


Pouting (Photo credit: dadblunders)

Do you have a child like this? Do you know a child like this? Were you this child?

I am a pretty calm person. I don’t get irritated easily. I have no problem letting others go first. While I am incredibly determined, I do not have the “me first” nature. I’m sure I did at some point, but I can’t remember it.

When I became a Mom for the first time, it took me a while to realize that these were qualities that my first-born has.  Looking back, I see this from very early on. He was not a good sleeper. He did not like sleeping anywhere but his swing. It took trying different things, and talking to other Moms until I realized that it didn’t matter where he slept, as long as he slept!

I have struggled over the years to find a balance with this. It can be difficult. I want him to be determined. I want him to believe strongly in himself and not let others push him around. I want him to realize that he is uniquely made. I want him to know that he can do anything he sets his mind on. I want him to be a leader. But, with all of these things, I want him to understand that he needs to learn to put others first and not be selfish. I find this to be a constant learning battle as a parent.

We’ve been working with him for a long time on this. He’s gotten much better. But, lately, the me first attitude has been out in full force. We take family bike rides together, and he always wants to be first. He has a very hard time letting his younger brother lead. Don’t most big brothers?

A few weeks ago, he had an incident of needing to be first, and ended up tumbling with his brother on their bikes. He was scraped up. And I was irritated! Of course, I checked to make sure he was okay. But this flew out of my mouth. “This is exactly why we tell you that you don’t have to be first! People can get hurt. What were you thinking??”

It wasn’t one of my finest Mommy moments, as I didn’t show much grace. I was so frustrated that he could not understand what we’ve been trying to teach him. It just wasn’t sinking in.

Then it hit me. Aren’t we all like that sometimes?

Until we actually experience the mistake and the hurt associated with hit, we usually can’t learn the lesson. And as parents, I think it can be one of the hardest things we will have to do. Sometimes, we have to let our children fall and suffer the consequences in order to understand these important life lessons.

How do you handle the hard lessons with your children?


Filed under Emotions, Life lessons, Motherhood, Raising boys

Judgment or Grace?

Mike Foster is one of the founders of People of The Second Chance. He is an incredible human being. He started POTSC to show people how to overthrow judgment and liberate love. I love that line!

He has challenged me every time I have heard him speak. Keep in mind that I’m a pretty easy-going person. Most people would not describe me as judgmental. I feel like the majority of my life I have given people the benefit of the doubt. Most of the time.

Have I been rotten?

Have I been judgmental and mean?

Have I thought I was better than someone else?


And that bothers me.

POTSC challenges us to think differently. When others are crushing someone for a mistake they made, POTSC people are loving them. They are in their corner.

How do you react when someone makes a big mistake? Especially if they did it intentionally?

Do you rush to tell someone else about it?

Do you laugh?

Does it make you feel better about yourself?

Photo by People of the Second Chance

I have really been working on this over the last few years. But I find myself having to continually choose to show more grace every day.

With my coworker, who deliberately lied to make himself look better to our boss.

With my neighbor, who talked about my other neighbor rudely.

With the Mom who ignores their child.

With the person who willingly is hurtful to me.

With the person who expects me to drop everything for them, even though they’ve continually made poor decisions.

With my family members who take advantage of me.

With the person who dresses in a way that I would never dress.

The list could go on and on.

Yet, I choose to show grace. And love. And support.

I have a long way to go. But I am working on being able to say that I am a proud member of People of the Second Chance.

How can you choose to show grace to someone today?

Will you choose to be part of the judgment problem or the grace solution?


Filed under Authenticity, Grace

Feeling or choice?

“Love is not a feeling, it’s a choice.”

 Emerson Eggerichs

I used to think love was a feeling. It was something you fell into. It just happened to you.

And I think initially it can be, when you start to date and explore relationships. But,when you are young, you often don’t really understand what it takes to love someone.

We think we know. We think that everything will be great. We think we will love the person no matter what.

Google images

But we have NO idea what life will throw at us. We don’t know that life itself will be hard.

That some days, we won’t feel like we love our spouse anymore.

That some days, it will take everything we have to just like them and not be completely irritated.

But, these are all choices.

While we don’t have a choice about how others treat us, we do have a choice about how we live. And our attitude.

We can choose to love someone, no matter what.

We can choose to take another step forward in our relationship.

We can choose to work through our problems, instead of taking the easy way out.

Everything in life is a choice.

How you choose makes all the difference in the world.

Do you think love is a choice?


Filed under Love, Marriage

My Dad

My Dad was awesome

My Dad

He was strong

He was compassionate

He loved Jesus

He loved people

He had a servant’s heart

He was kind

He was happy

I only had a short number of Father’s Days with him. And I know I didn’t get to tell him how much he meant to me nearly enough.

His example is still helping me today. Decades after he went to heaven.

I am so thankful for the time I had with him, and the wonderful example he was.

On this Father’s Day, I am thankful for my Dad. I am also thankful for my husband, who is a great Dad to our boys.

Dads – never forget the impact you are leaving on your children. It will be felt for the rest of their life.

What do you love most about your Dad?


Filed under Family, Fathers, Thankful

I am a Warrior

I remember looking at pictures of a friend doing the Warrior Dash last year. I also remember thinking I could never do that. I said I wasn’t strong enough. I didn’t have it in me. I wasn’t a runner.

Fast forward a year later. I’ve been getting healthier. And I’ve been working out consistently. When my kettlebell friends suggested that we sign up for the Warrior Dash earlier this year, I was very nervous. They had to convince me to do it. I still didn’t think I would be able to finish it. However, we kept working out, and getting stronger, and started running more.

Guess what? I am a Warrior! I survived the Warrior Dash today!! This was one of my FinishYear goals, so I am excited to cross it off my list.

They Kettlebell crew before the race

We have an awesome group of people who work out together at 6am most mornings. We are like a family. We push each other, and encourage each other, and love watching each other get skinny strong. There are some amazing success stories from these people in this picture. I was so glad to get to experience my first Warrior Dash with all of them.

My friend Joy and I after the race

If you’re not familiar with the Warrior Dash, it is a 5K run with obstacles like climbing over walls, under barbed wire, swimming through mud, and running over fire (just to name a few.) It was awesome!! 

My super encouraging workout buddy, Jordan

I love this group of people who help push me to do better every time I work out. They motivate me, encourage me, and celebrate with me. I am so thankful for all of them.

But the bigger lesson that I continue to learn is that I can do more than I think. Let me say it another way. YOU can do more than you think.

Too many times, we tell ourselves that we can’t do something because of fear, or because deep down we know it’s much easier to make an excuse than to do the hard work required. I am very proud to say that I finished the race today. I would not have imagined a year ago that I would be able to do this.

Which leads me to wonder what I will be doing next year at this time that I can’t imagine now. Because I am convinced that once we tap into this hidden potential, unbelievable things can happen.

What is it that you think you can’t do?

Stop saying you can’t, and start working towards making it happen! Let me know what it is in the comments, and I would love to help encourage you.


Filed under #FinishYear, Community, Getting Healthy


I have never been a major worrier. Most people would describe me as pretty laid back, or calm. But, I have had my seasons of worry.

English: Biting one's lip can be a physical ma...

English: Biting one’s lip can be a physical manifestation of worry. Español: Morderse los labios puede ser una manifestación externa de inquietud. Русский: Плачущая девочка. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I lost my job

When money was very tight

When we were behind on our bills

When I couldn’t find a new job

When I started to lose confidence

When my marriage was falling apart

When I wondered how we could get through it

You could add so many things to this list. But, that was then. Before I learned to stop fighting God. Before I learned to truly trust. Before I learned that I don’t have to do everything on my own. In fact, I had managed to mess up quite a few of those things entirely on my own.

The peace that comes when you finally say yes, and learn to live in conjunction with Him is indescribable.

“Love and fear are literally incompatible in our bodies.” John Ortberg

I am learning to live in this peace and state of happiness that I have never felt.

Have you experienced this? How are you pushing past the fear?

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Filed under Motivation

LifeChangers – Making music


It’s a series about people just like you and me, who decided to do something different.

They decided to change their life, or the lives of others around them.

They are inspiring.

They are making an impact right where they are.

They are passionate.

They are full of life.

And they are willing to share their story.

I will never forget the first time I heard Taylor Phelan sing. He was a guest worship leader at our church, and he sang How He Loves. His passion and the impact of that song hit me hard. I could not stop crying. It was one of the first times that I truly started to get a glimpse of just how much God really does love me. I was an instant Taylor fan. His voice and style are unique. He is an incredibly gifted musician.

Fast forward a few years later, and Taylor decided it was time to start truly chasing his dream of being a musician. He started a band called The Canes. They are a rock band from Chicago comprised of four members, none of which are native to the Windy City. Taylor, the lead vocalist, and guitarist, Micah Garman, are joined by Kevin Couch and Joey Beaver to complete the current band lineup. With a wide variety of backgrounds and influences, their music is an interesting blend suitable for any audience. You will be captivated by an energetic live show littered with moving lead lines, fuzzy bass and empathetic vocals.

They released their first track titled Starry Eyed earlier this year. You can check it out on iTunes. They are in the process of finishing their first album, which is scheduled to be released later this summer. And now, they are working on a Kickstarter campaign to fund a 23 city tour in the fall.

What I love about The Canes (in addition to their music) is that they are chasing their dream. They have worked incredibly hard to get to this point. They have been very smart and enlisted the help of some very strategic visionary partners. They have signed with Medallion Media for their first album, and will use the tour to promote the album.

Courtesy of The Canes

When I saw that they were using Kickstarter to help raise money for the tour, I knew I wanted to help. Every dollar helps them fund their dream. And, they are giving away some pretty cool things with different levels of donations.

The Canes are LifeChangers because they decided to chase their dreams. They are putting everything they have into this first album and tour. They have music that needs to be heard. Check them out, and I’m sure you will agree that they are on to something big.

How to help:

Kickstarter campaign

Follow them on Twitter

Follow them on Facebook

Check out their website

Buy their single on iTunes

If you were this close, wouldn’t you want someone to help push your dream forward?


Filed under Dreams, Encouragement, inspiration, LifeChangers