Because Freedom Isn’t Free

The first summer my husband and I were married we decided to road trip-it for a two week tour of the East Coast. So naturally, we bought our first car and racked up 3,000 miles within the first month.

Our trip was a conglomerate of sightseeing, trail-hiking, food-consuming, memory-making moments.Freedom Isn't Free

But there is one moment, one day in particular, I will never forget.

One moment in time that has been forever etched in my mind.

We celebrated the 4th of July with millions of other people. In Boston. Where the story of America began. Continue reading

When Father’s Day is not a Happy One

when Father's Day is not a happy oneI’m not gonna lie. If there’s one day I dread each year, it’s Father’s Day.

For many families, it’s a time of celebration; a day honoring the men they love and admire.

Every year, we go to church surrounded by families only to watch them all disperse to after-church lunch venues. In that moment, my husband and I look at each other with half-hearted smile and ask, “Well, what do you wanna do today?”

Because for some of us, Father’s Day isn’t always a happy one. Continue reading

Don’t Let Technology Disconnect You: 5 ways to engage in relationships

5 ways to engage in relationshipsThanks to technology and social media, we are now more connected than ever before.

Yet we are more isolated and alone than ever before.

Today, the average person has 300+ facebook “friends” yet the average American reports having only 2 close friends. 25% of Americans report having no close friends (Dave Sumrall, The Struggle is Real: Relationships).

Social media has made it easy for us to feel connected to others without actually requiring us to be in relationship. Continue reading

Being an Introvert was My Excuse to Disengage

why being an introvert was my excuse to disengageIf snuggling with your computer or a good book sounds like your idea of a fun evening, chances are you may be an introvert.

But that doesn’t mean you are shy. Or a party hater. Or that you prefer to live in a closet.

Contrary to popular opinion, many introverts are actually outgoing, creative, and possess a high-functioning inner world. This inner world is an introvert’s best kept secret; a treasure trove just waiting to be discovered.

But seldom will it be shared.

Too many encounters with humiliation, failure, or rejection over time will cause introverts to shut down and close up shop. Out of insecurity, we will draw the shades and remain indoors.

Over time, we will become content to disengage with our world.

I know because I’ve been there. Continue reading

Why You Need a Summer Bucket List

summer bucket listIt’s June. Time to bust out the flip flops, sunglasses, and shorts. Dreams of beach days and barbecues are now upon us!

But before we know it, it’ll be July. Then August.

Soon the leaves will give way to color and summer will have turned into fall.

It happens every year.

In a few short months I will find myself wondering, Where did my summer go?

Don’t let summer get away from you this year. Create a summer bucket list the whole family can enjoy! Plan fun-filled activities this summer so that when it’s over you’ll be full of memories instead of regrets. Continue reading

Guest Post: Ditch the Mom Guilt

*This post is from my dear friend, Becky Kopitzke. This Mother’s Day, may you embrace your flaws and remember that God has made you fabulous!

 I love my kids. But—I don’t love everything about raising them.momguilt4

“Mommy, will you build a tower with me?” My four-year-old sat on the carpet, surrounded by mega blocks. She looked up at me and grinned with her teeth clenched, pleading. “Please, Mommy?”

“A tower?” I stalled. I’d just settled on the couch with my iPad, investigating chicken recipes for dinner. I kind of wanted to stay there. But, instead, I drew a deep breath and flipped the iPad shut. “Sure, I can help you build a tower.”

Because good moms build towers with their kids. Right? Click here to read more

 

His & Hers Survival Kit: how to bug-out when you’re feeling stressed

His and Hers Stress Survival KitThe other day I was sitting at the table recounting all the current and upcoming events that were making me frazzled. Upon hearing my complaints, my husband grabbed a piece of paper and pen and began to write. After a minute of silence, my curiosity got the best of me.

“What are you doing?”

He slid the paper across the counter and grinned. I glanced down and laughed as my eyes caught hold of the first line: Eat a donut.

In a matter of seconds, my action-oriented husband had created a little go-to list for when I’m feeling blue.

Brilliant.

Wouldn’t it be grand if we had a bug-out-bag full of ideas on how to get out of dodge when our days go south?  Continue reading

4 Ways to Hijack Your Stress Response

4 ways to hijack your stress responseOur current season of life can be summed up in one word. Stressful. We barely meet ourselves coming and going. Come to think of it, this season has been on repeat a lot lately. As in the past four years.

When words like “exhaustion” and “burnout” become part of your normal vocabulary, there’s a problem. “When we are overwhelmed with excessive stress, our life becomes a series of short-term emergencies.” We live from one crisis to the next. We lose our ability to be present and enjoy the moment. Go at full speed for too long and the crazy train is sure to derail.

The good news? You don’t have to live this way.

Stress is a choice. It’s optional.

Sound crazy? I thought so too. Until I did a little research and was shocked by what I discovered. Continue reading

3 Secrets to Finding Meaning in the Mundane

find meaning in the mundaneI’ve been a little frazzled these last 2 weeks. The culprit? Those perpetual little tasks I finally check off the to-do list only to find them on my list again…an hour later. You know the ones. Dishes. Laundry. Incessant cleaning. Why are there still clothes on the floor??

And what is that monstrosity of clutter doing on my counter again? For the love of all things organized, can the mailman please stop drowning me in a mountain of papers to sort?! Can things just stay frozen in time (preferably after I’ve deep cleaned) so a girl can get some peace around here?? The futility of the mundane is about to make me go crazy.

At times I wonder, Am I just wasting my life? Continue reading