Living Liturgy


A few weeks ago, my oldest son was playing guitar in our basement. The music was loud and he didn’t see me coming, so I stood and listened for a while. It was a piece I’ve never heard him play, but I instantly recognized his soulful heart behind it. Continue reading


Bigger and Better

swingsTo My Four Favorite Kids in the Whole World:

Each of you are all on the verge of amazingly big things; entering adulthood, the college years, high school, and finally becoming a teenager. Continue reading

When the Ancient Paths Seem So Lame


The light turned yellow, then red, and I slowed to a stop. I hung my arm out the window and glanced at a park near the intersection. There, a disheveled mom was chasing a three-foot live wire with a bowl cut. I watched until the car behind me honked.

As I pulled off the line, it hit me: That’s me. My kids are teenagers, but they haven’t stopped running. And I’m still huffing and puffing behind them.

The teenage years seem to cause parents to either chase harder or quit running altogether.

I’m a chaser, through and through.  Continue reading

The Mom Behind the Machine


I used to go to my room to cry.

I would hold it together until I fixed a snack for one child, pulled down a toy for another, and assigned math pages to two more. Finally, with trembling lip, I’d hustle down the hallway to the privacy of my bedroom.

There, my God and my pillow absorbed the tears. Because someone called with bad news. Or I didn’t get my way in marriage. Because it was the wrong time of the month. Or mothering and homeschooling four kids was just plain lonely and hard. Continue reading

In Defense of the Helicopter Parent


Have you read the articles about helicopter parenting, lately? “Too many of us do some combination of overdirecting, overprotecting or over-involving ourselves in our kids’ lives. ” says Julie Lythcott-Haims in her Huffington post article, “Helicopter Parenting is a Trap“.

And I get it. I don’t want my children to become wimps. I want them to grow in character. I want them to be skilled and successful.

But I also study statistics of kids who suffered greatly because they needed their parents to offer more affection, love, guidance, and direction.

So what to do? As a mom of four, I tend to straddle the helicopter and the jet plane. I often play the hard-nosed, tough parent, flying high to create the free-range childhood that everyone applauds. And then, I slip them a little overprotective, micro-managed baby care when no one’s looking. Continue reading

Our Effin’ Summer Plan (It’s not what you think…)

A couple of people have asked me to post this. I hesitate for fear of people thinking I’m a parenting expert in any way. THAT IS NOT THE CASE. At. All.

However, I have tried various ways to keep my teens active, learning, helpful, and growing over the summer. About four years ago, I came up with this plan, and it stuck.

Enough set-up. Here’s what we do. Not perfectly. Not without grumbling. But it seems to keep us out of trouble… Continue reading

When Your Dreams Don’t Fit You… Yet


I entered the room and found her studying her reflection in the mirror, a girlish habit that sends up a maternal red-flag. “Do you like it, Mom?”

She was trying on a hand-me down dress given to her by an older friend. She tugged at the ill-fitting neckline and bodice; her body not yet the shape for its womanly cut.

I gotta give her credit. The girl dreams big.

And she’s a lot like me.

She pulled at the fabric and shifted her body until her reflection matched how she felt: bigger, older, and like someone else.

I’m honored to be featured at God Sized Dreams today. Please follow me there to read the rest of the story…