My Interview For “Don’t Hide Your Light Under a Laundry Basket” & A Book Give-away

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My friend Jenny Rae Armstrong just wrote an incredible book, Don't Hide Your Light Under a Laundry Basket, a compilation of creative ideas for wanna-be world changers. I love this book, and not only because she was generous enough to include several friends from her writing community to be a part of it. You will be encouraged, challenged, and inspired by the more than 150 ideas for doing kingdom work in your everyday lives. I will send one reader who comments below or on The Blessed Nest … Read More...

10 Observations from Escape to the Lake 2016

Ten Observations About ETTL 2016.

A few weeks ago our family attended our third Escape to the Lake (ETTL). What is ETTL? We all laugh about that question because it's actually kind of hard to describe. Is it a conference? Is it a camp? Is it a retreat? Is it for artists or fans? Kids, families, or singles? Is it for young people or old people? Is it a religious thing? Is it church? Is it a workshop? It's really a little bit of all that. And though she wasn't talking about ETTL, from the words of a Jess Ray song, "And it may be … Read More...

End of Summer Reflections

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Summer is drawing to a slow close. The daylight hours are slipping away earlier. Mothers like me are cleaning out closets, gathering their children's school supplies and figuring out the schedule for the coming months. Perhaps we are all longing for a little less spontaneity and vacationing in favor of routine, stability, and the comforts of home as we begin to retreat back. I admit, this summer has left me tired instead of refreshed. It was a whirlwind of a "break" and I'm glad to be part of … Read More...

A Theological Coming Out

Women Need to Stop (1)

A few weeks ago I co-taught the Bible lessons for a Vacation Bible School program at the Presbyterian church next door. I loved it. I really enjoyed making the stories come alive and thought nothing of the fact that the leaders shepherding the kids through our station were also listening. Along with my co-lead, I was able to use my gift of teaching to ad lib, provide history behind the stories, and create meaningful off-script take-aways. There were many moments where I felt the Holy Spirit at … Read More...

The One Thing I Can’t Give Away

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For nearly five years, our grey and green infant Chicco car seat accompanied me everywhere. I gently rocked it during Bible study (while praying for a nap), it sat next to me on the booth while we dined out (totally frazzled), it secured each of our (often screaming) infants during car rides, and it provided the transfer of a still sleeping baby (fingers crossed) from the car to our next activity. Twice I've put that infant car seat on the front porch for a Goodwill donation pick up and twice … Read More...

HerStory: Meet Chelsey

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Oh, this girl. She's pretty amazing. I'm lucky to claim her as family, we're cousins-in-law (is that a thing?); she married my step-cousin a few years ago. We live geographically far apart, but stay in touch pretty well through social media. When I attended my grandmother's funeral in North Dakota last month, we were able to spend quality time together, and wow, she and her husband David are the real deal. I loved their hospitality, kindness, and honesty. If we lived closer, there'd be … Read More...

A Few of My Favorite Things

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Why should Oprah get all the fun? It's natural to share favorite things dotting our lives. We do it in casual conversations with friends constantly... "Have you tried X?" "Did you know about Y?" "We just discovered Z." So today I'm divulging my current little pleasures, small beauties, and tiny joys. Because today, and every day, I'm looking for the fun, the lovely, and the littles treasures of life. I find that small things like these, in a roundabout way, point back to a God who is … Read More...

An Intro to Canva & DIY Family Tree Print

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  Have you always wondered how people make their memes or other professional looking images? Of the programs I've tried, Canva is a favorite. It's user-friendly, free (if you stick to free elements), and saves your projects for future editing. I'm going to teach you how to make a beautiful art project you can give as a gift, and you'll learn how to use Canva in the process. First, head over to Canva.com. On the photo below, you will see how the site stores all my old … Read More...

HerStory: Jenn

HerStory-Meet Jenn

Jenn was one of the first women I connected with after moving to Hoboken, NJ. She was immediately welcoming and invited us to her family's BBQ one of the first weekends we tried a new church (where we ended up staying). In our two years together there, Jenn became a close friend. We were in a Bible study together, enjoyed dining in the city with our husbands, and met at parks with our babies. I watched a metamorphosis in Jenn while I was there, which is now clearest after the fact. She was … Read More...

For All the Suffering

For All the Suffering

I wonder if every generation thinks about the state of the world, "This is the worst it's ever been." Our generation's current troubles—acts of terrorism, rampant abortion, random school shootings, clergy sex scandals, police brutality, racial divides, and human trafficking—are just a few potential sources of injustice and suffering that plague us. And that's on a macro level. If the camera panned in to our individual lives, the potential for encountering suffering and sadness is … Read More...