Homemaking, Motherhood, Spiritual Growth

do you fear busyness?

After this month, things will finally start to slow down.

Have you ever sought to comfort yourself with a similar thought? Life feels busy—way too busy—and you find yourself looking forward to the near future when you’ll open your planner on Monday morning and see a little more white space. I’ve certainly had the thought myself.

Once this next birthday celebration is over, that home project is complete, this toddler training is accomplished, this big decision is made, those obligations are fulfilled, THEN my sanity will return; THEN my family will regroup; THEN the days will be a little more relaxing.

Nevertheless, more often than not, that anticipated white space seems to last for only a very short time, and before I know it, life feels “too busy” again. Because another family birthday comes up. And another project needs done around the house. And another meal needs taken to a new mama. And another relationship needs nurtured. And another season of motherhood arises with new demands, duties, and decisions. And all of a sudden, I am on the verge of being overwhelmed, trying to think of ways to simplify my life so that it doesn’t feel “too busy.”

Read the rest of the article at True Woman, here.

Spiritual Growth

5 Things to Pack in Your Holiday Suitcase

With the holidays upon us, many of us will at one point be packing a suitcase for a trip to see family and friends. Some of us are anticipating these trips, while others are dreading them. Some of us are looking forward to how the time with our Christian family and friends will spur us on in our love for Christ, while others are praying (once again) that God will use them in just one small way to be a light to their unbelieving family members.

For some of us, these trips always seem to be a snare, and we find ourselves spiritually deflated and discouraged when we get home. I didn’t set a good example. I compromised because I was trying too hard to please everyone. My thoughts were far from the Lord.

Whatever situation you’ll be facing as you travel this season, here are five things to pack in your suitcase that will help you remain spiritually strong and steadfast during your time away.

Read the rest of the article at True Woman, here.


Spiritual Growth

Laughing at the Days to Come

When I was sixteen, the future appeared bleak. Due to a rare neurological disease, I had begun to lose my hearing, and the loss was progressing far more quickly than I had imagined when I received the diagnosis. My world of social gatherings and flirtatious wit suddenly became a world of social awkwardness and silence.

Perhaps worse than these present changes was the painful reality that things were only going to get worse. Making it through high school was one thing — but what about marriage? What about motherhood? What about all the things I wanted to do that would be hindered by deafness?

Read the rest at Desiring God, here.

Spiritual Growth

the holiness of small things

Growing up, I went through a lot of different phases. For a long time, I wanted to be a teacher. And then I wanted to be an artist. Then an architect. Then a lawyer. I switched back to teacher for a couple years, but only until I decided I wanted to be a missionary to Asia.

A few more years passed, and I finally ended up as a wife, mama, and homemaker. And though I’ve seemingly reached the point where my primary “life’s work” has been made known, I still find myself at times with a discontented desire to be something more. An established writer, perhaps. Or a seasoned pastor’s wife with a more “extensive” ministry (as opposed to the current ministry I have to my family while my husband goes through seminary).

While those desires may not be wrong in themselves, they reveal the fact that something of greater importance is lacking in my life: the simple ambition to be holy.

Read the rest of the article on the True Woman blog, here.

Spiritual Growth

Choosing to Go to Church

My husband and I are both natural introverts, which means our ideal form of “rest and relaxation” involves a good book, a hot cup of coffee, and, well . . . nobody else. Okay, that might be an exaggeration—we love our friends and family and have had many times of refreshing fellowship with them! But the truth is that social activities can often be more tiring than relaxing for us and sometimes even hard to look forward to.

Needless to say, it was quite a stretching experience when we moved to another state four years ago and began attending a church with two services and an afternoon potluck (sometimes all three back-to-back!). Add in an hour of Sunday school, a half hour coffee and fellowship break before the main service, and—phew—our weekly “day of rest” felt nothing like rest.

In the midst of a lack of desire to attend all the gatherings and my feelings of social weakness, I noticed something: The families at this church really enjoyed being there. They showed up week after week, toddlers (lots of them!) in tow. They made an effort to be at Sunday school, even if it meant walking in a few minutes late. They hung around after the service to fellowship, even though it was already 1 p.m. and stomachs were beginning to rumble.

The Lord used these observations, along with our dear pastor’s humble and persistent exhortations to make attendance a priority, to begin changing my heart toward Sunday mornings. He began opening my eyes to the fact that corporate worship was just as important, if not more important, than private worship, and that gathering with His people on Sunday morning was a unique experience that could not be had while sitting in a big comfy chair and watching a sermon on YouTube by myself.

You can read the full article on the True Woman blog, here.

a good word, Spiritual Growth

the small things of holiness

“Holiness is the sum of a million little things–the avoidance of little evils and little foibles, the setting aside of little bits of worldliness and little acts of compromise, the putting to death of little inconsistencies and little indiscretions, the attention to little duties and little dealings, the hard work of little self-denials and little self-restraints, the cultivation of little benevolences and little forbearances. Are you trustworthy? Are you kind? Are you patient? Are you joyful? Do you love? These qualities, worked out in all the little things of life, determine whether you are blight or blessing to everyone around you, whether you are an ugly spiritual eyesore or growing up into a good-looking Christian.”

– Kevin DeYoung, The Hole in Our Holiness

Horatius Bonar also says it well in God’s Way of Holiness:

“…a holy life is made up of a multitude of small things. It is the little things of the hour, and not the great things of the age, that fill up a life like that of Paul and John, like that of Rutherford, or Brainerd, or Martyn. Little words, not eloquent speeches or sermons, little deeds, not miracles, nor battles, nor one great heroic act or mighty martyrdom, make up the true Christian life.”

Homemaking, Spiritual Growth

go to bed for the glory of God

In the short four years I have walked through motherhood, I have come to be convinced of one thing: It is always worth the time and effort to go to bed with a clean kitchen. I can imagine few worse early morning greetings than a sticky countertop and a sink full of dishes. (Okay, an empty coffee pot may be worse.)

My very gracious husband has learned that if we have late-night company, I will not be going to bed until the leftovers are put away, the dishes are in the dishwasher, and the extra chairs are taken back downstairs. Of course, there is the occasional exception, such as last night’s family sleepover when ice cream bowls got left in the sink. However, these exceptions are few and far between, and cleaning the kitchen has gained a permanent abode in my evening routine.

Nevertheless, as clean as my kitchen may be at the end of the day, it never changes the fact that a hundred other things remain lingering in my mind, heavy on my heart, and (still) on my to-do list when my head finally hits the pillow.

It’s an honor to be posted on the True Woman blog today! You can read the rest of the article here.