“I want to ride a snowmobile,” he said to me on the phone one day before Christmas. “It’s one of the things I’ve had on my bucket list and I’m afraid if I don’t do it now I’ll never get the chance.” My dad has always been the one who creates opportunities for his family to have adventures together. Kayaking, riding ATV’s in the desert, horseback riding, going off the beaten path (like WAY off the beaten path); these are the things that give him joy especially when he gets to experience it with his favorite people.
Dear Hallmark channel,
It’s that time of the year again! You’ve announced your holiday movie lineup and the angels sang and snow began to fall and visions of sugar plums danced in my head. Okay, so that all happened in my mind’s eye but I definitely felt my heart go pitter-patter as I scanned the list of new releases. All over Facebook there are giddy posts from friends who eagerly anticipate this annual tradition and can’t wait for the chance to escape to worlds where people get stranded in little towns where Santa just happens to have his actual workshop and there won’t be any gifts for the children if the main character doesn’t come to the rescue.
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Oh you guys, you are in for such a treat today! My dear friend Katie Reid wrote a book for all of us who are the doers. The women who like to get things done. We’re the checklist making, school party cupcakes at midnight baking, early morning before the rest of the family gets up waking, meals delivered to everyone in need taking, no rules breaking women…and we’re tired. Tired of all of the striving. But we’re also conflicted about how to marry our natural inclinations for doing with the call of receiving.
Based on the story of the time Jesus spent with Martha and Mary (Luke 10), in her newly released book, Made Like Martha, Katie beautifully captures this tension and offers an empathetic perspective, biblical truths and practical steps we can take to lead us to discovering the freedom to be who God created us to be.
And this week I’m SO thrilled to be helping her kick-off her mobile book club! If you haven’t had a chance to get the book, Katie has graciously provided all of chapter one for you for FREE! Just click here to begin reading.
In the summer of 1981, my parents moved us from Springfield, MO to Los Angeles, CA. At the time, my aunt and uncle were pastoring a church called the ‘Beach Fellowship’ and we began attending. Now, it wasn’t called that because it was simply close in proximity to the beach. No, this church literally gathered ON the beach. We went from wearing patent leather mary jane shoes in the ‘Bible belt’ to wearing swimsuits and flip-flops in the sand. To say this was quite a transition is the grossest of gross understatements.
One of my most favorite things to do this time of the year is to open up our windows and hear the birds chirping. Now, mind you, I don’t always enjoy hearing them REALLY early in the morning, but there is just something about their chirping that is so distinctively and cheerfully symbolic of these warmer days.
Recently, though, we began to notice more activity than usual. Our snowball tree was the object of great interest by two particular birds. They were flying in and out all day and we had no doubt about what was happening.
Sure enough, within a few days, a beautiful nest had taken shape. And soon after that, the mama robin could be seen perched upon the nest. When we would get close to the tree, she would be so very still. Hyper aware of our movements and so protective of her babies.
It became part of our daily ritual to check on the nest. We were always careful to keep our distance but we were just so anxious for the impending arrival of new life.
I sat on the floor of the playroom our church had so mercifully created just upstairs from the coffee shop. As I built a foam castle with one child and made goofy faces at the baby, the mother of these sweet kiddos poured out her heart to me.
She needed encouragement…reassurance. She needed to hear someone say “You can do this!”
And as we talked I was struck by the fact that if someone were to peek through the window and take in the scene before them, it wouldn’t look anything like the image of community that is so often portrayed in our Instagram feeds.
You guys, there wasn’t an old barn in sight.
Raise your hand if you like being corrected?
Yep. That’s what I thought.
It’s never fun being on the receiving end of correction. That’s why I’ve put together some tips for how to do this with humility and grace AND preserve your relationship with the corrector. Yes, it IS possible!
And I would love to hear from you too! So, tell me…
Has there been a time when you found yourself on the receiving end of correction?
How did it make you feel?
What did the corrector do well?
What could they have done differently?
Thank you for joining me as we tackled this challenging topic!
I was corrected once in our At the Picket Fence community on Facebook. Ok, ok, I’m sure I’ve been corrected more than just once there. But, this time it had a greater impact. And, it started me on a journey towards wanting to know how we can both give AND receive correction in a way that is grace-filled.
So, will you join me as we talk about this hard subject?
What are your thoughts about this whole ‘correction’ thing? I’d love to hear from you!
Happy New Year dear friends! I had so many plans for how I was going to welcome 2018 with you right here At the Picket Fence but a nasty flu bug has kept me down for the count for a few days beginning on New Year’s Eve. Super fun, right? So, I don’t have any resolutions to share with you or a ‘word of the year’. But, what I do have are some gentle words of encouragement that I hope will help you as you look ahead to the next 12 months. I’ve shared them here before but I felt they beared repeating.
When I became a mom of two I entered into a season of what I found to be a new kind of crazy. I had gotten one child all potty-trained and sleeping through the night and drinking out of a cup without a lid and giving me a chance to take a shower and go to the bathroom by myself…most of the time.
Merry Christmas dear friends! This will be my last blog post before the big day and I’m so thrilled to be joining a group of authors to bring you some encouragement for your hearts AND an awesome giveaway as we honor the true meaning of Christmas. Now, sit back, take a deep breath, exhale and let these words wash over you today.
We stood in the hallway outside the third grade classroom door afraid to speak to each other, waiting for what felt like an eternity. Behind that closed door, the future of our stage careers was being determined by a room full of 9 year olds and the enormity of the moment had rendered us all silent. Or perhaps we just hoped that if we didn’t talk, somehow we would manage to hear a snippet of what was happening inside.
Only 5 minutes earlier, I had been sitting at my desk when my teacher announced that our class would be putting on a production of ‘Mother Goose’. She asked that all those who would be interested in playing the lead part raise their hands. I can’t say what exactly possessed me at that moment, but before I realized what was happening my hand shot up along with those of three others around the room. All eyes turned in my direction and I instantly regretted my implusiveness. We were told to go wait out in the hallway so that the class could vote for the winner without us seeing who voted for whom and thereby avoiding any hurt feelings.
Dear friends, I’m so thrilled to be welcoming my friend Debbie Wilson, author of the newly released book ‘Little Women, Big God’ to the picket fence today! I hope that you will take this opportunity to pause in the midst of a busy season to be blessed by her words of encouragement and gentle reminders of truth.