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  Maybe I'm the only one who has days where I feel ugly, fat, and stupid. But I'm guessing if you arrived at this post, you probably feel that way too. Some days, for no particular reason at all, I wake up in the morning and just feel blah. Inferior. Incapable. Unable to move past the voices lying to my heart. Ugly. Fat. Stupid. I try not to compare myself to other women, and I avoid the 'keeping up with the Joneses' game as much as I can. But my enemy knows where I'm most vulnerable, and my Achilles heel is not feeling good enough. My weakness is wondering whether I'm doing enough and whether I myself am enough. So that's where he attacks. His plan to defeat me often involves degrading my appearance, and he's done it since I was 12. I know this about him, but knowing doesn't always prevent believing. Where does Satan attack you? Maybe he doesn't tell you you're ugly, fat, or stupid, but maybe he tells you you're a terrible wife. A distant mother. A sub-par business owner. Maybe he whispers that your personality is boring, or your giftedness is a joke. Maybe he reminds you of a decision you made...


  When I learned my second pregnancy was with a little girl, I immediately had visions of tutus and hairbows. Parenting up to that point had consisted of Tonka trucks and John Deere tractors, so the thought of dressing up a little girl fascinated me. I left the ultrasound and went straight to the store, needing to buy something pink and prissy to hang in her closet. Today, that little girl is nearly 10 years old, and although I dressed her in pink and placed the biggest bows I could find on her tiny baby head, she did not turn out to be a prissy girl. She is athletic and strong, and she would rather wear running shorts and t-shirts than dresses and tights. Her dark brown hair cascades down her back, and a ponytail has become her signature look. But that dark brown ponytail has become the biggest argument-inducer between the two of us. She hates to condition it, hates to dry it, and hates to brush it. If she had her way, her hair would always air dry and be full of tangles and knots. We’ve gone around and around about it, and every night I find myself asking, “Have you...


  Sometimes our lives feel like quicksand. What we thought was solid ground turns out not to be so solid, and it unexpectedly grabs us and pulls us down. No matter how much we struggle to escape, we continue to sink. We want to get out more than anything, but we're stuck. We are trapped in circumstances beyond our control, and there seems to be no obvious solution. Where are you stuck today? In a job you hate? With a spouse you can't change? In a financial crisis you caused but can't solve? Maybe there's no external situation trapping you - maybe you're stuck in your own thoughts. Maybe you're trapped in a cycle of self-hatred and depression. Worry and anxiety. Condemnation and doubt. Maybe your life is a combination of internal and external traps. I've certainly been there. It feels hopeless, doesn't it? Like you'll be there forever, and there's no way out. Every second drags by, and you look around at everyone moving freely while your own feet are in chains. You'd do anything for a change, but you've tried everything that didn't work. You literally have no control, and there's nothing you can do but wait. You are at God's mercy, and you pray He will...


  When I was a little girl, all I wanted to be was a mother. Sure, I played around with being a marine biologist (who knew you had to be good at science?!), and I would teach school to my dolls and stuffed animals. I dreamed of being an ice skater when the winter Olympics were on, and I toyed with the idea of being a journalist. I considered different careers, but in my heart, I knew my greatest desire was to be a mom. And now I am.   I'm the mom of two incredible human beings, and God has given me the desire of my heart. But man, is it ever hard. Before I gave birth, I knew exactly what kind of mom I would be. I'd be patient all the time, my house would always be tidy, and I'd be a phenomenal cook. But according to these standards, I'm actually a colossal failure. I lose my patience daily, my house looks like a tornado blew through, and my cooking would make Rachael Ray grimace. I am not the mom I thought I'd be, and I'm willing to bet you're not, either.  I heard from a friend recently who said, "I always wanted kids and never...