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26.07.2015

I don't think I've ever been more excited about an app than I am for the First 5 app, and I want you to join me in its official launch tomorrow morning!Proverbs 31 is an incredible ministry that takes the word of God to people all over the world, and it has developed an app to wake you each morning with Scripture. You simply set your alarm within the app, and the first thing you'll see every morning is a short devotion. Before Facebook and Twitter can steal your thoughts and distract your heart, First 5 will take your thoughts directly to the One who made you and loves you. The devotions are designed to take 5 minutes and to be a manageable way to give God what Lysa Terkeurst calls your "Genesis thoughts" - those first thoughts that set the tone for the entire day. The First 5 website says, "We say we put God first...

10.05.2015

2011.Mother's Day was coming, and I was dreading it. My first holiday as a single mom, my birthday, had been excruciating, but I dreaded this day even more. Mothers and fathers are a pair, but I wasn't part of a pair anymore. I was newly alone, very single, and still trying to figure out which way was up. My children were too young to think of or buy gifts, so I feared that the day would go unrecognized and I would be miserable. I knew it would be hard. Hard had become a way of life, and holidays were a type of hard I had never experienced before. Holidays were supposed to bring joy, but all they brought were real reminders of a reality I wished weren't mine.Mother's Day. I wanted to skip it.When the day came, though, it wasn't as bad as I imagined it might be, and the only reason it wasn't was my own mom. She made it better than it had to be. That's what moms do, isn't it? They make it better, whatever it is.My mom had taken my kids a few days before, giving me some very needed relief. Unbeknownst to me, she was...

07.05.2015

I can't remember the final time I bathed either of my children.   For years, I scrubbed their tiny bodies with Johnson's, my knees screaming for mercy as I kneeled beside the tub. Night after night, I wrapped their sweet-smelling pink flesh in hooded towels and wrestled their slippery selves as I forced their toes into feety-pajamas. I slathered chunky thighs with pink lotion, combed wisps of baby-fine hair, stacked bath toys in their usual spots, and mopped up rivers of bath water cascading through the bathroom. Every night, we had our routine. And now it's done. My big kids bathe themselves now, and although I used to long for this day to arrive, it's bittersweet. Sure, it's nice to say, "Go take your shower" and sit on the couch while it happens, but some nights I'd give anything to watch them marvel at splashing again or to shampoo their hair myself. Sometimes, I'd love to see baby toys sitting where big-kid shampoo and loofahs now do. What I wouldn't do to wrap their warm bodies in hooded towels and snuggle them against me one more time. Lasts are hard, but sometimes only after the fact. They're hard because we don't know that they're lasts....

18.04.2015

The clay sculptures sit next to my bed where I can see them every morning and night. A dinosaur, an eagle, and a fish are among my most treasured possessions.Painstakingly shaped and painted by my own children, these pieces may never be on display in a museum, but they are displayed where their creators' mother can see and appreciate them over and over. In a fire, I'd scoop them right up over items worth thousands more.My children made them for me, and that is what makes them perfect.But to my children, they aren't. Sometimes when they see them, they laugh at what they made when their hands were smaller, and they see every flaw in their hands' creations. They ask me why I keep them out, why I display them like they're fine art.So often, in my own creating, I feel like I just mess up everything, too.In my hands and through my eyes, what I intend to be beautiful is nothing more than broken. What I mean to be a masterpiece turns into a mess.My meager offerings to the Lord? They disappoint me. They are never enough and never as good as so and so's. When I reflect on...