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I cannot believe I am writing about Lady Gaga. I have never had much to say about her except, perhaps, that time she wore the meat dress. Meat? For real? The smell of uncooked meat makes me want to puke. Making hamburger patties sends me over the edge. Can you imagine wearing it? I guess sacrifices are necessary when it comes to fashion.Now, though, I do have something to say. Sunday night at the Oscars, Lady Gaga sang a tribute to Julie Andrews and The Sound of Music, and it was incredible. Here - listen for yourself.Sure, Lady Gaga has sold millions of albums and won Grammy Awards, but to be quite honest, I didn't know she was such a great singer. She's always just been (in my mind) a walking gimmick. She has been so well known for what she wears that how she sings has been secondary, at least to me. Truthfully, however, she has great talent. It is, to be spiritual, a God-given talent. So here's what I have to say: sometimes the gimmicks we hide behind and use to gain attention only detract from the real purpose God created us to fulfill.There's no doubt in my...


The world wants me to believe that I'm not a good mother, and it tells me in the most ridiculous ways.These, for example.All over Facebook and Instagram, I see friends who had precious matching shirts for every day of their Disney trip. You know who didn't? This girl. We were lucky enough to be able to afford a trip to Disney, much less have outfits coordinating with the parks and princesses we'd be seeing that day. My kids wore their in-closet Target bargain clothes, and the voice in my head wants me to feel badly about it. Sometimes I do, and then sometimes I remember that THEY GOT TO GO TO DISNEY WORLD. So never mind.Don't forget these:I don't have monthly pictures of my babies' first year complete with stickers showing their age. It wasn't a thing back when they were born, and now I feel like they'll need years of therapy because they won't know how their six month pictures compare to their seven month pictures. Just what kind of mother am I? (One who's lucky to have pictures of her children at all, I think. Especially the second one - she did not sleep through the night for...


I have a sign in the front of my classroom that simply says 'believe.' I want my students to believe that they can, believe that I care, and believe that this all matters for more than just a report card.Today, though, this happened.My 'believe' toppled to the floor, and I just stood there and stared. The sign on the floor was a sign for my life and a sign of the struggle I'm currently in. My belief is falling, and I'm afraid there will be a loud bang when, at any moment, it, too, hits the floor. I want to believe that I can, believe that someone cares, and believe that this all matters for more...


My daughter captured this picture of me today.Flattering, huh?Yep, that's me working out in my den, wiping the sweat dripping off the end of my nose. When I first saw the picture, I immediately (as all women would) critiqued it. I nearly deleted it, but something struck me. My daughter, the little brown-haired girl who copies my every move and is the spitting image of me, took that picture. She sat and watched me for the entire workout, jumping up and doing some of the moves with me at times. That little girl took my picture, and as she did, she wasn't critiquing my form or muscle tone. She was just watching her mom making a choice to take care of herself. So I didn't delete the picture, and I'm hoping that somebody reading this will remember that you, too, have somebody watching you, using you as a role model.Being a mom is a super hard task, and being a mom who takes care of herself is even harder. I don't want to play the martyr here, but it's never easy to eat right and work out. It's so tempting to eat what's convenient and not exercise. It's so tempting...