To My Daughter, Before You Go to Kindergarten: Love the Hard Ones

That kid who keeps making fart noises and laughing hysterically? Love him.

That kid who went to the principal’s office for cutting another kid’s hair? Love her.

That kid who doesn’t know how to count to ten? Love her too.

That kid who peed all over the bathroom wall? Yep, even him.

That kid who cussed out the teacher? Absolutely. She needs your love so desperately.

Because here’s the thing. You might be just what they need.

I know, because I’ve been loved by you. And you were what I needed. I know what it is to be changed by you, to have my insides reconfigure because of your kindness. You’ve got it in you, this ability to infuse those around you with goodness. You can do that.

husband wife marriage rut children needy

Dear Husband: A Note From Your Newly Needy Wife

That confident, independent woman-child told you things like, “I don’t like romance,” and, “Please don’t get me flowers. They’re such a waste of money,” and, “If you EVER (insert cheesy gesture here), I will run the other way.” I wanted you to know that you weren’t getting involved with one of those “needy” girls.

Flash forward to today. Ten years later.

TIPS FOR ROAD TRIPS WITH SMALL CHILDREN, TODDLERS, PRESCHOOL AGE KIDS

7 Tips and Tricks for Road Trips with Small Children

I’ve figured out a few tips and tricks along the way that have made the drives fairly smooth, dare I say even enjoyable. I won’t call my kids Road Warriors yet, but they’ve certainly earned some stripes these last few years. I hope one or two of these are new to you!

Minimalism, Order, and Community: Why My Husband Makes Me Uncomfortable

I was overwhelmed. I had three tiny people who required all of me and left trails of you-name-it wherever they went. We were renting a 2,100 square foot house that was filled to the brim with stuff, most of which I didn’t even like.

My house was decorated with hand-me-downs from other relatives, dead or alive, and things I’d registered for pre-Pinterest and therefore pre-I-know-what-I-like-and-how-I-want-it-to-look. And I was DROWNING in housework even though my mom and MIL, God bless them forever and ever amen, paid for my house to be cleaned once a month (if you’re in need of a baby shower gift idea, that’d be the one).

So after reading a few books*, watching a few documentaries**, and sitting at the feet of friends a lot more like Jesus than me, I began feeling pulled toward SIMPLE.

Love always hopes and perseveres

31 Days of Marriage Guest Series: Love Always Perseveres

We fight depression and “man” colds, job losses and panic attacks, miscarriage and grief, sinus infections and the stomach flu. Together. We battle insurance claims, broken pipes, family caregiving, moving and childrearing. Together.

Even when both of us are feeling selfish. Even when both of us are feeling exhausted. Even when both of us want to throw in the towel, lift up our hands and cry out to God in agony, “We surrender.”

31 Day of Marriage Guest Series: Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs

After a fight in that first year (of which I have no recollection what it was about), my husband said something to me that made me stop and think — and changed the trajectory of our marriage.

He said, “I need you to stop nit-picking. If something bothers you, I need you to ask yourself if it is going to bother you tomorrow, or next week, or in a month. If you still think it is something that is going to bother you – say something. If it is not, let it go.”

Let it go.

31 Days of Marriage Guest Series: Love is Not Easily Angered

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the theme of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is placed between chapters about using our spiritual gifts in service to one another and worshiping our Creator.

The kind of love that is sandwiched between service and worship and bound up in love. This kind of love “is not easily angered.” – 1 Corinthians 13:5