Coloring in the lines

The other day I was talking to a friend who frequently spends time with my three and a half year old daughter in a group setting. She remarked that Clara “marches to her own beat,” and that she is a “free spirit.” Now, I know every mother has her own things that make her beam with pride, but hearing these observations was music to this mother’s ears.

Yesterday evening my husband was watching Clara color. He later asked me, “Do you think you should teach her how to color in the lines?”

This is a question I have asked myself more than once. I have even half-heartedly suggested to my Little Spark that maybe she should try staying in the lines. Those words tasted bitter as they escaped my lips, lips with a history of singing their own tunes.

I’m sure throughout her life my girl will be told, in one way or another, to stay in the lines. I know she will receive this message many times from many people. I hope I will never again be one to dissuade her from veering toward the beautifully unexpected.

I hope that what she will find in my guidance is courage to embrace the gifts given to her, hope that her gifts will be recognized and embraced, and patience with her own heart when she is neither recognized nor embraced.

Because why would I want to change something this amazing?

Categories: Art, Excosmopolitan Theme, Family, Motherhood | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Full Circle

I have this theory that as children we are the  closest to our true selves that we will ever be and that the older we get- all  the experiences and trials we have- eventually(or hopefully) bring us back full  circle to the essence of who we were as young children. AND… My theory has  recently been amended to include, Motherhood is the ultimate catalyst for reminding us, for demonstrating to us, and for allowing (OK forcing) us to
embrace what it is to be a child again. God uses the gifts of our children to
RETEACH us how to become like children again!

I remember what I was like as a child. I was creative and thoughtful. I became easily engrossed in creating for hours on end and was singularly focused on my task.  I worked quickly seeking solutions for every obstacle I faced because I loved the process of creating. We had a craft room in my home growing up and I remember a beautiful Victorian trunk I made for one of my dolls out of the cardboard from the back of legal pads, beautiful scrap fabric, ribbon, hot glue, and a bit of hand sewing.

I was light hearted and confident. I sung constantly. I wrote poems and stories. I was silly and laughed. I read and read and read. I talked to God. I appreciated stillness and quiet. I not only didn’t care what people thought, but thoughts of their thoughts didn’t even occur to me- they had not entered the inner sanctum of my self- image. My heart was not easily wounded.

I was loyal to friends and family. I fiercely guarded their reputations. I chose loyalty over popularity many times. Until one fateful day in the freshman lunchroom when I capitalized on an invitation I had had been grooming, had been expecting- I walked away from two amazing friends and joined all life had to offer at the cool table.

Interesting how decisions like these mold us and begin transforming us into something other than what we truly are. How we hear new ideas and try them on. Sometimes after trying on so many new ideas we forget what our original thoughts once were. We forget how to just enjoy life and thank God in the moments He gives us. We second-guess our God-given instincts that would lead us toward embracing who He created us to be and on the path He created for us to walk on (hint it’s straight and narrow, but totally rockin’)!

The child who sang, “Jesus loves me this I know!” at the top her lungs while grinning ear to ear somehow begins singing other songs. Songs that don’t get right to it, you know? Songs about being stuck in traffic, or about your thighs not fitting into your jeans. Songs of fear and defeat and discontent. Songs that are lies and not the truth of God.

When asked by his disciples who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus said children!, “I am telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.” (Matthew 18 1-5 The Message)

Today I colored with my girls at their little table and we listened to a kiddie CD of Bible songs. Let me share with you how I was blessed:

“Is anything to hard for the Lord?”

“God is SO good, He’s SO good to me.”

“This is the day the Lord has made.”

“The fruit of, the fruit of Spirit is, yes the fruit of the fruit of the Spirit is: love and joy, joy and peace, peace and patience and kindness too, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control and goodness for you! Cha-cha-cha!”

“God will take care of you.”

“God is my strength.”

“Wherever He leads I’ll go.”

“Everybody ought to know, everybody ought to know, everybody ought to know who Jesus is!”

I’m telling you THIS IS WHERE IT’S AT!

If it weren’t for God’s amazing plan for my life, which includes, messes and exhaustion, temper tantrums and blow outs, a one year old who stretches out her hand to be held for prayer before meal times and a three year old who loves the Word of God, it may have taken me a lot longer to understand the importance of becoming simple and elemental, like a child.

I praise God for the blessings He has given me:

I’d love to hear from you!

What did you enjoy as a child?

What has your child taught YOU recently?

Categories: Excosmopolitan Theme, Motherhood, So I have this theory...... | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments


It has been nearly four months since I have written.

I have a list of excuses:

My computer broke. (It really did.)

I have been watching infomercials online searching for the perfect weight loss scheme.

I have purchased said weight loss schemes, realized they were crap, and wasted time emailing computerized customer service reps to get my money back.

I have wholly devoted myself to meal planning for my family. This pursuit has including reading many blogs written by awesome women who I’m sure don’t have it all together, but appear that they do. They can make a mountain of freezer meals in a three hour nap time and have the photos to “prove” it.

I have been cutting letters out of sand paper and gluing them to cardboard, printing pre-writing worksheets, and plastering giant calendars with moveable dates all over my walls!

I have been trying to shut off my computer and lay down to sleep at 10 pm so that I don’t yell at my beautiful children and loathe my amazing husband the next day.

I have been escaping my home in the evenings when the girls are in bed to shop at Banana Republic and eat chocolate mousse at Whole Foods.

I have been cursing the heat and basking in a wide array discontents.

I have been calling 911 when my 14 month old has seizures instigated by dropping a toy drum on her toes, getting her fingers pinched in a drawer, or stepping on a burr that somehow got onto the rug. She cannot cope with the pain it causes her to hold her breath and sends her into seizures. (Praise God she is unharmed by them!)

I have been trying to control EVERY LITTLE DETAIL to try to avoid these events.

I have been exhausted.

I have been in denial.

I have been looking for large freezers on Craig’s List to hold all those ridiculous freezer meals!

I have forgotten my own voice…… and thus have been helpless to write anything true.

But I hear it calling now. It’s still a bit distant and a bit loopy, but it says:

“Screw the freezer meals!”

“Run your ass off (sorry if this offends anyone, but if you only knew the self control I have used on this post=))!”

“Keep up your diligent efforts to organize your days and resources to bless your family.”

” Keep going to sleep at 10, 9 would be better. Embrace your mornings and love you life again!”

“Stop striving.”

“Sit down.”

“Trust people.”

“Trust God with that little seizing angel, after all He created her and His purposes for her life and your life are perfect.”

“Stop procrastinating and plan the flipping date night with your husband- you might actually enjoy it.”

So there’s my honesty in all its glory.

You’re welcome.


For your prayers, your friendship, for reading………

Please keep reading. I’ll be posting weekly from here on out and if you haven’t joined my RSS feed please do! You can get my new posts directly to your inbox and comment on them from there. Super easy=).

Categories: Excosmopolitan Theme, Motherhood | Tags: | 9 Comments

Bad Match

My husband and I are a bad match.

If we had lived in a culture of arranged marriages, no sage elders would have ever suggested a partnership between us.

Our union would yield not financial gain, nor peaceful conversations over delicately clanking tea cups.

If we had been searching for compatibility on our queries never would have linked. (I’m making up internet jargon here, which I know little to nothing about, so please forgive the inaccuracies.)

Sorry, no matching Angel’s t-shirts for me or couples yoga for him.

We don’t share a similar sense of humor, a co-dependent addiction to a mini-series, or a pet.

Oh yes! I almost forgot, we do have something in common, we are both first-borns, stubborn and unyielding.

We butt heads- a lot.

On bad days when our polarizing notions and emotions get the best of us, have had their power plays, and leave us depleted and frustrated- this is when I feel the lack neutral activity the most strongly.

“Can I just think of something funny to say- that will make us both laugh?” I can’t.

So here is my choice, to see our incompatibility as a special gift.

You see there are many couples who love to sport their matching Lacoste for a weekend tee-time or dance the night away or who can enjoy each other’s company while completing do-it-yourself projects.

And I imagine that things go just fine most of the time and when they don’t that stinks, but then soon it’s back to golf, salsa dancing, and tiling the bathroom.

What happens when things don’t go fine and there is no dusty set of clubs to dig out the closet and no deck to build?

What happens when there is no distraction from an attack on your marriage?And you are first-borns who know how to clench your teeth and dig your heels in?

I’ll tell you what happens.

You choose fight: for and with one another or against one another. (I’ll admit, in the heat of the moment, this boundary isn’t always clear cut.)

You fight together- wide eyed with fear that if you just let it wash over- that fragile seeming union will dissolve.

You fight for your spouse- even when you are down and your vision is blurred and you throw an accidental jab in the wrong direction.

When you are weary and weak you allow your spouse to fight for you and you express your sincere thanks for the victory won on your behalf.

My marriage is not easy, but it is dynamic.


When we refuse to give up,

When we venture into uncharted territory- and forge a new path together

When we acknowledge that our relationship was built for more than sitting-pretty

When we forgive,

Something extraordinary happens.

We can taste the goodness of the Lord.

We catch a glimpse of His unfolding vision for our lives.

We are unified in our desire to serve the Lord together-sanctification is painful.

We are strengthened.

We are a bad match, but somehow we work.

Like pizza and wine.

Like gravity and leaping from a cliff.

Like Bonnie and Cylde.

Our marriage is not a fragile union.

We have gotten “down and dirty” on its behalf many times.

Its muscle is increasing its strength.

I pray it builds endurance for the long path ahead.

It is a hearty and valuable covenant.

I  would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living. Psalm 27:14

This post is dedicated to my husband and the many wounds he has taken in the fight for me and us.

Categories: Family, Marriage | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Easter Means No Fear

I didn’t used to be afraid of flying on airplanes.

I didn’t used to fear the demands a day might hold or that I might not have enough.

I didn’t used to fear loss- the loss of things I hold too dear.

The presence of fear in my life robs me. It steals laughter and smiles from my dealings with my children. It undermines my efforts to build up my husband. It buries my desires to be truly honest with people I love.

I don’t want to live a life dictated by fear. A full and fearless life has already been purchased for me by Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. It’s already there, all I need to do is wear it!

“Because He Lives” was one of my Mamaw’s favorite songs:

God sent His son, They called Him Jesus. He came to love, heal and forgive. He lived and died, to buy my pardon. An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, I know, I know He holds the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

How sweet to hold a new born baby, and feel the pride and joy he gives. But greater still is that assurance the child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, I know, I know He hold the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

And then one day, I’ll cross that river. I’ll fight life’s final war with pain. And then as death gives way to victory. I’ll see the light of glory and I’ll know that He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know, I know, I know He hold the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

What are your fears?

What do your fears steal from you?

Your full and fearless life is waiting for you!

As you read the following verses taken from The Message thank God for the beautiful and victorious life He has fashioned just for you. Ask Him to show you a fear you have. Release that fear to God and ask Him to show you new ways to replace that fear with faith and praise.

If you are reading this and you have not given your heart and soul to Jesus. If you cannot shout out, “God has set everything right between him and me!”  Please read the verses and understand this amazing gift being offered to you.

The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. Romans 3:23

But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master. Romans 6:22-23

6-8Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Romans 5:8

Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.” Romans 10:13

The word that saves is right here,
as near as the tongue in your mouth,
as close as the heart in your chest.
It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God—”Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!” Romans 10:9-10

This is the testimony in essence: God gave us eternal life; the life is in his Son. So, whoever has the Son, has life; whoever rejects the Son, rejects life.

1 John 5:11-12

You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26


3-5What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.  1 Peter 1:3-4

May peace guard your heart this Easter.

Categories: Excosmopolitan Theme, Motherhood | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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