• 100-Mile Food,  Faith

    Food for Thought: The Spiritual Side to Local Eating

    As time ticks closer towards July and the first day of our year-long local eating challenge, I have wrestled more and more with why we really want to do this challenge. Beyond teaching my girls what it means to appreciate food that is grown in our own backyard, why do we want to embark on this journey? As I’ve researched the changes our family is going to have to make, my eyes have been opened to the accompanying limitations. And believe me, it extends way beyond not being able to eat strawberries in February.┬áThis journey will certainly challenge the ethics behind our food choices. But, as a Christian, I believe…

  • Simple Living

    A Reintroduction: An Update on My Break-Up with Social Media

    This was the first week in almost two months where I intentionally chose to log into my social media accounts. For the past two months, my life has been much quieter, and I have been much more content with literally everything. Taking a break from social media has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and it’s one I hope I chose to implement each year. Initially, denying myself social media made me a bit edgy. I didn’t realize just how often I would pull out my phone during mundane moments, hoping to be entertained. Waiting for the kids in the bathroom? Let’s check Facebook. Waiting for my…

  • Faith

    Coffee Break Women’s Ministry: On the Blessings of Being Involved in a Community of Women

    For the past year and a half, I have had the privilege of being a co-leader of Coffee Break, our inter-generational women’s ministry at our church. Our group consists of about forty or so ladies and their kids. We meet women in every stage of their lives, but predominantly, our group is composed of younger moms, with a smattering of vital, mature women who provide us with much wisdom and experience. This past Wednesday was our last meeting for the season. I’m going to miss the weekly routine of setting up, leading and meeting women in their ordinary spaces of motherhood, marriage and faith. Being a leader of Coffee Break…

  • Family

    The Pre-Baby Dress: Body Image, Raising Daughters and Being Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

    Last week I wore a dress that had been languishing in the back of my closet. This particular dress had made the cut after my closet purge. I’m not sure why I kept it, besides the fact that it’s a pretty dress. Perhaps because it represents my pre-baby body. Probably because I have been hoping it would someday fit me like the first time I put it on. And while it didn’t look horrible when I wore it, I had to go around uncomfortably sucking in my stomach all day. And even though I have managed to lose most of my post-baby weight, my body has changed. My hips are…

  • Faith

    Time: On Being Managed, Disposable, Blessed and Holy

    As I type this, I’m listening to the quiet rain fall outside, the streetlights shimmering in the dusk. It’s a quiet night…so far. I have the evening to myself, waiting for Jeff to fly home from his most recent work trip. The girls are tucked into bed extra early, one battling after-school exhaustion, and the other fending off her second ear infection in two weeks. These next couple of hours are completely mine, quiet and composed before we’re rushed with the onslaught of Easter celebrations this weekend. Looking back to the beginning of the month, I have to chuckle. I had a plan on exactly how I was going to…

  • Faith

    Being Obsessed with Busy

    It’s been a while. For the past (almost) two weeks, I’ve been living in a stuffed head, sore-throated fevered fog. It’s somewhat ironic how my challenge for March is to rest. And then I was really forced to rest. And pop Tylenol and drink fluids and consume cough candies like bonbons. Last week was March break, and while we had so many plans, the girls and I were stuck in bed, sicker than sick, battling colds, fevers, ear infections and all around discomfort. It was not fun. (A big shout out to Jeff, who was so patient with us all, taking the night shift with the girls and loving all…

  • Faith

    Rules and Sabbath Rest: Four “Ts” to Kick-Start the Sabbath

    Before we go any further on this journey together, it should be made known that both Jeff and I are firstborns. So when I mentioned in my last post that I’m your get-it-done kind of gal, you should also be made aware that Jeff is painted with a similar brush. I definitely won’t go as far as to say that we’re identical in the way we approach life. (He’s an engineer, after all, while I briefly studied music before settling into a career as a hairstylist. Practicality meets artsy fartsy, at its finest.) However, it is safe to say that both Jeff and I fit the stereotypical mold of the…

  • Faith

    A Summary on Living with Less: 3 Benefits of Pursing Less in Order to Live More

    Today is February 28. Twenty-eight days ago we decided to embark on a challenge to live with less in order to remain true to our core values of faith, marriage, family, contentment and hospitality. We have managed to reduce or eliminate a lot of unnecessary stuff/clutter/noise from our lives, yet if anything, this past month has only revealed to us how much we can still give up – how we still have a long way to go in living a simplified life. God has used our month of less to search our hearts, to reveal to us what truly has a hold on our hearts. All the while, He has…

  • Faith

    An Update: The First Week of Lent and Living Without TV

    We have made it through the first week of Lent somewhat unscathed. (For those of you just dropping by, our family decided to give up watching TV for the Lenten season. Check out my post here!) After sharing our decision to give up TV for Lent, it seems most responses have fallen into either one of two camps – the first one being the Encouragers – those who have also given up TV for a season (or even permanently) and are wildly cheering for us from the sidelines. And the second camp – the Bafflers – those who give us a tentative “high-five” with a quizzical look on their face,…

  • Faith

    Lent and Living with Less…TV

    Lent. It begins tomorrow. The forty days before Easter where we set aside time to reflect on Jesus – His suffering and sacrifice, His life, death, burial and resurrection. It’s a period of fasting and spiritual discipline, where we live without in observance of the sacrifice Christ made for us on the cross. In the past, Jeff and I have both separately fasted from certain habits and activities over the Lent season. We’ve given up coffee, alcohol, social media and junk food. This year, our decision to live with less for the month of February coincides perfectly with Lent. We also felt that our kids are at an age where…