7 Quick Takes:

— 1 —

The Time Change has not been kind to us.  I have no idea how moving the clock forward one hour can cause os much havoc in our lives, but it seems it has…  DST coincided with Spring Break this year, so the kids have been out of routine as well, and getting up in the morning has been kind of an issue.  For me too!  So much caffeine has been consumed this week…

— 2 —

Including coffee, which I usually don’t drink every day.  BUT.  I found this new creamer – girl scout cookie flavored creamer.  Look for by the milk – it is AMAZING.  (I really like the coconut caramel one)

— 3 —

In all our schedule craziness and my caffeine consumption, I have still managed to tone down my yelling at the kids.  It’s happened a few times, but not nearly as badly as it was when I was not being intentional about it.  And with it being a doozie of a week, I’d say that’s pretty awesome.

— 4 —

My five-year-old got her first real love letter yesterday.  Handwritten by a boy in her class.  It was both adorable and terrifying.  I’m not sure I’m cut out the be the mommy of a girl.

— 5 —

I’m babysitting two girls from down the street tonight, and my kids are totally excited about it.  I told them we would eat pizza and maybe watch a movie. The youngest girl is in Benji’s class at school, and they have been begging to have a play date for weeks.  I think all the kids assume I planned this as a party to make them happy, when in reality it just lets their parents go out for dinner like grown-ups!  That’s fine – if it works out well, we can probably manage to trade off date nights or something.  Yay!

— 6 —

I am so excited about going to the IA Summit this month. They have a board game night! and yoga! and a 5k run!  and a happy hour hosted by Disney!  And it’s totally a work conference!  Six days away from my family will be good break – just long enough to make me really appreciate them when I get home.

— 7 —

Let’s just pretend I have a seventh take, mm’kay?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Five Minute Friday: Crowd

Five Minute FridayFive Minute Friday: Crowd


The press of the people around me.  The smell of so many different people, air that has seems like it has been breathed and re-breathed and I wonder if there is anything good left in it, anything sustaining left by the time I inhale it, exhale it.  I put my hand on Chad’s back, missing his ponytail that I used to hold like a lifeline, following him through the group, willing myself to not loose him.  I know it’s crazy, but I feel like I could drown in the crowd, like if I loose my grip on Chad I might never be found.  I constantly check to make sure the kids are with us – holding a hand, being carried, just somehow still in contact, not swept away be the crowds.  

And then we make it to a clearing, out of the way of all the people, and I can breathe.  Count noses, we’re all here.  Relief washes over me.  I wonder – is this how it felt for the Israelites to go through the desert and come out in the Promised Land? 


For more Five Minute Friday posts, visit Lisa-Jo here

Five Minute Friday: Willing

Five Minute FridayStart:

Willing.  I want to do so may things in my life – be more involved my my comminuty, make better friends, be a better parent, be more involved in everything good… and yet am I willing?  Willing to get up, to give up my time, my schedules, my plans, even my goals,  to be where God wants me to be and doing what he wants?  Am I willing to be outside my comfort zone?  To make my friends uncomfortable in the process?  To be That Girl?  I don’t know.  But I want to be, so, so desperately.

How do I find that willingness?  And how do I train it into my children so that it’s natural for them?  I need to continue seeking, striving, praying, trying to find the way – and to be open, willing to leave my nice warm bubble and BE… be outside, be light and salt, be where I should be and when I should be, and be open and willing to take new opportunities.  Just to BE willing.


Find more Five Minute Friday here, and get a free sneak peek of Lisa-Jo’s new book!

7 Quick Takes – Lent, Facebook, Politics, and Other Randomness

— 1 —

So.  Not yelling at the kids for a whole 40 days.  Here’s the thing:  I know (and knew when I started) that I can’t actually pull this off.  BUT.  I can improve.  So I would label the last several days a success. I have only raised my voice a few times, and generally brought it back down within a word or two.  But man, are my kids testing me.  We’ve had misbehavior at school, sibling squabbles at home, and the crazy hour between getting home and dinner where I’m just trying to get food on the table already, and the kids are trying to convince me to feed them every snack in sight. (Actually, looking back, this is pretty normal for us.  Huh.)  I haven’t seen an increase in good behavior in these few days, but I have felt like a much better mommy when dealing with the behavior I have seen.  All in all, I’m not doing too badly, I guess.

— 2 —

Except I think I should have given up Facebook for Lent.  Because it sends my blood pressure up, all the time now.  See, I have friends on every side of the religion/politics/whatever spectrum.  And so my feed is full of things like “If it weren’t for the gays and the illegals, America would be pretty ok!” and “Don’t let anyone convince you X is a good idea, it’s actually socialism!” and “Why are Christians/Republicans/Democrats/non-home-schoolers/fill-in-the-blank so dumb?”.

And I’m just… tired.  I feel like letting some of these things pass by in my feed without comment (especially the hateful ones) might lead others to think I believe the same way.  And yet commenting starts a Facebook war, and I hate dealing with that.

In my new quest to be authentic, I’ve tested the waters commenting on a few things, or posting (in an unrelated kind of way) a link to an article that kind of shares my views on the subject.  So far, I’ve started Facebook wars on the use of the term “illegal immigrant”, why churches should help the poor, and why supporting the end of all government programs for the poor while not providing any alternatives might not be the most Christian thing in the world.  I can see discussions on home schooling, purity culture, gay wedding cakes, and the term “social justice” on the horizon.

— 3 —

But.  I have also gotten a couple of (private) notes from people thanking me for taking a stand or posting articles, that it it nice to know someone out there believes similarly to what they do.  And that, my friend, is what will keep me going.  Because the goal doesn’t have to be to convince people I’m right, or to try to get haters to stop hating.  Maybe it’s just to reach out to people who are in the same places I am, and help us all feel like we’re not alone.

— 4 —

These posters of some of the weird things a dad has said to his kids really had me laughing.  Many, if not all of them, could easily have been said in my house (if I haven’t said them already).

— 5 —

I may try to do a whole post on this at some point in the future, but the Bullet Journal method has been rocking my world, organizationally.  I got a nice Moleskine, and started the middle of January… I’ve filled almost half the book!  I’ve had to adapt the system a little for my needs, but I love it.  Super helpful for keeping track of things at work, when I have multiple projects, and for keeping me focused without having a million notebooks/note cards/pieces of paper floating around to try to keep track of.

— 6 —

I am totally loving this site called IF:Equip.  It has a daily Bible reading, and a short (around three minute) video of two Christian women (bloggers!) discussing the passage and what it means to them.  They have an option where you can get the posts in email, and it is the best reminder to me to squeeze in some extra devotional time during the day (especially important if I missed my time in the morning, which happens all to often.

— 7 —

I am simultaneously looking forward to an extra hour of sunshine every day, and dreading losing an hour of already precious sleep this weekend.  I guess I can;t have one without the other, though.  Here’s hoping the kids adjust easily to the time change!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!



In January, I read My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word (affiliate link).  It really challenged me to think about my life, and what I wanted to seek after for myself and my family.  I chose the word “PEACE”.  I mean, everyone can use more peace, right?  And it’s a Fruit of the Spirit, so it’s got to be good…

The fact is, my life could use a lot more peace.  I feel like I’m rushing around all the time, always stressed or angry at myself and everyone else… it makes me short tempered, and forgetful, and not fun to be around.

So.  In a step to furthering my journey towards peace, I decided to give up yelling at my kids for Lent.

I’m going to let that sink in for a minute.

For the next 40 days, not counting Sundays, I’m going to endeavor to NOT yell at my children.  This will be a huge effort, y’all, I’m not even gonna lie.  Yelling seems to be my go to for making the kids listen.  But I’ve noticed that they’ve started to yell back.  And yell at each other.  And while I’m not screaming at them, I know from my own childhood that it can’t be terribly encouraging to be yelled at every day.

Once I decided on this plan, I googled it (of course).  It turns out, I’m not the only mommy out there to do this! I found some great resources for my journey:

Erin at Home with the Boys posted a great blog last year on giving up yelling for Lent: This Mama’s Lenten Journey: Less Yelling, More Praying.  And her follow-up article on the verses she uses has been really helpful, too: Less Yelling, More Praying: Bible Verses to Pray.

I also love this post from Kat at Inspired to Action (for days when I don’t quite make the goal): What Goes Through My Head After Yelling at My Kids.

So – that’s my plan!  I’ll report back here periodically through Lent and update on my progress (authentically! Both good and bad!).

Authentically Weird

“We are not normal.”  Chad and I say this to each other often, laughing, reveling in the fact that we are in fact the same kind of weird.  And it’s true… we are not normal.  I am not normal. I’m not really sure what normal is.  And yet, as far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to appear normal.

I was home schooled, all twelve years.  My parents balked at the “socialization question” every time it was raised, since I was in Awana, every church activity possible, and various home school activities like field trips and band.  I was far more socialized that my public schooled peers, they told everyone who stood still long enough.  But they knew I was weird, too.  They encouraged me to try and fit in with the kids in my home school group, they celebrated my (few) friendships, they comforted me when normal kid-teasing and bullying happened.  But they (especially mom) always assumed I needed to be reminded to “act normal”.  So people wouldn’t know what we were really like.

Fast forward to being an adult.  I’m married (happily so, at least there’s no pretending there), and mom to two kids.  I work full-time.  I struggle with anxiety/depression.  I struggle with my beliefs.  I can’t keep house to save my soul.  I yell at my kids a lot more than I’d like to admit.  And yet I still want to project that “Everything is Awesome!” image to people I meet. And to my friends.  To everyone, really.

I guess I just want people to like me.  And I’ve always felt like if the saw the hot mess that is the real me – maybe they wouldn’t like me at all.  Maybe they would laugh at me?  Maybe they would just ignore me? I don’t even know what, exactly, I’m afraid of.

But I do know this.  I’m tired.  I’m tired of pretending.  I’m tired of telling everyone I’m fine.  I’m tired of answering every “How are you?” with a “Fine!”.  I’m tired of worrying that everyone will find out how not-fine I am, or what I actually believe, and will judge me for it.  And I’m tired of thinking that I’m the only person who is like me – I have a hunch there are more of us out there, hiding behind our picture-perfect Facebook feeds.

So.  Welcome to my new life, being authentically weird.