Let’s Get the Kids to Church

I don’t know about you, but getting my family ready for church on Sunday mornings can send me over the edge sometimes.

It’s a paradox for sure, the cursing under my breath and snapping at everyone because they can’t move fast enough. Here we are, preparing for holy ground, and all I can think is, “Enough, already. I’m done.”church

Once I get to church, however, something strange happens. The tightness is my chest relaxes, and suddenly I can breathe again. The peace washing over me can only be attributed to the Holy Spirit, and without a doubt I know this is where I belong. Worshipping is what I was made to do. At no other point during the week do I feel so deeply moved and connected.

Once I get to church, I’m always glad I made the effort. Always.

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Jeremiah 29:11

It was a gorgeous spring day, and I was happy. I had the sun on my face, love in my heart, and overwhelming gratitude for the family my husband and I had recently started.

Life was good.

As Harry and I sat in the grass outside our home, watching baby Ella crawl around with an explorer’s curiosity, a sense of peace washed over me. Everything I needed was here. My only agenda was to enjoy the scene before me.jeremiahBEST

Then all of a sudden, I saw something that threatened to ruin our perfect family moment. Ella was crawling on the sidewalk now, closing in on a new target: a massive pile of ants that, on her level, probably looked like fun.

I knew what had to be done, but I dreaded it. Never in a million years would Ella understand that I had her best interest in mind. The temper tantrum sure to follow would sour all our moods.

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What Does Your Dad Do?

Imagine for a moment a boy walking into his friend’s house for the first time. It’s not just any ordinary house; it’s an estate. There are marble floors, vaulted ceilings, and 6,000 square feet of antiques. Also on the property is a tennis court, a swimming pool, and private exercise quarters.dad44

At first, all the boy does is gape. Once he composes himself, he turns to his friend and asks the million-dollar question:

Wow. What does your dad do?”

One reality of the world we live in is how a family’s standard of living shines a spotlight on the father. Whether a family is living the high life or barely scraping by, we take our observations and automatically make assumptions about a father’s success (or lack of it) in the workplace.

And while fathers have always been under the microscope this way, the pressure is worse today because we’re a wealthier, more materialistic society than previous generations. It’s not just the upper-class enjoying luxuries – it’s the middle class, too. Big homes, fancy vacations, and designer clothes for the kids are norms in many communities.

While it used to be enough for a father to meet his family’s needs, he’s now expected to meet their every want, too. The problem with wants is that they’re never enough to satisfy us. The more we have, the more we need, and after a while, the line between our wants and our needs gets blurred.

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Me, My Man & 15 Years

It all started with a pair of blue swim trunks.

The fact that he was driving a ski boat didn’t hurt.

I knew Harry in college, but not until a year after graduation did I really see him. He was at the beach with his friends; I was there with mine. We were all hanging out and reveling in the freedom of being young, carefree, and financially independent.

I turned to my friend sitting by me in the boat. “Harry’s hot,” I whispered.

“I know,” she whispered back. “I’ve always had a thing for him.”Scan0008

And thus began my story with my husband, on a remarkable day 18 years ago, when the Gulf water was sparkling and perfect, and the catch of the day was standing right in front of me.

Less than a month later, I’d realize my new love interest wasn’t just the catch of the day – he was the catch of a lifetime.

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