12 Ways to Pursue Better Rest

After the holidays, I had a Sunday-morning conversation with a friend, asking how she was doing. She responded with frustration that despite trying to rest, she didn’t feel rested. I know that feeling. You kick back to watch a movie, or you curl up in a chair for half an hour to scroll through social media, and you’re resting, right? Your body is pausing activity to be still, possibly even dozing off for a bit. Then why on earth do we not feel rested? Our family had to suffer through burnout and depression in order to learn that pausing from physical activity alone is not restorative rest. True rest involves the mind and emotions, too. We personally had to change […]

Looking for Rainbows

The late afternoon sun beams straight through the back of the house to the windowed front door. We enjoy this magic hour for a few brief moments every sunny day. Harsh light brightens the entire space and creates long-legged shadows. It reveals dust on the cabinets and a tinge of red in my baby girl’s curls. My daughter does a short-legged dance and makes an ungraceful twirl in her tutu, with open hands extended just above her head. She stops mid-dance: “Mom, I see a rainbow!” She disappears, and I hear her patter quickly toward the front door, then stop and patter back again. “I found a rainbow, Mom!” She comes to find my legs and wraps her short arms […]

Hoping for Real: Songs Inspired by The Velveteen Rabbit

I love a good children’s book. I mean, I *love* a good children’s book. (We’re planning a post to share some of our favorites with you soon, so stay tuned for that.) Just as much as I love a good children’s book, I love good music made from a good children’s book. Let me introduce you to my new friend Hope Kemp.  Hope is a talented singer and songwriter who put her music career on the back burner as she stayed at home to raise and homeschool her kids. However, she never stopped working on her craft. Now that her kids are grown, she’s on the music scene again in a surprising and delightful new way. Hope’s daughter suggested she […]

The Advent of the Lamb of God

Thanks to a hack on our WordPress site, I have been unable to blog for the past couple weeks, which is sad because I have good things I want to share with you all! Forgive my back-to-back posts of favorite things, but I want you to hear about these before Christmas! First up is an advent resource I used last year to help prepare my heart for the Christmas season. With the hustle and stress of a busy month, I wanted to slow my heart down and engage with the story of Christmas in a meaningful way. I had heard good things about The Advent of the Lamb of God (published previously as Behold the Lamb of God), and I […]

Rhythms of Work and Rest

This summer was a busy one. We had a huge international trip to two different countries with four young kids in tow. (Yeah, I know. Don’t worry–we had help.) All this travel was exciting and fulfilling in ways we never expected as God allowed us to encourage and help a number of friends serving in hard places, as well as reconnect with friends in our old neighborhood. Upon our return home, all we wanted to do was crash, but we had given ourselves exactly three days to unpack, do laundry, and repack for the long drive to a conference near my hometown. Needless to say, by the time the conference was over and we made the drive back, I was never so happy […]

The Wilderking Trilogy

Hello, friends! After a busy summer of travel, we’re back at it, and we’d like to share some new #favoritethings that we’ve discovered along the way. Up this week is The Wilderking Trilogy, by Jonathan Rogers. As a boy mom, I’m always looking for a good read-aloud that will engage my sons’ imaginations and stir them toward nobler thoughts. The Wilderking Trilogy most certainly delivers. The antics of our favorite characters elicited delightful giggles, and the action kept them asking for “please, just one more chapter!” But these books aren’t just a fun read–they explore themes like loyalty, friendship, courage, stewardship, and wisdom. The first book, The Bark of the Bog Owl, begins the tale of Aidan Errolson, the outdoorsy youngest […]

The Boy Who’d Never Tasted an Apple

There was once a boy who lived 15 years without ever tasting an apple. Oh, he knew what apples were. They were everywhere. Apples on billboards and bumperstickers, t-shirts and magazine covers. The lady on the car commercial was holding an apple. The hero of his favorite movie had a thing for apple pie. But the boy had never seen an apple in real life, much less tasted one himself. The boy’s parents ate apples in secret, and the boy knew it, but in public the boy’s parents pretended that apples didn’t exist. The boy wanted desperately to know more about how apples grew and what they tasted like, but he was afraid to ask. The boy looked to the internet […]

A Death on Our Wedding Day

This week we celebrate fifteen years of marriage. Sometimes when I look at the photo on our bookshelf, it’s hard to believe we’re so far removed from that momentous day. (Then a kid screams at his brother and the harsh jolt makes it seem like an alternate lifetime. *sigh*) Our honeymoon didn’t start off at all the way we’d planned. After a perfectly smooth ceremony and a delightful reception filled with family and friends, we were whisked away by a chauffeur in a classy car. It was supposed to be a quick little drive to Nashville–less than an hour from my hometown to the hotel–but shortly after we got on the interstate things came to an abrupt halt. A fatal wreck happened between our classy […]

The Taste of Selfishness

We were poor newlywed college students looking for a way to pass the evening when we had the brilliant idea of popping over to the local mall for an ice cream cone from the fancy creamery. Since money was tight, we decided to get one double-scoop cone and share it, each of us picking a topping. It was going to be the best ice cream ever. We each selected the thing we were most craving and we peered through the glass as the attendant folded our independent choices into a single pile of ice cream on the cold marble slab: fresh cherries and Oreo cookies. It was indeed one epic ice cream cone. Hands down the worst we’ve ever had. It was so bad, in […]

The King’s Messenger

This week’s #favoritething is a delightful story written by someone who has since become a dear friend. The King’s Messenger, by Carolyn Clare Givens is a middle-grade chapter book that reads as a kind of parable. This medieval tale will captivate children and parents alike. (You know it’s a good book when a 10-year-old boy devours it in one sitting–as does his momma.) Smuggins waits daily in the presence of his beloved King. As a messenger, he stands at the ready, observing everything the King does, awaiting his turn to be called to serve. Years of waiting and watching shape him, preparing him for the day rumors of unrest reach the throne room and he is finally called upon for an important and dangerous mission. Is […]