This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Monday, November 07, 2016

We Have Moved!

Thank you for clicking! There's a chance I have no idea how to change my web address on various platforms, so you keep getting shuffled over here to the old blog.

It's a happy place. It really is, but after 10 years of living at the same blogspot, I thought it was time to mix it up.

Come see the latest posts and keep up on publishing information over at



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

It's the People in Church Who Ruin it Best

Ive recently talked to several people who want to like church, but struggle because Christians have been one minute too crazy. They described hurt and frustration from people and experiences. And boy do I get it. Church is weird. It's bound to be. It's made of people. 

We are a screwed up crew. We have more problems than a middle school math book. For real we carry our junk like a shield, propagate insane doctrine because we are too busy or neglectful to look up what's true, and sometimes we even have audacity to tell God and others what he is like. More times than not people are left with an image of God that is just plain wrong. 
The nitty gritty is that Jesus came to bring heart to the laws and get us each that much closer to redemption. 

"God does not, then, want to put people into little boxes and keep them safe and sound. It is, after all, possible to be so sound that you’re sound asleep."

What's your life like? Are you playing it safe and not risking a relationship with God? You want to believe, you see that peace in those who believe, but it's too much? You're stuck on all those crazies who stifled you or made you feel wrong when you attempted life in the church before? 

Are you too sound? Have you accepted Jesus and then tucked him away like a precious bit of money you don't want to lose? Is he so tucked away people don't even know he is there? 

Maybe it's time to be brave. 

"I am not in favor of unsoundness; but soundness means health, and health means growth, and growth means life and vigor and new directions."

I grew up in a pretty weird house. It was solid and shaky all at once. Its plumb line was straight and yet ten rows up my bricks shifted into dysfunctional. My parents suddenly became human and their choices shifted how I viewed family. How I viewed God. How I viewed me. 

Decades later I realize they were always human. Fallible. Real. Striving toward what they thought was right. The solid didn't come from them. My plumb line came from God. My foundation was built on true peace. Even their divorce couldn't  shake it. 

The crazies I met in my life couldn't hold me because I saw them for what they were: broken. So I knew not to let them define me. I knew not to let them draw a box and place me within it because boxes aren't from God. We serve a God of freedom. A God who yearns to lay hold of our chains and pulverize them. It's as if they never existed. All their powers suddenly gone. 

This isn't God's way. God's way is love. I'm sorry there are people who hurt you. I'm sorry when I hurt you. But don't throw it all out. Don't disregard the chance for peace because people have it wrong. They didn't make you nor should they define you. 

Choose peace, friend. Choose Jesus. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Who Are You Rooting For

Stop asking me if I've heard about Brad and Angelina. The radio shows are full of their story like they are talking about what's on sale at the grocery store. They've dehumanized them. Made their hurt commonplace and no count. I'm sure it's just as the devil wants it.

I'm not a celebrity person. I can't be. I spent many childhood days in a recording studio, or with my dad while he was making music or performing. I grew up around some decently popular names and more so around wanna be famous people. It brings on a weird jaded discernment that makes you see through their status and right to their humanness.

One time I went shopping with Mark McGrath. Remember him? Sugar Ray. 

We were at a high priced mall in Vegas attempting to spend money won in a radio show contest. My sis wins every radio contest ever, so she invited me to ease the celebrity tension. She shopped and we all palled around. 

Mark and I sang most of the songs from Grease. Ninja took a picture of a lady massaging her buns with a back massager at Sharper Image. Stuff like that. I still have the picture printed somewhere. I'm sure you can imagine it. 

At one point he leaned over to us and said" I thought this was going to be totally lame. This has been so fun! You guys are normal. Not like the usual girls." High praise. And I'm being serious. 

So I leaned over and said "you know. You can actually sing."

He replied with a very loud laugh and who am I to let a guy guffaw alone? Nope bit won't ever happen. After our guts hurt a little from the laughing he quipped, "Well I hope so!"  

I asked why he doesn't sing different music. "Why do you sing that bubblegum pop if you don't like it?" 

"That's what the record labels tell me I have to sing. I've pitched them other ideas. They say it won't sell." Turns out he was a little before his time and likes singer/songwriter. A man after my own musical heart. 

This might be the saddest thing I've ever heard. He agreed. I'm not saying any of this to get you to feel sorry for celebrities. They choose their lime light. I just think maybe we can remember they are people before they are famous and while they are famous and after they are done being famous. They hurt. They cry. They experience loss and eat emotionally like the rest of us. 

So maybe let's not make light of their wounds. Maybe we have a chance to protect their hearts, even if we have never met. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon people watching and trying to convince my sister to buy herself a pair of Jimmy Choos. I believe she bought a pair of earrings and a tank top. She has never been quick on her feet to make major decisions. And her heart is too big to drop $1,000 on a pair of boots. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

You're Invited

Ever been a doubter? I would like to invite you in. 

Feel angry in the face of another's blessing? Please. You have a place here. 

Find yourself crying out or mumbling "When, God? When?" This place is for you. 

Grumble, cuss, cower, stand, squirm, or punch. This place is for you. Let me welcome you in. Because parenting is real and gruesome. It hurts. It fills and it empties in the time span of water boiling. 

This job is not for cowards. You can't love the way you need and live a life divided. You have to commit. Present but absent parents hurt worse than if you would have left your baby standing in the dusty drive way as you peel out and never took a side glance in the rear view mirror.  

We get it into our minds that if we are to do anything for our kids we have to do everything. But I don't have everything in me. I don't have it to give. I just don't. 

I think ugly angry thoughts sometimes. I yell. I doubt. Boy do I doubt. But in the mornings when I take the time to seek peace first, I leave and I am changed. I stand a little taller. I speak a little sweeter. I feel just a little more comforted. 

We can't pour out an empty kettle. We have to fill up. So fill up and know you aren't in this alone. You fit. Right here you fit. 

You are loved and beautiful and chosen. You are appointed. You are anointed. And you've been sent. 

You've been sent for your spouse. Your children. You've been sent for me. I need you. We need each other. 

Don't take this job lightly. Seek your peace and then step out. Know that you are right where you are suppose to be. You are a mother. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Emotionally Hijacked

This morning I slept in, was served some amazing coffee and breakfast in bed, and listened to Jamie Ivey interview my favorite blog mamma and writer, Shannan Martin. Shannan is a woman who gets me. She's gotten me for the better part of five years. We've never met in person.

In the early part of writing my first book, I shot her an email on a whim and begged her to read a couple chapters and give me feedback. She did. It was spot on and so encouraging. 

Now, years later, SHES being published and I couldn't be more thrilled. We've only met online via her blog and Instagram, but there are some people you never have to meet face to face to know God had a hand in it (ahem Rachel Cortez). This morning I heard her voice for the first time and it had lots to say to me. 
She said she is in a low state of dysfunction because she has so much going through her brain with her book launch. She's been emotionally hijacked. 

Currently my book sits on a publisher's desk, and I'm just waiting on those magic words. I'm struggling to think of anything else. 

I realized I've been emotionally hijacked.

Know what that means? It means something amazing or horrible has happened (any extreme emotion) and now I can't focus on what matters. And suddenly I'm a mouse with a cookie and I can't focus on anything. Im flitting from one thing to the next not doing anything well. 

Except eating dessert. I'm doing that like a boss. But this is neither my anointing or my spiritual gift. Nor is it cooperative with my jeans. 

I'm allowing myself to let the overwhelm roll over into everything else. And I do mean everything. Have you ever felt like this? Is it just me?

I don't think so because I watch my students. One little boy, who is quickly becoming stuck deep in my heart, is being tossed between homes. People who want to love him but arent sure how. 

They know how they love isn't right. They vow to do it differently. But some other part, some other section of their lives has them emotionally hijacked. It's keeping them from loving him well.  So he's moved to a new home. And now he is emotionally hijacked when he comes to class. 
I want to teach him math, but he's fallen asleep. He isn't sleeping well at his new house. 
I want to teach him writing, but he's agitated. 
I ask him to come up to my table to play a math game with me. He thinks it's a trick. He knows I'm not in it for the math game, and he's correct. 
My job is to give him a haven from all of that other stuff. To give him a place to dump all of that emotionally bagging for about 6 hours so he can learn and be successful. I need to help him refocus his brain after it's been hijacked. 

I've done this countless times with students. It's my specialty really. I can't seem to apply the same success to myself! 
Will one of you come and unhijack me? That would be great. 

I know you can't. And I'm grateful. I know where to go. I know who holds this cure. 

"Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matt 11

Thursday, September 15, 2016

My 11 Year-Old's Drug Knowledge.

I'm at my dinner table this morning praying over the hectic schedule that is my life. But I'm choosing not to stress about it. I've asked God to take what has no business being on my plate. I remember once asking for a bigger plate, and he promptly reminded me not to be insane. 

So this morning, with my average sized plate and my meal components partially plunging over the edges, I am choosing to reminisce over our past few family dinners. Aka my favorite part of any day. 

My favorite recently went something like this. 

Layla (14- 10th grade): our school newspaper had an article about the popular drugs kids are taking. 
(Let me interrupt and say it probably wasn't trying to get everyone on the same page, or give ideas, but I'm not totally sure how this information is helpful). 
Layla: it had a list of all these different drugs. 

Addison(11- 6th grade): and the kids were having a skittle party? 
Layla: what? What the heck…?

Addison: a skittles party. Where kids take their parents' medicine and empty it into a bowl and everyone shares their drugs. 

There have never been more crickets in my house than at this moment. 

Once the shock passed and Layla stopped choking on her laughter and bacon, we calmly asked Addison why she has this knowledge. 

What. The. Heck. Why does our baby squirrel know what a skittles party is? If it's public knowledge, wouldn't our high school child know what that is?? 

WEE know what it is as adults, especially as a teacher. But seriously? Well played school district SHARE program. You're really helping our elementary kids be successful. You couldn't think of anything more relevant than this?

Seriously. Family dinner is not for the weak at heart, but do it. You HAVE to do it. I don't normally boss you, friends, but this time it's too important. 

You need a place to teach everything and hear everything about the everyday life. Manners. Communication. Debriefing. Laughing. Jokes. And apparently skittle parties. Stuff like this doesn't come up in many other conversation situations. 

It doesn't have to be dinner. Choose any meal. At least three times a week. Make it happen. Your whole life will change. Your family dynamic will flip. Your heart will be filled. And if in the beginning everything seems to be getting in the way,or it seems to be going horribly, know you are on the right track. The enemy wouldn't try so hard to if it wasn't going to make a difference in the heart. 

"Care for the flock God has entrusted to you." 1 Peter 5:2

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Please Stop Eyeballin My Waffles

I'm sitting at my table, my focus switching between two of my weirdest children having a waffle eating contest and Phil Wickham singing "It Is Well With My Soul." 
There's rules: 
you can't take that big of a bite.
You can't take another bite without me being ready to take another bite. 
Because your waffles are gluten free it's probably easier to chew so you have to give me a head start. 

Yes well, if anything the gluten free waffles are probably smaller, so I should get to take more bites without you knowing. 
I can't explain this contest. Or much else. 
But I'm listening to this song banked against reading 1 Peter, which I noticed contains a lot of cause and effect. A lot of rules for guiding a person's life. 

Don't be like that… and as a result you can show others the goodness of God. 

Be careful with your behavior and God will be glorified when others watch you. 

Submit to authority so the authority sees a solid heart led by love. They'll be better at bossing you. 

Don't be concerned with looks-it's easy to become obsessed. Instead focus on beauty that never ends; the Unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. 

As a slightly loud woman with a gift for leadership it can be difficult to reconcile these truths. But just like that, Addison stood and declared she was the winner of the waffle contest. And so can I. 

I don't win at the rules all the time. Most of the time. I get annoyed with people who make me repeat directions they spoke over. 

I picture myself plucking those who hurt other people out of sheer neglect. 

When people make stuff up to save their skin, I want to put a stick in their bike spokes. 

And for real, I get crazy irritable when someone comes to me and we talk for weeks and pour over their hurts and pray through their struggles and they go right back to whatever is hurting them. I've got issues. 

I forget myself and my role and the fact that my beauty is determined by my love for others and my quiet, gentle side. To be sure it's a very small side right now. I'm working on it. 

My favorite line from any poem is written by Dylan Thomas. "Do not go gentle into that good night." 

I can't figure how this favorite set of words pairs with my quiet, gentle side anymore than I can make sense of Sam's rule that he gets two licks of syrup every time Addison chews ten times in one bite of waffle. I can only conclude he is an elf and that he sticks to the four main food groups. 

We are each a work in progress. Thank tou for being here with me. I don't know that I could handle these children without you.