Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Life does not always lend itself to naps and trips and time away from the everyday-ness of things.  We are not often able to take time out to just rest - physically or emotionally.  Perhaps we had this luxury in college and maybe even graduate school, but never since.  They are a thing of the past, especially with a newborn (even with an easy-going and great sleeping kid like mine).  Still, I am convicted and convinced that we can find rest amidst the chaos that is life.

Rest is more than sleeping and escaping.  Rest is a state-of-mind.  Kind of like Sabbath.  The idea of a full day of rest is appealing to me.  Appealing, but impossible.  I have a little one who needs me and a job that can be sometimes unpredictable.  I do hope to reach a time in my life where a day of rest is at least closer to reality for me, but that time is not now.  So, I can either bemoan that or make my peace with it and find pockets of rest in the midst of it all.  I choose the latter.  Or at least I am trying.  I hope to process and share more about how I am seeking this rest in my life in posts to come.  In the meantime, enjoy this post from the wonderful blog {in}courage. If your life is anything like the average woman/person, you'll be able to relate to this more than you'd like to admit!


Yay for finding this adorable Kalencom bag locally!  I went into a cutesy kids store in town and saw a diaper changing pad in the print I thought I wanted.  It was a little too bright and I knew I would be sick of it after about 5 minutes.  So, I browsed the store and looked at the handful of other bags they had and found this one.  I love, love, love it!  It is so stinkin' cute AND it is functional.  I like that it is lightweight and laminated.  The colors are even better than the picture and it is roomy without being bulky.  Plus, it just makes me happy to look at it. :)  I definitely wish I would have purchased this one from the beginning.  I am thrifty and that usually works in my favor, but this time it really did not.  If I had splurged from the beginning, I would have saved myself time, frustration and {ironically} money.  Take note new and expectant mommies:  DO NOT compromise on your diaper bag!  You'll use it daily, so you should like LOVE it!  And it should be durable.  And cute, definitely cute!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Fresh Picked Blueberries Gentle Foaming Hand Soap - Anti-Bacterial - Bath & Body Works
LOVE this new soap from Bath and Body Works.  It's the little things, y'all!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Diaper Bag Dilemma

The cutesy diaper bag I wanted has proven to be a less-than-wonderful purchase/choice for a variety of reasons:

1.  It has an unfortunate hole in it already (This happened at least a month and half ago and little bit is not even 4-months old just yet). 

2.  It is entirely too small. 

3.  It just zips closed.  This is not sensible.  If you zip it, the space is diminished by at least half.  So I stuff it full and invariably lose things to the parking lot, car (turning over, etc.) and a variety of other places.  And my wallet is often in there for all the world to see (and steal).

4. It is not nearly as cute as I thought it was initially. (This is cosmetic, I know...but still!).

So, I am on a mission to purchase a new bag.  I need something more functional and fun...and fast!  My favorites right now are Kalencom bags, but I am open to new suggestions (Please provide links and/or photos!).  Here are my favorites so far.  Which one do you like best and/or what would you suggest?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Perfectly Complete

{Below is a re-post of a blog I wrote for my students a couple of years ago.  It is worth repeating, as the thoughts about perfection here have recently resurfaced for me.  I hope it will bless you as you enter into this Lenten Season.}

God is fascinating. Really. I am constantly amazed by His creativity. It is astounding to me how He gives us both free will and miracles. How He manages to be present and active in our daily lives without forcing Himself upon us will ever and always amaze and bless me. There are times when He seems so far away and times (like this week) when He has felt ever-so-near. Both have the capacity to strengthen and bless us because God is just like that. Amazing. Wonderful. Creative. Indescribable.

One of the surest ways for God to speak to me is through conversation with others. I had a series of conversations with a couple of people yesterday that truly blessed me. Actually, it sort of started as eavesdropping. I wasn't trying to overhear, I just happened to be in the workroom while a conversation was happening about perfection. I overheard two people talking about our standard and need for perfection. They were talking about trying to encourage people in their lives to strive for excellence, not perfection.

I couldn't resist chiming in, so I peeked my head around the corner. I mentioned that in the New Testament (Greek) the word for "perfect," actually means "complete." We started talking about what that meant and I soon found myself in the middle of a conversation that I needed to have. I joined the conversation to share a little insight and gained much more for myself. I was reminded of my own perfectionist tendencies (at an all-time high these days...) and sensed God speaking to me through my own words and this conversation with others.

What I said to the two other women was that to be "perfect" is simply to be "complete" in Christ. This is Christian perfection. God requires it of us because He knows what is best for us. Nothing else will satisfy. But we've made perfection into something we attain on our own. This should not be. I was reminded of this yesterday and freed once again from the tyranny of striving for perfection apart from Christ.

I left the conversation already feeling blessed and went back to my office. I pulled out my devotional to read for the day. You can guess the theme for the day: perfection. God is so cool. I'll leave you with these words from Reflections for Ragamuffins by Brennan Manning.

"You know, in spite of the fact that Christianity speaks of the cross, redemption, and sin, we're unwilling to admit failure in our lives. Why? Partially, I guess because it's human nature's defense mechanism against its own inadequacies. But even more so, it's because of the successful image our culture demands of us. There are some real problems with projecting the perfect image. First of all, it's simply not true. We are not always happy, optimistic, in command. Second, projecting the flawless image keeps us from reaching people who feel we just wouldn't understand them. And third, even if we could live a life with no conflict, suffering, or mistakes, it would be a shallow existence. The Christian with depth is the person who has failed and who has learned to live with his failure."

Nifty Giftie

Is it silly that this little note cube makes me so happy?  I love it so much.  My mom gave it to me during her recent visit and it just makes my desk (and me!) so happy.  I think it is the fun combo of kelly green and yellow that makes me so giddy.  And the print is fun, too.  Also, the fact that my fabulous Mom gave it to me helps a little. :)  It is little things like this that have the power to brighten a day, you know.  Thanks, Mom!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Guilt and French Fries

Guilt and french fries.

That is what I am giving up for Lent.  Not guilt about eating french fries. Guilt and french fries.

I am giving up french fries for the obvious reasons.  In the fast pace of my current life, I have made far too many exceptions in the fast food department.  It is "easier" to run through the drive-thru for lunch than to make my own {healthier} lunch in the morning and eat that.  This is the lie I tell myself so I feel better about my bad decision(s).  It is not a french fry kind of day everyday or even every week, but it is all-too-often these days, so I am giving them up.  I am giving up actual french fries, but I am also viewing them as a metaphor for all the bad stuff I justify eating.  I am hoping giving up french fries and the positive results that will bring (losing the baby weight, more energy, healthier living, etc.) will inspire me to give up other things I don't need...food and otherwise.

Guilt.  I am also giving up guilt.  This is the thing I feel like God is really asking me to give up.  Guilt.  I carry around an unhealthy amount of guilt.  Not the good-ish kind of guilt.  You know, the remorseful kind that tells you that you've wronged another and need to do something about it.  That is good "guilt."  The kind of guilt I am giving up is the crippling, worrying kind.  I carry around an inordinate amount of this kind of guilt.  I worry that I am not doing enough at my job, at home, in relationships.  I feel guilty about everything.  Guilty that I am not a better: wife, mother, daughter and friend.  Guilty about wanting some me-time (or just a little bonus-sleep!).  Guilty about having to work.  Guilty about liking to work.  Guilty about having an off-ish kind of day at work, home or in dealing with someone.  Guilty about not being a "better Christian" or skipping my quiet/prayer time.  Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.

The thing is, I know that this guilt is not of God...and that is why it has to go.  I feel sure that God's thoughts toward me are good.  He is enthralled with my beauty (even on my very worst day!).  He delights in me.  He loves me more than I could ever imagine.

Most of all, he does not want me carrying around this burden of guilt.  He wants me to live free of that...and free in general.  I believe it breaks his heart to see me so crippled by guilt and worry.  It breaks mine, too.  After all, the name of this blog and the desire of my life is to really live free.  Living free of guilt would do wonders for that desire.

So, I'm giving up guilt.  Pray for me.  I want to look back on these 40+ days as some of the most freeing and formative days of my life. 

Now...what about you?  What is God asking you to give up (or take up) during this Lenten season?  Share if you feel comfortable doing so.  I don't think sharing our sacrifices in this way is in any way bragging or anything.  I think we are on this journey together and this journey demands authenticity and honesty with each other.  I think it only when we do so that we really learn from each other.  I like to learn. :)