At Home And Loving It

IMG_5674As full-time stay-at-home mothers, we don’t have the most glamorous careers. It’s behind the scenes, mundane, and sometimes hard to enjoy. A book I was reading had an example of how hard it was to be a stay-at-home mother: “It’s so boring!” the woman said. Boring? Tiring, I get. Frustrating, challenging, occasionally menial and repetitive, but boring? If you’re a stay-at-home mother and find yourself bored, invite your pastor’s family over for a 5 course dinner on Saturday. It will make Thursday and Friday interesting. If chronic boredom is a struggle, start a business, buy a puppy, or begin homeschooling.

But boredom isn’t what most stay-at-home moms struggle with. Continue reading

The Fog of Normalcy

Chicago-Illinois-USA-skyline-fogOne of the amazing abilities that human beings have is the ability to adjust to circumstances to the point that, after a while, they feel normal. That’s why people can live in the arctic: after generations, the bitter cold and dark/light cycle feels normal. It’s why babies eventually eat solids: after weeks of gagging on pureed rice or veggies, they realize that this is normal, and they adjust. This ability is how people do amazing things every day (like parent and wake up to an alarm clock and live in New York city) that we otherwise would not be able to do.

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5 Non-Christian Books That Christians Should Read

As believers, we are to be filling our minds first with Scripture, then with writing that is biblically faithful, in order to build ourselves up in the faith. But that does not mean that secular writing has nothing to say to us. Occasionally, there are books coming from other worldviews that offer insights, help us learn, stretch us, and most of all, make us think. Here are five books that have helped me do that in thinking about relationships, mostly within a family, but also moving beyond. In no particular order:

200px-TheYearOfMagicalThinkingThe Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005). Continue reading

It Matters Whom You Marry, Book Version

it-matters-whom-you-marry When we posted the article, “It Matters Whom You Marry,” a couple years ago, we were amazed to see it reach millions of readers all over the world. It was reblogged dozens of times and translated into several languages (Portuguese, Hungarian, Bosnian, and others). On Monday, Christian Focus Publications will release the book version in the U. S.: Your Future Other Half: It Matters Whom You Marry. Here is a taste from the introduction: Continue reading

A Mother’s Work

Ernst_Lindenbauer,_1936 Wanting to be a horse was probably a mommy low point. Not just any horse, mind you. One of my kids was studying the Lipizzaners in Vienna’s Spanish Riding School; as I helped with some research, I found myself envying the horses. Not only do they live in a historic building in a European capital, but they also do nothing beyond go for long walks and occasionally jump to live orchestral music. They are taken care of. Totally. “I could live off of apples and oats,” I told myself. When my husband came home from work, I announced my new career plan. The pressure of constantly caring for everyone else’s needs made me lose focus.

Mothers need breaks now and then. But even more than that, we need perspective. And that’s easy to lose when the dishes are piled up and the baby won’t stop crying and the toddler refuses to be toilet trained. Continue reading

Authenticity, Honesty, and the Stay-At-Home-Mother

clean-up At the Gospel Coalition, Brett McCracken takes on authenticity as an evangelical substitute for holiness. He asks, “by focusing on brokenness as proof of our ‘realness’ and ‘authenticity,’ have evangelicals turned ‘being screwed up’ into a badge of honor, its own sort of works righteousness?” Yup. And perhaps few are as guilty as us wives and mothers.

The mommy wars have made great advances in battling the false fronts of picture-perfect blog posts, where dinners always look fabulous, children are always beautifully dressed, and husbands always come home with roses. But we’ve replaced those filtered versions of our lives with other versions: Continue reading

Proverbial Maturity

541px-Old_and_wise Personal maturity is something that we want to attain, but often we don’t know what it is. It’s easier to name a mature person than it is to explain what makes them mature. Part of the difficulty is that there are different aspects to maturity; social, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional maturity can be expressed in different degrees in the same person. Someone can be socially mature and spiritually immature, or intellectually mature and emotionally immature. All maturity is connected, though; true social maturity only comes as spiritual maturity increases. Continue reading

Growth in Grace

IMG_3662“‘But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.’ 2 Peter 3:18

Growth in grace is evidenced by a more habitual vigilance against besetting sins and temptations, and by greater self-denial in regard to personal indulgence.

A growing conscientiousness in regard to what may be called minor Christian duties is also a good sign. (The counterfeit of this is an over-scrupulous conscience, which sometimes haggles at the most innocent gratifications, and has led some to hesitate about taking their daily food.)

Increasing spiritual-mindedness is a sure evidence of progress in piety; and this will always be accompanied by increasing deadness to the world. Continue reading