Welcome to My Mess

My house is a bit of a mess right now. Laundry needs folded. Dishes need washed. Not to mention the living room and schoolroom that could use a good tidying:


That’s my life, my house right now. And while normally messes made in a clean house frustrate me, today they don’t. I’m trying not to see so much of the mess. I’m trying to see the life that created those messes.

Lily and Grace spent the day yesterday having tea parties with their dolls, building with blocks, doing science experiments, and trying out new art projects. So much life. So much love. So much fun. And yes, so much mess.

Sometimes it’s okay to be messy. The important thing is to keep cleaning it up so new messes can be created and more life and memories can happen.

It’s one of the reasons I’m so excited about the Spring Clean Your Home and Heart eBundle this week. Sometimes my house looks pretty clean, sometimes it doesn’t. And my heart? Oh, it needs renewing! I just read A Gentle Answer over the weekend (it’s in the bundle), and it was so soothing to my weary, wintered spirit.

I’m already noticing a difference in my response to how I react to my children when they make – and then fight over – their messes. And they’re already noticing a difference in me, too.

Go check out the fabulous details, and make sure to enter to win a Kindle Fire or Paperwhite (winner’s choice) while you’re there!

How do you feel when you see messes in your own house?


When You Want to Adopt… But Your Spouse Says No

{NOTE: This is different from the type of article I usually write, but sometimes I sit at my laptop, put my fingers to the keys, and words fly out that surprise even me. I hope it encourages some of you who are having a difficult time getting on the same page with your spouse. I’ll be back with a new organizational post tomorrow!}


I thought I’d have four children. Two girls and two boys.

The only problem with my plan was that my husband disagreed. “Only two,” he told me. “I can take care of two. I can be a good dad to two.”

“Yes,” I answered. “And we can be good parents to more than two as well.”

More talking. More late night whispering. More praying.

“I want to adopt,” I announced, several months later. “I know we agreed that we’d only adopt if we couldn’t have biological children, but so many kids need good homes and we have a good home. We’re the perfect people to do this.”

“Only two,” he repeated. “I can be a good dad to two.”

I reminded him of how I’ve had this desire on my heart since I was 13 years old. Yet, he stood firmly by his decision.

I’ll pray, I decided.

I spent weeks in deep prayer. I wanted to be as fair as possible, so instead of asking God to change my husband’s mind, I diplomatically prayed this:

“Dear God, Thank You for giving me a husband who is a good father to our children. You know that I want to adopt and he doesn’t. You know there are so many orphans out there who need good homes. I know that Your will for Nathan is the same as Your will for me in this. Please change one of our hearts and bring us to the same page. Thank you for loving us and adopting us into Your kingdom. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

I fully expected God to change my husband’s heart. I’ve heard so many stories about how the husband wasn’t on board but God worked behind the scenes. And I could hardly wait for my husband to come to me, seemingly out of the blue, and announce that he wanted to adopt!

Only it didn’t happen that way. God didn’t change my husband’s heart.

{Join me over at My Joy-Filled Life to read the rest –>}


Embracing an Imperfect Holiday


{Photo Credit – Paula Rollo from Beauty through Imperfection}

Do you strive every year for the perfect holiday? Most of us do, but have you ever stopped to think what that really means? What would that really look like? Aren’t imperfections sometimes what make holiday memories extra fun?

… And what usually happens when our picture-perfect ideas don’t formulate the way we hoped they would? That’s when many of us become unglued, snapping at everyone for their imperfections, not quite realizing that the most imperfect thing of all is our own idea of what beauty and fulfillment really is.

This year, I want to encourage you. Let go of your visions of perfect. Go with the flow. Embrace the here and now.

“More than our loved ones want a perfect holiday, a gourmet meal, or stunning decorations, they want us – our presence. They need us to love them, to find joy in being together, to really savor the moment.” – Davonne Parks, on Beauty through Imperfection

{Read the rest of my article over at Beauty through Imperfection. —>}


When Your Children Just Need You


She creeps into the living room and curls up next to me on the couch. I hug her gently, then cover her with a blanket and absentmindedly rub her back for a few seconds before I resume typing. She lays quietly, one of the only times of the day she’s still.

Most mornings I’m able to stay focused and productive.

Not today.

Today my mind wanders. I think about the little person next to me. Is she taller than yesterday? I hadn’t realized that her toes poke out from under this blanket. I readjust her cover, trying to get her entire body to fit underneath.

I want to finish one more thing before I close my laptop. But I know that too often, one more thing turns into ten more things, and she’s up and running around, asking for breakfast, and her sister needs something too, and I’m frustrated, trying to finish my work, but no longer even making sense with my words.

[Continue reading over here –>]