Confessions of an Inconsistent Mom

You hear it every time you hear about child training: “You need to be consistent”. The reason you hear it so often is because it really is important! The Bible says, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. . . Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul. (Pr. 29:15; 17)

On Busyness

Lately I've been overwhelmed by the things I have going on at work and in my personal life. Almost every morning last week, I woke up with either a tension headache or a sinus headache. It got bad enough that I couldn't sleep soundly at night and had to take melatonin to retain my sanity (did I ever have it?).

The Sheltered Becomes the Shelterer

I received the best birthday present of my childhood when I turned two—a baby doll with a laughing face, blinking eyes, and soft body. I named her Cindy and bonded with her like a mother with her newborn daughter. Cindy went everywhere with me, slept every night with me, and was my most treasured possession. Growing up, my sister and I thrived on protecting flightless baby birds, sightless kittens, and lifeless dolls. We knew when we were needed, and we rose to the challenge—rigging up a nest for the hatchling and hanging it close to the mother bird’s nest, returning kittens to their mother, and making sure the dolly had everything she needed for an outing to the farmers’ market. We were learning to offer shelter to those who depended on us.

Keeping Relationships Simple

CS Lewis said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”   In other words, life without friendship is reduced to mere survival. We can function, we can make do, we can go through the motions yet we are alone without friends. This is simply not part of the design for mankind. 

Are You Sitting?

Sit and take a moment to ponder. You may be thinking “Oh, if you only knew, I would simply love to just sit down, but I can’t. I have such and such to do, and so and so places to go. Yes, I’d certainly love to sit, but I just don’t have time.” You don’t have time? Hmmmm.... Don’t they say we make time for the things that are most important to us? I wonder if it’s not so much the not-enough-time factor as the fact that we don’t know where we would sit if we should want to and plus, sitting is so impractical. There are lots of good things to be doing. Yes, we’d much rather be walking...or maybe even running.

Jesus, the First Born

"He goeth before!" There is music in that line. To the redeemed, this is a song of praise and triumph for in it lies a definition of our relationship with Jesus. He, like an older sibling showing a younger one how to succeed in the middle of adversity, has gone before us to show it is possible to live a life of fulfillment in difficult circumstances. It is Jesus, the Firstborn, who has gone before us. We need only to follow in His steps. That is all.

10 Holiday Gifts Under $25.00

Christmas is almost here and the season of holiday shopping is upon us. Some of you may be looking forward to this with gleeful anticipation and others are probably wishing the gifts are already purchased and wrapped. We all know that one person who is difficult to shop for because he (or she) probably already has everything. We've compiled a list of holiday gifts to help you with your Christmas shopping. Many of these are handcrafted by small businesses and the best part? They’re all under $25.00! 

Give Me Gratitude, Or Give Me Stress

“Corinne, don’t touch that! A dog probably peed there,” I reprimanded my six year old daughter as we walked down a dirty sidewalk in our neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. “My eyes watch for beauty!” she exclaimed to me. She would spot a tiny patch of green grass and stop to literally stroke it, while I usually saw concrete, garbage, or dog litter. How can two people in the same surroundings see two completely different things? It is all in what you purpose to look for. And this, my friend, is a glimpse into the core of what we call gratitude. No matter what the circumstance you or I face, we are given a choice to be grateful or to be stressed. Whatever we are up against, we can choose to thank God for it.

Practical Tips for a Guest Ready Home

One thing I discovered about my husband shortly after we were married was his love of people. To be fair, I knew that about him beforehand. I saw the way people easily connected with him, how he made them feel known and heard. He often invited folks in for a meal, even while he was a bachelor. Perhaps it was his love of hospitality that swept me off my feet, that and his blue-grey eyes (among other things, of course).

Feminine Leadership

While created to be a "help meet", how does a Godly woman function in a position of leadership ? How can she lead strongly, yet graciously? And how may she remain tenderhearted and meek while “on duty” and “in-charge”? I don’t know where you are in your journey, but if currently serving in a position of leadership, how do you find rest? Where do you go with struggle? Perhaps you find yourself feeling weary, alone, useless, and wondering if you even matter. Don’t give up. You’re invited to take a short break from the strains of responsibility and “follow” along for a glimpse into a few examples of feminine leadership.

Not Just a Miscarriage: Facing the Loss of Your Baby

The simple act of turning the page of my daily flip calendar to October 1 st was painful. It reminded me that this October, my arms and my womb are empty. The month of golden leaves, rustling cornstalks, and all things pumpkin was supposed to herald the arrival of our firstborn. Instead of packing a hospital bag, decorating the nursery, and washing little outfits in preparation for birth, our lives go about their usual routines. Baby items are stored out of sight in the attic. My belly is not large and swollen with child. The glory of autumn is shadowed by the reminder that this October will not usher in the joyous, life-changing event we once hoped for.

Seven Tips for Your Autumn Wardrobe

As the long bright days of summer give way to a crisp, refreshing fall, the styles are changing with the leaves around us. Autumn is arguably the finest season of the four in many ways, fashion being just one of them. Take a nod from nature and weave the rich, vibrant colors of the season into your wardrobe. Gather inspiration from the golden tones of harvest, deep shades of ripened fruit, and the vivid foliage carpeting the ground.

Intentional Online Sharing

In this age of social media, we have the ability to share anything, anywhere and at any time. With just the tap of a few buttons, we can post virtually any minute detail of our lives on Instagram. There are thousands upon thousands of blogs that we can access or even write ourselves where we can, again, share every detail of our lives. Through photos and words your best friend just down the street or the person a thousand miles away can see what you ate for breakfast or the new shoes you just bought displayed against a beautiful mosaic floor. We are so used to the ability to share every detail of our lives. Whether it’s the lovely latte art from our favorite café, or the latest healthy smoothie that we just concocted, we seem to feel this insatiable urge to make sure everyone knows what we’re doing. Why? What is the point? Is it to say, “Hey look at me, I have this super cool life, you should be jealous that you’re not me”? Is it because we genuinely feel that the photo is worth storing away for the rest of the Internet age?

Comfort in the Midst of Tragedy (ft. Maryann Kauffman)

When I was asked to do a guest post on this blog, initially, I wanted to just say no. I don't feel like I'm a natural blogger, or great at putting things into words like many bloggers I know. However, I felt God nudging me and saying, "Maryann, This has nothing to do with your abilities. Don't you have anything to share about what I'VE done for you?" So here's my attempt at putting a small part of that into words. 

Keeping the Faith in College

Can we keep our faith while in college? The mere title of this article is a paradox because the modern university campus is a rather faithless setting. According to Dr. Finny Kuruvilla, who holds doctorates in chemistry and chemical biology from Harvard, in addition to his MD, “99 percent of university professors are non-Christian.” It follows, that if professors are practicing what they teach, they are living out a god-less lifestyle before their students and promoting anti-faith ideas in their classrooms.