The Peaceful Momma Trick

{Spoiler alert: it isn't more coffee}

{A repost for this upcoming holiday weekend that can get busy!} After two full weeks, we rolled into the weekend aching for that extra hour of sleep & slow coffee sipping that Saturday morning typically bring.  Several busy Saturdays had passed, so one without plans was a great Valentine’s gift for this family weary from subtraction worksheets, conference calls, marketing meetings, a rosy-cheeked teething toddler, and laundry that multiplies exponentially after a trip out of town.

We stayed in our sweats & pjs well after breakfast, built train tracks, and played hide and seek.  I relished in the unscheduled time with my family–especially so many minutes with Mark. Rather than quick kisses by the back door, we had time for slow kitchen kisses in the middle of washing breakfast dishes.  Luxurious time to relive moments from the week we hadn’t share with each other.  Time to hold hands, time to really hear each other’s words.

Remarkably, I noticed a day in my husband’s presence, basking in his love for me made me more responsive to him, further ready to lay aside my wants & desires for his, and it filled me with an overflow of love that I couldn’t help but pour upon my children as we collaborated to create a sweet family day together.

Saturday was a gift (from the giver of all good gifts), but the joy I feel from being in Mark’s presence will soon fade. But, when I am aware of my Father’s presence throughout the day.  When we don’t have quick moments together in the morning, but I rise early to hear his perspective on moments from the day before, I am ready to lay down my wants & desires for His {good & perfect} will.  When I am conscious of His love lavished on me throughout the day, I can’t help but pour it onto Mark, the kids, and the cashier at Costco. As I am confident that He is present, I am peace-filled even as days get messy.

The Bible reminds us many times that God is with us wherever we go–so if His presence doesn’t change, why don’t I always feel aware of it? A couple of tricks that have helped me to be more conscious of His presence throughout the day.

1) Take time: for me, rising earlier than my family to spend time {uninterrupted} with God works best; but, regardless of which time of day works for you, set it aside and be with Him.  It is difficult to be filled by the presence of someone you barely know.

2) Meditate: after you’ve spent time with Him, write down a verse and post it where you’ll see it, or (my favorite) just leave your Bible open where you’ll see it and read it during your day–for me that spot is on the kitchen counter (any other mommas feel like you live in the kitchen?) where I can chop onions and review my verse.

A Letter to My Daughters on Marriage

My Treasured Daughters,

“‘Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.'” (C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves)

Yesterday, I sat for a few moments in the shade of our honey locust tree while baby boy napped and watched you play “wedding.” You were, of course, princesses, who would be marrying princes–we’d just finished a swim in the pool, so you both draped beach towels around yourselves to act as skirts & capes.  I watched and remembered my own imaginary weddings I had planned and executed with my elementary friends. This letter will be the first, I pray, of many the Lord will allow me to write to you as there is much that premarital counseling & books doesn’t tell you of marriage.

After Jesus, your daddy is the best decision I ever made.  But, though I chose the date we wed, my dress, his tux, each flower for my bouquet, and the earrings worn by my bridesmaids, I did not choose him; He was chosen for me, and I for him.

In his book, The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis writes about friendship,

“…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,’ can truly say to every group of Christian friends, ‘Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.'”

Though, Lewis writes about friendship, the same holds true for marriage. God chose Mark and I one for another. Now, this may not seem more significant than simply a turn of a phrase.  After all, regardless of who chose, we are married now. But, recognizing that God handpicked your husband is critical for the well-being of your marriage. Recognizing that every good gift is from the Father is essential.

Because when the honeymoon is over, and he leaves his dishes near the dishwasher instead of inside it, I may be tempted to grumble.  When his entrepreneurial drive requires sacrifice, and owning a business demands flexibility of schedules and expectations, I could get cranky.

But, when I acknowledge that he was chosen for me, I must, then, recognize that my grumbling and cranky faces are not against my husband, but against the one who chose Him for me.

If your husband was chosen for you not by you, you must gladly submit under God’s mighty hand–every late work night and every frustrating trait are under the control of that secret master of ceremonies. And, sweet girls, if you can get this, you will avoid so many “discussions” and disagreements with your husband because you will value you him as one chosen, with all his personality warts & glories, for you. And, you will know that any grumbling to him or about him, is truly grumbling against your Papa God.

I’m in no hurry for you to trade your beach towels for real wedding gowns, but I look forward to meeting the ones God has chosen for each of you.

With love,


I Fired My Husband

“Our kids come to church every week and learn about the gospel and Jesus and then they go home and ask two questions: does it work? and, how do I do it? And those questions are answered Monday-Friday through mom and dad.” (Pastor J.P. Dorsey)


So to clarify, mommas, we aren’t just responsible for teaching our people the Word of God by gathering around it &  memorizing it. The way we treat our spouse (and single mommas, don’t check out here, really the way we treat any person) teaches our kids that either the gospel works and they can walk it out, or that it is false or idealist and impossible to actually live.

I don’t know about you, but I want my people to know the gospel is true and confidently walk it out.

Today, I am sharing with you three qualities of a very good marriage based on the sermon “The Meaning of Marriage” by Pastor J.P. Dorsey.  Again, if you aren’t married, don’t close this window yet. These qualities really apply to all of our relationships–regardless of who you’re interacting with, your babies are watching and they are learning about the gospel.

Three qualities:

A very good marriage (or relationship) is:

1) meeting its missional purpose

2) understands the limits of the marriage metaphor

3) flows out of personal abundance

Meeting its missional purpose: God’s design for my human relationships is for me to display Jesus to those I am in relationship with such that they have a more clear understanding of Jesus because they’ve interacted with me. It is not designed to fill all my buckets in my particular love languages, it is not designed to make my happy all the time, it is not designed to make me whole. And, mommas, as I sat and listened to this sermon, I was reminded that even though I may have had this as head knowledge, I was not treating my marriage relationship and my relationship with my babies as though it’s primary purpose is displaying Jesus.

Understands the limits of the metaphor: J.P. explained this so beautifully; I have tried to create my own metaphor, but his is too good–he spoke of the moon and the sun.  The moon reflects the sun. If I bring the cucumber and pepper plants that Mark and the kids planted out every night to bask in the light the moon is reflecting, they’ll die. The moon reflects the sun, but it cannot replace the sun. Mark regularly shows me what Jesus looks like by the way he loves & cares for me.  However, he is only reflecting the true light, Papa God. When I make him my sun, my light, my source, my soul will begin to die. So, at J.P.’s encouragement, on Sunday I fired Mark…he is a wonderful husband and a terrible god.

Flows out of personal abundance: Hang on, mommas, because this is where the conviction made my heart ache. The empowerment for me to be a Jesus-displaying wife to Mark and  Jesus-displaying momma, comes from a personal abundance in my life with Jesus Christ.  It comes from me being rooted and grounded in Him.  Two broken people don’t magically come together to make wholeness.  Two people overflowing out of their personal, one-on-one relationships with Jesus Christ display the gospel in a tangible way to onlookers.

So, mommas, whether it’s the relationship with your man, your mother-in-law, or your babies, its purpose in your life is for you to display Jesus Christ to the other person.  So, fire who you must and set aside time tomorrow to start filling your buckets with Jesus.

Note: Do yourself a huge favor and LISTEN to the sermon that this post is based upon by Pastor J.P. Dorsey