Remembering My Mother: When Your Heart’s Not Home


I woke up this morning with nostalgia hitting me like a tsunami. I am “penciled in” for a trip back home this fall. The moment I told my siblings that they could count on me, I started having anxiety attacks. I can’t go back home again. I don’t want to go back home again. I don’t have the same relationship with my father that I had with my mother. I know all about “honor your father and mother”, but I also know about “leave and cleave”. He gives me many reasons to hold onto the latter.  This is something I have struggled with for the five years that have passed since my mother went to be with Jesus. When she was sick, my sister … [Read more...]

The “Make-Due” Woman


In one of the many “pass this on to __ people”-type emails that flood my inbox, I once marinated over one entitled, “The Make-Due Woman.”   The moral of this particular story was that, as women, we should never put ourselves last, stating that we’ll “make due” until this or that happens, because there is always something that will get in the way of us taking care of ourselves.  I never bought into this concept; I love preferring others over myself, especially when it comes to family.   Without a doubt, it is better to give than receive.   I guess over the years, I’ve become a “make-due” woman, and on most days, I’m happy with that … [Read more...]

DIY Meal Planning: Recipes, Tips & Free Printables!


Once upon a time there was a girl who liked to cook but never knew what she was making for dinner until, well, dinner time. She went to the store every day and would pick out something she knew her family would like but knew that she could do better. She watched her friends with envy... their little neat binders, their grocery lists, but couldn't make heads or tails on how to develop a plan for herself. She asked questions and browsed their shiny little binders and then decided to google for herself. Slowly, but surely, she found that she could participate, she could buy a shiny new binder, and she could make a grocery list that would prevent … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Support Adoptive Families

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I was adopted at birth thirty-eight years ago. Back in 1976 adoption was a whole different ball-game, it was less expensive, and much more secretive. So much has changed in the world of adoption, some very good and positive things, some perhaps not so healthy, but I found through adopting our own children, that there remains a lot of confusion and misconception about adoption. When my husband and I adopted our son almost ten years ago we had no idea what we were doing and very little money, but we had some wonderful family, friends, and church family that truly supported and encouraged us. And when we adopted our daughter, even more people … [Read more...]

Slow Down, Speed Bump Ahead


Ever feel like you are living life in the fast lane?  Ever feel like you have blinked and your kids are all grown up and you wonder where the time went?  I have felt like that way too often for my comfort. I love all the seasons that God gives us through our year here in the Midwest. And God Said, “Let there be light in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the nights, and let them serve as signs” “to mark seasons and days and years…” – Genesis 1:14 Each season can be reflected while watching my children grow and change.  Spring is a time for learning and beginning a new,  Summer a time for harvest and reaping the joys of … [Read more...]

Loving the Teen Years + Lemon Balm Pasta Recipe


Ever since my first daughter was born, I had been warned about the teen years.  Such comments as “oh, sure, she’s cute now…” and “just you wait…” were frequently stated to myself and my husband.  It got to the point that I was dreading the teen years as much as one would dread a painful medical procedure!  (I actually think I might have opted for the medical.) Then, it happened;  our eldest turned 13.  I waited for the world to become an unending battle of teenage drama vs. my sanity.  Didn’t happen.  I waited for my sweet child to become a mouthy know-it-all that pushed the limits and my buttons.  That didn’t happen either.  As 13 turned … [Read more...]

From One Heart Mom to Another: Tips for When Your Child Has Heart Disease


A year ago I sat holding my sons hand as we waited for him to be rolled into surgery. There is no way to understand the fear a heart mother feels unless you are one. The weeks leading up to this moment are all a blur. Research, second guessing, guilt, and anger all come to mind. There is something truly terrifying about listening to someone explain how they are going to make your child’s heart stop beating. When my son was born we found out he had a congenital heart defect. In a lot of ways if he had needed surgery immediately after birth it psychologically would have been much easier. We would have been in panic mode desperate to do … [Read more...]