Author: Lea Ann Garfias

Books I’ve Been Reading (and one for you)

I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading lately. And it looks to be a particularly book-filled year. So I’ve decided to not only share some of my favorite reads with you . . . but actually send some of my favorite reads to you! Every morning, I start my day with devotions and reading time. This habit, which I’ve practiced since I was a young girl, helps my mind and soul wake up while my body attempts to catch up. By keeping this date with myself — and reading extra on sick days and weekends — I can power through a few books a month. Spoiler alert — I’m heavy into nonfiction. I know that fiction is good for me, but I just gravitate toward answers to burning questions. If you have a good fiction recommendation, please leave the title in the comments! And as for how you can have one of these books for your own collection, just keep reading to the end. Some Books that Made Me Think . . . and …

Rediscovering the Most Important Subjects

When I first started homeschooling, mumble-mumble years ago, I went all-out on all the subjects. I was one of those homeschoolers who purchased the mega-ultimate-deluxe package of curriculum, covering every single subject in depth with extra workbooks and posters and teaching aids. For preschool. After the mega-ultimate-deluxe bill for that order, we had to eat ramen noodles for several weeks, but we had flannelgraphs, so that was all that mattered. Right? I grew up and gradually learned how to do without and pare down the excess. By the time I was ready to add younger siblings to the homeschool group, I was prioritizing our subjects as well as our expenditures. Our homeschool elementary studies no longer majored on laboratory sciences, extensive book reports, research projects, and flannelgraph presentations. We were honed in on reading, writing, and arithmetic with laser focus. But something was missing. Cutting the fat out of my homeschool budget and daily schedule helped save (some of) my sanity and reignite my children’s love for learning (or at least of finishing really fast …

Recovering from Abuse . . . at Home and at Church

My friend Mary DeMuth has taught me 95% of what I know about writing and publishing and surviving writing and publishing. God graciously brought us together on one bad day and turned it into a beautiful friendship. And there were chips and salsa involved. Mary invited me to join her on the ReStory podcast. And though we couldn’t record it at our favorite chips-and-salsa hangout, we do give you a glimpse of what kind of conversations we share together. But this was a hard, hard conversation. Because I’m letting you eavesdrop today on painful parts of my past: how I came to realize I was raised abused how I came to redefine my relationship with God after legalism how my husband provided a critical ministry of healing in my life how I grew to love and forgive those who hurt me most I hope you’ll listen. And then I hope you’ll share some of your story with me. Send me an email or leave me a comment below if I can pray with you as you …

Being Real . . . with Kristi Clover

Sometimes you meet facebook friends and become . . . fast friends. Like, the kind if you bumped into them in real life, you’d not only recognize them, but you’d just pick up your last conversation naturally. Kristi Clover is that friend to me. So when she asked me if I’d like to get real on her “Simply Joyful Podcast” show, I jumped at the chance. An hour of fun with a friend? Who doesn’t need that! We talked about what God is doing in our lives — and in yours — right now. We talked about why our culture is sapping our joy, and how we can reclaim it today! And we laughed. A LOT. Please come join our conversation, and just subscribe to her podcast while you’re at it!

Mom Guilt vs Life Manifesto: Which Wins?

How often do you wrestle with Mommy Guilt? A friend of mine asked that on facebook recently, and the question made me gasp. Because for one, she’s a new mom and she has literally dozens of years of Mommy Guilt ahead of her, poor thing. And because for another, I’ve been mired in it myself quite thickly for the past several months. Me who literally wrote the book on Rocking Ordinary. Do you suffer from Mommy Guilt? I see those hands, those wiped tears, those groans. Of course, you do. We all do regularly (daily?). We brought it home from the hospital, packed in between the formula samples and newborn-sized diapers. One box of ready-to-reproduce-rapidly Mommy Guilt, with a side of stress eating. God didn’t give us that package. It comes from someone else. God gave us tremendous influence, untold impact when He ordained we would rear the next generation. There’s seriously no greater power than molding and shaping little people into adulthood. This sacred task is so powerful that it draws us into spiritual …