All posts filed under: Rocking Ordinary

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 …

20 Lessons from 20 Years of Marriage

It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. I’m old. I must be because this past year, my husband and I celebrated our twentieth anniversary. That is just weird. Until now, I thought only old people were married over two decades. Obviously, I was wrong. Ever since my epic essay on marital fighting in Rocking Ordinary, I’ve been getting a lot of private messages about marriage. My husband and I are the most unlikely marital experts; when we eloped from Bible college (he an under-documented immigrant and me with $20 cash and two suitcases of laundry was all we owned). No one would have bet on our lasting a year. And I’m going to tell you the truth, I didn’t have high hopes for us, either.  But God’s grace was far greater than either of us ever imagined. We stumbled and floundered and fought our way to our first anniversary, at which point David declared a fresh start to our marriage. That night, during a candlelight dinner of pan-fried steaks, he optimistically and convincingly laid out a bold, new vision …

When the Emotions are Overwhelming, Here’s How to Help

Sometimes you meet a new friend who just gets it, who knows what it’s like to drown in life’s overwhelming emotions. So when Kristen handed me her new book baby full of overflowing feelings and hugs of help, I knew I had to introduce you. Because we all need a hand up from the emotions we can’t handle. Sitting on the green shag carpet, she folds herself up and weeps bitter alligator-size tears.  Everything she’d hoped for that night collapses and the emotion of disappointment threatens to roll her over and leave her flat. Her parents expressed their regret, but what does it matter now? Can they fix it? Make what she’d wanted return? No. All that’s left is utter despair. Perhaps you can recall similar experiences. The weight of childhood emotions carries the memories into adulthood and we remember how it felt to be so devastated (even if we can’t remember why). Incidentally, the little girl in the snapshot was me, and I was disappointed we weren’t visiting close friends that night. In my little 7-year-old mind, all fun …

How a Writer Can Survive the Opinionated Folks

This week, I received a message from a fellow writer that gave me pause. Her question is so common, and it touches on issues I am wrestling with right now in my own writing journey. Praying for Wendy and writing my answer to her helped me re-connect with what this is really about. Maybe you can relate, too. You may not think of yourself as a writer; perhaps your ministry is more giving hugs and encouragement at church, holding babies in the nursery, and posting verses on Facebook. But whether your ministry of words is blogging or blabbing, you can’t help but run into this problem Wendy and I discuss: how to deal with those scary critics. So, writer to writer…when you publish a book the opinionated folks come out of the woodwork and say crazy things but God has called us to thick skin and few words in debatable matters. I’m not sure I’m ready for the full throttle attack that I know will come over my book on marriage I’m writing. The very …

Don’t Do These Things When You’re Feeling Insecure

“Did you say you run?” The disdain in the woman’s question hung thick over the group. All eyes turned on me as my face turned red in the summer heat. “I’m training for my first 5K along with my preteen son. We’re having a good time together jogging in the morning, and I feel like I’m getting stronger through the process.” I hoped my answer sounded more confident than I felt. The woman took a long moment to look me up and down while I squirmed in my Target jeans and t-shirt. She raised an eyebrow silently, then turned her back to me and resumed conversation with our mutual friend. My friend beside me patted my arm. “I admire you for doing that. I don’t think I could get in shape for a race.” We changed the topic to motherhood and coffee before I gratefully excused myself to carry my wide rear end back to the minivan and cry myself home. Why did the sneers of Fit-and-Trim Mommy bother me? Why did I care that …