Giving Yourself Permission to Rest

Take a breath. In and out. This is a busy time of year, yes. But it’s also a beautiful time of year. A time of anticipation. A time of joy-filled wonder, and icing-covered cookies. A time of cold, starry nights and warm, tightly-stitched quilts. A time when the wood stove is filled with crackling logs, …

How to be Kind and Merciful to Yourself in 5 Steps

Someone recently published a little poll, asking people what they thought about the words “self-care.” I think this is a dangerous word in our world today. While we certainly need to take care of ourselves, far too often, I think we are quick as a society to justify comfort and luxury items in the name …

5 Quick Ways to Kick Anxiety to the Curb (without chocolate…)

We are currently potty training with our 3-year old, and I keep heading to the pantry to eat some of the m&m reward candy, so I’m writing this as a reminder for myself today just as much as for anyone else! Anxiety is no joke. Sometimes we don’t even realize how tense and uptight we …

5 Reasons to Say No & 1 Reason to Say Yes

Life is full of decisions. New situations and opportunities present themselves constantly, requiring us to continually examine where and how we should devote our time and attention. And our primary focus of course should always be on keeping our priorities straight – serving God, serving our spouse, and serving our family, in that order. But …

3 Ways to Snap Yourself Out of Negative Self-Talk

Our pastor Father Winslow once told a story once about the time his friend visited a monastery. The man had been discerning a vocation as a monk, so he went to live with the monks for awhile. It reminds me of P.J. Funnybunny who decided to be a bear, so he went to live with …

3 Valuable Insights You Can Learn from Your Fears

My luggage was packed, and my fiancee stood with his family at the bottom of the stairs. We were newly engaged, and our families had spent the weekend getting to know one another at my parent’s home near Chicago. They were supposed to be my ride back to Kentucky that day, but a flood of …

Why Chastity Talks Are Not Enough

*Some names and details have been changed to protect privacy. She sat in a chair facing us and smiled nervously. We asked each person at youth group that night to share about something in particular, though I cannot for the life of me recall what they were supposed to share. Mikaela chose to speak about …

How to Have Enough Time for Everything

“I don’t know how you get anything done in a day!” my Dad said. He spent the morning watching my children, and honestly, hearing him say that gave me so much consolation. I felt so validated and affirmed. Because it is hard to “get things done.” It’s definitely not easy caring for four small children. …

My Struggle with “Privilege”

For a long time, I struggled with the concept of “privilege.”  The truth is, I know I am very blessed.  I have enjoyed many privileges in my life. But this word bothered me because I felt like it fueled the victim-mentality in our culture, elevating certain victims or underprivileged to a bizarre form of elitism.  …

Why We Need to Leave Our Comfort Zones

Now, when we start to fulfill our mission of mercy, life will likely become uncomfortable.  This is good!  If we truly want to serve others at full capacity, we need to be okay with discomfort and change.  God loves to take us out of our comfort zones, because that’s where real growth and change can …