Monday, July 24, 2017

Fighting Strategies to win the Battle Today!

The kids are whining. Your car broke down. You are late. Your boss needs you to re-do the report. The dinner burned. 

We hear: 
  • “You are a bad mom.”
  • “You don’t deserve a nice car.”
  • “You are always late.”
  • “You can’t do anything right at this job.”
  • “Your husband will be disappointed again.”
We stop fighting. We let the broken car, the obstinate kids and the dishes in the sink win. We give them power they were never meant to have. Power to ruin our day and power to define us. 

Three years ago I yelled at my kids constantly. I could tell you that it wasn’t the correct response in a situation. I was drowning and didn’t see the life boat floating right next to me. 

The kids didn’t listen. When they ignored me, disobeyed or yelled at me I heard…
  • “They don’t care what you say”
  • “It doesn’t matter if you discipline them”
  • “It doesn’t matter what you do”
  • “You will never make them happy”
  • “They don’t love you”
We put on our own armor of protection. We numb ourselves to the hurt and chaos. We wear masks that convince others we are “okay, thanks for asking.” 

We are exhausted by living up to expectations and as Satan whispers lies to us, we begin to believe them. 

We are in a spiritual battle.

We fall into a trap that has a tight grasp on our heart and mind. That is the war that is being waged.

The Bible speaks of the devil as a thief who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NIV). He comes quietly most days for me. Sneaking in with whiny kids, hectic work schedules, and disguising God given blessings. 

My heart grows numb and as it does the thief has won…he has begun to steal my joy, kill my hope and destroy life. 

I fight to prove my worth. I fight to be heard. I want to feel important. I want to feel loved.
It can feel like evil is winning. The reality feels impossible but when we let that defeat us we forget the end of the story. That is Satan’s victory.

There doesn’t need to be fear in the battle. We don’t need to shrink back, hide behind self-built walls, or dig our own trench for protection.

Satan knows very well what is tempting and destructive to each one of us. 

The enemy taunts us with the dream of what we look forward to at the end of a long day or a long week. We na├»vely slip into his beautifully set trap and always come out wanting more. 

We feel frustrated. Unfulfilled. Exhausted. We see the battle and want to hide. 

This life is hard. John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” It was not promised to be easy.

In marriage it is hard to love someone more than ourselves, it is difficult to give and not demand. Love becomes a sacrifice we are surprised by and the romance ebbs and flows.

Parenthood brings to light a selfishness we never saw before. We love, serve, and give with no return. We expected to feel fulfilled and loved and valued in life and we are left disappointed. 

Adulthood is a roller coaster of transitions. Finding a job is harder than we imagined, balancing jobs with family and friends is not flexible like we hoped. 

Life is a battlefield we are often blind-sighted by. Our expectations of peace and joy from a beautiful family, clean house, happy kids and loving marriage disappoint us and we look for someone to blame. 

What if that grief over dreams lost was a good thing? What if this trench we are fighting in is for our good? 

What if we are meant to be changed by it instead of changing it?

Satan wants us to believe that it shouldn’t be this way. He wants us to feel hopeless. The words we hear in the battle are lies the devil hopes we believe are true.

We are living on a quiet, seductive battlefield. It is a spiritual one, an emotional one and a physically exhausting one but, we didn’t get left alone!

Oh, how easy it is to forget that this fight has a PURPOSE! 

There is hope. The end is not defeat. It is sanctification! He has given us truth to remind us when days feel dark and lies feel loud. 
It is His truth that we have to sing in our kitchens, showers and cars. We have to repeat it while we walk the halls and climb the stairs. 

That is how we fight in these trenches courageously. That is why we can mourn. That is why we can sacrifice our comfort and fall in line behind the Lord who leads the troops. 

Romans 8 says, “we are more than conquerors.” This battle we are fighting is not just for a victory.  

We need to stop trying to overcome the struggle or end the battle. The victory is promised. 

There is value is in the midst of the mundane. It is in how we fight, how we live, how we choose to survive that has purpose. 

There is work being done. He will produce something through it. That something will be more than saying "I won" at the end. 

The process of fighting will draw us to Him. It will make us fall at His feet and throw our hands up in worship. 

Jesus offers our true safety, He is our hiding place and our protection. 

Psalm 32:7 “You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.”

That promise of protection is given because we are loved. One meant to be used as a tool in our belt, given so we can live freely.

Distraction, numbness or ignorance won’t dispel the battle. Speaking truth is the only way to fight. That is how we wage war on lies. 

We need to be aware. We need to confess our failings and speak truth. We have to take off our mask and admit what we cannot do. 

We need to celebrate with God that our weakness shows us our need for Him!

The reality that we won the fight will be secondary to the fact that we are alive to tell the tale. To sing His praise and confess our failures because He is with us, He enabled us. 

The success, the end of the struggle is His glory not ours! 

Do you feel the weight of the battle raging around you? What truths do you hold onto as you navigate daily life? 
* This post originally appeared on the subscriber's list for

Friday, July 14, 2017

Guest Post on With Our Favorite Books That Build Self-Confidence

What seems so normal within the walls of our house – eating crackers with peanut butter, mayo, and pickle relish, wearing costumes, or using family nick-names – can all be threatened by social norms when our kids go to school or play with friends. When kids are young they don’t think about other people’s opinions, but this slowly changes as they grow. Join me over at for a list of some of my favorite books for teaching little ones how to be confident in who they are and how to treat others who are not the same as you.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Life is a classroom and a playground

Caution! My children are learning and playing in daily routines

We are running around the grocery store…It is six degrees and we have not played outside in weeks. We are not pulling things off shelves, we are not screaming, we are not eating food out of containers. I know you came to the grocery store with your list and your podcast hoping to get in and get out and not have to wait on someone to get out of your way. I will not apologize for my child who is pushing his own cart through the grocery store. He is learning to watch out, he is learning to walk on the right side, he is learning that there are other people who should get to go first. I will not apologize for grocery shopping with three small kids in tow…we need food too!!!

We are loud…it is typically from excitement. Little things like cookies with icing AND sprinkles in Kroger, snow falling, mommy finding their favorite t-shirt that has been missing, a Spiderman balloon…well, Spiderman anything; getting hot chocolate, pancakes with chocolate chips, getting to decorate the discarded Amazon boxes with paint or our favorite song playing. I will not apologize for laughing or singing loudly. We are celebrating, we are happy, we are joyful and it is spilling out of us. I am not sorry that today in this minute we are happy because we won’t be in three minutes so don’t ask me to quiet their joyful sillies because I also won’t apologize for their screams when I carry them out of the store kicking me!

We are messy…not intentionally but sometimes by necessity. We are still learning to feed ourselves, we are still learning how to pick up without being asked. We are still practicing how to hold things and understanding Murphy’s Law which says that if a full glass of milk is on the table it will be spilt! We don’t understand organizing and putting things back because we will always play with them again.

We are enthusiastic…about everything! We are easily excited and easily angered. When daddy walks in the door it is the best part of our day and when someone marks a dot on our crayon masterpiece it is the worst part. We experience best and worst moments a hundred times a day. Our enthusiasm doesn’t pick sides it rears it’s head for the happy and the angry. I will not apologize for their emotions. They are learning how to express them, how to understand and name them. They are learning how to feel them. They will eventually learn to have self-control but not until they can experience the emotion because they will not teach them to ignore the emotion.

We are hungry…all the time. It is not because we are bored, it is not because we love banana bread and you just made some. We run around constantly, we are growing, we are learning about the world, about people, about emotions, about math. We are sponges that soak up everything in it’s path and that takes an immense amount of energy. I know it is not typical for your food to evaporate at such a rate and then be asked for more as soon as the dishes are done. We are hungry and though we can live without food every two hours we will not apologize for asking for more or eating what is given.

We are tired. We don’t get tired slowly. We don’t know when we will be tired. We are immediately tired. We go from one extreme to the other faster than you can blink. Remember we are growing, remember how we are learning, remember how we are loud and messy? We get tired and need sleep and we will not apologize for running around for twelve hours and then crying ourselves to sleep because we can’t articulate our thoughts enough at hour eleven to tell you we should start winding down.

We have opinions. We are learning who we are in a family of five, how we are different and how we are the same. We were created as individuals. We want to choose the song, the road we take home, the snack at the grocery store and the way our PB & J is cut. Yes, we are obstinate. Yes, we are not very flexible. Yes, we are confusing. But, we are learning who we are, what we like and why. We will not apologize for learning to explore and communicate and be confident in our differences.

We have lots of questions about everything. A child who asks over and over again for one-hundred things is confidant they are loved, is confidant someone cares and knows what it means to have their needs met. They don’t get everything they ask for so I will not apologize for saying “yes” when you hear their ridiculous request.

We are friendly…with everyone! I know you walked into this restaurant for a dinner and not a show. I know you didn’t want to hear a knock-knock joke or play twenty questions about your job that you just want to finish. We are learning what strangers are since we have never met one. I will not apologize because we are learning how to be polite and say thank-you and not point.

I know we get in the way and make things slower and louder, we also make things more fun!

Fighting Strategies to win the Battle Today!

The kids are whining. Your car broke down. You are late. Your boss needs you to re-do the report. The dinner burned.  We hear: ...