Thoughts + Tips RSS



Work to be done.

One maliciously crafted rejection with my exact vulnerabilities in mind will pierce the deepest parts of me. Being mature in my faith or having the best of coping skills can help me better process it. It can help me have a better reaction to it. It can even help me remove the arrow and patch up the wound. But it won't shield me from feeling and experiencing the rejection. Today's rejections, big or subtle, are like stealth bombs that zing straight to my core, locating hurts from my past and making them agonizingly present all over again. They send messages that scramble up all of my carefully established formulas for keeping life stable. The voices of doubt and insecurity whisper,...

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Oh, pumpkin.

As the weather changes, so do my taste buds. One of my favorite things to make and have on hand are these chocolate chip pumpkin muffins. They're quick, easy,  and satisfy my fall food cravings. Oh, and my family loves them.         3/4 cups pumpkin puree      3/4 cups granulated sugar      1/2 cup vegetable oil       2 large eggs, room temperature      2 teaspoons vanilla extract      1 1/3 cups all purpose flour      3/4 teaspoons baking powder      1 teaspoon baking soda      1 teaspoon cinnamon      1/2 teaspoon nutmeg      1/2 teaspoon ginger      ¼ teaspoon cloves      1/2 teaspoon salt      1 ½ cups chocolate chips (I use dark)      Finishing sugar, for topping the...

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Take the Basket

We went berry picking last summer and my youngest decided she wanted to carry each one she picked. After a while she started dropping berries - one, two, three, four - one after the other. It made us laugh a couple of times and then she gradually became more frustrated with her lack of coordination.  We offered her a basket but she didn't think that was the solution and so the dropping continued. She wanted to do it by herself.   It's not news to anyone that the world is hurting right now. Everyday it seems like we hear about another fire, another violent situation, another alarming statistic, and all of this on top of the pain in our personal lives....

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When it seems like a waste

I'd rather everything stay the same than face the adjustments of change. There have been seasons of my life when everything feels settled and as it should be. There have also been seasons where I've felt uprooted, unsettled, and out of place. Several seasons involved losing close friends and family - to new jobs and new cities, to illness, and to simply growing apart. I've walked away from many of these seasons wondering why I put in the effort to love deeply, fully, and intentionally if people are just going to leave. It is hard work to open yourself up and deepen relationships. It requires a lot of vulnerability to welcome people into your limitations and struggles, which makes it even more difficult when those relationships...

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Don't Offer your Recipe for Lemonade.

I know people with way too many lemons. I know people with way too many lemons who are told they should just make some lemonade. And what I've learned is that those words are not helpful.   There are many people who have bravely shared their stories with me - many that left me speechless. It is an honor to be the recipient of someone's story; to be handed a rich collection of all the moments that shape a person. It isn't always easy to respond to someone else's pain - in fact it's often super uncomfortable. Even though we've experienced our own pain, we still struggle to respond to someone else's. Our brains are wired to avoid pain - to flee from it as quickly...

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