Dear Weary Mom: They Grow Up Far Too Fast 2.0

I wrote this Dear Weary Mom post in January 2014. We had 4 kids ranging from almost 4 to 8 years old. I BLINKED!!!!! It’s been 10 years!!!


In that original post I talked about them overcoming some hard things in 2013. To be honest I have NO IDEA what those hard things were because what I didn’t know when I penned those words was nothing held a candle to what was going to happen in September of 2014.

Hindsight is always 2020. As I look back over that post and I see the realization that “God has taught me to love my little sinners for who they are…not who I want them to become” Was the groundwork that was being laid to help my children through the mess that would consume us some 9 months later.

It’s good for us to document these things. So we can see how God led us or carried us through the sometimes thick muck of life. It’s why God instructed the Israelites to set up stones of remembrance. So they didn’t forget where they had come from…..and what God had brought them through.

Now my kids are 14 through 18. We are entering new phases of life almost everyday now it seems. Today I find myself weary not from hard things at the moment but busyness that 4 active teenagers bring. Sports, worship team practice, friendships, acts of service, jobs and all the things that come from a graduating senior life speeds by. The realizations that I will have a graduating senior every year for the next three years is not lost on me and that makes me feel WEARY.

I’m so incredibly thankful for that lesson 10 years ago to meet them where they are. It’s something I try to hold onto each and everyday.

Even in my weariness of all the busyness and happy chaos. (and sometimes the not so happy chaos) I know that Jesus is the hope that gets me through.

You can check out all my Dear Weary Mom posts here.

This post series is based on a book called Hope for the Weary Mom. This book literally saved me from myself. It’s words of hope and truth from God’s word helped me to be the mom I am today!

2023 Books List

Hey friends. I hope you are having a great week. I’ve been wrapping up my 2023 planner and I was counting up the books I read in 2023.

I was impressed considering the year we had and as I looked back over the books I read in 2023 they really did symbolize a whole lot of personal growth. Some of which I fought tooth and nail because it went against how my brain works.

This year I also started my book review journey again. Which I really hope to continue this year as well. Later this week I will share my plan for books in 2024!

Here are the books I completed in 2023

  • Perfectionism
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Resilient (Review book)
  • Who stole my cheese?
  • Becoming Elisabeth Elliot
  • On Getting out of Bed (Review book)
  • The Great Divorce
  • Book Girl
  • The House at Pooh Corner
  • On Cleaning House While Drowning
  • Tips to Romance Your Husband
  • Tips to Romance your Wife
  • Dwell (Review book)
  • Becoming Free Indeed
  • Find your People
  • The 6 Working Geniuses
  • Shepherding a Child’s Heart
  • The Pray Better Devotional (Review Book)
  • Courageous Creative
  • Untapped church
  • Share Your Story

The Romancing your husband and wife books hubby and I read together when we attended a Marriage conference back in March of 2023. We alternated pages and commented on the ideas given in the book.s. It was a great communication moment to share what we liked and didn’t like!

My to 2 favorite books of 2023 was

1) Share Your Story

2) Becoming Elisabeth Elliot (Not gonna lie I’m super excited for reading the sequel to this book later this year)

I can’t wait to share with you the goals and plan for 2024!

What were your favorite reads from 2023?

Patient Endurance

Every year I pick a word (or words ) for the year. Then in the weeks after the new year starts I write a blog post that starts like this, “Well that’s not what I intended” This year is no different. Except for one thing.. After June of this year I lost sight of my words. PATIENT ENDURANCE! Or at least I thought I did. Over the last few weeks I have beat myself up because I hadn’t’t made any progress in Patient Endurance…or at least so I thought.

I have these two amazing women in my life who have supported me on my writing journey for a number of years now, but it’s not just my writing journey really it’s life!! It’s not just one sided either. We lift each other up. Sometimes they ask hard questions to push me into next steps.

Well back in June my amazing friends asked me if I heard anything about “our case”. Our case was just a few short months shy of 9 years long. It’s had been a roller coaster ride of “soon but not yet” answers.

I told them no because Hubby.s phone had been stolen a year earlier and that was the only contact with the U.S. Attorney we had. Periodically we would do a google search for the guys name to See if the trial had happened. It was the same old news articles so over time I just gave up checking. For whatever reason that day when Beth asked- I felt drawn to search again .

This time was different…i stumbled on an FBI posting I had never come across before. I OPENED THE ARTICLE…it was pretty much just like the others BUT THIS TIME it had a U.S.Attorney.s name AND phone number. I closed my phone I got up from my bed. I was shaking. In my head and heart echoed CALL. I went to leave my room. I glanced back to my bed and the phone that laid in the middle of it. I walked back, hands shaking, I picked up the phone and I clicked on the link My phone dialed than rang.

My chest was pounding all I was looking for was a simple answer…..yes or no. That’s it. I got more than I bargained for. The answer was NO the trial hadn’t happened yet. I got transferred to a really nice lady. . D basically told me that if the attorney wanted to talk to us she would call us by the end of the week. I hung up…..shaing worse than when I started this. At least we had a date…END OF AUGUST.

Can you guess what happened at the end of the week? A big fat NOTHING! We let it go like all the other times and we just kept doing the everyday. Until two weeks later. I was at church after a day of ministry and meetings and I can’t remember where hubby was off to but I was sitting fat his desk using a charger when my phone rang. It was a blocked number. I almost didn’t answer, but something said Pick up. So I did.

The U.S. Attorney introduced herself and I nearly fell off the chair in shock. The details I learned from that phone call made me ill. I felt like I could throw up. I also learned more about the FBI and Federal Court system that I never wanted to know. At the end of the phone call she asked how I felt about the kids testifying? We may need them to. By this time I was outside of our church and I had just walked inside and two staff members had joined me…but they had no idea shat I was about to tell them.

I was in shock. The ball was in motion…..we would be involved and I had major regrets for ever making that call. We didn’t change our plans. We didn’t tell the kids yet. We ended our homeschool year, 3 kids went to work at Camp, hubby and I had phone meetings and even went to a meeting in the Federal building where our phones were confiscated. We went with a friend who had walked a similar path. Her words to and from were soothing to hubby and I. The laughter was healing. There would only be a sentencing… trial. (there will be another post on that subject) Sentencing was moved (as expected) . It moved from the end of August til the end of September. We started school. We went on vacation with friends. Ron and I left for a Pastors and Wives retreat. We left one week to the day before we were to appear in court.

Everyone else was having a great time…..we on the other hand had a job to do. Four victim impact statements had to be written. Hubby and I would take breaks and hike the trails around the retreat center. There is one trail I didn’t think I could do. It was steep….so very steep and I had killed my ankle and knee in June and I had not fully healed and the rocks that cover those Pennsylvania mountains were brutal.

Upon the encouragement of our teaching pastor who was also at the retreat we decided to hike the yellow trail Thursday morning. It was tough. I was in pain, it was a hard climb because for 3 months had babied my left leg. BUT IM INCREDIBLY STUBBORN AND I DONT GIVE UP EASILY. It took us way longer than it should have but as we reached the summit in the middle of the Poconos my phone rang. It shouldn’t have…..i shouldn’t have had reception. It was D. Our advocate. She informed us that our kids didn’t need to come and that none of us had to testify. None of us would have to stare at him in the face. Hubby and I could read our victim impact statements and that would be it.

We hugged and cried and cried and hugged. That climb was so very symbolic of those last nine years (we passed the anniversary the grinning of September) it was rocky, tricky and sometimes straight up. We had each others backs Then coming back down the very steep side I literally had to lean on hubby.

I look back on that time in September and yes in the months surrounding those events I may have dropped some balls. I may have lost track of some things and forgotten stuff but in the middle of all that we came out the other side maybe a little ruffled but we had our faith and our family intact and we had this amazing group of people who really acted as our Aaron and Hur. They held up our arms in some of the craziest times. Some of them even went to court with us. They sat with us, held our hands rubbed our backs and sobbed with us our words…..our testimonies of Gods grace and forgiveness were heard not only by the man who hurt us but also a judge, attorneys, and US Marshalls who sat in that court room.

As for the patient endurance I look back on The last year and from July through the end of the year I may have fallen short and dropped the ball in some areas but in hindsight we patiently endured 9 years. Waiting. There were lots of “Soon but not yet” Moments. The waiting is over. It was hard but the idea of endurance eludes to hard work. As much as I felt like I was failing I wasn’t. We ran that 9 year marathon. We kept our eyes on Jesus and we served with all of our hearts. We could have hid and licked our wounds. We could have protected ourselves and not let anyone in. We could have lived in fear. We could have said no to the Attorney. B. Instead we didn’t run that race for ourselves but for Jesus. We let Jesus shine the pain. That’s who we kept our eyes on. Patient Endurance isn’t always pretty it will sometimes be messy. That’s where Jesus comes in. He makes the messy beautiful!

Next week I will share my word for this year.

Bits and Pieces

I know it’s been a long time and very sporatic at bestl

I’ve opened the app and the site sat and stared not knowing where to begin. I want my writing to be impactful and full of purpose but in the same respect I have just lost the joy of writing in this space like when I started writing here nearly 17 years ago.

A few weeks ago I really started contemplating why this was. it came down to a few things. Those things are:

l. When I started blogging it was simple. It was just me and my thoughts and a computer. Now when I write l create an image l fill out SEO stuff and I get lost in the tiny details. It’s all necessary and important but those details drastically suck the joy out of the writing process for me.

2. The expectations of my own writing and the perceived expectations of others. Over time as my writing has changed and growsn I seem to think that every writing piece needs to resemble some big work of spiritual art. The reality is that can’t always happen. Some days are yucky and Hard. I have nothing profound to say just the realness of my heart. THAT has been criticized in the past. There are people who didn’t like my being real with where I was. (That’s about to change). Keeping up of appearances is one of the things that needs to change, especially amongst Christians. God writes our story. He helps us through it and yet we don’t tell the how. We just put on a smile and say “Im all good” and no one is any the wiser, and the work of God in our hearts, minds and lives goes unused to help that person who may be having sleepless nights, falling tears and loneliness.

3. Criticism. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. I struggle with people pleasing and I have done a whole lot of recovering from that over the last two years. This past September I had to write a victim impact statement which got turned in to a federal court judge. A few days later I found myself sitting in a Federal Court before that same judge next to one of the most obnoxious defense attorneys. I read my statement. What happened next was…..frustrating to say the least. More criticism. I’m going to write more about this in the coming months. Walking away from that day I said well if I can face that nothing will phase me. Still……I chose silence.

I’m sure if I sat here I could think of a bunch more things. But those are the Bigs ones. I gave up on the things that I loved and that made me feel the most alive and connected to God. So now what?

For now Im going back to what worked at the very beginning. Bits and pieces of my life shared. Thoughts, questions fun pictures. Some days I won’t use SEO. Some days I will just write to heal, write to breathe, write to process. I’m not writing for you the reader. If along the way you like what Ive written….GREAT! If along the way God uses what I have written to impact you in some way…..AMHAZING. IF GOD USES MY WRITING TO HELP YOU GROW CLOSER TO HIM…..PRAISE HIM. In the meantime I will be sitting over here sipping my coffee, praying, reading and enjoying the process

Thanks for joining me on my journey of faith.

Heart Check for Our Journey


Heart Check-Up

Hello, Friends! It’s been a couple of weeks since I visited my little place here on the Internet. Life has been crazy busy and well I got sick. The sickest I have been in about a year and a half. Actually, I was even sicker than I was with COVID a year ago. Since that sickness, I have been battling weariness. Not just body weariness but mind and soul weariness. Why? I have no idea. I could speculate but I just don’t know- and this morning pulling my head from my pillow I felt a heaviness that was once familiar but hasn’t been around in some time.

I got up and headed to church as is the routine. I had no idea what today would hold. I grabbed my pre-packed bags and was off. I got to church, made my breakfast and coffee, and plopped into the chair. I had spread out before me my planner, my journal, and my phone. I chose to not open the journal but the phone. I scrolled through YouTube, Facebook, and a game (or two). and yet nothing held my attention.

I took the last bite of my bagel took a deep breath and cracked open my journal to the first blank page after the last well-inked page. I began my prayer: Good Morning Lord… and for two pages I poured my heart full of the struggle of my heavy heart. I ended by asking for wisdom for all the things. I closed my prayer, turned the page, and wrote James 3:1-12 across the top. As I wrote the words of that passage across the pages God did something in my heart. A heart check-up of sorts.

The Journey

We are all on a journey. Every day is a journey. Each week is a Journey. Those days and weeks combine together to create an even longer journey. The same with months, years, and decades. My journey (as does yours) has many twists and turns and characters to join us on our way.

My journey, thankfully, has God sometimes carrying me through the dark shadowy mucky woods where an ROUS is surely going to pop out at any time, and other times walking hand in hand through sunny meadows, never leaving me or turning his back on me. Sometimes I forget God because I have become so busy, too task-oriented, or just plain self-centered to see that God has turned down a different path. I’m so busy checking off my to-do list and making sure my ideals are being upheld.

On my journey, I have friends and family. We will walk together for a time. Soon my children will start taking their own journeys. I will be with them in their hearts. Hubby and I are lifelong traveling buddies. There have been times when God has had to carry us both at the same time, and he can because he is all-powerful! Our journey leads us to places of ministry and away from places of ministry. Our journey will have homes and workplaces. They may be for a lifetime or it may be an actual physical journey as well.

Our journey has had pits of illness, disability, learning struggles, abuse, and trauma. It has also had mountains of joy, gratitude, and blessing.

My Heart Check on My Journey this morning (and where it’s going to take us here on the blog)

James 3:1-12 is all about the tongue. As I wrote each word it sent arrows right to my heart. It answered the struggles I’m having with Shepherding a Child’s Heart (a book). I won’t go into the struggles with the actual book because that’s not important at this time. Instead, I had an AHA moment…Here’s what I wrote in my journal this morning.

I’m still a child. At 43 years old I’m still a child- God’s child and he is in a constant state of shepherding my heart. On this journey, I still need to do heart checks because I have not arrived. I am not perfect. I will need to do heart checks until my dying day.

So what is a great heart check? My speech. Matthew 12:34 and Luke 6:45 tell us that the condition of our hearts is revealed through our speech! That James passage says that both good and bad water cannot come from the same spring (vs 10-12).

I have so many thoughts and comments on James 3:1-12 so we are going to journey through this passage together. So welcome to the Heart Check series. A lot of what we are going to talk about comes out of the James 3 passage because our speech is our biggest heart revealer.

What’s Next? James 3 in light of our kids! Hubby and I have been teasing out some interesting thoughts over the last few days and I cannot wait to share them with you.

Let me ask you this…

Does God publicly humiliate anyone in Scripture?

Does God call people out. for their sins in a public setting?

Does Jesus ever say “suck it up and deal with it?”

Did Jesus talk badly about people to others?

Then why as Christian parents do we choose to do these things to our kids? As we look at James 3 in light of our children we will also look at the passages we are called to be to them! Don’t get me wrong sometimes we need help, goodness knows we certainly have. Thats where our hearts come in. What is driving what we say about our kids and better yet HOW ARE WE SAYING IT?

I will see you here for our next Heart Check!