Thank you for reading my words this past year. This blog is always changing and growing, a lot like me. And hopefully it’s becoming better and a more intentional place for you to visit.
I’ve been blogging for a long time and I still want people who read here to click away more inspired, challenged and encouraged than when they clicked onto my blog.
As I reread some of my posts from 2015, I remembered how wordy and opinionated I am. Thanks for putting up with me and mostly for sharing these words and this blog. I’m hoping and believing the best is yet to come.
Here’s a short wrap-up of the most popular posts on WATF for 2015:
The Post That Encouraged Moms to Keep Going
If you’ve ever told your child no to protect or provide for them, followed through on a consequence with your teenager, or refused to give into their demands, you probably have the battle scars that come with the Meanest Mom title, too. If they are too young to say it, just wait.
I love my kids and my kids love me. But they have tried to manipulate situations, move my resistance, maneuver their way around the truth and mistake my compassion for weakness.
Motherhood is not for wimps.
When my kids think I’m at my meanest, they are really seeing my fierce love for them. They just don’t recognize it for that.
The Post That Made Us Thank God For Our Strong-Willed Children
“We want our determined, fierce kids to stand up first to us so someday they can stand up against the world.”
I thought of my own strong-willed girls who have stood against most of my food and friend and fashion suggestions for years, only to see them stand up for faith in the face of a culture that lacks it.
The beauty of strong-willed children is that they are strong.
They will try and lead and manipulate us; starve and dress themselves and win every argument. Their determination will embarrass and thrill us all in the same day.
We will beg and barter and bribe. We will question every move we make and cringe at every fit. But we will remember that their fierce determination is channeled into velvet strength and these kids who won’t give up their will, also will not give in.
Yes, they chase hard after what they want, but they also chase hard after what’s right.
So, Momma of the strong-willed child pulling out your hair, wondering if you’ll ever be able to eat in public again, be encouraged. That little one will change the world.
But first, she will change you.
The Post That Made Us Think About the Great Commission Instead of a Supreme Court Decision
Our faith in action isn’t a To Do List. It’s a response to Christ laying down His life for us. We comfort and care because we have been comforted and cared for. We give because He has been generous to us. We love because He first loved us.
I want people to see my love for others louder than my opinions and doctrine. I want my children to see me love people. Period. Locally and globally. The Church hasn’t done a good job of both standing for absolute truth and loving people no matter their religious beliefs, race or sexual preference. It’s time we do both well.
If we hold the Bible as truth, we know the end of time as we know it, will come. And we can let hope arise within us or walk in defeat. We can convince people we are right or we can lay down our life for those we think are wrong. We can spend our days bemoaning a Supreme Court decision or we can spend it on the Great Commission.
The Most Controversial Post of the Year
We are working really hard to teach our son to live a pure life. We are encouraging him to bounce his eyes away from bikini-clad bodies. We are raising him to be noble. We are praying for him to have integrity. We are advising him to look into a girls eyes and not cleavage. We are warning him about sexting. We are encouraging him by having these conversations with us about aggressive girls.
We are cautioning him to avoid girls who tell him he’s hot at the pool. We aren’t teaching him to ignore you.
No, we are teaching him to respect you.
And you need to do the same.
Respect yourself. You are beautiful and valuable without even trying. You don’t need a boy’s attention to prove that. I pray you get the kind of attention all girls needs from positive influences at home. I want the best for you, too.
Go ahead, love yourself enough to be just another kid at the pool.
The Post that Challenged Us To Pray for the Fallen, Not Kick Them While They Are Down
My first urge was to shout, “Man down!”
It’s what I screamed ten years ago when I lived my own personal hell after my husband confessed his on-going struggle with pornography. (The sin was different by comparison, but earth shattering is earth shattering). I knew the other side of my husband-the one who tenderly loved his family and worked his tail off to provide for us, the one who had just left his youth pastoring career. I knew he deeply loved God and wanted to make a difference in the world. It was hard to reconcile this dark side of him–the one that was trapped in a secret sin and was willing to lose everything in order to know true freedom.
My marriage and home became a gut-wrenching private hell. (If you read Rhinestone Jesus, you know the whole story). But we found Jesus together and for the first time, I knew and loved all the layers of my husband. I also learned that my greatest act wasn’t righteousness; it was forgiveness. Was my husband a hypocrite? Maybe. But sin has a way of deceiving and convincing us there is no way out. It made all the difference to me that he confessed his sin instead of being caught or outed.
The Post That Helped Us Get A Grip This Christmas
I already feel it–the pressure.
Just a peek on social media and I feel like I’m chasing the holidays and I’m falling behind and it’s not even December 1. Maybe you feel it, too?
It’s not just all the busyness and festivities of the pending season, it’s the understanding that it’s up to parents to make Christmas perfect for our kids.
We are supposed to make it magical. The best Christmas ever.
I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing perfect about my life. It’s messy. There are unexpected bills and difficult decisions and challenging relationships, crockpot dinners and there is a lot of hard work. Christmas is for the broken, the needy, the hopeless. It’s for people like me and you. And the message we give our children about this holy season isn’t found under a tree, it’s discovered on it.
And The Most Shared Post of 2015 That Reminded Us We Are Doing Something Right
Good parents fight for (and sometimes) with their kids.
Good parents make mistakes and apologize.
Good parents go-against-the-flow even when it would be so much easier to not say what needs to be said or enforce or follow through with what needs to be done.
Good parents cry. And doubt. And wonder. And pray.
Good parents offer grace when it’s least expected and needed the most.
Good parents remind themselves that this too shall pass.
Good parents look hard trials in the face and know they are doing something right.
Good parents recognize even good kids have bad days.
So, don’t give up, Mom. Don’t stop trying, Dad.