October 4, 2015

The Power of a PB & J Sandwich

Beauty amidst broken

This summer, the power of a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich was made known. (First shared over at (in)courage.) Steam radiated throughout the air and sweat rolled down places my deodorant would never reach. I don’t know why I even […]

I Was Rattled

Dependence on Christ

As the band started playing, I stepped forward on the stage and started my communion solo. “How deep the Father’s love for us, How vast beyond all measure.” Verses filled with such depth of truth. “That He should give His […]

Make Room For One More

Cozy is the New Grand

There she was, sitting in a corner by herself. As she aimlessly ruffled the pages of her science folder, her sweet face turned downward showing no expression. My heart tightened as I glanced around the room. Everywhere I looked girls […]

When God’s Voice Sounds a lot like Twila Paris


“Honey, go home. You haven’t slept more than a few hours in five days. I’ll stay with him. Surgery is scheduled for 8 am. You need to sleep when you can,” murmured my husband. Tipping the newborn scales at 10.5 […]

Wrestle Hard

Wrestle Hard

I wrote this post initially for (in)courage: home for the heart of women. While many of you that read Balancing Beauty and Bedlam may not come from the same Christian world and life view, I think that challenging our teens to […]

Life is Hard

Life is Hard Take Heart

I approached my door and tried to focus. Brown paper bags littered my sidewalk. Bags stuffed with manna. Food, toiletries, diapers, gift cards, and unsigned notes overflowed from grocery bags left for my family. Approaching a year without a paycheck, […]

Thrown away in a Garbage Bag & Left to Die: My Precious Nephew

This little boy was left to die in a garbage bag. Mother's Love

Nearly six years ago, I traveled to Ecuador with my sister in love to bring home my precious nephew, Edison. Thrown away in a garbage bag and left to die, this miracle now bounds through my door nearly every day with […]

Not My Son

The ultimate Paradox - Good Friday

In my kitchen, laughter permeates the air. I look around with joy as siblings are reunited. Our eldest is home for Easter and once again, our family is complete. When my firstborn grabs his brother in a bear hug and slaps […]

Could’ve, Should’ve, Would’ve

We-are-called-to-love the unloveable

I turned the corner of the dairy aisle and there he stood. With his work shirt un-tucked, skewed ponytail strung down his back and shoulders slouched over the milk cases, his body language screamed, “Don’t mess with me.” Everything in […]

I Want That To Describe Me

I want that to Describe Me

Smooshed together in the back of the Guatemalan jeep, our four teens peered out the window, eyeing the edge of the cliff. I watched as our thirteen-year-old daughter clutched her plastic bag, just in case her stomach caught up with […]

Whatever Happened to “Carefrontation?” (Sunday Moment)

Understanding the biblical art of confrontation

Ironically enough, I woke that morning with a spring in my step. The exhaustion of mothering our three stair-step babies had settled in, but amidst the chaotic, oatmeal in my hair and juice spilled on my pants, kind of day, […]

Join Me for Some Morning Music


It’s always interesting how various aspects of my real life never makes it to my online life and vice versa. This is one of them. Many in my real life and church don’t know I have a blog and most […]

The Gift of Multi Generations


“Honey, with summer break beginning, I’ve signed you up as a weekly volunteer at the nursing home.” I’ll never forget that simple declaration uttered by my mom. Life, as this freshman in high school knew it, was over. Dread, discomfort, and […]

Let’s Stop Editing Our Lives

Let's stop editing our lives

Snuggled on the sofa with my 15-year-old daughter, we scrolled through her Instagram feed together. 100, 115, 125 “likes” became a theme on each photo and it became clear that she’d found some committed “followers.” “Wow, Abby, your last picture […]

I Just Want to Come Home, Mom!

From that Eldest Son of Mine

(This guy? It’s so good to have him home. Posted from 31 Days of a Mentor Mom series.) Barely keeping my eyes open, I’m juggling between the sofa and my laptop right now. I’m trying to stay awake long enough […]

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