13 Ways to Keep Our Priorities in Order

by Tara Furman


“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1

Have you ever noticed how the world easily lures our attention and priorities away from the things that really matter? It’s subtle, but before you know it:
  • You’re frazzled with no peace and you’re anxious.
  • You lose it over a glass of spilled milk.
  • You’re constantly in a hurry because you fail to put margin into your day.
  • You have no patience with anyone—especially your husband and children. Not only that, but they are getting on your nerves.

The way an empty stomach growls when it needs food, these red-flags are indicators that my attention and priorities have shifted.

Many years ago, I read A Woman After God’s Own Heart, by Elizabeth George. GREAT READ! From that book, I wrote down the concepts I didn’t want to forget. I then placed them in my prayer journal. The page is old and getting tattered. But I still refer back to it—it’s rich!

Not only that, it’s extremely helpful in holding me accountable to what’s really important in life: my relationship with God, my family and my home.

How are you doing in these 13 areas? Continue reading →

No More Darkness

by Dorie Pyron



It’s happened to all of us. We walk through the door, flip the light switch on, and nothing happens. We flip the switch again, but still nothing. In an instant our thoughts race. We suppose our worst-case-scenario vulnerability, and fear wraps its cold, bony fingers around our hearts. We’re out of control and out of our minds. We are in the dark, and we hate it.

I wonder why the dark is such an awful place to be? I wonder why ending up there scares us like it does?

The message of First John might help clear things up a bit, so grab your Bible, and let’s take a look. 

In chapter one, John tells us that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. It doesn’t say darkness creeps in unnoticed and lives in hiding till it’s discovered. It says there is NO darkness AT ALL. In the presence of Light, darkness has no cover and just cannot be. That’s a good word! John goes on to say that those of us who claim to be in God’s family must live where He lives; in the Light. That makes sense. Of course God, our loving Heavenly Father, would want His children to live a life close to Him, full of His goodness and blessing! He’s that good, and we’re that blessed!

In chapters two and three, John reminds us that living in the Light takes practice. As it turns out, our sinful humanity actually prefers the dark and has to be taught a new way. As believers, we realize we were made for Light-living and commit our whole selves to it, but are and always will be contaminated by a love for the dark. The struggle is very real. All the time, in every moment, our commitment to the Light and our appetite for the dark are at odds. Faith and fear cannot share space in our heart.

In chapter four, John lays out the transcendental truth that God loves us. Before us, He loved us, and in spite of us, He loves us. In response to knowing His powerful, beautiful love for us, we can’t help but love Him back. This is most obviously evidenced by how we love others. Loving God back, in our relationship with Him and with others, means we are living, as children of God should be, in the Light. Over time, this response living becomes more and more a habit. The blessings of Light-living become more and more our normal practice and consequence. We slowly lose our love for the darkness, because we have allowed ourselves to be wooed by the Light. Yes!

Wrapping up in chapter five, John reminds us that living in the Light, in response to God’s love, is a process taking time, but is a sure thing. Light-living promises victory and confidence in our struggle with sin and our testimony of eternal life. Darkness might never go away, but we never have to fear it or give in to it.

Taking all this in, I guess it makes sense that the darkness, physical or spiritual, would be a scary place. Darkness makes us realize our inabilities and failings, how we are not like God and, left to ourselves, cannot be with God. In the dark, we are to realize we’ve made a terrible mess. We have to come to terms with the fact that trusting ourselves instead of God is arrogant and dangerous, for us and for those we love. That’s a big deal.

So what does all this light and dark business have to do with us as mommas?

Well, let me ask you — Have you ever lost your temper with your kids? Yep. Then you know the “Mommy Monster.” You know the struggle of being a child of the Light who gets lost in the dark.

Let’s unpack this to make the connection.

Our identity

See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God! 1 John 3:1


God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5


We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:18

If you have trusted Jesus as Savior and Lord, you are a child of God! You are fully loved and freed and are welcomed and accountable to live in all the blessing and goodness of His Light! Darkness exists, but you no longer have to be vulnerable to it. Life is brand new for you, defined by love, and characterized by peace and joy!

Our problem 

…The darkness has blinded his eyes. 1 John 2:11

Plain and simple, you’re suffering from temporary blindness. Darkness has covered your eyes to the actual truth and you’re living by perceived truth, which is actually a lie. Not being able to see is a dramatic problem. If we can’t see, we don’t know where we are, what to do, or what’s coming up next. This lack of control means lack of ability to take care of ourselves and those we love. Being that vulnerable scares us to death and makes us irrational.

Every good momma should most definitely feel a keen sense of responsibility for herself and her family, but even the best mommas are still just humans. At some point, how much we care and our ability to help will run out. It’s inevitable. Perceived truth is that it all depends on us and that we can be everything that is needed. Actual truth is that it does NOT all depend on us and we will NEVER EVER be enough to meet every need. God is the ONLY ONE who can be that. GOD, not us!

Our struggle 

So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:25

As believers, we have two active identities – our Jesus nature and our Sin nature. Jesus loves us too much to let us die and Sin hates us too much to let us live. Every day, one or the other grows stronger in us – faith in Him or faith in self. Unfortunately, some days, sin wins and we find ourselves deceived into forsaking the Light and slipping away into the dark, only to end up lost.

Our response

For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. Romans 7:15

Most often, the darkness scares us and we react. We know we’re out of line. We’re somewhere we shouldn’t be, doing something we shouldn’t be doing, making more and more of a mess of things. But for some reason we still can’t let go of the lie that we can fix it. If we’d just lean in on our kids a little more we can ‘make them’ cooperate and ‘be’ right. Oh its a mess! The emotional, selfish, ridiculous “Mommy Monster” starts to rage and, if left unbridled, is soon spewing death and destruction all over the place. It’s awful.

But that doesn’t have to be how it goes! 

Thus says God the Lord…I am the Lord…I will appoint (My Servant – Jesus the Messiah) as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, and those who dwell in darkness from the prison. Isaiah 42:5-7


Then Jesus spoke again to them saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12


Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:12-14


Cease striving, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10


The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? Psalm 27:1

This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all…if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7

Momma friends, the “Mommy Monster” never has to be! We and our families can be set free from it. The truth is, God is Light and there is no darkness in Him. Know He loves you and you’ve been created to love Him back.

Learn what it is to live in Him, in the Light, and start to practice that new way of living. Take note as a new heart begins to grow in you. Realize He is who it all depends on, and He is faithful. With your confidence settled fully on Him, you are never vulnerable to your own failings or victim to your own fears. You will be free to love Him and to love all those around you, sincerely and intentionally. You will see how He is your source and your guard. On all sides you will be hemmed in, and in every moment you will know plenty. There will be no darkness, no monster, no fear, no lack. There will be only Light and Love.

No more monster in the dark momma friends! Be free! 

Dorie Pyron


It’s Gonna Be OK — Parenting Kids With Special Needs

by Jenny Stricklin


As a momma of three little boys — one of them with autism (as I’ve mentioned here before), I have found myself facing one parenting mountain after another. Some have just been little molehills. Others seemed too steep, scary, or intimidating to even attempt to climb. I’m not a skilled hiker, after all. I’ve had no official training in this area and no one ever bothered to give me a trail map when I started out. How rude.

Particularly with our oldest son, Hudson. Since his diagnosis 4 years ago, there have been seasons of ease, comfort, and simplicity in parenting, interspersed with seasons nothing but complicated and emotionally draining. The last few weeks with our sweet boy have been somewhere in between. Once again, I’ve come upon a fork in the road — a crisis of belief of sorts.

“It’s gonna be ok, Jenny.” My dear friend told me. “This is hard, but Hudson is gonna be ok.” I needed to hear that.

Overwhelmed by what’s in front of me, I’ve had to grapple with what is true about my little boy and our circumstance right now, regardless of what it looks like. We all have these moments. It could be about anything. Situations that force us to decide what we believe about what we see. About what we can’t see. Which totally affects how we will respond.

Parenting a child with any kind of atypical need is hard.  

With any kind of disability or weakness (and I don’t mind calling it that, since God says we are to BOAST about our weaknesses, because that’s where His power rests!), we’ve got two options: Believe what we think and feel is true OR believe what God says is true. It may sound churchy until you dig around and find that every possible response fits somewhere inside those two categories.

I haven’t stopped thinking about Moses the last few weeks. Man, he was a mess. God comes to him, in a burning bush of all places. You remember the story.  God actually picks him and wants to use him as His spokesman. Meanwhile, Moses is face-planted in his own weaknesses and has the nerve to argue with the Living God. “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now… I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”

Yep, I do the same thing.

Limitations want to dominate us, right? They wanna be the boss and steer the ship.  It is often our knee-jerk reaction to make a judgment and draw a verdict based only on our current reality. I do this with Hudson if I’m not careful. His hard days at school, or struggles with friends, or challenges that we can’t seem to beat, can overwhelm and paralyze me with fear and doubt. Fear of the future. Doubting God’s power to overcome. Fear of what people will say. Doubting His promises. And on and on…

Our pastor has recently challenged us with this: “In light of your current reality, is there a greater reality? Something bigger than what your eyes can see?”  

For Moses, the greater reality was THE GREAT I AM. In his moment of fear and worry as he spoke from his weakness, God reminded Moses of Who made his mouth and assured him of His help and presence. For me and for little Hudson, the greater reality is still THE GREAT I AM. In my moments of fear and worry, as I see my son struggle, God reminds me of Who made that precious boy, and assures me of His help and presence. 

And the WOW factor in all of this is that if you flip to Acts 7:22, you read, “…[Moses] was powerful in both speech and action.Wait, WHAT?! That’s not the Moses we knew in Exodus – That guy was weak, and afraid and tongue-tied! God’s pronouncement of him in Acts was the complete opposite of his current reality centuries before.

Gosh, I want to believe God now for His final pronouncement of Hudson one day. I NEED to believe it…to get through this week and next. Continue reading →

Train Them Up: Developing a Plan

by Ginger Whitehorn


I’m a mom to three boys. Many years ago, God gave me a burden to do my very best with my boys. Raising them was “my job,” and I was to treat it like one.

I needed a plan. 

Specifically, I needed a plan that addressed their spiritual needs—you know, the part of them that will last forever and, hopefully, make an impact for all eternity. I sought God’s Word for my plan.

“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 1 Timothy 3:16-17

I’m sure there were plenty of ideas out there but “Abba” told me to go to Him and not somebody else. God is always all about our relationship with Him, and He drew me close as He impressed upon me that my family, like every family, was unique. We had different interests and different learning styles. He revealed to me His customized plan for my family.

God says in Proverbs 22 to “train a child in the way he should go.” Train means to initiate, teach, dedicate, consecrate, or inaugurate. Training is purposeful and requires planning. God led me to scripture to set some goals—both long term and short term. Continue reading →

Mighty Mothers: Contenders for Christ

by Stephanie Blackiston


My husband and I just welcomed our seventh child into the world. We have six sons and one daughter. We never dreamed we would have a large family. The road here has required much faith and surrender.

I didn’t know motherhood demanded great courage and spiritual strength. The funny thing is… I don’t have either.

Instinct tells me to grab hold of fear and disbelief. My natural brain works like Gideon’s. Remember where Gideon was when God called him? Hiding in a winepress.

“Then the angel of the Lord came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah…Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites.  

The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!

“Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.”

Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!

“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”

The Lord said to him, I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”

(Judges 6)

Like Gideon, I am shaking in my boots (I do love BOOTS!). God ignores Gideon’s OBVIOUS shortcomings and calls him “Mighty Hero.” My conversation with God is very similar to Gideon’s. 

Me: “You chose the WRONG girl.”

God: “I am sending YOU.”

Me: “I don’t have what it takes.”

God: “I will be with you.”

Me: “I am too weak!”

God: “I have given you my strength.”

My motherhood verse is Colossians 1:29.

“To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”

Let’s unpack this verse. Continue reading →

The Best Parenting Advice I’ve Ever Received

by Melanie Redd

It’s the greatest parenting advice I’ve ever received!


And, this advice has taken us into and almost through the college years with our kids.


We aren’t perfect, and they aren’t perfect; but, this wise bit of instruction has kept the relationships we have with our children open and positive.

The incredible advice was given to us when our children were very small.

We were living in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA.

It was during that time that we met some of our favorite people in this world, including our friends Debbie and Christie. Although these ladies were just a few years my senior, they were further along in raising their children.

Debbie had two teenage girls and Christie had 3 kids: one child in high school, one child in middle school, and an elementary student.

At that point; our son, Riley, was only about 4, and our daughter, Emily, was about 2.

As I spent time with these friends, I got to watch and see how they treated their children and their husbands.

I got to see what they did and hear what they said.

They modeled for me so many wise parenting principles and gave me so much great advice.

Although we were just “doing life together” and hanging out, their lives had a profound impact on my future and how I would learn to treat my husband and my kids.

It was during that period that I began to grasp this greatest parenting tip.

Are you ready to hear it?

The greatest parenting tip ever:

Win their HEARTS as little children and keep their hearts through their growing years.

When they are grown up, they will still like you and want to be around you because you never lost their HEARTS.

In short: Do everything you can to KEEP THEIR HEARTS!

It may not sound profound, but let’s walk through it:

As Newborns and Infants….

  • They start out so small and fragile and cute.
  • They come to us as little bundles of joy all wrapped up with a special little hat and tiny toes and fingers.
  • We hold them, kiss them, rock them, feed them, change them and care for their every need.
  • Helpless, precious and small, we are their 24-hour caregivers in those first few days.

As Little Babies

  • They start to grin and babble and “converse” with you.
  • They rock to music, talk to their toys, roll, scoot, and some even crawl.
  • They are needy and precious and many get quite “chunky” at this stage.
  • They still need us for almost everything, but they are a little easier to handle.

As Babies on the move

  • Crawling or walking begin and life starts to get really crazy.
  • The cabinet locks go on. The plug protectors go in.
  • The doors and windows are barred. The sharp edges are rubberized.
  • Life is now filled with bumps, bruises, and much exploration.
  • They are so cute and busy at this stage.
  • They Still need you.


During the Twos

  • They beg you not to leave them.
  • Cling to you at the nursery.
  • And, oh, they are into everything!

During the Threes and Fours

  • They are so much FUN!
  • Ask tons of questions.
    • No question is off-limits.
  • Love you and everyone else.
  • Like to go and do and explore.
  • Life is crazy and an adventure.

In Kindergarten and first grades

  • Still sweet and pretty simple.
  • Don’t understand sarcasm.
  • Still love their parents.
  • You can still go eat lunch with them at school.

In 2nd through 4th grades

  • They become a little more independent.
  • Still like you to be “Room Mom” and to bring cupcakes.
  • Good years. Happy years. Sweet years.
  • Lots of great learning taking place.

In 5th Grade

  • Start to transition toward middle school.
  • Growing and changing a lot.
  • Still pretty sweet at this stage for most middle schoolers.

In 6th Grade –Around Ages 12-13

  • One Night…
  • Overnight…
  • Out of the blue…
  • Unexpectedly, they enter this strange and unavoidable place–my friend Rhonda calls:

“The Dark Side”

That sweet kid becomes:

  • Moody, independent, not so sweet,
  • They all of a sudden don’t like you.
  • In one night, you can lose all of your credibility, coolness, and love.


Looks sort of like – “A 2-year-old having a fit”

Sounds like, “Please drop me at the corner so my friends won’t see you with me.”

Sounds like, “Do you have to come in? Do you have to go with us?”

~ Or, “Can you leave the cupcakes at the school office for my birthday?”

~ Or, “Can you not hug me in front of my friends?”

~ Or, “Mom, you are so loud?”

~ Or, “Dad, are you really wearing that?”

You go from “hero to zero” overnight. From best friend to enemy in 24 hours.

That clingy kid becomes the standoff-ish child in a matter of hours.

But, don’t despair, the “Dark Side” is just a season.

It’s just a spot in time when your child will act really weird.

For boys, it is more about crying over things, hitting things, sensitivity, and being upset easily. There are: changing hormones and emotions, wanting to please their peers, and being a little embarrassed by you.

For girls, it’s about changing emotions, hormones, mood swings, drama, being embarrassed by you, wanting to please their friends and lots of tears.

What can we do to continue to hold on to their hearts while they are living over on the Dark Side?

~ How do we keep the lines of communication open?

~ How do we deal with their surly looks and sassy comebacks?

~ How can you start preparing now?

~ What can you do to get ready for this season?

~ What can parents do to ensure they don’t completely lose touch with their kids?

There is hope for you no matter what age your child is!

It is never too late for you to win that child’s heart!

No matter how old you are or how old that child is, you can always take measures to build a bridge to his or her heart!

Would you like more information?

I’ve put together a practical resource for parents of all ages with children of all ages.

It’s called, How to Win Your Child’s Heart For Life. 

You can find out more about this resource by clicking HERE.

For now, I encourage you to do 3 things:

1) Take a good, hard look at your relationship with each of your kids.

2) Ask yourself, “Do I really HAVE the heart of this child?”

3) Pray and talk these things over with the Lord.

Galatians 6:9 seems appropriate as I close:

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.

At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

Melanie Redd

Melanie Redd Profile shot

Sibling Love is Intentional

by Rey Cooke



Beginning a family at age 20 wasn’t exactly my plan, but I can confidently say it was God’s plan!

When my husband and I found out we were going to be parents, we only had one year of marriage under our belts. It wasn’t a ton of notice, but it was the plan for us. The only plan I really had was, WHEN I had children, I wanted them to be close in age and friends for life!

My daughter came into our loving home and suddenly, I was a mother.  No longer just in charge of myself, I was the one someone else was utterly dependent on for sustenance.  Ready or not, I stepped up to the plate and life began in a new way.  Later we would add three more daughters to the mix.

Intentionally, I trained the girls to be loving and kind toward one another. I reminded them that one day they would need each other and their parents would not be here. Each day had its challenges of daily squabbles. Honestly, there were days I felt like ALL I said was, “No and keep your hands to yourself!”

My daughters are grown now. I survived those exhausting years of refereeing arguments and a small vocabulary, but I haven’t forgotten the exhaustion through those seasons. It can bring the worst out in you. I was never a “yeller” until I had to yell for them to hear me.

So what does it take to raise kids who love God, love you, and want to be around you and their siblings for life?  

The bible speaks of reaping a harvest of righteousness and peace. The one thing I know about harvesting is that it takes time!  You never reap in the same season in which you sow.  A farmer doesn’t sow seeds and come back two days later expecting a harvest.

For sure, the tough part about being a good parent is sowing seeds of thoughtfulness and doing what is right. At times it seems like nothing is happening, but later you will enjoy the harvest that comes.

I didn’t really care if my kids had the highest SAT scores or that they were super star athletes. But I did care that they obeyed God and loved each other enough to be intentionally involved in one another’s lives, not drifting away from each other as they got older.

With all my heart I believe in the final analysis of life, wealth will not be measured by our accomplishments or the things we’ve accumulated. It will be measured by the quality and depths of our relationships.

Continue reading →

Seeking Jesus in Seasons of Brokenness

by Michele Cable


I’m going to be real honest friends. I feel like the last person who should be posting today.

I told the Lord, “I’ve got nothing. I feel raw and just a bit broken. Who am I kidding? I feel cracked and battered. What could I possibly have to say to a few thousand Moms? All I’ve got is You.”

And there it is. Jesus. Honesty. Truth. That’s what I have to offer you today.

This year has been defined by cancer.

I endured a double mastectomy at the age of 37. Three months later, my sister was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer. She, too, endured an amputation. Less than a month later, my precious friend shared of her diagnosis. All of that seems enough, except it comes after 8 years of flat-out hard—one really hard thing after another.

As I found myself ready to admit the depth of my exhaustion and sadness, grief set in.


I am grieving life before January. I am grieving my body before cancer. I am grieving my days and nights before necessary medications altered my hormones and left me drenched in pools of sweat and a mind that too often feels blank. I am grieving what once was, but will no longer be. I am grieving what I feel the rest of my 30s should have been instead of the stark reality of what they are. I am grieving the dreams that cancer took from me.

But I’m not without hope or joy or truth.

On the mornings when my eyes open and I feel weary, I am reminded of the One who waits for me. The One with all the answers who patiently longs to sit with me. The One who holds the truth to shatter the lies. When life gets hard, the wind gets knocked out of you, the enemy seems to thrill at the chance to crack the foundation. Questions, lies and accusations are hurled and it’s in those moments that you will crumble or stand.

In the midst of struggle and deep ache, there are treasures to be found.

The truth is, Jesus was not as real in my 20s as He is today. He was not as tangible. Continue reading →

God is Still Good: A Mother’s Journey Through Grief

by Brittany Brooks Reed


God is still good. God is still good. God is still good.

I wrote this sentence over and over again on a blank page. Trying to get what I know to be true from my head into my heart. I had just returned from the cemetery where I sat for 30 minutes just staring at my son’s gravestone marker. The reality of what my life was now, hit almost as hard as it did the morning I found him without a pulse. Why now Lord are you taking me back to that dreadful morning?

May 6, 2016

I awoke to Bennett stirring at 3:17 a.m. Wiping my eyes, I reached for him in his crib right next to our bed. He was only 24-days-old, and as a nursing mama, I had gotten little to no sleep in the last three weeks. I changed his diaper, and took him into the den so as not to wake my sleeping husband. He nursed for 45 minutes and I stroked his hair, and remember thinking, “I am so tired, but he looks so peaceful.”

We all fell back asleep, unaware that this would be the last time I saw my son alive.

My husband’s alarm went off at 6 a.m., and I leaned over to check on Bennett. When I went to move him, he fell limp in my arms. I quickly looked for respiratory effort and checked for a pulse while screaming for Eric, my husband, to call 911. As a Labor and Delivery nurse, I am trained in neonatal resuscitation, so I began CPR. The fire department was at our house within two minutes, literally. The ambulance was close behind, and I loaded into it along with Bennett.

We sped away to Children’s Hospital of Birmingham, a short commute from our small suburb of Gardendale, Alabama.

The whole way there I cried, “Lord, have mercy. You can save him!”  The two men in the ambulance were silent.  I asked them, “Have you found a pulse yet?”  The man shook his head.  My Mama heart was hanging onto hope, but my nurse heart knew he was already with Jesus.

My prayer for mercy had been answered, just not the way I had hoped for. Being with Jesus is far better than this sin-filled world, and yet I still felt a longing to have my son in my arms. After all, I am simply a mom who loves her son.

The morning of his death, I looked at Eric and said, “God is still good. He is sitting on His throne holding Bennett, and what Satan meant for harm, the Lord will redeem.”

Life now… four months later

My husband and our other two sons, Brooks (5-years-old) and Brady (2-years-old), are trying to find our new normal.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear: grief is messy.

It is ugly, making you feel and say things you never dreamed you would. It comes in waves, sometimes to stay for awhile, sometimes for only a brief moment.

I’m a fixer, so as soon as we got past the first two weeks of constant family and friends, funeral home meetings, and the funeral itself, I began immediately searching for a purpose to this pain. If I believed God was a good God, that He was sovereign, and that He was going to redeem this, then I had to find purpose in all this yucky grief mess.

I began reading anything I could get my hands on. I flowed in and out of all the stages of grief except for anger.  Anger hasn’t come… Not yet, anyway. I dug into books, songs, and God’s word. I prayed and I cried, and prayed, and listened and cried. I leaned in, and then leaned out only to reel myself back, leaning into the Lord. I began to grow frustrated with what he was doing and why he wasn’t showing me what I longed to see.

People said, “Oh, your tragedy is making a difference in so many lives,” My response to God was, “Why my son? Why did you have to use my son?” And clear as could be, I heard him say, “Brittany, do you think my mom wanted to carry the savior of the world? Do you think she wanted to watch her son die a miserable, painful, unimaginable death for your sins?” Continue reading →

Are They Hungry?

by Diane Nix


“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”  Matthew 5:6 (NASB)

It is safe to say that the Nix’s love to eat!  We are not bashful about it one bit. Meal time was always an important part of the day in the Nix household.  It was filled with much laughter and just plain craziness.

When the girls were small we didn’t need to delay dinner.  If the meal was late, then it was important to give them a small snack or we would have a full blown meltdown.  Food was a very important part of their emotional well-being.  When hunger struck, we needed a plan in place or there was not going to be laughter or craziness, but rather tears and wailing.  The physical hunger drove them to extreme emotional outbursts!

I have been struck by the fact that most of us in the U. S. are not really hungry. I’m not writing about the hunger for physical food. I know in fact, that many Americans are physically hungry at this very moment. Physical hunger has driven many to desperate measures.

I am writing and wrestling with the fact that we are generally fat on religious knowledge.

In truth, I believe my generation is religiously fat and apathetic. Apathy is a killer and causes us to want to stay in our “holy huddles”. We have allowed the enemy to help us breathe a sigh of relief that we are NOT like those sinners.  We live righteously, but we check the righteousness off a list that can become legalistically Pharisaical.

Recently, I have attended a few churches that are more concerned with the appearance they have in the community rather than the impact they have upon their community. Continue reading →