Mean Girls: 3 Tips for You and Your Girl

Welcome back for the final post of our Mean Girls series! Here's the first installment if you'd like to catch up. This post will focus on some practical ways to navigate the mean girls in our lives as well as some questions to ask ourselves to make sure we're not joining them. After you read... Continue Reading →

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Mean Girls – Part 1

It started in third grade. Her two "BFFs" from the neighborhood (sisters) demanded that she give back the necklace proclaiming their friendship because they didn't all end up in the same class together. She was devastated, so hurt that the friendship she thought was special didn't have the same value to the other girls. Her... Continue Reading →

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Summer, Kids & Creativity: A Journey

Each of them, whether they see it yet or not, is created to create. Numbers, paper, pencil, marker, paint, doodles, words, sentences, ingredients, balsa wood, Legos... we cannot help it. Our Creator is worshiped when we reflect Him. I want them to see this.

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In the Raw: Finding Normal

Remembering what life was like last year about this time... so thankful there are no boxes this year and rhythms and routines have found their grooves. Since life always brings change, I think "Rhythm Finder" sounds good on my resume, don't you?! If you've ever moved or have struggled to find your new normal after a... Continue Reading →

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The Enneagram and Me

(This is your weekly Theological Thursday post but - on a FRIDAY!) What is the Enneagram?? It's one of a vast number of personality systems and ways of seeing ourselves. Ann Bogel has a great book called Reading People with a chapter on the biggest of the tests and how each is beneficial and complements the... Continue Reading →

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FMF – “Other”

There is always time for it. Other. Anything but what is truly important. I flit to and fro for other people, other tasks, other relationships rather than believing my gift of words is important and valuable and worth sitting down to cultivate. This is the reason I've been silent in this space lately. I've been... Continue Reading →

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IF Gathering: 2017 Recap

Our texts flew back and forth. "I've got seats saved!"  "Can't wait to see you!" with lots of smiley emojis. As we both finally took our seats in the auditorium of Community Reformed, our sigh of relief was in unison. We made it - physically, emotionally and spiritually. We so needed this time to remember... Continue Reading →

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ArtPrize: 7 Reasons You Need to Go

On a blustery and snowy 20 degree (and dropping) January day, it's a perfect time to remember the warmth and beauty of September! Since 2009 each September-October, Grand Rapids breaks out in a colorful fever of sculpture, paintings and art! It's everywhere: stores, restaurants, sidewalks, parks, the Grand River, even houses are purchased simply to... Continue Reading →

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FMF – “surrender”

It's a glorious Five Minute Friday! Today's word is: "surrender". This word has a lot of baggage attached to it. A crusade hymn. A white flag during a battle. It can be both a noun and a verb. But the idea we often forget about is the reason it's needed. You only need surrender when... Continue Reading →

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FMF – “silence”

It's Friday which means joining up with Kate Motaung over at the Five Minute Friday Community! How fitting it is that "silence" is the word for this week. Five minutes on the timer... and go! I used to desperately crave silence. I would look out my kitchen window at my neighbor across the back yard... Continue Reading →

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In the Raw: Mammograms & Callbacks

She said, "The doctor saw a questionable spot on your mammogram yesterday and wants to see you again. Can you come in today?" Her words made my heart stop and my thoughts fly. Why did they want to see me so soon?? I have no pain! Are they just being overly cautious?? Is this the... Continue Reading →

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Five Minute Friday – “depend”

It's that time again! The Nerd Factory is joining up with Kate Motaung and the Five Minute Friday community to add my take on the weekly writing prompt. This week's word is "depend". 5 minutes on the clock - and GO. I had a hard time with this word when we got married. To depend... Continue Reading →

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In the Raw: Moving isn’t for sissies

It's the end of September. This means there have been several weeks for the kids to adjust to their new schools and today I got to volunteer for the first time. After somehow misreading the volunteer email, I signed up for the 1st grade time slot instead of the 2nd grade - which turned out... Continue Reading →

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Five Minute Friday – “future”

It's that time again! The Five Minute Friday linkup! Our fearless leader Kate Motaung sent out some amazing news this week. We now have our own community on Facebook as well as a spiffy new website!! Check it out here!! Click on the link to find out how to join up if you'd like to link... Continue Reading →

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Five Minute Friday – “truth”

It's another Five Minute Friday! I am linking up with Kate Motaung over at Heading Home. I so enjoy the amazing community of writers who encourage each other weekly! Happy Friday-ish! So, it may actually be Saturday, but we can still call this the Five Minute Friday. Because we can! It's been awhile but the big... Continue Reading →

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Minimalist Mondays – Plot Twist

The Minimalist Mondays series began with the start of our journey. Today, I want to continue where I left off... you may be thinking finally! Yes. It's taken me a while, but here it is. Like I said before, minimalism always felt like what the "cool" moms did and since I was neither a cool nor... Continue Reading →

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Five Minute Friday – “more”

Happy Friday! It's another Five Minute Friday. We happily link up with the amazing writing community at Kate Montaug's site Heading Home. Each Thursday night she posts the word for the week and we get 5 minutes to write unedited then gather up our courage and hit publish right then. This week's word is: more.... Continue Reading →

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Five Minute Friday – “enough”

Today, I get to do something I've been wanting to do for awhile! I'm linking up with the amazing community Kate Motaung has going over at Five Minute Friday. This week's word is "enough". My job is to write for five minutes - no grammar checking, spell checking, self-editing... just let it out. Yikes. I self-edit constantly...... Continue Reading →

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IF Gathering: my hesitations & conclusions

Have you heard of Jennie Allen and IF? I hadn't. So last year when yarn artisan and fellow sub Katie told me about the gathering of women in Zeeland for a Livestream event from Texas, I was skeptical. When you take a bunch of women anywhere, put them in the same room together and THEN... Continue Reading →

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The Year of the Puppy

Halfway through January isn't usually when people post their New Year things. But this is me and sometimes The Nerd Factory is on its own schedule. ​Though, most of it is due to that purple-collared furry thing on my lap. Her arrival has meant being up several times a night, constant vigil for her potty-cues, and not... Continue Reading →

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In the Raw: Journey of Churches

I'm folding laundry this time. I seem to do the best thinking when my hands are busy doing mundane things. My arms reaching out to pick up a towel. Familiar motions and soon it is folded. Another towel and anther. My body working in harmony. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a... Continue Reading →

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Why I dread Mother’s Day

I've written about Mother's Day before. I've written about being a mom - even about The Mother Curse. But as the day gets closer and closer, I find myself in an odd state of mind. I feel like a fraud; like I'm on a treadmill that never quits. I'm trying to balance a scale that will forever... Continue Reading →

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In the Raw: Perfect

My mom has said it often: Ironing is a great way to get warm in the winter and a time to think. Though I like being warm and thinking, I still choose to iron as little as possible. I find as many ways/shortcuts to avoid ironing as I can. But, there are those moments (The... Continue Reading →

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To the family in the booth behind us

I'm not sure when I began to feel your disapproving stares. It may have been the moment when our youngest pointed out that he was coloring green fire out of his dragons tail which led to the middle child's thoughts of green gas and then contagious giggling that even I couldn't help! It may have... Continue Reading →

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31 Days: Day 9 “inspire”

Recently, I sat in a crowd of 400 people to hear an author speak on her latest book.  Lynn Austin spoke on how she researched and discovered her characters from journals and notes. How visiting the places helped her understand in greater depth the times in which they would’ve lived.  I’d heard her before. She... Continue Reading →

31 Days: Day 7 “hope”

There’s nothing like hearing multi-published authors say they have the same thoughts I do.  “What do I have to say that hasn’t already been said?” “Will anyone even read this?”  “That cursor is mocking me… again.”  “I have nothing to write. Ugh.”  The difference between them and me is they’ve learned what to do next.... Continue Reading →

31 Days: Day 5 “share”

Writers and authors have “platform numbers” tossed in our faces often.  “How many email subscribers do you have?”  “How people follow you on Instagram? Facebook? Twitter?”  “You don’t have an Author Facebook Page??!”  It’s so overwhelming, but I think underneath it all - maybe a long way underneath - is the idea of sharing.  If... Continue Reading →

31 Days: Day 8 “comfort”

Words are supposed to give comfort. Most of the time they do, if you know what to say. This time I’m fresh out.  What do you say to the daughters of the man who just died?  What do you say that will even penetrate the fog they're surviving? Or his widow? What words can I possibly... Continue Reading →

31 Days: Day 6 “belong”

It's taken me several decades to be at home in my own skin. I wanted so much to belong to those cliques in youth group, the pretty college girls, the cute teachers group... I tried to steer clear of the "smart" groups. But I couldn't avoid them. For example, at my Senior year talent show,... Continue Reading →

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