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Battered & Bruised: Christianity & Legalism

Battered & Bruised: Christianity & Legalism

“We are all just doing the best we can moving along the road of faith. We were never meant to do all the things on the list. If we were capable of that, we’d have no need for him.”

Momo No Mo: YouTube and the Rise of Parenting Scared

Momo No Mo: YouTube and the Rise of Parenting Scared

If I open my feed and see Momo one more time, I may take a hammer to my device. If you haven’t seen this terrifying puppet thing with a creepy and distorted Snap Chat filter, consider yourself lucky. It’s like a character straight out of […]

I have something to say

I have something to say

I sat in my car and had a good cry. Sometimes a mama needs a good cry in her car. I hurt. I hurt for my kiddos and this world. I hurt for my boys’ friends and their mamas who I know have a good cry every now and again. Parenting is a charge I am privileged to walk out. This charge, however, can sometimes be completely overwhelming.

Reckless Love


Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah
When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me

Reckless love. Our kids need it. Us, parents, need it, too. Yet, we don’t always give it. Something in us evokes disdain before a reckless love. I want to change the narrative. I want to be part of a movement where instead of talking about how bad our kids are, we band together and be the village they need to become better adults then we ever were. I want to love my fellow parents (who are also trudging through the trenches) recklessly. Don’t you?

The other day I received a lengthy text. I had to reread it a few times so my brain could catch up with what my eyes were reading. It took my breath away. While I know my children aren’t perfect, I couldn’t believe what I read. It was like I knew my kid and I didn’t know this person I was reading about even though they were one-in-the-same. I was, and still am, so very grateful for that text. I was naive and needed to be made aware. My son also needed his parents to know the truth about him so we could be better parents.

Our kids, they are hurting. They are trying so very hard to fit in; to be loved. No matter how good your child is, no matter how upstanding or respectful, they have a yearning to be loved and will do extraordinary things to attain that love. Even if they are believers, they don’t have the full capacity to understand their value lies in God not others. Most are willing to sacrifice their character in order to just fit in.

Here’s what I know: our kids need our reckless love; especially when they mess up. They need to know they are loved, period. They need to be reminded (continuously) that we are proud of them just because they are our kid. They also need to know that you will fight for them: that you will battle the darkness that is this world on their behalf showing them that there is a better way.

Reckless love. They yearn for it. Be the one who gives it to them. Because if you don’t, someone or something else will.

Don’t be so quick to dismiss. Don’t be so quick to judge. Don’t be so quick to think, not my kid. I see it all over social media. I hear it when I go to coffee and overhear other moms chatting. I hear it in the stands at our kids’ games. I hear it at Target. And so do our kids. We are so quick, too quick, to talk poorly of the parents and, sadly, of the kids. Look, our kids are just that: kids. It is up to us to be the guiding force and guiding light in their lives. We lose our authority in their lives when we belittle their friends and the parents of their friends. We are no longer a safe place and quickly become just like the rest of the crowd.


It is up to us to be the guiding force and guiding light in their lives

Be the village. Be the mom who calls the other mom out of concern and love not out of judgment and fear. Be the mom who understands that even though you may not hear or see that behavior, it is occurring and your kid needs your love and guidance.

Reckless love. It is a necessity. Our kids are longing for it. And so is the parent sitting next to you. None of us deserve a reckless love. No one can earn a reckless love. Yet, when we were a foe, He still loved us. If we are privy to such a love, we must be that much more willing to give it all away.


Reckless love. They yearn for it. Be the one who gives it to them. Because if you don’t, someone or something else will.

Love & Blessings,

Meg

#sparkjoy

#sparkjoy

Too many of us are living distracted or too busy searching for happiness that we are missing the opportunity to enjoy the life right in front of us. 

Bloom

Bloom

I ran into a friend in the shaving cream aisle at Target. We hadn’t seen each other in quite some time and started to catch up. She was overwhelmingly exhausted due to motherhood. I, being on the other side of motherhood, was able to tell […]

Guaranteed Strategies to Grow Your Following

Guaranteed Strategies to Grow Your Following

We have three boys: one middle schooler and two in elementary. We are in the throws of technology and cell phones. Only one of our boys has a phone right now. He is almost thirteen but his phone is pretty boring. There is no internet browser. No YouTube. No social media. We know the time is nearing when we will have to navigate these waters with him, but we are enjoying the calm seas for now.

One of the main reasons our son doesn’t have a social media account yet is because we want him to develop confidence in himself (through Christ) instead of looking to likes and follows for affirmation. It is too easy a trap and we don’t want him to build a foundation on falsities. I know I have fallen into this trap myself. I cannot imagine trying to manage my insecurities in a social media world.

“Public affection will never heal internal rejection.”

~Rebekah Lyons

Are you a follower or are you following? In our culture and time, being a follower is frowned upon and seen as weak. We are all trying to find the magic formula or strategy that will guarantee growth in our Instagram followng. But, Jesus says the opposite. He calls us to follow him which strengthen and empowers us.


And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matthew 4:19

Too many of us are looking for public affection to heal us on the inside. We long for likes and follows to fill our cup. Instead, we are left empty and hopeless. It is no wonder half of us feel lonely. We are trying to find our confidence in the wrong place.

Our confidence is in Christ not Instagram. 
Our confidence is in Christ not how many hearts a picture received.
Our confidence is in Christ not the number of followers we have. 

Where do you find your confidence? Is it set in a firm foundation or does it flounder based on analytics? I know I have looked to Instagram to help boost my confidence. It feels good when you are seen by others. It is not a bad thing to long to be seen. We just need to make sure that we are desiring to be seen by Him.

Likes and follows will only fill the void for a moment. Having a platform and being the center of someone else’s attention will only feel good until they are onto the next trending feed. Having followers isn’t all it is cracked up to be. Becoming a follower and following him? That’s sustaining.

It is time we flip this narrative upside down. Platforms and followings are unfulfilling and momentary. Following Jesus brings abundance. We don’t have to chase Jesus like we have to chase followers. Jesus chases us because he wants a relationship with you and me. Following, to Him, isn’t about a platform. It’s about eternity.

Don’t chase your confidence in something that won’t last. Don’t look to others to be the foundation of your confidence. You will be walking on shaky ground if you do. Find a firm foundation of confidence in the one who chases after you: Jesus. You won’t be shaken or disappointed.

Love & Blessings,

Meg

Equality DOES NOT = Same

Equality DOES NOT = Same

I am afraid we have confused equality with sameness. While we were created equally, we were never meant to be the same.

Lens

Lens

What lens do you look through?

When we stay stuck looking only through our lens, we become part of the problem. When we refuse or exclude ourselves from seeing through someone else’s lens we shift from grace to condemnation. We lose the ability to love well when we only see through our own lens.

Lonely

Lonely

I was in spin class trying to distract myself. The TV was on and flashed a statistic about loneliness. The stat showed that half of those my age and younger considered themselves lonely. Half. Half of the people 40ish and under feel lonely. In a world more connected than ever before, this stat astonished me.

I know we have an epidemic in our country: an epidemic of loneliness, depression, and the lot of mental health. I guess I didn’t realize this many people, however, felt lonely. And not just lonely here and there. Lonely all the time.

I wonder if our loneliness isn’t bad. Let me explain. We are programmed to think that everyone is with someone all the time. We feel connected with people when we are looking at our phones but the moment we put them down and look up, we realize we are alone. We have grown accustomed to always having someone around. A need has developed and I am curious if that need is unnecessary.

Luke tells us in chapter five of the book with his name that Jesus withdrew often to be alone. (https://biblehub.com/luke/5-16.htm ) Being alone was a gift for Jesus. Why can’t it be a gift for us?

Loneliness isn’t always a bad thing. Loneliness can be a gift. How can you, how can I, relearn that loneliness (being alone) isn’t always a bad thing.

One of the best things I started doing recently was turning everything off. When I’m in the car, I turn the radio off. When I find myself home alone, I don’t turn on music, a podcast, or the TV. Let me tell you that the silence, while deafening at first, has become a place of rest and reprieve from a very loud world. It rejuvenates and energizes me lowering the anxiety.

I think it is time we relearn how to be alone. Jesus saw the value in removing himself from the crowd. So should we.

Take some time today to be alone. I bet you won’t find loneliness to be such a bad thing.

Love & Blessings,

Meg

Happy

Happy

Are you happy? If so, where do you find your happiness? If not, what is preventing you from being happy? True happiness does not lie in life circumstances. No. Happiness is found in something so much greater.

A Healthy You: Going Against the Norms

A Healthy You: Going Against the Norms

“For you formed me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139: 14 The new year brings a desire for a new you. Whether that be a new body, mind, or spiritual thing, we all tend […]

Raising Thinkers

Raising Thinkers

I like to tell my kids what to do. I’m just being honest. I like feeling like I have some semblance of control over their lives. It makes me feel safe. It helps me feel like nothing bad can happen to them. I know this is completely illogical. But, I do it anyway.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

The Bible tells us to “train up” our children. But, what does that really mean?

According to Google, “train up” means,

train up. phrasal verb. If someone trains you up, they teach you new skills or give you the necessary preparation so that you will reach the standard required for a particular job or activity. 

When I read Proverbs 22:6 alongside the definition, I find that we are supposed to “prepare” our children. Prepare them for what? Well, for life. We are called to raise our children with the necessary skills to be independent of us and able to be healthy contributing members of society.

This isn’t a blog post about how to raise your kids. This is an opportunity for all of us to take a close look at our parenting and find ways that we can do better. Because we can all do a little better.

At the beginning of this post I said that I like to tell my kids what to do. It brings me security. For a long time, I believe this resulted in trying to tell my kids how to think. I believed that if they believed a certain way that would lead to them living a certain way. Which, in turn, would allow them to live a good life. But, a good life for whom? If I am teaching them to think how I think, I am assuming the way I live my life is what is best for them.

This limits God in my children’s lives. He did not design my boys to live like me. He designed them to live like He created them to live.

It is much more important to teach our children how to think rather then teaching them what to think.

The parent-child relationship is one of discipleship. Think Jesus and his disciples. The disciples first role was to watch Jesus. They followed him watching his every move: how he lived, how he moved, how he interacted with people. They didn’t start teaching and preaching until after they watched him. Our children are no different. They watch our every move taking the good and the bad and storing it away for their own lives. Our words come second to our behavior.

Our job as parents is to train our kids up; to give them the skills necessary to live a full life. The most important skill we can give our children is to be thinkers. We do this by enabling our children to think through the situations before them not telling them how to maneuver it.

I am still learning how to do this. For so long, I believed my boys were safer when I told them what to do instead of allowing them to choose their path. What I have learned, however, is that it is in those choices, those decision-making moments, where my boys find safety. Teaching my kids how to be thinkers (thinking for themselves) enables them to live a more full and successful life.

So, moms and dads, it is time we all let go. We stop telling our children how to think and start teaching them how to think on their own. We give them choices instead of absolutes. We open the doors to opportunities for growth rather than hinder them under our control. If we are going to raise world-changers, (which I hope we are) then we have got to raise thinkers.

Let go.
Trust God.
Trust your kids.
Raise thinkers.

Love & Blessings,

Meg

Feeling Good

Feeling Good

We all have feelings. We all also run and try to hide from our feelings. We lose living a full life when we run. We lack closeness with Jesus when we try and hide from our emotions. Stop running and start feeling. You will be thankful that you did.

Word

Word

Do you have a word of the year? What is it? How do you live it out?

When God says, “Lay it Down”

When God says, “Lay it Down”

We all have a word. Maybe you don’t have a word. Instead, you have a thought, a goal, or a dream. You might not be a New Year’s resolution type, but we all want more for our lives. My word for 2018 is expectant. I walked into the year fully expecting God to do big things in my life. I launched a ministry on a prayer and a dream. I knew God would show up and He did. However, as the year progressed I realized my expectations got wrapped up in my vision and not His story leading to some disappointment.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

My dreams swirled around in my expectations. I know that God has placed this desire in my heart. I know I stepped into what He was calling me to do. What I don’t know, however, is how it all will unfold. And, quite frankly, that freaks me out a bit. I keep showing up day-after-day doing the next thing He is calling me to do. But, there is an emptiness, a longing, deep within. My daily journey wasn’t matching up with my expectations. I was expectant of the Lord but my expectations were all mine.

Lay down your expectations so He may fill you with more.

As 2018 comes to a close, I realized that while I started the year expectant of God, I became more expectant of me instead. I thought I knew best: that I knew how fast things needed to move and which direction they needed to travel. I know how this story plays out so let’s get to it. God doesn’t work that way. Thankfully.

It took me until December to awaken to my confusion; to see that my expectant vision was blinded. At the end of this year (literally, at the beginning of December) I clearly heard the Lord tell me to lay it down.  Lay down the dream.

Let’s have a little chat. Laying down what I hold dear, what I have worked so hard for, what I have dreamed about, what wakes me up in the middle of the night is much more difficult than I think. Sure, I’m a strong Christian girl. I trust God. I know He has great plans for me. I know he delights in giving me the desires of my heart. I know He wants to exceed my expectations. But lay my dreams down? Ha. Are you crazy, God?

He’s calling me to lay it down to make room for Him to fill my life with more. The more tightly I grip, the less space He has. He wants to fill our lives. He wants to give us more than our little hearts desire. But, when we hold too tightly to the dream, when we put our spin on it and add our narrative, we don’t make room for miracles.

It’s taken me a few days to write this. If I am being honest, I have not fully laid down my dreams for The Messy Mingling. I still have my grip. I sat down to finish this post and noticed something. Next to the computer on the coffee table was my mug. On it read, “Get Your Hopes Up.” Isn’t it just like God to ask us to sacrifice but not lose hope? And not only hold onto hope, but get your hopes up.

Laying it down, laying it ALL down, when God calls makes room for the miraculous to happen.

Laying down that dream can be rough. We often lose hope when God asks us to lay something down; especially something we hold near and dear to our hearts. But, what if laying it down doesn’t equal hopelessness? What if laying it down equals hopefulness instead? Laying it down, laying it ALL down, when God calls makes room for the miraculous to happen. Don’t fear laying it down. Don’t be burden by the sacrifice. Don’t lose hope. Fill your heart with anticipation for what He’s about to do.

I am not laying down The Messy Mingling. I will still work it wholly and completely. I am laying down the chase and replacing it with an active pursuit of God. My focus is no longer whether or not this dream will succeed; whether it will come true. My center of attention is actively pursuing God. There’s been a shift. Laying it down reignites the hope within. Journey with me, and I with you, as we all lay it down and pick up hope: hope in our active pursuit of God. 

Love & Blessings,

Meg

A Thrill of Hope

A Thrill of Hope

The thrill of hope. Jesus. All we have to do is look.

The Soul Felt its Worth

The Soul Felt its Worth

When I look to the night sky remembering a baby born in a manger, I want my soul to feel its worth.

Let Them GO

Let Them GO

I bawled my eyes out pulling away after dropping my babies off at sleep-away camp.

I couldn’t wait to get to FaceTime my oldest while he was on his missions trip.

The fish died and I couldn’t resurrect him. On the first day of school.

One kid didn’t have anyone to sit with at lunch. All his buddies got a different lunch. He sat alone. I couldn’t fix it.

Motherhood is phenomenal. Motherhood is hard. As my friend, Brandi, says, “You want to hug them into your soul. Sometimes you want to karate chop them in the neck. And then you want to hug them into your soul again.”

I want to rescue them. I want to go back to when they were squishy babies. I also look forward to them moving out and becoming adults. I am loving the privilege of watching them grow and come into their own. It’s a constant push-and-pull.

I decided not to walk the two youngest into school on their first day. Most of the parents at our school walk their children to their classroom on the first day. They actually walk them to class the entire first week of school. It’s a mess. Lots of people every where. I decided this year that my kids were very capable of walking themselves in. We’ve been at this school for six years. If these boys weren’t actual students at the school, they were being dragged to see their big brother. They know the school.

We all know time is a thief. It comes in and steals moments making them zip by so fast that we don’t realize they happened until they are gone. I had two precious videos on my TimeHop app of my baby boys. One crawling up the stairs for the first time and and the other being precious in his crib on that first day of school. The same day I let them walk in on their own.

In all the feelings and conundrums of motherhood, I am learning one thing. If I do it right, I will feel fulfilled not deflated when one season ends and another begins. My boys are not mine. They are His. My role is to guide them and train them in this life to be good humans, successful adults who positively contribute to society, and love Jesus. My job is not to smother. My job is not to control. My job is not to hold on too tight even when I don’t want to let go.

I am (slowly) learning to release these boys. Sometimes, it’s easy and I am confident in doing so. Other times, I bawl my eyes out and don’t want to let go. What I have seen in allowing myself to let go is three incredible little men thriving in their lives; their own lives. Because this is their life to live. Not mine. I am just a part of their story; their brilliant beautiful story.

Mamas, it is time to release the grip. We need to give them space to be the people we have hoped and dreamed for them to become. It is time we stand back and stare in awe of how incredible they are. What an awesome privilege to watch these children grow right before our eyes.

My sister told me once that God does not rip the band-aid off all at once. Instead, he gives us small moments of release. Allow them. Search for them. Because when you slowly release that death grip on their lives, you get to see the magic. You get to see God alive and vibrant in their lives. You get to trust Him because ultimately, they are His.

Squeeze them into your soul. Give them a karate chop every now and again. And then, release them. You will be amazed at what a gift it is.

Love & Blessings,

Meg

A New Adventure: My Story

A New Adventure: My Story

I never set out to be a writer. When I was younger, like many girls, I thought I would be discovered and become a famous actress. As I entered college, I headed down the track to become a psychologist. I quickly determined the cost and […]