Links for YOOUUUU v.4

Friday, Friday, Friday! Hooray, Hooray, Hooray! When I was a young, young mom with young, young kids, it didn’t matter much to me whether it was a Monday or a Saturday. The days blurred together as I tried to devise a way to inject caffeine in my veins and contemplated taping my eyes open.

BUT NOW. I focus all week. I stick to a routine. I manage school days and work days and homework and dinner time. My weeks are more structured than I’d prefer, but it’s the only workable option. So, by the time Friday rolls around I’m ON BOARD for the weekend.

Weekends are for drooling on the pillow while the sun warms the bedroom. Weekends are for the kids getting themselves breakfast and turning on cartoons. Honestly, now my older two boys even sleep in on the weekends. I honestly thought the day would never come.

// Have you entered my $100 Anthro giveaway with Jane Johnson??

// Natural beauty in a age of chemical fear vox.com

// A masterful look at the life and ministry of Beth Moore

// There is no shame in having a gazillion to-be-read articles in your browser.

// I’m glad when my friend Lindsey gives me homework.

// Speaking of homework…what it’s like to be a teacher in America.

// Speaking of America…are you registered to vote? Takes less than 30 seconds and information you know by heart to check and if you find you’re not registered you can do it in less than 5 minutes!


My next book Preach to Yourself comes out a week from Tuesday. I’m celebrating with by wearing a party dress, eating cake, and getting a new tattoo. I can’t wait. I’m also freaking out.

If you wanted to do me a HUGE favor, you could preorder the book! When you do, head here, and you can claim all kinds of FUN extras!

Keep an eye on next week for an ALL NEW giveaway aimed at getting the word out to the masses about Preach to Yourself!

Stay Healthy When the World Is Full of Bad News

HOW TO STAY HEALTHY.jpg

I’ve thought about this a lot and I’m not 100% sure whether it’s because this is the only period of history I’ve experienced as an adult or if…THE WORLD IS ACTUALLY FALLING APART.

Someone who is older than me, please reassure me that the world has felt this bonkers before! (or maybe it’s ALWAYS been??)

Anyway. It’s bonkers out there. Have you noticed?? It’s certifiably bonkers every single day on the news, and now we live in an age where everything bonkers is amplified by a billion by social media. It can feel like A LOT.

Here’s the deal…the outside is SO LOUD and SO CRAZY, but as humans we don’t have the threshold to live at that volume and pace for very long at all. We have to soothe ourselves with the balm of truth. GOT TO.

So. What do we do?

First, I need you to know my version of “self-care” is “mothering myself”. I used to talk and write about this concept a lot…but, basically, it’s the idea that you can do for yourself what you’d want/need your mom to do for you. You treat yourself kindly, you take care of your basic needs, and you watch the story your emotional state tells about your physical/mental needs. I HATE when people say that you shouldn’t listen to your feelings…you absolutely should. If you’re not paying attention to what freaks you out, what makes you angry, what makes you tired, or what makes you sad…you’re missing out on some pretty great clues to a lot of who you are as a person or what your life is like at any given moment.

So, I’m going to help you mother yourself.

  1. Are you worried?

  2. Are you finding yourself angry?

  3. Is it difficult to sleep?

  4. Are you confused?

If I was your mom, I’d recognize immediately that you have a little “emotional flu” as Kim John Payne writes in Simplicity Parenting. He posits that we should treat an emotional flu much like we’d treat a physical flu. He says we’d should strip back the calendar, draw the curtains, eat comforting foods, get some rest, and ride it out.

So. Here’s the Rx from Dr. Mom-Yourself: if your brain and heart are on overload from how absolutely nutso the world is, it’s time to get back to basics.

  1. Strip back the extras: don’t leave the evening news on while you’re chopping veggies for dinner. Don’t absent-mindedly scroll Twitter and bask in the blue light as you lay in bed trying to fall asleep. Don’t say “yes” to every ask anyone makes. Strip things back to make a little mental room (not forever…just for now).

  2. Draw the curtains: I have a friend that says it was easier to parent in the 1980s and 1990s because essentially you were the gatekeeper to your home. If you didn’t want a certain influence in your house, you could kindly shut your front door. The bullies stayed at school. The cute girl with the cool clothes stayed at school. Etc Etc Etc. But now, with the advent of social media the bullies, the cool kids, and a zillion other people have access to our most private, safe places. This is not so great for our anxiety levels.

  3. Eat comforting foods: nourish your body in a way that brings you joy. The world IS NOT ENDING. Really stopping to enjoy a simple meal you love helps ground you in the moment.

  4. Get some rest: I’m, of course, talking about sleep here. BUT ALSO, put your phone down at least 3 hours before you want to go to sleep…that blue light really is terrible for you! And, when you’re getting some rest…give it a rest, too. Put your phone in a drawer and let it be for awhile. Shut the world out and recognize that where you are right now is fine, and you have to be emotionally sound if you’re ever going to create good change in the world.

  5. Ride it out: There are many things out of our control. The world and it’s happenings are one of them. HOWEVER, if you let every piece of disturbing news in (guilty as charged), you’ll eventually develop compassion fatigue and will be paralyzed to do any good. Too much exposure to too much bad news makes us numb.

Consider meditating on these Scriptures:

John 16:33 (the world is going to be bonkers, but I’ve already won!)

Psalm 46:1-3 (the land could fall into the sea, but God is our very present help in trouble)

John 14:27 (peace I leave with you)

Psalm 55:22 (let God hold the weight of your worry)

Romans 8:38-39 (an epic description of a love so strong nothing could end it)

Luke 12:24-34 (even birds and flowers get God’s attention and care, same with you, dear one!)

Preaching to Yourself Amid Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is still a thing as adults. If anything, I think it’s just as prevalent and we’re less adept at recognizing it than we were as teenagers. When we were teenagers EVERYONE was warning us not to give in to peer pressure, but now, it’s just keeping up with our friends.

I need to tell you, in order to obey God, I have to preach to myself all the time that it’s okay to go against the grain. It’s okay to be misunderstood by others to be approved of by God. When I was a new Christian as a young teenager, this was easy for me to understand. In order to obey God, I couldn’t hang out with my friends that did bad-kid stuff. It didn’t matter to me at that point if they didn’t think I was cool or acceptable.

BUT, what does it look like when our friends are Jesus-y but their lives look differently than ours? We can’t just dismiss their way of life out of hand as bad…but it is sometimes difficult to live in the tension that you’re both following Jesus and you’re coming up with different convictions and different ways to do so.

In the past few years, we found ourselves following Jesus in what I might call “downward financial mobility”. :) As the years past, we found ourselves making less and surviving on less and less. As friends drove nicer cares and bought nicer houses and racked up their investments, we were stacking pennies and holding our breath until our next check came in. It wasn’t that we thought poverty was the way to follow Jesus, but low-level poverty is where we found ourselves as we did follow Jesus in more and growing intimacy.

This is not to say money is bad. We’re not in the same financial position we were. BUT, I learned how hard it is to follow Jesus differently than others in your friend group or your church family during that time.

There are two many temptations to preach to yourself against:

  1. Pride - just because you have been convicted differently does not make you holier or more right. They are likely growing closer to the Lord in ways that are still far from Him. Believe well of your friends and church family. Be generous and gracious with your assumptions.

    Preach this: I may have a log in my own eye, I should not assume I’ve got a corner on holiness. (Matthew 7)

  2. Shame - more recently, I’ve become tempted to believe that I’m wrong and EVERYONE ELSE is right. I’ve felt misunderstood and maligned, and I think I might be making 80% of it up in my head. That’s what shame does. Shame inflates and inflames our worst beliefs about ourselves—and not in a holy way, at all.

    Preach this: I have God’s approval by faith. (Romans 4)

Just because the culture you’re a part of says good Christian women do one thing, it’s okay if the Lord has called you to something else. If you’re being obedient, you’re not behind. You’re not doing it wrong, you’re not failing. You’re growing, and that’s ok. 🖤