The Whole World Is Looking For a Fresh Start

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If you want to see the world’s hunger for the Gospel clearly, look no further than New Year’s Eve. Everyone is hustling and bustling, looking their best and hoping that finally, this one time, things will really be different when the clock strikes midnight.

We’re all plotting and scheming how we’ll show up better this time. We plan how we’ll advance our cause, how we’ll move the ball forward. We vow to make ourselves smaller, or make our accolades louder, or our list of achievements longer. Maybe we hope our lives will be simpler, more peaceful, with more margin and better investment. We imagine a kind of alchemy, a handshake between time and will that’ll finally change things for good.

We imagine we’ll wake up the next morning full of willpower and grit. Completely different than the wrung out, exhausted, sliding-into-the-holidays mess that we were just the night before. Somehow we imagine we’ll finally ace relationships, we’ll juice our vegetables into something palatable, we’ll dig into our Bibles with consistency.

We all want a defining moment where we’re different.

And, I’ll tell you, the only time that has EVER happened for me was when I have met the Lord in a new way.

  1. It happened when I finally relented to His relentless pursuit of me and attended a high school small group Bible Study…even though I wouldn’t really get it all straight for more months. I felt different and I was enthralled with the maybe that all this God stuff was true. I was constantly tumbling the possibility of it in my mind.

  2. It happened when all the sudden on a high school retreat I heard the words “Let my life reflect the beauty of my Lord” in worship and I GOT IT. I got what the whole Christian Life thing meant. Where before I couldn’t sort up from down, all the sudden it supernaturally came into view. I believed in Jesus in a real and tangible way and NOTHING about my life has been the same.

  3. It happened when I was laying with my cheek next to the toilet on the cold linoleum. I’d lived in cycle of believing the “next thing” was going to fulfill me for years. I believed life would really start when I left for college, or when I got married, or when we had a baby. I was never content, because I just thought there was something better a little out of reach. When I found myself newly married, newly pregnant, and constantly sick for all 40 weeks…I was at the end of myself. At that moment by the toilet, I was exhausted. Objectively, I’d grasped every single thing that I had thought would make me happy. I was married to a genuinely amazing man, we lived in a cute little apartment, and I was pregnant with this tiny baby. Except this tiny baby was making me truly miserable. And, I realized at that moment, face slicked with cold sweat and sticking to the nasty bathroom floor, “I have everything I said would make me happy…and yet.” It was then that God intervened and somehow, I realized that life wasn’t just over the horizon…but life was right now. For the first time in my life, my will was matched by an unchangeable situation. I couldn’t just plan or maneuver my way out of this difficulty like I’d managed to do in the past. The only way out of this hard time was through it. This was my life, and on paper I had everything I’d ever wanted. From that moment, I no longer lived in a state of constant discontent.

There have been a handful of moments since then that changed everything for me, supernaturally and without striving. It was all Him and none of me.

This is what the world is longing for. We are all hoping that there is an answer to our messed up, backwards-and-upside-down lives. There is something deep in our souls that whisper hope, but in our flesh we think we have the power and responsibility to change in our own strength. Sure, we can make small changes and amend our habits, because common grace is a real thing. God has given us free will and humans are amazingly capable beings.

But, that REAL, soul-deep change that we obsess over, that’s the work of God. We think it might be able setting goals and shining ourselves up, but I don’t know that I’ve been changed from the inside out that way. Goals are great for making the most of who you already are, or making small and tangible movements to who you’d like to become. BUT, the overnight, I-was-this-and-now-I’m-that kind of change remains fully in the purview of our supernatural God.

That’s what we’re all craving. Let’s make sure that we offer God when we see the world asking for Him without knowing. <3

This is a quick, unedited mind-dump. Thank you for reading. You can find more on Instagram or in my books! :)

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

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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!)