Traveling Abroad With Kids: An Article for Darling Magazine

darling.travelingThis has been a big summer for our family. We just got back from a two-week trip to the United Kingdom, and last month, we took Ella with us on our church’s family mission trip to Mexico. Both of the trips stretched us as a family, but both were also wonderful and refreshing, in their own ways. I’ll be sharing more about our time in England and Scotland as the weeks unfold and I have time to reflect, but for now I wanted to share some of the practical things I’ve learned about traveling with a little one through the piece I wrote for Darling Magazine.

Here is the link to my piece over at Darling Magazine. Enjoy!

Getting The Real Things Done

Spending the Day Together

I am one of those people who really enjoys feeling on top of things. My husband can vouch for the fact that I am the most stressed when I feel like I’m “falling behind” in life or when I feel like opportunities are slipping away because I’m running out of time. Part of this is due to my personality and my high “Achiever” strength on StrengthsFinder (any other SF nerds out there? We love it in our household and on our church staff!). Let’s just say this: I love getting things done. I love being productive. I love ticking things off of my to-do list. You now no longer need to wonder why I loved being a student for so many years.

But since Ella joined our family–really, even before that because of how sick I was during pregnancy–my ability to “get things done” has decreased. A lot.

Well, let me clarify. I get a lot of things done every day. I spend time with the Lord. I connect with my husband. I snuggle with my daughter. I feed her. I keep her clean. We play together. We read books and buy groceries together and I talk to her about this world she has joined. Most days I get a workout in, some days I even make dinner. Some days I write. I do a lot.

But in a world of resumes and Instagram and Facebook, I don’t always have a lot to “show” for my days. And for this “achiever,” that can push my buttons. Because when I publish an article, or when I teach a class, or when I show up for a meeting, the outside world knows that I’m doing something.

Smiles together

But here in our home, the only one who sees most of what I do is God. And I am learning to not only accept that, but delight in that. Because although it rubs me the wrong way sometimes that I can’t measure my life anymore by the grades I receive on papers or the scores I get on tests or the things I “do” every day that have external measurements, God is teaching me a different kind of measurement.

Faithfulness. Obedience. Trust.

Am I loving my Savior? Loving my husband? Loving my daughter? Faithfulness.

Am I serving God’s people? Serving my husband? Serving my daughter? Obedience.

Am I giving God my dreams and desires? Choosing to walk in peace? Believing the Word of God? Trust.

These are the markers of my life these days, now more than ever. Yes, I still teach and write and serve in our church. I have external ways that I could judge my own life, but those things will drive me crazy because I will never measure up to those around me. But here, in my own life, I can respond to what God has called me to: Faithfulness. Obedience. Trust.

And while I can’t “achieve” any of these things on my own, as I walk with Jesus daily, he is growing me in these things.

And I am learning about getting the real things done–the eternal things.

Faithfulness. Obedience. Trust. 

So You Say You’re a Church Lady: An Interview with Marlena Graves

A Beautiful Disaster

Today, in our continuation of the Church Lady series, we have the opportunity to hear from Marlena Graves, a fellow Redbud Writer and woman of faith! She is the Minister of Pastoral Care at her church, and also a powerful writer! In her writing, … [Continue reading]

Money, Money, Money

money image

Another "Flashback Friday" this week--this time to an article I wrote for RELEVANT entitled "Five Commandments About Money." I wrote it when we were newlyweds and just figuring out how to handle our own money. It's not perfect, but the sentiments in … [Continue reading]

Church is for the Whole Family, or Why We Took our 1-year old on a Mission Trip

Family on Mission

A few weeks ago, we were getting back from Tijuana, Mexico and our church's family mission trip. Those words don't always go together--"family" and "mission trip." But our church is committed to ministry that is done with the entire family, which I … [Continue reading]

So You Say You’re a Church Lady: An Interview with Rachel Olson

Rachel Olson Family

Well, this Church Lady series keeps heartening and challenging me--I hope it is doing the same for you! Today we get to heart from the wonderful Rachel Olson. I met Rachel at the Hope Spoken conference this last spring, and she was a joy to interact … [Continue reading]