Man, it’s been a crummy week.

Lots of traveling, lots of stuff with the kiddos, friends…life. It has been a good reminder of the fact that even when things start to feel upside-down, there’s still something we can do for each other in the hard seasons.

Years ago, when people rallied around me during my pregnancy with Audrey, I realized that one of the most amazing gifts I received was the love of people who only knew me through the common bond of Christ, and those women offered a part of themselves for me. Many of you emailed me letting me know that you had specifically asked the Lord to allow you to carry a part of my burden. Wow.

I’m sitting in a Starbucks writing this, and I’m tempted to burst into tears because I remember that time so well. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord honored your requests, and as a result my burden was lighter. To this day I have an image of the way He may have distributed that hurt to those who were willing, and the most beautiful part of it all is that He received all the glory for your faithfulness.

In my quiet time today, the Lord led me to a few scriptures and as always, a little bit of deeper study led to insight that blessed me beyond measure. Sometimes when you’re reading the Bible, you see things that seem contradictory. As I read Galatians 6:2 today, it seemed pretty clear that this “sharing of burdens” was important. It says:

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Okay. Got it.

But then, right below it in Gal 6:5, it says this:

“For each one of you should carry his own load.”

Interesting. So what gives?

Before I say anything else, let me say this. The Bible is not supposed to be intimidating. It’s not supposed to make you afraid to dig further down, or to seem like an academic, far-away, untouchable instruction manual. It’s a love story, and you are a part of it.

If you see commentaries on the Bible, or anything fancy that talks about the Greek or Hebrew words, or anything like that, just know this: God never intended the Bible to feel “over your head.” He wants you to invest youself and take the time to understand things, but He never wants you to be intimidated by the Word. Rather, He wants you to be empowered.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes. Galatians. And why does it say that we are to share burdens and then say that we are all supposed to carry our own loads? Which is it?

Here’s what I discovered.

In verse 2, the Greek word used for “burdens” is “baros.”

Don’t wander off because I said Greek!!! Come on back! Just think of it this way. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek. So when you say “the Greek word,” you are really just saying, “in the original language.”

Okay? You back. Good.

And how in the world did I ever figure out the Greek word?

Because I speak it fluently. As well as Hebrew, French, and at least three African dialects.

Well, either that or I have access to the Google.

I love this website, and this Bible in particular for this kind of study.

Sooooo, baros. Hello new friend.

Baros means “heaviness, weight, burden, trouble.”

Now onto verse 5. Using the same methods, I find (in about 2 seconds) that the word used in this passage for “load” is different. This word (in Greek…hello fancypants) is “phortion.” It lists the word “burden” in it’s definition, but upon reading a little you will see that it is different than the one mentioned earlier. Innnnnnteresting.

Here’s what I found:

The word “photon” does not connote any weight; it is simply to indicate that something is being carried. It’s the same word used in the passage that says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Mt. 11:30). It’s what we are called to carry, and essentially it means that we are going to stand before God one day and have to give an account for our lives, and that is not something that someone else can carry for us. (via W.E. Vine)

Greek and Hebrew aren’t scary, but that is. Because it’s the kind of conviction that motivates us to seek Him and make our lives a beautiful offering.

The former (baros) is the weight of this world-the pain that comes from living in a fallen world with fallen people. And it connotes weight. I know, because I feel that weight every day and so do you. There is a major difference between the two, and while we can’t shoulder the burden of someone’s life choices in light of eternity, we can shoulder the burden put on our friends here on earth. And I really believe that it’s more than a suggestion.

Isn’t that cool? I know this isn’t really a “pretty” post, but the purpose is to get you motivated to dig into your Bibles, and also to ask for you to pick up some weight for some sisters in Christ.

I love that this is a safe community where we can bring our burdens and allow the Lord to distribute them. Feel free to use the comment section as an altar and lay down anything we can pray about, even if it isn’t detailed.

We will be honored to share the load.

With so much love,


From Blah to Awe

First off, let me say that it’s unusual for me to have so many review/giveaway/fun posts in a row, but I am loving it! For those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter, you might not know that I’ve been a little under the weather. Turns out I have mono :( I am trying to rest and do all the things they tell you to, but with 4 kids and everything else I have on my plate, staying in bed isn’t really an option. It’s really not awful but I do feel tired a lot and I have a headache ALL THE TIME. Any suggestions? Ideas?

Ugh. I think I have been living with exhaustion so long that when I kick this thing I’m going to feel like a million bucks :) In the meantime, thank you for enjoying all the laid-back fun stuff on my blog lately. It’s been so good for me to read comments and enjoy you all.

With that said, I want to encourage you to pick up a book for the teenage girls in your life. It’s called “From Blah to Awe” and it’s by Max Lucado’s daughter Jenna. She is a great writer, and this book just came out this month. Although my girls aren’t quite teenagers yet (Oh, mercy. I cannot imagine), I think this will be a fantastic choice when they are a little older. It’s very conversational, but also truth-filled. She includes a bunch of other people’s stories as well as her own testimony and the general idea is shaking up your faith and really seeking relationship with Christ. I also really like that it’s very interactive, and has sections where they can journal a little and really flesh out the ideas. One of the chapters talks about how a lot of people who read the Bible think it’s boring because they don’t understand it as a story, and she does a great job of bringing ideas like this home in a very age-appropriate, encouraging way.

These are the most brutal years for holding onto faith, and the more I hear stories of kids going to conferences like Passion and Revolve (WOF-Jenna is a speaker for Revolve :)), the more I’m encouraged that this generation is doing things that are going to change the world. I’m also keenly aware that so many of them are choosing to walk away from their faith, in small ways and in big ones. I think that any of us who have teenagers in our lives can see the tension that society is putting on them, and the more “Jenna Lucado’s” we can put in their lives, the better. Let’s inspire our girls to chase after the Lord and seek a life with Him that goes past static and moves into a life-long love relationship.

And if I might ask for a little prayer as well? This weekend will be my first event in Dallas for the WOF One-Day events, and I’m pretty nervous. I have been working on my talk but for whatever reason I feel like I haven’t quite got it down. Please just pray that I will connect with the people there and that they will be blessed by whatever I manage to get out :) And also, please pray for smooth flights and for my kiddos to have a great night while I’m out.

Much love to you all!!! And if you will be at the Dallas event and you haven’t sent me an email, please do!



Seeds Family Worship

If you’ve been around here for a while you’ve heard me talk about Seeds Family Worship. They just released their 7th CD & I get to give away 5 copies!!! Hard copies won’t be available until March but a digital version will be available sooner.

But that’s not all, the Seeds Family Worship folks have also been generous enough to provide one COMPLETE SET of their CDs for one of you!! 

Wait. There’s more! Passport 2 Purity is a new curriculum coming in May from Family Life. It promises to be another great resource for parents. You’ll have to wait a bit to claim this prize, but one of you can give the curriculum a try come May!



Want to get in on the fun?
1) Leave a comment below before 11:59pm on Sunday February 19th with your must have resource for parents when it comes to the Spiritual life of your kids
2) Invite others to join the fun via twitter or Facebook

* All winners will be chosen at random for all prizes & participation verified *

We Could All Use a Little Nourish-ment

***UPDATE: Congrats to Gabrielle Erway!! You will be enjoying some sweet orange soon!***

I love getting the chance to share great products I find that I love. I love it even more when I get to give you the chance to try them!!

So, for this 2nd installment of Fun Fridays, I am so excited to introduce you to my friend Raechel. She is unbelievably creative, as you will see from spending about 2 minutes on her blog. I wish we could say we met under good circumstances, but we didn’t. She lost her sweet Evie Grace within a few days of Audrey and they are buried next to each other. Until recently, we had only connected a few times but I have loved seeing her more often these days {even if it is in the context of “trying to get me to run. Ugh}.

A few weeks ago I was over at her place and bought a few of her Nourish products…and I LOVE THEM! So I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to include you all in a chance to get some for yourselves!

A little bit of the Nourish Organics story…

Nourish Organics started three years ago in Franklin, Tennessee with a Mama whose brand new baby had terrible food allergies and eczema. With a background as an aesthetician, she searched and searched for safe, effective and soothing products for his sensitive skin. Because of her struggle to find products she trusted – it turns out no one is as picky when it comes to choosing ingredients as a Mama is for her own child – she decided to make her own products. It was only a matter of time before her friends began asking for the balms and washes and oils for their own children, and naturally, Nourish Baby Organics was born – because every baby deserves to be Nourished!

Since then, in the fall of 2011, Nourish began to outgrow it’s roots and was adopted by friends and fellow Franklin residents, Raechel Myers and Olivia Pennington. They kept all the formulas the same but changed the name to simply, “Nourish Organics” – because, they believed, everyone’s skin deserves to be babied!

New products and formulas have been added to the Nourish family since them – many of them still in collaboration with it’s “birth mama” – including organic lip balms, and an organic sugar scrub.

Now for the fun part. The sweet folks at Nourish Organics have kindly provided one of their Organic Sweet Orange gift sets for one of you to try.

I’ve been loving the lip balm & sugar scrub!! If you want to try them for yourself, leave a comment about your favorite body product {any brand! any type! body wash? lotion? whatever!} below between now & midnight on Sunday February 12th & we’ll pick one winner at random. 

They have also offered to give you 15% off any purchase for the next five days!! So, head on over to their site & try out some of their other products. Use the code nourish15 at checkout to get your discount! 

Thank you, Raechel!!!! And I’ll see you for our next {gulp} run.



Thank you, Angela, for passing the invisible blog-tour baton!

This past year has shaped my idea of community more than any other.

I don’t really even know how to put it into words, but I was lacking something and I didn’t realize it until I got a taste. I have lots of friends, and lots of good friends. But I don’t know that I would have said I really had a community. For me, community means we are acting as a unit, and that means the good and the not-so-good. It means a friend who buys you a reamer and puts it in your mailbox.

By the way, a reamer is a wooden tool that helps you get juice out of a lemon. And apparently people have heard of this tool. I was not in that category. But thanks to Jenny Acuff, I am the proud owner of a reamer. I love it.

 And I didn’t realize I wanted it.

Heather Whittaker loves me deep and wide. She packs her car up at a moment’s notice for adventures. Even when I don’t tell her where we’re going. And then we laugh our heads off and don’t remember exactly how her cell phone ended up in coke.

 And I didn’t realize I wasn’t laughing enough.

Jessica sends cards. For every holiday celebrated in the modern world. And when I mention casually in a five minute conversation that my heart is heavy over something, she remembers. Really remembers. Calls me to check in. Calls me again and again because she knows (and now Heather and Jenny know. Darn. Secret’s out:)) that I don’t answer my phone when I check out mentally. But I need to.

 I didn’t realize I needed to answer.

I have a Bible study every Wednesday morning, and I love these girls more than I can say. They all have stories. We all cry and laugh and talk and pray and when our car doors close and we drive away, I’m praying for them. I’m thanking God for them. I’m joyful because I’m not alone.

I guess I didn’t realize I was alone.

But I was.

And I don’t ever want to be alone again.

I want to be known. To be loved and appreciated. To be gifted that which I didn’t know I wanted, to be laughing out loud from the deep part of me that hides, to be challenged to do the thing I think makes me weak. And to be in community.

It’s simple, but it’s life-giving. Life-altering. And the most beautiful gift from a Father who longs for sisters to close car doors and drive away loving each other.

Here’s the great news. You don’t need a car, a Bible study group, or any of the other things mentioned here to be a part of community. I am so, so overjoyed to share this video clip with you in the hopes that you will want to join us for a special experience. It’s called (in)RL, and it is brought to you courtesy of some of my favorite community-lovers…the folks at (in)courage. Will you take a few minutes and see if this is something the Lord would use to bless you in your walk?


Great, isn’t it???

So now for the details.

Click here for the registration page.

And here for the meetup page.

And here for answers to any questions you might have.

And now it’s my turn to pass the baton. Check in over here tomorrow to hear some more about (in)RL from our friend Heather Genman Wilson. Can’t wait to see you all there!!!!

See you at the beach house!!!!


Fun Friday

***WINNER UPDATE: Congratulations to Carrie Herdon!! You’ll be cooking up some yummy Indian food soon! :)***

*Updated to add that Aarti is going to send a masala dabba of spices to one random commenter from this post!!!! I think that means yummy Indian spices in a fancy dish (based on my love of her show. Which may or may not border on creeptastic). Woo-Hoo!!!!

Hello my friends!!!! I have been dreaming and scheming about this blog, and I hope you will be along for the ride. I love the relationship aspect of this online space, and while I LOVE to write and to share my heart, sometimes I just want to “hang” with you all. Regular, light-hearted conversations between friends, where the emphasis isn’t on me, but on enjoying and learning from each other. I think this can take many forms, and just for kicks, I’m going to try to do a fun post every Friday where you can jump in and share. It’s not going to be deep and theological. Just a place for girlfriends to chat about odds and ends.

So, I’m going to ask a random question each week, and I would love for you to answer! It’s pretty complicated. And sophisticated. And spiritual. Well, it might be spiritual some weeks, but it isn’t this week!!!!! Let’s kick it off with a bang.

Are you ready?

Here goes.

I’m in a make-up phase right now. I usually don’t wear too much, so this has been a fun little adventure for me. I have a couple products that I have fallen in love with and I bet you do too. I’m also really into simple make-up tips and watching videos of make-up artists. People who know me will think this is funny, because I’m not really that good at it. But I have to say, a little effort goes a long way, and I’m finding that I feel different when I have taken some time to get ready instead of running out of the house with my hair in a bun, pinching my cheeks for some color and feeling like a slob.

I realized that after having 5 children, I had stopped caring what I saw in the mirror. I’m having fun experimenting with shades and shadows, and seeing fun posts like this one from my friend Aarti from Aarti’s party (we have emailed. Listen, people. We are 2 text messages away from the broken heart BFF necklaces.). Go read it…lots of fun :) And isn’t she GORGEOUS??? She’s also my friend. I don’t know if I mentioned that. Dang, I’m a loser.

Now it’s your turn.

We might make this a link-up eventually, but for now just leave comments here. This week’s question?

What makeup product is your “can’t-live-without?”

Be specific with brand and all that jazz. We ladies love detail. And feel free to list more than one if you are so inclined.

Just in time for a little wish list for the hubs for Valentines Day…

Me? Blush from NARS {naughty name}, Buxom mascara, and great foundation {I love smashbox. I’ve heard make up forever has a great one too}. I also love the “naked” palette by Urban Decay. I’m on the hunt for a great neutral lip gloss, but I love Nymphette by MAC. I also wish make up companies would stop using sexual names for make up. Don’t get me started on that one. Argh.


Im so giddy!!! Again. A loser. But a smily one.