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12.08.2015

Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom by Lisa-Jo BakerI love books that make me underline thoughts. I adore books that make me cry. When I'm underlining as I cry, I know I've hit the mother lode.Lisa-Jo Baker was a speaker at a conference I recently attended, and while I knew of her, I had never read her book Surprised by Motherhood. The conference was selling copies, so I bought one - and consumed it in a day.Throughout the book, Baker traces her journey to motherhood (which she never thought she'd take) and recounts hilarious and poignant stories of mothering. She also writes of her own mother who died when Baker was still a teenager and how her experiences without a mother have shaped her as an adult.If you have children, you need to read this book. She writes about how "...

12.08.2015

When was the last time your faith was anything more than ordinary?This Sunday, Pastor Dean of 5 Point Church challenged me by showing me myself - an American Christian whose faith is often not obvious to those around me and often not bold enough to believe God for something crazy.We use the word "crazy" to identify people who appear absurdly out of place: the teenager with rainbow colored hair, the person whose outfits do not meet "acceptable fashion,' people who say things no one else would utter. "Crazy" really should describe anyone who follows Christ. When we trust and follow Him, our citizenship belongs to heaven, and as a result, we are aliens and strangers in this world. We should appear crazy because we are no longer of this world. Our behavior should be obviously different from everyone else's. We should stand out, but far too many of us are consumed with anything other than Jesus.Crazy faith is what I say with my mouth that I want, but it is something I rarely step into. I realized Sunday that I rarely do anything that requires crazy faith because I am afraid. I am afraid of what people will think, afraid...

07.08.2015

Fat pigs.Dogs.Slobs.Disgusting animals.These are some of the names that a man who desires to lead our country has called women. As he was asked about it, there were boisterous laughs and cheers from the crowd as he made it into a joke. There were more cheers when his answer was that a big problem in this country is being "politically correct."It's the year 2015, and a Presidential candidate - in the United States in 2015 - suggests that it's acceptable to use these names for women because he doesn't have time for "total political correctness." Sure, because it takes a lot of time to be respectful to other human beings, and it's only about political correctness.He said during the debate, "What I say is what I say, and honestly...

06.08.2015

I've run 84 miles in the last 17 days (no, I'm not training for anything in particular, and yes, I've just wanted to), and those long runs have taught me some valuable lessons. First, if running in the South Carolina summer, try to run in the morning before the heat and humidity make you feel like this.Second, invest in good running shoes. Third, no matter how good your running shoes are, your feet will still hurt after 84 miles.More than those lessons, though, I have come to realize that what you experience on a long run is a metaphor for what you experience in life. Here's why.When you first set out on your adventure, everything seems good. Your playlist is set, your legs are fresh, and you feel like a gazelle bounding through the morning mist. But as the miles go on, you realize your sock is crooked, the tag in your shorts is slowly driving you mad, and the hitch in your right hip isn't getting any better. In other words, the Utopian picture you painted in your head isn't your reality, and you just have to slog through the miles. Sometimes, slogging is all you can do. Slogging...