Family Uncaged

how to uncage your whole family

The Day the Kitty Fell

We gave Scout, a girl kitten, to our girl Julia last Christmas. Many of you know Julia spent the first semester of her freshman year in and out of hospitals and away from school with a yet-to-be-diagnosed illness. By the time Christmas neared, she was doing better, but still not 100%. A girl who always-always loved animals, we made the decision to get her a kitten. This is Julia when she first met Scout.

They formed an amazing bond, even…

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Grace is a Gift We Can Give Ourselves

NMPM cover with subtitle and correct colors

This is a guest post by my friend Jill Savage of Hearts at Home. She’s touched a nerve (in a good way) in No More Perfect Moms, and I know it will bless many who battle the feeling that we as moms are less than the ideal. Check out the No More Perfect Moms website here.


When child number one threw a fit in the grocery store one day, screaming at…

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Aidan’s Homecoming (senior year!)


In the Homecoming parade, Aidan was an escort for Mu Alpha Theta–Math Honor Society.


Another shot in the parade.


And the recognition ceremony.


The band stood to cheer as one of their drum majors made Homecoming King.


After the ceremony.

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Choose rest or have it chosen for you


On a run toward the tail end while I huffed my way through a park and felt the sweat drip down my forehead, I chatted with God. The subject? A frenetic, crazy-busy life. It amazes me how deliberate I’ve been about paring down my life. And yet, even so, I find myself back in the place of utter busyness.

The Lord got my attention the way He often does–with bunnies. When I run, I almost always see a bunny hopping across my path. Often they hop in groups…

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Bittersweet Time in the Pacific Northwest

My stepfather died June 2nd. At month’s end the family flew to the PNW to be with my mom and help with the memorial service.

Seeing my extended family and Patrick’s sister and brother in law (and the cousins!) reminded me again of the importance of family.

Smelling the pine-scented air and seeing the mountains and water reminded me of my origins, made me miss home with an ache I can’t describe.

And saying goodbye to a good man never seemed enough. How do you say goodbye to love?

Here are some pictures of our time there.

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Do You Long for Empty Things?


At a women’s conference, the weekend culminated with a time where you could write something on a card and place it before the cross. Something you wanted to let go of. Give up. Turn away from.

It took me a little time, pen in hand, to write the words. They flamed inside me, burning to get out. But putting them on the page like that, so stark and real, gave me pause. Would I dare let go of this?

I hesitated a bit, then scrawled the words across the…

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Get 3 of my novels FREEEEE!

I recently gave away two copies of my cookbook, The Irresistible Table, to friends. Both were thankful (which made me thankful.). One said, “I’m going to cook through it this summer,” and the other said, “I’m making the Lentil Soup tonight.”

My in real life friends and family know that I’m a passionate, joyful, crazy cook. I love having folks over for dinner or snacks or anything really. I wrote this cookbook because people kept asking for my recipes. I self pubbed it because I knew there wouldn’t be a huge demand (I’m not the next Food Network…

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A Sad Goodbye


In two hours I will say words, but those words will not be full enough to say what’s in my heart.

How do you say goodbye to love?

How do you let go of someone who loved you well? Who cheerleaded? Who exemplified other-centeredness?

I keep walking around my mom’s house, expecting Mark to saunter in, a crooked smile on his face. “Hey,” he would say. He would find small moments to pull me aside and say, “Your kids are terrific,” or “I’m proud…

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And What Remains (Fathers Matter)

My earthly father walked this earth ten of my years, and having just lost Mark, I feel the sting of fatherlessness even more.]

This film is beautiful. It’s a gift to you this Father’s Day. Thanks to these folks who graciously sent me a link.

And What Remains from Resonate Pictures on Vimeo.

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Happy Birthday, Julia!

Dear, dear Julia,

On Sunday you turn 15 years old. You’ve weathered a difficult year, missing half your first semester with an unknown and scary illness, but you persevered and got to see God heal those crazy headaches.

You have given your heart to Jesus in new ways. I’m so proud of you, Julia. You love your friends well and you enjoy hanging out with the family. You are grounded, smart, and empathetic. I love the way God put you together.

Fifteen years ago, you didn’t want to come screaming into the world. You preferred the warm cocoon of me to the…

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