Family Uncaged

how to uncage your whole family

Merry Christmas and a Blogging Break


I sincerely wish you an amazing Christmas and a joy-filled time with family, friends and food. May you experience peace in your heart, conviviality in your relationships, and hope for your future.

I’m taking a weeklong (much needed) blog break as I celebrate Christmas with my family and my 23rd wedding anniversary! Catch me back in this space January 1. It’s going to be a great year!

read more »

Happy 21st Birthday, Sophie the Magnificent!


21 years ago you hollered your way into our world on Christmas Eve, and you’ve been an instrument of God’s grace ever since. Here are twenty-one things I love about you, Sophie dear!

  1. You absolutely, truly love Jesus.
  2. You value family, and you prioritize your time with us.
  3. You are so very, very funny (and you have your dad’s dry sense of humor. I love it!)
  4. Your face! You are a girl of one million crazy faces.
  5. You adore your brother and sister and seek to encourage them.
  6. You…

read more »

We Lived in a Barn one Christmas


The Christmas of 2006 we were homeless. We didn’t have keys. Not to a car, not to a home. We’d flown halfway around the world, leaving behind a ministry we toiled over. Much, particularly in our hearts, lay in ruins.

Some friends owned Sabine Creek Ranch, and on their grounds stood a barn. A tiny apartment was tucked inside a horse and cow barn, flanked by a red caboose and hundreds of acres of Texas pasturelands. We’d never been there before, so we…

read more »

Stress Less Badge


The Lord recently reminded me of something I needed to internalize again, and it came from my own writing. I pray these words BLESS you and give you peace, particularly during this holiday season. This passage is excerpted from my very first book, Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God in 2005 (which is why I refer to my kids as young!)


The Girl Scouts of America launched a new merit badge—the Stress Less Badge. The…

read more »

Three Acorns


I ran a few miles recently and picked up these “acorns.” They’re huge, folks. More like small plums in size. But they captured me with their whimsy. I could see fairies living inside them, like little imp-sized thatched cottages. (Click to tweet.)

I placed these fairy houses under my monitor where I work as a reminder to be thankful. To choose three things daily that I would clap about, savor, reminisce.

With tomorrow being thanksgiving, I’m…

read more »

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…

read more »

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…

read more »

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…

read more »

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…

read more »

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.

read more »