What I Learned This Month



Did you ever take a family vacation and no sooner after walking in your front door afterwards, you were met with the decisive message Vacation is officially over and real life is back?

Well, that was us last week.

Sometimes my neck hurts from the whiplash of life’s changes.

Since I’ve been on a blog break on account of Spring Break, I wasn’t going to participate in “What I Learned” this month. But ya know, it’s only Tuesday and already this week feels twelve days long. What I need is a good, sit-down-with-my-girlfriends catch up, and these little “what I learned” posts feel like just that. So as I put up my feet and chew some dried mango slices left over from our trip, I offer a short list of what I learned this month.

What I Learned in March:


1. The big city isn’t so scary after all. Last week, my people and I took a trip “back East” to visit some good friends of ours. We met these friends over fifteen years ago when we were neighbors, and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. They kindly invited us to come visit their home just north of Philadelphia. David and I had done so once before several years ago with these same friends. It was only a day trip then, but I remember being very intimidated by the size of that city. I thought I might be so again, but I wasn’t. Philadelphia was such a hodgepodge of so many different people, sights and sounds, and I couldn’t help but love all the different-but-togetherness about it.


2. History + Candy win everything in my life. We had *so* much fun seeing all the touristy Liberty Bell, Ben Franklin kinds of things in Philly. We saw several museums too, but my favorite discovery there was Shane Confectionery.


It is America’s oldest candy store–established in 1863. As a lover of all old things, I couldn’t help but fall in love with that place, too. And as a girl with a whole row of sweet teeth, I couldn’t help but try more than one kind of treat inside. (Their chocolate chai latte…out of this world.) History plus candy for the win!


3. Book babies are dang fun to show and tell. Endless thanks to you dears for all the love you gave mine this month.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 6.56.38 AM

(Photo Credit)

4. It’s possible to miss someone you never met. Kara Tippetts passed away last week after her 2 1/2 year battle with cancer, and I do miss her even though I never once met her. I miss her in part because I feel like I know her through her poignant writing.  I feel like I know her because several people in my church have ties to the Tippetts family as our church is the one that planted the one her husband pastors. Another interesting thing for me is Kara’s name is nearly identical to my sister’s: Sara Tippett. So anytime I see Kara’s name, I think of my sister, too. Suffice it to say that even though I’ve never met Kara, her name frequents my online and real life. And even though I never met her, I’m not sure anyone has taught me about the deep well of God’s grace as much as Kara has. I’ll always be grateful to her for that.

5. I have so-so feelings about Gilmore Girls. I say that while scooting back ever so slightly because I know there are a whole lotta GG fans out there. Honestly,  I never watched a single episode of the show before this month. (What?) I blame that on being knee-deep in babies and small children while it aired. Anyway, I’m not saying I don’t like it. After all, I am currently in season 2 (thanks to Netflix) and still watching. But I just don’t love it, and given how many of my friends do, I thought I would as well. I will say this about the show, however: in my dreams, I have the wit and waistline of Lorelai Gilmore.

6. Our spoken words of blessing have power. I believed this for a long time now, but only recently I saw this from a new perspective. While in Luke, I read these words said by Jesus: “Whatever house you enter first say, ‘Peace be on this house!” And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you” (v. 5-6  ). Offering a spoken word of blessing has the power to actually settle on one another. As a girl who writes and lives to encourage, I find this simply amazing.

That about sums it up for me. What about you? What silly and serious things did you learn this month?

And many thanks to our delightful friend Emily for the link-up inviting us to share what we learned this month!

Postcards from March


It’s been one of those weeks that flew in a blur, scenes whirling by as if I’m watching them from the passenger side of a fast moving car. But at the same time, I am bone tired, like I’ve been running next to the car rather than sitting inside it.

Has it been one of those weeks for you, too?

Actually, it’s been quite the month ’round here. I’ve got to slow down and catch my breath, so naturally I chose you favorite folks to slow down with. Do you mind if I sit here a second and share some things with you? I promise I won’t take all day to do so. Think of it as me sending you a postcard (or four) with words scrawled out about what’s going on and what has me in such a state of constant motion.


As you may already know, I’ve been running forward with book business, although much of that has been so so fun! But part of it has been tricky, too. I did round 2 and round 3 of edits this month, and with each passing round I start to question things, things like:

Did I choose the best way to make that point?

What could I have written better? Written differently?

Who might be mad at me because I mention their name in the book?

Who might be mad at me because I didn’t mention their name in the book?

I make myself crazy.

But then I remember it was written the way it was supposed to be written when it was written, and at some point I have to lean back and let that baby bird fly. She’s not totally there yet, but she is certainly peeking over the edge of her nest preparing to do so.


I’ve been running because of parenting things, and let me tell you something that still surprises me as I mother big kids: they require a surplus of energy in a whole new way from mothering littles. Little ones require a lot of energy…a lot of energy. I do remember. But the business of changing diapers and being a short order cook and playing 27 games of Candyland in a row requires a different reserve of energy than parenting does when your precious kiddo wants to do things like have regular heart-to-hearts at 10:30pm.

It requires a deeper kind of presence.

And ya, we’ve had lots of heart-to-hearts lately. This is a good thing, of course, and I wouldn’t change their willingness to talk with me for the world. The deeper presence they need from me yields deeper blessings too, and I’m thankful for each one–even if it means I yawn more the next morning.


I have been running because the 3rd quarter of school for the kids is chock-full of crazy, and it seems like their every project and big paper has been due this month. So I hear lots of Mom! Can you proofread this paper for me? Mom! Can you tell me if I worded this right? Mom! I need more poster board! But they’re making it through, thank you Jesus. We all are.

I have been running, too, because my daddy is worsening day my day, and that weighs me down as I try to keep pace.

But you know what else? I’m also running toward a little spring break vacation with my family. So for the next couple weeks, my presence here will be rather sparse as I take a little time to enjoy my people. With two of my three in high school, I find myself counting up our remaining spring breaks and summer vacations like the number of sleeps before a big event. Gracious, there aren’t too many of them left now.

But before I head out the door, I just want to grab your hand and tell you–beautiful you!–thank you for being all kinds of supportive and wonderful to me this month and always. I will tell you that as I wrote of this community in the acknowledgements portion of my book, I couldn’t help but tear up. You have been neighbors and friends who bring over delicious casseroles of words and encouragement, and I have gobbled up every single bite. Your words matter to me…you matter to me. Thank you for being heaven’s grace to my heart. I pray that as you have generously given, may you abundantly receive.

Have a wonderful first-day-of-spring, friends. Much love to you and yours. xo

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