~week two~day 2~

Parenthood is a very romantic thought when you’re young.  Being a mama or daddy, for most, sounds like a call to love.  You find the one you love.  You eventually bring little people into the world because of your love.  It all makes a lot of sense in light of love.

But as the weeks and months and years pass, you come to find that parenting is as much about bravery as it is about love.  No one tells you in advance about the fear you will put aside when you ride in the ambulance to get your peanut’s finger sewed back on.  No one gives you a shower card telling you to be brave and wise when the thermometer hits 103 or 104 during the night.  And, the lonely year your sweet offspring spent looking for friends to hang with on the playground – – you didn’t see that coming, but your love made you brave.

I must not (will not) leave out the bravery of childbirth.  Frankly, no one tells you about the reality of childbirth before you experience it.  I think it’s mainly because they know there are no words to describe the persistent traumatizing pain.  But I also think it’s because they don’t want to tattoo fear into your joyful anticipation.  Childbirth takes bravery.

Fear and retreat sound like good options sometimes.  But the love in you tells you that you can be brave so that your kids will also be brave.  You do things against your grain like letting them fall sometimes.  You don’t always swoop them up when their heart is hurt, but let them grow under your wings.  Parenting takes putting aside fear and putting on bravery.  It all makes a whole lot of sense in light of love.

Warrior Friends

The rain surrounding the storm Erica poured down as I pulled in a great big hug from my friend Sharon.  We did summer with barely a peep between us.  But as the school year rolled in, it was too unfamiliar to let another week pass.  Without sitting and talking about me & her & kids & school & parenting & our mothers & love & God & change & fear & forgiveness and then finally, when are we meeting next?

We sat together in rain, shine and Florida humidity every other Thursday for the whole 5th grade school year.  Our sacred Thursday meetings are supposed to be as real as the human soul can be.  When we began, we bobbed through months of testing the waters of real.  Can I cry?  Can I call you between Thursday meetings?  Can I tell you the truth about my struggle?  Can I ask you hard questions?  Can you help me decide what to do?  Do I quit or persevere?  We will continue to sit together and share real words among two real women.  Doing real life.  In a real attempt to mirror Jesus.

What I am learning as a person: Take in the beauty of a good friend’s words.  Let them pounce into your heart.  Let them strain out the doubt from your soul when you are doing good.  Let them point out the path of righteousness when you staggering.  Let her words be like honey in warm tea whether you are sipping to get better or sipping to stay well.

Verse:  The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.  Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.  Proverbs 16:23-24

Deep Thought:  I have intentionally halted at chapters of two different books unexpectedly covering fear and anxiety.  My dear friend Sharon concludes that God won’t let me side step what He wants me to hear.  My dear heart stirs and senses that God has something to say about fear and anxiety.  So, yes, I will read and grow and change.  And, while I don’t yet know exactly what He plans to say, I promise to read and grow and change.

Quote: … “Before I was formed in my mother’s womb” – – and here I paused to add, unable to resist, “whose ever womb that was – – God knew me.  He knitted together my innermost parts and fashioned all of my days before there was even one of them.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Even though I only just found out that I was adopted, God has always known, and he has always loved me.  And since that has never changed, therefore nothing has essentially changed. I may not be who I thought I was, but I still am who he says I am.  And I am more.  I am loved.  I am his.”  Undaunted by Christine Caine

Book(s)/Blog(s)/People that Shape Me: I hesitate to root for what I haven’t yet read, but I suspect that Wild in the Hollow:Chasing Desire and Finding the Broken Way Home by Amber C Haines will be exactly what it says it will be.

My Prayer to You: My prayer is that you have a few warrior girlfriends.  The kind that make time to know you.  Grow you and take full pleasure in seeing God work in your life.  I pray that you keep an open ear to Wisdom in whatever form she comes, in whatever pain or joy you are experiencing.  I pray that you are a warrior-friend to one or two or three others.  May you choose gracious words for her that heal like honeycomb and are sweet to her soul.  May you remember that, no matter what, you are who He says you are.  You are what He says you are.  And, that is Loved.  Amen.

Written By Sasha Katz

Towards Today

On this Tuesday morning, I am moving towards end of summer.  I am thinking about the road trip barely behind us.  Mentally pushing away the road ahead because, the truth is, God has all of that covered.  Reminding me that I have this five minutes to live and breathe and move in Him.

I am thinking about the families that we spent our summer vacation with.  I am thinking about the mothers that are my closest friends.  How proud and humbled I am to call them friends.  To be moms along side them.  My thoughts take me to the uniqueness of the way they each love their children.  The uniqueness is powered by the distinct way God loves each of these women and how He made them.  Their life’s journey with Him constantly sparks the uniqueness of the way they love their children.  He’s leading each of them to powerfully mother the rare, one-of-a-kind gem of a child that was given to her.  Only He could craft a singular journey beginning before time to bless and bless generations over time.

On this Tuesday morning, I am bringing my heart to the small things.  Because these are the things that bring me to warmth and to peace. The small things give me the strength to do the big things.  So, I turn my head towards the road ahead because that is today.  With joy and peace and reliance on His promises, I live and breathe and move in Him, towards today.


Epiphany is a moment of sudden revelation or insight.  Epiphanies, for the most part, can’t happen without a relationship or a foundation with Jesus.  He’s the one who works with us and in us and brings us to place where insight takes place.  Where revelation comes.  I am so grateful that He speaks. That He breathes life into us.  That His knowledge, understanding, wisdom and love is never-ending.  That He cares deeply, desires to know us and shares His very heart with us.  Epiphanies . . .

What I Learned as a Parent: Sometimes I just don’t know how to bring down a mountain, but He does.

What I Learned as a Partner: I can remember what love does.

Verse:   If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, In which you trusted, they wearied you, Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan? Jeremiah 12:5

Deep Thought: God has big plans for us to run with Him.  Into the battles He has already won.  I embrace the idea of fighting the good fight in floods where waters rise even though I sometimes gasp for air.  In earthquakes where I sometimes loose the ground I am used to walking on.  In lightning storms where I sometimes loose my sight.  For in these battles, we can learn that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

Quote: Horses are faster than people, but eagles are faster than horses.  Pastor Levi Lusko’s Message Running with Horses, Jeremiah 12:5

 Book(s)/Blog(s) that Shape Me: Lynn Donovan’s Blog and Site Spiritually Unequal Marriage

My Prayer to You: God, give us your epiphanies.  Lead us to mountains so we can witness your power.  Help us remember to love one another, especially those that are closest to us.  Give us the passion to run with you into battle.  Help us fight our tendency to be weary and lead us to find our strength in You.  Help us to count our losses as opportunities to gain in your Kingdom.  Help us to run hard with horses in battle, but call on the Eagle to bring us to victory.  In Your Holy Name, Amen.

Planning 2015: Mother to My Son

I am continuing to share with you my revelations for 2015.  Today, I share with you the mother I would like to be to my son.  Please journey with me.  Your comments and perspective are more than welcome here.


My sweet eleven year old boy has been doggie paddling through some rough waters. I think he has been hit in the face with some of that water.  He swims on, but I see that his self-esteem has taken some hits.  For a boy that mainly seeks to please, rarely voices any complaints and often lives in his own thoughts, it’s easy to keep on trucking without taking any pit stops.  As his mama, I am committed this year to taking a lot of pit stops for refreshments, rest and meaningful exchange along our life’s route.

My plans for him include a weekly date with me.  I am inspired to reach out to him and take interest in his life.  He loves lacrosse – – I am sports-challenged, but I plan to have him teach me the game.  He expressed an interest in starting a coin collection – – we can do that together.  I also am inspired to teach him how to be the man I want for me, his future wife and his daughters one day.  I’m learning that it takes a mom to instill in her son a deep understanding of women.  I’m encouraged to give him insights into a woman’s world so that he can navigate his way through it with honor and goodness.

I’m also remembering and learning again the timeless qualities of honorable manhood.  Honor, courage, commitment, sacrifice, love, compassion, forgiveness, wisdom and grace.  These are qualities I encourage in my kids, both male and female.  But I am breathing in the singularity of what these qualities mean for a boy in a boy’s world, or a man in a man’s world.  The angle is different.  I want to be the edge or angle that allows the light to shine in on his growing manhood.

The revelation, the different thing, the building block is that building character is bound to build long term self esteem in the boy.  I don’t really want to just tell him how wonderful he is anymore.  I don’t just want to talk to him about what is good and right and holy.  I want him to believe who he is and live who God made him to be.  As my boy grows into a man, I see that he has to know who he is on the inside; and that belief has to be something he comes to know independently.

If you are interested in reading a few of the articles I read on raising an honorable man, check out the following:   It’s A Boy!, How Moms Can Lead Their Sons into Good, Honorable Manhood and Protecting the Self Esteem of Boys.


Planning 2015: A Beautiful Life

The resolution hoopla is about to begin.  My first resolution email came today (but I actually loved it, feel free to check it out Real Change Starts with You by Dr. Nicholas Jenner).  The chatter comes from every direction.  Weight.  Toxic Relationships.  Bad Habits of all sorts.  I think it’s the balanced life that most of us seek.  The truth is that some of us make resolutions and don’t keep them.  Some of us refuse to make them because we know we never keep them.  My mom tends to think they’re stupid because you should be seeking positive change year round.  A lot of resolutions will be made and some will be kept.  Just like in the years past.

I’ve taken my mom’s lead on resolutions. I don’t normally have them just once a year.  Sometimes I have the smaller ones daily or weekly, but I try to reassess everything every three to six months.  I looked back on my general list from last year.  I planned to be flexible, intentional and supportive.  It’s hard to let yourself be the judge of that, but I think I sought after those characteristics and reached success in some areas of my life.  I had a few financial goals.  I don’t feel comfortable saying that I passed, but I don’t think I completely failed either. I had a charitable goal in regard to giving and becoming a voice for a handful of organizations.  As the year comes to a close, I think I did that.  Not perfectly, room for improvement and change this year, but I can half smile about that part of my list.

Ministry and parenting were on my list this year.  I committed to my ministry plans and I think I accomplished them.  Although in the larger scheme of things, I am not a parenting fail (as my son would say), but I am seeking the most improvement in this area.  Really praying for the Lord to keep my kids small voices in balance with my work life’s loud voice.  (I have a lot more to say on this later.)  And, the truth is, wife to my husband was not even on my list!  (Shame on me, I think?)

Today, I have had the pleasure of being home alone for the last several hours with my thoughts and plans for 2015.  Somewhere between The Eisenhower Matrix, a weekly graph from The 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Person and my desire to serve God with the time He has given me, I am half way to being where I want to be in 2015.  Meaning the first few months of the year.

One of the neat practices I recently adopted when planning my time is to keep my roles in tact.  The order of them changes with the different callings of each week.  But I keep them at the forefront of my planning.  Business partner, Writer/Reader, Wife, Mother, Churchgoer.  It’s fairly easy to see if I am neglecting the Lord’s calling on my life if one of these areas is hogging all of the time.  Given the thoughtful woman that I know you are, I am sharing with you what I have come up with in one area of my life – WIFE.  In the days to come, before we hit January 1, I plan to share with you all of my revelations and resolutions.  I hope that you do the same as we walk together this beautiful life that God has given us.


I have been trying to figure out how to date my husband since September.  It sounds simple, but for me, it hasn’t been.  Do we take the morning off of work to spend some time together?  Do we plan on the weekend and pay a babysitter?  Do I offer another couple to watch their kids once a month if they watch mine?  Do we pack them up for the weekend at the grandparents?  I was obviously frozen by the options for the last three months.  And, then, what do we do?  I was lucky enough to chat with another backstage mom at my daughter’s Nutcracker show to get some great ideas.  I concluded that we haven’t been having nearly as much fun as we could be.  So . . . in January, we are going on a touristy river boat ride we have been talking about since we got married. (This is the Jungle Queen that honked its horn as it passed my wedding ceremony on the river shore.)  In February, we are going to the SoBe Food and Wine Festival (that we also have been talking about for years).  Both were holiday gifts to him, my beloved.  And in March, I think we’ll take a cooking lesson at Sur La Table.  There you have it . . . working on being a more fun wife.

Keeping it Clean

There is a certain beauty in the creative arts. Something has been created and presented for the eye to see. But it doesn’t stop there. The eye takes into the heart and the heart takes into the soul. What we see has power to move us, change us. That is the power that the author holds when something is created and shared.

The particulars of how we take in what we see is matter of personality and probably age or maturity as well. Some will tell you that after seeing The Book Thief or The Pianist or reading The Lost Wife, or the many other holocaust books and films, thoughts and images of the Holocaust stay with them for days. There is a certain kind of pain and suffering that runs through your mind as a thread or strand right through your daily life. For me, the same thing happens in a negative way if I see images like graphic violence or hardcore sex. It just stays with me until it finally becomes untangled with my positive, healthy thoughts. There is the whole matter of music that splits open when your kids move from Disney movie soundtracks to top 40, pop and rock. One of my kids hears every word of every song and either memorizes them or asks me what they mean (in detail). The other claims he listens to beat only (as part of his argument to listen to ___________________). I’ve got the same problem or choices when I flip through the TV and run into story lines like Modern Family and Love and Hip Hop in Atlanta. I know how my mind takes in art and media and I really want to keep it clean.

Whether in film, dance, music, art, what we see impacts us. Knowing this and accepting that each of us is going to process the impact differently, I have yet another dilemma with the creative arts. Rather than looking at the art or media alone, I have been thinking a lot about the author or creator. The perfect example is one of my favorite films Midnight in Paris. I love the time travel and the themes of love and, finally, personal choice (that seems right to me). Any way, in a conversation with my husband, he reminds me that the author is now divorced and married to his adopted daughter. I don’t know all the details, but this points south on my moral compass. My husband asks, do you not like the movie now? Should you not like the movie now? My answer is, I don’t know.

This conversation stems from my recent decision (husband was on board) to switch one of our daughter’s dance classes as a result of the singer of the song chosen for her recital number. So, let me say, I did not know the song when I made the decision. I only knew the pop singer. And, I knew the pop singer of the other dance numbers in that section of the recital (but no songs as that time). It was about the author, not the product. I could not have been more confident about my decision. It was about the author, not the product.

I am still working on the translation of our of recent family experience. I am still working on the questions that I need to ask before taking in arts and media. I am working from the fact that we’re impacted by what choose to see and hear. I now have added the layer of the artist’s life as well as their creation or product. The artist’s life matters, just like my every day and your every day matters. Please, please, please, I am not talking about legalism and perfection. I am talking about keeping it clean. I want to keep it clean on the author side and the product side. I want to keep it clean on both sides.

I know that there is so much more to say on keeping it clean in the arts and media. We’re all landing on different points on the pendulum as parents and as individuals. But I think the difference between our judgment calls is valid and is good for growth and conversation. I beg to differ sometimes, but I am glad that you do too. I pray that keeping it clean is something we all can agree is good for us and that our personal choices as believers open conversation, and not judgment, among the family of Christ.

Psalm 24:1-6
The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.

2 For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.

3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?

4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.

5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

6 This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face. Selah