And Then There Was Her…{To My Daughter}

Some people think she looks like me, but I don’t see it. She is her own–a familiar face, but not mine.

Yet, every once in a while, she’ll smile, or throw her head back and laugh, or execute a line with such dramatic flair and grandiose hand gestures that I’m convinced she is me reincarnated.

Her brown skin baked by the sun and long days in the pool. She holds up her arm to mine to compare our brown-ness. We are tied, I say, but her color is a different shade than mine–filled with her daddy, and her own-ness, and tomorrow.

And I wonder what I did to deserve her or know her. I wonder what I did to make her like me, let alone love me, when so many days I’ve failed. Beyond failed. Life ruining mess-ups…or so I think.

Her being my first, left to suffer my parenting mistakes alone. The first born, carrying the burden of my inexperience, my frustration, and my downright ignorance.

But her back, and heart, and spirit are strong. Stronger than I know, and she so often slips quietly and freely into her role as eldest. A position she was literally born to hold and destine to fill. And she fills it with grace and ease. Even when it is hard, she lifts her chin and surprises me.

My little fairy. My forest nymph. My magical child. My enchanting girl. Continue reading And Then There Was Her…{To My Daughter}

Hello, I’m an Insecure Mom. Nice to Meet You.

I worry a lot about my kids. Well, not so much about them, as much as how I’m doing as a mom.

I am insecure in my mothering abilities. There, I said it…and no, it didn’t feel good to “get it off my chest.” It just sucked. And stung a little.

And, I worry. I worry and wonder if they are learning all the things they need to learn? Are we creating a home where they can grow to be themselves? Am I making God real to them? Are they going to grow up to passionately love Oreos instead of broccoli, just like their mom?

I wonder what God was thinking sometimes–giving me three children to care for. I mean, I did ask for all three of them, but since when does God give me everything I ask for?

And how did I end up homeschooling (at least this year) because man, I am so stinkin’ bad at it. I wonder what the next 10 years will look like and I immediately become exhausted–sorta like the way I feel when my mind tries to comprehend eternity. You know, where your brain hurts and feels like it might explode with thoughts of Forrrevvverrr….

But mostly, I think about what my kids will be like as adults? Will they be capable, full of character, in pursuit of their dreams? And will they inevitably look back and think “Man, mom really sucked sometimes. I wish she had done _____ or been more ______.” Continue reading Hello, I’m an Insecure Mom. Nice to Meet You.

Raising Kids that Will Love God

As a young Christian, I could never quite understand it. I looked around the other believers I knew and could find no common denominator for why some continued walking with Jesus and others did not.

But, after having walked away from God myself for three years, I now know that it isn’t as difficult as we would like to believe. But, now I am a mom raising children of my own. Unlike me, they will be raised in a “Christian home.” (That phrase makes me cringe. It’s almost like a spiritual death sentence for a lot of kids.)

I can see them now…sitting around a circle with other Christians, sharing their testimony of drug and alcohol abuse, promiscuity, and the like. They begin with “I was raised in a Christian home.” [insert Jaws music here]. Often times, it’s as if a “Christian home” is the precursor to a life of rebellion and heartache.

Now, as mother myself, I wonder what it is that makes some kids grow up to be Jesus-loving ninjas and leads others to abandon the values of their parents altogether? How do you raise a child who will always chase after God? Continue reading Raising Kids that Will Love God

My Life These Days…

The last few weeks I haven’t quite been myself. Well, maybe I have been, since I guess you’re almost always yourself. But what I mean is, I’ve been unmotivated, pretty stinkin’ tired, and uninterested in blogging with my usual passion and excitement (you may have noticed).

I’m sure it’s just a phase. I think. I hope anyway.

But, beyond feeling a little out of sorts, my days have been filled with laughing, screaming, impossibly wild, hopelessly wonderful, all-too-lovable children.

Life doesn’t get much better, even when life is sucking a bit.

Here’s what my life has looked like these days… Continue reading My Life These Days…

Does Life Stop After Kids?

I attended a wedding recently. Over dinner, my husband and I sat across from a newlywed couple we know. We started in on the usual chit chat. They asked us about our kids.

During our conversation, I misheard the wife and thought she had said something about having a baby. Her husband quickly and loudly corrected me. “No! No baby! Not anytime soon!”

We all laughed. They then explained some of their “baby hesitation” to us. They had a few couple friends who became pregnant and promised that having a baby would not affect their friendships or lifestyles.

However, once babies were born, their friends slowly disappeared. No more dinners, no movies, no evening hangouts. They vanished and were sucked up in the baby vacuum swirling with car seats, burp cloths, and the dreaded suburban nightmare: the minivan!

They asked us point-blank: “What have you not been able to do since having kids?”

Jonathan, my husband, and I paused for a second and looked at one another. Then we replied in unison… Continue reading Does Life Stop After Kids?

Why You Should Babysit for Your Married Friends

Today’s guest post comes from none other than my blogging buddy, Ally Spotts. Ally is a talented and insightful writer who blogs about faith, relationships, and life. If you’ve yet to visit her blog, you’re missing out. I’m glad to have her back on Modern Reject. Enjoy. (P.S. I’m guest posting for Malisa at her blog today, as well about How I Became a Blogger. Check it out!)

It used to drive me crazy when my married friends would ask me to babysit for them.

A group of people would be going out to do something fun – usually a group of married couples – and they would ask if I wouldnʼt mind staying back with their kids. I would think to myself, “Really? How come Iʼm the one who has to stay home with the kids – just because Iʼm single??”

The thing I started to realize is that Iʼm not the one who has to stay home with the kids, usually. In fact, most nights I get to go wherever I want and do whatever I want.

My friends who are parents are the ones who have to stay home with the kids most of the time. And even when they get to leave the house, itʼs usually to do something they have to do. Even then it costs them a bunch of money.

If youʼre single I would challenge you to re-think the way that you see babysitting for your married friends. I did and what I found was that all kinds of good things come from offering free babysitting for my friends who have kids. Continue reading Why You Should Babysit for Your Married Friends

15 Things You Should Tell Your Kids

People say that marriage is God’s way of magnifying your flaws. You may have heard the phrase, “Marriage isn’t only to make you happy, but also to make you holy.” I agree with this sentiment, but I have to say that nothing has given me a kick in the butt of self-evaluation and conviction like becoming a parent.

Kids repeat everything you say. More than that, they remember everything you say, whether they tell you or not.  A parent has more power in their tongue to build up or tear down than anyone else on earth. Daily, I can choose to bless my children with my words or curse them. It seems like practicing the former would be a simple choice, but you’d be surprised at how much God has had to train my tongue since I became a mom.

I can think of things my parents said (or didn’t say) that greatly affected me. I never want to abuse this power or fail to speak life to my kids. With that said, here are 15 Things You Should Tell Your Kids… Continue reading 15 Things You Should Tell Your Kids

Your Kid is Gifted…Who Cares?

I know I might step on some toes with this one and I (truly) apologize in advance. I’m really not trying to be divisive or mean. I hope you’ll be understanding.

I’m not sure when this trend began–somewhere in the eighties, I’m sure, alongside the self-esteem movement. Parents were suddenly thrust into a world of comparison and competition. Oh, well, my kid did this and my kid did that. Out of this movement grew the increased pressure for children to perform.

Labels were slapped around liberally. Excelling. Talented. Superior. And my least favorite…


I am tired of hearing about kids who are “gifted.” There, I said it. If your kids are gifted, please, don’t hate me. Let me explain… Continue reading Your Kid is Gifted…Who Cares?

To My Daughter on Her 5th Birthday

Riley Grace, where do I start? Your birth five years ago marked my life. As my first born, you represent my introduction to motherhood–with all of its tears and confusion. You also represent the beginning of my life as a mom, something I will forever claim.

You, sweet daughter, are the life of the party–any party. And if there isn’t a party, you are determined to either find one or start one. You love people, more than perhaps anyone I know. Even as a baby, you would scan the room for other kids and then yell out in a sweet 9-month-old-voice, “Hi! Hi!”

Riley, you love life and you love being alive. Everyday is wonderful in your eyes and that makes my days more wonderful too.

You also love God, with your whole heart. Before you could even articulate your faith you could say “Jesus” and it seemed that even then you understood who you were speaking of.

God seems real to you in a way that I find both inspiring and intimidating. Continue reading To My Daughter on Her 5th Birthday

Confessions of a Reluctant Homeschooler

I’m starting a new series called: Confessions. Clever, huh? No, not really, but the purpose is to confess so many of the things I personally struggle with, keep hidden, and daily battle. My hope is that you all will join me in my confessions (Tell me I’m not alone) not to call you out, but to remind one another that we are all in constant need of His grace and mercy.

I shared with you quite a few months ago that God was indeed prompting me to homeschool my daughter for kindergarten. I shared how scared this made me, not only because I question my own abilities, but also because I never wanted to be labeled as a “homeschooling mom.”

That’s right. I’m vain. I’m selfish. Mostly, I’m vain. I so desperately wanted to avoid all of the homeschool stereotypes: denim jumpers, long hair, mini-vans, scrapbooking, soccer practice.

But alas, I submitted to the Lord and it’s official…I am a homeschooling mom. So maybe you’re wondering, is it really as bad as I had suspected? Am I already feeling the need to bake cookies and cloth diaper my babies? Well, you might be surprised…. Continue reading Confessions of a Reluctant Homeschooler