Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life


The Importance of Finding Quiet in a Loud World

Living in such a loud world can knock our souls off kilter, but a few minutes with our Shepherd can get us back on track.

Do you ever notice what a loud place our world is? We hear so many voices: memos at work, emails, phone messages, calls, texts, and family needs. You listen to a disturbing news story while you cook dinner. Your child needs to take 24 cupcakes to school tomorrow. Your teen needs to talk, and he needs a ride. The guy on the freeway behind you is flashing his lights and honking.

It can make your head spin and knock your soul off kilter. Pretty soon you’re doing double back flips on the inside. You feel like you’re hopelessly behind and there’s not enough of you to go around anyway.

A few minutes with your Shepherd can get you back on track.

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If You Want to Grow More Beautiful Each Year

Grow More BeautifulWouldn’t it be wonderful if we could drink a magic potion to become more beautiful? What woman wouldn’t want an elixir for erasing blemishes, wrinkles, and extra weight? My 5 year old neighbor, who wears a princess crown, dreams of being beautiful. My mother-in-law, who visited the hair salon every week until she died at age 90, always cut an elegant figure. That longing to be attractive must be part of being a woman.

When I was a kid, the girls on our block would put on makeup and fancy dresses to play beauty pageant. I dreamed of being Miss America. My mother taught me that true beauty came from inner confidence. I believed her when she said a woman who felt beautiful WAS beautiful, at any age. I even said I’d never dye my hair because I didn’t like the message it gave: “To be beautiful, you have to look young.” Continue reading


Why Jesus is Good News for Tired Super Women

Jesus is good new for tired superwomen

When I had a baby and a toddler, it was hard to get away from home and take a break.  I’d barely manage to get myself dressed to leave the house. I’d dash out the door, meet a girlfriend for coffee, then race back home to rescue my husband. Before the car pulled into the driveway, Jose would come outside with the kids. He’d hand the baby over to me, and my toddler would wrap himself around my legs. I’d go inside to find toys all over the house.

Sometimes I wondered if it was worth it. It would take the kids an hour to get enough of mommy after I’d been gone. And it would take me an hour to pick up the house.

But the hardest thing about it? I felt guilty. Continue reading


Summer Reading for your Soul {Plus an Opportunity}


O, the joys of summer! This home schooling mom’s schedule loosens up. Summer means more time for reading. When I was a kid, I loved riding the bus downtown to the library. I’d devour an armload of books each week and go back for more. I don’t read as much today as I did in Middle School, but I still love it.

Do you have a summer reading list?

Here are 3 Christian books that helped me grow this past year:

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How Can Busy Women Really Rest?

melika leaf 2

If you have a toddler at home, you know that no matter how exhausted he is, he resists going to bed. The wearier he gets, the more he fights. I remember my son throwing himself on the floor to kick and scream, “I don’t NEED a nap! I’m NOT tired!”

When my kids did this, I rolled my eyes and tried not to laugh, but actually I’m not so different. I’ll stay up late, get up early, and multi-task until my brain goes haywire. I’ll work past the point of exhaustion to get one more thing done. Then I fill my weekends with projects.

You too?

It may sound strange, but this year, I’m trying to learn more about how to REST. Rest sounds like something anyone ought to be able to do, right? Not so much. I’ve realized recently that I may be sabotaging the Sabbath rest God meant for me. Follow this link over to Barbie Swihart’s blog, where I’m talking about Sabbath rest for busy women.

Barbie hosts a Saturday link-up called #TheWeekendBrew. I think you’ll enjoy her beautiful graphics and transparent words as much as I do.

Joining Jennifer Dukes Lee’s #TellHisStoryHolley Gerth’s Coffee For Your Heart, and Suzie Eller’s #LiveFree Community.



Celebrating 51: What I Wish I’d Known at 31

Today I’m celebrating my 51st birthday. While my sweet husband makes me a pancake breakfast, I’m giving myself a birthday present. Instead of writing a Five Minute Friday devotional post like usual, I’m going to spend some extra minutes getting into God’s Word so it can get into me.

Here’s a re-print of a post I wrote last  year in case you missed it. Please do leave a comment about your favorite life hack.

As I celebrate my 50th birthday today, I remember my 30’s when I was in the trenches with my babies and hanging on for dear life. I thought fifty meant I’d be living easy, and I was partly right. Some things have gotten easier now that the baby phase is over, but I had no idea back then about the fireworks that would result from the haywire hormones of teens and a fifty year old mom in the same house! (Luckily my sweet kids are gracious and kind to put up with their mother.)

Today I continue celebrating joyful, hopeful fifty with the list I started Monday.

30 things I wish I’d known in my 30’s:

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Preaching Good News to Ourselves

FMF Good News

When I was a girl, my parents watched the six o’clock news when they got home from work, and they went to bed after the ten o’clock news. Now we get our news round the clock from CNN, Fox, BBC, and Al Jazeera. We can get news updates 24-7 on our televisions, computers, and iphones.

Most of it isn’t good news: airplane crashes, hostage takings, war in the Middle East, and the latest virus. All that bad news can make us forget the Good News that never changes.

We easily overlook the Good News, the Best News ever, because it’s not new. It’s over 2,000 years old, and it hasn’t changed. We don’t get the Good News from CNN. We get it from God’s Word:

good news

What bad news are you dealing with in your life today?

Maybe things haven’t turned out like you expected. You didn’t get the new job you hoped for. Your house still hasn’t sold. Your toddler’s sick, or your teen is hurting. Someone you love has cancer.

Your good news is greater: “God so loved{your name}that He gave his one and only Son, that {your name} shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The Good News is that Jesus Christ died and rose again. He won the victory over sin and death.

We have to hold on to that Good News. We can get Good News updates daily by going to God’s Word. We need to share the good news with the people around us who are trapped into thinking bad news is all there is.

We have to preach the Good News to ourselves every morning:

My sins are paid for. I’m forgiven and free.

Because of Jesus’ death, I have abundant life now and eternal life forever.

I’m not alone. The Holy Spirit lives in me.

I have hope. No problem is too big for God.

I have joy because in God’s presence is fullness of joy. (Ps. 16:11)

My Savior has won the victory, and He is coming back.

I have Good News to share with others today.

Let’s celebrate the Gospel this Easter! Christ has risen! And that means Good News for you and me.

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday. Writers all around the world join in a flash mob of free writing. Five minutes. No editing. This week’s prompt is “Break.” Join us over at Kate’s place for fun and encouragement.

Also joining with Grace & Truth, and The Weekend Brew.

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Feel tired? Take a Break!


Even Jesus took a break once in a while. Or at least He encouraged His disciples to. In Mark 6, so many people were coming and going that the disciples didn’t even have a chance to eat. Does that sound familiar?

We women can get so busy with multi-tasking that we hardly take time to eat. We answer e-mails, go to meetings, and rush to get things done while we talk on the phone at work. Work-at-home moms answer email and finish projects while home schooling or cooking lunch. Then we run out to carpool our kids and do errands. Some days if feels like we hardly have time to take a potty break, let alone eat!

We all need to stop and take a break once in a while.

When I worked as a secretary years ago, coffee break was an institution. Everyone sat down at 10:30 a.m. and at 3:30 p.m. for 15 minutes to chat over coffee or a soft drink. Now that I’ve been a stay at home mom for years, I have no idea how many working people take regular coffee breaks.

 I do know this: I wish I had the discipline of taking regular breaks in my day!

Taking regular breaks adds balance to life. Taking a break gives us a chance to breathe, to clear our minds, and get a few minutes of physical and mental rest. We can take a break because we trust God will help us accomplish what we need to when it’s time to get back to work.

The next time you feel tired, how about taking a break?

  • Take a power nap.
  • Listen to music.
  • Drink a cup of tea.
  • Sit down to read your Bible or pray.
  • Put your feet up.
  • Grab 15 minutes with a good book.
  • Call a friend for a quick update.
  • Go outside and walk around the block.

You’ll feel better when it’s time to return to work. If Jesus took a break once in a while, I think we can too!

Now it’s your turn: Do you take regular breaks from work? What do you like to do?

I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday. Writers all around the world join in a flash mob of free writing. Five minutes. No editing. This week’s prompt is “Break.” Join us over at Kate’s place for fun and encouragement.

Also joining with Grace & Truth, and The Weekend Brew.

Did you enjoy this post? Subscribe to get fresh servings of Faith Spilling Over delivered to your inbox. Enter your e-mail address in the box at the top of this page.


Real Rest for Tired Superwomen

Real Rest

Do you ever wake up on Monday morning to start a new week even more tired than you were the Friday before? It happens to me all the time. My son must feel the same way because every Tuesday morning at breakfast he prays, “Oh God, thank you that it’s not Monday anymore!”

God planned for the Sabbath to be a day of rest, but I often fill my Sundays with housework, chores, and errands, so that I sabotage the Sabbath God intends for me. God ordained a healthy rhythm of work and rest, so that we could be refueled, but we refuse that rest in so many ways: we fill our days with back-to-back activities, we work at night from home, and we stay up late, all in an effort to get more done.

My word for 2015 is REST. I want to learn from Jesus how to take a real rest.

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How to Handle Haywire Emotions


My eyes brimmed with tears that threatened to overflow and spoil our family breakfast at a special waterfront restaurant. As ridiculous as it sounds, a family spat over what to order made me cry. Seated across from me, my husband and two kids looked worried.

As I took deep breaths and willed away the tears, I thought back over my week. Several conflicts had gone unresolved, and PMS had set me on a roller-coaster ride headed for disaster. Now my pent-up frustration spilled out as a flood of tears over a silly disagreement about whether to order an omelet or Turkish breakfast! Continue reading