Life & Faith Beyond the Storybook Image with Speaker & Writer Brenda L. Yoder
As you’re reading this, I’m somewhere in Virginia on a road trip with my youngest child. It’s hard to believe it’s the last one – last child, last road trip, last summer to make these memories.
The road trips began as a dream. When my firstborn was a little girl, we read the Little House on the Prairie chapter books together. I dreamed of taking her on a road trip to the locations in the stories, a mother-child excursion while she was young enough to like me. A trip of innocence before the unknowns of adolescence stole my child away.
So ten years ago, she and I set off to her destination of choice – Williamsburg and Jamestown, VA.
Though we fought the first three days, by the time we’d toured plantations and seen Monticello, we sang Weird Al Yankovic songs all the way home. It wasn’t the perfect trip, but we made memories.
Being a fair-minded first-born, Baby Girl thought it was only right her three brothers took a rights-of-passage trip with mom.Read More
Don’t date someone you wouldn’t consider marrying.
Don’t even go out with someone you wouldn’t consider marrying.
Even in junior high.
These are words I’ve told my kids ever since they were in elementary school. The words seem foolish when you’re ten or twelve, but first romances start at those ages. I had my first boyfriend at eleven. He was my first true love. We had secret dates at the school playground when my mom thought I was going on a bike ride. (Though I did ride my bike there, I also was meeting a boy.)
He was my first heartbreak in middle school when he went out with the girl he eventually married. I learned hard lessons about infatuation and dating between him and the man I eventually married. Lessons that almost cost me my character and virginity. Most of them all happened before I was fifteen.
Read the rest of the post here at Choose Not Ministries.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart.” Psalm 139:23
Do you ever wonder what God was thinking when He made you a mom when you don’t have it all together? You bring your hurts, insecurities, fears and past relationships into motherhood. You bring your coping skills.
God created us to be whole women so we can be nurturers in His kingdom. The key to balancing life is finding wholeness.
What does it mean to be whole?
Being whole means we don’t have gaping wounds in our mental and emotional make-up. It means we don’t look to our children, husband, or others to meet our needs. It’s facing our hurts and letting Jesus heal us and make us whole in His grace, love and presence.Read More
“What should I wear today?”
So many things factor into my decision — the weather, my mood, where I’m going or who I’m seeing today. I’ll wear certain clothes for a work out and different clothes for lunch with a friend and a totally different outfit if I’m going out to dinner with my hubby. And even the lunch with a friend outfit, the snappy caz look, totally varies with my mood. Am I feeling funky? Artsy? Classic? Frilly?
I’m such a writer nerd I even dress “in character” sometimes when I’m writing. I might wear cowboy boots and a denim jacket like my character, Claire, or a purple scarf since purple is Hannah’s favorite color. It helps me process how they might act, or what they might say.
But there is another decision I must make each day as well. Not about what I’ll physically wear, but about what I’ll wear spiritually. Will I put on old habits, and persistent worries? Will I slide on a little judgment or buckle on my ego? When I get dressed spiritually will I pull on fear or anxiety or shame? Or will I clothe myself in Christ?Read More
Last month I shared four principles as an eating disorder survivor that were instrumental in raising a daughter with a healthy self and body image. At fourteen, I was anorexic, then bulimic, and lived with an eating disorder until I was married and raising my daughter.
The birth of my daughter forced me to face the underlying issues of the eating disorder. I’ve spent the last twenty-five years dealing with the emotional and physical components of the illness. I chose to break the cycle. In addition to the tips from Part 1, here are three more principles I’ve lived by so I could be a healthy example of womanhood for my daughter.
I’m excited to share the humor of my friend, Kim Mishler. Kim posted this on her blog, Approaching the Vintage Years, around Father’s Day and I asked if I could share it with you. Kim’s the mom of three children from middle school to early twenties and is a blessing to those who know her! Here’s her post:
by Kim Mishler, Shipshewana, IN
Back home when someone did something crazy or absent minded, we never wanted to speak ill of them so we would just say “Bless her heart” or “Bless Joe” (insert the name of your own poor sap here). That was our way of recognizing the poor old sap who screwed up one more time without actually having to say something bad about them. Just those gentle southern ways! Well, I had one of those “Bless Kim” kind of moments!
At first these “Bless Kim” moments are disturbing to me. It only takes moments after I realize my errors that I begin to start plotting my future, such as what “facility” I will spend my final days in? And also, I wonder if I’ll be that lady pushing the grocery cart down the street with a bra over her clothes! I spend a considerable amount of time wondering about my mental capacities and the humor they bring, which typically results in a blog! A girl’s got to deal with this insanity somehow!
So here’s my most recent “Bless Kim” moment!Read More
I’m guest posting this week on motherhood with ministry partners at iwokeupyesterday and with Jenny Sulpizio, author of Confessions of A Wonderwoman Wannabe.
First I’m sharing “To Angry, Irritated, Frustrated Moms, You’re Not Alone!” at jennysulpizio.com. Here’s an excerpt:
“Bad mom” echoed in my head. What am I doing wrong?
I was angry and ashamed.Read More
There’s an epidemic in the United States that’s politically incorrect to talk about. On Father’s Day, I’m compelled to avoid writing another blog post about good dads. Don’t get me wrong – good dads are foundational to the family, society, faith and community. But one in three homes in the United States don’t have dads. Did you know that?
I have a tender spot in my heart for kids without dads. I work with these kids in public schools. A common phrase I hear from kids is “I don’t have a dad.” In reality, the child has a dad, but the child may have never met them, the father may be in jail, or just absent from the child’s life.
There’s something that happens inside a fatherless child on Father’s Day – the hole inside their heart that longs for their father grows bigger. The questions of why their dad doesn’t care enough to be in their life gets louder. The shame of not having a dad in their life grows deeper.Read More
Today my daughter’s driving to Washington DC because she’s leaving for Guatemala tomorrow. My son’s coming home from church camp today, so last night when we all prayed together, it wasn’t quite the same.
She’s flying out of the nation’s capital during a time when security alerts are at it’s highest. She’s traveling alone to a country where children are fleeing because of violence and sex trafficking.
Yes, I’m a little scared.
When she gets back, she’ll be starting her first job as a college graduate. She’s be moving to a new city in many hours away from home. Until I know she’s settled, can support herself and is safe and happy, I’ll be a little scared.
I spoke at a women’s luncheon in Ohio yesterday. When I got in the car to leave, there was a voice message from my doctor. The ultrasound results came back and they don’t like what they see. They want to do a biopsy on Monday.
Yes, I’m a little scared.
Really, I’m a mess.Read More
It’s early Wednesday morning and I honestly don’t know what day it is. I’m in the Indianapolis area speaking this week and have spoked to four groups in two days and this afternoon I’ll be speaking to another. I’m kind of exhausted.
But the greatest privilege I have is to share the power of Christ and the power of His word – did you know His word has power?
I taught at bible study method to a group of women this week called “The Love Affair That’s Not With My Husband” – I taught it last summer in my home (you can read about it here). It’s a simple way to study any type of scripture, finding God’s character and perspective that we can apply to our personal lives. It’s a simple format I’ve informally used that’s brought God’s word alive and made it personal to me.
Because God’s personal.Read More