I’m not a failure (despite what my brain tells me)

This week has been overwhelming, exhausting, and otherwise wearying.

It’s my last week of classes this quarter, my days have been filled with trainings and meetings for work, I’ve been on antibiotics for an infection (that I’m pretty sure has morphed into something else??), and I figured out last night that while I’ve been out of pocket my kids have been subsisting on ice cream sandwiches.

So… I’m behind on schoolwork, overloaded on material related to the exploitation of minors, neglecting my own children and my house looks like this:

IMG_5797 IMG_5798

It’s really easy to look around and think, “I’m failing. At absolutely EVERYTHING that I’m trying to do.”

In fact, I got in bed last night thinking that very thing. All of these things in my life – seminary, working with Redeemed, homeschooling my kids – are all things that God called me to, but I find myself feeling inadequate; a failure.

We have been ransomed through his Son’s blood, and we have forgiveness for our failures based on his overflowing grace

Ephesians 1:7

I thought about this a lot today as I was returning emails, posting in forums, getting ready for a meeting, picking up around the house and cooking dinner. I realized that my value does not come from how well I am doing at any given moment in time at any given task. My value comes from God, and I am to give him my best. Sometimes my best is going to be messy and disorganized and crazy because I am human, but that’s OK.

He knows my heart, and I am striving for my best.

Time, stand still

It’s inevitable that our will kids get older, and that we as parents will be sad. It’s obvious, and cliché, and silly to want to turn back the clock to the days when my now 14-year-old daughter was a baby, and I could still hold her and hug her anytime I wanted. Doesn’t stop it from being true.

IMG_3189It’s been a hard year for her. She’s been in counseling all year, working mainly on her anxiety, depression and social skills due to her autism. She’d decided that for this year that she’d like go back to public school, despite having been homeschooled since the fifth grade, so even though I wasn’t really on board with the idea we went for it.

It went terribly. All of the progress she’d made getting her anxiety under control went right out the window and the depression we thought was now taken care of with medication came roaring back, complete with suicidal thoughts. The school wouldn’t work with us to provide accommodations and Morgan wasn’t capable of waiting for us to fight it out.

We went back to homeschooling but damage had been done and smoothing out the routine of homeschooling has been a long process. I don’t think we’re there yet, despite the fact that the school year is about over.

She’s changed so much this past year. She’s questioned everything, from authority to her faith to her gender identity. While Kent and I struggle to keep up with what new idea she’s going to latch on to next, we’re praying constantly that she will stay close to us so that we will at least be aware enough to respond correctly. I think about how hard it is for us, but then I remember how much harder it must be for her. In the end this is her life and her journey

She’s beautiful and smart, artistically and musically gifted and the people she allows to know her love her deeply. I’m so grateful to be her mother.

Happy birthday Morgan, my love.

Special days

Happy Easter to you!

I’ve spent mine with family, celebrated my mother in law’s birthday, watched the kids do three separate Easter egg hunts and played guitar in two church services. It’s been good.

I’d have to say my favorite part though was looking out from the stage this morning to see my 13 year old daughter in church, singing along in worship.

She declared herself agnostic last year and hasn’t come to church in a long time, but our deal was that she would come on holidays and other special occasions. This has been hard for me as I’ve started seminary, and essentially committed to a life of serving Christ as a vocation, which needs a family’s support.

While I’m not going to jump the gun and declare victory over her return to Christianity, this was an encouraging sign and made this day even more special.

Praying that everyone had a great day celebrating the resurrection 🙂


Some days

Sometimes all you need is a day at the beach to make everything feel right. 



Beautiful weather, nothing but the sound of the waves and my playlist, and my kids; these are the days that make life good. 

Mr. Smith goes to Austin

I took my kids on a field trip to Austin the other day to learn about government. We had a great time and they learned lots, and I got to take a few pictures 🙂

IMG_3509 IMG_3515   IMG_3516IMG_3513IMG_3529  IMG_3508IMG_3517IMG_3535Pretty cool place.