Posted on 13. November 2011

Martha Stewart’s daughter and a lesson in PRIORITIES

Martha Stewart, your quintessential homemaker, picture perfect crafter, gourmet chef, amazing hostess, and gardener. 

We all have someone we look up to, and for so many women it is Martha Stewart.   When our days are stressful, dinner is burnt, and the centerpiece we tried to craft for thanksgiving looks more like a preschoolers art project, we close our eyes and think, “How does Martha do it?” 

According to her daughter, while Martha was pretending to be betty homemaker to the world, she ignored her own family. 

"If I didn't do something perfectly, I had to do it again," writes her daughter. "I grew up with a glue gun pointed at my head." source

1B1BE895 Photo credit

She goes on to say "There was never anything to eat at my house," and despite Martha’s seemingly love for the holidays, her daughter said she was quite “humbug” about them in reality. 

While Martha was pretending to be perfect, her own daughter suffered.  I’m not trying to dog on Martha, she was running a successful TV 'show and magazine, writing cookbooks and who knows all of her other million obligations, there is now way she could DO IT ALL. 

She was never designed to DO IT ALL.

This my friends, is point of Imperfect People.

So many are wearing the masks of  “I have it all together” when families are falling apart. 

When the stress of the world tells us to go here, do that ,and be the leader of this, we have to KNOW what it is we are designed to do and don’t apologize for saying no to something that doesn’t fit into the mission God has given us. 

How do you know your mission?

List out your top 5 priorities.  The things that take up the majority of your time, talent, and treasure.  If all else fades,  if money didn’t matter, cross out your obligations one by one until you are left with the TWO that are most important.

Go ahead write them down.

What are you left with?

Hopefully it is family and faith. 

Of course we cannot ignore those other three priorities but i hope that shed light on the things that TRULY matter. 

Another way to help decide your mission is discovering what are you passionate about.   What gets you up in the morning and gets you excited? What are your gifts talents? 

Once you know what is most important, develop a family mission statement.  Deciding what is most important as a family helps you to say NO to the good opportunities so you can say YES to the best opportunities.  Example here.

mission statement

Martha Stewart has talents no doubt, and I don’t think it is wrong that she had a successful career using those talents.  I just think she may have lost sight of what is MOST important. 

While loving the Lord with all our hearts is the MOST important, I believe family certainly comes way before career, hobbies, and fame and fortune. 

How do you keep focus on the most important priorities? Tags: perfect,imperfection,mission statement,family,faith
Posted on 19. September 2011

Picture Perfect Life

Perfectionism is a moving target.  It looks differently for everyone.  It even changes form considering your stage of life.   Our facebook status is usually about the wonderful day we had at the park being super mom, and the blogs I read are about making perfect meals with 6 kids running around and singing happily all the way. 


As i just got done taking care of my two year old who took off all her clothes and pooped in the bed AGAIN, I realize my life isn’t always a perfect picture. 

Thankfully I know what we “advertise to the world” isn’t always the real us.  We put on our best, talk about our best, and even try to ignore our own flaws. 

I don’t know about you but that is not my REAL LIFE. 

My husband and I sometimes have “discussions” AKA arguments, my desk is usually a mess, and I am not often sitting down doing crafts with my kids either. 

We need to understand that the “perfect picture” we often see online isn’t the whole story (or even the “real” story sometimes). What others choose to show the world is usually the best of their lives (or what they wish their lives looked like and the rest is kept behind closed doors.)

How great it is to hear the words, “I can relate, and i know how you feel.” 

What would happen if we were just HONEST with each other.  Not complaining, just honesty and support for one another.  It is such a relief when I know others don’t have everything figured out either! 

Some of the most powerful stories are people who have walked down a very dark and difficult road, yet God has redeemed it.  What a bummer it would be not to share the miracle God has done!

My encouragement today is to be you! 

The worst that can happen is someone will think they are better than you, and let them have that temporary joy as you know the TRUTH.  God doesn’t judge our outside appearance, he judges our heart.  But more often that not, people will be relived and thank you for your honestly.

When we realize that we’re all just trying to find our way through LIFE together, we can stop comparing and start encouraging.

Share your thoughts.  What do you think?


Don’t worry this is not poop...this is our latest lipstick incident. Tags: imperfection,grace


Posted on 16. August 2011

Happy Birthday to Ava and Bryan!

Today and tomorrow our family will be celebrating two of my favorite people’s birthday!!

Two years ago today Ava Elizabeth joined our family.  After an extremely easy and short delivery (don’t hate me if yours was not this way) our spunky little girl was born.  As a baby she didn’t sleep well and was as independent as a baby could be.  Now at two she sleeps like a champ, loves to cuddle, and thinks her sister is the greatest person on earth.

We are not sure where the blond hair came from, but in every other way she is the spitting image of her daddy.  Before she was born I didn’t know how I could love another child as much as I love Hannah, but it only took a second for me to realize love has no limits.


IMG_5854 IMG_5900

Tomorrow we celebrate my absolute FAVORITE man’s birthday! 

Bryan is kind...truly kind, hilarious, fun, and the best daddy ever.  He is genuine, trustworthy, and models Jesus to me everyday.  I am so lucky to have him by my side as we do life together!



Happy birthday to you both!

Winners of our last two giveaways are:

Sabrina and Shana on an Imperfect People T shirt


Samantha on the Family Mission Statement poster! 

Thanks to all those who entered to win!

Posted on 29. July 2011

How to argue with your spouse

My husband and I celebrated SEVEN years of marriage this past weekend (woo hoo!).  To celebrate we went to a Winshape “Courageous Hearts” retreat in Rome, GA.

Inspired by the quote, “the best thing you can give your kids is a good marriage” we took an intentional getaway designed not for couples in crisis, just couples that want the BEST marriage possible.  Our weekend was full of RELAXATION, no distractions (it is media free), time together, and time to learn how to be even better together.

Truett Cathy (yes the founder of Chick-fil-A) founded Winshape with the purpose of shaping “winners”  and shaping winning marriages is one of the things they do we had excellent customer service and lots of “my pleasure.”


The ropes course: 


I learned so much I will probably be writing about it forever but most importantly was a really cool lesson on “how to argue with your spouse” led by Todd Sandel (who did an awesome job!)  Here is what I learned:

Rarely are arguments about only the issue at hand.  More often a “fear button” has been pushed and we are reacting because of the fear button, not the issue.  Let me give you an example:

The wife is watching HGTV, she says, “oh honey look, I would love to do that to our kitchen!”  He hears “I am not a good enough provider and you would like to do that to our kitchen tomorrow.” 

His fear button of, “I”m not good enough” was pushed.  He reacts by saying, “Don’t you remember the budget talk?  Why would you bring that up now when we just paid for dance lessons?” 

She reacts by using “you always” or “we never”  because now her button of “I’m not being heard or my opinion isn’t valued” is pushed. 

And so the cycle continues. 

The issue is no longer about the plans for the kitchen but a husband who doesn’t feel valued and a wife who doesn’t feel heard. 

After a little practice you can quickly identify when you get in the cycle and deal with the “buttons” instead of just arguing in circles. 

If the buttons are identified early, the argument would end before it had a chance to start.  Imagine a tennis match:

Serve: That kitchen on HGTV is Beautiful!
Return: Don’t you remember the budget talk?
AH HA! Your button was pushed.  Argument ender: I’m sorry I didn’t intend that we remodel anytime soon if ever.  It’s just a show I enjoy. Thank you for providing us with a home when so many have so little. (ok maybe that’s a little over the top...but I guarantee that would end the argument!) 

Repair & Reconnect

My fear button of _________ got pushed

I reacted by __________

How ever the truth about my value is  __________

What I really long for is ____________

Marriage is the foundation of the family.  If you are married...I hope this will help you argue less, and voice your differences with love. 


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LiveJournal Tags: Marriage,Christian
Posted on 16. March 2011

Choosing to cheat


I told my husband the other day I could stay up all night long and still have way too much on my to do list, to which he responded, “shorten your to-do list”

Profound!  Simple, maybe even obvious but I thought it was brilliant...he’s a smart guy.  I think all of us have expectations we place on ourselves that don’t REALLY have to be done. 

Andy Stanley wrote a book called “choosing to cheat” The premise states that we cannot possibly do everything so we must cheat in one or more areas of our life.  There are simply not enough hours in a day or days in a year to do and be everything we want.  We are then faced with the choice to decide what is most important.

Although we don’t see it this way it is even a little egotistical to think we are soooo important that we must get so much done.  If the world will keep spinning and no one will be physically harmed if we don’t complete the task then is it really THAT important? 

Cheating suggestions:

Housework:  Everyone has different “must does'” for a clean home.  I think it is essential to take a moment to define what a clean home is to you.  What is most important and what areas can you cheat? 

The Internet:  Rescue time is a free internet service designed to keep you accountable for how much time you spend on the net.  On average it rescues people from almost 4 hours of time a week! 

Television: Along with the internet these are the two biggest time suckers for most families.  Be intentional with your television.  Ask is this show WORTH my time?  Give yourself a number you are comfortable with for hours spent per week in front of the tube. 

Extra activities:  If your kids are in soccer, dance, karate, football, and piano all at the same time you might want to take a step back and ask what is most important and what is not.  Or maybe you are the president of the PTA, the bible study leader, the volunteer and the helper for EVERYTHING in your city.  Just incase you need permission...It’s okay to say no. 
(ouch I am so guilty of this)

Work more effectively:  No matter where you work: in an office or at home there are ways to work more efficiently.  4 hour work week  is a book dedicated to helping your work more effectively.

Barter anyone?:  You can’t do it all but together we can.  Babysitting is a great way to trade services.  You watch my kids and I’ll watch yours.  I have a friend that does all my monogramming and I make her little girls hair bows.  PERFECT!! 

What is a skill or service you can offer?  Trading is much more fun that spending money and is a helpful way to get what you need by “cheating” 

Share your thoughts: In what ways do you “cheat?”


Posted on 7. February 2011

17 Cheap (and romantic) date night ideas

First things first if you have kids babysitters are expensive.  Talk to a group of friends about setting up a babysitting co-op.  Where you trade out “tokens” for babysitting instead of cash. 

Now that the kiddos are settled in here are a few cheap and romantic ideas:

  1. Walk down memory lane:  Reminisce on how you first met, your dating life, wedding, and early marriage.  Get those butterflies back in action! 
  2. Stare at the stars INSIDE:  Go to the Planetarium, learn about our universe and cuddle with your sweetie. 
  3. Enjoy the weather together.  Depending on the time of year ice skating, picnics, or going for a swim are all fun date nights.  
  4. Dress Rehearsal: Got a play in your local theater you would love to see but don’t want to pay for tickets?  Call around to see if you can attend the dress rehearsal.  They are often a fraction of the price and sometimes FREE!
  5. Cuddle up with a book:  The book store is our personal favorite cheap date.  I grab a book about gardening or kids and he grabs a magazine or book on sports and we sit together sipping coffee and playing footsie.   
  6. Dinner Coupons: has specials and be sure to check your local paper or weekly circular for local coupons. 
  7. Just dessert:  You can have dinner at home, put the kids to bed, then go out for dessert and coffee.  Babysitters usually don’t expect as much if the kids are sleeping the whole time.  I have friends that trade out with a neighbor and do this once a week!
  8. Play 40 questions:  Print out this Conversation starters booklet and get to know each other better.
  9. Take a Tour:  You would be surprised at all the places that would be glad to give you a tour of their business if you just ask.  Candy shops, distribution centers, factories,  whatever interest you and is close to where you live.
  10. Flea Markets browsing:  There's something for everyone at a flea market and plenty of things you never knew existed — you might even discover he has a hobby or weird collection you didn't know often times there is cotton candy. 
  11. Art museum:  Even if you don’t live near the Guggenheim almost every city offers art on display at a local city building or college.  Just for fun dress up and talk with your best English accent as you study the art.
  12. Botanical Gardens:  Almost every town has an amazing world of horticulture just waiting to be explored.  Call in advance and they will gladly give you a tour.  
  13. Share what you love: Spend time teaching each other about your favorite hobby or skill.  Playing an instrument, gardening, crafting, photography etc.  You may be surprised how much you enjoy their hobby. 
  14. Be a tourist in your own home town.  We went on charted tour (very inexpensive) of a neighboring city and learned more than we ever learned living nearby for years!  Contact your local visitors bureau for events and tour information.
  15. Open mic/karaoke night: Check out the nearest karaoke or open mic night.  Even if you don’t participate you will enjoy free talent or lack there of (which is sometimes even better). 
  16. Local College/University events: If you live near a college log on to the school's website and check out the schedule of events.  Schools will open large events, from lectures & panels, to movie screenings and plays.  Usually free to the public.
  17. Go back home: If you took the kids to a friends house, go back home.  Light a few candles…need I say more?

 What is your favorite cheap date night? 


Posted on 30. January 2011

Love Language Assessment Test

Valentines day is just around the corner.  Do you know your love language?

love Picture Credit

In case you have no idea what I’m talking about Gary Chapman wrote a book called the 5 love languages which he says we all give and receive love in the following ways:

  1. Acts of Service: Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes.
  2. Words of Affirmation: Unsolicited compliments mean the world to you.
  3. Physical Touch: Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show love.
  4. Quality Time: Nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention
  5. Receiving Gifts:  Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift.

It really makes a difference understanding how people in your life give and receive love. For a short glimpse of your language take this test! 

For a more in-depth (and probably more accurate) test you can go to Gary Chapman’s website  They have the same test for children, singles, and teenagers here too.

Share your findings.  What is your love language? Tags: love,marriage,christian