By Mercy Made Holy

I've had the song "Let It Be Said of Us" stuck in my head the past few days. Right away in the morning, as I set foot on my worn old hardwood floors, the chorus just pops into my head. Always with a quick tempo.

I'm not sure why.

I don't think I've actually heard the song in a few years, but the lyrics are imprinted on my brain somehow, especially these lines of the chorus:

"Let the Cross be our glory, 
And the Lord be our song, 
By mercy made holy, 
By the Spirit made strong..."

I like the idea of holiness. 

I like that aspect of Christianity. It has boundaries and fits into a black and white ledger. You can count it, organize it, make lists of the right behaviors and sacrifices. It says "do this" and "don't do that." It's rules and orderly and I like that.


Finding the Right Camp

Summer camp is a powerful experience for a child- one they’ll hopefully remember with fondness for years to come. You want to be sure that you choose the right Camp for your child and for your family, one that’s safe, healthy, and will have a powerful impact on the life of your kid.

Finding the right camp might seem daunting; we're blessed to have so many options available to us! With a few tips and some intentional planning, I believe that you can find the right fit for any child.


Summer Camp and Food Allergies

food allergies gluten-free dairy-free peanut-free summer camp suggestions campers

Camps deal with lots of changes- from the prevalence of social media to reliance on cell phones to kids whose summers are super busy. One major change in the past five years or so has been the increase of special dietary needs in campers.

How can you, as a parent, ensure that your child has a safe, healthy experience at camp?


Love, A Friend Still Waiting

Dear Friend,

Today, you posted a smiling picture of yourself- two actually, to compare your baby bump now with the way you looked twelve weeks ago.

I took a moment to look at that picture, to notice the sparkle in your eyes and hand on your growing belly, right over the little one being knit together inside of you. What a miracle.

And if I'm being completely honest, yes. I felt jealous. The kind of jealousy that makes me feel like I've been knocked in the stomach after playing Red Rover on the playground.


Blessings this Week: 04.17.2015

Have you ever had a moment when you just stopped, just stopped and looked around you and thought, "I'm not sure how all this happened. I never thought my life would look like this- it's all too wonderful. I'm so blessed- I don't deserve any of it." 

Yeah, it's been that kind of a week for me. 

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We had ever so much fun playing with these two sweet girls (two of our wonderful nieces)

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and with their baby brother (oh, and Uncle Jayden, too)

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Keeping the Peace: "The Binder"- How It Works

I introduced you to "The Binder" a while back, and explained a little of what it is and what I like about it... but let's get down to the details.

And if you're like, "I couldn't care less if The Binder were on fire," I say to you... NOT MY BINDER! and also, maybe you'd prefer to click around elsewhere -- like here, here, or here.

(One of those is a link to a banana suit. You're welcome.)

Aaaaanyway. If you're still here, let's take a quick glimpse into The Binder- and the pages I use most often.


The World Needs to See Us

"There's so much junk on the internet."

"I feel like the media is so anti-Christian these days."

"Nothing on TV is good anymore. Even the 'family shows' aren't really family friendly."

"Everything on the radio has terrible lyrics."

Most of us have heard sentiments like these. I know that I complain about it in my own home- just try to find a TV show that doesn't, at least offhandedly, normalize pre-marital sex. Almost impossible. (And if you know of one, share. I need more TV.)

The lack of media that represents my values? It's one of the reasons I blog.


Blessings this Week: 04.10.2015

First and foremost, of course, is the celebration of Easter on Sunday! 
We are so blessed. 

Our Jesus not only died to save us from our sins, but he didn't stay dead! 

He defeated death and rose again. Light overcomes the darkness! Hallelujah! 

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Rocking Chair

We're nearly three years into this grand lesson called marriage, and we've learned a lot- about ourselves, each other, marriage in general. All that knowledge is mostly good.

But one thing? One thing we've learned stands out... it's something I'd rather not have had to learn. We now know that getting pregnant- having kids- probably isn't going to be easy for us.

I could go on and on about my cycle length and my hormone panel results and basal temperatures and the doctors and the plans... but I won't. Not in this post, anyway.



I was having a conversation with my darling auntie the other day- we were talking about sewing, of all things. She was telling me about how she used to make clothes, but "who has time anymore?"

Who, indeed.

I think it's a common feeling. I mean, I know I feel that way. I get home from work, have supper, put the dishes in the dishwasher, finish up my evening cleaning routine, watch an episode of Andy Griffith on Netflix while reading blogs and looking at Pinterest, and next thing I know, it's 10:00 and I should really get ready for bed. How does that happen, anyway?


Blessings this Week: 04.03.2015

Decorating (one nail short). 

Trevor: "It's like it's jumping!"


A full weekend of high school campers


I was wrong about it being the final snow last week... but the inch we did get this week was melted before I had a chance to take a picture of it! Hopefully that was the last snow of the season!


An open lake



Wearing short sleeves!!


A motorcycle ride into town for lunch


Evening thunderstorms


 And of course (of course), the biggest blessing of them all, celebrated today.

That God humbled Himself and came to earth to be born, fully God and fully man. That He walked on this soil with us, spent years in our dusty, muddy mess full of hurt and sin and anger. And that finally, He suffered at the hands of those He came to save. He died for our sins, that we could be called children of God.

He became God With Us, so that we could be forever with God.

By His wounds we are healed.

What greater gift is there than this?

Have a blessed Good Friday, and a beautiful, victorious Easter!