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A Mom’s Back to School List for Loving Her Actual Life


I’m always a bit sad when my kids go back to school.

In the summer that is.

After winter break I am ready for a fresh start. It’s probably part the whole New Year’s resolution fresh start thing, part cabin fever being stuck inside with the frigid cold and lots of chattering children, and partly the mental game of knowing the school year really ends in June. Whatever the reasons,  I’m ready. Ready to tackle 2017 and for my girls to head back to school today.

In my attempt to love my actual 2017, I’ve been looking at the tools in front of me to make my life work better and to enhance what goodness is right in front of me. I’m packing my proverbial backpack if you will, with the things that will help me be a better mom for the remainder of the school year. Here are a few new things I’m adding to my backpack as I go into 2017:


A Website

gather-and-grow-promoThere are lots of websites for moms out there. We can find everything from how to make organic, gluten-free potato chips from scratch to how to decorate a nursery in a snowman theme. But what about the important stuff? The conversations that really matter? How do we tackle faith as a family? Where can we talk with moms who have three-year olds or tweenagers about specific faith related questions? We now have a spot with Gather & Grow. A trusted place for parents to find fun, practical, doable resources to cultivate honest conversations around God in our homes.


A Podcast

ods_Podcast_logo_Pink copyI’ve been doing this podcast thing for a few months over at The Open Door Sisterhood. A way for my friend Krista and I to feature some of the women that come across our paths. And it has been so FUN! That part hasn’t been surprising, I always expect fun when Krista is involved. What has been surprising is the response from listeners. Thousands of women are downloading and joining us in these conversations. Part inspirational, part practical, you can find us over at iTunes. And I hope you do.


An App


Thou Art Exalted makes great resources for tween and teen girls to engage in Scripture through art. And now they are offering the first FREE daily devotional app for teen and tween girls. The app features short, easy-to-read daily devotionals, prayers, journal questions, Scripture lock screens, art projects and more. The app is perfect for personal quiet times, small group discussions, family devotions, youth groups and homeschool studies. Download it to your phone or tablet (again for free) here.


A Book

LovingMyActualLife_150_03At risk of being too self-promotey here, my publisher, Baker Books, is offering 50% off the cover price on purchases of 10 or more copies of Loving My Actual Life through the end of the month. I mention this because 1) it’s the best price available right now and I always want my friends to save money and 2) many have mentioned starting the year with this book (again the whole New Year’s resolutions theme). I wrote this book with groups in mind. My hope is you will examine, and maybe even try, the experiment with those around you. So gather at least 9 friends and head over here to take advantage of the deal.


Here’s what’s in my back to school backpack. What are you putting in yours?








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