Guest Posting at (in)Courage Today: Meeting God at the Post Office

The line in front of me was three deep, and only one man was working behind the counter.
Ugh. Why is it always like this at the post office? I glanced at my watch and wondered how long this would take.
It seems like I’m always in a hurry, and this day was no exception. My errand at the post office was an invitation to irritation because what I needed was so small — just a little additional postage for a square envelope that needed to be mailed that day. It should have taken only a few seconds, except for that line in front of me.
I heaved a sigh and took my place at the end of the line. Be patient, Shelly. Just slow down and be patient.
I glanced at the man behind the counter, chatting it up with his customer, a woman with a stroller. They seemed to be having a good time, laughing about this and that. Finally, she finished and the next woman stepped up to the counter. Same thing. Lively banter. Lots of smiles. Their cheerful conversation took maybe an extra minute or two.
Next up, the older gentleman in front of me. Now we’re getting somewhere, I thought. He probably won’t be much for small talk. . . .
Today I am honored to be guest posting at (in)Courage. Join me over there to read the rest of the story.

Things To Do With Kids in Chicago

You guys! I'm so excited because today I'm guest posting at my friend, Jo-Lynne's super-popular blog, "Musings of a Housewife"! And because I'm writing about one of my favorite topics--travel--and one of my favorite cities--Chicago. 


As an avid traveler, I’ve been to many beautiful cities all over the world. Zurich, London, New York—they all have a lot to offer and are among my favorites. But as a life-long Chicagoan, I’ll readily admit that I’m biased because, even though I’ve been to some of the world’s most amazing cities, I often tell people that the most beautiful city in the world is right here in my back yard.
If you’ve never been to Chicago, I hope you’ll start planning your trip after reading this post, because, truly, Chicago is such a great city. And despite what you may have heard or read, most parts of our city are safe and fun for the family.
So to help with your planning, I offer you our family’s Top Ten Things to do with Kids in Chicago.

Come join me over at Jo-Lynne's for the rest of my post, Things To Do With Kids in Chicago.

"Time to Let Go" at the Mothers of Daughters blog today

On the day my oldest daughter was born, I sat in the hospital room holding her close, and I said the most unexpected and strange words to my husband.
“I feel like my job from now on is to teach her to not need me.”
Not exactly the words you’d expect from a first-time mother holding her newborn.
In fact, you might expect the opposite reaction:
“This world is so dangerous; I need to protect her.”
“People are bound to hurt her; I must hold her close.”
“She might not feel loved; I must smother her with affection.”
I suppose that growing up with parents who encouraged my independence might have contributed to my own parenting instincts. I suppose that losing a sibling at a young age may have affected my parenting style as well.
But in that hospital room twenty-two years ago, I had a very deep sense that the Lord was speaking something important into my life. . . .


You all know I write at the Mothers of Daughters blog once a month, right? *wink wink* This month I'm writing about letting go. It's been on my mind just a little bit lately since my oldest will be graduating from college next week and moving out of the house this summer. I'll probably write more about that next week, but join me over there today to read the rest of this post.

And while you're at it, pass the Kleenex.

Guest Posting at The Scoop on Balance Today

I was set to be festive and fun, upbeat and funny . . . until the Saturday after Thanksgiving when I found myself sitting at my kitchen table sobbing my eyes out while my poor husband sat nearby, not knowing what to do with me.
It all started just a few days earlier as I sat at a coffee shop planning out our December.
Hostess gifts.
Gifts for the kids, husband, and other family members.
Parties, both to plan and to attend.
Papers to grade.
Suddenly I was overcome with the pressure of it all. When would I get it all done? HOW would I get it all done?
* * * * *
Hi there! My sweet friend, Sandy, is one of those people you immediately like. She's funny, just a little sarcastic, and smart. When she asked me to guest post at her place sometime in December, I was thrilled. Little did I know that, after a sleepless night thinking through everything I need to get done before Sunday, I would need to read my own words again today. Pop on over to The Scoop on Balance to read more.

Linking this post to Richella's Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. 


I'm Over at MODsquad today!

"One year ago I remember looking forward to 2010 and realizing that it was going to go FAST. We had already planned a couple of amazing trips for the year, plus our oldest daughter would be leaving for college in August, so we knew that with all we had going on our year would fly.

It did . . . ."

I'm posting at the MODsquad blog today. Read more about what God did with my crazy year and how I'm "paying it forward" over there.



Hi friends! I'm so happy to welcome Lisa Spence to my blog today. I think she's the first guest-poster I've ever had, and I am so happy that she's sharing this story today. Lisa is a wife, a mom to three boys, and a Southerner, so you know I'm jealous. You can visit Lisa at her blog, "Lisa Writes . . .".

On April 24, 2010 an EF3 tornado ripped through my town, leaving behind a swath of destruction and devastation eighteen miles long and ¾ mile wide. The Lord was merciful to us as there was no loss of life yet still, now, over two months later we find ourselves reeling from the shock and the sense of the surreal. Seeing the altered landscape still surprises and saddens me. Here? Us? Unbelievable. Of course, I have to think to myself, who really expects such a disaster to come to their community?

We still tell our stories, where we were, what we heard, how we reacted. Just last week my husband and I chatted with a friend whom we hadn’t seen in a long while. His home was hit and he described to us lying facedown on the linoleum, spread eagle, certain his end had come. It didn’t, obviously, and he is thankful.

One organization sold tee shirts to raise money for disaster relief. The design graphic features, appropriately enough, a tornado and the date, as well as the words “I will praise You in this storm.” Most of us know that to be the title of a popular song on Christian radio, yet it is also a statement of humble trust.

Think on it. Storms come. Maybe we find ourselves facedown on the linoleum as 140 mile an hour winds crash through our home. Or maybe we are on the receiving end of a telephone call bearing bad news. Maybe our teenager rebels. Our job gets cut. Our church splits. Storms, all, and, in some form or another, they come to us all.

Storms of life are inevitable. The Bible is clear that troubles, trials, sufferings and persecutions are part and parcel of the life of the believer. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. The storms will come. I was just reading the introduction to a new Bible study book in which the author declared that the truth of the gospel is not about hope that our circumstances will change. It is about hope that “God has done something on the cross that changes how we think about our circumstances!” I like that. Life is hard. Tornadoes hit. Things change. Yet…I can praise Him. Why? Because of the hope I have in Him.

God is sovereign. He sees, He knows, He plans, He holds all things together, He works all things together for our good and His glory. All things. Nothing surprises Him. He is sovereign and He is good. He demonstrates His goodness to us on the cross where Jesus died to purchase redemption and the forgiveness of sin through His blood, lavishing on us the riches of His grace! Indeed, what can separate us from that kind of love? Nothing! We who belong to Him can praise Him in the storm because He is sovereign and because He is good and because He has promised that nothing will separate us from His love.

Are you in the middle of a storm? Are you facedown on the linoleum, so to speak, fearing for your life and struggling to believe that God is anywhere near? Look to the cross, sister, friend. Look to Christ. See His grace and His mercy and believe in His promise to save. Your circumstance, no matter how devastating, does not separate you from the love He has for you in Christ. Remember the gospel. Remember Jesus’ promise to save sinners. Hope in Him and praise Him in the storm. He is good! He is sovereign! He saves!