the best thing my mom gave me

she taught me how to love people.

in my elementary years, i watched up close because i had no choice.

i had to go with her to church and got to see her teach and lead and serve.

i had to be in the car when she picked up some girls and their yard smelled of pigs because that was their family livelihood. and they needed a ride.

i had to sit around the table and listen to the missionaries who were living dangerously in hard places around the world.

i had to practice my piano at the nursing home because mom said the residents needed a song.

i had to say hello when i was spoken to because people matter.

in my childhood years, i was just always with her and she was always doing this. it’s who she was.

i thought it was because she was a pastor’s wife, but i met other pastor’s wives and they weren’t like mom.

i thought it was because she was trying to earn cool points in my small town. that wasn’t it. you had to be born and raised there to get those points. and she wasn’t.

Scan 16

in my middle school and high school years, she didn’t change. i changed. i didn’t need rides anymore. i was more involved at school and my church activities weren’t always her church activities. those rare moments when i was paying attention, she was still loving people.

in my college years and young twenties, i thought back to the simple life my mom lived while me and my sisters were home. i thought it was too small. i didn’t see it as far-reaching. i knew she wasn’t afraid to go over and care for those who lived on the other side of the tracks. i knew she was a powerful prayer warrior for people all over the world. i knew she had traveled globally and was involved in an international organization that was sending Christians out all over the world to teach the Gospel. but i still thought it simple. i still thought it containable.

then i got a job.

then i found myself needing love.

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how to pack much into 3 goals for 2016

i’m a word girl. it’s how i think. i use words. my biggest cheerleader would say i use lots of them to say a few things! i’m okay with that.

so it was very typical of me to start off on a fresh journal page with lots of words. in a list. running straight down the page. you too?

then i tried to categorize them.

books to read.

people to learn from and invest in.

writing dreams.

health goals.

new things to try.

spiritual disciplines.

i gave myself a disgusted look. {that’s me with a wrinkled up nose.} i’ve been to this very place a bunch of times. i got up from the bed and stretched. then i looked back at my list and a gush of wise words i had read recently came upon me.

life is way too precious to spend it pretending like we’re super cool and totally in control when we could be laughing, singing, and dancing. – brene brown

i drew a big bubble cloud shaped thingy in the bottom right corner of the journal page.

i wrote 3 goals. and i’m going to pack much into these 3 goals this year.

and if i get these 3 right, i really believe i’ll be the most alive and live the most fulfilled year thus far. maybe me sharing my 3 simple packed goals will help you as well.

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the land of in between (3 of 3)



if only!


as if!


yeah, we all can dream!
not in this house!

this is why we take photos of our food and instagram them to our followers. because we ourselves are marveled at how quickly and perfectly the food is presented while we wait.

i would never expect any of my lovely family members to take photos of what i cook. come to think of it, i wonder if they even marvel at how quickly and perfectly the food is presented while they play and study and work?{ i’m blessed for they are really kind when they come to the table.}

while food presentation is not my forte, ben and i are striving to make meal time a happy time. a good time. an intentional time.

here’s what’s working at the pilgreen house…

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