Sleep More, Worry Less

We are just going to pretend like it hasn’t been six weeks since I last blogged. M’kay?

Also, the whole daylight-savings-fall-back-get-an-extra-hour thing? It’s a lie, y’all. There is nothing extra to be found in children who wake up earlier than they should. All you get is a child who is tired but doesn’t know it and refuses to do anything about it. Instead of sleeping, she gets in this position and cries big, pitiful tears…for hours.


I have been studying for several weeks now on the topic of worry and anxiety. I will be speaking to a group of ladies on this very topic and, well, I’m a bit anxious about it. (The irony is not lost on me.) I take speaking engagements very seriously. I consider it an honor and a privilege to stand before others and open Scripture. I feel a great responsibility to do it well.

As I have been reading, two very familiar passages came to mind. The first is in Acts 12 when Peter is imprisoned awaiting execution.

Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. – Acts 12:6

Peter is bound with chains. There are soldiers on both sides. There are people guarding the doors. Herod has killed James and has plans to kill Peter. And Peter, well, he’s sleeping.

I lose sleep over bills, writing deadlines, silly arguments and whether or not I have served too much chicken this week. Peter’s life is on the line and he is sound asleep. Here’s the thing. It would not have done any good for Peter to stay awake and worry! Psalm 127:2-3 tells us that is it useless for us to stay up light or get up early due to worry. God gives His beloved sleep. We can sleep knowing that we are watched over by the God who never sleeps (Psalm 121:4.)

The other passage that came to mind was Jesus calming the storm in Matthew 8.

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves….

And they went and woke Him saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” – Matthew 8:24-25

It’s easy to jump straight to the “ye of little faith” part and judge these men. Let’s not do that. They were in a tiny fishing boat, friends. There was a “great storm” and their boat is taking on water quickly. So, yes, they were feeling a little anxious.

They did not, however, sit there wringing their hands and worrying. They did not take a moment to contemplate all of the worst case scenarios. What did they do? They went to the One who could actually do something about the problem at hand. What a concept!

Sweet friends, worry never works anything out. You have never had a problem that, when all was said and done, you thought to yourself, “I am so glad that I spent those nights worrying about that.”

What are you worrying about right now?

That situation could end up two ways:

  1. You can worry and lose sleep and stop eating and it could end up being nothing as bad as what you are imagining.
  2. You can worry and lose sleep and stop eating and it could end up being exactly as bad as what you are imagining.

Either way, your worry did nothing to change the situation. Do you want to know what could change the situation? Go to Christ with it. Cry out for Him to show up and do what only He can do.

Then, go to sleep. <3

Is There a Plumber in the House?

washingdishesThere is currently a plumber under my kitchen sink. Judging by the pounding and heavy breathing, I can only imagine that it will cost a pretty penny. Now, just to clear things up, this is a different plumber than the one who was under that same sink just a few short weeks ago. That plumber, my friends, may or may not have been the one to see me do the ugly cry and then call me later to make sure “we were cool.” What I’m telling you is that I am having some plumbing issues.

No one has to tell me that things could be worse. I do not need to hear about all of the people who are struggling with much bigger things. I know that, in the grand scheme of things, this is simply an annoyance. The truth is that the little annoyances of life can be the final straw when you are the one washing your dishes in a bucket. Can I get an amen?

It’s there, in the little anxieties of life, that we can find Satan hard at work. It isn’t the huge issues that take us out. We can rally for the big things. We will trust God for miracles. But those little things – they can be like death by a thousand cuts. They can become a distraction which the enemy will use to his advantage.


Take a moment and read Luke 21. It’s okay. I’ll wait.


In this passage, Jesus is teaching about some hard things to come:

The destruction of the temple






Heaven will pass away

Earth will pass away.

Those are some big things. Yet, we are instructed to not worry about those big things. In hebrews 2 1verse 14, Jesus tells us to settle it in our minds beforehand not to worry about what we will say when we are imprisoned.

Our instruction, sweet sisters, is to watch that our hearts are not weighed down by the cares/worries/anxieties of this life.

But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. – Luke 21:34

It is at this point that I wish I were sitting face to face with each of you. I wish you could see how I am about to jump out of my skin because I know that you know what I’m talking about.

Jesus warns us that the day of His return will come upon us suddenly.


Because we were not living in anticipation of His return.


Because we were distracted.

By what?

The worries of this life.


Can you see how the enemy works? He knows that we are going to take those big things straight to our God to handle. He knows that, when tragedy strikes, we will fall on our faces before our God.

But when the car breaks down or the toilet overflows or the kids lose the library books or there is an unexpected bill or, someone work with me, the kitchen sink will not drain and you find yourself washing your dishes in a bucket that you are pretty certain was last used to soak someone’s feet?

At that point, how easily are we distracted from the work of Christ?

The next time you feel overwhelmed and heavy hearted over the day to day worries of this life, be reminded that these annoyances are Satan’s pathetic attempt to distract you.

Do not let it work. Let’s stay alert. Let’s spend our days anticipating Christ’s return so that, when He comes, we are not caught by surprise and can say, “Yes, Lord, I was expecting you.”

You all are loved.

The Call of Community

I used to be very intimidated by other moms. I would feel great shame when I would show up at a play date and see that other moms had packed coolers filled with healthy snacks and cold bottles of water. Meanwhile, I would have a ziploc bag filled with random whatevers from the pantry and a desperate hope for a fairly sanitary water fountain.

These days, I don’t worry about it as much – partly, because I pack somewhat better snacks but, mainly, because I have friends who know me well enough to pack extra snacks and drinks for my kids. That is what moms need to do. We need to fill in the gaps for each other. booth

We all have strengths. For instance, if you get in a bind and need someone to watch your kid, I’m your girl. Seriously, when you have five kids, another bowl of macaroni at lunchtime ain’t no thang. Some of you are fabulous at planning birthday parties. I see the things y’all pull off and am so grateful that my kids are not on Facebook to see it.

Motherhood is a community. It is our duty to rise up and help one another. This is a difficult age to raise babies. We need to worry about things that our mothers never did. For instance, were you aware that there is an app designed to hide photos and videos? The sole purpose of it is to deceive! I had no clue until another mother mentioned it to me. We need to have each other’s backs, y’all. The infighting and insecurities need to stop. There is too much at stake.

In Acts 6, the church was growing quickly and some things began to slip through the cracks. Due to a large number of people and a language barrier, the Greek-speaking Jews were upset that their widows were being neglected. They wanted the apostles to fix the problem.

The solution the apostles came up with was for people within that community to rise up and take on that responsibility. That is the beauty of community. We know the needs of our people and we know how to help.

churchbuildingYou and I are a community. We know the signs of a mama who is on the edge because we have been there. We recognize the desperation in her eyes because we have seen it in the mirror.

Listen, sweet friends. Motherhood is glorious. I would not trade this time with my babies for anything. This is not a woe-is-us message – not by a long shot. We are a blessed bunch of women. My point is that, sometimes, we stink at community.

Oh, we are great at moms nights out and small talk in the halls at school and church. We sip our coffee and smile as we sit on the bleachers at our children’s sporting events. Yet, when it comes to true community, we are missing the boat big time.

It is wrong that so many women would slip emails into my box saying, “I am all alone.” A complete stranger sent me a message asking if we could be prayer buddies because she did not have anyone. That should break our hearts because I believe it breaks God’s heart.

We are called to live in community. Let’s rise up and meet the needs of our sisters.


Also, if you are not able to physically join a group of ladies to study God’s Word. You are more than welcome to virtually join me. ;) I am currently reading through the book of Acts with a couple friends. You are welcome to join us. Just join our Facebook group and jump right in. We just read a chapter each day and share our thoughts. I would love to have anyone join who needs a little daily affirmation or accountability. There is no need to play catch up. Seriously, just jump right in with us. <3

5 Friends Every Woman Needs (and Needs to be)

We live in this weird time where everything is online to be seen, misinterpreted, exaggerated and envied. If someone posts a picture of their latest culinary creation, girls night out or time alone at the coffee shop, our first thought is to compare her life to our own.

Even a person’s friendships are out there for our scrutiny. We analyze how many girlfriends someone has, how often they get together and whether they do or do not include their children. The fact is that there is not a magic number of friends a woman needs. There is not a perfect nights-out-to-nights-at-home ratio.


There are, however, some key characteristics needed in friendship. These can be found in multiple people or just a couple. If you find all of them in one woman, hold on to her like grim death.

  • The Grace Giver There is no way around it. We are going to mess up in big, embarrassing ways. We are going to speak out of turn. We are going to stand someone up. We are going to hurt someone’s feelings. Every woman needs a friend that is generous with the grace. No one should have to grovel, beg or plead for friendship. There has to be a woman who, when she looks you in the eye, has nothing but love.
  • The Truth Teller This is the friend that you do not always appreciate at the time, but it is so needed. Every woman needs a friend that will tell her when her attitude is out of whack or her priorities are out of line. It isn’t always pretty, but it’s precious. Flattery may feel good, but a truth-teller can be trusted. This is the woman who will tell you when your hair is too big, your jeans are too tight or your contribution to Wednesday night supper was less than stellar.
  • The Couch Counselor Lots of people will open their hearts to you. They will listen intently and pray faithfully. It is a special person, however, that opens her home to you. When a woman is willing to move the laundry and make some coffee, real relationships are formed. Honesty abounds with Dora the Explorer in the background.
  • The Burden Bearer Just the other day, I was struck by a verse in Philippians. When writing to “the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi,” Paul’s desire was that they would be striving side by side and not frightened in anything (Philippians 1:27-28.) If there was some striving and some opportunities to be frightened, it is safe to say that there were some trials and painful experiences going on in their lives. Even your closest of friends can not always fix your problems. You need a friend, however, that will walk side by side with you through your trial. You need that woman who will bake you a casserole, babysit your kids or just be there to listen.
  • The Secret Sharer Oh, this is a good one, y’all. There must be a woman in your life who is a safe place for your secrets. This is the woman who knows that your cakes are from a box, you hid in the bathroom during your junior prom and you love you some reality television on Tuesday nights. There is no judgement in this relationship. When Gilmore Girls did you wrong, she just showed up with chocolate. She knows what you like on your pizza and never blinks twice when you go back for thirds at the local buffet.

Friendship is such a tricky thing. I think back to my mom sitting on the front porch snapping fresh green beans with the neighbor and wonder when it all got so complicated. When did friendship become a competition? Who cares if someone else is having dinner and drinking wine with her girlfriends while your crew are all holding juice boxes watching the kids run around the playground?

Again, I say, “Who cares?” Friendship doesn’t always look like it did on Friends, but that doesn’t make it any less of a friendship.

If it works for you, I say, “Pass the coffee and carry on.”

The Truth About Guacamole and Girlfriends

I think it is worse when you never see it coming. You awaken to a beautiful morning with the sun streaming through the windows. {Yes, I sleep until 7:00 a.m. most days. Whatever.} You jump out of bed with visions of coffee on the deck and a leisurely start to the day. Then, you hear the cough.

This is not the my-saliva-went-down-the-wrong-way kind of cough. Nor is it the I-want-your-attention kind. No, this is the cough – the one that you will literally hear in your sleep for the next ten days. It is the dry, hacking, cancel any plans you may have had kind of cough. It mocks you and any medicine you throw its way. The cough makes everything seem more stressful. You lose your mind when a child spills her milk at breakfast even though you have been cleaning up spilled milk since ’02.

When you hear that cough – give it up, girlfriend – you are in for the long haul.


Late yesterday afternoon, two of my children began showing signs of the cough. My three-year-old {who has not napped since the great bedtime battle of 2013} asked to lay on my bed and “rest her eyes.” Danger, Will Robinson! Then the one-year-old, who normally naps like a boss, decided sleeping was so not her thing. By 5:00 it became clear that the cough had, indeed, invaded our home.

Here is the thing, sweet friends. I had a girls night out planned – the kind which requires no high chairs and no one orders macaroni and cheese. Home is where the heart is, but guacamole is good for the soul. What I am saying is that I left my clingy, hacking children in my husband’s very capable hands and left.

Y’all, let me tell you something. There is very little in this life that can not be drastically improved by guacamole and girlfriends. I did not say “fixed,” mind you – but made better. Sometimes, we just need a reason to put on some earrings, to eat a plate of food without sharing and to laugh at ourselves.

We did not solve the world’s problems. We did not discuss anything that is currently trending on Twitter or Facebook. We laughed. We breathed. We sat, uninterrupted except for the lovely waiter who refilled our glasses, and just enjoyed a meal. It was lovely.

Then, I drove home in a guacamole haze not realizing that I failed to turn my headlines on until I was three red lights down the road. I drifted off to sleep knowing that I would, once again, awaken to the sound of the cough.

I laugh at the cough. This ain’t my first rodeo.

Happy Wednesday.

<3 Stacy