• inner world,  jesus,  mom blogs,  MOPS,  spirituality

    Getting on God’s “Nice List”

    We try to do Christmas “right” – bake cookies for exchanges, host amazing parties, pick out (and ship on time) gifts to loved ones, sing carols with heartfelt adoration of baby Jesus. We may do all of these things because they are on our mental list of what a proper Christmas is supposed to be. God is never impressed by our lists of what we think is right…. To continue reading this post, check it out at FullFill’s site. They have an awesome line-up of webinars this winter and send out free weekly email’s like mine to subscribers. I get no compensation for plugging this btw- other than your lovely comments,…

  • awkward stories,  friendship,  inner world,  jesus,  marriage,  mom blogs,  parenting,  prayer

    Blog roundup

    I’ve been loving some of the posts I’ve been reading lately from brave and thoughtful folks- check out some of their goodness that involves gaping wounds, hot wives, and scandalous women. The one that made me thankful for men who love on their wives publicly: From Adam Jeske: Don’t Stop Bragging about Your Smokin Hot Wife….but please don’t stop there. The one that made me think about stupid things I’ve done and the stupid things I will do: From my girl Grace Biskie: That Little Warrior Girl The one that made me think about scripture in a new way: From Jenny Rae Armstrong: Scandalous, Loving, Woman The one that made me nod my head…

  • friendship,  inner world,  jesus,  kids,  mom blogs,  MOPS,  parenting,  spirituality,  Uncategorized,  working moms

    MOMcon 2013- Amazing happens here

    This past month I flew to Kansas City to attend MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) MOMcon. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, or at least picturing….something like this…. Frumpy Mom- who has gone un-showered, forgotten that she is a woman and is still wearing her clothes from high school because, well, her kids wipe their ranch dressing covered fingers on her sleeves and there is spit up on her shoulders from carrying the baby around. Why buy new clothes when that Alanis Morrisette t-shirt from 1997 still fits? or you picture this….. Perfectly coiffed moms who look like they bounced back postpartum like 2 hours after giving birth… like the ones from…

  • inner world,  jesus,  social media,  spirituality,  Uncategorized

    cigarettes and carrot sticks- my facebook fast

    I decided to go on a facebook vacation recently.  And then I felt this huge void in my soul. Well, that might be a little dramatic but I definitely felt like a smoker who reaches for a cigarette only to remember that tough decision to quit.  Those addictive little puffs of affirmation, feedback and likes feel like they’ve begun to turn my insides into black goo and distract me from pursuing what I really want from life. So on my facebook vacation I decided like a smoker that it isn’t enough just to get rid of what I keep coming back to- I need some carrot sticks to replace my…

  • inner world,  jesus,  spirituality,  Uncategorized

    Tell me about your friend

    “You talk differently about God now.” Curious, I asked him what he meant- “you used to talk about Jesus, now you just say “the LORD” like you have to use his professional name now that you’re a campus minister.  My husband Dave made this comment about six months into my ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. We laughed about it but it also made me wonder what had changed.  I had been learning all kinds of cool things about the Bible, theology, relationships and prayer but I realized that it made me think about God in a professional way rather than as a friend.  God had become knowledge to attain rather…

  • inner world,  jesus,  marriage,  mom blogs,  parenting,  prayer,  spirituality

    Marriage is Just Too Loud for Me

    I could hear him throwing up in the bathroom though I was at the end of the hallway, at least 30 feet from the disgusting retching sounds.  Dave had food poisoning from a late night Denny’s run with some friends at a weekend retreat. We were there with his parents  a few months before he proposed to me in 2001 so I could experience one of his family traditions.  I stood with his mom in the musty church basement, a worried look crossing her face as she listed to her heaving son. Mom Fick, seeing my grossed out face which she must have interpreted as worry as well commented “Ohhhhh.…

  • art,  inner world,  jesus

    Technicolor Jesus

    “I just want to hear God. To know how he’s speaking to me” she said tearfully, looking at the ground her shoulders slumped in defeat and frustration….. Check out the rest of my guest post at Gabbing with Grace….I’m psyched to be posting there today!

  • baking,  inner world,  jesus,  working moms,  writing

    DDIY

    Don’t Do It Yourself. This is my motto for December. Amongst the amazing Pinterest ideas floating around about making your own DIY decorative Christmas trees out of recycled materials, cookie baking, and connecting with people whether through our work of year end fund development or holiday get-togethers and the the pressure of working on my book I just. can’t. do. it. this year.  After a helpful conversation with our respective supervisors about the tricky dynamics and scheduling of both serving on staff with InterVarsity Christian fellowship I realized I was still stressed about the stuff I felt like I should be doing this Christmas. Our plans changed for the holiday…

  • inner world,  jesus,  justice

    The Lenten Slacker

    I’ll fess up- I have been a complete slacker this Lent. I had great ambitions to fully engage in World Vision’s Relentless Act:s of sacrifice campaign. And I did for the first two out of six weeks. Then life got kind of hectic- between a trip down south to visit friends and donors in Louisville, KY, Atlanta, GA and then back up to Cleveland, coming home to head to Morgantown WV and then preaching at church Sunday morning…..well, I’m sure you have your list too. Lent is supposed to be a time to sacrifice something in life to help you refocus attention on God. Rather than thinking about the next cup of…

  • inner world,  jesus,  spirituality

    the s-word

    Submission. or, the s-word as some Christian women call it- can raise feelings of anger, injustice, pain and resentment. For me, submission recently brought the word ‘gratitude’ to mind. As some of you may have seen from the picture I posted on Facebook, I inadvertently dyed my hair royal blue five days before Christmas.   As I was watching blue foam drip off of my head as I shampooed out what I thought was toner that would give me a more platinum blonde do’, I peeked out from behind the shower curtain to look in the mirror and saw myself in unexpected smurfette glory. I posted the picture online for…

  • food,  inner world,  jesus,  spirituality,  Uncategorized

    wife points

    “you don’t get wife points for calling your husband a butt” our babysitter Nita guffawed after my derogitory derriere related remark directed at Dave while frantically racing around the kitchen trying to load the dishwasher with cereal bowls, put away the milk and get out the door to get some work done. A few weeks before that I had been at Nita’s dorm room to pick up the kids after she and her roommate Rachel had kindly watched them so Dave and I could see a play (the perks of working with college students!).  Rachel, Nita and I have ongoing conversations about gender roles in society, the church and marriage-…

  • cooking,  food,  inner world,  mom blogs

    things to do while waiting for a baby

    No such luck having baby fick #2 arrive on his due date like Reuben!  Yesterday was my due date & no sign of the little guy yet.  For the past two weeks there have been days where I have been in false labor, even going to the hospital once to be sent home, which was a major bummer.  So here is how I’ve been passing my time. Baking: Blueberry-raspberry pound cake for the 4th of July.  It was like fruity fireworks in a cake! I didn’t take a picture of mine but you get the idea of what it looked like from this other one. It was great to enjoy…

  • inner world,  Uncategorized

    sawdust in my underwear

    There are strange moments when I’m struck by how much of an adult I’ve become. And most recently, I had a moment where I was grateful that one of those moments no longer included sawdust in my underwear. Six months after Dave and I were married, we moved into our first home.  Little did we know that we, like many others were caught up in what would become the “handing out mortgages like bubble gum” craze that contributed to the economic crash in 2008. So, like two young kids eager to be adults we bought our house and got to work making it a home- painting, gardening and eventually remodeling…

  • inner world,  jesus,  spirituality

    I’m not the girl I used to be

    Twigs + logs + matches + newspaper = fire. At least for a girl who spent the first 17 years of her life growing up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where I’d wager that many kids learned the skill of how to build a fire amongst other skills like ice fishing, downhill & cross-country skiing and how to swim in Lake Superior just long enough until your toes feel numb. Recently my friend and colleague Grace spent a weekend in a lovely log cabin, tucked in the back of a generous person’s property, overlooking a stream and surrounded by woods. Though the two of us usually run the gamut conversationally from…

  • inner world,  spirituality,  Uncategorized

    weekend to remember

    Most of us don’t wait until the transmission of our car blows up before we take it to the shop, so why do so many of us wait until our marriage looks like a rust-bucket spewing smelly gray clouds into the atmosphere as we try just to make it from here to there? While I wouldn’t say my marriage to Dave is lookin’ like a broke-a** hoopde, we certainly aren’t crusing thorugh life in a shiny new rolls either. I don’t think we would have considered going to the Family LIfe Weekend To Remember conference had it not been for some of our kind donors who bought vouchers for each of…

  • food,  inner world,  jesus,  Uncategorized

    mailman alex

    MAILMAN ALEX!!! DO YOU HAVE MY HENRY TRAIN!!! Reuben belted out whenever he saw our friendly mailman Alex heading down our sidewalk wondering if his missing train had arrived in the mail. (thank you carole for sending it!)  This summer I noticed our mailman sitting in his mail truck munching on a sandwich reading sports illustrated on his lunch break. At times I was a little irritated that he’d park in front of his house, guilty that I was inside enjoying air conditioning while he was sitting in a hot mail truck, or wondered if anyone ever invited him in for a meal or glass of water. While I was…

  • inner world,  mom blogs,  Uncategorized

    the support network: life as a working mom

    Even more profound than the support power of Spanx to make a jiggly booty smooth is the unbelieveable support network that God can provide for working moms.  I tip my proverbial hat  to the following groups of people who make life not only manageable but enjoyable. 1. The Husband: Dave has schlepped our baby around to meetings I’ve attended  just so I could continue to nurse, has watched Reuben solo for weeks while I’m away for work, taking M.A. classes at Wheaton, is savvy to the story-times, play-dates and free times for the zoo,  children’s museum and local attractions to keep him entertained. He is a superior and creative cook…

  • inner world,  mom blogs,  parenting,  Uncategorized

    the double-blessing: Life as a working mom

    While there are many challenges to being a working mom, there are a lot of great things that come with the territory.  Research such as Sally Heglesen’s book The Female Advantage cites that moms learn to have an integrated approach to work life and home life in being forced to be more resourceful with their time and energy. Heglesen writes: “Increasingly, motherhood is being recognized as an excellent school for managers, demanding many of the same skills:  organization, pacing, the balancing of conflicting claims, teaching, guiding, leading, monitoring, handling disturbances, imparting information.” Though I haven’t’ yet read Heglesen’s book, a fellow working-mom colleague Anne Hong cited it in a paper she…

  • inner world,  jesus,  mom blogs

    the double-bind- life as a working mom

    Confession- at various points in my life I have thought all of these things: kids are speed-bumps on the career path, being a mom seems lame, God is a jerk if he wants me to have kids and give up a job I love. Maybe you’re in the other camp entirely and have been waiting to have babies since you went through puberty. I have never stepped foot in that camp.  Now that I’m approaching having not one, but two children it’s made me think and pray a lot about how my life will change when spawn of Fick #2 arrives this summer. It’s been a hesitant path to motherhood for…

  • inner world,  jesus,  spirituality

    Merry Freegan Christmas!

    Do other parents feel guilty and sad that they too won’t have the same elated faces on their children’s faces when they present an XBox 360, complete Thomas the Tank engine set (with newest Misty Island Rescue attachments), or any other toy that said child would enjoy on Christmas morning? Have you noticed how even McDonald’s is equating personal fulfillment with food ordered and consumed from their menu this holiday season? Though Dave and I are typically content with the lifestyle we’ve chosen of glamorous non-profit student ministry, are creative with our resources and try to live simply, there are times I just am sad or pissed off we don’t make more…

  • inner world,  mom blogs

    i feel old

    As some of you know from my facebook status last week; “I am entering into the land of mini-van ownership, I never thought it would happen to me.” For whatever reason, this milestone really made me not feel like a kid anymore. Let’s do a brief recap of the past 10 years: In the last 10 years I’ve graduated from college, gotten married, bought two houses, enrolled in a retirement plan, bought a couple cars, had a baby, worked for the same organization for nearly 10 years (with college kids no less who remind me daily that I wasn’t born in 1985 and don’t know who Seinfeld is, or more…

  • baking,  cooking,  inner world,  Uncategorized,  work,  working moms

    under the gun is much more fun

    You’d think that with all the free time I have during my sabbatical, I’d be getting a lot done that I normally don’t. wrong. In some ways this is good- the point of a sabbatical is to rest or engage the mind in other things like getting a degree. Now that my time is mostly spent in writing and reflection on how I’m going to integrate what I’ve learned during this past year I find I have a much more difficult time structuring my schedule. A few years ago I took the meyer-briggs type 2 test which provides an even more detailed breakdown of a personality type- as in, just exactly…