The Overflow! where souls are filled and faith is spilled

Why Our Boys Don’t Have to Smell Like Stinky Gym Socks (for every mom who wants to raise a sweet-smelling son!)

 I was sniffing men’s deodorant when our eyes met. Her grocery cart was piled high with diapers and baby wipes, and the toddler in the front seat was pulling tissues from her purse and shredding them into tiny scraps of homemade confetti. But she was too busy staring at me to notice her little one’s antics. [...]

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Why A Mom Should Dream Small for Her Children

I realized it one morning a few years ago as I sat in the cushy leather chair by the window, a pajama-clad boy plastered to my lap—- How the secret to a BIG life is dependent on one small thing. Six-year-old Joshua smelled of old backyard dirt and of fresh sleepy sweat. His knees still bore [...]

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When You Feel Like the World is Watching You

Dear daughters, Have I ever told  you about the time I found the envelope in my mailbox?   It was the summer of my fourteenth year, those dangling few months when I was no longer a junior high student and not yet an official high-schooler. And in that lazy stretch of Iowa heat, a few ornery [...]

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A Prayer for Every Marriage (and a free gift for you)

Dear friends, Thanks for joining me last week as we engaged in some real and raw talk about keeping love alive within our marriages and choosing intimacy over industry. To be honest, I didn’t want to write about gravel or about getting lost or about struggling to see the miracle of marriage. You see, years ago, I swore I’d never write about marriage because I’m [...]

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Why Gravel Might be the Secret to Lasting Love

 Welcome, friends!I’m so glad you’re here. If this is your first visit, please make yourself at home and look around. Leave me a comment or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter. I’d love to get to know you better.  If you like what you find, I hope you’ll sign up to have The Overflow trickle quietly into your in-box each [...]

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When You Want Your Daughter To Have Magnetic Beauty

Okay, I’ll admit it. I was spying on you.  Kind of.  I mean, I couldn’t help but slow my steps when I walked by the open bathroom door this morning and heard you humming.  And then, I saw the way you studied yourself in the mirror when you thought that nobody was looking.  And I [...]

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If You Give A Boy A Stick…

Of all the poems I’ve written for my children over the years, this is one of my favorites. Joshua loved to play with sticks when he was little, and one day when we were out playing in the trees, I watched him leaping around excitedly with a great big stick in his hand. And in [...]

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The One Prayer that Captures All the Longings of a Mama’s Heart

It was those Bibles strewn across the kitchen table that launched my heart right into my throat this morning, God’s Word framed with dribbles of orange juice and cereal crumbs, splatters of jelly and an abandoned spelling list. I hadn’t noticed it right away when I’d returned from dropping the kids at school, how those remnants [...]

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How To Enjoy Every Season of Motherhood (For any mom who has ever cried in the laundry room)

My middle one dressed in black and white on Tuesday in celebration of autumn equinox. Her brother looked up from his pancakes just long enough to notice Hannah’s out-of-the-ordinary outfit and asked, ”Why are you dressed like a zebra?” She poured her Rice Krispies and raised a knowing eyebrow. “Because it’s autumn equinox today,” my girl replied [...]

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For Every Mom Who’s Died a Thousand Deaths (Five-Minute-Friday)

 Motherhood is a daily invitation to die. Those weren’t exactly the words I was hoping to hear that day in the grocery store when my toddler was whining about the box of Captain Crunch I’d vetoed. And the preschooler was dancing dangerously close to the tower of toilet paper stacked tall at the aisle’s end. And the baby [...]

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