My Baby is Not Your Red Cup

I’ve had just about enough of this red Starbucks cup hoopla.

It’s.  A.  Cup.  And, this whole “red only” cup issue is a first world problem.

Instead of complaining about how a swanky coffee shop’s cups are decorated, how about buying coffee for a stranger, or, better yet, a pair of warm mittens?  I don’t think baby Jesus drank coffee nor cared whether or not it would have words or pictures on it.  Unless it was His name all over it (which is wasn’t, as far as I know).

Posted on December 3, 2015 and filed under Faith.

4 Reasons I am Focusing Less on Health

I love change. Like really love it. Thankfully so does my husband. But over the years we've come to realize that the heart issue behind our desire for change is a spirit of discontent. So I (we) have been actively, diligently resisting the hunger for change; it's that "grass is always greener on the other side" mentality in our marriage and in our family.

But when it comes to my life personally, and especially my business, I can still be impulsive and change directions quite quickly. I have a lot of things I am passionate about, and not to sound prideful, but a lot of things I am knowledgeable about. It's why this blog has had a new look every year and why I tend to jump from topic to topic depending on the week. And I know that amount of change is tough on people who don't have that same love for change as I do.

Posted on November 27, 2015 .

Feeling inadequate? You're right where God wants you!

When people describe their faith journeys, they usually talk about the first time they engaged in some kind of personal ministry. For some, it was a short-term mission trip. For others, it was leading a children's small group. It's not uncommon to hear stories of people being thrust into ministry environments almost against their wills.

When people describe their first ministry experiences, they use phrases like: "I was so afraid," "I felt so inadequate," "I felt so unprepared," "I hope they didn't ask me any hard questions," "I've never been so dependent on God."

Then they talk about the rush that followed when they realized God had used them, given them the words to say, allowed them to leverage their pasts to help someone move forward. Few things stretch us and grow our faith like stepping into a ministry environment for which we feel unprepared.

Posted on November 19, 2015 and filed under Faith.

10 Brutally Honest Truths I Would Tell My Younger Self

Being a mom changes you. In my case, being a mom of girls has radically changed me.

When I think about how I want to raise my girls, there are usually two areas that I think about: that they love & follow Jesus and that their beliefs about themselves would be rooted in love, hope & strength. I want them to believe in God and believe in themselves in a way that seemed out of reach for me as a child.

So as I reflect on what I want my own daughters to know as they grow up to be strong women, I'm thinking about what truths would have helped me as a young girl...

Posted on November 12, 2015 and filed under Life, Family.

Ideas for Homeschooling Parents - Part Two

Below is a continuation from Ideas for Homeschooling Parents – Part One, where I listed homeschooling lesson ideas for art, English language arts, and science.  Here’s the second part, with ideas for math, social studies, physical education, and drama + music.  Pretty much any of the suggested activities from either list can be adapted to incorporate one or more of the other subjects.  Be creative, let your kids share the decision-making, and be a part of the discovery alongside with them!

Posted on November 5, 2015 and filed under Family.

Ideas for Homeschooling Parents - Part One

As a teacher, the thought of staying home one day with my kids to teach them every subject under the sun in the one place I’m supposed to be free of students sounds…well…horrific.

At least it did.  Until I realized how easily you can teach multiple curriculum objectives at one time, often from different subject areas.  I mean, I do this at work already, with 20-30+ students, from differing families and cultures, at a time.  How hard could it be to do with just a couple of kids who I know super well to begin with?

Apparently, homeschooling is way more common than I’d realized.  As of about a week or so ago, I also thought only insane people took on the job of schooling their own kids.  I don’t know if homeschooling will be an option down the road for my family, but it’s definitely an option for many moms and dads who feel up to the challenge.  Kudos to you all. 

Posted on October 29, 2015 and filed under Family.

Making Peace with Your Post-Baby Body

Looking in the mirror at the ramifications of growing a human being, I felt as though I was looking at a body that wasn’t my own. I no longer felt comfortable in the skin that was mine, although the reflection looking back at me was indeed myself.

It's a strange thing women go through--giving our bodies to our babies for 9 months and then having them returned to us unrecognizable; being expected to move on without giving ourselves time to become acquainted with this new version of who we are.

The birth of my second son has single handedly been my biggest test for self-love. Before that, the message I always preached of learning to love your body hadn’t been challenged too much. My 5’9, 135 pound physique didn’t feel so bad; it was a body that wasn’t too hard to accept. But that body, the body that stood looking back at me after my second son was born... felt like a doozy to accept.

Posted on October 22, 2015 and filed under Life.

Could Knowing your Priorities Save your Sanity?

I have a tendency to be an "all-or-nothing" kind of person. When I decide to do something, I want to do it well. No half-assing it for this woman. But that mentality has, well, made me mental at times.

I've gotten wiser over the past couple years and have found myself giving this piece of advice to several young women in my life: it's all about your priorities.

Posted on October 15, 2015 and filed under Life.

Healthy Eating from a Biblical Perspective

I knew that many women struggled with poor self-image. I even knew that many of us have struggled with food. But what I didn't know until the past few weeks is just how much of an issue this really is. There are dozens of godly, Christian women just in my own circle who are in bondage over food.

It makes me sad for our gender and it makes me angry that the enemy has such a foothold. We are made for so much more than that!

Today I want to approach this whole food thing from another perspective... a biblical perspective. One that I hope brings truth, even if it hurts, so that we can stop being slaves to food and start being conquerors in Christ.

Posted on October 8, 2015 and filed under Faith, Food.

Russian Custard

You know how I'm following GAPS diet, right? If you're not familiar with this type of eating then you'll probably be shocked to know that most of my calories come from fat. For real.

Mmmmm fat... Sorry, I started thinking about egg yolks and fried chicken skin and bacon and avocados and ghee and... oh man, I did it again. Focus, Taryn.

And maybe that's why I don't feel hungry or deprived. Actually, not maybe. I know for certain it's why I'm not starving and hangry all the time. I know my body needs fat, and so does yours. You know what it also needs? Cholesterol. (Again, for real.)

Posted on October 1, 2015 and filed under Food.