The Power of Acceptance on Mother’s Day

Sometimes there's just not a Mother's Day card that fits. For those of you who have stood awkwardly in the greeting card section of the local supercenter, this post is for you. Maybe you stand in that aisle, putting cards back one by one because you can't find the one that says what you need it to. There isn't a Hallmark card that says "It's okay. You did the best you could and I turned out okay.", now is there? Maybe it's not that you don't want to acknowledge the holiday or let your mom know that you love her, you just want a card that doesn't feel dishonest and phony. Some of us have mom shaped holes in our hearts and there's no day that you feel the ache of those places quite like Mother's Day. To be a mother is to put your child's needs above your own, when necessary. … [Read more...]

In humble gratitude

In 2014, on my old blog that had decent page views, faithful advertisers and loyal subscribers, I published an Open Letter to Michael Brown's mama after his shooting death at the hands of police. I conveyed my deep sympathy for her loss and my sadness over the way her baby's name was being drug through the mud as his youthful mistakes were being blamed for the unjust actions of adults sworn to protect. While I knew my opinion was not popular amongst my Facebook friends, I was completely unprepared for the level of vitriol and hate that filled my inbox after hitting publish on that post. And the source of that hate, judgment and nastiness were my "Christian" readers who felt that I was "abandoning my faith" and "giving officers a death sentence" and "bowing to political … [Read more...]

SOS Podcast Episode 6

Today's podcast featured writer, Bekah Bowman. Her story of grief, loss and the pursuit of joy no matter her circumstances is truly inspiring. We talked about how people can meet us best in times of hardship and what kind of presence is the most helpful. Listen to the podcast here. You are going to want to learn more about Bekah after hearing her story. You can read about her and her beautiful family on her website as well as follow her journey on Instagram and Facebook. I pray that her story encourages and inspires you as much as it did me! … [Read more...]

SOS Podcast Episode 5

This week's episode of the SOS Podcast featured author, Sandra Peoples. Sandra is a wife, mom of two boys and has a passion for special needs ministry. Sandra's story is unique in that she grew up as the sibling of a special needs child (her sister has Down Syndrome) and then as a parent of a child with special needs (her youngest son has autism spectrum disorder). Sandra wrote an amazing book for special needs parents called Unexpected Blessings. I can't recommend the book enough as it is full of support, encouragement and ideas for the unique challenges that special needs parents face. I enjoyed talking with Sandra about parenting, advocacy, caring for her neuro typical oldest son while managing the special needs of her youngest, maintaining connection with your spouse and … [Read more...]

SOS Podcast Episode 4

This week on the SOS Podcast I interviewed author and Bible teacher, Teri Lynne Underwood. Teri Lynne and I go way back in our online (and in real life) friendship and it was so fun to catch up with her. We chatted about praying for our kids from the toddler years to adulthood as well as raising teens in the age of social media and much more. Listen in to my interview with Teri Lynne here. You can find Teri Lynne on Instagram, Facebook and learn even more at www.terilynneunderwood.com. … [Read more...]

SOS podcast Episode 3

This week's episode features author and speaker, Stacey Thacker. Stacey is a wife, homeschooling mom of four girls and author of six books, including my personal favorite, Fresh Out of Amazing. Stacey is a speaker with a passion for God's word. Listen to the podcast here: The SOS Podcast During this episode, Stacey and I talked about walking a difficult road and keeping your faith during difficult times. While we experienced a few technical difficulties, I am so glad I got the chance to chat with Stacey and glean wisdom from all that she has been through in the last five years. You can find Stacey on Instagram at @staceythacker and @girlfriendsguidetothebible. You can access all of her resources, including Fresh Out of Amazing, at staceythacker.com. For the Enjoy … [Read more...]

SOS Podcast Episode 2

For this installment of the SOS Podcast, I interviewed author and speaker, Cindy Bultema. Cindy has an incredible story of overcoming addiction and the loss of a loved one that she shared ten years ago on the original SOS podcast (you can listen to that original interview here). This time, Cindy opened up about her publishing journey, her transition from writing/speaking full time to accepting a position as the Executive Director of an international ministry and her hopes for the future as she prepares to face an empty nest in the next five years. Listen in and you are sure to be encouraged. You can find more about Cindy at her website and follow her on social media: Facebook and Instagram. … [Read more...]

Episode 1 #sospodcast

So excited to share the inaugural episode of The SOS Podcast with Melissa Smallwood! Sharing Our Stories was my original podcast on Blog Talk Radio way back in 2009. Recently, I felt a stirring to relaunch it and share the stories that make up our lives. And, here we are. Enjoy this episode as I share a little of my heart and then interview the fabulous Kristy Sutton of This Hard Calling as she shares her story of foster care, adoption and starting a non-profit. You can connect with Kristy on Facebook and Instagram as well. Listen in and be sure to let me know what you think! And, if you would be so kind, please subscribe to the podcast and leave me a review! That helps get my podcast shared with other listeners! … [Read more...]

40 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years

      This time seven years ago, I wrote a post entitled 33 Things I've Learned in 33 Years. Today, I turned 40 and decided to update what I listed then (in purple) and add seven more life lessons (although I'm sure I could think of more)! Polka dots and hot pink make me smile. (and ruffled sleeves and ankle boots) There are few sounds that bring as much joy as a baby belly laughing. (especially when it's your grandbaby) Marriage is hard work, but oh so worth it. (and gets sweeter with time) There is a huge difference between a job, a career and a calling. (and the magic happens when you can combine all three) When people say “enjoy these moments because they grow up so fast” they are not exaggerating one bit.  Kids literally grow up in the … [Read more...]

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