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Category Archives: The Stuff of Life

Trying to Live True (Why I’m Giving Up My iPhone)


My kids were splashing and playing at the indoor pool at the rec center near my house.

I was sitting on a bench watching them, while also perusing through my iPhone, checking email, reading blogs, looking at Instagram, etc. And this thought kept surfacing, “What if someone recognizes me as the girl who wrote the unwired book, and here I am sitting on my iPhone while my kids play without me.”

I looked around.

When I went to the pool yesterday, I took a notebook and pen and convinced myself I’d use my time to write: I’d sketch out bits of life and notes and intersections on how I really want to live. I like making life-maps.

But I didn’t write, I got online, for pretty much the whole time. And there is nothing wrong with doing that, but for me, I felt…not true.

I knew I wasn’t just on my iPhone; I had to be on it. The pull was so great. And so I took my notebook and pen and I wrote a list of pros and cons for having an iPhone:


I can look up phone numbers (Internet)

I can get directions (Internet)

I can listen to podcasts/music/audiobooks wherever I am

I can use it in my house to play music/audiobooks over our Wi-Fi speaker

Voxer (I love this app)

Sharing life on Instagram


Constant pull to be online – check email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

Always on it, even while driving

The pros list is longer, but the cons list is heavier.

I made some calls to find out if there was some device that I could use to listen to podcasts, music, and audiobooks without having a phone or Internet attached. The kind lady at the Apple store told me about the iPod Nano, which would do what I wanted, but would cost $149. I then called the Verizon store because I’m up for a free new phone in two weeks. I told her what I was looking for and she said I could get a cell phone (not a smart phone = no Internet) but I could keep my iPhone and use it without a data plan. In other words, I could still use the iPhone for podcasts, music, and audiobooks and use the Wi-Fi function in my home (since we have Wi-Fi) to play those things over our Wi-Fi speakers, but not have Internet or phone when I left my house. Perfect.

Come July 11th, I will be Internet free while out and about.

I will miss Voxer (Logan, how will you ever do without my morning songs?).

I will miss the easy access to phone numbers and directions.

I will miss Instagram.

I will miss a lot of things, I’m sure. I might even kick myself. But I’ve got to be authentic, and I’ve got to be free.

Many of you will read this and think, “Girl, why are you so drastic? Just use a little self-control! For the love!”

I hear you, I do. But I know myself and my weaknesses, and I would just rather be drastic in this case.

So it is.

Here’s to living true.

Love, SM

Have Cell Phones Taken Over Our Lives? Must watch:

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4 Ways to Forgive (When You Don’t Know What to Do With The Unfairness of it All)

(Can’t see the video? Click here.)

Recap of the video:

Recently, I was wronged by someone, and I have been really having a hard time letting it go. The situation feels so unfair, and I have just felt so angry and lost as to how to deal with it. Last night I was up at midnight praying and asking God what to do with my feelings, with all the unfairness, and how to genuinely move on. Below are the thoughts that were impressed on my heart.

4 Ways to Forgive (When You Don’t Know What to Do With The Unfairness of it All)

1. Say to God, “Lord, I feel like this situation is so unfair and I feel so wronged and I don’t know what to do with it, but I trust that you do know what to do with it. You know me, you know them, and you see all the things I don’t. Plus, I know you love me and have my back (as well as their’s), so here you go God, it’s all yours.” In other words, trust God with the person and the situation.

2. Would you agree that life is hard? It is, and the fact is, nobody gets a free pass to skip the battle, not even the person who wronged you. When I remember that truth, that everyone is facing a hard battle, I can have compassion on the person who wronged me. Also? Think about all the times you have wronged someone. Yea, that helps me to be more compassionate as well.

3. Is there something I have done that I should ask forgiveness for with the person who wronged me? Ask it. And ask without expectation that you will be asked for forgiveness in return. Free and clear, ask genuinely (ask God to show you where you may have gone wrong/offended).

4. Choose to be a person of the light. The enemy wants nothing more than to keep you in the dark – seething, feeling vengeful, getting worked up, having major lack of peace – he wants you faraway from forgiveness, because forgiveness shines blindingly, beautifully bright.

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that…” Martin Luther King, Jr.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” Lewis B. Smedes 

Love, SM

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Allume Pics! Oh, and that 31 Days thing…

With Jessica (Allume co-host)

With the hubs

With Christin

With @Claire

With the DaySpring crew (and other friends)

With Jessica, again

With Logan

With Darren Rowse (AKA Problogger)

With Crystal Paine and Sally Clarkson

With the hubs and other great friends


With Elizabeth and Trina

There was just so much goodness and beauty. Will post more soon. Oh, and about that 31 Days thing, clearly, did NOT count the cost. 


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Rejecting Second-Hand Living

“…significant figures in the life of faith were fashioned from the same clay as the rest of us…fan clubs encourage second hand living…scripture, however, doesn’t play that game. Something very different takes place in the life of faith: each person discovers all the elements of a unique and original adventure…each life is a fresh canvas…” Eugene Peterson, Run with the Horses

I used to morph into other people.

I hid myself behind a series of manufactured lives.

Being someone else, living out all the good and beautiful things I saw in them seemed better than the vision I had of myself. I was immature, never good enough, awkward, and sad. There was this cloud over me that showered me with lies. This “morphing” began when I met her.

I wanted to be vibrant and wise and mature, all of the things I figured I wasn’t; all of the things she was.

She was smart and alive and I had never met anyone like her. I hated her, but wanted to be her. For years I fought comparing myself to her.


Read the rest of my story here

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When Sarah Got Her Groove Back (and Signs You May Be Burned-Out)

This picture has nothing to do with the post except that it makes me feel all zesty. The gal in the photo is Mandy from ZealousForHim.com. We were celebrating my husband’s 30th with an 80’s themed party.

I was burned-out.

Blogging was the least appealing thing to me. Eating lot’s of late night snacks and watching movies was entirely enticing (and I indulged). I dragged during the day and vegged out every night. Days weren’t mine and life was dull. Writing was painful. Motivation was nowhere to be found.

This is what happens when you burn-out. You either push yourself harder and then fade into a blur of saddness and abuse (abuse of yourself and your family), or you quit. For awhile. For me, quitting was in order, indefinitely.

Sally told me it would take a month or two to recover from burn-out, and she was right on. I wasn’t sure I’d ever want to write again. I had even convinced myself that I didn’t like writing, and that I had nothing to say.


But here I am with this newly lit fire in my spirit for writing, and man, it feels wonderful. And so freeing. This fresh flame was kindled when my husband told me that he wanted to start blogging. He bought a book on blogging, purchased his domain, and is excited to begin putting words into the online space. His zest for this new hobby has rubbed off on me, and it makes me remember what I felt like when I first started blogging. Exhilarated.

I am actually anticipatory for my new found stamina.

Have any of you felt the stale of burn out? Maybe some of you are there now. Here are some signs you might need a break:

Signs You May Be Burned-Out

You Don’t Enjoy Your Hobby Anymore

I used to love blogging and I did it every day just because I enjoyed it so much. After three years, a slew of other doings, and later bedtimes for my babes, my desire to blog went to 0.

You Feel Tired All The Time…And You Don’t Have a Baby

Do you feel like you are dragging most days? Have you lost motivation? Do you wish you could put your life on hold to catch up with it? You might be burned-out.

You Have Nothing To Say

If you’re a writer but you can’t write, you might be burned-out. I could not write for months. Months! I tried and tried but writing was like forcing myself to wash dishes. Blech. I hated it. I hated doing the thing that I used to love. I not only hated it, I felt like I had no words in me. I was empty, and it was an awful feeling. I even convinced myself that I wasn’t really a writer, because writers love to write. Burn-out was lying to me.

You Feel/Are Depressed

Does your life feel like it’s passing without your permission? Do you feel like you’ve lost control of your days? Do you feel like doing nothing but watching Gilmore Girls while eating Caesar salads? Do you even want to go out and live your life, or would you rather stay holed up while you sit on social media sites feeling even worse? Have you lost your innocent joy for the fullness of life and the world?

You, my friend, might be burned-out.


If you’ve experienced any of the above, really evaluate where you are in your life and your soul. You might need to give yourself some slack, or maybe even back off completely for a while. The best thing I did was to let myself recover, be lazy, gain weight (okay, this not so enjoyable), and just be in a paused place for a time. I needed to stop. It was wise to quit.

But now? I’m back, baby. I’m back.

How are you doing today, friend?

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