A little man and his guitar

My little brother is a future rock star. 

I believe he’s destined to play the guitar. Ever since he was old enough to toddle around, Courage has been drawn to the guitar. 

He plays air guitar all the time and loves any kind of guitar music (which is basically all music).

My family went to a get together at a friend’s house and there was a band. Courage instantly ran over to the group and that’s where he stayed. 

His enthusiasm reminds me of the proverb “Train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6). 

A parent’s (and family’s) job is to watch their kids and to encourage them to pursue their God given interests. 

Pay attention to the kids in your life. See if you can notice their passions and desires. 


All I need is a cup of coffee and a little perspective

I used to be a chipper morning person. My grumpier self told her to get lost.

My younger siblings do not care.

They are loud and boisterous and excited about the day–even if they don’t know what day it is.

“Audra, what day is it?” Caleb asks.

“It’s Tuesday,” I reply.

His response is normally something like:

“Yay! That means we get to ________” or “What are we going to do today?”

Maybe us grumpy adults should be more easily excitable.

We tend to see each day from a more practical, soul sucking point of view. I don’t think we mean to, though, but it’s easy to fall in line with our work hating, wish-it-was-the-weekend culture.

Last night my little brother–in his childlike wisdom–prayed the most beautiful blessing over our dinner.

“Dear God,

Thanks for having us today.

Thank you for dinner and this time with my family.”


Caleb thanked God for letting us live.

And the thunderbolt of conviction struck my heart….

IMG_1692Every breath, every day comes from God. Begrudging my life and all the things I “have to do” is a slap in God’s face.

I understand that we all have hardships and bad days, but our worst day–especially if you live in the West–is someone else’s best day.

The minor inconveniences of our life will not affect whether we live or die. With that in mind, you and I have very little to complain about.

This is not meant to be a guilt trip.

Just call it a good, old fashioned reality check.

Sure, you’re not a morning person but you can be a thankful–yet quiet–non-morning person.

Sure, money is tight but you have food, water, and shelter. A cancelled Netflix account or a month without cable will not kill you.

Perspective has a way of making us honest.

Ending well

Bad days happen. 

Today was one of them…

My entire afternoon was wasted. 

It was a situation where I’m partly to blame because I didn’t push hard enough for an answer (an answer that would have saved me three hours). 

I left the store with tears stinging my eyes while also being extremely angry. 

Not fun…

I’m not a super emotional person, so emotional situations wear me out. 

The evening got better, though, when I watched the new Cinderella with the kiddos. 

We had popcorn and everything. 


Courage is king of the popcorn bowl

Rainy days–and bad days too–rarely stop kids from having fun. Their innocence is such a sweet gift. 

I want my siblings to stay as innocent as possible, to never lose the gift of finding joy in all situations. 

It’s easy for adults to be cynical. 

I hate that…

I want to be more like my little brothers and sisters. 

Their ability to trust and forgive and love and laugh amazes me. 

I never want them to lose that resilience. 

The day was pretty stinky, but it ended well. 

Family Dynamic

One thing that’s taken some adjustment since moving to the Pacific Northwest is the lack of privacy. Someone’s always coming around the corner or knocking on the door. I grew up with lots of privacy and mega doses of alone time.

There’s nothing wrong with needing a little space, but my worldview is slowly shifting on the topic of “me time.”

The Bible says that we should train up our children throughout the day. This means that our actions and words are being observed every minute, especially if you’re in a large family.

 I cannot expect my siblings to learn if I constantly need space and refuse to let them participate in my daily routine. They all love to run errands with me or help me with my chores.I get asked a lot of questions about how to do things or why I do something a certain way.

Thats why I’m really having to get past my need for more privacy.

I want my siblings to spend as much time with me as possible. Sometimes I don’t want to bring a kiddo to the store or have them help me with the dishes. It would be a lot easier and faster if I could do it alone.

 However, they always thank me for allowing them to go or participate in whatever I’m doing.

Talk about feeling convicted about your selfishness!

Add that guilt to hearing your three year old sister, who calls you her best buddy, say, “Thank you, Audra for bring me to the store.”

It will make you repent fast!

The bottom line is that I am blessed by their eager hearts and hands. It’s such a privilege and honor for me to know that my siblings want to be with me.

This kind of family dynamic is one that I want to cultivate in my own home some day.   

Who’s Watching You?

I’m getting a baby brother in September! Isn’t that awesome?

My day gets a little brighter each time I think of this precious, perfect little person who is a part of my family. Every human life is important and full of potential. There’s just something about babies though. Can you think of anything more innocent than a baby? Untouched by the evils of the world, seeing only opportunity, full of trust—babies are the purest of vessels.

I’m sounding like the narrator of a documentary…moving on.

So I’m getting a new baby brother and it has me thinking: What role do I play in his life? Because I don’t believe that the normal, stereotypical roles of big and little siblings are okay.

There’s a big age difference between us—twenty-three years—but that doesn’t matter. We can still have a good relationship.

In an attempt to mimic self-help gurus, I’ve come up with an acronym of sibling to describe the role I hope to play in my little brother’s life (don’t all barf at once):

Supportive at all times
Interested in his life and hobbies
Believer in his dreams
Loving through the good and bad
Invested in his future
Nonstop encourager
Gracious to forgive his mistakes

Maybe you’re an awesome role model and need few reminders to stay on track. But I find myself needing to be reminded of all the little eyes who are watching me. It’s often the people in our inner circles who suffer the most when we struggle.

This conversation is not meant to be a reprimand but an encouragement.

Think about where you’re falling short and make some improvements. Think about where you’re excelling and take notes.  Because someone is following in your footsteps.

My question for you today is simple.

Who’s watching you?