• What Makes Jesus Laugh

    By Annie Fox

    Have you ever met someone who can’t laugh at themselves? They just can’t seem to let loose and have a good time because they’re so busy trying to keep up appearances? Let’s be honest—they’re a great big Debbie Downer and no one wants to hang out with someone like that. And yet, sometimes the church can come off like that. Where the Church Has Gotten It Wrong Years ago, there were many churches that worked very hard at telling people what they couldn’t do. They couldn’t go to the movies, women couldn’t wear makeup or jewelry, and something as crazy as dancing was highly frowned upon. Many people looked at those rules and thought, I’ll pass. And who can blame them? I know I wouldn’t want to attend that church! The church shouldn’t be so busy telling you what you …

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  • Two Big Questions About Talent

    By Annie Fox

    When I was in junior high, I wanted to be on the dance team. The girls on the dance team were basically like cheerleaders, but they could dance. And they didn’t have to be able to do nearly as many gymnastics—which seemed like a great big bonus to me. Two years in a row, I went to the first night of tryout practice and watched intently as we were taught the routine. And two years in a row, I went home after that first practice knowing that it wasn’t in the cards for me because I couldn’t even remember the routine to be able to practice once I got home! Dancing was not my talent—no matter how much I wanted it to be. How Should We View Our Talents? There’s a common saying people tell their children and, although it’s …

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  • What to Do When Your Kids Annoy You

    By Annie Fox

    Sometimes, my kids can be annoying. Did that make you gasp? Are you appalled that I could be so cold and callused toward my own flesh and blood? Let’s be real for a minute. I love my children more than life itself and I love nothing more than spending time with them, loving on them, and making them smile. But sometimes, just sometimes, they annoy me. And that’s okay! I’m human, after all. My Kids My baby just turned one and she literally has the face of a cherub. Her round little cheeks are the perfect pinchable size and one even has the cutest dimple you’ve ever seen. She’s adorable and so sweet—and it borders on ridiculous. But recently, my husband and I started to worry that maybe she was coming down with a cold or teething because she was …

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  • How Long?

    By Annie Fox

    “Are we there yet?” If your kids have ever muttered these words, you know from personal experience that they’re sure to say them again and again until you reach your destination. They might ask this question out of boredom, excitement, or annoyance with the journey. At any rate, you know that your final destination is in sight. You know that it will just be a matter of time before you get there. And you also know that no matter how hungry, tired, bored, annoyed, or exhausted your kids are, they’ll pull through and make it until then. But they can’t always see it. They live in the moment, and in that moment they want to be out of the car, away from their obnoxious brother or sister, and enjoying life again. Sometimes I wonder if that’s how God sees things …

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  • Eating With Sinners

    By Annie Fox

    When I was in college, I worked at Applebee’s. I went home every night smelling like an odd combination of smoke, beer, and fried food. It wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it paid the bills. And working nearly full-time hours meant I got to know my coworkers very well. Each person I worked with had their own story. Some were single moms trying to make ends meet. Many were fellow college students. Still others were using this as a stepping stone until they found something better. And almost all of them were non-Christians (by their own admission). After all, most of them had worked on Sundays and saw the “church crowd” come through every week. I remember one friend saying, “I see what ‘Christians’ are like. They’re rude, demanding, and they don’t tip. If that’s a Christian, I’m proud to say …

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  • Christmas Traditions

    By Annie Fox

    Each year, I carefully place each piece of my nativity set in a very particular spot so it looks perfectly spaced. Jesus is in the middle, of course, Mary and Joseph are on either side, an angel is behind them, wise men to the left, and shepherds and animals to the right. This year, however, my two-year old, Harper, had other plans. After putting her to bed one night, I walked through the living room and noticed something changed. Mary and Joseph were no longer respectful of Baby Jesus’ personal space. You see, my little two-year old thought it odd that a baby’s mommy and daddy would be placed so far from him. So she “fixed” it and squeezed the three figurines as close together as they could get. Forgive me for reading symbolism into everyday life, but I couldn’t …

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  • A Song of Lament

    By Annie Fox

    Have you ever found yourself in Pity City? You know the place—it’s where you find yourself when it seems like everyone else is happier and more fulfilled than you. And worse yet, many of those happy, fulfilled people don’t really seem to deserve to be so happy and fulfilled. After all, you’re the one who’s been faithful. You’re the one praying the right prayers. And you’re the one who deserves for God to open the floodgates of heaven to pour out all his blessings! YET, they seem to prosper while you struggle. It’s hard. And it’s okay to drive through Pity City from time to time, but don’t ever park there. The writer of Psalm 73 understood these feelings when he wrote, “Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. But as for me, I almost …

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  • Don’t Waste Your Summer

    By Annie Fox

    Summer—what a season! If you’re in a sour mood, it seems like all you have to do is step outside and soak in some rays to achieve an instant boost of energy and optimism. But when you have kids and you’re desperately trying to get them to turn off their TV, tablet, or phone long enough to bask in all the gloriousness that summer has to offer, it can be a challenge. Sometimes it’s not as easy as tossing them outside and shutting the door behind them while you channel your mother’s “Get some fresh air” grumbles. Planning activities doesn’t have to be a daily (or even weekly!) occurrence, but it can be handy to have a few tricks up your sleeve. That’s why I’m here! Hopefully, I can provide some ideas to keep your tots or teens entertained this …

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