Big News: The Toothless Grin is MOVING!

Hello friends! The day I have been planning for is finally here. I have been taking time I normally spent writing trying to figure out how to build my own website, write code, make buttons, transfer content, and transfer subscribers to the new site and the day has finally arrived to announce that is ready to go!

I’m doing cartwheels and back handsprings over here I’m so excited.

Screenshot (44)

For those of you who subscribe through the blog (right sidebar sign up), you should continue to receive blog updates like you did before. If you don’t, please let me know on my new “contact me” page. I’m sure I’ll be working out kinks for awhile.

If you “follow” me via wordpress, would you consider signing up to receive email updates? My understanding is that even though I have a blog my updates won’t show up on your reader anymore. I would love to keep having you over.

Until new posts start arriving I would love it if you could provide some feedback on the new pages: Meet Leah and Why ‘The Toothless Grin?’

I look forward to seeing you over at my new home!




I quit.

For a few months now I have been paralyzed by the numbers. Number of page views. Number of followers. Number of likes. Number of comments. Numbers. Numbers. Numbers.

Numbers are important in publishing. Agents and publishers won’t look at you if you don’t have high numbers. Books won’t sell unless you have high numbers.

And somehow I’ve started to equate my worth as a writer, my effectiveness as a minister, by my numbers. But numbers are so fickle. One post will reach thousands and another 25. Facebook changed their algorithm so now my followers don’t even see my posts unless they choose to receive notifications or if I pay for something to go out. Twitter is such a fast moving feed you may only have minutes for someone to grab onto your 140 characters – so you better make that small number of letters count.

I didn’t start writing for the numbers. I started for the words. Words that make a difference in my life. Words to encourage. Words to bring hope. Words to speak truth.

Most of all, God’s word.

For years my ministry verses have been 1 Peter 4:10-11:

1 Peter 410-11

When I’m focused on numbers, I’m not serving others, I’m not depending on God’s strength, I’m not doing it for His glory, I’m doing it for me.

As of today, I quit.

I quit looking at the numbers. I quit trying to please others. I quit seeking attention, publication, the spotlight.

I want to go back to where I started. With a simple toothless grin that lit up my difficult world of postpartum depression, breastfeeding woes, and sleepless nights. I want my writing to be for other mamas and not for me. I want my writing to bring truth into darkness. I want my writing to be for you.

I’m still moving forward. I’m still writing for this little blog. I’m still writing my book. But I’m not going to think about publishing for some time. Not unless I think it is the best thing to do. When I started it, I wanted it to be a resource for new mamas. So, I hope to have it available for you here someday. (Or rather, on my new website, which is ALMOST DONE!)

Thank you, my dear friends, who have always encouraged me and prayed for me on this journey. I think I have needed to go through some massive anxiety in order to reach a point of clarity.

And, God, this is for you. This public repentance is to you. “I acknowledge my need for a savior and I humbly repent. Speak the word that I may be made clean. Wash me that I may be whiter than snow. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation that I may delight in your will, and walk in your way, to the glory of your name, now and forever. Amen.”

3 Ways To Swallow When You’ve Bitten Off More Than You Can Chew

While sitting at the smorgasbord of opportunity, my eyes glimmered in the candlelight of my dreams as I loaded my plate high with events, commitments, opportunities. Each one looked better than the rest. Each was an easy yes.

And last week they happened all at once.

Beginning October 1st, I joined #write31days and committed to writing at least 5 minutes a day through the month of October.

31 days big

October 27-29, I studied, listened, learned what it takes to make it as a published writer in this reinvented market under Margaret Feinberg and Jonathan Merritt at Writer’s Boot Camp. As part of my continued education from Writer’s Boot Camp, I signed up for feedback on a book proposal for Restoring Mama’s Soul. Little did I realize it will take me the entire month of November to finish it.



October 31, of course, was Halloween which included finishing my son’s Olaf costume and two parties.


And on Sunday I will be preaching at Scum of the Earth Church.

As I continue to shovel the food into my mouth, I appreciate the nourishment of each bite, but my mouth is dry, my stomach is full, and my pausing more between bites.

Yet, I don’t want to stop.

So, how do we keep going we’ve bitten off more than we can chew? Here are 3 things I’m doing to keep myself going:

  1. Take a drink. I just woke up from a nap. Over the weekend, even though I was promised an hour more of sleep, I got an hour less. I am tired. Sleep is the lubricant I need in order to keep praying, keep reading, keep thinking my way through my days. It keeps me from spitting out the dry crumbs and creates space in my life for fresh inspiration.
  2. Put on your stretchy pants. With all of my yeses, I need to say a few nos. I should have said no to the elementary school’s Math Night last Thursday. I will say no to any social activity until at least after my sermon on Sunday. I am not going on the women’s retreat with our church this weekend <tear>. But each of these nos allow me to say the yeses I value the most.
  3. Finish well. Bite by bite. The next week is mapped out. The next month is scheduled. I will finish my sermon on time, with room to spare. I will take the book proposal one section at a time, day by day. (My favorite app, Wunderlist, is making sure of that.) And Write 31 Days? I will finish. Just not when I thought I would.
  4. Bonus: I will not try this alone, believe I’m alone, or ever be alone.

I will not

When I remember I am studying, writing, and speaking in His power (1 Peter 4:10-11), the pressure to perform vanishes. I no longer feel like I will choke on my servings, but I know that in Him, all of these good things are possible.

What overwhelms you, today? Do you feel any of these steps will help you chew and swallow?

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3