Annie Leigh Edwards

Annie is often found hiding from the monster that is her laundry pile while frantically searching for her car keys. Her goal in life is to be part of a flash mob and/or a back up singer and dancer for T-Swift.

Chutes and Ladders—Are You Trying To Work Your Way to God?

Chutes and Ladders—Are You Trying to Work Your Way to God?

The delightful game of Candy Land has brought about many award winning meltdowns in our home including (but not limited to) boards being slung across the room, people body slammed to the floor, and other bizarre behaviors that seem unnatural. It’s all fun and games…until someone gets hurt. But there is one game that doesn’t cause my competitive children to go crazy, and that is the game of Chutes and Ladders. In this game, the little cardboard cutout kids have to climb up the ladders to the 100th square to achieve the status of winner. Are You Good Enough to Climb All the Way Up? How do the players progress? Well, you have to do more good than bad. If you are […]

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Family Devotions Can Hurt

When Family Devotions Can Actually Hurt

“Somebody please hit me!” These are the words I thought while witnessing my four-year-old daughter sling The Jesus Story Book Bible across the room. Ballet lessons… Really? I’m thinking more like a quarterback on the football field at this point. The heavy book was destined to hit one of the three sitting ducks on the couch, and sure enough, it soon found its target: directly in the face of my six-year-old son. Ouch! Insert screaming, yelling, fury, and a near riot… Exhausted from a long day, I would normally continue to plow through the Bible story. But on this particular night, my husband—being the gentle “shepherd” that he is—tucked our convulsing son into his arms and made sure that his head was not

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Are You Frozen in Your Struggle This Grace Offers Hope

Are You Frozen in Your Struggle? This Grace Offers Hope

Autumn leaves fall like confetti around our Kentucky home. The trees stand tall and brave as they let go of their identity. No longer are they recognized as an oak or a maple, but just an ordinary tree. They bare themselves in vulnerability to the watching world. The brightly colored leaves hold on as long as they can, but creation knows when it’s time to surrender. All eyes watch as they brace for the winds of change. Oh how beautifully they dance to their grave. The frost is coming. On one particular morning last winter, I woke up early. Coffee in hand, I gazed outside to see the ground covered in white. It was the first snow of the season and I

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Loosen Your Grip on Technology to Enjoy a Hands-Free Life

Loosen Your Grip on Technology to Enjoy a Hands-Free Life

I have come to the conclusion that putting our three kids to bed is a lot like herding cattle. Just when you think you have them corralled, one goes rogue and sneaks off from the herd. All of a sudden you are in need of a lasso and a stiff drink. Needless to say, the bedtime routine is not for the faint of heart. My tendency is to behave like a commanding officer in the army: Brushed teeth? Check. 30-second bath? Check. “Hurry up!” I bark (as if I have an urgent matter to which I must attend—Netflix). I rush through the bedtime story by skipping pages and bedtime songs by speed singing through the nightly tunes (although this becomes harder as

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This Is Why You Can Stop Entertaining Your Children

Is it Time to Stop Entertaining Your Kids?

Mary Poppins ticks me off. She has fooled me into believing that I have to continually entertain my children with a bag of fun. You know, I should just carry an oversized carpetbag around with me in case there is ever a dull moment. That way I can just reach in and pull something out that will leave us all in amazement. There will be singing, dancing, flying around in the air, carousel rides, spoons full of sugar, and tap dancing with penguins. Parents, when did it become our duty to provide constant entertainment for our children? I think about the musical The Chorus Line, and I grab some tap shoes as I sing to my children, “Let Me Entertain You!” Here

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How to Lose the Scale and Walk Lighter

Forget About the Scale and Be Happy!

How to drop weight instantly! (Not the kind you think.) Enter the scales.  The first time I stepped on a scale was during the dark, life-sucking hole known as middle school. A number popped up and I knew it was calculating something about who I was. It wasn’t merely a number; it was an indicator of my identity. It was fascinating how the number would change according to what I had or had not eaten. I recall finding out what I should weigh for my height through health class. Ehhh…that word, “average.” I hated it and all of its synonyms: usual, ordinary, standard, typical, normal, regular. Who decided what was average anyway? The scale became my master, and the fear of being average, or

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Tips For When You Want to Set Goals and Actually Meet Them

It was high school math class, and as usual, I was daydreaming. My eyes met an obnoxious banner in the back of the classroom that read, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” There was something so irritating about that stupid banner! That phrase had been preached to me many times in my young life and continues to interrupt my daydreaming but this time it was in a good way. I don’t want to spend my life daydreaming…I want those dreams to get feet and actually go places! This happens through making a plan of action! Goals are great but without a plan, they are just taking up space in the journal beside your bed. I have never been much

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You Freak Me Out, But I'm Gonna Do it Anyway

You Freak Me Out, But I’m Gonna Do it Anyway

There are many things in this world that freak me out: tornadoes, spiders, snakes, tsunamis, men who wear capri pants, ISIS, and yes, the gremlins under my bed. These are all valid reasons to be fearful. Yet, I’m also afraid of things that are less tangible—like chasing my dreams. Why am I so afraid of pursuing my passions? Here are just a few reasons: I am afraid of being rejected. I am afraid of being ignored. I am afraid of living a life that doesn’t matter. I am afraid that I am not doing it right. I am afraid that there are already too many people doing what I want to do, and they are doing it much better. I am afraid that

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Bored? Stop Playing It Safe!

Bored? Yeah I get it! Am I the only one who has ever been bored with life? Sometimes I wonder, is there a chance that boredom stems from misplaced fear? I’m not exactly an adrenaline junkie, but lately I have the hankering to get brave. Yes, me … the perpetual nail-biter, weather radio analyst, locksmith with a Ph.D. in Google. Yes, this lady wants to get her brave on. Now, I don’t even know what “brave” looks like because I have been held in the arms of blessed safety since infancy. There were the baby gates, kid leashes, pillows on the edge of the fireplace, electrical covers on all outlets, locks on cabinets, bicycle helmets and knee pads, curfews, “don’t climb any higher

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Lusting After an Illusion—The Perfect Woman

Lusting After an Illusion—The Perfect Woman

Without a doubt, I am a creeper. I can sit with my coffee at the mall and watch people. All. Day. Long. It’s not just the mall. I’ve discovered the best place to pursue a degree in anthropology is at our local bluegrass festival (ROMP). Here, there are people with glow in the dark hula hoops, bare feet, no showers or razors, flowers in hair, and, as my son observed, there are “lots of belly buttons.” It’s a people-watching paradise. In my years of being a stalker, I have observed one thing: women are constantly sizing each other up. If a man were to look at random women the same way that we gawk at one other, we might call him a

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5 Simple Ways to Balance Mom Life

Friends ask me all the time, “How in the world do you find the time to run your own business and write articles?” It is not like I am some superwoman! In fact, if you ask my family, they will inform you that I am far from possessing any powers! I cannot do all things and do them well. So yeah, I am running my own home business, but my laundry pile is competing with Mt. Everest as we speak. I have also had to make sacrifices along the way in order to find the time to do the things that I love, and I have some tools that help me get things done! 1. Community. I am involved in a few communities of people who hold me accountable to goals. We were not

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How My Sister’s Cancer Brought Greater Hope

How My Sister’s Cancer Brought Greater Hope

My memories from childhood run together like a ripple in that old creek behind our home … it is impossible to distinguish the ripple from the current, but it is all being pulled in the same direction. Such is life; if you blink you might miss it, so they say. They said I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was ten years old. It is difficult to steer through the hallways and waiting rooms of a hospital, crowded by children wearing masks, scarfs, and pain. These are not the things I remember. I do remember a sister who was born dying. Cancer. I remember parents who although were they hurting, did not question God or resent His plan for their

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On Sex and Faith and Marriage

On Sex and Faith and Marriage

Jamus and Annie sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G. Jamus, (my husband) and I started dating in college and I thought about him all the time. There was texting, phone calls where we would talk for hours, and just making up random excuses to be near one another. One night I called him because it was “unsafe” to run by myself and I needed an escort. Let’s just say I didn’t have to twist his arm. As we spent more and more time together, I became increasingly infatuated with this Aston Kutcher look-alike with a country accent who loved Jesus with all of his heart. We got engaged after a few months of dating and were married within three and a half months. A

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When You #PinterestFail and Feel Like a Bad Mom

Life is messy … especially when baking is involved. My daughter’s birthday was quickly approaching—as it seems to do every year—and I only had a week to plan her party. Oops. (I guess in all reality I had a whole year.) After scrolling through Pinterest for ideas, I began to feel like an inadequate mother. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make an ice sculpture for a Frozen themed birthday, like Martha Stewart on crack, so I decided to at least make her that rainbow cake she had been talking about … the one she saw at her friend’s birthday party because some other mom’s got skills. I generally stick to buying cakes from the local bakery. However, this time I was feeling

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When First Runner Up Feels like “Reject”

When First Runner Up Feels like “Reject”

From as early as I can remember, I pretty much had one goal in life: I wanted to be Miss America. Now just saying that, I’m sure there are all kinds of stereotypes that come to your mind: perfect posture, big hair, and the iconic wave. While we may be tempted to point a finger at Miss America and give a snarl—“I mean, really! Who wears high heels with a bikini? …Well, she must think she is something to enter a pageant!” The truth is, I thought I was pretty awesome! I loved the praise of others. I wanted the mirror on the wall to tell me I was the fairest of them all. In the words of Lady Gaga, I live for the

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Protecting Your Priorities in the Busyness of Life

Protecting Your Priorities in the Busyness of Life

I have grown up with a sister who has spent her life fighting cancer and now a mother who also has the same battle. From a young age, I experienced how fleeting this thing called life actually is and there is still much growing up in that lesson to be done. I praise the Lord that my sister is now in remission! I have learned that those who know how to die, can live fully! Life is full of jagged edges, reminding us that we are bleeding mortars. My sister was born dying, but then again, I guess we all are. Although we may not share the same scars, there is one thing we all have in common, we will live and

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The Key to Contentment in a Discontent World

Sin slithers in when we least expect it, and goes for the chokehold every … single … time. Sin attempts to strangle us by twisting the truth with lies. Gasping for air, we ask, “Does God really love me?”; “Does He really want me to have good things?”; “Is His way really the best way?”; “Is God really enough?” Sin chokes out the light, and in the darkness the poison sinks deep, damaging everything in its path. Sin will always break its promises and break our hearts, and yet, we are just like our sister, Eve. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. We were created to be worshippers, and whether it’s God Himself or a piece of fruit, we will spend our

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