It’s a Giveaway from Zondervan!

I’m excited to help Zondervan give away some cool stuff this week! In celebration of National Bible Week, you could qualify to pick up one of these for free:


The Bible for teen girls (I was blessed to write some of the daily devotional readings!) retails for $39.99 on Amazon.

In order to enter the random drawing, just share this post on social media and show the link in the comments. Be sure to leave your online contact info here so I can notify you if you’re a winner.

Remember, you need to share the link to this post to be eligible.

Thanks for entering!


You have until 11 p.m. EST on Saturday, November 21 to share and comment.

New Release!

We’ve had our own brand of crazy over here at the Martin house (more on that soon), but I wanted to make sure you know about this–

I feel super blessed to have shared my thoughts in the study notes for this Bible! Have you picked up your copy? Not for my sake, but because Zondervan has just done an awesome job compiling so many useful tools in this version.

Pick it up for your group or for yourself today!


I Believe



Can no one else see the ocean that threatens to swallow?



How did you reach this empty place?

I want to hold you. 

To hit the brakes, grab your hand, and grasp it until you know…

You are not alone.

I believe in your story.

I believe that those who visit the barren places will not return empty.

Anyone who ever changed the world first visited the wilderness.

I see it in your eyes–those empty, lonely eyes–that you are about to spring into a depth you never knew existed.

Dear Friend,

I believe in your story.



After the Assault

I live in the south where sometimes people break into random conversations with strangers.

(We do that here. It’s called “being polite”. For introverts, it’s called “being assaulted”.)

It can happen anywhere, any time, and recently it happened to me. A stranger asked me what I do, and I said, I write books for teenagers. How ironic, she said, because she teaches school to teenagers.

There was that awkward silence that happens when you’ve been assaulted, and so I blurted, “What do you want to pass on to your students most?”

And she said, “Respect. There’s so little of it these days.”

Then she got on her phone and cussed out her husband for being late to pick her up.

(True story.)

That wasn’t the only assault that happened that day. A few minutes later I stared at a TV screen and heard another stranger say, “Do you see those two lines right there? YOU’RE HAVING ANOTHER GIRL!”

And my husband’s eyes got big and my three-year-old shouted “NO!” and I thought Heavens To Arlene, what are we going to do?

Don’t get me wrong, I am crazy about girls. I am one. I wrote a book for some. Because hey, I navigated some awful teenage years while trying to figure out the most important thing, which was, ironically, what that school teacher said I needed most—respect.

For myself.

Let me tell ya, sometimes when you have two X chromosomes, you’re going to get the wrong message. You have to coach yourself that you can do anything a man can do. That you are gifted and talented and intelligent. That beauty is overrated.

And so as I stared at that giant television screen with no man-parts staring back at me I thought, how in the world am I going to teach TWO innocent little girls what I struggled for so many years to figure out? I mean, I could hand them this column, but somehow that lacked the motherly touch.

And then, out of the panicked silence, my inner voice whispered… you have to learn to respect yourself. Again.

So here I am, and this is my declaration: I refuse to cuss at myself inwardly for not being “man enough”. I refuse to tip-toe toward my dreams while thinking I can’t accomplish it all. I refuse to sit by while others do what I have always wanted to do.

And I refuse to forget that part of what I’ve always wanted to do is love two little girls—little girls who are relying heavily on me to show them what respect really is.

No Longer Three


On the outside we’ve looked like a happy family of three for some time, and I admit, I was doing my very best to accept that.

We prayed. For several years. God, if another child is not what you have for us… 

Going public about choosing fertility treatments was painful for me. I knew some people would judge–why weren’t we considering adoption when there were so many children without families?

While we haven’t ruled out adoption for the future, this personal decision was based on a know-in-my-gut that if I do not get solid answers while I am in my early thirties, I will always wonder what could have been.

14 Weeks

Getting pregnant the first time around was not unassisted for me, but for some reason the second time around was like admitting I was broken.

The first thing the endocrinologist told me was that if we did in vitro, because of one of my autoimmune conditions, we might get one or two good eggs out of thirty. On the flip side, someone with other fertility issues would have 11 or 12 good eggs out of thirty.

I left the office in tears.

The next month I was pregnant… sans in vitro and with just some prescriptions (after a year of trying RX’s from my OBGYN).

I stared at the two pink lines that first week and begged them to be true. I’d shot myself up with pregnancy hormone a few weeks before and it was still leaving my system, so the lines could simply be artificial.

The minute I got my blood results I called my mom, who I’m pretty sure stood up and shouted the news out the sun roof of her car. (Actually, it was more of a stunned silence.)


At week twelve, the nurse handed me this onesie. We graduated. 

It hasn’t been an easy pregnancy. Thankfully the baby is great, but I’ve spent weeks holed up in a dark room vomiting and watching reality TV (probably the cause of my migraines??).

I’ll take it any day if it means I’m growing this little miracle life I knew was meant to be.

Your Gift


We’re emotional creatures, we creative-types. We don’t have to have mood swings or drama or crazy (though I probably have all three) to be ourselves… But we do have to feel in order to help others feel. And most of us came into the world feeling deeply.

We hurt for the girl with the tracks on her arms at Old Navy. We are physically affected by the thought of kids without homes. Some of us become emotionally paralyzed when our own grief hits, reflecting rather than doing. {I would argue that taking a little longer to reflect is actually healthier than what American culture tells us… which is, move on without processing.}

I was twenty-one years old when I finally heard the words, “There is nothing wrong with you. Deep feeling means deep caring.” I’d lived my whole life believing I was too sensitive. That somehow, some way, I would grow thicker skin and become “normal”. That eventually my compassion level would switch to average. A gift.

Dear creative friend, your ability to show compassion is a gift. Your pain, your agony, even, is your gift to the world–one that says, I see your pain. I feel your suffering. You are not alone. Sound familiar? God with us… Emmanuel. His Spirit inside of you.

Keep being you today. Keep feeling. Keep loving. And keep knowing when it is time to hand it off to Him… the one who comforts us so that we can comfort others with that same comfort. I love you, and so does the one who never ceases to be with us…

What do you mean I’m not her?


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