Author: accidental devotional

I live and work and love in the city of Atlanta. I am trying hard to follow God as a mother, teacher, wife, speaker and writer. Sometimes, there are moments when I get it right. And when I don't God's grace is sufficient.

All the Feels. You can have them.

am writing 31 fighting scarcity. I will be collecting them all at the starting point. I hope you join me this month. 


Almost all of my negative emotions initially come out as anger. I loose something precious to me? I yell before I cry. I am at a loss at what to do about a relationship I care deeply about? I start using the f-word in all kinds of situations that have nothing to do with that relationship. I am lonely? I get generally irritated at my student’s (and my children’s) inability to listen to my directions. I am scared? I get mad about the traffic.

I know how to navigate anger. Anger feels safer to me than grief, hopelessness, loneliness, fear. I know what to do about anger. I know how to yell and be sarcastic. Anger I can handle.

I fear other emotions because I am afraid they will over take me. I am afraid that grief or loss or loniness, that I will get stuck feeling those somehow. That I won’t ever feel anything else again. So instead, I get angry. It feels safer.

Somehow, scarcity has told me that I am only allowed to feel so many things, that I am only allowed to feel so many things about a particular thing. If I am sad it is over I can’t be grateful it happened. If I am overwhelmed by the opportunity I can’t be happy about it. If I am jealous of someone’s opportunity I can’t be thrilled for them.

Y’all. That right there is a LIE from the PIT. THERE IS NOT SUCH THING AS A SCARCITY OF FEELINGS!

Abundance says FEEL ALL THE FEELS! You are allowed to feel all of the feelings. Feelings are complicated and if you are feeling jealous that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to feel anything else. Deep sorrow does not negate deep joy. In fact, I am pretty sure it invites it. You are absolutely one hundred percent allowed to feel whatever it is you are feeling, and when you get to the end of it you are allowed to feel whatever is next.

Scarcity of feelings isn’t real. There are so many feelings, and this life is so mixed up and complicated. Feel whatever it is you need to feel. That is the only way to abundance.

The Kingdom of God is like Mama’s Minivan

Today I get to bring you the word of Idelette MicVicker. Y’all when I say she is the REAL DEAL, I mean she is the real deal. When she says she wants a sisterhood, she means that. When she says everyone is in, she means that. When she says she wants to live in a better world she means that. Then she works her butt off to make it happen and get it done, and the most amazing thing is she does it humbly and totally self aware. I LOVE SheLoves magazine, a space she has created that is just beautiful, and I love that it totally reflects her amazing heart. I love this particular piece because I resonate so deeply with it, and because I think you will too.

The Kingdom of God is like a Driver

By Idelette McVicker

We need dreamers and we need drivers.

These days, I do a bit more driving than dreaming.

I get to sit behind the wheel of our sexy silver minivan for several hours a day, several days a week, driving kids and friends and students to where they want and need to go.

I pick up our student from her hip-hop class. I drive Gabi to her basketball practice. Telah gets a ride to soccer practices and Shay and I drive to hockey on Sundays where I get to lace up skates and sit on a cold bench for an hour.

We have three kids, one international student and a full life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. We sit down for meals at a real table mostly every night. But we also drive a lot.

As a family, we have officially entered what is known as The Driving Season. My kids are old enough, so they participate in sports, but not quite old enough to get there on their own, so I get to drive them where they need to be.

At first, I resisted this new season, wanting to guard our home time like a dragon Mama. And then, one Tuesday morning, I drove a young friend to her new residential treatment program. She was excited, but mostly nervous to start the program. A dear friend who had also gone through the program was sitting next to me in the passenger seat, helping to talk her through her fears.

Suddenly, around 9am on an ordinary Tuesday, we entered into holy time.

Sitting in that minivan, I realized driving this one girl to this appointment and the start of a new season in her life, was the most important thing I could do in that moment. On many days, driving may seem mundane and without much purpose, but on that day the Kingdom of God broke through somewhere between the steering wheel and my bum on the driver’s seat.

I was participating in the work of Freedom. I was participating in the work of Purpose. I, too, was participating in the work of Restoration.

I may not be the one doing the work, getting the healing, being restored, but my participation in her story, is glorious in the Kingdom of God.

This kind of invisible service? Jesus sees it.

A few days earlier, I drove a friend to a meeting with a brother she hadn’t seen in eight years. This meeting was her attempt to connect, cross a dilapidated bridge and restore a relationship.

I got to be the driver.

We drove 502 kilometers on that day, so she could go see her brother. I was on the sidelines all day. I was not the main player in the story. But I got to watch the rekindling of an important relationship.

That’s when I knew: These wheels turn for reconciliation and restoration. These tires burn for healthy hearts and strong souls. This body will sit and stay and carry the ones who need to walk into the future.

My life cannot be about my own life alone.

Driving is investing straight into the future.

Driving is saying, “You’re welcome!” to the generations to come.

Driving is laying down our own lives on behalf of others.

It’s not martyrdom. It’s not the only thing. Seen through the right eyes, driving others to their future is a beautiful participation in the Kingdom of God.

These are not about my dreams. These are about my kids’ dreams for the future, my friend’s desire for family, a young girl’s hope for freedom.

I am reminded of the story of the friends who carried their friend on a mat towards Jesus. They lowered him from the roof and basically insisted on his healing. Their commitment and tenacity became part of his freedom story.

I like that idea of insistence. Showing up for driver’s duty can become like a prayer—an insistence— cutting away brush and making Way for another’s future.

There was a season in life when everything revolved around me. It was all about my dreams, my hopes, my vision of the future. It was all about what I wanted for dinner, where I wanted to go, what I wanted to choose.

I still carry my preferences and hopes and dreams in this body and heart. But I can see now how the Kingdom of God is like pulling up the minivan and throwing open the doors and filling up the seats, so we may travel together to something greater than our own one life. We get to multiply. We get to carry the ones who come along into the future they hope for. We get to love others, the way we would like to be loved.

Driving is tiring. Sometimes it feels like there’s no accomplishment.

Driving Gabi to her basketball game isn’t nearly as fulfilling as being the one out on the court, making a good play, scoring a basket. The glory lies only in the other.

But I see how this is also good. This sitting on the sidelines and investing into the future of another, is also beautiful.

I am deeply moved when someone listens to my dreams and helps take me where I want to go. I imagine I am not the only one.

Sometimes the work of dreaming and hoping and building a good life is hard and the journey is long. What a gift, then, when a friend jumps into the driver’s seat and says, You want to go there? Come. I’ll take you.

That dream in your heart? Let me take you.

That future you hope for? I’ll go with you.

We need dreamers and drivers.

Dreamers can imagine beautiful new futures and lead the way. Drivers are the ones who say, I see that too. Let’s go. I’ll drive.


About Idelette:

I was born and raised in South Africa during Apartheid. That story has forever shaped my life and how I experience the world. I’ve lived on three continents and I like to imagine myself now as a global citizen.  Sixteen years ago, I married a cheeky Canadian and moved to Vancouver. We have three children (11, 10 and 8) and is my fourth baby.

I bake bread, wear mostly black and love big shoes. I am a charismatic contemplative and my happy place is both around a big noisy table and alone by the ocean. I love Jesus, justice and living juicy.

This Chinese proverb shakes me in my soul: When sleeping women wake, mountains move.

Twitter: @idelette

Instagram: @idelettemcvicker

Facebook: Idelette



Idelette headshots 16

There is enough room for you

I am writing 31 fighting scarcity. I will be collecting them all at the starting point. I hope you join me this month. 


I have sort of a big personality. A big face that has repeatedly described as good for a cartoon characted. A voice so loud my sisters invented a shorthand where they just turned an imaginary dial down and I knew I was talking too loud. I had to teach it to my carpool mate yesterday. I was just excited. All of my feelings are big. Happy, sad, frustrated, I experience all of these in the extreme.

Until I turned about 26 I was often told that I would grow out of this trait. That one day I would grow up and settle down, and I would smile and think of the women who came before me. My great-great Aunt Ruth who remained a big personality for 103 years, my Grandma France always the life of the party, my Grammy Michael who preferred all things  mauve and had her whole house decorated accordingly. Big personality runs through my veins. I am not growing out of it.

The more I grow comfortable in my own skin in fact the bigger I seem to grow. There is no way to deal with my feelings but to feel them all the way through them. Sometimes that happens out loud. Sometimes in the copy room when a co-worker asks if I am okay. Sometimes in small group. And I am learning that that is okay. That it is an authentic way to live, and most importantly that my bigness, my wholeness, my feelings don’t push out anyone else’s. There is enough room for everyone to feel everything they need. There is enough room for me to be my whole self. 

The lie scarcity tells me is that in order to leave room for other people I need to shrink myself. I need to be less of who I am or else there won’t be enough room. But that is a lie from the pit.

The truth is that free people free people. People who are their whole selves (whether reserved or over the top) only invite other people to be their whole selves too. There is NO SUCH THING as not enough room for us all to be ourselves. There is space for you, as much space as you were designed to take up.

You don’t have to shrink yourself; the world needs all of you.

That’s a LIE from the PIT: 31 days of Fighting Scarcity

It seems that every October I do something a little bit nutty. 2 years ago I decided it was a priority to get a manuscript edited before my 30th birthday. Last year I gave a TEDx talk. This year, I am joining the ranks of people who write every day for the month of October. Frankly, I am a little bit surprised I haven’t done this before. I am a bit of a joined (I mean, if there is a party, I want to go!) and I know my writing has been most improved when I write consistently. So, 31 days here we go!


It should surprise no one that I am fighting scarcity these next 31 days, with the phrase I have been told should go on a bobble head doll of me. Maybe one day.

That is a LIE from the PIT! I hate lies. I hate the freedom they keep us from and the things they make us believe, and if there is one lie that gets me every single time from every single angle, it is scarcity. There isn’t enough, there won’t be enough, I will get left out, or behind, or in the cold. I won’t get mine. And then there is the other side of that same lie. I am too much. I can’t have this many words, or that much passion. I need to be less of myself so that other people have enough room for them.

NONE OF THAT IS TRUE! Did you hear me? None of that is true. There is SO MUCH space and SO MUCH goodness. It is enough. God calls it enough. And that is what we are going to be talking about this month. I am SUPER excited.

Where do you see scarcity in your life? How would you act if you really truly deeply believed in abundance?

I am allowed to say my life is hard….and so are you.

Teaching is hard. I know it isn’t the hardest thing that anyone has ever done ever. But it is hard, especially if you are doing it right. There is never enough time, or resources or emotional energy to do this job as well as you thought you were going to do it while you were in college and had all the answers about how you were going to change the world one fifteen year old at a time.

Being a working mom is hard. I am constantly juggling everything and I drop balls sometimes and this society is built in such a way that if you are a working mom you feel like you aren’t doing enough for both your work and your family. It is a lose lose up in here more days than I am willing to count. There are too many things and not enough hours and I am always feeling like I am beholden to someone while I am disappointing someone else. The margin in my life is so small that the Atlanta traffic regularly makes my plans go awry and I don’t how to fix that.

Chasing my dreams is hard. It is hard to have a manuscript completed for two years as you send it out into the abyss of agents who don’t respond because they simply do not have the time. It is hard to be told, this is good, but not for me over and over again. It is hard to feel jealous of people you love, and harder to decide to choose yourself over and over again even when you feel like no one else is (even when that isn’t really true but it feels true.)

These things are just really hard. 

And I am allowed to say that they are hard. I am allowed to feel like they are hard. A post of mine started circulating again. With or without my promotion, this has happened every year. Being a teacher in September is getting harder every year. And every year I get comments about how if I really want to know what is hard I should go do the commenter’s job.


I don’t write about other people’s experiences because I don’t know about them. I am not saying that nursing isn’t hard. It sounds really hard, and I am very concerned that nurses are over worked in this country while they literally save lives one twelve hour shift at a time. I am very grateful for soldiers who protect my freedom and I cannot imagine how hard living away from your home for months at a time, let alone being shot at is. I can’t imagine how hard that is.

I know I don’t even have the hardest teaching job there is. As far as school placement goes, I pretty much won the lottery. The kids more or less do what I ask, the parents are supportive, my principal regularly sends emails out that say Thank you for the work you do. And my job is still hard. It is just really really hard.

I don’t write about being a working mom very often. But I want to write about it at least weekly. I don’t write about being a working mom and my constant need to lean into the grace of enough more often than I need to breathe, because I don’t want to negate the experience of the people I love who are stay-at-home moms. (Even the language is tricky I KNOW y’all wish you simply stayed at home, but I don’t want to say full-time because even when I am at work, I am still a mom, all the time. You see what I am saying?)

But me saying that being a working mom is really stinking hard, in NO way negates the experiences of my stay-at-home people. They are both really hard. 

I know that I could quit chasing my dreams. That while I feel called, I choose this for myself. I choose to show up at this blog. I chose to write a manuscript and I choose to keep trying to get it published. I am choosing this thing. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. Even if I am choosing it, rejection sucks and is always hard. Even if I have gotten really lucky, gotten to yesses sometimes and I am grateful. I am.

But I am also allowed to say that 30 rejections in 2 years stings. It is hard to keep trying.

I am allowed to say that teaching is hard, even at a solid school in a solid suburb. Even when I genuinely like my job. It is still hard. And I am allowed to say that being a working mom is hard. Because it is. It is a different kind of hard than being a stay at home mom, but it is still hard. And me saying that my reality is hard, does not take away from anyone else’s. But the only experience I really know about is mine.

And you are allowed to say that your life is hard too. 

I know lots of people who are doing things that are hard every day. If you are doing life right, it isn’t easy. It is just really hard. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. But you know what would make this life infinitely easier? If we stopped competing with one another over things that are not actually competitive (and this from a girl who got her varsity letter in public speaking, I know how to do competition) and started saying, Yeah. Me too. Your thing sounds hard, and my thing is also hard. Let’s take a deep breath. We got this.

Me saying my life is hard in NO WAY means yours isn’t too. There are a million ways to do life authentically, and all of them are a challenge. But not being allowed to admit that this thing we are doing is HARD makes it even less bearable. We can do hard things, but really only together.

In the comments tell me what is hard today, and I will cheer you on!

Women on Writing

I met Alissa in an online writing community, but had noticed her work before that. She helped me with a very rough manuscript, cheering me the whole way through a round of edits. Then I got to meet her and discovered her keen eye for how to make things better she applies to her parenting, her neighborhood, her life. She interview me for her women in writing series where I mostly fan-girled all over Sarah Bessey and talked about doing it anyway.
Do you remember when you first began to identify yourself as a writer? How did that identity form for you?
I think for me writing formed out of necessity. I was in a church that wanted to utilize me and my husband to do drama kind of stuff during the service, but the stuff I could find to preform was SO SO BAD. It was awful. So I started writing my own material. This still didn’t make me call myself a writer. I started a blog in 2010, I still didn’t think of myself as a writer, rather as someone who was trying to write. In 2013 I picked “unashamed” as my one word resolution. It took me by storm. I started calling myself a writer, asking myself, what would I do if I wasn’t ashamed I was a writer? Then I would do it! I gained community, I asked for time to write, I bought myself a laptop, I started submitting my work to other places and asking for spaces at tables I wanted to sit at. It wasn’t until I called myself a writer that I started acting like one. I bought into the idea that writers have to have a regular practice, a cabin in the woods, hours by themselves, a book traditionally published. THAT IS NOT REAL! Writers write. As long as you are writing you are a writer.

To Priscilla on her 4th Birthday

Dear Priscilla,

Yesterday you turned four. This year you were ready. This year you had discussed your party and your cake to great lengths. This year you had practiced putting up four fingers when someone asked about your age. Four is a big year for you I think.

Four is a big year for us all it seems. When I was pregnant with you, asking God to give me a clue about who you were, I just heard over and over again, this one brings change. Change. You were born two weeks into your dad’s degree, a month into me at a new school. Next year you will be going to school yourself, and the whole family will be changing again. New career for mom, transition out of student status for dad. We don’t know if our location will change, we aren’t sure what we will leave behind, what we will bring with us.

But you have taught me so much about change, about things not going according to plan. I know what a delight a surprise can be. I know how confusion breaks way to understanding. I know how dim my plans are compared to the glory that is painted by God. I do not want to imagine a family without you. I don’t want to imagine what kind of a mom I would be without you. I can’t imagine your sister without you in her life. You were supposed to be with us, right here, right now. You weren’t planned by me, but your purpose has been written in the stars since the beginning of time. Priscilla means set apart, venerated.

Classic four year old

A photo posted by Abby Norman (@accidentaldevotional) on

You are still growing into your big feelings, but you are learning about the world and how to navigate it. I learn a lot by watching you. This summer, on the beach, after a full week of cousin fun you had simply had enough. I bent down to ask what was wrong and how I could fix it, when you looked me dead in the face and howled out: I’m Just Having a HARD TIME! I’m just having a hard time. Your recognition that you were struggling, but you just needed to feel through it, was just so perfect. It is okay to be having a hard time. It is okay to be struggling, you just need time to get it together.

You have such a strong understanding of who you are and what you want. You like Ariel and Sleeping Beauty. You like pajama dresses, not pant, all things pink and sparkly, your hair long and down. You insisted on growing out your bangs this summer. It looked so good I decided to join you. You like lunch foods for breakfast and lemonade that is not pink, just regular. You like anything dipped in ranch. You like your family, your sister, and riding the dog even though you aren’t supposed to. You tell me she doesn’t mind, you seem to be right but lets not push it. You like having time with your babysitters all to yourself. You like Bayley the wrestler, and Fluttershy the Pony. You know what you like, you won’t be deterred. I would tell you to hang on to this trait, but I don’t have to. You will, it is inherent in your being.

Four years old and full of style. Happy birthday baby.

A photo posted by Abby Norman (@accidentaldevotional) on

You are learning so much, so quickly your dad and I often talk about what is going to happen when you go to school. You know most of the kindergarten curriculum already. One of the things you are still most interested in is how to make people laugh. At less than 2 years you threw the bowl of whatever it was you were eating on your head and declared “It’s a HAT!” You learned how funny it was and have been trying to crack us up ever since. This summer you learned how to tell knock-knock jokes. Your rendition of the interrupting cow totally slays.

This year I noticed that your birthday comes just as the seasons are changing. The sun is slowly coming out later, moving to night sooner. The trees are just beginning to be kissed with autumn shades. I often begin to struggle in this time of year. I become depressed as I just don’t get enough sunlight, my body struggles to adjust. This year I haven’t had as much trouble, but have become infatuated with the quality of the light at this time of year, the warmth and golden tone is glorious, and I tip my face to the sky and breathe.

My wish for you on this birthday, is that you would tip your face to this life and breathe. This world is glorious, and the change is inevitable, but the moment the golden glow hits your face is worth every moment of having a hard time.

All my love,