All posts by Justine Buss

About Justine Buss

Justine Buss is a theatre practitioner, writer, wife, and mother currently based in Toronto. She was born and raised in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania and studied theatre and English at Muhlenberg College. She spent her professional career working with young people in theatre and is now a full time stay at home mom. She is married to Reverend Jared Buss and is mama to an effervescent one and a half year old with a second kiddo expected in early spring 2017. She loves doing crafts, singing, writing her first ever young adult novel, and going on adventures with her family. Being married to a minister means not necessarily knowing where she will be living in the not too distant future, which is both exciting and exhausting. She tries very hard to make herself at home with her family wherever they happen to be. Being able to write and connect with others from anywhere makes this a lot easier.


If “OMG” were a spice, it would be salt. It’s in everything.

From “Oh my god, that dress looks great on you” to “Oh my god, can you believe gas prices?” people seem to throw “OMG” into just about any sentence. It’s a one-size-fits-all exclamation that is as pervasive as “um” or “like.”

And it troubles me. So much so that even writing it out gives me pause. I don’t capitalize the word “god” in these contexts because it doesn’t seem like the Lord is really any part of the subject matter. I was always taught that saying “OMG” in a casual way is taking the Lord’s name in vain—using the Lord’s name without any true, reverent thought of Him was breaking the second commandment. As an adult, after studying the Word and the Heavenly Doctrines, it seems pretty clear to me that the casual use of OMG is problematic and we shouldn’t say it carelessly (my emphasis below):

You are not to take the name of Jehovah your God in vain, for Jehovah will not hold anyone guiltless, who takes His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7)

Taking the name of Jehovah God in vain means in the natural or literal sense the misuse of the name itself in all sorts of conversation, especially false statements or lies, and in swearing without good cause, or in order to avoid being blamed, in evil intentions, which are curses, and in witchcraft and spells. (True Christianity 297)
Continue reading OMG

Tell The Truth

Lately, my kids have been making me think a lot about truth. My two-year-old isn’t always very good at telling the truth. It’s always a little startling when your innocent baby figures out how to lie, but I’ve realized that it actually makes a lot of sense. She doesn’t tell the truth when she doesn’t want something to be true. For example, it’s a struggle getting her to admit to having a dirty diaper. She doesn’t want to be changed, so she pretends that her diaper is clean. Continuing to play is a far more pleasant prospect than having Mommy vigorously wipe smelly stuff off her bum. I don’t really blame her for reimagining reality in cases like this, but still, she has to learn to tell the truth, even when she doesn’t want to.

Just writing that out is a bit of an eye-opener: we have to tell the truth, even if we don’t want it to be true. It’s humbling to realize how often I have to relearn this same lesson. There are all sorts of untruths I tell myself because the reality doesn’t always seem terribly appealing. I bet you can relate to this too. Here are just a few things that come to mind for me:

I deserve a treat for all of my hard work today. “Deserve” is a pretty strong word. There is nothing wrong with rewarding oneself for a job well done, but for me at least, a “treat” usually means junk food. I might be rewarding my taste buds, but I’m punishing the rest of my body. That’s not much of a treat in the long run. On top of that, this kind of thinking typically omits honoring the Lord’s part in all of my successes. I’m not deserving. Not really. I just have the most amazing Heavenly Father helping me out. All the time. That in itself is actually a beautiful reality, but one I manage to ignore far too often. Continue reading Tell The Truth

David Was a Giant Too

When I let my emotions build up into an unstable tower that inevitably crashes down on me, I am crushed. When I wake up in the morning and my to do list looms large, I want to curl up in a ball under the covers and never come out. When I open my computer and discover that there has been another natural disaster or act of senseless violence, I feel myself shrinking in the face of such pain.

There is a lot out there that’s big: Huge storms, Massive acts of terror, Mega doubts and fears on a personal and global scale. The list of enormous things to worry about is itself truly gargantuan. And these monsters can make me feel so tiny and trivial, until I remember that the Lord is in charge, and He dwarfs them all.

The Lord is so pervasive and so profoundly present in all things that I can forget He’s there, which is crazy because He truly is the biggest thing there is. He is everything good and true and wonderful in this world and beyond. And you know what’s even crazier? He took the time to make us. He made me. This all-knowing, ever-present almighty Creator took the care and attention to make simple, seemingly insignificant me. Sure, it is no great feat for someone so powerful to make a human being, but the fact that He chooses to make each of us in His own image and keeps doing it, no matter how much we mess up the world, means that we matter. We truly matter. And that makes us big too. Continue reading David Was a Giant Too


A couple weeks before Christmas, we were getting ready to host a long-anticipated cocktail party at our house. My husband and I were a great team trying to get Christmas lights up, clean the house, and prep food for the occasion. Unfortunately, our toddler’s molars decided to make a ferocious push for the surface and we had to juggle a miserable little girl on top of all of the chores. We felt helpless. We kept giving her homeopathy and snuggles whenever we could, but sometimes she was completely inconsolable. Our usually cheerful munchkin was as fragile as could be and even though I was anticipating a festive event that evening, I could feel myself fraying at the edges. She skipped her nap entirely—something she hadn’t done for months, so she was completely exhausted on top of the pain and there was nothing we could do about it except desperately try to make it to bedtime.

A little before dinner, she really fell apart. We had already tried all sorts of distractions and remedies throughout the day and were running out of ideas. I decided that she had been cooped up in the house for a while, so I was going to bundle her up and take her for a walk outside to look at Christmas lights. The battle that ensued was utterly unprecedented. It took both my husband and I to wrestle her into warm clothes as she kicked and screamed. My patience and heart were breaking. Continue reading Teething