The one parenting goal you don’t want to miss

One parenting goal

I have heard it said that parenting is like flying a kite. When they are young, you keep them close, but as they grow, you let out the line little by little. If you let it out all at once, giving them too much freedom, they’ll get tangled in the briars of life. But if you never let go, they don’t learn to fly on their own. The key, the impossible, glorious key, is to let it out knot by knot, at the right times and in the right places. I’m quite sure it’s impossible to get right every time. Today I let out a knot, allowing my 8 year old to ride home from the park on his own. There were only 3 smallish roads to cross, but still, my mama heart beat faster than I would have liked. I have seen the damage that can be caused by … Read More

3 Ways to Slip Jesus Into the Lives of Your Grown Kids and Grandkids

grandparenting

  Susan and I share a heartbeat: we both long for parents and grandparents to truly understand their great influence in the spiritual lives of kids. It’s an honour to welcome Susan to my home-on-the-web today. Susan is a pastoral counselor, author, speaker, mom and grandma. I’d love for you to check out her FREE 5-day online mini-course called Paving the Way: 5 Ways to Attract Your Grown Kids to Jesus. You can get the details and jump into the video course here. Doesn’t it just rip you up inside when your grown child shows no interest in the Lord? Maybe you raised your kids in the faith, and maybe you didn’t. Either way, your faith, the most important part of your life, is ignored—set aside as ancient history or labeled “Emergency Use Only.” And you wonder where you missed it? What could you have done differently in raising this child? And … Read More

Books for preteen girls!

Harmony Blues, a book for pre-teen girls!

Today I’d love to welcome Victoria Kimble to my space. Her book for preteens, “Harmony Blues” is the third in a series of books for Christian preteen girls. Victoria has graciously donated the first two books in the series as a giveaway on this, her launch week for Harmony Blues! With an average of 4.9/5 stars (and with 79 reviews on Amazon, wow!), this is a fantastic giveaway! All you need to do to enter is share this post (Pinterest, Facebook, or email a friend with preteen daughters) then comment at the bottom! Giveaway closes on Tuesday, July 4 at 9 pm MST.  I wonder if I’ll ever get over how awkward I felt in junior high. I’ve forgotten a lot of things about my childhood, but the memories of junior high are always vivid, never fading. I can picture my walk to my locker, the stairs to the classrooms, … Read More

Why read Biblical fiction? (+ 9 great books to get you started)

Read fiction

Each time I pick up a non-fiction book to read, I inevitably quit part way through. I have the best of intentions, but it just loses my interest. Stories, on the other hand, are what make me read late into the night (which is probably what destroyed my eyesight! haha). Did you know that reading stories can be a fabulous way to become more engaged in God’s word? Reading historical fiction that is well-researched and set in Biblical times can be one of the most fun ways to throw yourself deeper into that ancient world. Why? Well-researched and well-written fiction can help you understand the context of the Bible like never before. All the books of the Bible were written for a specific, ancient group of people with a specific culture. If we don’t understand the culture, we are liable to misunderstand the Bible. Humans learn best through story. And … Read More

Why we all need to read the Bible (and how to get started)

Why we all need to read the Bible

According to research conducted by the Barna Group, about 1/3 Americans read the Bible once per week or more, even though 9/10 Americans own at least one Bible. So why are we buying the Bible but not reading it?  We obviously don’t feel drawn to open the Bible and read its contents. But is that because we have read the Bible and found it wanting, or because we have never read it the right way? I’ve heard many reasons for not wanting to read the Bible: it’s outdated…it’s just a bunch of rules…it doesn’t apply to life. But for God-fearing people, there is one powerful reason to pick up the book and read it for ourselves: It is the only way to get an accurate* picture of God.  (*When I say “accurate”, I mean that we get the fullest picture of God that a human mind can handle. God is full … Read More

3 ways to build a rhythm of rest into your life

Rhythm of rest

This year just about did me in. At one point I felt on the verge of some kind of breakdown, and at the other point I was just bone weary. Have you ever felt like that? Like the world is on your shoulders and if you sit down for even a minute, everything’s going to collapse? Everyone has different circumstances that bring us to that point of near-collapse. For me it was a change in work schedule, having to find and train a new teammate at church, having 2 kids in school (with all the associated library book returns and forms to sign and a weird kindergarten schedule to keep track of), a weekly piano lesson that was at an awkward time, and a toddler that dropped his naps. In the midst of all that, in the evenings I was trying to exercise four times per week, write a novel and blog twice … Read More

how to find peace in a busy world

How to find peace in a busy world

I lay on the tufts of fresh grass, wind caressing my face, wind chimes playing their gentle tune. The sun warms my toes and thoughts wash to and fro on the sea of my invisible mind. One stray idea, plucked from the waves and held carefully, like a delicate ball of hand-blown glass. I turn it around in my mind’s eye, appraising its value. When did I get so busy? Too busy to sit and enjoy the grass between my toes, too tired to double-bounce my boys on the trampoline, too thoughtless to even sweep the floor. What have I been doing? Many good things. I have been doing many good things. But have I done the good things to the exclusion of the best things? To spend time learning at the feet of my Lord, to worship him as the woman who spent her most precious perfume on him. What is my most … Read More

3 Stories that stir the soul of your children

What if you could read a story that was more than a story, a story that would stay with you long after the final word? What if you could read a story that drew you closer to God? What if you could read that same story to your kids? What if that story would draw your kids closer to God as well, by opening up conversations about faith in your home? Would you read it? With the revival of reading aloud to our children, (even children that can read perfectly fluently), comes the need for stories that stir the imagination and the soul. There are many books in the world that do one or the other, but not nearly enough that do both. Enter…stories to stir the soul! These original stories, written by yours truly, will move both you and your kids as you read, study, and learn together. They are each read-able … Read More

The easiest way to share (and remember) the gospel

The easiest way to share (and remember) the gospel

What’s the easiest way to share (and remember) the gospel? With colors! You may have seen something called “the wordless book” or made beaded bracelets with the colors in Sunday School. But most of the color-presentations are missing something essential. They are missing God’s motivation. As a story-writer, I know that every character must be properly motivated. His/her actions have to have a reason, because that’s how things work in real life. We don’t do random things. Even if they may APPEAR random, they always have a reason. (Whether or not the reason is sane is another story altogether.) When we start our gospel presentations with sin, we have a motivation problem. Why on earth would God want to save us from our sin? The answer to that question, the motivation for Christ’s sacrifice, lies BEFORE sin. The gospel starts at creation, not at the fall. If God hadn’t created the … Read More

why Christians need to care about the environment, and 5 tips to get you started

Environmental awareness is important for Christians! 5 tips to get you started.

My son came home from kindergarten, thrilled about the fact that Earth Day is coming up. His class had a litter-less lunch day and he’s been learning all about the importance of recycling to help our environment. For some reason, this is something all our kids know (and remind us of on repeat!) but we tend to forget about in the daily grind of raising families. Christians are notoriously resistant to the idea of caring for the environment, usually because of misleading end-times theology…if we think we’re going to be raptured off the earth before it goes to pot, why bother caring?* There are, however, two compelling reasons to care for the earth. The best reason to care about the earth is because it is filled with Image-Bearers of God – people created and adored by our God. When our overconsumption and waste affects the atmosphere, severe droughts happen in sub-saharan Africa … Read More