3 truths to remember when the storm rages

Snowflakes swirled around us as we said goodnight. He brushed accumulated snow off his car, then drove away, leaving deep tracks in the road. No one else wanted to drive tonight, but he had to get home. And home was 2 1/2 hours down a dark and slippery highway. It was a weekend like any other. My fiancee had driven all afternoon on Friday to stay with my family for the weekend, only to drive all the way back home on Sunday evening. It was no big deal. We did it every weekend. Except for the snow.  An anxious chill nipped at my heart as his car disappeared into the blizzard. He’d be fine, right? He was a good driver.  The cool fingers of fear tugged their way into my mind as the hours went by. Snow piled higher on the fence and drifted across the driveway. This was a … Read More

A practical way to encourage thankfulness in your home

Thankfulness Tree

Developing a thankful heart in our kids is a top priority for many families, and one that becomes a bigger priority when autumn (and Thanksgiving) rolls around!  If you’re looking for a fun way to encourage thankfulness in your family, consider creating a Thankfulness Tree. This is the one we had a few years ago. We added to it afterward but I neglected to take a picture when it was more full of leaves.    For one season I hung this tree in our front entryway, and during another Thanksgiving season I hung it in our kitchen. I created the paper tree out of butcher paper and attached some pre-cut leaves. The following pictures are from my friend’s house – her teen daughter made this one with her friend!   The year we had our Thankfulness Tree in the entrance, it was the first thing that you saw when you … Read More

What Micah 6:8 means for moms

Micah 6:8 for moms

I’ve been feeling spiritually dry recently. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fact that schedules are changing around here – Dodger has given up his afternoon nap so my at-home afternoons are no longer as quiet as they used to be. Going back to work in April has also been a challenge because our office space has changed: I used to have a room near the back where I could shut the door and pray in peace, and now I have a shared office with a giant window that’s right off the main area. Not that those are insurmountable odds, but it makes spending time in private prayer and the Word a little more challenging to work into my schedule. I imagine there are others of you who struggle with the same thing, no matter what kind of life you lead! For some reason, what is … Read More

3 reasons to meet with God every day

What does "I am the vine, you are the branches" really mean?

The motto of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, is “Nisi Dominus Frusta”, which means, “without the Lord, frustration”. This is a feeling I know well. Nothing in my life has showed me the extent of my sinfulness and inabilities as parenting. Being a mom has brought out parts of my personality I would much rather have remained under the surface! I’m sure that I am not alone in this confession. Docile women become angry moms, flexible people become brick-wall parents, and unflappable men find themselves snapping in irritation at their children. No one is a perfect parent, but you and I have a choice about how we respond when we’re overwhelmed: a) Will we continue to parent out of our depleted reserves? b) Will we try to fill up our own reserves with me-time and hobbies? c) Or will we turn to the Well that never runs dry to be … Read More

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 then … 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