How to cultivate a true friendship


Friendship during the school years was relatively easy for me. When I was younger there were one or two friends at a time, and in high school we were a group of seven. Those are the friends with whom I spent most of my noon hours, Friday nights, and birthdays. In university I joined Campus Crusade and developed some healthy friendships with people who were like-minded and who challenged me to do more than study. (I also met my husband, who has been a very enduring friend!) Going to school is like being in a friendship hothouse. You become friends with those who are close by, and the friendships grow fairly easily because of proximity. There are some weeds (i.e. teenage hormones), and some people are toxic in close proximity, but I think many of us can trace at least one of our most enduring friendships back to our school … Read More

How to avoid having God veto your plans!

After [David] the king was settled in his palace and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”  2 Samuel 7:1-2 I listened to this chapter of David’s reign today, and it made me scratch my head. David has just brought the ark of God to Jerusalem after its many years in exile away from the spiritual heart of Israel. He’s so jazzed about it that in his enthusiasm he doesn’t do his research and gets a man killed by transporting the ark incorrectly (2 Samuel 6:1-11). Then, when they finally get it to Jerusalem, he embarrasses himself by dancing half-naked in the streets (2 Samuel 6:14-15). Obviously he is excited to have the ark, the earthly throne of Israel’s God, back in … Read More

Feigning Leprosy

The following is an excerpt from my devotional book for families, and is one of five short devotions based on the same scripture passage. A friend of mine just did this one with her 3 year old son, and she just texted me to tell me that he’s loving it! “Just FYI that G loves this week’s devotions better than any ever. He loves being sick and being healed by Jesus! He pretends to puke and itch himself and then gets healed and jumps for joy and says “Now I can ride my horse! I all better!”  Jesus Heals Ten Lepers From Luke 17:11–19 One day Jesus was walking in the country, and 10 ten men called out to him, “Jesus! Have pity on us!” They wanted Jesus to heal them, because their sickness was so terrible that no one would touch them anymore. No hugs from their moms, no high-fives from their … Read More

My Cup Runs Over

Cubbie has to memorize Psalm 23 for school this year. Not my first choice for a 5 year old, since it’s pretty abstract, but there are still things to be learned, even if they’re not fully understood. Today we talked about “my cups runs over” and what that means. It means that God keeps pouring his love on us. He pours out his love, and he doesn’t stop when we’re saturated. He continues to pour…and pour…and pour…until our life runs over with his love. (whether or not we feel that love or accept that love is a completely different post!) I thought we’d do a simple experiment. So I pulled out a cup, and had Cubbie fill up the water jug. Then we poured out “God’s love” into the cup…and kept pouring. Even though the boys knew what I was going to do, it was still surprising because we’re used … Read More

Like a Charging Horse

A few years ago I started looking in earnest for a good devotional for preschoolers. Honestly, I didn’t come up with anything I really liked. I found one that I gave away at church but when it came time to actually using it with my own preschooler, I discovered that it was basically just a book of good deeds with Bible references. Very disappointing. I believe that using the Bible as a book of rules and good deeds to emulate does a disservice to our children and to the God who gave us this incredible love letter. Another one I found was very promising, but it ended up being over the head of my then-three-year-old. So I started writing my own. I’m pretty pumped to say that those devotions are actually coming out in published book form within the next few months! Woohoo! But that isn’t actually what I wanted to … Read More

4 ways busy moms can get into the Word

3 ways for busy moms to get into the Word

I hunched over the stove, tears dripping down my nose.  “Why God?” Another wail came from upstairs. It was my baby, who hadn’t slept more than 45 minutes at a time since he came home from the hospital, weeks ago.  I was exhausted, but I hoped against all hope that this time he would sleep for a bit, and that I would get to sit down with God for a while.  But no. My eldest was snoozing soundly in his bed, but this baby needed constant movement to sleep, and my power levels were flashing red.  “Why won’t you make him sleep so I can spend some time with you? Isn’t that a good thing?”  In the midst of his wailing, I was reminded of a Bible passage I’d read a long time ago:  “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us … Read More

A new kind of Christmas present

I don’t know about your house, but mine has too many toys. We have a lot of great ones, like a big train set, duplo, kitchen stuff, tools, costumes, instruments, and of course the obligatory bucket of random stuff. I don’t really want to get rid of any of it because it all serves a purpose, but nor do I think we need any more toys in our house! Let’s just say cleaning is not my spiritual gift. But I do have difficulty settling down to play with the boys when there are things to do. You know the list, it’s probably the same as the mental one you have going right now. All the things you should be doing instead of hanging out online, right? 😉 So I really want to get away from the to-do list and spend more time with the boys, but buying them more toys … Read More

The wise men go a-traveling!

Today, Christmas Day, our wise men are starting their journey, following the star! Last year I did it before Christmas, but after I did some research, I realized that the journey of the wise men is traditionally celebrated for the 12 days following Christmas – hence the 12 days of Christmas! This year I thought we’d extend the Christmas fun and try just that! Every day the boys are going to find the wise men looking in unusual places for baby Jesus. Following the twelve days of Christmas is a celebration called Twelfth Night, at which point we’ll celebrate the arrival of the wise men with a special dinner. The early North American colonists brought their version of the Twelve Days of Christmas over from England, and adapted them to their new country, adding their own variations over the year. For example, the modern-day Christmas wreath may have originated with … Read More

Trying to give back…

How do you teach your kids to give back? To be generous? I had a revelation recently – all of the things we were doing to “give back” were things we did on our own time, with our own money. Our children don’t know about the school supplies I packed in September or the donations we give to various organizations. And if they don’t see us doing it, how can they learn it? So in an effort to teach by example, we’re trying a few new things this Christmas. In November we packed up some Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. I had my kids pick a few things of their own that they had never used, and we put them in the boxes. (I know they say they can’t take used items, but I’m not sure how they’d ever know these weren’t right off the shelf!) I had them each pick … Read More

A tale of two pigs…er, mothers

This morning was the worst morning ever. No, not because I felt sick, or worried, or exhausted. I was tired, since the baby had been up crying a lot in the night, but I’ve felt worse. Much worse. This morning was the worst morning ever because I acted like it was the worst morning ever. When the boys woke up, I sent them downstairs. They came back up. They were noisy and the baby was actually sleeping, so I hissed at them. They disappointedly went back down. It felt like every thing they did pissed me off, and so I snapped and hissed like a rattlesnake about to kill its innocent prey with its venomous bite. And my prey was innocent. Now, I’ve had times where I’ve snapped and hissed, and it usually doesn’t last long. I snap out of the funk and apologize. But this time it almost felt … Read More