The one parenting goal you don’t want to miss

One parenting goal

“Can I ride home by myself?” he asked, eyes pleading to let him have this freedom. He was 8. We were at the park near our house. There were only 3 smallish roads to cross, but still, my mama-heart beat faster than I would have liked. Images of broken bodies raced through my mind, along with the sound of squealing brakes. I shook my head to dispell the thoughts – my son was not my sister. So I swallowed and nodded. Parenting is like… 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. … 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

The Top 9 Things Every Mom of 3 Boys Needs You To Know

One mom's humorous take on what it is like to raise 3 sons

3 boys can be a lot of work, but there are significant perks to this mom-job! If I had a dollar for every time someone said one of the following things to me when I’m out with my 3 boys, I’d be living on a private island right now: Are you trying for a girl? You must be busy. *look of extreme sympathy* Frankly, I love my 3 boys to bits. They are each about 2 1/2 years apart. The eldest has a surprising wit that alternately leaves me rolling on the floor and rolling my eyes, but also has a big, sensitive heart. My middle guy is the best helper I’ve ever met, and even in early elementary is a real ladies man. The littlest boy is sneaky, but every time I catch him doing something bad, he turns on the most dimpled smile and gets out of trouble. … Read More

The 3 verse gospel

Share the gospel in 3 verses; includes printable posters!

I was sitting in the first row in my Invertebrates class at University, waiting for it to start. I have no idea why I sat in the front that day, normally being a back-row sitter. It must have been the fascinating subject material…I mean, jellyfish and crustaceans would certainly keep anyone on the edge of their seat. My lab partner came and sat next to me, and we started chatting. I don’t recall the subject of our discussion, except that she suddenly asked me THE question… “What do Christians believe anyway?” My heart stuttered, my mouth went dry. I had been a Christian most of my life, why was I suddenly panicking? I hastily drew a bridge on my notebook and went through the “bridge illustration” with her, but class was about to start. I’m pretty sure I told the whole thing in less than a minute (once I actually … Read More

How to love like Jesus (what would Jesus really do?)

I once heard a preacher man tell of Jesus’ great love for Peter. Peter, the man who stood within earshot and swore upside-down and sideways that he had never met the man he once called Lord. Peter, back to fishing soon after they murdered his heart’s disowned owner, turning back to the job he knew because the job he wanted had broken his heart. Peter, who awkwardly swam to shore, lungs burning, muscles aching, mind afire after a long night of staring into the fathomless depths of Galilee waiting for a bite. And when he got to shore, panting, dripping, heart knotted like a tossed-aside fishing net, he saw that the man he had cursed had breakfast ready. Fish and bread. The same meal the disciples twice passed out to impossible thousands of lost people, now offered to seven fishermen who forgot they were fishers of men, not fish. Jesus … Read More

The great fear battle: The what-ifs vs. #doitscared

What to do when the fear overwhelms

It came unexpectedly. The fear. What if one of my boys develops a kidney disease and I can’t save his life because I already gave away a kidney? Fear is like that, you know? You’re walking along all confident that you’re doing the right thing, then WHAM. It hits you like the smell of skunk and you can’t shake it. It wafts after you, tendrils reaching out, trying to encompass you in its stench. You know it’s not good for you but it’s just so darn persistent. I sat in that fear for awhile, stewing in the stench of the what ifs. What if the doctors find a disease while I’m being screened? What if my body reacts poorly to anesthetic? What if my body doesn’t handle the loss of a kidney the way I expect? What if someone I know needs a kidney and I can’t help them? What if I get … Read More

The Powerful Message of the “Grinch Gospel”

Understand the message of the Christian faith more deeply through the Grinch Gospel. The actors lined up backstage, ready to perform their roles with dignity and clarity. But one by one, they messed up. She forgot her lines. He wanted someone else’s part, so he didn’t play his role and an entire scene became confused. She didn’t understand her character. The choir sang out of key. Was it my child’s most recent Christmas play? Nope. It is the chaos that is humanity. We forget our parts, misunderstand our roles, desire to be someone other than ourselves, and generally create a cacophony of brokenness. But in the midst of the brokenness, Christmas reminds us of the incredible moment that God joined the actors of human history onstage. No longer content to merely author the stage play from backstage and touch down occasionally, He chose to join in as a full participant. … Read More

finding peace in the remembering

I pull the ornament out of its box, calling my son over. “See this one? This one is from mommy and daddy’s wedding. We made these for everyone who came, hanging them all on the Christmas trees. Everyone took one home, including us.” The painted glass feels warm in my hand, the black lettering just beginning to flake off. After 12 years of coming in and out of storage, it is beginning to look less shiny. After 12 years of living, a marriage looks less shiny as well. I flip over the tag that I attached to the ornament in the thrill of passion and new love. “Many waters cannot quench love, rivers cannot overwhelm it.” I inhale deeply as I remember the promises of God to me and my husband. Many things happen in life that threaten to drown out love, and the rivers of time easily chip away at the … Read More

5 ways to enjoy church as an introvert

introvert church service

Let me tell you a story… You walk into church and a greeter gives you a handshake and says welcome. There are about two hundred people milling around. They stand in groups with their backs to you, drinking coffee. None of them turn to say hello. When people do talk to you, it’s small talk and you never really know what to say. Or, if you show up just as the service is starting, you have to walk past all the eyes to go sit in the front because all the regulars have already claimed the back pews. So many eyes. In the middle of the service you have to turn around and shake hands with everyone around you, possibly engaging in more small talk or even a series of hugs. At the end of the service you are asked to stand up (in front of everyone) if you need prayer. … Read More