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 expense of forgiveness

forgive

I picked up another small shirt, shook it out, then folded it. As I added it to the growing pile of clean laundry, the pile of dirty laundry in my heart grew. I had been highly embarrassed by a tactless remark, and was fuming about the lack of apology from the offender. Despite having told the person my feelings, including that I was planning to forgive them, unforgiveness was a stain on my soul. I thought about all the ways that I could remind them about their infraction, all the ways I could manipulate them into an apology. The stain deepened. // My Bible app was playing through Exodus, but I was barely paying attention to all the rules for the tabernacle. As I folded a pair of pants and the reader droned through the rules of sacrifices, I was arrested by a peculiar thought: the Kingdom of God is … 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

fighting FOR our strong-willed kids instead of against them

hard-to-handle

Let’s swap “stubborn kid” stories, shall we? I’ll tell you about the time a friend asked my 3-year-old to help clean up a communal play area…and he soundly ignored her after repeated attempts to get him to help. I was mortified. I’ll tell you about all the nitpicked meals that have gone in the compost because a certain picky eater would rather go to bed than touch his food. Or the time this child refused, REFUSED, to go to Sunday School. The same Sunday School his mother is in charge of. Yup. He was so rude to his teacher, I wanted to hide in a corner, not go stand in front of the group and teach them about God’s love! Then there is the child that still refuses to speak at almost 3 years old. Can we talk about the screaming, the foot-stomping, and the slamming doors? Or perhaps we … Read More

What you’re really missing when you feel lonely

lonely hospitality

I never felt like I fit in at church. Most of the other kids went to the local Christian school, and I did not. Most of the other kids could answer any Bible question. I could not. I barely attended youth group because my introverted self always felt like I was on the outside of the group, looking in. Most of my church camp experiences were the same way. But I’ve realized something in the past few years. If you talk to almost anyone in the church, they will tell you that they feel like they aren’t in the “in” crowd. Even those people who you always see hobnobbing with others…even they will probably say that they feel a lack of depth, a lonely void that isn’t being filled. Some attribute this to the church spending too much time reaching out and not enough time “reaching in”. But it seems to me … 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