April 25, 2020

I will not pretend to know what it looks like in your home. All I know is that here in ours, we have a lot of noise, lots of energy, a lot of dirt, lots of eating, a lot of questions, a lot of hugging, a ton of time spent outside and ... did I say a whole lot of noise?

I have been talking with my sister recently, who has a teenager and more than one pre-teen in her house. And we also have quite a few very close friends who are single adults that we keep in touch with.

There's no doubt we are all in different seasons and situations, getting different reactions / needs / requests from our kids, employers, neighbors, etc.. Yet, even with the differences, we are all grieving. In our own ways, we are grieving the loss of what is gone. And that's ok! It is so important for us to give time and space for that grief. For some of us, it may come out as anger that leads into a conversation where we finally soften up and tell what we are feeling. For others it might mean going outside to hit basebal...

June 17, 2019

I met a new friend a few weeks ago and she did something that caught my attention. She kept asking questions over and over again. When something needed to be done, a problem solved or something needed to be found, she never hesitated to ask a question … but not to any of us … she asked all of her questions to Siri.

“Siri, call Tom Sawyer cell …”

“Siri, find the number for Savoy Wal-Mart Eye Center …”

“Siri, who sings the song ‘Slow Fade’ …”

“Siri, what day will March 10th 2020 be …”

I know she’s not the only one. And as a professional working single mom, I can only imagine how helpful it is to have siri readily available to answer those questions (while multi-tasking). I know others who don’t use siri as often, but frequent google to ask and rely on for their questions.

I remember when Andrew and I first got married, smart phones were just becoming a thing. We both soon had one, but we hadn’t been introduced to Siri yet, nor did we have google at our fingertips every hour of the day. But we...

December 11, 2018

The Silent 15 …

When I was a youth pastor in Texas some years ago, we incorporated the Silent 15 as often as possible. It is a simple principle; for 15 minutes, everything stops, all noises are silenced, distractions set aside and you are still. It was just a different space that changed the pace and therefore, welcomed the Almighty God in a different way. And it was a game changer.

The change of pace allowed space for emotions to settle which helped restore some tense relationship issues. The change of pace allowed us to see what was right in front of us (and what we had been missing). The change of space allowed us to silence the lies and hear the voice of Truth. The change of pace allowed our hearts to slow down to the rhythm of our Creator. The change of pace gave us new eyes to see the heart-issues of those around us; brokenness, loneliness, hurt, pain ...

When I think back, I’m amazed at how the teenagers grew to love the Silent 15. They rarely fought against the opportunity to be q...

August 23, 2018

Hopefully your experience was different. But my middle school years were emotionally overwhelming and left me with no desire to return. In fact, each time my parents invite me to an event or concert that's held at my middle school, I'm quick to let them know ... "You couldn't pay me money to go back there."

No, I'm not kidding. Yes, it was that bad. The kids were so mean.

I have kankles ('fat ankles') and the comments and looks were brutal. I struggled with grades and my preacher's kid “family reputation” wavered. I was not in the 'popular group' and the condemning lies were enough to keep me isolated and lonely.

IDENTITY - SECURITY - BELONGING - PURPOSE

These are the foundations that our children and youth are walking on. This is what they are using to make decisions. This is what will steer their reactions and lead their passions. And I know, as the parents, we feel the pressure to do this right (and hopefully God's way). Parenting is such a humbling process, isn't it? I want to remind y...

May 9, 2018

Time out.

It’s a space, a discipline, and a matter of the heart … not only for toddlers, but adults.

My husband and I shepherd our flock of three young boys, and we take lots of time outs; all five of us!

Just this morning, we had a situation where a particular pair of shorts was wanted by two boys. There was screaming, running, chasing and nasty faces. Emotions were quickly escalating and after calling for the older brother to come talk to me, I found him red-faced, teeth clenched with fists tighter than a knot.

I started to talk but quickly saw the fists still clenching and a heart that was struggling to find space to listen and accept words of instruction. Wisdom has taught me that those are signs leading up to an anger that is out of control. So I let him go take a time out to calm down.

The secret of parents giving time outs to our children is that it gives us parents the space and moments to calm down and think wisely about our next steps of discipline and/or correction. Both me and m...

April 13, 2018

Time. It’s a gift. And it’s not guaranteed.

I’m always so surprised when I schedule things out two weeks or a month away and usually find myself saying, “How can it be April already?” It’s always so bittersweet when I look at pictures from years ago and wonder, “Where did those sweet little boys go?” As a mom, many of my days fly by, leaving me wondering how it’s already bedtime and I still haven’t completed my to-do list. And then there are the tragic accidents when lives end way too short and we think about the time we had with them and the time that’s been lost.

About a year ago, my husband and I started to look at the way we were using our time. Where our moments were going, who our hours were given to, and how many were left at the end of all that. It was convicting to see how much of our time was spent on ‘us.’ Our family doing what we love, activities for our kids, hours given to our work, hours spent in front of a tv – whether together as a family or individually – watching what...

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