My Reading Rules (and Current Book List)

reading rules

A couple of weeks ago, I read an interesting article about how a parent's reading (or lack there of) impacts whether or not a child grows into a "reader". Now I'll be honest here... my parents never had to make me read. I was so lost in the world of Caddie Woodlawn, Laura Wilder, Anne Shirley, and Nancy Drew that they had to make rules about when I was not allowed read. And on the flip side, my crazy parents (smile) would PAY my brother to read.  Can you even Continue Reading

What Should a Christian’s Response to the Poor Be? (10 Things We Can Agree On)

Response to Poor

It started with a Facebook post and a picture of Jimmy Carter.     It turns out that the quote is actually attributed to someone else. But the comments that followed had me wrestling with my own perspective and how and why I've come to those conclusions. To be honest with you, I initially balked at the quote because it felt simplistic and politically charged and because on the whole, I am often frustrated by the way our government uses Continue Reading

This Beautiful Confession

This Beautiful Confession

Last night I heard confession-- From a child with red eyes welling. Voice cracking under burden Of what he knew That I did not. And his disregard, defiance had slapped across my guidance. The issue was not weighty-- But my fear so deep and heavy For a child rejecting wisdom. Anxious was his glance, Downturned as he waited-- For words and heavy consequences To quickly flood the room. But in that quiet moment... My heart heard God's heart Continue Reading

It’s Not the End of His Story…

Not the End of His Story

I can't tell you the formula-- ...because there isn't one. I can't tell you the end of their story-- ...because it's not the end of their story yet. I was in the nursery. Holding a sweet, little 10 month old. I nearly rocked us both to sleep in one of those cozy recliners. Usually the nursery is packed, but for some reason we had only one baby.  While the rest of the crew went home, I stayed to enjoy time with a fellow nursery worker. She told me Continue Reading

Less and More… (Possibilities for the New Year)

New Year Possibilities

"The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective. Unless a man starts on the strange assumption that he has never existed before, it is quite certain that he will never exist Continue Reading

Bible Reading Plans for the New Year

Bible Reading Plans

"Careful planning is part of what makes a person wise and productive. Not to plan is considered foolish and dangerous. This is true even though the Proverbs teach that we do not know what the future may bring. 'A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps' (Proverbs 16:9). The fact that the Lord is ultimately in control of the future does not mean we shouldn't plan. It means we should commit our work to the Lord and trust him to establish our Continue Reading

How to Help Your Child Face Conflict

face conflict

It happened recently. One of our children came home from a social gathering with a story of conflict and word-wounds inflicted. As a parent, the mama-bear in me quickly rises, but when our children face conflict with their peers,  it is a unique opportunity for us to help them live out the gospel and to grow, even through the heartache. So what do we do? Please join me over at The Better Mom today suggestions for helping your child face conflict with Continue Reading

Favorite Things Stocking Giveaway

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  I’ve joined a dozen other online friends for a little Christmas fun! We each have a stocking (mine is more of a ginormous red bag), filled with some of our favorite things to giveaway! To Enter: Check out the Stocking Giveaway Collage featuring 12 other beautiful bloggers and their Favorite Things stockings. Scroll to the bottom to see the details for OUR Favorite Things Stocking. Enter to win my Christmas Stocking Giveaway at the giveaway Continue Reading

Jesus’ Invitation (Keeping Christ in Christmas)

christ in christmas

Several years ago, at Christmas, Lydia asked to pray. She was three. This was her prayer: "Dear Jesus... I hope you enjoy your Christmas party." Me too. But how easily I forget. How quickly I get sidetracked by the broken bulb on the light strand and the number of air mattresses we may or may not need. By the Cyber Mondays and UPS tracking numbers and expiration dates on canisters of whipped cream. By empty tape rolls and lines at the market and did I Continue Reading

Two Christmas Giveaways (and Making the Case for Giving Christmas Gifts)

christmas gifts

I remember the first year they bought gifts with their own money. Unprompted. Our kiddos took their meager stockpile and headed to the mall with my parents while my husband and I were gone for our anniversary. And they bought a Christmas gift for me. And it pulled on the strands of my heart. Even before I knew what it was. It got me thinking about gift-giving.  And while I'm all for a simple Christmas and getting away from the trappings and focusing on the Continue Reading