A Christian Motherhood Manifesto

A Motherhood manifesto for Christian moms…for when you want more for your kids than just to succeed and be good people. “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. Motherhood is like… I have heard it said that motherhood 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 … 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

Why read Biblical fiction? (+ 9 great books to get you started)

Read fiction

Each time I pick up a non-fiction book to read, I inevitably quit part way through. I have the best of intentions, but it just loses my interest. Stories, on the other hand, are what make me read late into the night (which is probably what destroyed my eyesight! haha). Did you know that reading stories can be a fabulous way to become more engaged in God’s word? Reading historical fiction that is well-researched and set in Biblical times can be one of the most fun ways to throw yourself deeper into that ancient world. Why? Well-researched and well-written fiction can help you understand the context of the Bible like never before. All the books of the Bible were written for a specific, ancient group of people with a specific culture. If we don’t understand the culture, we are liable to misunderstand the Bible. Humans learn best through story. And … Read More

Why we all need to read the Bible (and how to get started)

Why we all need to read the Bible

According to research conducted by the Barna Group, about 1/3 Americans read the Bible once per week or more, even though 9/10 Americans own at least one Bible. So why are we buying the Bible but not reading it?  We obviously don’t feel drawn to open the Bible and read its contents. But is that because we have read the Bible and found it wanting, or because we have never read it the right way? I’ve heard many reasons for not wanting to read the Bible: it’s outdated…it’s just a bunch of rules…it doesn’t apply to life. But for God-fearing people, there is one powerful reason to pick up the book and read it for ourselves: It is the only way to get an accurate* picture of God.  (*When I say “accurate”, I mean that we get the fullest picture of God that a human mind can handle. God is full … Read More

3 ways to build a rhythm of rest into your life

Rhythm of rest

This year just about did me in. At one point I felt on the verge of some kind of breakdown, and at the other point I was just bone weary. Have you ever felt like that? Like the world is on your shoulders and if you sit down for even a minute, everything’s going to collapse? Everyone has different circumstances that bring us to that point of near-collapse. For me it was a change in work schedule, having to find and train a new teammate at church, having 2 kids in school (with all the associated library book returns and forms to sign and a weird kindergarten schedule to keep track of), a weekly piano lesson that was at an awkward time, and a toddler that dropped his naps. In the midst of all that, in the evenings I was trying to exercise four times per week, write a novel and blog twice … 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

How to walk away from worry in 3 steps

Walk away from worry

It was like a child had unrolled a skein of yarn and tried to put it back together, then placed the ensuing mess in my mind for me to unravel and place back in the proper order. The things I needed to do today mixed with the list I needed to start for a family trip which overlapped with the appointments that needed to be made and the overwhelm of all the writerly things I wanted to, no, needed to get done. It was enough tangled yarn to hang oneself with. Nearly overwhelming, constricting the throat as my heartbeat raced my car down the highway. The thoughts would not untangle. Jesus’ words on worry almost seemed trite. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body … 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

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

lessons from the potty chair: the spirituality of potty training

frog potty training

I was dreading potty training my third son. He’s quite stubborn and he doesn’t talk so I was expecting a horrible weekend*. But as with anything mandatory with kids, I jumped in and did it anyway. Partway through the day I had this sudden realization that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, and not because he was miraculously potty trained in 5 minutes. (he wasn’t, just to clarify) I had this little epiphany: God is helping me. He is giving me wisdom and patience (LOTS OF IT) and energy so that I can continue the dreaded P-Day with joy. The revelation surprised me, because I had not thought to pray about potty training. It is easier to remember to call on God when I’m working at church, or leading a Bible study, or praying with my kids. But perhaps I had compartmentalized my … Read More