Parenting

The Four-Part Plan to Save Summer Sanity

Congratulations! You white-knuckled your way through May with all of the final projects, celebrations, and awards days. Welcome to summer! Summer promises a hot sun, lazy mornings–and kids who bore easily and fuss often. Our sanity is seriously at risk! A solid plan and clear expectations help to maintain our sanity during the long summer days. Establishing boundaries around time and activities [Read more...]

How NOT to Panic When Your Kid Asks for a Cell Phone

“Mama, I want a cell phone.” The requests for a cell phone started around third grade. The list of friends who possessed this technological treasure started growing. By the time fifth grade rolled around, my daughter was sure she was the only one without an iPhone. I pointed out a few friends still on the outside. She relented, outsmarted once again. At middle school orientation, the [Read more...]

Is Real Life Getting in the Way of Your Big Dreams?

Do you dream big dreams about making a difference in the world? Maybe you see yourself behind a podium delivering a message that makes a crowd laugh, cry, and run to Jesus. Your dream may involve bandaging wounds or ladling soup for the sick and hungry in a developing country. You may quietly hope your pastor will choose you to head up an exciting new program at your church. My own dream [Read more...]

Mamas, Be Kind to Your Future Self

Do you ever get to the end of your day and say to yourself, “Good job! You got it all done?” No? Me either. I perpetually transfer tasks from today’s to-do list to tomorrow’s. I am never finished. Yes, I am busy, but my main enemy is procrastination. Why ruin this moment by doing something I don’t want to do when later seems like a perfectly good time to do it? What [Read more...]

Parents Can Make Digital Media Matter with SmartFeed

Every Friday night, my family gathers around our living room for Pizza Movie Night. Plates piled high with pizza and cups with lids (because we spill a lot) sit in laps and on the oversized ottoman. Because we rarely turn the TV on during the week, the kids buzz with excitement. Mom and Dad exhale the final breath of our week-long race, wordlessly proclaiming, “we made it through another [Read more...]

On Hamilton, Legacy, and Motherhood: Will They Tell My Story?

“Legacy. What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” (from Hamilton: An American Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda)   I finally jumped on the Hamilton train. It’s a runaway train. I can’t stop listening to it. History told in melodic poetry has that effect on me, it seems. My initial emotional response was tangled up in the idea of [Read more...]

How to Encourage Gratitude in Your Children During the Holidays

I remember my excitement the day the Sears & Roebuck catalog landed in the mailbox of my childhood home. I carefully looked through each section circling the gifts I wanted to find under our Christmas tree. The Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine, Barbie’s Dream House, and a Cabbage Patch Kid made the list more than once. The more pages I turned, the longer my wish list grew. Every year, kids near [Read more...]

Gifts to Encourage Spiritual Growth in Your Tween Girl

This time of year, kids can’t get through a conversation with an adult without being asked the million dollar question: “What do you want for Christmas?” Around October, I start jotting down ideas for my own kids. We keep it simple with three gifts per child, so I only need a few ideas to get me started. This year, my tweenager surprised me by asking for a new Bible. The [Read more...]

Celebrating National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month. While I am not an adoptive parent, I wholeheartedly support the cause. I want to take some time to honor adoptive parents, shed some light on the adoption process, and share ways you can help. I called on some of my dear friends to help.   How Adoption Destroyed My Life Maybe ruination is where we are supposed to live. Maybe this adoption thing is hard [Read more...]

Dear Daughter: Perfection Isn’t the Goal

Today, I share a daughter letter in Lauren Flake’s “Dear Daughter ” Letter series. Dear Daughter, You are a good child. Your heart wants to do the right thing simply because it is the right thing. When presented with two choices, you often think about the rules and the consequences and choose accordingly. You take pride in the straight line you walk, and I do, too. Mamas need a [Read more...]