family

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...]

The Gift of Disagreement

When we moved into our house, an empty spot by the front door begged for a little table. I needed a spot for my keys, incoming mail, and outgoing library books. I meandered through the furniture section of a local thrift store searching for just the right piece. I found my little table on the end of an aisle. It looked pitiful, an old garden bench with peeling, tacky teal paint. I loaded up my [Read more...]

My Favorite Things (a #FridayFive Link Up)

Spring is a time of rediscovery. New flowers in the beds, new wreaths on the door, new fruits showing up at the grocery store.This week, I exchanged my melancholy comforter for a white quilt. The girls are wearing their pastels. We painted our toes and pulled out the sandals. No more hiding from winter! It’s time to party! Everything feels new and fresh! This is the perfect time of year to [Read more...]

Stuck between Your Calling and Your Life: What Now?

My first decision of the morning starts around 10 pm the night before. As I sit on the edge of my bed, alarm clock in hand, I decide between sleep and an hour of quiet reading and reflection. I can’t do both; there is only enough time for one thing. When my alarm sounds the next morning, I face the decision again—snooze or rise and enter into that predetermined quiet space. These [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...]

Love Your Neighbor (but Who is My Neighbor?)

One thing I love about living in the south is the cultural hospitality. I’m sure it exists in other parts of the country, but around these parts, casseroles and coffee cake are a love language. My fondest memory of love baked at 350° was after the birth of my first baby. I came home from the hospital on Mother’s Day. I found a casserole in my fridge and a Mother’s Day card on [Read more...]

The Gift of Presence

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.” Thich Nhat Hanh Not many things motivate me to reach into a toilet. Through a series of mishaps involving my potty training three-year-old, his blankie, and my phone, my most prized electronic device took the plunge. My floating phone was enough to make me reach in the germ infested water without so much as an, “Ew, [Read more...]

5 Effective Organization Resources to Make Life Easier

January is a time for new beginnings. New calendars inspire fresh starts. Many of us made a list of goals or resolutions for the new year. Right about now, you may wonder to yourself, where did I put that list? Goals for health, home, and habits are buried under a pile of past routines. The work required to achieve change often results in discouragement, even abandonment. While 41% of Americans [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...]