#FridayFive

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...]

How to Get Rid of Glass Half Empty Gratitude

I have an almost-teenager at my house which means sour attitudes float around here like pickles in a jar. My middle schooler is generally an optimist, but this stage of emotional development sometimes sabotages her sunny disposition. Phrases like “I will never…” and “it’s always…” transform temporary hardships into eternal absolutes. Hope flutters away as [Read more...]

What I Know to Be True About Character

I have about thirty minutes to write about character today. Thirty minutes is roughly how long my son’s nap music lasts. He stopped napping last week. He climbed out of his baby bed during nap time. I heard a thump followed by, “I did it!” He was so proud, and I watched five to ten hours of sanity slip through my fingers. Since the great escape, I try to make him stay in his new [Read more...]

How to Keep Your Eyes Focused on God

I put on my first pair of corrective lenses in the seventh grade. While I can’t remember if headaches or blurry chalkboards prompted my parents to take me to the optometrist, I do remember being thrilled that my exam resulted in a pair of glasses. For the last twenty-five years, my glasses are the first thing I reach for each morning. Otherwise, everything is fuzzy. Crisp vision motivates [Read more...]

How to Be an Extraordinary Blessing in an Ordinary World

Do you ever wish a kind, gentle Christian woman would hold your hand and help you figure out how to be a blessing to others? Titus 2:4 lays out the model for such a relationship: “By looking at [older women], the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives (MSG).” In her latest book, Listen, Love, Repeat: [Read more...]

There’s No Such Thing as Just a Mom

I’m a nurse. I’m an accountant. I work in real estate. Around the room, women introduced themselves to our new small group. A tender-hearted woman with dark, sincere eyes stated her name and added, “I’m just a mom.” Her gaze shifted to the floor as if she belonged on the bottom rung of whatever ladder these introductions created. I wanted to stop everything, draw [Read more...]

5 Ways to Make Proverbs Come Alive for Your Kids

“Mama, will you read Proverbs to us?” my daughter sweetly asked as she climbed onto her top bunk. We are working our way through Proverbs, one chapter at a time. I was oh-so-tired, but how do you refuse a child’s request for wisdom? So, I read the next chapter which included this passage: Mean-spirited slander is heartless; quiet discretion accompanies good sense. A gadabout [Read more...]

When You Are Tired of Listening to the Pundits

Y’all. The debates. The campaigning. The analysis. I’m ready for November 9th—with the new President elected, we will have a bit of peace on the airwaves. That is, until January when he or she takes office. Then the arguing and debating will fire up again. Sigh. I haven’t tuned into all of the radio talk shows and news programs this go-around. I love to dialogue with [Read more...]

We All Need Brave Friends

The word “brave” inspires images of men and women standing courageously in the face of adversity. We connect bravery with heroines through the ages, both real and imagined—Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, Scout Finch, Katniss Everdeen. Stories of courage aren’t limited to history books and novels. We can find courage in the women we call friends, and their bravery inspires. We can find [Read more...]

5 Movies to Watch When You Need a Good Cry

I don’t like to cry. My medical chart lists it as a diagnosis: dry eye disease. My aversion to crying is one part physiological and one part control freak. I try my best to hold it together at all times. It makes me feel bad sometimes, especially when someone breaks down in front of me and I can’t deliver sympathy tears. My heart feels it, but my eyes stay dry. However, a time comes [Read more...]