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...]

Look to the Future

“What you know today can affect what you do tomorrow. But what you know today cannot affect what you did yesterday.” ~Condoleezza Rice I became a mother thirteen years ago. My first kid was a bit of a guinea pig. I tried several parenting strategies on her. Time-outs, counting to three, swift discipline, positive reinforcement—you name it, I tried it. As we enter the teen years, I see the [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...]

The Weight of Worship

In 2004 I arrived. It was the year I accomplished everything on my wish list. After my high school graduation, I packed up my red Chevy Cavalier and headed to the city. I shook the small-town dust off my Birkenstocks and marched full speed toward my dreams. I pursued my degree with unequivocal focus. I landed my first professional job—one that required credentials after my signature. My true [Read more...]

How to Pray for Wisdom Using Scripture

In the first few months of motherhood, I felt completely in over my head. Being the oldest of four children, the mechanics of caring for a child were not new to me. However, being completely responsible for a baby around the clock was a shock. Add in postpartum hormones and the shift from full-time employee to full-time mother, and I was sinking. Things didn’t get easier as she grew. Soon, [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...]

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...]

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...]