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Raising Compassionate Children

Posted by on Jan 15, 2018 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

As introductions were made, I smiled and extended my hand. The preteen before me offered a limp grasp but his gaze never connected with mine. His cellphone buzzed and his indifference to meeting me was complete. The boy’s mother attempted to power through the awkward moment. Her cheeks pinked as she laughed. “Kids. What can you do?” Believe me, I didn’t stand in judgement. I’d stood in her sweaty shoes and watched one of my children exude rudeness like a cloud of smelly fumes. And like my friend, I was embarrassed and frustrated with my offspring. As parents who want to raise compassionate, caring children, is there anything we can do? (Short of threatening their precious little existence, of course.) How can we encourage our children to see others with the eyes and heart of Christ? Here are three...

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Christmas, Chaos, and Polka-Dot Packages

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

Thanksgiving holidays were a fading memory and the bright lights of Christmas beckoned in all their glimmering glory. The family calendar was a chaotic mess of hastily scribbled notes, appointments, party dates, school and church programs, and last-minute shopping trips. Blank space was not to be found. Translation: There wasn’t room on my planner’s tiny squares for one. More. Thing. On this particular evening—ten days before Christmas—our family of five made it home before dark and this mama was ecstatic about a moment to catch my breath before wrapping a mountain of gifts. I prepared a super-quick dinner, rushed my loved ones through it, dropped dishes in the sink, and scooped up my toddler for a bath and fresh pajamas. Can you say, “Mama on a mission?” That’s when I noticed them: Bright red dots popping out all over...

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Of Immeasurable Worth

Posted by on Nov 9, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

I’ll never forget the moment I became invisible. I collected my daughter from school where her team had returned from an out-of-town ballgame. On the drive home, my young athlete announced she was starving and could we please get some food. Weary beyond measure, I agreed to a super-quick stop so my teen wouldn’t starve to death. As the golden arches came into view, I glanced at my attire. Because of the late hour, I had thrown on sweats and flip-flops and my hair was a disaster. Not to mention a complete lack of makeup. “Honey, we’ll have to use the drive-through. I’m not dressed to go inside.” My darling daughter turned toward me and squinted in confusion. “Um, what does it matter what you’re wearing?” Wait, what? Who snatched my sweet tender-hearted little girl and replaced her with...

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Slow Down and Breathe

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 2 comments

I leaned against the wall of the clothing store changing area and worked to stay upright and attentive. My older daughters had an “urgent” need for new jeans so I had promised a quick shopping trip after an already long school day and several hours of ball practice. The week had been a flurry of practices, out-of-town ballgames, and church youth activities—the typical whirlwind of (dis)organized chaos. So I sighed. And I leaned. The changing area was empty (other moms fortunate enough to be home starting dinner) so the girls grabbed adjacent rooms. I closed my eyes and waited for the fashion show. Until I heard a giggle. I looked, and there they were—just beneath the changing room curtains—three beautiful pairs of feet. Three pairs. Three dressing room stalls. Three places in life. Tiny baby feet—well, not so tiny....

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Little Dreams and Big Steps of Faith

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 1 comment

Dirt, tiny digging tools, and a magnifying glass littered the table where my fourth-grade daughter hunched over her latest project. Her focus was intense, and even calls for lunch weren’t enough to pry her from the task at hand. “Mom, I think I found something!” Sure enough, I could see a dinosaur fossil clenched in her tweezers. I’m not sure which was more impressive—the fossil, or my daughter’s jubilant smile. Her sisters joined me in examining the find and my heart thrilled to watch the enthusiasm of my little explorer. For several years, my middle daughter was into all things dinosaur. She lived and breathed paleontology. She exhausted available library books, begged to visit museums, and requested science kits for birthdays and Christmas. Around that time, our family devotion time centered on the importance of a daily walk with...

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