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Family Devotions Run Amuck

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 2 comments

My husband and I gathered our brood—ages 2, 7, and 12—and did our best to focus their energies on our family devotion time. The youngest monkey refused to be still, preferring to climb on my back and stick her precious little finger in my ear. Our middle cherub took the opportunity to practice her “forward roll” while our preteen studied her fingernails. As I wrestled the youngest two into submission, my man-of-amazing-patience locked his gaze on Ms. Study-My-Nails then read the Scripture and attempted to apply it to our children’s lives. After a good 10-minute struggle, my husband and I closed with a quick prayer, sent the troops to prepare for bed, and fell against each other in exhaustion. As we listened to the girls fighting for position at the bathroom counter, we wondered, Lord, what in the world...

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A Royal Calling

Posted by on Mar 17, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Mom Voice | 0 comments

I turned and saw her in a cloud of white lace and my heart stumbled. Smiling, confidant, and clutching her daddy’s arm. Playing dress-up. But, no, this wasn’t my four-year-old pretending to be a princess, or cowgirl, or race-car driver—this was the grown-up version of my daughter—ready to pledge her life and love to her beloved. I blinked. And in that moment I realized: It mattered—all of it. The folding of little hands, the wiping of messy chins. Steadiness during a toddler tantrum and patience in a tween-age meltdown. A firm anchor of love for the pushing-for-independence teenager. The sharing of tears over a broken heart. The giggles and out-of-control laughter. The endless turning to God’s Word for comfort and guidance. The questions, the doubts, the heart-pouring before God—Oh, Father, am I doing this right? Will my heart survive...

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Serving with Passion

Posted by on Jun 21, 2016 in Blog, Bonus Days | 2 comments

I herded my three girls into our minivan and strapped myself in with a sigh of frustration. “Couldn’t you guys even speak to Miss Lillian? Where are my happy, chatty girls today?” Our family had adopted a resident from a local nursing home and were establishing a friendship through weekly visits. When I was growing up, family ministry was as natural as breathing so I wanted to instill the same desire for service in my children. My darlings, however, spent more time staring at the floor or chewing their nails than engaging our new friend. When I played the piano and coaxed them to lead the residents to sing, their lips moved but no sound came out. I adjusted the rearview mirror and peered at each child. The oldest two were digging out coloring books and crayons while my...

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Wait for the Harvest

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Blog, Bonus Days | 2 comments

My husband and I gathered our brood—ages 2, 7, and 12—and did our best to focus their energies on our family devotion time. The youngest monkey refused to be still, preferring to climb on my back and stick her precious little finger in my ear. Our middle cherub took the opportunity to practice her “forward roll” while our preteen studied her fingernails. As I wrestled the youngest two into submission, my man-of-amazing-patience locked his gaze on Ms. Study-My-Nails then read the Scripture and attempted to apply it to our children’s lives. After a good 10-minute struggle, my husband and I closed with a quick prayer, sent the troops to prepare for bed, and fell against each other in exhaustion. As we listened to the girls fighting for position at the bathroom counter, we wondered, Lord, what in the world...

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The Lesson of the Mop

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

With little-girl exuberance, five-year-old Mary barreled through the front door, challenging the door’s hinges and rattling the top pane of glass. For someone so small, her voice could really pack a wallop. “Mama, Mooommm!” I had just sent Mary and her older sister outside to play, put the baby down for a nap, and was ready to mop the kitchen floor. From experience, I knew that the usable time-overlap-quotient—girls outside/baby asleep/chores begun—was a small window of time. I might have 30 minutes. It had been three. I held the dripping mop in one hand, put a finger to my lips, and reminded my preschooler to be quiet. “Mary, honey, Katie’s asleep. You’re supposed to be outside with Laura.” “I know, Mama, but we’re gonna run races, and we need you to…” Her gaze traveled to the mop, to the...

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