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Mean What You Say—Say What You Mean

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

It was happening two lines over from where I stood in line waiting to pay for my groceries. A mother was yelling at her child. “Behave or I will whip you,” she said for the fourth time. “That’s it. I’m never bringing you out of the house again! You can just sit home alone while the rest of us go out.” Nothing changed in the boy’s behavior. In fact, his disobedience elevated. He knew the sound of empty threats. (I will set aside commenting on yelling, “I will whip you” to a child for another time, but right now I want to comment on the poor parenting.) You see, he knew his mother didn’t mean what she was saying. Mean what you say—say what you mean. Numerous times I have heard a parent start “the count.” You know what...

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Praying for Joy for My Child

Posted by on Oct 18, 2017 in A LASTING FAITH, A Mother's Prayers, Blog | 0 comments

It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I clued into the difference between joy and happiness. So often I, like many other people, used those two words interchangeably. But through a long process, I discovered that happiness is fleeting. It changes with my mood and my circumstance. It leaves me without any substance that can affect my outlook. Joy on the other hand has weight. It’s strong enough to build on, anchor to, and get me through the rough patches of life. Once I tasted the strength of true joy, nothing else would satisfy me. Fast forward to my parenting years. I noticed early on that my kids relied more on fleeting happiness than foundational joy. That’s where this prayer comes in. Today I want to share this heartfelt plea as I cried out for God to...

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It’s Fall, Y’all!

Posted by on Oct 17, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, Making Your House a Home | 0 comments

I love fall. Love how the leaves gradually turn from green to brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and crimson red. Love the chill in the air and the warmth a good cup of java provides. Fall reminds me to enjoy beauty all around, because life should be so much more than stressful days full of getting it done, carpool lines, or staying on the run. It’s fall, y’all! Change is in the air and I’m loving it! Currently, I have a cinnamon apple candle in my kitchen and the fragrance is delectable! I love how a single whiff draws me in, encouraging me to stop for a moment, to embrace this small, fragrant gift of fall and all it has to offer. My summer hydrangeas are dried up, but, outside my home you’ll find multi-sized orange pumpkins clustered together,...

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Children in Church?

Posted by on Oct 16, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

My husband Curt and I had been at the church for a few months when a mom approached me after service. “I don’t know what to do. Jim Junior and his friend sat there playing hangman all through the sermon.” The boys were twelve, recent graduates of the junior church program. Evidently, Mrs. Miller felt a pastor’s wife, especially one with grandchildren, could solve her dilemma. I said, “Well, perhaps they’re just getting used to staying with the congregation.” She replied, “I made them leave their electronics behind, but they still managed to avoid paying attention. I need help to get my son in line.” “Let me talk to Curt and see what he says. We’ve encouraged parents on this issue before.” Thus began another round of sharing our perspective on guiding the next generation into the practice and...

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To Tell or Not to Tell

Posted by on Oct 13, 2017 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 1 comment

It was an uncomfortable meal of tacos, enchiladas, and far too much information. Around the table we heard an all too common story of a bitter church situation. Round eyed and attentive, children listened to the grownups spew. I cringed at a conversation submerged in relationships gone wrong. We met at a restaurant to catch up, but along with the group, a painful dispute regurgitated. I shoved myself farther into my seat, uncomfortable with the discussion, uneasy about the tone, and unsure about how to neutralize abrasive words on young ears. “Why did he do that?” From across the table, a six-year-old broke into the adult exchange. It prompted a verbal list of wrongs committed by another parishioner. It felt to me like each offense sat on the little boy’s shoulders like stacked weights, much too heavy for him....

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