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Developing Stilled Hearts and Hands

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

If your kids are like the 3rd graders I teach at church every week, then they never stop! They love to run around and play together, laugh together, and talk about all sorts of topics, from tv shows to Christmas treats. Their hearts and minds seem to race with excitement, eager to explore the world around them. The result of this non-stop energy is often non-stop chatter. Asking children in this animated state to be still, quiet, and focused can be quite the challenge, because the playground is simply more exciting than prayer time. But times of quiet reflection are very important to your child’s physical, mental, and spiritual growth, and we can foster these times with the truth of Scripture. As you talk to your children about the life of Jesus, consider emphasizing the many times that Jesus...

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I Am the Child

Posted by on Nov 15, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 2 comments

“I don’t deserve this,” I muttered to myself as I scraped peanut butter from the chair where my toddler had lovingly smeared it earlier that day. Next up: the crushed crackers that had been ground into the carpet, followed by the freshly folded laundry that remained freshly folded for all of 45 seconds before it was hurled across the room by tiny hands. As I bent over the peanut butter chair, my archnemesis, Discontentment, took a seat on the throne of my mind, while Bitterness idled nearby, examining her fingernails and casually starting an all-too-familiar conversation: Bitterness: Look at her, is she pathetic or what? Discontentment: You’re telling me. Spent the whole day getting screamed at. By a two-year-old. Bitterness: And did you see how she never even put that baby down today? Ha! Her whole day, dictated by...

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Three Things

Posted by on Nov 13, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 1 comment

While I often reminded my boys, “You’re the best friends you’ll ever have,” skirmishes still erupted. The oldest antagonized his younger sibling while the youngest often over-reacted. Playing referee as a single mom tried my patience. So, when things started to escalate, I learned to interrupt and demand that my boys state three things they liked about the other. Extreme versions of this have appeared on the internet. Parents have squeezed squabbling siblings into an oversized t-shirt and forced them to dance. Words alone worked well for us. Instead of simply separating my boys during a fight, I forced them to fight their bickering with kindness. Did it always work? No. But they still remember the technique. Just this week, I spoke with a friend who battles negative thinking, like me. We all too easily travel down mental pathways...

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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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Mommy Needs Jesus Too

Posted by on Oct 31, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 2 comments

In the months that led up to my first child’s delivery, I sat for hours thinking about what I would and would not do as a mother. I read every book on parenting I could get my hands on. In theory, it all sounded so simple. My plan was solid, secure, and I felt like I had this motherhood thing whipped before I’d even started (pausing for all parents to laugh hysterically and give me a monster eye roll). And then the baby came. God’s word proved true—as it always does. Pride came before my epic fall and I plummeted. I didn’t know what to do as a new mom, but I felt like I should automatically know that … as if the placing of a baby into my arms suddenly made me qualified. You’re a mom now. Get...

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Surviving a Sensory Loaded Event

Posted by on Oct 30, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

Costumes, flickering lights, spooky sounds and so much more! Halloween is a holiday for the senses and although it is exciting and fun for some, it can be panic-inducing for a child with anxiety or sensory sensitivities. When my son was an infant, I loved dressing him up and pushing him down the street in his stroller while people adored his costume and chubby cheeks. Through the years, this became a far more daunting task as we began a battle against his anxiety disorder. We spent the holiday reassuring him about fears that many people don’t even think about and answering questions that sometimes seemed downright absurd. There were too many people looking at him, too many people touching his candy, and what if someone had a dog at the door when he arrived to trick or treat? The...

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