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Flare Prayers

Posted by on Apr 3, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Sometimes parenting is a marathon. Other times it’s a sprint.  We can feel like we’re working so hard to keep up that we’re missing what’s important. Early on, when I was still learning about prayer, I came across a term, flare prayers. I asked what exactly this meant. I was told this was a type of prayer we shoot off in a time of panic or distress. The person explaining it went on to say it wasn’t the best practice for prayer. She told me that I needed to get in the habit of praying regularly so that type of spur-of-the-moment communication wasn’t necessary. She even went on to say it was slightly disrespectful to call out to the Creator in that way. I took her instruction and did my best. But life...

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When a Parent Worries

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

Before writing the book Moving From Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation, I conducted a survey at retreats and conferences where I spoke. Participants expressed that their biggest fear was for their kids’ well-being. I can relate. I’ll always remember the day our eldest child, Matthew, started kindergarten. “Don’t drive me to school,” he’d said the day prior. “I want to ride on the bus.” My husband drove 45 miles from his office to join me in watching our firstborn board the school bus after lunch. Our little blonde tyke climbed the stairs, dropped into a seat, and waved goodbye. Then that big yellow bus lumbered away carrying our precious cargo. That’s when a dread thought popped into my mind. “Are those things equipped with seatbelts?” I asked my husband. “No,” he said. We...

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Meltdown Dread

Posted by on Mar 28, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

I plunked her diaper-padded bottom into the shopping cart and directed two little legs into the slots. The mission began. I had one hour, one child with me, two others at home, and a whole lot of errands to accomplish. I shoved some apples into a bag and twisted a green wire around the top in one fluid motion, then swung to the carrots and grabbed a bag. I tossed it into the cart, flew past the potatoes, saw they were on sale, made a quick turn around and hoisted a 10-lb. bag with one hand into the cart. It filled quickly almost without the wheels slowing. It was the O’s that threw us. By then the cart looked like a food hill, rounded and toppling. I pulled two cartoon character boxes of cereal off the shelf and one...

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Putting Out the Fire of Anger

Posted by on Mar 21, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

Jenny watched in shock as her son slammed the book shut and flung his pencil across the desk. “I can’t do this stupid stuff and I’m not going to try,” he muttered. Anger was evident in every word. What had happened to make her normally mild-mannered son so angry? “What’s the matter with you, Son? I’ve never seen you act like this before.” He began crying. Once he calmed down, Jenny was relieved to discover that she hadn’t suddenly developed a horrible child. Instead, his anger was fueled by his fear of attending a new school. A bully at school who was making her son’s life miserable had further compounded the situation. A wise parent will realize that anger is often an indicator of a deeper problem. Sometimes children are upset and anger is the only way they can...

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The Importance of Handwritten Notes

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

Last weekend, I cleaned out our filing cabinets. For the first time in eighteen years of marriage, I thoroughly purged our many files. I spent about four hours going through loads of paper and ended up with more than a laundry basket full of paper to throw away. I found receipts from every pregnancy, doctor visits for babies, paperwork for every vehicle purchased, and invitations to our wedding. It’s fun to see it all, and it is fun to throw most of it away. But it was also a great reminder of a tradition we need to preserve our children. You see, tucked in between the items to discard were some treasures. No, they can’t be sold and won’t bring any money, but their worth is priceless. I found letter after letter written by family members, loved ones, and...

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Another Sunday in the Nursery?

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

To every thing there is a season.” That’s what it says in Ecclesiastes 3:1, and verses two through eight describe opposite pairs of seasons. Some seasons are easy to live; others are not. My daughter and I were talking recently about a season that I am calling the Season of the Church Nursery. It begins the moment your baby arrives, and it lasts at least until your child leaves the nursery and begins to sit in the service with you or goes to children’s church instead. Depending on how your nursery is organized, one or both parents will have a regularly scheduled time in the church nursery for months or years. (Let’s please don’t forget that some parents go through this season single-handedly.) I’m here to tell you that this can be a difficult season for the young mothers in...

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