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Politics and Perspective for Parents

Posted by on Oct 22, 2019 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, No Greater Joy | 0 comments

In world-record time, I lunged across our den, scooped the television remote in one hand, and muted the set’s audio. After a noisy sigh, I hit the power button and the TV screen darkened. Little ones with sensitive hearts and ears were close and I wasn’t sure how to explain the behavior of the men and women onscreen. In my five-second sprint to find the remote, there were shouts, taunts, and accusations among the sea of glittering politicians. After my breathless dash, paper and crayons provided the perfect redirection activity and the angry adults on TV were (hopefully) forgotten. To say this has been an unusual, never-ending political season would be an understatement. Every news report of candidates hurling allegations and slurs makes the knots in my stomach tighten a bit more. These folks aren’t slinging mud—they’re rolling around like tawdry mud...

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“I’m Bored!”

Posted by on Oct 16, 2019 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

Growing up I knew two words (among others) I should never say to my father: “I’m bored.” My dad could respond with a lengthy list of jobs to do at the drop of a hat. Some of them seemed pointless, much like washing the car during a rain storm. But I had made the faux pas of assuming my parents were responsible for keeping me entertained. Although I learned a lesson about what not to do as a kid, it took me a few years to realize what I shouldn’t do as a parent. Initially I would respond to the words, “I’m bored” with a sense of pressure, like I had to transform into an activities director on a cruise ship. I admit, the concept that a child could be bored in this highly stimulated culture seemed an enigma....

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I Am with You

Posted by on Oct 14, 2019 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 6 comments

Recently I’ve said final good-byes to too many dear friends. Some separations I anticipated after difficult illnesses. Others left quite suddenly. In each one the same words, “with Jesus,” announced the home-going. I’ve contemplated those two words, running them over the empty place left behind and pondering on the exquisite going forward they promise. Few words offer such comfort and hope. For surely, tragic as it is to be separated from this earth, to be with Jesus is far better. With is a powerful thing. “Come with me,” she tugged at my hand. I looked down at her upturned face, ski-jump nose and pig tails. “Pleeeease.” We walked together, her hand safe in mine. I reached to get the balloon she could have easily gotten on her own and bent down to wrap its string around her wrist. Her...

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Cutting Your Husband’s Food and Other Friendly Tasks

Posted by on Sep 11, 2019 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 2 comments

So, I cut his roast chicken. Into little square edibles. When I looked up, he wore a puzzled expression, a little worried but seriously amused. I drew my eyes back down to where mangled bits of poultry lay in a pile on my husband’s plate. “Hmmm,” he commented. “Maybe you need a day off.” It’s crazy the things you don’t anticipate when you begin a family. All the forewarned preparation in the world can’t compensate for being a 24/7 life support system, nor turn a body into an angel after three tortuous days without sleep. New baby transition isn’t always a stroller in the park. Husband and wife relationships stretch like rubber bands, thin and far apart, then snap together again. In the foggy mist of baby-lag, the next thing you know, you’ve cut your husband’s chicken for him....

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The Source of Our Value and Worth

Posted by on Aug 26, 2019 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, No Greater Joy | 0 comments

We’ve all been there. Our young daughter is heartbroken because someone at school called her a hurtful name. Or our sports-breathing son didn’t make the basketball team. Maybe someone laughed at our middle-schooler’s choice of clothing or our high schooler received a rejection letter from the college of their dreams. Each day, our children face times of intense struggle over their sense of value and self-worth. From the kindergarten days through adulthood they are hit with countless ideas and opinions concerning how they measure up to ever-changing standards. This is why it’s vital for us to remind our precious ones of the true source of their worth and value—for us to lay a foundation of unchanging truth on which they can build a life. Oh, how they need to know that God’s idea of our worth is vastly different...

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Not for Tot

Posted by on Aug 19, 2019 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Dad Voice | 0 comments

In my young twenties I had a fun task; I was the movie critic for my university newspaper. I was a huge movie buff, so this was a dream job. A job that required I watch all the mainline movies in the theaters had its lows and highs. Just as one strolling through an art museum has the potential of exposure to breath-taking masterpieces, there is also the prospect of being left scratching their head trying to determine how anyone could determine a piece was worth the cost of the picture frame. I recall one such low-brow movie. It was extremely violent with over-the-top tawdry action and it was just plain dumb. The body count was close to a death a minute for all ninety-seven minutes. I knew the genre, based on its rating and trailers but it dwindled...

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