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Posted by on Jul 28, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Beyond 18 Summers, Blog | 1 comment

Do you remember what you expected when you were expecting? You may have hoped your child would develop skills and interests like your own, or that she would know when to speak and when to hold her tongue, or that he would learn acceptable behavior at home and abroad. And in those rare moments when his or her behavior went off course, you may have thought your correction would be effective . . . immediately. You may have believed that parenting would be easy and that it followed a clear path. You may have expected many things, but I’m willing to guess not everything turned out quite the way you expected. In an excerpt from the book Curious Faith by Logan Wolfram, I read this statement: “Expectations are preconceived resentments.”* That thought stopped me in my tracks. You can...

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Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Beyond 18 Summers, Blog | 0 comments

July is Bereaved Parents Awareness Month, and this guest post comes from Sarah Batory’s blog The Batory Chronicles ( where she shares about the loss she and her husband experienced in October of 2015. It is Sarah’s hope and mine that these amazingly honest words will help each of us understand the depth of need for those who mourn. I urge you to intentionally share compassionate comfort with those you know who are mourning. “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 ________________ “I don’t even know what to say.” I’ve heard this for the past two days, but I echo those words myself. I’ve finally had a few hours’ sleep and in the darkness of the night, I hope to find some clarity in words. Monday morning, we lost our little boy, Canaan Mark....

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The Main Thing

Posted by on Apr 27, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Beyond 18 Summers, Blog | 0 comments

I’m a list person. Maybe that’s because of my age, or maybe it’s because of the responsibilities that are mine, or maybe it’s just how I function. On one hand, I don’t want anything to slip through the cracks; on the other, at the end of the day I like to see what I’ve accomplished. But lists have limitations, and here’s where I fail. I regularly put far more on a list than I can ever hope to accomplish, even if everything goes as planned without distractions, disruptions, or derailments. And to add to my failure, I often fail to include my top priorities on my list. Are you a young parent? Does your list today include any of these? Drive all or part of your family to school, practices, games, music lessons, and more Plan nutritious meals, working...

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We the People

Posted by on Mar 28, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Beyond 18 Summers, Blog | 0 comments

Moms and dads, do you worry about the world your family lives in and the future that awaits them? There have been many news photos in recent months that have troubled me—haunting images, frightening images. One that stays in my mind shows men kneeling in the dirt, knowing they will soon be beheaded for holding different beliefs from their captors. These photos unsettle me as I wonder whether such pictures might one day be taken on the soil of the United States of America. I am grateful to live in a country that—to date—has protections in place for its citizens. I know that ours is not a perfect nation, but I also know our country affords freedom, safety, and prosperity like few other places on planet earth. My heart swells when I look at the stars and stripes, and...

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In the Night Watches

Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Beyond 18 Summers, Blog | 0 comments

If you have a baby in the house, you understand the meaning of sleep deprivation. Little ones are equipped to let you know what they want with little regard to the surgeon general’s recommendation that you sleep 7-8 hours each night. Barring something unusual, however, your baby will become a better sleeper in time, and your nightly rest will resume. That’s the good news. The bad news is that if you are the parent of a teen or an adult child, those sleepless nights may return. Concerns of every stripe can weigh on your heart and keep sleep at bay. You may be uneasy about your child’s welfare—physical, mental, and spiritual. You may desire to see biblical wisdom guide his or her choices. You may fear that frustrations, even failure, will derail his dreams or dash her hopes. You...

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Kids These Days

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Beyond 18 Summers, Blog | 2 comments

“Kids these days.” If you haven’t spoken those words, you may have thought them. It’s a streamlined way to criticize a younger generation, and you only have to be slightly older to feel justified in sighing and saying, “Kids these days. They are lazy, irresponsible, and sometimes just plain messed up.” Your kids. My kids. And when those words are spoken, it is as if we have a free pass to be critical or hopeless or at the very least less than kind. But we—the parents of adult children—need to remember that they are a work in progress, just as we are. We need to set aside the go-to negative thinking, and consider instead what our mature and maturing offspring bring to the body of Christ. I have had my thinking challenged about various generations in the writings of...

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