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Your Foot’s in My Space!

Posted by on Sep 6, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

“Your foot’s in my space!” “Your booster seat keeps leaning on me!” “Where is that travel pillow I need to fall asleep?” Words of frustration echoed from the backseat of our five-passenger rental car. We’d barely begun our 7500-mile, cross-country road trip. Already, the troops were getting restless. My own anger began to build as I listened to their complaints. How would we survive the four-week adventure which yesterday we’d been so excited to begin? Would our trip of a lifetime turn into the worst vacation ever? My husband’s words cut through the tension. “We need to talk about our frustrations if we’re going to enjoy this trip. When one of us starts feeling upset, let’s discuss it.” So, we did. My husband invited each child to express what was making him or her angry. He phrased probing questions to...

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I Might Be a Little Bit Scared

Posted by on Aug 28, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, That Mom Life | 0 comments

“Um…can we just eat ice cream by ourselves?” Concern etched soft lines in my son’s forehead as he processed our conversation. Our family was gathered around the dinner table, and somewhere between flying sweet potatoes and a rousing retelling of the most recent Paw Patrol episode, we’d landed on the topic of inviting our neighbors over for ice cream. The introvert in me totally agreed with my 4-year-old. “But treats like ice cream are more fun when you can share them with others,” I said. “And this might be a good chance to invite some of our friends to church, or to talk to them about Jesus. Did you know some of our neighbors don’t know about Jesus?” “Oh.” Benjamin poked at his sweet potatoes with his fork. “I didn’t know that.” “Maybe when we hang out with your...

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Christ is Better

Posted by on Jul 29, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, That Mom Life | 0 comments

The music was so loud I could hardly hear myself think. I climbed out of my minivan and cast a sideways, amused glance at the car next to me. I remembered the days when I used to crank my music to ungodly levels. Something tells me I just wouldn’t look as cool today rocking out to “The Wheels on the Bus” in my minivan. I reached for the sliding door handle to unload my kids, and that’s when I heard it. The lyrics of the music thumping from the car were a bit…colorful. Vulgar, actually. I thought about my children who sat waiting inside the van, no doubt hearing the thump, thump of the music but unable to make out any words. I stood there for a moment, thinking, debating. The Holy Spirit nudged me in that oh-so-familiar, you-can’t-ignore-me...

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The Jerusalem Model: A Legoland for Bible Geeks

Posted by on Jul 24, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

“It’s better than Legoland.” I heard someone make this comment while viewing a massive model depicting what the city of Jerusalem looked like in the first century. My wife and I were having a grand time exploring this huge, sprawling model—about the size of two tennis courts—at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. I’d have to agree that the model of first-century Jerusalem is far better than Legos, and this is coming from a grown man who still loves his Legos. My office has a Lego train running through it, along with all kinds of Lego buildings. The Jerusalem model, built to a scale of 1:50, was created in the early 1960s, commissioned by Hans Kroch, owner of the Holyland Hotel. For years, the model was featured on the grounds of the hotel, but it was moved to the beautiful...

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What is the Purpose of Your Face?

Posted by on Jul 17, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 1 comment

Friday nights are a favorite around our house. After running full speed all week, each family member looks forward to an evening of doing nothing. Well, not really nothing. We do have plans, but they’re fun plans, plans to stop everything and enjoy just being together. Most of the time, this means gathering in the living room for a family movie night (because anything else requires too much energy for this worn-out mom.) One of our favorite movies is the DreamWorks film Home, about an unlikely friendship between a loveable alien and a scared little girl. At one point in the movie, as they’re looking for the girl’s mom, she becomes furious with her new friend. Confused by her angry expression, he asks in his awkward alien verbiage, “What is the purpose of your face?” He knows her look...

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I Try to Do the Right Thing, But…

Posted by on Jun 10, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, That Mom Life | 0 comments

I never knew so much ‘tude could exist in one little body. My four-year-old sat perched on the edge of his bed: arms crossed, eyes narrowed, and sweet lips pressed into a firm line of defiance. His chest heaved from the Oscar-worthy performance he’d just displayed as he protested the great injustice of having to obey his mom. I knelt in front of him to address his disobedience. After a short discussion, Benjamin admitted—with great reluctance—that he had done wrong. And in that moment, his tough, I’m-right-and-you’re-crazy-if-you-think-I’m-ever-wrong face began to crumple. “I try to do the right thing, but…” He stared at the floor as his lip trembled, “I just can’t.” The impatient response of a frustrated parent was on the tip of my tongue. Yes you can do the right thing, and you’d better straighten up and do...

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