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Don't forget to make some memories!

Thank You, God, for Everything

Posted by on Nov 7, 2018 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

“Thank You, God, that we got to have waffles for breakfast. Thank You that we played Uno today. Thank You that we went to Pop and Tutu’s for dinner. Thank You for my jammies and my stuffed monkey and my pillow and…” I stifled an impatient sigh as my five-year old prayed back through her day, giving thanks for both big and little blessings. Her prayer must have delighted God’s heart, but for this weary mom, it prolonged what I had hoped would be a quick goodnight. By bedtime prayers each evening, I am done. Ready to tuck everyone in, hoping they don’t boomerang too many times for another sip of water or help with a scary shadow or one more trip to the potty. My to-do list is usually still running and I long for some down time...

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Mealtime Matters

Posted by on Oct 29, 2018 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

“I’m glad we eat together as a family,” my pre-teen daughter said as she served up a second helping. Her comment warmed my heart. I, too, love our shared moments around the table. Sometimes they’re rushed as we squeeze in a meal before Wednesday night AWANA or some other obligation. But most often, they’re times of sweet fellowship as we experience life together. Mealtimes provide a regular opportunity for us to touch base and talk about what’s going on in our everyday lives. Relationships blossom as we listen to each other’s hearts and respond with acceptance and love. As parents, we equip ourselves to provide protection for our kids when we discuss interactions with friends, observe attitudes and listen to what’s important to them. Here are some practical tips for creating memorable mealtimes: Unplug We are less distracted and...

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One-on-One Time

Posted by on Aug 28, 2018 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 4 comments

We call it “One-Oh Time” in our house. My littlest coined the phrase a while back. In was her baby-talk way of asking me to spend “one-on-one time” with her. We laughed at the cute expression, but it stuck. Now we all use the term for our special mommy-and-me times. We started this practice of one-on-one time a few years ago during a particularly frustrating parenting season. My days were spent correcting and instructing, yet the negative behavior continued. My husband suggested that maybe our kids needed some focused alone time with me – just the two of us having fun together. Sure enough, it made a world of difference. Contentment settled in. Each child seemed to come alive as I joined him or her in doing things they love to do. Our kids need more than training and...

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Knock, Knock

Posted by on Jun 27, 2018 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 1 comment

Knock, knock, knock. Inwardly I cringed just a little. Outside that door, my husband was caring for our kids so I could spend some much-needed time with Jesus before starting the day. I relished the stillness as I quietly sipped my coffee. But my preschooler knew I was awake and she missed me. I answered her knock. “Come in.” All smiles, she opened the door and climbed up on the bed beside me. After a good morning hug and kiss, she said, “Can I stay in here?” I hesitated, then said, “You’ll have to be quiet. Can you do that?” She promised she would. Then she noticed the gratefulness journal sitting next to me. She’d seen it before and knew that’s where I record lists of things for which I’m thankful. “Can I write in it?” she queried. Perfectionism...

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Ministry that Doesn’t Look Like Ministry

Posted by on May 28, 2018 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

“Alleluia. Alleluia!” The words of our song echoed through the Russian cathedral. We stood in the balcony, enraptured by the polished beauty surrounding us. We were playing tourist that day, taking time off in the middle of a mission trip to Siberia. Our team didn’t plan on singing. There was no audience, at least no one we saw. But the chapel’s breathtaking glory inspired a song of praise, rising from the lips of American Christians half a world away from home. When we finished, an older Russian woman selling souvenirs in the cathedral’s gift shop thanked us for our song. She’d prayed for years to someday hear God’s praise sung in another tongue. He answered her prayer that day through the spontaneous song of an American mission team. It’s easy to see the eternal significance of such moments and...

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Passing On Hope

Posted by on Mar 1, 2018 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 2 comments

“I’m glad we’re Christians, Mama.” Smiling in agreement, I asked my 11-year-old daughter what made her feel that way. Her response still echoes in my heart. “Because we have hope.” We had just returned from spending Christmas in California, where we’d helped my sister’s family prepare for a move to Hawaii. My kids loved the time with their cousins – a rare privilege since they live on opposite sides of the country. And now, these cousins were moving even farther away. This painful parting prompted my daughter to give thanks for hope. Hope that goodbye is not forever, not when we all know Jesus. Though we live thousands of miles apart and have no idea when we’ll be together again, a shared eternity is coming. Hope that God’s plans are bigger than we can imagine and He’s able to...

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