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The Ministry of Tucking Them In

Posted by on Oct 29, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

Bedtime. The word both excites and exhausts me. It excites me because I savor the quiet downtime between tucking in the kids and going to bed myself. It exhausts me because of the amount of work I must do between dinner and lights out – mealtime chores, showers, pajamas, last-minute homework… Sometimes—lots of times—I rush through our bedtime routine because I’m more tired than the kids. I forget how much those moments matter to my children. My always-busy son has so very much to say once the lights go out, and he’s finally still. My teenaged daughter opens her heart in prayer, and I catch a glimpse of what’s going on deep inside. My second-grader wants to snuggle and thank God for everything in her world. They all seem to treasure those moments with Mom and Dad before they...

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When the Plan Changes

Posted by on Aug 26, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 1 comment

Lean in close, I have a secret to tell. “I am a recovering control freak.” Seriously. Life is good when things go according to plan, when nothing too crazy happens, and when people behave themselves. But if things start to veer too far off course, I get anxious. God has grown me a lot in this area over the last few years, though. I’m learning to raise the white flag, to trust Him and listen to His voice when things seem out of control. I had an opportunity to practice this recently. My child was very loudly and quite passionately objecting to the word no. I knew I couldn’t give in to the tantrum. Such behavior was unacceptable. I needed to make the child stop. But all my efforts were in vain. Every discipline or redirection seemed to make things...

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Twenty Things I’m Thankful For

Posted by on Jul 20, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

Mama, what are twenty things you’re thankful for?” My seven-year-old snuggled up next to me and waited expectantly for my response. I listed twenty things, then watched as she used her little fingers to count off her own list of twenty blessings. I’m glad she helped me give thanks. Because it’s easy to forget. To lose sight of God’s goodness as bad news fills our newsfeeds and lands in our inboxes. Yet even now – especially now – our hearts need to be reminded that God is still good. He’s filled our lives with tokens of His grace. He’s still in control and is actively bringing good out of evil – on a worldwide scale, as well as a personal one. Nothing can restrict the peace He offers us, for He’s present in every storm. Recently, after spending the...

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Let’s Do It Together

Posted by on Jul 1, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 2 comments

“I get to see a real person?” I’d just gotten off the phone with my friend and the kids’ beloved babysitter. She’d called to say she was on her way over to pick something up. Our seven-year-old daughter heard my side of the conversation and couldn’t contain her excitement over seeing an actual person somewhere other than a computer screen. When our friend arrived, the kids rushed onto the front porch to say hello. Though we maintained a six-foot distance and chatted in the front yard, it felt good to enjoy a face-to-face conversation. Months of social distancing have taken their toll. But they’ve also taught us the value of human connection. Of sharing life with the people who live in our spaces. It’s easy to take for granted those we love the most. Even in our families, we...

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Camouflaged Blessings

Posted by on Apr 22, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 1 comment

My son loves to wear camouflage. He’s never been hunting a day in his life, but he dreams that someday he will go. Recently, he told his daddy he wishes they could go moose hunting in Alaska. (I mean, why not start big?) We’re city people so when my boy wears his camo, it’s more for fashion that functionality. He loves the style, and I love him for it. For many people, though, camouflage has very practical purposes, providing the element of disguise and preventing the person from being seen. As I type these words, we’re several weeks into a statewide lockdown due to the spread of the Coronavirus. My husband is off work for who knows how long. And as a family, we’re each dealing with various emotions and grieving significant disappointments. For us, this is a time...

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Mary Moments

Posted by on Apr 9, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 3 comments

“Mom, I left my shoes at the park!” We’d just pulled into our driveway. With a sigh, I turned the car around and headed back to the park. My frustration melted, however, when I heard my son praying his shoes would be there when we got back. As we rolled to a stop in the parking lot, he jumped out and ran to where he had left them. I smiled. They were still there. Then I watched in grateful wonder as he looked up, right there in the middle of the park, and mouthed his gratitude, “Thank You, Lord!” My own sweet mom used to call these Mary Moments – those times when something happens that is so beautiful, so eternally profound, you just tuck it away in your heart to treasure for always (see Luke 2:19). The shoes-at-the-park...

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