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Don't forget to make some memories!

One-on-One Time

Posted by on Aug 28, 2018 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 2 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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Mama, You Forgot

Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 7 comments

“Mama, you forgot to sing to me,” my son called from his bedroom. Actually, I hadn’t forgotten. I was just tired and ready for the kids to be in bed, eager to go “off duty” for the night. So I had prayed for him, kissed him goodnight and shut the door. But he remembered. And inwardly, my heart rejoiced despite my weariness. I reentered his room, sang a verse of “The Old Rugged Cross” and kissed him goodnight one more time. We used to sing to our babies as part of their nighttime routine, but as they’ve grown older, the bedtime songs gradually fell by the wayside. Recently, however, a dear friend told me about an interview she’d read with singers/songwriters Keith and Kristyn Getty, in which they encouraged parents to sing songs of faith to their kids each...

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A Christmas Resolution

Posted by on Dec 22, 2017 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

“Can we sleep in front of the Christmas tree, Mama?” Their twinkling eyes reveal the anticipation in their hearts this Christmas Eve night. They gather blankets and pillows and snuggle down under the glow of the tree. Just before bed, my husband turns off the lights and the house settles into shadowy silence. It was a good season, but how did Christmas Day come so quickly? When I was a child, the month seemed like a year and the season so simple. Not so as a mom. A hundred “to-do’s” can squeeze out the holiday joy as I rush from one task to the next – shopping, baking, mailing, decorating, caroling, reading, cleaning… Sometimes remembering “the Reason for the season” can seem like just another item on my endless to-do list. If this all sounds too familiar, I invite...

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