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Calming the Chaos

Posted by on Apr 18, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

Bang. Bang. Bang. My son taps who-knows-what on the floor, enjoying the sounds he creates. He loves noisemaking. I cherish his inquisitive personality, that quality which causes him to make the noises (and the messes). But these things do drive a parent crazy. “Son, stop banging. It’s just creating chaos,” my husband instructs. Immediately, our preschooler bursts into song. “Chaos! Chaos! Chaos!” At this point, what do you do except roll your eyes and laugh at the insanity of the situation? Such craziness typifies our current life season. Noise and chaos, messes and piles, unfinished projects galore. But in the midst of it all, three kids are loving life and exploring the world around them. Quite honestly, I waffle back and forth between being okay with all this – with embracing exploration while training them to pick up after...

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Lessons from a People-Mover

Posted by on Mar 11, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 2 comments

It’s funny what kids remember. “Mama, remember the time when we sat next to the elevator and ate a cookie?” My son smiled as he repeated the story. He must have been four or five when we took that afternoon outing to the mall. We started out at the play place, then headed to the food court for a candy-filled cookie, sitting next to the glassed-in elevator as we ate. My little man stared in awe. I marveled that a people-mover could be so fascinating. He studied it ever so carefully, trying to figure out exactly how it worked. He wanted to ride it a few times, but just watching it seemed to thrill him the most. Fast forward several years, and he still recalls that day with affection. Such a little thing – a simple date which cost...

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Taming the Tongue

Posted by on Feb 11, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

Sometimes I just can’t control my tongue. It was not a good day. For whatever reason, we were just off. I was irritable and impatient. I found myself correcting every little infraction, every childish noise. The more I corrected, the more frustrated I became. And the more my kids acted up. After snapping at one of my children, I realized I needed help. This downward spiral was not going to improve without divine intervention. “Lord, please help me control my tongue!” As I whispered the prayer, the following verse came to mind: “…What you say flows from what is in your heart” (Luke 6:45b, NLT). My shoulders slumped. If restraining my tongue is a difficult job, changing my heart is impossible. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to do it for many years. Discouragement gave way to hope, however, as I remembered...

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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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