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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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How to Talk to Your Young Children About Abortion

Posted by on May 15, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, That Mom Life | 0 comments

The word “abortion” is a regular part of my vocabulary. I’ve worked for my local pregnancy center for six years, spoken in front of crowds about abortion, given presentations on how to defend the pro-life position, and written many articles on the topic. But the first time my 4-year-old looked me in the eye and asked me what abortion was, I froze. How could I even begin to explain such a horrible reality to my son? His questions were inevitable. Our family has made a point to create a culture of life and an awareness of the needs of women in unplanned pregnancies. (I talk more about this in last month’s article, The Most Dangerous Place. You can check that out here!) When the questions come, what is the best way to speak to young children about abortion in...

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The Most Dangerous Place

Posted by on Apr 11, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, That Mom Life | 0 comments

We walked with the crowd of people toward the old, dilapidated building. Angry weeds forced their way through every visible crack and crevice. We moved in silence as an overwhelming sense of sadness settled around us like a thick blanket. We stared at the building and watched as women filtered in and out of the door that creaked in protest each time it was forced open. We watched and we prayed. My husband, two children and I were standing outside of our city’s abortion facility. Not your typical Saturday family outing. I’ve gotten more than a few strange looks and comments from people when they learn that we’ve taken our children to the abortion facility. And I can’t say I blame them—I’m sure it seems weird on several levels. For one, convincing a 4-year-old and almost 2-year-old to be...

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White-Knuckled Prayers

Posted by on Mar 12, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, That Mom Life | 0 comments

“Dear God, gank You for cars and dump trucks and street sweepers. And most of all, gank You for Jesus, Your Son, who died for our sins. Amen.” Before “amen” finished rolling off his tongue, my three-year-old firecracker began shoveling food into his mouth much like the dump trucks—which he so reverently lifted up in prayer—might slide mounds of dirt into a bottomless pit. When my son paused from filling his hollow legs with pasta, he took a breath and launched into an epic reenactment of his day. I’ve never seen my son do anything halfway; there is a sense of urgency in every task. When he builds with LEGO bricks, his face remains inches from each piece, concentration etched into his furrowed brow. When he plays outside, each task is completed at a dead run, usually accompanied by...

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You’re Still Happy with Me, Right?

Posted by on Feb 18, 2019 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, That Mom Life | 5 comments

I exited the room, arms full of folded towels. The goal was to put them in the linen closet and come back for the rest of the clothes. I couldn’t have been gone more than ten seconds. Sometimes ten seconds is all it takes. When I entered the living room, every piece of freshly folded laundry was strewn across the room. Shirts were on the hearth, pants were dangling off the sewing machine, and underwear littered the floor and couch. I spun toward my two primary suspects and asked in an eerily calm voice, “Who. Did. This?” My three-year-old jumped to attention. “It was Ryleigh,” he said with confidence. I turned to my eighteen-month-old. She was grinning and trying to pull a pair of underwear onto her head. She hadn’t quite mastered the art of subtlety yet. Benjamin jumped...

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What Do Scary Things Do?

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

“I’m afraid of spiders.” My almost four-year-old eyed me and then quickly redirected his gaze to his toys. His tone was apologetic. Benjamin’s fear of spiders wasn’t new to me. For a while, he had recurring nightmares involving spiders—the kind of nightmares that would terrify the most fearless adult. “I don’t blame you, B,” I said. “I think spiders are creepy, too. And you know, everyone is afraid of something. Except for a special Someone. Did you know there is Someone who’s not afraid of anything?” Benjamin smiled at the familiar question. “God!” And then his eyes narrowed in concentration. “So what do scary things do when they see God?” I blinked. When is this kid going to start asking me easier questions? I imagined a gathering of all the things my children might fear: Spiders. Monsters. Darkness. Storms....

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