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Happy Easter!

Posted by on Apr 19, 2019 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

Wishing you and your family a blessed Easter as we celebrate a risen Lord! ~From all of us at Just 18...

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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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Symbols of Easter for Ceaseless Prayer

Posted by on Apr 17, 2019 in A LASTING FAITH, Blog, Prayers and Promises | 0 comments

    Creation celebrates the beauty of a resurrected life – buds and blooms transforming the dreary dormancy of winter into an explosion of color and delight. Everything inspires prayer!     RABBITS I have this adorable set of bunnies on my dining room table as a reminder to pray that the hearts of parents be turned to their children and the hearts of children be turned to their parents (Malachi 4:6). But it’s even more powerful.   Rabbits are known for their prolific reproduction. In fact, using conservative calculations, one female rabbit and her offspring have the potential to produce 184,597,433,860 rabbits in seven years. Yikes![*]   But what if we allow rabbits to inspire us to pray that the church will produce spiritual children (those we lead to Christ and mentor) with the same numeric vitality? This...

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Sad Day, Happy Day

Posted by on Apr 16, 2019 in Blog, Bonus Days | 0 comments

As Easter nears, parents all over are wondering the best way to teach their children about Jesus’ death and resurrection. It can be an incredibly difficult concept for children to grasp. In my preschool, we discuss the topic of Jesus’ death and resurrection in terms of a sad day and a happy day. His death is of course a sad day, but then his resurrection is such a happy day! We try to use terminology that is relatable to the children and as I’m thinking about Easter, thinking about that sad day and happy day, I realize just how relatable it is to us as well. What a gift we can give our children by helping them realize that sad and happy days are a part of our lives. Jesus’ sad day and death was followed by a happy...

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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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What If—Not a Place for Parents or Children

Posted by on Apr 9, 2019 in A LASTING FAITH, A Mother's Prayers, Blog | 0 comments

Several years ago, our family had quite a scare. Our youngest son visited a trampoline park with friends. He landed wrong and broke his back. Fortunately, there was no spinal cord damage. Now, I’m good in a crisis. The situations that cause other people to panic create in me the ability to act clearly and decisively. So when they brought him home, I was woman-in-control. I was able to be calm and clear-headed in that nightmare scenario. At least until the crisis was over. Then I spent several days as an emotional wreck. The slightest thing brought uncontrollable sobs. It sounds strange, but my crisis point is always delayed. And it’s always brought on by taking up residence in the place of what if. I’m sure you’ve visited that nightmare place too. It’s populated by the unending refrain of...

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