Parenting Like a Pro - Lessons from David - Part 3: Remind

Parenting Like a Pro - Lessons from David - Part 3: Remind

My husband is a a bit of a genealogy junkie. Usually during the quieter time of year, say, the holidays and throughout the month of January, he can usually be found in his office, researching family history.

One day he came into the room where I was working and said, “Did you know that you come from royalty?”

(He’s asking me this question? Of course I’m a princess!)

Turns out, a member of my family was some type of British duke way back in the 1200s and our royal line, while not that of the Windsors, was pretty impressive.

Family lore has it that another ancestor of mine signed the Declaration of Independence. My husband didn’t believe that one for a long time, until recently, when he was able to make an obscure connection to another family line.

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Parenting Like a Pro - Lessons from David - Part 2: Encourage

Parenting Like a Pro - Lessons from David - Part 2: Encourage

Six months ago, our oldest daughter moved to a new city to take a job, and, never one to shy away from a challenge, she threw herself into her work with her usual gusto. This fall, her company sent her on a three-week work trip to a foreign country where she had never been and where she did not speak the language.

Soon after she arrived at her destination, Kate texted me to say that things were a bit difficult and asked me to pray. As the weeks went on, it seemed that my daughter faced mounting pressure and increasing obstacles. My mama’s heart was breaking for my daughter, but I obviously couldn’t hop on a plane to rescue her.

Despite the road blocks she was facing, I knew my daughter’s abilities, and I knew she’d handle the situation just fine. I also knew that she had sensed God’s leading to take this job and that she trusted his plan for her. I knew she would survive these challenging weeks by courageously moving ahead in faith.

My job, as a parent, was simply to encourage and to pray.

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Homesick

Homesick

A student came by to see me in my office yesterday. She poked her head inside and said, “You said I could come talk to you about anything, right?”

“Sure. Come on in.”

She sat in the empty chair next to the round table and poured her heart out about how she wasn’t sure she should be here. She talked about how she went home this weekend and had such a good time with her friends, just listening to music and dancing the way they used to. She told me she thinks about leaving school and just going home to be with her friends.

But then she said, “I know God wants me here.” And we talked about that. We talked about how she has a lot to contribute to this campus and how He has clearly led her here. We talked about how things at home wouldn’t be the same, even if she did leave and head back to her old neighborhood.

Things are just different now.

All of a sudden I realized her problem.

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Parenting Like A Pro – Lessons from David - Part 1: Affirm

Parenting Like A Pro – Lessons from David - Part 1: Affirm

I can still picture the hallway in my high school where I stood in full costume and make up. We had just finished opening night of a high school production of You Can’t Take it With You, in which I had played the family’s maid, Rheba.

(How I remember that, I have no idea.)

As I stood with the rest of the cast members to receive kudos from our friends and family, I saw my parents walking toward me. I hugged them both and remember distinctly my mom’s words: “I am so proud of you!”

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Parenting Like a Pro – Lessons from David

Parenting Like a Pro – Lessons from David

I still remember Kate’s first day of kindergarten. Her bobbed hair pulled back with a huge, pink bow. Her denim dress, white socks, and little tennis shoes. Her expectant smile and shining blue eyes.

I remember her teacher holding a huge cut out teddy bear on a stick, directing everyone into the classroom, and then the door closing behind her, and me crying like I didn’t expect to cry.

I had high hopes as a parent back then. I had goals and desires for my daughters, like just getting through kindergarten. And I thought parenting would be a breeze (my third had not yet been born!).

It didn’t take long for me to lose sight of that early anticipation, though. As the years went by, my feelings of failure began to grow and I started to count, not my blessings, but my mistakes.

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Finding Grace When the Waves Keep Crashing

Finding Grace When the Waves Keep Crashing

I live near Chicago and, thus, Lake Michigan. Our lakeshore is one of the most beautiful in the world, according to me. It extends for miles and miles and boasts beautiful parks and beaches juxtaposed against one of the greatest city skylines in the world.

If you’ve ever flown into Chicago, you’ve probably flown over Lake Michigan and thought it looked lovely, almost serene—it is, after all, a lake, not an ocean. And at times it is serene.

But at other times, standing next to the shore, Lake Michigan can feel very much like the ocean, its waves cresting well above your head, sometimes crashing so violently that the spray covers Lake Shore Drive several feet away.

I’ve seen those violent waves and they are no joke. One after one they come, relentless, pounding, hammering, threatening. You sure wouldn’t want to be caught out on the water with waves like that. All you can do is wait for the weather to calm and return to normal.

This past year, the past six months especially, has felt like I’ve been rooted on the shore of Lake Michigan, unable to move, while enormous waves came crashing over me, one after one.

Relentless. Pounding. Hammering. Threatening.

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Letters to My Daughters: God's Word

Letters to My Daughters: God's Word

Dear Daughters,

From the day each of you was born, I felt a deep responsibility to prepare you for the world in which you will live. I’ve tried to model for you what I believed to be best for your life, but, on occasion (OK, many occasions), I have failed. Oh boy, have I failed. If you were to rely on me as your sole model and guide for your lives, you would be in a sad place indeed.

I know my failings, and yet, I also know God. I know that God, who loves you more than I ever could, who sacrificed His only son so that he could have a relationship with us, has given us the best guide for our lives: his word.

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Easter Monday for the Rest of Us

Easter Monday for the Rest of Us

The day after Easter leaves me wondering: How did Mary (either one) and the disciples handle all of the emotion of the week prior? One day, Jesus is being welcomed into Jerusalem as a hero, yet only a few days later he is being crucified, handed over by those same people as a criminal.

Mary and the others had witnessed the cheers of Palm Sunday, then watched, horrified, as Jesus died a gruesome death the following Friday. They buried him with their tears, and then they walked away from his tomb, devastated, on Saturday.

But on Easter morning, Christ’s followers encountered an empty tomb and experienced yet another range of emotions that Scripture tells us moved them from total devastation, to fear and confusion, and finally to immense joy.

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But God . . . {A fun, exciting, crazy announcement!}

But God . . . {A fun, exciting, crazy announcement!}

Sometimes you wait for something for such a long time that you think it may never happen.

Sometimes you hope and dream for so long that you almost decide to give up.

Sometimes you wonder if your dreams are just crazy or that you’re not up to the dream after all or that you’re getting too old to actually accomplish it.

Sometimes you doubt. A lot.

But then God does something so entirely unexpected that you just have to believe He was in it all along, just waiting to gift you with your dream when the timing was just right.

That’s my story these days.

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Welcome to My New Home!

Welcome to My New Home!

Welcome to my new digs!

You guys. This is so long overdue that I feel like a dinosaur just launching a new website and blog now, but hey, at least it’s done. I hope you’ll take some time to look around and make yourself at home. As I said on my “About” page, I want this to be a place that feels warm and inviting, a place that brings value to you, and a place where you can feel free to interact with me and with other readers.

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My Favorite Books of 2016

My Favorite Books of 2016

In the past, I’ve enjoyed sharing highlights with you at the end of the year—fun events, travels, milestones. But this year, at least the second half of it, I’ve mainly sat behind a desk or in a library carrel, and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be interested in the hours upon hours that I’ve spent just sitting still, staring at a screen, trying to create something meaningful and interesting.

 

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I'm Guest Posting for Jen Michel this week!

I'm Guest Posting for Jen Michel this week!

Hi there! This week I'm guest posting over at Jen Michele's blog. If you haven't yet read Jen's book, Teach Us to Want, you really need to get it, read it, and soak it in. It was selected as the Christianity Today Book of the Year for 2015--need I say more?

Jen has a new book coming out next spring titled, Keeping Place: Reflections on the Meaning of Home. I'm honored to be sharing some thoughts on home with Jen's readers this week. Here's the beginning of my post, but click here to read the whole thing.

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When You Need to Remember: Seasons Change, God Does Not

When You Need to Remember: Seasons Change, God Does Not

Seasons change quickly around here.

I don’t know about you, but the sudden onset of fall temperatures usually has me scrambling for jackets and jeans after a summer of shorts and t-shirts. And I was NEVER ready with my kids’ wardrobes! I remember many a fall day when my girls went to school completely underdressed because I hadn’t pulled out the sweaters or jackets yet.

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End of Summer Wrap-Up

End of Summer Wrap-Up

Hi Friends!

I've written here exactly five times this summer. Five! That must be some kind of worst-ever record for me. But it isn't because I haven't been writing--

I have

. Just not here.

I thought I'd take a few minutes to catch up today since I haven't been around much lately. Our summer was great, and even though I haven't documented much of it, I've enjoyed every minute.

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Letter to My Daughters :: About the –isms

Letter to My Daughters :: About the –isms

Dear Daughters,

Racism.

Feminism.

Terrorism.

The –isms. Words that have become part of our everyday language. Issues that scream for our attention, our compassion, our consideration. Issues different from one another, but important just the same.

And that’s not to mention so many others we talk about.

Atheism.

Capitalism.

Socialism.

Ageism. (I’m kinda sensitive to this one.)

A quick online search for a “list of isms” will produce over 200 words that have become their own distinct belief systems. But, more than that, they are ways of categorizing people or keeping them apart from one another. Worse yet, they become ways of discriminating against people who aren’t like us.

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