When I Need to be Reminded that God is Good

When I Need to be Reminded that God is Good

A few weeks ago I walked with a friend who not only has a beautiful lab, but also has kids and grandkids living within walking distance. Our walk took us past both of her daughters’ homes, and I found myself thinking about how wonderful it is that she can actually walk to see her daughters and her grandkids. With her lab!

I also found myself feeling . . . what’s the word? Oh yeah. Jealous.

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How to Raise Strong Kids: 5 Essential Body Parts to Strengthen for Character Development

How to Raise Strong Kids: 5 Essential Body Parts to Strengthen for Character Development

Summer, for kids, is a carefree time of going to the pool, hanging out at home, or kicking back at summer camp. As parents, it’s easy to slack off on so many things in the summer, especially hard things like the inner work of character development. But with school starting soon, it’s time to think about our kids’ back-to-school essentials, and one of the most important is their character.


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FIVE KEYS TO REAL PEACE – by April Cassidy

FIVE KEYS TO REAL PEACE – by April Cassidy

There is no doubt about it, being a woman, wife, and/or mom is tough today. With so many crazy things happening in our own families, relationships, jobs, and schedules – not to mention the complete insanity going on in the world - a peaceful heart may seem like an impossibility.

Yet, each of us has a built-in longing to live in perfect peace for ourselves. And we desperately desire peace in our families and for our precious children, too.

Five Keys

Here are some critical keys that I have found on my own journey of discovery to become a peaceful wife and mom.

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Practicing the Art of Being Present

Practicing the Art of Being Present

Last year I was diagnosed with glaucoma, which really hasn’t affected my life in any way, except that I have to go to the eye doctor a little more frequently than most people. And those visits sometimes require some unusual tests.

Last week I had my quarterly exam and had to take a “field vision” or “peripheral vision” test. I’ve had to do this test a few times in the past, and I have to say it’s one that I dread. Not because it hurts, but because it requires six minutes of intense concentration.

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It's Launch Day!

It's Launch Day!

It's finally here and I'm doing a Happy Dance!

First Ask Why: Raising Kids to Love God Through Intentional Discipleship releases today! Hopefully as I write this, booksellers are stocking their shelves or loading their Amazon trucks to deliver this book into the hands of many.

It has long been my belief that our world needs families who want to make a difference for Christ. This book provides just a few suggestions for intentionally pouring the gospel into the lives of our kids. And it is the gospel that makes the difference. Parents are just the tools that will help disciple our kids. We're not aiming for perfection here--just a little more intention.


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First Ask Why: Why Worship?

First Ask Why: Why Worship?

Several years ago, I had the privilege of leading a group of high schoolers on a mission trip to Italy.

 

We spent a couple of weeks learning about Italian culture, a little about the church in Italy (only 1% of Italians consider themselves evangelical Christians), and getting to know an amazing group of high school kids.

Our time in Italy culminated at a movie theater where, on a Sunday morning, several churches from the area came together for a worship service. Much like many American churches, a worship band stood in front and led us in singing. Unlike American worship, the songs were sung in Italian. I didn’t know all the songs, but I did know a few, so I sang along in English.

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First Ask Why: Why Are We Here?

First Ask Why: Why Are We Here?

As a little girl, when I wasn't worried about the supposed burglar who, I was certain, was trying to climb in my window, I was plagued by deep thoughts as I fell asleep each night. I'd wonder about God. I'd wonder about life. And death. And I'd wonder about the big questions like "Why am I here?" (I know. I've got issues.) Many nights, I'd stare at the pink flowers on my wallpaper, winding their way up to the ceiling, and simply wonder. 

Have you ever wondered why you’re here? Not just in that big, cosmic sense, although that’s a good question too, but in the sense of why are we here as a family? Why is this particular collection of people put together under one roof?

I mean, families are pretty messy! Kids have different personalities, different needs, different challenges. Why has God brought this particular combination of people together to create what we call “our family”?

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First Ask Why: Why I Wrote the Book

First Ask Why: Why I Wrote the Book

I have a confession to make: I wasn’t the girl who always wanted to be a mom. I know lots of women who have dreamed of being a mother since they were little girls, who always cuddled and nurtured their baby dolls, and who played house for hours on end with anyone who would join them.

When I was a little girl, I lined up chairs, made worksheets, and played school. My poor baby dolls and stuffed animals sat in a classroom all day rather than getting cuddled! I always wanted to be a teacher; unfortunately, being a mom was not exactly on my radar.

So when I had kids, I found myself in waaaaay over my head.

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Announcing the First Ask Why Launch Team!

Announcing the First Ask Why Launch Team!

First Ask Why: Raising Kids to Love God Through Intentional Discipleship, the book-baby I've been working on for the past two years, will finally see the light of day on April 24. Its message is this: God's purpose for our families is that we shine the light of Jesus into a dark world, and our job as parents to disciple our kids so that they will be equipped to take that light with them when they leave our homes. While they are with us, we must be intentional about discipline our kids, helping them to see Jesus all around them, every day. We start, not by asking how, but by asking why.

It's a message I believe in with my whole heart. It's a message that I believe will help parents and families to see a bigger picture than just living out the day-to-day. I believe it's important to strengthen our families and our kids' faith, especially today.

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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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