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 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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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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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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