10 Important Things You Can’t Assume Your Teen Already Knows

You Can't Assume Your Teen Already Knows

After only five minutes in the presence of my granddaughter, I've already concluded that I don't have nearly enough ruffles and sequins in my closet. Of course, I recover quickly enough, not being even remotely a ruffles and sequins kind of woman, but that doesn't stop me from delighting in her girliness and her love… Continue reading 10 Important Things You Can’t Assume Your Teen Already Knows

Mud Season Prayers: There Is No Mess Too Big for God to Clean Up

There's no mess too big for God to clean up!

Busy with the baby, it took me a few minutes to respond to the small voices at my door. One glance out the window revealed two big smiles with little else visible through the coating of mud that covered my sons’ faces. From the visors on their ball caps to the soles of their muck… Continue reading Mud Season Prayers: There Is No Mess Too Big for God to Clean Up

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Great Mothers-in-Law!

Happy Mother's Day!

Over time, a family with four sons develops a unique tone, a guy culture with a certain decibel level and a distinct way of doing life. As a mother of some now-married sons, it has been a joy to welcome other women into this circle — women who love my sons well and also have… Continue reading Happy Mother’s Day to all the Great Mothers-in-Law!

How to Pray for Your Teen When You’ve Run Out of Words

How to Pray for Your Teen

For one short season of our parenting journey, my husband and I felt as if we were hanging on to the reins of a runaway horse. Daily battles over curfews and negotiations around boundary lines had taken the place of warm conversation and laughter around the table. We mourned the loss as we searched for… Continue reading How to Pray for Your Teen When You’ve Run Out of Words

Holding On, Letting Go, and Doing the Work of Loving Your Empty Nest

Empty Nest: Discover God's Best for Your Next

The number of plates on my dining room table had been a constant so dependable that I could set the table on auto-pilot. Often the number would swell to account for guests or shrink when one of us was visiting elsewhere. However, the ebb and flow always had a fixed point of return–until it didn’t.… Continue reading Holding On, Letting Go, and Doing the Work of Loving Your Empty Nest

Ash Wednesday in the Parenting Pressure Cooker

Reclaiming Ash Wednesday for Christ

Strict practitioners would not have approved of my methods, but on one long ago mid-winter Wednesday, I smeared ashes on the foreheads of my two preschoolers and myself. An offering of the hardwood that had heated our home the day before, these ashes were not “ceremonially correct” in any way. At the time, I did… Continue reading Ash Wednesday in the Parenting Pressure Cooker

A Powerful Love Story Based on Strong Promises

A powerful love story based on strong promises

Sunday Scripture About thirty years ago, a handsome young man in a tux stood before me and recited loving words of commitment that began like this: “Michele, joining my life with yours in the covenant of marriage . . .” And so our love story began with strong promises about loving and listening, faithfulness and… Continue reading A Powerful Love Story Based on Strong Promises

The Secret of Slow for Mums in a Hurry

“We are here to abet creation And to witness it..., So that Creation need not play to an empty house.”

“Do you always read to your kids like that?” she queried. My friend was referring to my rendition of a Dr. Seuss classic delivered at tongue-twister speed from a rocking chair in the church nursery. “Just Dr. Seuss,” I replied. “It’s funnier if you read it fast.” She grinned and raised an eyebrow. “You do… Continue reading The Secret of Slow for Mums in a Hurry

Receive the Gift of Your Life as an Adventure from God

Pursuing a God-sized dream is about following the One who makes the sun rise every day and never tires of it.

“Again!” he demanded with a giggle, his eyes sparkling with joy and anticipation. And so we did it. We read the book again . . . and again. My grandson doesn’t look for thrills in the new and different. He finds his greatest joy in more and more of what he knows and loves. The truth is,… Continue reading Receive the Gift of Your Life as an Adventure from God

Gratitude: Look at the Loss and then Give Thanks

When we gather for our imperfect celebrations, our only hope for joy is to look at our loss and then to give thanks.

Thirty years ago, I married into a family that celebrated Thanksgiving Day with All-American fervor, featuring a day-long gathering and a loaded table. As the new bride, I was eager to prove that I had what it took to be the holiday hostess. Having done my research, I had planned all the best sides, multiple-choice… Continue reading Gratitude: Look at the Loss and then Give Thanks