Father’s Day: A New and Better Celebration

Sunday Scripture For me, Round One was not such that I would have predicted a mushy Father’s Day blog post in my future. (Who would have ever predicted blogs, anyway?) My experience with this Hallmark holiday was aptly described by author, Leslie Leyland Fields: Some will turn away from thirty minutes at the card rack empty-handed and sad.”… Continue reading Father’s Day: A New and Better Celebration

Practical Steps for Nurturing a Vibrant Household of Faith

Parenting is a risky business. Like a high wire act without a net, we hang on to Truth, keep our balance, and trust for equilibrium, but, ultimately, our children are free to choose their own paths. We do not determine their spiritual direction or their response to God's claim on their lives. Nevertheless, wise parents… Continue reading Practical Steps for Nurturing a Vibrant Household of Faith

What Will You Do with Yourself? (And Other Questions of the Emptying Nest)

Today, the questions from all the seasons of my mothering life meet and dance in a circle around this emptying nest.

Site plans and scholarship applications litter my dining room table these days, and the talk around dinner is all about the future. Life as I know it is about to undergo a drastic change here on this country hill. Having homeschooled a brood of four sons for the past twenty-one years, I’ve seen our story… Continue reading What Will You Do with Yourself? (And Other Questions of the Emptying Nest)

Pay Attention to What You are Doing Right

"This is what gratitude does. It makes us spot and sing and shout our messy blessings for anyone to see." ~Jamie Sumner

I must have written the words long ago and on a really bad day, but I found them recently, scrawled on a page torn from a notebook and paper clipped into a pile of scribbled notes:  "Homeschooling is one more way for you to imagine you have failed your children." Chances are pretty good that… Continue reading Pay Attention to What You are Doing Right

How to Thrive After Your Kids Leave Home

All of life is a gift and this season is no exception.

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 How to Thrive After Your Kids Leave Home

Growing Up with the True Christmas Light

Live alongside me with awe and delight. I'll follow you to the True Christmas Light.

Read me the stories Of Jesus and Santa, Of stockings and shepherds and toys. Tell me the wonders Of snowflakes and wisemen, Of cookies and mystery and joy. Read "Night Before Christmas," Recite from Luke 2 and The wild words from prophets of old. Sing a Blue Christmas Then open your throat wide And shout… Continue reading Growing Up with the True Christmas Light

The Humility of the Given Self

“The best way to find out whether or not you really have a servant’s heart is to see what your reaction is when somebody treats you like one.”

I pushed the damp mop across the kitchen floor, knowing full well that I would be finding sticky spots on cupboard doors and drawer handles for days to come. The transformation of a bushel and a half of apples into smooth, pink applesauce is the work of a couple hours on my own. However, with… Continue reading The Humility of the Given Self

How Parenting Exposes Our Need for Faith

Do I believe Jesus can rescue my children? Do I trust him to work redemptively in their hearts? I want to.

Whether we’re making meals, changing diapers, or shuttling kids to baseball practice, parents are doers. Always in protective mode, we apply sunscreen and Band-Aids as needed, and when we hit a wall with a need we can’t meet ourselves, we consult with the experts. Long before parents could ransack Google or WebMD for medical advice,… Continue reading How Parenting Exposes Our Need for Faith

A Fruitful Life from a Heart of Love

We trust God to give our adult children eyes to see the truth about their own hearts’ affection.

Roots and wings are the gift Christian parents pass on to our children. We establish rules, give them responsibilities that build confidence and skill, and we water those deep roots with lots of love and prayer, knowing that strengthening wings will soon carry our children away from home, out of reach of our influence and… Continue reading A Fruitful Life from a Heart of Love

How to Be a “True Christian” Mother-in-Law

How to Be a "True Christian" Mother-in-Law

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 have also opened their… Continue reading How to Be a “True Christian” Mother-in-Law