It’s Time to Look Up!

Somedays are better than others.  I don’t know why, but it sure seems to be true.  I’ve never known life to be boring, but it sure has been happy, sad, confusing, terrifying, repetitive, and overwhelming, and sometimes all at the same time.  The best part about it is that God is unchanging.  That is so funny to me though, because I am made in His image.  I look a lot like Him!  I think that is spectacular don’t you?  Me feeling so changeable, and yet I’m made in the very image of the unchanging One!  That just gives me hope! [Read more…]

Three Powerful Phrases for Your Home

IMG_5930_8x10We all know that the things we say matter.  Like really matter.  Words have the power to bring joy to others or absolutely ruin their day. 

I’m really big into keeping things simple, because to me when things are simple they are also sustainable. 

I have eight kids and one adorable husband, and if I get too complicated in my ideas and plans, they simple DO NOT happen.  They get lost in the whirlwind of socks, bagels, and crayons that fill my ordinary days.  Are you longing to breathe a little fresh air into your home?  Well, I have a couple of simple, doable, common-sense ideas that, when applied liberally, may just change the very atmosphere of your home. [Read more…]

Purposeful Parenting 5: Is Independence the True Mark of Parenting Success?

Success target

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”  John 10:27

“I’m just trying to raise good, strong, independent children.”  You’ve heard it.  You may have even said it.  This has been the parenting mantra in America for several generations.  Independence.  ‘Independently wealthy’ are words that stand for hard word and determination, while ‘family money’ conjure up images of lazy, entitled sons.   The value for independence began nobly in our nation as we fought for freedom from tyranny, but is it possible that we have embraced it in a way that was never intended from the beginning?  [Read more…]

Purposeful Parenting 4: How Learning and Hunger go Hand-in-Hand!

Information

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.  But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth.  He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears and He will tell you what is yet to come.  He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you.  All that belongs to the Father is mine.  That is why I said the Spirit will receive from Me what He will make known to you.”  John 16:12-15

As a homeschooling mom it is easy to become swallowed up by the idea that if my children memorize information they are well educated.  Is the memorization of facts the hallmark of education?  Or is it more important that they hunger for more information, have an inquisitive mind, and realize that the ‘facts’ presented in their textbooks may have more than one side to the story? [Read more…]

Purposeful Parenting 3: The Power of Testimony in Our Homes!

Portrait of happy family of three embracing

“And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.’”  Genesis 2:16 & 17

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made.  He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’  The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” Genesis 3: 1 & 2  [Read more…]

Purposeful Parenting 2: What is the Focus of Our Biblical Training?

light bulbs as conceptual symbol of businessperson successful idea

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.”  Psalm 139:14

Information is processed through relationship.  When the Lord first told me that I thought to myself ‘what does that even mean?’  I thought information was only processed through my mind.  However, in Psalm 139, David talks about how his soul knows how fearfully and wonderfully he is made.  Notice he didn’t say his mind knows.  I think that is so very interesting, and so much more intimate.  His soul knows…  I love that!  [Read more…]

Legacy: Learn How Your Breakthrough Can Become Your Child’s Launchpad!

Everyday, ordinary family-life is the perfect place to focus on what we believe.  So many of our actions and reactions are a direct result of something that we believe to be true that simply isn’t true.  As parents, establishing a culture of truth in our homes should be of primary importance.  I want my children to respect and honor their siblings and us, but more than that I want them to believe like Jesus – about both themselves and others.  Most of the everyday scuffles in our homes find their roots in common, household lies that seem so ‘normal’ that it is easy to miss the root and simply trim the branches in our homes.  [Read more…]

Do Boundaries Suppress Our Children’s Freedom?

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Several years ago we had the privilege to visit Niagara Falls. What an amazing place!  I don’t think I will ever forget taking the tour boat to the base of Horseshoe Falls. The sheer tremulousness and majesty of the moment made me feel even closer to my awesome Creator!  (If you ever have a chance to visit, I highly recommend it.)

Just off of the visitor center is a large concrete platform that serves as an observation deck. This platform extends out over the river canyon and allows for a superior view of the entire falls.  This observation deck allowed us to experience Niagara Falls to a much greater degree than we ever could have without it. [Read more…]

Is Our Family “Normal”?

I am a small town family medicine physician. Last winter I was seeing many patients with coughs, runny noses, and headaches, as is typical during the winter months in the state of Minnesota.

During one of these routine visits a patient asked me if these symptoms, that were making her feel miserable, were normal. I hesitated in answering her and then tried to clumsily explain that the symptoms she was experiencing from the virus were common, but that a virus attacking the cells of her body was not normal.

We laughed when I said, “I guess that’s why they call it the common cold.”  I reassured her that her symptoms would run their course and would require no further treatment.

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(Jonny wrote this blog for our dear friend, Dawn Williams.  The link above will take you to www.IThinkWeCouldBeFriends)

Purposeful Parenting 1: Lessons from a Cinnamon Roll

 

Chocolate pastry,cup of coffe and orange juice on wooden background with blank space

Taste and see that the LORD is good.”  Psalm 34:8
One morning a few years ago, I got up before my children and made homemade cinnamon rolls from scratch.  At our house that includes milling fresh flour, making homemade dough, and the works.  We all love it, but because it is a time consuming activity, it doesn’t happen very often.  When I called the children down for breakfast they were already eagerly anticipating their treat, because they could smell the yummy aroma throughout the entire house.

As they took their seats, I began to explain to them the steps that I took in making the rolls: the type of wheat I had ground, the sweetener and yeast I had put in, and the length of time that it had taken for the rolls to rise.  I explained every detail I could think of and then dismissed them from the table to head up stairs to begin school.  They all sat there looking at me like I was crazy.  I let a few awkward moments pass as they all complained that they hadn’t eaten yet! [Read more…]