Tuesday, September 20, 2016

NBC's "This Is Us" Premieres Tonight!

This morning I was honored to gather with other TODAY Show Parenting Team moms to watch an advance screening of NBC's This Is Us, a new drama. The show will air tonight at 10 pm EST after The Voice. As I watched, I laughed. I definitely cried. And I recommend this show!

The premiere introduces us to seemingly disparate characters who are particularly appealing through their imperfections. As the plot unfolds, we see how these characters are connected as we connect to them ourselves.

This Is Us does not shy away from big yet real life issues - conflicted mid-life identity, estranged parenting, frustrated weight gain, and infant loss, to name a few. But amidst its heavy drama, there is well-timed comedic levity, making this a show that you will not only want to watch, but see again.

I was particularly struck by how the premiere artfully handles infant loss. While miscarriage statistically happens one in every four pregnancies, it is hardly a topic of everyday conversation, let alone major network material. But it's handled in a redeeming, even inspiring, way on screen.

I hope you'll watch tonight and let me know what you think. One lead actor in the series, Milo Ventimiglia, stated, "The show will break your heart and reach in and give it a hug too." So get prepared to be drawn in...and don't forget your tissues!

Click here to see the trailer. Please note this is an adult show, so there is adult content.

Thank you, TODAY Show Parenting Team, for this experience! Interested in joining the team? Submit a post here.

Me and Milo

Me and some Parenting Team members

Friday, September 9, 2016

Two Mom-Ready Back to School Prayers

Everyone is back to school this week in our area. Sending our children back to school can feel saddening, because not only do we miss them, but we are not there to come alongside them during their day. The good news is that God can span the distance between our arms and theirs when they are apart from us. We leave them in God's capable hands when we pray. This is a prayer I wrote when my oldest son started full day school - you can easily adopt it for your daughters too. I hope it encourages you today.

Dear God,

You are such a merciful Parent. Thank you for the way you gently guide us through our day. You are a font of infallible instruction and unending love.

Bless my baby as he is apart from me. Form a hedge of protection around him. If he is ever unsure or afraid, draw ever closer to him. Whisper your promises to his heart.

Help him to walk confidently in this new chapter of self-definition with you by his side. Guide him, gentle Shepherd, into your fold and place your call upon his heart. Assist him in its exciting discovery.

You are amazing and will always provide more than I can ever give, for you are a constant and perfect presence. As our family transitions in this new school year, continue to shape me and us so that we can best support him and together shine your light exactly where you've placed us.

We praise you for your faithfulness. We look forward to celebrating life's ensuing milestones with you. Continue to strengthen our family as we seek to be faithful and bask in your love.

In Your Son's name I pray,


The new school year signifies a new beginning. At the same time I'm entrusting my boys to God's care, I'm also asking for God's wisdom as I look to shape their life. I want to benefit from God's strength and direction by opening a prayer lifeline.

Dear God,

Thank you for the gift of a new school year with my child. Before schedules get too busy, help me to pause and appreciate the special opportunity this year of learning and friendship brings.

Thank you for my child. As I know you have chosen me to be his or her parent, I pray that you will equip my family with these blessings in particular this year:

Courage.  I pray for courage for my child - not only to meet the demands of his or her chosen path, but also for strength of character.

Passion.  Lord, fan my child's passions. Use me as an instrument to come alongside to dream, support, and encourage them.

Protection.  I pray for protection for my child - not only from injury or harm, but from culture's pace and expectations.

Sanctuary.  Lord, make our home a sanctuary. Help it not to be a place for franticness and meltdowns, but a place where we regroup, nurture, and redefine what it means to be a healthy, successful family.

Freedom.  I confess there's a strong pressure to compare my family to others. I confess there's a strong pressure to people-please at the cost of added stress upon my family. Lord, direct my eyes only to You; help us to experience the freedom that brings.

Wisdom.  It's humbling that you want to bless us with your wisdom, as the One who made it all. Thank you for never leaving us alone; draw me closer to you. May your wisdom be an open and available lifeline this year.

Love.  Please help love to be at the core of all we are and all we do. May your love inspire my family to grow, heal, give thanks, and enjoy our blessings each day.

I place all that is precious to me in Your capable hands. Thank you in advance for being faithful.

In Your Son's name I pray,


If you appreciated this post, you might also enjoy The Power of a Praying Mom.


I've been working on the details of a new faith and parenting TV series that will air beginning next month! I have been finalizing the line up and set to make it the best, most helpful, and FUN show it can be. The official press release will be out later this month or early next - stay tuned here for the big announcement!

TODAY Video Clip