Tuesday, May 19, 2020

5 Tips for Raising More Teachable Children (Even during Quarantine)

5 Tips for Raising More Teachable Children (Even during Quarantine)
If you’re like me, having teachable children sounds especially good right now. First, many of us are finding ourselves in the new position of being our children’s actual teacher for the first time. With schools closed because of COVID–19, I’m wearing more hats (sometimes awkwardly) as I homeschool my two older boys with a one-year-old too. Second, while this situation offers the silver lining of increased bonding time as a family, it also has its challenges. Tensions easily flare in confined environments right when working together peaceably has never felt more important. If we can arise from this trying chapter as better parents with happier, more ordered households, that’s a victory.

Here are 5 tips that can help. 
Read the tips here in my newest article! 

This article went live last week, and I did a video backstory for it on Facebook. Have you seen it? It's been viewed over 13K times! I'd love for you to watch. Visit my Facebook page!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

New Devotion: 5 Reasons Why You Should Never Feel Intimidated to Pray

I was blessed in college to live with a friend who was passionate about the Bible. I was premed at the time, which meant a lot of nights studying. I can still remember tiptoeing into our dorm room and seeing her screensaver. The room was dark except for the colored, creeping words that floated across her computer screen: “Pray without ceasing…”

Continued prayer is an important reminder. As a pastor, however, I’m struck by the fact that so many people have told me that they feel intimidated to pray. Whether they’re at a hospital bedside looking to encourage a loved one who is sick, gathered around a table with family and friends awaiting mealtime, or confiding in someone about a problem and looking for prayer, they feel reticent. What if I say the wrong words? Will my prayer sound stupid? Can’t someone else do it better? 

While it’s natural to have different comfort levels with prayer, particularly when it’s in front of someone else, the Bible makes it clear that God wants to hear from you. There is power in the words we say and our testimony. As a pastor, I can pray with you, and I’m happy to do so. But it can be far more impactful for your loved one, child, or friend to hear the words coming from you. That act of faith can open the door for God to act in ways that you might never have imagined. 

The Bible extends an open, gentle invitation to each of us to consider stepping out in faith through prayer. The following are five reasons why you should never feel intimidated to do so: 

1. Prayer is an open conversation with God. 

The best way to alleviate the fear of saying the wrong thing is to consider prayer as a casual conversation with God. The Bible says to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). If we really did this, we would be talking with God throughout the day. Prayer is an invitation to draw closer to God through conversation like you would a friend. 

2. The best prayers are honest prayers. 

Rather than presenting God with perfect words, God wants to know your heart. When we use prayer as a vehicle to be honest with God, our intimacy with him increases. There have been times when I have wept on my knees to God. Afterward, I knew that he had heard me—I felt his peace and sometimes a conviction that God would grant my petition. Honesty in prayer gets God’s attention (Psalm 145:18).

For three more reasons not to feel intimidated, 
continue reading on Crosswalk.com.

Last week was the National Day of Prayer, so this devotion is timely. Prayer is always just a conversation with God away!

Friday, May 8, 2020

15 Things You Know as a Mom of Little Boys

In honor of Mother's Day weekend, here is an old favorite that's now featured on a new spot! Join me in checking out Red Tricycle, which features a trove of parenting resources that are especially invaluable now. Happy Mother's Day!

Fighting Darth Vader in Orlando

We have hunkered down over spring break due to the coronavirus, which meant lots of family movie watching. One of the first flicks we were sure to catch was the last in the Star Wars series, The Rise of Skywalker. It brought me back to this article that I penned four years ago and still holds true. I added a new point to the list as well. Moms of boys, I hope this makes you smile…

My boys, ages four and six, watched the Star Wars trilogy for the first time this winter. They couldn’t wait to reenact the scenes. They became proud owners of matching lightsabers, courtesy of their grandparents.

The sabers glow red and make a sound upon impact. One afternoon after jostling, my older son ran to me in amazement. Apparently, they had just fought with their eyes closed and their lightsabers still met. He proudly announced that they now knew the ways of the Force.

While I knew they needed an outlet for their energy, especially when it was too cold to go outside, I worried the sabers would miss their intended target and leave a welt on someone’s cheek. As I laid down the respective ground rules before their next jostle, like keeping their eyes OPEN, my older son said proudly, “Mommy, you don’t have to worry. We have training.” And there was no doubt in his mind that this was the case.

This experience, among many, has matriculated in the following list. Moms of little boys know the adventure of raising them is often one with distinct markings. Along the path of wanting to raise gentlemen, I’ve had to be an observer of a world that’s very different from my own. I balance every day the desire to mold them and let go, being respectful of their boyishness. Here is what I’ve learned while maneuvering their dynamic, yet endearing world:

1. What’s cool has nothing to do with conversation or pampering—it’s watching Star Wars and memorizing every line.

2. Sword fighting requires no rules or training, at least in the way that you view training. Yoda, can you help here please?

3. Boys often bond through sports and wrestling. Sometimes they remind you of puppies. In a cute way.

4. Hugs and playful punches express equal endearment.

5. The only drama they know is playing until someone gets hurt.

For the remaining 10 points, visit me on 
Red Tricycle—it's a fun site!

TODAY Video Clip