• Heartprints

    Searching for Advent

    On our way to church I asked my children, “What is Advent?” One child said “I don’t know,” and the other, “When we get ready for Christmas.” Part of me felt like a failure as a “Christian mom.” But then I realized, I’ve been searching for Advent since their birth. What is this season for? I came to faith in a modern Christian expression that lacks tradition. So my first Christmas as a mom—I had no clue what spiritual traditions to share with my children. I turned to my information resource—the internet. And therein I found hundreds of ideas on Advent calendars and Christmas season activities. Bake sugar cookies. Read…

  • Engage

    You Were Meant for Today

    You were Meant for Today! It was quite a shock when I found out I was pregnant, for the third time, nearly 5 years after having given birth to my last little bundle of joy.  To complicate matters, we received the news just weeks after we announced that we would be moving from our beloved community, leaving behind a life of ministry and part-time jobs that I loved.   Suddenly, I had to come to grips with the idea that I would now be going backward. Or, at least that is how I interpreted the situation. Of course, I have pursued motherhood out of a calling and it has been one…

  • Heartprints

    Tips for Teaching #2

    I believe that today’s tip can help us better prepare our children for the difficulties of standing strong in their faith Tip number two: Encourage children to embrace their struggles. According to Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, by Tim Keller., our culture is one of the few around the world that believes that suffering is to be avoided at any cost. Most cultures see suffering as a normal part of life and essential for becoming healthy productive adults. Though suffering is uncomfortable, and scary, it is also unavoidable. Our task is to help our children see past the difficulties. Suffering is a gift to help us grow in our…

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    Heartprints

    The Blame and Shame Game

    We live in a day and age when counseling is a norm. Many churches have a Christian counselor on staff. Folks flock to bookstores where self-care and wellness books line the shelves. I woke this morning thinking that counseling is often a safe place to confess. The idea that we need to confess our sins against others as well as their sins against us verbally is a huge part of the healing process. Personally, I have not found that another human telling me that I am not at fault or am forgiven hasn’t been  truly freeing. It is more like a bandage than a cure. It stops my bleeding heart…

  • Heartprints

    LIVING LEGACYS

      Every family has a legacy. What we do in this life will mark the lives we touch. How well we live will influence how well we die. May God help us all to learn that the legacies that we are left and that we leave are not the monies or the things that are left behind but the memories, the love, and the lessons that are left within. Life is an interesting journey that many times ends the same way it began. A helpless infant depends on its family to care for its many needs. In a similar manner many elderly parents find themselves unable to meet their basic…

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    Heartprints

    Worship While You Wait

      Waiting is the hardest thing I am ever asked to do. If I am waiting for something good, then it is difficult because I am so excited and can hardly wait for the party or the present or the event to happen. If I am waiting for something bad it seems even harder. I don’t want it. Yet, I know it is coming so I just want it to happen already. How good are you at waiting? When it comes to children and waiting…well, if you are a parent, you know how draining that can be on everyone. In my last blog I talked about the importance of waiting…

  • Heartprints

    How Would You Draw God?

    One of my favorite Bible lessons I did with our church teens a few years ago involved Pictionary. I gave them random Biblical stories to draw, which became quite comical. Most of them were pretty easy; but, it was all part of getting them to the final image. For the finale’ we had a draw-off and told them to draw, “God.”   As I suspected, the two draw-ers stood with marker in hand but no action. The audience began shouting out Bible words hoping for a lucky guess. They eventually abandoned even trying to draw and turned instead to waiting and encouraging better guesses. So, how would you draw God?…

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    Heartprints

    A Thankful Heart is a Healthy Heart

    Did you know that in the Net Bible there are 77 verses that have the words “give thanks?”  The first is found in 2 Samuel 22:50, “So I will give you thanks, O Lord, before the nations! I will sing praises to you.” The last is found in Revelation 11:17 “with these words: ‘We give you thanks, Lord God, the All-Powerful, the one who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and begun to reign…’”  1 Chronicles 16:8“Give thanks to the Lord! Call on his name! Make known his accomplishments among the nations!” Over and over in verse after verse we are commanded to “give thanks.”…

  • Heartprints

    1 Way Parenthood Is Like Noah’s Life of Faith

    Judah, my middle child, is a rocks, sticks, leaves, tree-climbing kind of boy. On one of our Fall walks a couple years ago, He picked up an acorn and with an excited smile, said, “Look!” As he handed them to me for safe keeping. What I thought were simple, brown acorns, the kind with tops that look like hats, he thought were beautiful seeds of possibility. A Simple Seed I began to think about how I felt like that acorn. Tossed. Un-noticed. Set-aside from the hustle of busy, important people, going to busy, important places, doing busy, important things. Did my holding a fist full of acorns matter? But then,…

  • Harvest Blessings
    Heartprints

    A Holy Harvest

    Fall is finally here and with it the harvest.  There are many kinds of harvests. One of them happens, not in the fall, but because of the fall, the fall of man into sin. Words are like seeds. Once spoken they are planted in the hearts of the hearer. They too produce a harvest. Words can be a harvest of blessing but unloving words produce a harvest of hurt.  I remember running to my mom crying, just a little girl hurting inside, crying because of ugly words. I was broken hearted by caustic remarks. My mother, taught me a little rhyme that she had used as a child: “Sticks and…