• Heartprints

    No Fear…”Seeking My Favorite Things”

    What are your favorite things? According to the familiar song, “My Favorite Things” written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, these are a few of Maria’s favorite things.  Julie Andrews, who portrays Maria, in the award-winning musical “The Sound of Music” gives a list of some of her favorite things to help the Von Trapp children from being afraid of the storm.               “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,              Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,              Brown paper packages tied up with string              These are a few of my favorite things.”   As the song continues, the lyrics are uplifting and fun.  In the movie, Maria whisk through the music with delight to…

  • Engage

    Training the next generation to seek Jesus; the call to intentional parenting

    I am an experienced camper.  Growing up, my family camped across the United States from the Mexican Border to New York City. We tent camped during tornadoes, temperatures above 100 degrees, and flooding rain. I remember hunkering down in a bathroom during a tornado warning only to share the bathroom with the biggest scorpion my little eyes had ever seen.  As a child, I couldn’t decide if I would rather suffer through the storm in the tent or cower in the corner with the scorpion. Included in my memories of these cherished family adventures were Sundays on vacation. My Dad always traveled with a suit. His mother was elderly, and…

  • Heartprints

    Processing Pain

    If you don't like where you are, keep walking." Pain happens. We don't get to choose the when the where or the how. But we can choose to process it in a healthy The devastation a child feels, from having the wrong answer when asked a question in front of their class, clarifies the importance of a right answer. From childhood we push forward in a pursuit of knowledge as though finding the right answers guarantees success.

  • Heartprints

    Called To Disciple

    Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to have experienced and learned from Jesus during His earthly ministry?  The other day my husband and I were having a conversation regarding the way we respond towards different people and their circumstances.  He told me that I was like the apostle John and he was more like Peter.   Who was John?  Well, John was spoken of as the disciple Jesus loved.  (John 13:23) The Scripture is clear that John was the brother of James and the son of Zebedee. (Matt. 4:21-22; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16).  He was a fisherman by trade and an ordinary man.  Many are familiar with John because he wrote five books…

  • Young boys

    Mothering Little Men From Mars

    This 2011 post still stands up over time. While it’s important to acknowledge that gender differences are painted in broad strokes, with exceptions across the board, for the most part God has created significant biologically- and brain-based differences between male and female that we should acknowledge and respect. Because they DO make a difference! One of the greatest privileges of my life—right after saying “yes” to Jesus and “I do” to my husband—has been mothering my two sons, now 29 and 31. Several years ago, my husband Ray and I started researching gender differences and discovered the truths in John Gray’s mega-bestseller, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus.…

  • A close up of a signDescription generated with very high confidence

    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

    Why Introverts Make Great Parents

    In my ninth-grade P.E. class, we wrote down positive attributes for each of our classmates. My teacher assigned two of us—me and one other student—to compile the responses. Combing through the answers, I was surprised to find some people described as “shy.” I chose to leave it off. I am an introvert, but I hate the word shy. Honestly, I am not even sure I like the way “quiet” is often used. Both tend to have pejorative meanings in American society. Our culture tends to worship the extroverted ideal, doesn’t it? In Susan Cain’s bestseller, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, she emphasizes how…

  • Kids Follow Jesus

    Will My Kids Follow Jesus or Walk Away?

    A simple Google search for raising godly children brings up a myriad of ideas and a substantial amount of resources. I lose my parental confidence in the plethora of choices. Which kid Bible is best? Discipline strategy? Verses to memorize? Family devotional? The questions—and options—never end. Do you wonder if you are doing enough to raise Christians of the future? If so, here are 3 pieces of wisdom gifted to me by others that may serve as gauges for spiritual parenting.   Raise them in Christ, not just in the church. Kyle Idleman, teaching pastor at Southeast Christian in Kentucky, shares about a father who told him that his adult…

  • Engage

    Pursing Fruitfulness in our Children’s Discipline

    For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. — Hebrews 12:11 Every time God disciplines one of his children, he has a clear goal in mind. He wants us to bear fruit—to become more and more like our holy God so that we exhibit the characteristics that he so perfectly embodies.   As Christian parents, we seek the same goal. Although we are broken, imperfect people, we seek to see God’s fruitfulness take root in our children’s lives. But how do we get there? How do we pursue fruitfulness, especially as we…

  • Heartprints

    How Mothers Reveal the Image of God

    Motherhood reveals the image of God in a profound way. I witnessed my friend, Melissa, mother her kids. She peacefully prepared three plates of food for her young boys. Yogurt. Chicken. Ketchup. Noodles. They sat around and ate while trying to teach the baby to say “Bible” and instead he shouts, “Jack, Jack.” The room laughs. Later that night she held her toddler on her lap for sweet face-to-face time before bed. He curled into Melissa like her lap belongs to him. It does. Her arms, her face, her knees that bend low to listen. Her hands that hold the book at bedtime. In some ways her body belongs to her…