While our Kids are Right in Front of Us

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I’m so excited to celebrate bringing my son, Bates, home from the NICU 10 years ago today after being there for 5 months. It feels like a lifetime ago and it feels like yesterday.

He was born at 2 lbs. 13 oz. and had a life-threatening intestinal infection at 6 pounds. I am so thankful that he got through it and for how he is thriving.

For how he smiles so often.

For the way he is my biggest cheerleader and encourager, and everyone else’s.

For the way, every single night, he prays with me for my dad to recover and rubs my back the whole time with a heart of love for him and the Lord. 

For when he sat on the bus in first grade for the field trip with a boy who couldn’t speak or communicate, and when the teacher told him he could sit with his friends on the bus ride back, Bates said, “He is my friend. I like sitting with him.” 

For the way he is kind and giving, like when he was 5 and heard some kids in Tanzania didn’t have a playground and he asked me if he could take his tools there to build them one. Or when he gave all the money he had earned to LifeSong for Orphans, or all the times when there has been one last dessert and he always offers it to his sisters.

For the tears, and the arguments, and when he’s impatient, and when he’s rude to his sisters, when I have to constantly remind him to brush his teeth, and pick up his tornado of a room, or to quit bossing his sisters around and telling them what to do (I think he might be a teacher or coach one day!), or when he puts the cheese back in the pantry, or leaves his dirty socks all throughout the house.

Gosh, I sure love him. In the bad, in the good, in it all. And, I sure am thankful that he loves me in my bad, in my good, in it all. 

And, that is just how the Lord loves us – He loves us so much through our mess, through our good, and through it all. 

“Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39

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A Love Like This

I thought I knew the love my dad and mom had for each other.

He saw her across the way, her long brown hair, her hazel eyes, her beautiful smile.

He knew he had to talk to her.So he did. After four dates, he proposed. She thought he was crazy to do it so quickly.

He proposed a second time. Again, she thought he was crazy.

After two months, my mom said to her roommate, “If Tom asks me to marry him again, I’m saying, ‘Yes.’”

He asked, and she said, “Yes!” 48 years later, they love each other like I’ve never seen.

I thought I knew the love they had for each other. But, lately I’ve seen it so much more clearly.

My dad was an avid runner, until he got covid in December. He’s been in the hospital since fighting for his life, and is one of the strongest men I know. Our hope and prayer is that he can come home soon to recover and thrive.

I’ve seen their love by how my mom has stood by his side through it all. Through. It. All.

I’ve seen their love by how my mom holds his hand day in and day out. Again and again and again.

Eight months being in the hospital, being told time and time again that he wouldn’t make it but then rebounding each time, my mom being by his side, every fiber in her being believing that he will get better.

That. Is. Love.

I thought I knew the love they had for each other.

But, I have seen the beauty of their love flourish even beyond the heights where it’s been.

Sometimes the world can tell us love looks like pleasure, the momentary, the self-satisfaction. But, it doesn’t.

Love looks like selflessness, like holding your loved ones hands through the deepest tears you’ve ever cried, through the highest heights you’ve ever experienced, through the lowest lows you’ve ever seen.

True love is commitment, devotion, loyalty.

Love is of God.

And when we love like God loves, we experience a connection that is beyond this world.

A connection my dad and mom have.

I thought I knew the love they had for each other.

But, it’s far more than I ever could have imagined.

Love like this.

May we love those right beside us with love like this.

With this kind of selfless, committed love – a love like God Himself has given us.

Words to Replace Worry with Peace for Our Kids (& us)

Last night, my daughter said, “Mommy, life is scary.” Ugh. It broke my heart to hear her say that. 

She is so full of joy and life, but with all going on in the world, it makes sense to feel like that sometimes. I know we all feel like that sometimes. So much to carry for a ten year old. 

BUT,

these are the moments that are so important to speak life into our kids and to remind them why we don’t need to worry. 

I told her that I know life can be scary sometimes, but remember that the Lord tells us, “Do not fear, for I am with you.” Again and again, the Lord tells us not to fear. 

We have Nothing to fear when we know the Lord. 

I told her that we are not promised tomorrow, but that we are promised life forever with Jesus. So, when we face scary things in the world, we can remember that we do not need to be afraid because God is bigger than it all, He is with us, and we will be with Him forever. 

I know we all have times of feeling afraid, but when we saturate our hearts and minds with the Word of God, the peace of God will outweigh it all.

She woke up this morning with that sweet smile of hers and after reading her devotional, said, “Mommy I feel so much better and refreshed.” 

As our kids face fears and moments of overwhelm, let’s remind them (and us) again and again of this truth: 

The Lord says, “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will surely help you.” Isaiah 41:10

“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:31 

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My Mother-Daughter Devotional about women in the Bible can be pre-ordered from Amazon, Barnes & NobleChristianBook.comand Books-A-Million!

Going Back to School Prayer for Our Sons & Daughters…

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Just so you know…

When Our Kids Ask Faith Questions

My daughter asked me the other night when I was tucking her in, “Is it okay that sometimes I don’t want to go to church?” It would be easy to sigh and be frustrated and convince her to say “the right thing”. 

But, the truth is, we all have questions sometimes and we are all unsure about things sometimes. 

Even Thomas questioned things. And, even though he did, in John 20, Jesus came right to Thomas. That didn’t stop him. 

God is far bigger than our questions and thoughts. 

So, when my daughter said that, I said, “Of course that’s okay to feel that way. I feel like that sometimes. But church is a great thing because we can grow in our faith and also be around community. That’s why it’s a choice, because we don’t always feel like it. That’s why faith is a choice, because we don’t always feel it either.”

My daughter loves to ask deep questions about faith and she is so raw and honest. It’s good for our kids to be raw and honest. It’s good for them to know it’s okay and normal to have questions and wonder about things. 

I like to remind my kids that I don’t always FEEL like loving the people around me, but I try my best to choose to because I care about them and because that’s what God calls us to do. 

It’s the same with faith. We might not always feel it, but it’s a choice to believe.


Just like when Martha was in pain after losing her brother Lazarus, she still chose to believe in Jesus. She was sad, frustrated, and asked questions, yet she chose to believe. Isn’t that beautiful?

If we want our kids to keep coming to us with their honest thoughts and questions, we need to welcome them. 


The next day, my daughter said she was going to make her journal a prayer journal where she could pray to God in it. 

Isn’t that awesome? Asking questions in one moment, choosing to pray in the next?

God sure is honored when we seek Him. And He will show Himself.

So, let’s make space for our kids to seek the Lord, to come to us with questions, to be raw and open with us. And let’s keep reminding them how much we love them and how much the Lord loves them.


“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.” Jeremish 29

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Jesus

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You can now Pre-order my Mother-Daughter Devotional! Some of the places you can pre-order it are Amazon, Barnes & NobleChristianBook.comand Books-A-Million.