Two Words Your Kids Need to Know & When You Rise at 3am, the Lord Sees…



My recent article published by For Every Mom:

The Two Words Your Kids Need to Know

“The reality quickly surfaced that we can’t protect our kids from every bad conversation and influence. Instead, we need to equip them.”



While watching the new Lion King, our daughter nestled between us, grabbing daddy’s hand and mine. As we sat there watching the movie, our eight year old, holding our hands tight, I had a moment.

I thought, what a gift that this daughter of mine trusts me, wants to be close, looks to  her daddy and me.

We get to be her comforter, protector, and refuge. Out of all the people in the world, she looks to us.

This morning I thought about how the Lord must love when we also look to him as our comforter, protector, and refuge.

How he must find joy in seeing us depend on him, trust him, grab his hand, and follow him. He loves you. You are His. Look to Him.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1


Sibling Arguments & a Gratitude Journal


Sibling arguments are inevitable. But, if there’s a way to limit them, I sure want to.

Yes, my kids still argue, but this verse has been a wonderful motivator to not repay insult with insult, but with blessing.

When one of my kids chooses the latter, I celebrate it big time.

When our kiddos have these words in their minds and hearts, they are more likely to pause before paying back and to repay with blessing instead.

I love how the end of the verse explains why: “because to this you were called.”

I share with them that as followers of Jesus he has called us to love one another deeply. With a love that doesn’t always make sense. When we repay evil for evil, it stirs up anger and hatred, but when we repay with blessing, it stirs up love, goodness, peace.

When we walk in love like Jesus tells us to, we experience more of his kingdom, his power, him. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus (John 8:12)

Lord, help our kids and us to love one another like this. When we want to repay with anger, harsh words, and frustration, Jesus, help us to be a light for you and react with peace, kindness, and love. Thank you for filling our minds and hearts today. In Jesus’ name, amen.


After a recent move, I’ve found myself wading in ungratefulness at different times. But yesterday morning, I read this verse: “He who sacrifices thank offerings, honors me.” Psalm 50:23

So, each morning, my kids and I have written one or more things we’re thankful for in our “Gratitude Journal”.

When we place our minds and hearts on the Lord and gratefulness, it overpowers the darkness and honors the Lord.

Want to join us in doing a “Gratitude Journal” with your kiddos or just yourself? It doesn’t have to be drawn out – keep it simple and just jot down one or more things you’re grateful for.

Let’s start the mornings by refreshing our minds, hearts, and souls with giving thanks to the Lord. 😊

God’s Love Scar


When our daughter was three pounds, she contracted a life-threatening intestinal infection. After the first surgery, she became sicker, and the surgeon told us her only chance to survive was attempting a second surgery.

Miraculously, she turned a corner and is thriving today {find the full story here:}.

After four months in the NICU, we were over the moon when it was time to bring our daughter home. But then the surgeon leaned over and said, “There is one thing I need to tell you.”

My heart about beat out of my chest. I wondered what was wrong. What would she tell me?

The surgeon said that because of having several surgeries in the same place she would have a really big scar and she was sorry.

I was relieved. “You saved my daughter’s life”, I said. “I will be grateful to you forever. And, I love that scar. The Lord used it to save her.”

From that moment on, we called it, “God’s Love Scar.”

I didn’t want my daughter to ever look at it in embarrassment, but in joy over what the Lord did for her. Her Love Scar tells a story of God’s Love.

Just yesterday, I looked into Brooklyn’s eight-year-old eyes and told her again that I love her scar – that it’s beautiful and that it’s a story of God’s love.

Instead of being embarrassed by it, she wore a look of confidence and smiled.

What is your love scar? Seen or unseen?

What is it that might look ugly from the outside, but is a beautiful story of God’s redemption, God’s hope, God’s love?

Maybe you too should start calling it, “God’s Love Scar.”

Because God is in the business of redeeming and restoring.

Jesus’ scars tell a story of the One who doesn’t stop at brokenness.

He embraces it and wears it. In his hands. In his feet. In his heart.

He took it all. All for you. All for me. Because of His great love. For us.

Through Jesus’ beautiful scars and rising high, he has restored, redeemed, and made all things new.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

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Our kids won’t always…


One of my daughters is my snuggler. She always wants me to tuck her in. Always.
Until this morning.
When she woke up at the crack of dawn, I told her I’d tuck her back in, but she said those words. Those words I didn’t think would bother me.
“Mommy, I’m fine. I don’t need you to.”
My heart dropped and it hit me that my daughter’s growing up, becoming independent.
It’s a wonderful thing, but it also tugs at my heart.
While so many nights I can be frustrated walking upstairs “extra” times to tuck my daughter in, I find myself hoping she’ll ask. That she won’t tell me she doesn’t need me.
Just a little bit longer.
I won’t pressure her or make her feel guilty if she doesn’t. I’ll give her space when she’s ready. And I know it’s a healthy, good thing.
But I sure hope it’s not for a little longer.
Later this morning when my daughter asked “Mommy, will you play Legos with me?”, I jumped at the chance.
When my daughter gets older, she’ll need me in other ways. But now, while she’s still younger and calling out for me, I want to be there. With her.
I get to be there with her. In the small and big moments.
And it is joy to my soul.
“Teach us to number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

“Jesus looked at him and loved him.” Mark 10:21


In this verse, Jesus was preparing to tell a rich man how to move past what was holding him back.

Jesus didn’t yell at him. He didn’t condemn him. He didn’t belittle him.

Jesus “looked at him and loved him” even when he knew what this man STILL needed to do.

How can we imitate Jesus when we’re correcting our kids? When we see where they have fallen short and still need to do? Do we look at them and love them during it? Not necessarily correcting with a smile, but is my heart in the right place? Am I leading with love instead of anger?

This is definitely something I’m working on. Some simple ways that have helped me lean toward this in some moments are taking a deep breath, praying before I correct my kids, walking out of the room to lessen my frustration, and seeking Jesus in the morning before they wake up.

I pray that instead of letting frustration or anger cloud our words and thoughts, that, Lord, you would invade our hearts and minds so we can look at our children with love. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Happy July 4th!!!


As we celebrate July 4th, let’s take time to pray with our kids for the men and women who serve our country so we can have the joy of freedom.

Lord, we come together to pray for each man and woman serving our country, as well as for their spouses, children, and friends. Fill them with your peace, your presence, your power, your Spirit, your comfort, your truth, your love. We pray Jesus’ words for them from John 17:11: “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name.” Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.


The Lord Does. Not. Change. & “Godliness With Contentment”


There are so many changes as we raise our kids. And so many changes in life in general. We’ve spent almost a month in hotels because of moving. This morning, I felt overwhelmed (no dishes and or making beds has been great, but 8-year-old triplets in this tiny space- you can imagine. 😂)

Everything in our lives seems to be changing… a new city, a new house, new friends – everything is just new. It can be exciting, but it can also be a lot.

After living in Atlanta, Guatemala, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and South Carolina over the past 20 years, I sure have seen a lot of change. But, as I prayed this morning, I was comforted by the words the Lord settled into my heart: The Lord. Does. Not. Change.

Wherever you are today, if you feel the floor beneath you slipping or if you are rejoicing, remember that the Lord doesn’t change. He is strong. He is capable. He is.

The Lord is near. The Lord is here. He goes ahead of you. Before you. Beside you. With you. The Lord. Does. Not. Change.

Now, bring on the adventure!

A prayer for you and your family today:

Lord, help us reach “Godliness with contentment” in the small and big things so we can honor you, and so our kids will be more likely to do the same. ❤️ In Jesus’ name, amen.