When Our kids Make a Bad Choice, Crumbs, & a Prayer for Our Kids



When I was cleaning up, I wondered how old my kiddos will be when their crumbs won’t cover the table and floor.

I can get so frustrated with the messes, but as I vacuumed, it hit me that if I had the spotless table and floors, it would mean I wasn’t gathering around the table with my kids.

Because this is the thing – those crumbs mean I have a house full of kids, laughter, noise, chaos, arguing, and joy.

I’ll take that any day over spotless “perfection”.

I sure am grateful for the messes because it means I have this family I love.

The why behind all we do reminds me of this quote by Mother Teresa:

“Wash the plate not because it’s dirty nor because you’re told to wash it, but because you love the person who will use it next.” Mother Teresa

Even cleaning up the crumbs is a way to love those closest to us. ❤️

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18



Donating Clothes WITH our Kids, the New Year, & Not Running to the Comfortable

IMG_0121It’s easy to throw clothes in a bag to donate without our kids.

It’s easier if we don’t have to hear our kids complain or argue about missing certain things.

But that defeats the point of giving.

When we get our kids involved with the giving, they can experience the joy of opening their grip, giving, & loving others.

It’s helpful to research the place where you’re donating with your kids so they get an idea of who it helps.

This makes it easier to open our grips on what we’re giving.

It’s great for our kids to join us when we drop the clothes off so they can see where the clothes go.

A lot of these places can also use volunteers to help organize the clothes – an easy way for our kids to help out.

When we did this together, I played music to make it more fun, and several times afterward we had treats to make it even more enjoyable.

Reading a verse about serving beforehand also gets our hearts and minds in the right spirit, reminding us that serving and the little things, is a way to love the Lord & love others.


I love when the new year begins. Regardless of whether or not we follow through on certain goals, what I love, is the newness.

I love how it reminds us of what it feels like to have a new chance, to start again. To refresh.

I love how it reminds me of the great forgiveness the Lord gives us when he tells us that the old has gone, the new has come.

We are new in the Lord, not because of our “perfection”, but because of Jesus.

What freedom. What freedom we have in Jesus.

There is so much hope in the Lord.

No matter where you’ve been or where you are now, there is ALWAYS hope in the Lord.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Accomplishing goals is great, but knowing Jesus – his love, his peace, his joy, his presence – is where true freedom and victory are found.

Why do we always want to run to the comfortable?

I sometimes have this false notion that I should constantly feel at peace and completely happy.

That’s just not reality. I know this, yet my mind still wanders to that place.

It’s okay to feel sad in a season.

It’s okay to feel uncomfortable in a season.

It’s okay to “not feel like yourself” for a season.

It’s okay. Seasons won’t last forever.

We just moved to a new state. It will take time to build community and feel that sense of belonging and at peace in this new place.

It’s easy for me to run from that feeling – to long for the comfortable.

Even though I know the world doesn’t satisfy, my mind and heart can linger to the place of thinking it will.

But, the Lord subtly reminded me that it’s okay to be in the season I’m in. Just to be.

Not to fix it, because

He’s my steady.

He’s the one who is unchanging.

Some seasons are harder than others, but there will be beauty.

When we look to him, the Lord will bring beauty from emptiness.

The Lord will, if we seek him.

Jesus, help us gain our contentment not from approval, affirmations and perfection, but from you. Help us to look for peace in you, not this world. Help us to find joy in you, not in what’s around us. Thank you for giving your life for us – for experiencing so much pain and sadness so you could give us the greatest joy this world has ever known – life with you now and forever. Jesus, I love you so much. Thank you for loving us. no. matter. what. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7

Here’s my article about not saving our kids from their emotions, but walking with them in it:


Rdg Bible in 1 Year Chronologically, Being All In, & The Secret to Real Joy ❤️

Happy 2020! I’m planning on reading the Bible in one year chronologically if you want to join me. No guilt if we have to play catch up or it’s not finished. But this schedule below helps a lot to stick with it. Share this with a friend you want to join us! ❤️

Chronological Bible Reading Schedule:

New Testament & Old Testament Daily Readings:

IMG_7218I want to be all in

right now, with my kids,

with my husband,

right where we are,

in this place,

in this stage,

in this season.

Enjoying the little things and the big things.

Slowing time down by stepping into the moment.

Being all there.

Thank you, Lord, for this sweet, sweet gift of family you’ve given us. In 2020, help us to find so much joy right where we are and to be fully present in the big and little moments. ❤️

“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

P.S. In case you’re wondering what we’re making in the pic.- they’re Betty Crocker crepes. Yum! It’s the little things.



Christmas Idea, En-Joying the Season, & When Our Kids Don’t Act Perfectly

unnamed-3-e1575642564179Create your own Sparkle Box from a shoebox, decorate a box from a craft store, or find the original fold-out Sparkle Box and book at the link below.

Leading up to Christmas, everybody in your family writes ways that each person has loved God and others on notecards and puts them in the gift box.
On Christmas morning, open Jesus’ gift box and read the cards aloud. The Sparkle Box reminds us that loving the Lord and others is the best gift we can give to Jesus.
For the original “Sparkle Box”, go to this link: http://www.lifeway.com/Product/sparkle-box-P005544567
To receive faith & parenting content once a week to your email, subscribe in the right sidebar (If you’re viewing this on a phone, scroll to the bottom to subscribe.)


Seek After Him, Opening Our Eyes to Today, Sweet Moments, & a Podcast


When I was 26 years old and single, the Lord put something on my heart: to move to Guatemala and work at a nonprofit through a program. I would only be there for less than a year.

But before I went, I faced all kinds of pressure not to go.

A friend asked me, “Why would you move to Guatemala? Don’t you want to get married?’

People close to me shared newspaper articles with me about the many kidnappings there.

Before going, I had to read forms (and I think sign, if I remember correctly) that said in case of being kidnapped, the program did not do ransoms because that would only encourage them to happen again.

I had to create a will just in case I didn’t make it.

That was tough. But the thing is,

When the Lord puts something on your heart, there is no better place to be than where he has called you.

I had to push the noise aside because I KNEW the Lord was beckoning me there.

So I went.

Fifteen years later, my time in Guatemala continues to transform my mind and heart. The stories of what I experienced during that short time have been passed down to my kids. And, we hope to visit Guatemala with them sometime soon.

I want them to know how other people in the world really live.
I want them to see the reality of a developing country.
I want them to see the beautiful culture.
I want them to experience the kindness, joy, and simplicity of the people there.

What has the Lord put on your heart to do? It doesn’t have to be “big”.

It might be washing dishes with gratefulness because it means you have a family to wash dishes for.
It might be getting up in the middle of the night for your child with an attitude of love instead of bitterness.
It might mean serving together.
It might mean making a meal with your kids for a neighbor who is in need.
It might mean enjoying that time in the car with your children as you drive them from activity to activity, making the most of it.

What might seem small to us, is actually big in the Lord’s eyes.

Because what is big to him is Love.

When we respond and follow through with what he has put on our hearts, in the little and big things, we are obeying him and fulfilling his commandments: to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love others.

Don’t get hindered by the noise in this world.

Seek after him.

Fulfill what he has put on your heart.

There you will find true joy, peace, life, him.

“This is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another.” 1 John 3:23

 Opening Our Eyes to Today


Kids are so good at being in the now – there is so much life and joy in that. These words can help us do that…

“This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?…Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Jesus (Matthew 6:27, 34)

“Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions.” Ecclesiastes 7:10

“Give us Today our daily bread.” Jesus (Matthew 6:11)

“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2

Sweet Moments


One of my favorite things to do with my children is to read a great book with them.

Right now, we’re reading The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe. It’s such a sweet, sweet time to connect.

What are some books you and your children have loved reading together?

Guest on a Podcast

Lastly, I was recently a guest on Jordan Burchette’s podcast where I talked about practical ways to encourage our kids to follow Jesus and his words: to love God and love others. Here it is if you want to take a listen:


Seeds We’re Sewing in Our Kids, Calling It Out, & Involving Our Kids

Good morning! Wasn’t sleeping in with the time change so sweet this morning? (: I hope the content I’ve written below encourages you today. I’m thankful for you


The other day I was frustrated, feeling defeated as a parent.

Have you ever felt that way?

When we do feel like that, those glimmers of hope that the things we’ve taught our kids are taking root can be so encouraging.

In the car yesterday, I was gifted with one of those moments from my son, Bates.

He said that while some of them played football during recess at school, the other team started making up fake penalties.

My son’s friend told him that they should do the same thing. Bates said, “No, we shouldn’t do that because the Lord tells us not to repay.”

We had memorized that verse in 1 Peter 3 months ago. It had taken root and I had no idea.

I wasn’t on the football field. I didn’t get to see it. If he hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have known.

If you’re feeling discouraged as a parent today, be encouraged that the seeds you’re sewing are taking root far deeper than you might see. ❤️

Call It Out


When you notice your kids doing something well,

Call It Out…

Bates, thanks for helping me with the dishes – I really felt loved when you did that.

Gracie, that was so cool how you helped make your sister’s bed when she didn’t even ask.

Brooklyn, that was awesome how you invited that kid sitting alone at lunch to join you and your friends. Way to love the Lord and her by doing that.

When we call it out when our kiddos love well, they’ll be more likely to do it again and will also notice first-hand what it means to love the Lord and others.

Involving Our Kids


It’s easy to get annoyed when our kids ask us a million questions about what we’re working on if we’re in the middle of something.

I love how my friend told me recently that she often involves her kids when they ask questions.

One time when they asked what she was doing, she told them she was designing a client’s house, showed them the pictures, and asked for their thoughts and ideas on certain things. I just love that.

When my kids ask what I’m doing and I say, “Nothing,” they tend to want to peek more, interrupt more, and jump in more.

Oftentimes the questions simply come because they’re curious.

But, if we actually let our kids in on what we’re doing, and take five seconds to explain things, they will often be satisfied and move on.

I can’t always do this, but when I can, I try to.

Whether it’s writing, cooking dinner, helping someone, baking, or something else, when my instinct is to say, “oh, I’m doing nothing”, I try to explain what I’m doing, sometimes ask for their ideas, and if I can, ask them to join in.

They tend to stop nagging, the million questions dissipate, they learn something, and we connect.

It’s a win, win.

Noticing, A Simple Visual of God’s Love, & Contentment



My mind was spinning as I thought of our hectic schedule with sports, activities, and school.

As I prayed, I remembered Jesus’ words: “Give us TODAY our DAILY bread.”

I want to notice

the praying mantis on the rock,

the funny thing my son said I might have overlooked,

the stellar handstand my daughter did when she repeatedly asked, “Watch!”.

This is what happens when we are in this day; this moment; this memory.

We don’t miss it. We slow down. We see it.

I asked the Lord to help me be in today. To just give me what I need today. To help me SEE today. To really see it.

The spinning of a million things loosened, and I could breathe.

I felt time slow down.

None of us are promised tomorrow.

But we do have a choice to live in today.

I want to do that.

I don’t want to miss the cool praying mantis trying to camaflouge himself on the rock, I don’t want to miss my son’s funny saying, my daughter’s handstand, my other daughter’s cool creation, or the little things I love about my husband.

I see so many more things when I open my eyes to today and close them to tomorrow.

Lord, help us not to miss it. Help us see the wonder of today. The wonder of You. Please give us today our daily bread so we can slow down, notice, and really live today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

A Simple Illustration of God’s Love


I remember being shown this when I was a kid and it has always stuck with me.

In the picture on the left, God’s hand grips us tight. No matter what. Even when we mess up (shown by the other hand coming loose). When we mess up and when we don’t mess up (represented by the picture on the right), God is ALWAYS with us- he never leaves us.

This is a simple way to show our kids (and us) that nothing can get in the way of God’s love for us.

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



Ecclesiastes 7 spoke so much this morning. Verse 10 reminds me to be content in the now. Jesus, help us do this.

Help us follow your words in verses 8 and 9 too. When our spirits feel provoked, please settle them as we focus on you.

When our minds laser in on every issue, it dismantles us, but Lord, when our minds are steadfast on you, our Rock, it brings us peace.

Please be our peace. Where there is anxiety, replace it with your presence and calmness. Where there is anger and pride, settle it with your peace and humility. Where there is confusion, replace it with a clear focus on You. When we are too serious about everything, replace it with laughter and joy. Where we have preoccupation with ourselves, please replace it with a heart to love you and others. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.