What I Want of My Kids

Isn’t it beautiful when we get to see the love of Jesus through our kids? This picture captures one of those moments.

My tears are rolling as I look at it. Do you know what my son did? He’s not perfect by any means, but his heart, oh his heart – it’s so beautiful.

My mom lost her husband of almost 50 years of marriage – my dad, who I love dearly – on October 21st. As she was leaving the “Celebration of Life” we did for him (just what he would’ve wanted), my ten-year-old son, walked up to GG, took her purse from her and carried it, put his arm around her, and walked with her, holding her close.

I snapped this picture as soon as I could get my phone out. He took my breath away. I wanted to hold onto that moment forever. We can learn so much from our kids. So much about how to love well.

That, is what I want of my kids.

To choose love first. Above everything.

To care deeply for those around them. To consider their heart, their feelings, their situation.

To ask for forgiveness when they’ve fallen short.

To give grace when someone’s wronged them.

To find “small” moments to show great love.

To be a kid who shines the light of Jesus so bright by the way they treat others.

Not necessarily in big, dramatic ways, but in small gestures, like when my son carried GG’s purse, put his arm around her, and told her he was there for her.

That, is what I want of my kids.

Lord, would you help our kids, and us, to love first? To lead with love and compassion, to put our arms around our loved ones who need it, to walk alongside them, to carry what they need us to carry, and to love them in the same beautiful way you love us? Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, amen. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2



I shared a quote recently by Sissy Goff: “Praise your kids more for their effort than their outcome.” So, today, I saw this mini cake. And, I decided to get it to celebrate Bates, Brooklyn, and Gracie’s (B, B & G’s) great effort in so many things lately.

It would be easy to get caught up in focusing on the sibling arguments, the unkind words said here or there, the messy room, or a number of other things. There’s definitely a time for consequences, but there’s also a time to notice what our kids are doing well.

So, today, I’m going to celebrate how hard they worked on the musical they were in at church, how they have included new kids at their school who didn’t know anyone, and how they have spent hours of working hard at tennis, football, and dance.

Life is too short to not take notice of what our kids are doing well. Find a way to recognize your kids’ efforts today and celebrate that! What’s a simple way you have celebrated your kids?




Hope in Jesus & Facing Peer Pressure

With all the tragedies we’ve heard about in the news lately, and ones we haven’t heard about, these words spoken by Jesus offer us hope here and now and beyond this place.

When our children face tough times, let’s remind them of these powerful words in John 16.

And, to all those walking through a difficult time right now, we are lifting you up. ❤️

“And surely I am with you always.” Jesus (MT 28:28)



Facing Peer Pressure

Jesus’ response to the Pharisees challenging him is so powerful. It’s a great example for our kids on how to face peer pressure. In Jesus’ words:

“I know where I came from and where I am going.”
“I am not alone.”
“I stand with my Father.”
“The one who sent me is with me.”


Don’t Say, “Let me know if I can do anything to help.”

unnamed-1In 2011, at just 3 pounds and 3 weeks old, my daughter got an intestinal infection in the NICU. It was the scariest time of our lives as we didn’t know if she would make it. After her second surgery, the nurses told us she was a miracle baby. We are so thankful Jesus healed Brooklyn and our son, Bates, after he got the same infection, and that they fully recovered.
During those grueling 5 months of daily going to the NICU, the last thing I thought about was getting necessary things done like cooking. People rallied around us in practical ways by bringing meals, cards, visiting, doing our laundry/cleaning, praying, and giving food and gas gift cards (we daily drove 45 minutes to the hospital). It was a blessing when people didn’t ask if we needed anything, but just DID something to help.
When someone is going through a tough time, it’s easy to say, “Let me know if I can do anything to help.” But, what really helps is to go ahead and fill a need we see, or to ask specifically what you can do. Is there someone who could use a card from your child to cheer them up? Is there someone who could really use a meal, a visit, or someone to watch their kids for an hour? It’s so great when our kids start looking for needs to fill from the example we set! I bring this up to challenge us with the words in 1 John 3:18: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

Are We Raising Brave or Fearful Kids?

by Linsey Driskill

I once heard a story about a mom who went to the mall with her friends. All her friends’ kids were eating cheerios in their strollers just as they were told, while her daughter suddenly ripped off all her clothes and jumped into the mall fountains! At the time, she was horrified, but that same spirited child ended up becoming a missionary. A strong and passionate spirit is a beautiful thing. Yes, we want to instill respect, but God also uses the spunk and spirited parts of our kids’ personalities in great ways- let’s not quench that so they can explore, dream, discover, and become confident in the difference makers God has called each of them to be!

What creates a fearful child? Sissy Goff and Dave Thomas (counselors and authors) say fearful parents raise fearful kids. What do we convey to our kids? Do we allow them to explore and learn for themselves (within healthy limits), or are we constantly saying ‘be careful’ and protecting their every move, not giving them the freedom to discover and learn on their own? This spoke to me because I have to restrain myself from constantly saying ‘Be careful’, and ‘Don’t do that’. When I withhold these words, it is such a freeing feeling. These counselors said that CONFIDENCE grows in a child when they learn that they are ABLE. Let’s (including myself!) release our kids from an overprotective nature, and give them opportunities to learn that they are able, so they can be confident.

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Mark Twain Quote

Connecting with Our Kids

Questions and verses4

Jesus often used questions to teach answers and to bring people to an authentic relationship with him. He was also so personal with people by asking them questions- Jesus asked 80 questions just in the Bible book, Luke! By asking our kids questions, we teach them to do the same with others. It is also such a great way to get to know someone better… How often do we ask our own kids questions just to get to know them better, or to help them reflect on their own faith?

Here are some fun and serious question ideas: You could ask your kiddos ones like Jesus did in the verses above, or here’s an imaginative one: In the Bible, after Moses, Joshua continued leading the Israelite people to the promised land, which was a beautiful land promised to them by God and described as flowing with milk and honey. That sounds pretty great doesn’t it!? What would your dreamland be like?

I love learning what’s in our kids’ little minds when they share their simple and sweet answers about who Jesus is, and to watch their creativity come alive in describing their dreamland. Enjoy connecting and getting to know your kids even more this week!

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