Five Things Parents Should Bear In Mind During The Holidays

In today’s world where we share a lot (everything?) on social media, it’s easy to get caught up in what someone else’s traditions are, and a keeping up with the Joneses type of scenario. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind as you travel through this year’s hectic Holiday Season.

It’s up to you and your partner which traditions you participate in.
I know, I know! Everyone and their brother is jumping on the Elf on a Shelf tradition but you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to. And you should have absolutely no guilt about not doing it, any more than you should if you choose to do it. Same goes for Santa, St. Nicholas, trees and everything else. Pick and choose which traditions you want to participate in and that’s that!

In our house we do Santa, we do milk and cookies for Santa and we sprinkle some oats outside for the reindeer. We put up a tree, we fill stockings, we go to Christmas Eve service at church, and we put family before anything else during the holidays. We do not do Elf on a Shelf. We do not do St. Nicholas. And Santa does not bring gifts for our pets. Those are the traditions we participate in. Period.


We Can Learn Some Things From Our Children

Kids crack me up sometimes. My daughters have the wildest imaginations of any children I’ve ever witnessed playing.

They make up all sorts of games and each game has a name that the two of them know well. So when my three-year-old says, “let’s play Jailers,” my six-year-old knows exactly what game she’s talking about and they immediately turn on the role of some made up character each of them is pretending to be.

Honestly, I’m not really sure what “Jailers” consists of or where they got the name from. But I do know whenever they play it, my three-year-old often ends up “locked” in a closet area by the six-year-old. How can that be fun? Perhaps I need to play along with them to fully understand the joy in it.


Moms In Prayer – What you should know

Moms In Prayer is an organization that hopes to change our world not just through education for children today but for many generations to come. Moms in Prayer International is an organization that believes that moms can be the most important force for developing a good and prosperous life of their children and children around them.

Moms in Prayer believes that lives of future generations as well as whole communities can be changed for a long time to come if moms get together in prayer to our Lord, the only One who’s capable of changing human hearts. Moms across the world, so you too, can make all the difference when they will reach out to the Lord in prayer.


Good Reasons Why You Should Unplug

Saving energy is one of the best ways that you can live in a more eco-friendly and religious-conscious way. What you may not know is that all of the things in your home that are plugged in – whether you use them on a regular basis or not – are costing you money and draining our national energy reserves.

Radios, computers, televisions, cell phones – they all require electricity. Believe it or not, it is common for families to have dozens of items plugged in that are not being used. Chargers, televisions, cameras and even unused appliances still draw power even when they are not being used, costing you money and draining power that is not being used. These energy thieves cost you money and unplugging can be an easy way to save the environment from the extra strain.


You Should Meet God Halfway

God is pretty awesome. And he definitely has a sense of humor.
I’ve been praying and praying that I find a good job, one that will help me pay off my debts and allow me to live a modest life. Nothing too fancy. I don’t aspire to be a millionaire or have lots of expensive, meaningless things.

So I’ve been doing my part – applying to awesome-sounding jobs just knowing that this is the one for me. This is where God wants me to work. THIS is the opportunity he has for me.
And then I never even get called in for an interview.

What Do You Mean, Where Are The Keys? Thought You Had The Keys!

My primary concern when we decided to have our second child was that I not have a repeat of the first labor and delivery experience. Sitting in the exam room, a week after my due date, listening to the doctor schedule my induction around cocktail parties, and a promised date night with his wife turned out to be just the beginning of things that didn’t go according to my plan.

Giving birth to a 9-pound baby after 52 plus hours of labor, a week after my due date, I was looking for something a little more like what I had seen in the movies, or at least what I’d heard from my girlfriends.
After securing a promise from my new OB/GYN that he would not allow me to go past my due date, and would definitely not let the baby reach 9 pounds again, we moved ahead!

The Catalog “Father”

You always hear about single women in their 30’s throwing in the towel and deciding to go it alone, to take the leap and have a child by themselves. Sometimes these women persuade a male friend to donate the necessary ingredients, but sometimes . . . sometimes they decide to use a sperm donor — a perfect stranger they know only through the numbers and very limited descriptions sent to them by the sperm bank eager for their business.

Apart from the fact that this goes against my religious principles, I wonder how exactly do you choose the father of your child out of a fourteen-page catalog? What are the criteria? How much do you want to know? And what, in your innermost heart, do you imagine about this person, when you think of them? More importantly, when the time comes due, what do you tell your child?

I’d seen her in the office kitchen but we’d never really spoken. I knew she worked in data processing, but that was it. Then one day I passed her in the hall and she was crying. I made her stop, asked her what was wrong. That’s when she told me she’d tried to kill someone the night before. She hadn’t wanted to kill him, it had just kinda happened.


Mercy vs Justice. What’s Comes First?

How many times do you go into missions looking to save people? Have you ever considered that maybe we’re meant to simply help them save themselves? It’s not only about mercy. It’s about mercy vs justice.

I was a full-time missionary in Eastern Europe. The country had been under Communist rule for decades, and when the Iron Curtain fell citizens went back to church in droves. And then, as often happens when life gets in the way of God, faith mattered less and less and the faith of the nation could now be considered “post-Christian.” Atheism is growing, complacency in believers is growing, yet there are pockets of Christians living on fire. Very similar to the state of faith in the United States.

I went into the experience thinking I would be changing hearts for the Lord. I thought I would be reaching the lost. Instead, I worked at a parochial school that taught religion classes in the native language, held weekly devotions in the dormitory, chapel services at the local church, etc.


Moms in Prayer – the Selfishness of Prayer

God taught us how to pray by giving us the Lord’s Prayer as a template. Have you ever found yourself going long stretches without prayer and then something happens – some trial or obstacle – and you find yourself on your knees because you have nowhere else to go? Even during a particularly faithful stretch in my walk with God, I can find myself praying prayers that are largely me-focused.

However, when Jesus taught us how to pray using the Lord’s Prayer, not only was he giving us a specific set of words, he was giving us a template. The Lord’s Prayer = all about God’s business.

THY kingdom come. THY will be done. We’re taught to be prayer warriors to bring about God’s work in this world. Is God all-powerful? Can he do this without us praying about it? Of course! We pray for the sake of obedience. We pray for the sake of the kingdom. We pray to be a part of God’s work here on earth. We pray to continue to strengthen and establish our relationship with him.


Ladies, Let’s Talk About Vanity Today

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7

This verse from the book of Luke demonstrates the great worth we each have in the sight of God. He takes the time to count each hair on our head not because he is a detail-oriented obsessive-compulsive and not because he has nothing better to do, but because we matter so very much to Him.

There’s comfort in that kind of love, because we can find our value in relationship with God…a relationship that’s based not on what we do but rather in the grace we’ve been given.