Summer Reading: Tweens and Teen Girls

It feels like just yesterday that I dropped my daughter off at Kindergarten. As she walked into her classroom with hesitation, my eyes filled with tears. I wondered how she would do in this new environment with strangers. I worried that my shy little girl would have trouble making friends.

I find myself thinking of this as I prepare her for middle school. She has come so far since that first day of school but it doesn’t keep me from wondering if she is ready to navigate the next few years. It’s as if overnight, the game has changed and the stakes are higher than they were in elementary school. Her body is starting to develop, relationships have become more complicated, and the pressure to perform academically has increased.

The older my daughter gets, the more choices she’ll make on her own and I want to prepare her. There are a few things I want her to have as she heads into these years and I am grateful that there are resources to help.

Head over to Faith Gateway and see what books we will be binge reading over the summer as we prepare for the new season that she is entering.

Our Family Values: More than Words on a Piece of Paper

Our Family Values: More than Words on a Piece of Paper

Our family’s mission statement is mounted in a beautiful frame in our foyer. It’s there to remind us of what we stand for and to tell others what they can expect from our family. My husband and I invested a good bit of time choosing our values and crafting them into a handful of sentences that represented us. But as I mentioned in last week’s post those words mean little in not translated into behaviors.

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How to Give Power to Your Values

How to Give Power to Your Values

If your values and behaviors don’t align, family members and outsiders will notice. It will be clear to them you don’t practice what you preach. This is not surprising because everything I’ve learned about organizational culture says that just knowing your values is not enough. You can say you stand for something, but unless those values are translated into behaviors, you will go about your days continuing with habits that are familiar and comfortable.

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How to Get Rid of a Negative Self Image and Make Peace with our Bodies

How to Get Rid of a Negative Self Image and Make Peace with our Bodies

Many of us struggle with body image issues. It doesn't help that our society puts a lot of emphasis on how we should look, how we should feel, and what we should eat. As a result, we concentrate more on what others think than on what really matters to us.  I discovered that… Our belief about our bodies has so little to do with our actual bodies, and so much more to do with our perception of ourselves.

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Surprised by God

Surprised by God

I love surprises, do you?

I have no idea what God has in store for my life or my family and I can’t possibly know everything that I need to ask of Him. I have wasted plenty of time trying to figure it out, to control it, and plan for it. But as I get to know the heart of God, I’ve learned that He might have something in mind, that in my limited thinking, I would never dream of.

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A Letter to My Summer Self on How to Get it Right This Year

A Letter to My Summer Self on How to Get it Right This Year

This time last year on the podcast we talked about having realistic summer expectations. While the sound quality wasn’t great (it was one of our first shows) the content was. I managed to get a thing or two right last summer, but failed in many other ways too. If I were to write a letter to my summer self, based on my experience last year, it would go something like this.

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Why Boundaries on Social Media Matters

Why Boundaries on Social Media Matters

Ever walk into your living room and notice that everyone is on their cell phones or ipad? They’re either texting a friend, checking email, or scrolling through social media. If they aren’t on their device, it's within arm’s reach so that when it vibrates, chimes, or rings they can immediately grab it. It can be so frustrating!If you think it’s time to put boundaries on social media and technology in your home here are some suggestions:

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Teaching Our Children to Pray Continually

Teaching Our Children to Pray Continually

Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians says that joy, prayer, and thanksgiving should mark the life of a Christian. And not just any kind of prayer, continual prayer or as the King James Bible states prayer “without ceasing”. Thankfully this scripture does not suggest that we are too pray without stopping, which would be impossible. But rather that we should establish a rhythm of prayer, one that includes praying on all occasions. Join me over at Faith Gateway as I share how simple it is for us to teach our kids to create a rhythm of prayer that will serve them well throughout their lives.

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How to Start Something Well

How to Start Something Well

Have you ever wanted to start something new but felt overwhelmed? Wondered if you have the time or the ability to see your ideas come to life? I know I have and in the past I’ve let it discourage me. Instead of comparing myself to others, I began to value the small steps I was taking towards the desires of my heart. Here are 6 steps you can take to start something well.

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How to Crush Comparison in Your Life

How to Crush Comparison in Your Life

As women, we have a tendency to size ourselves up, measure someone else by your own standards only to conclude after observation and the collection of a few facts that we’re inferior or superior to them. It’s awful. It keeps us from being our best selves and enjoying the life we’ve been given. Here are some of the way we can crush comparison in our lives.

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Living Out Our Identity in Christ

Living Out Our Identity in Christ

Back in December I taught my kids about their identity in Christ. It was shortly after that that my son and I happen to watch the Netflix series The Crown together. It's a show, set in England in the mid-1900s, that focuses on Queen Elizabeth II, England’s current monarch, in her early reign. We were immediately hooked and binged the whole first season. 

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Simple Ways To Spend Time with Your Kids

Simple Ways To Spend Time with Your Kids

Just like any relationship, the one with your child will benefit greatly from intention and consistency. When my kids were little I spent a lot of time with them. I fed them, clothed them, bathed them, put them to bed, and before I knew it, it was time to do it all over again. Besides just taking care of their basic needs I went on play dates with them and took them to the park. As the kids got older, I realized I needed to find ways more meaningful ways to spend time with my children. 

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The One Thing Technology Won't Do for You

The One Thing Technology Won't Do for You

I love technology and all of the benefits that come along with it. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to this. With the ability to access information so easily, I have committed less to memory.

If I am not careful, the same thing can happen to me when it comes to the Word of God. There are so many wonderful Bible apps and devotionals available online that sometimes I forget to keep it in the one place it’s meant to be: my heart.

You'll find the solution to that and a great resource for kids over at Faith Gateway. Join me there?

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Living Life to the Fullest

Living Life to the Fullest

Coats, scarfs, and gloves keep us warm this time of year but they can be a major pain when we have to carry them around the mall as we shop. When my husband is with us he sometimes carries them for us. When he does, I feel light and unencumbered. The freedom I experienced walking around while shopping with my husband pales in comparison to the freedom God wants us to walk around with in this life. Jesus came to bring us life and life to the fullest!

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This Month: Learning What the Bible Says About Selflessness

This Month: Learning What the Bible Says About Selflessness

This month I am focusing on the topic of SELFLESSNESS with my children.

Spring is right around the corner and I am so looking forward to it. After being indoors for the last 5 months my kids are starting to get impatient and short with one another. Their focus is on themselves and it’s time to shift it back to serving one another.

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