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I Am Not a Monster. Nope, I Am Not. (But I Could Grow Into One)

Navigating the Friendship Maze: The Path to Authentic Friendship

A little kid wearing a monster hat is completely endearing.

A little kid sporting a monstrously bad attitude is not.

It would be nice if children “caught” good attitudes as easily as they seem to catch colds. But they don’t.

Attitudes, like all life skills and responsibilities, have to be first modeled, then taught.

And every lesson begins first and foremost in the home.

For some further thoughts on taming the monster tendency in all of us…check out this excerpt from our book, Burdens Do a Body Good.

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Childrearing: When Parents Pass on the Torch of Responsibility

Kids make messes. Big messes. Small messes. Some we can laugh about, others, not so much. Little kids with chocolate smeared faces and sticky fingers can make us smile. Big kids with bad attitudes, failing grades, and a speeding ticket can make us weep. Messes, they’re a…

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I Am Safe Because…

For He will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble. Psalm 27:5

Navigating the Friendship Maze: The Path to Authentic Friendship

rainExcerpt from Paul Tripp’s A Shelter in the Time of Storm.

For He will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble. Psalm 27:5

I am safe, not because I have no trouble, or because I never experience danger. I am safe, not because people affirm me, or my plans always work out. I am safe, not because I am immune from disease, or free of the potential for poverty. I am safe, not because I am protected from disappointment, or separated from this fallen world. I am safe, not because I am wise or strong. I am safe, not because I deserve comfort or have earned my ease. I am safe, not because of money or power, or position, or intellect, or who I know, or where I live. I am safe because of the glorious mystery of grace. I am safe because of the presence…

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Focus on the Family Radio Broadcast -Empty Nest, What’s Next? : Parenting Adult Children Without Losing Your Mind

And…the good news is…I’ve been invited back to Focus on the Family in June of 2018!

Navigating the Friendship Maze: The Path to Authentic Friendship

9781619706668

I’m so delighted to share the Focus on the Family radio broadcast link to my interview where we talked about all aspects of empty nest parenting. The entire day we spent visiting the Focus facilities was like a dream come true….fun, fun, fun…from beginning to end.

Please take a few minutes to click on the link above and learn more about why I wrote, Empty Nest, What’s Next?, and how God met me in my darkest hours in ways I can only describe as miraculous.

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How Our Thoughts Control Our Life

Investing my heart and mind in God’s Word so that the words that come out of my mouth reflect Him and love you.

Navigating the Friendship Maze: The Path to Authentic Friendship

bubbles

If you’re anything like me, you’re awfully grateful that your private thoughts don’t magically appear above your head in those cartoonish bubble-like pictures.

Awfully glad.

If people knew the crazy thoughts that sometimes run through my brain…they’d run away. Fast.

If people knew the strange way my mind puts facts together (or dissembles them) they’d run way. Fast.

Thoughts can be scary things…with lives of their own.

At least mine can be.

Which is why…I love, love, love this verse found in the book of Romans and from which I quote to myself (silently and out loud)…whenever I allow my thoughts to get away from me and I start thinking….

fearfully
angrily
resentfully
unkindly
anxiously
down-heartedly
negatively
defeated-ly

Add in any “ly” you can imagine and my thoughts have gone there…

But when they do…I have the perfect response to get my thoughts back on track (and when my thoughts…

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Caring for Our Aging Parents + Focus on the Family Radio = Exciting Times!!!

I am so thrilled to announce that I’ll be heading back to Focus on the Family in June for another radio interview. This time we’ll be discussing my book, Caring for Our Aging Parents: Lessons in Love, Loss and Letting Go.

Navigating the Friendship Maze: The Path to Authentic Friendship

caringme

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Yes indeed.

Caring for Our Aging Parents: Lessons in Love, Loss, and Letting Go.

Now available.

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Making A Little Difference

  • img_2730
  • It really is the little things that make the most difference in our lives.

 

The first cup of coffee of the day.
The grocery store line you speed through fast.
The lights you make on the way home.
The first bite of a luscious dessert.
The phone call from a friend you’ve been missing.
The aroma of a fragrant candle wafting through the house.
The chubby fingers of a toddler reaching for yours.
The last rays of sun peeking over the horizon (or a barn.)

All these “little things” warm my heart.

And so do the people who help make them happen.

If we’re honest, none of us has gotten where we are without the generosity of others. Each of us stands where we are today because someone (or a lot of someones) said yes to our requests for help (or better yet, they stepped in without being asked.)

I know I often forget that everything I have (and have been able to do) is because of someone’s else’s kindness toward me.

Recognizing that makes me feel grateful (and humbled.)

It also makes me want to offer the same goodwill toward others.

I think it’s worth reminding ourselves despite the fact that we worked hard, studied long hours, sacrificed to get where we are now, it almost certainly happened because others saw some spark of ability, potential, or progress in us and extended small kindnesses our way to help us.

As I look back, I can piece together a long, long string of seemingly small kindnesses that have added up to significant life change for me.

I like that adage, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going…”

Sometimes all any of us need on any given day is a little “spark” from someone we care about and respect.

 

Today, I’m asking myself who could benefit from —

Me offering someone a cup of coffee?
Me standing aside and allowing another to go ahead of me in line?
Me driving a little more slowly?
Me placing the last piece of chocolate in front of my friend?
Me taking the time to make that call?
Me lighting that candle instead of saving it for a special occasion?
Me getting down on the floor so a child doesn’t have to reach up?
Me asking a family member to go outside to watch the sun set?

I know one thing…in doing the little things, my days are significantly richer.

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The Grass Is Always Greener…Through Prayer

Yes and amen!

Navigating the Friendship Maze: The Path to Authentic Friendship

greengrass

My thanks once again for David Jeremiah’s timely and always challenging essay on prayer. Just what I needed to read this morning since I woke up at 3:00am again mulling over some tough stuff in my life…and stayed awake until the early morning hours.

How grateful I am that others put on paper what I need to read (and then get to work on!)

I hope this little piece on prayer ignites in you the desire to pray harder, more often, and pray through.

Remember playing with two cans and a string? The science behind that children’s toy really works. When you take two cans or paper cups, punch holes in the bottom of them, and stretch a string between them, you’ve recreated a primitive phone. The sound of your voice vibrates the bottom of the cup at 1,000 times a second, and the vibrations run along the string, making…

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