Walking in Faith not Fear – I will trust You

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NLT In the early 1990s, I got pregnant while my husband and I prepared to serve as teachers in a…

The cost of forgiveness

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 22:34 NIV It’s so hard to forgive, isn’t it? When someone takes my words out of context, betrays a confidence, or slanders me, I respond by judging, lashing back, or harboring bitterness. Without forgiveness, relationships continue in endless cycles of hurt…

Countdown to Christmas – Expecting

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Luke 1:38 NIV Nine months is not a long time, but when you’re pregnant it seems like forever. Nausea, fatigue, heartburn, muscle cramps, joint pain, back pain, abdominal pressure, swelling, and difficulty sleeping are some of the common discomforts associated with pregnancy….

Countdown to Christmas – Not just a carpenter

Mary, the mother of Jesus, always receives a lot of admiration, but today I’d like to draw your attention to Joseph, the earthly-father God chose for his Son. It was Joseph who was Jesus’ pattern of leadership in the home, his spiritual tutor, his mentor in business and personal relationships, his father. There’s no doubt…

Countdown to Christmas – Mary’s parents

My youngest child is leaving home in January. The ‘lasts’ have begun – her last birthday living under our roof, her last Christmas at home, etc. When she went to college, I knew she’d be back, still needed us. But this time is different. She’s mature, ready to face life as an adult, ready to…

Countdown to Christmas – Read a Christmas story

One of my favorite things to do during the days of Advent is to read Christmas picture books. Three of my very favorite children’s Christmas books of all time are: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson The story is about a church pageant rehearsal invaded by a family of ruffians – the Herdmans…

Countdown to Christmas – Advent for Younger Ones

When our children were young, one of our favorite activities leading up to Christmas was reading a story through Advent. Each of the four Sunday nights we lit an Advent candle in anticipation of the coming of the Light of the World (Jesus). Jotham’s Journey, by Arnold Ytreeide, is one of the four books we…

Countdown to Christmas

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:13-14 NIV Happy December! As I countdown to Christmas, I want to anticipate the celebration of Jesus’ incarnation with awe and…

The snare of self-pity

Thanksgiving has taken on a whole new meaning for me as an older parent. When I was younger, I celebrated at my parent’s houses and all I was expected to do was show up. As our children grew in number and stature, we became the hosts. Now, our children are the ones who show up….

Humility and the Successful Parent

Recently an employee at Sam’s Club greeted my daughter and I with a surprising comment. I did not recognize her, but she said, “I just love seeing you two together. You look like such good friends.” We thanked her and walked in a bit bewildered. This morning a mother of six children asked me what…