All posts tagged: parenting

Where is God in the Mess?

Do you ever feel like everything around you is falling apart? Like everywhere you turn there is a mess? I live with 4 kids so this is pretty much my everyday life. Not only are my house and van a physical mess, but one scroll through my social media newsfeed or a few minutes of the evening news confirm the world around me is in a mess too… a moral and ethical mess very similar to the one the prophet Micah dealt with. Micah was responding to a social and cultural climate that had chosen to place its affections on objects that provided wealth, versus having true affection for the Lord. This created a devastating decline of social justice and morality–the people of God were living in a manner out of alignment with their status as the covenant people of God. – Nicki Koziarz, Prone to Wander Wow, sounds familiar doesn’t it? Whenever I read or hear a particular current event, I’m tempted to think “Where is God in this mess?” But as I read …

Are You Leading For The Good of Others?

My second daughter, Vivian, is in Pre-K this year. As a member of the class, they share different roles. Each person will get to be a door holder, line leader, photographer, etc. She gets so excited when it is her turn to have one of the leadership roles for her class. I think her favorite is photographer. Life is full of leadership roles, even at a young age. What leadership roles do you have? Whether it is when you get a rebound and are the one dribbling the ball, deciding if it will be a fast break or a slow walk up, or you are a boss at work, parent at home, husband to a wife, a door holder, a dog walker or whatever other kind of role you play as a leader, we all play the lead at some point. When we live out those opportunities, we can either lead unselfishly, for the sake of those we are leading, or we can lead for our own gain. In Micah 3:1-7, the prophet is calling …

Are You Disciplining to Punish or Teach?

About three years ago I wrote about how I use a belt to raise my kids. Since then, we’ve added two more kids to our family. I thought it was time to see how this practice has been working. In the post, I talked about how my children see how I am dressed physically and spiritually. Are they watching me put on my best? Am I leading by example? Like any parent will tell you, this is only one part of being a parent. You could model perfectly how to be an outstanding citizen or loving Christian and your kids will still be jerks at times. (Yes, I said my kids can be jerks and I stand by that statement.) I love my kids and, for the most part, they are really good kids, but they are human too and make mistakes. Discipline can be a difficult subject to talk about. Some parents lean to the strict side of discipline while others are more lax. But the Bible is very clear in that we should …

Are You Clinging to a Cape or The Cross?

Have you ever prayed and prayed for something and then actually got what you prayed for? I have. And as a result of the answered prayer my life has become much more difficult. I got what I wanted but it really hasn’t looked like I thought it would.  I used to be a great parent… or at least I thought I was before I had kids. As my boys have grown I have learned lots and lots of lessons about being a mom. However, none of those lessons have adequately prepared me for the challenge of being a foster/adoptive mom. I came into this believing I was Supermom. God had granted my prayer and I was going to be the perfect mom for these two kids. I believed my love would be all they needed to overcome any obstacle and they would quickly forget about any part of their past. Yeah… no. That’s not at all how things have transpired. Most of the time now, I show up 10 minutes late in a full sweat, …

3 Practical Ways to Build a Legacy to Last

All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine. – Jim Rohn What is your personal legacy? Or to phrase it another way, if today was your last day, how would your kids and those closest to you remember you? If you want a legacy worth remembering, it requires being intentional. If you want to be thought of as more than a sports fan, then take time today to build a legacy worthy of the calling God has placed on your life. If you want to build a legacy, share your testimony. Do your kids know what your life was like before Christ? Do they know the difference Jesus has made for you personally? I recently asked the preteens and there was only one student in the room who knew their parent’s testimony. Mark your calendar right now and make it a priority to share your story with your kids. If you want to build a legacy, celebrate milestones. Days …

Can You See Clearly Enough to Help?

God is constantly teaching me through my role as a parent. I know, I know… My last blog was about parenting. Bear with me. Kelli and I make a great team and being a parent is a lot more difficult without my wife/baby-mama. Monday through Thursday, Kelli leaves the house at 5:00 AM for work. Which means I have to get our two boys up, ready, and to school all by myself. It was tough for the first few weeks until I applied what I call the “Wooden Plank Principle.” In Matthew 7:5, Jesus says, “Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” Some versions use the word “beam” or “plank.” Simply put, the Wooden Plank Principle is being sure to take care of yourself first. You may ask, “Isn’t that being selfish?” Actually, I believe it’s the opposite. I believe there are many areas in our lives where we can focus on our self first and thus be enabled to serve …

Exposed Disobedience, Timely Parenting, and Authentic Repentance

Parenting isn’t easy. Countless times,  I have found myself frustrated when the boys disobey. Let’s be honest, with a 5-year-old son and almost 4-year-old son, disobedience is a common occurrence.  Often it seems as though there is a streak of disobedience. No matter how many times we tell the boys not to do something, they do it anyway. It’s really a pain (sometimes I wonder if the troublesome thorn in Paul’s flesh was a secret kid he didn’t tell us about… maybe his son’s name was Thorn). However, there are times God uses my own mouth when speaking to my boys about obedience to speak directly to my heart. A few weeks ago, I had to discipline Liam for disobeying. It was one of those times when speaking softly didn’t work so well so I pulled out the stern, from the chest, oh-junk-I-better-listen-cuz-daddy-ain’t-playin’ kind of voice. Now I had his attention. I don’t remember what it was about, but after I said what I had to say, Liam said, “But I love you, daddy.” “I love …

Useful Advice From One Non-Parent to Another

Have you ever wanted to say something to a parent, but questioned how to go about it? Shannon recently reminded us that we belong to each other and have a responsibility to speak into each other’s lives (see Romans 12:4-5). It’s wise to accept biblical advice, but offering it to a parent can be tricky as a non-parent. So I asked a parent how I can give advice and it be received well. Here are 3 useful tips for us non-parents when it comes to talking to parents about parenting their kids. 1. First and foremost, offer support and often. Support can look like providing a meal or doing their laundry so they can focus on playing with their kids. Support is giving them a gift card to an activity they can do as a family. Support is watching the kids for an hour so the parents can have a break. Support is using your words to encourage and pray for them. How can you offer support to the parents in your life? So encourage each …

Gaining Perspective on What Matters Most

During the Christmas Season, we read a lot about Jesus’s birth. I love the birth story in Luke 2! But there is another birth story we find in Luke 1, that is of John the Baptist. John’s birth finally happened after Elizabeth and Zechariah had probably given up hope of ever having children as they were both pretty old. And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her. – Luke 1:58 There was much rejoicing and celebrating for the arrival of this new baby.  Everyone couldn’t wait to know what they would name it.  But when Elizabeth said, “His name is John!” everyone was shocked (Luke 1:60).  How could that be his name? He should be named after his father.  It’s interesting how their friends and relatives “knew” what was best for them.  I don’t think anyone meant any discontent by the suggestion, but they didn’t know the whole story. We see back in verse 13, an angel had told Zechariah he was to name his child John. So …

Valuable Life Lessons from Mom: Yes Be Yes

Did your mom say short repeatable statements that have stuck with you through the years? Maybe they were just silly little phrases like, “Someday your face will freeze like that,” or  “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Growing up my mom quoted either the Bible or Benjamin Franklin. She would quote Franklin saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” “A place for everything, everything in its place,” “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” And she would quote the Bible saying, “Do to others as you would have them do to you,” “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’” These were simple phrases, but over time they shaped my character. James 5:12 says, “But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.” This verse teaches the value of our …