In plenty…

Christmas shopping has been difficult for me this year. My kids don't need anything, certainly not anything on their Christmas list. We have clothes, food, a warm and comfy home. We have extra's like video game stations, cell phones, iPods and more. Usually by this time of year I am done my Christmas shopping {weeks ago in fact} and everything is wrapped and under the tree. Right now, this year, there is nothing under our tree.  I haven't wrapped a thing, I didn't even buy anything until last week. And I didn't enjoy the purchase, the thrill of the good bargain chase like I usually do. I wanted to scrap the whole gift giving thing all together.  Take our Christmas budget and donate it all.  The hubby and I have discussed Christmas up one side and down the other this year. I … [Read more...]

Where does the time go?

Having Sweet Pea in the house {she turned 3 months old yesterday} has reminded me how fast our children grown up.  I am the mama of three {four including Miss S.} teenagers!  They have less than a decade, most of them less than half of that, left under my roof.  The thought can paralyze this mama's heart in any given moment. Instead of being paralyzed by sadness and overwhelmed with fear I choose to be proactive about the time we have left as a nuclear family.  A few years ago the hubby and I read a book together called "101 Things You Should Do Before Your Kids Leave Home".  We read it, starred several of the activities and put it back on the shelf.  Recently, I dusted it off and we have started checking things off the list. Some are practical things like "preach the gospel of … [Read more...]

Teens and Rebellion

The Relevant conference had great sponsors.  One of those sponsors was Family Matters.  I bought one of their books, Why Christian Kids Rebel by Tim Kimmel, while I was there and then won another copy by participating in an activity {junk in the trunk, no more explanation needed}.  All that to say that a reader will be blessed with my extra copy by leaving a comment at the end of this post before 11/25/10.  As the mother of three teen boys {and acting mother to one teen mama} I was immediately drawn to this book.   I know the statistics- that many kids leave church after high school never to return.  According to this book, nearly 90% of evangelical children leave the church after high school and many never return. Those are not pretty odds. I lay awake at night worrying about what I … [Read more...]

Of Wedding Rings and Baptistries

Therefore go and make disciplies of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19 Tentative feet touch the water, he looks up for approval.  The sea of eyes fixed on him and his descent to crystal blue water causes him to turn his eyes to the water.  His cheeks burn bright, knowing that those eyes are watching him as he follows through in believer's baptism. Pastor speaks of wedding rings and symbolism. How a wedding ring doesn't make you married but it does declare to the world you are spoken for. Of commitment and public declaration. Youth pastor talks of courage required to touch feet to this water...this holy act of obedience. And this boy, taller than he was yesterday in a voice deeper than it was yesterday, answers a … [Read more...]

Coming Along Side

"Mom, can I go out to dinner with Steve?" {one of our youth leaders} "Okay, bud.  Is anybody else going?" "No, I need to talk to him about something...umm, personal, mom." Immediately, this mama's head goes to the obscure, scary things that could be going on in my child's life that he does not want to talk to me {or his dad} about.  Is the bullying at school getting worse? Is there a girl he has taken notice of? Is he contemplating joining some kind of video game gang? My angst really boiled down to the fact that whatever was going on with him was something that he didn't want to talk to me about.  He wanted to talk to Steve. As I commiserated to my hubby, he reminded me how blessed we are to belong to a body of believers that takes relationship building with the youth so … [Read more...]

What message are you sending?

The message. One of the critical aspects of tackling the talk with your kids is defining your message.  Our boys internalize our values by observing us and listening to us.  The message that we communicate to our sons about sexuality needs to be thought out and prayed over, not an afterthought or happenstance. How do you accomplish this? I am continuing my series on "Tackling the Talk" at The M.O.B Society today, please join me there to read the rest of this article. And, as always, if you have a post about parenting teens/tweens please link it up below: … [Read more...]

To Save a Teen’s Life

This weekend our family went to our church's annual fall family retreat.  You can read about one of my take away experiences here. The first night youth and their parents were invited to watch a movie in the chapel.  The movie was called To Save a Life.  To watch the trailer of the movie, click here. The first thing the leader had us do {parents and kids alike} was relinquish our cell phones in exchange for snacks during the movie.  I thought this was a creative way to make sure kids weren't texting throughout the movie and increased the chances of them actually *gasp* paying attention.  I had no intention of turning in my cell phone {hypocrite, much?} but since my kids were with me and ratted me out encouraged me to give it up, I complied. The movie was truly good.  It tackled issues … [Read more...]

Glamorizing Teen Pregnancy? or Teaching Opportunity?

"Mom, do something!" These were the frantic words from my twelve year old, Matt, a few weeks ago when a young mom was going through the early phases of labor in our living room {I was her birthing coach}. I can think of no better way for a tween boy to understand the realities of teen pregnancy then seeing it, up close and personal.  The consequences of premarital sex were being prominently displayed on our couch and it made my boys uncomfortable. The Today Show this morning featured a couple from the MTV reality show, Teen Mom and asked them if they thought that the show encourages and glamorizes the issue of teen pregnancy?  I was pleased with their answers {even though their grammer still needs work, they are still kids}.  *Just as an aside, Catelynn and Tyler are my favorite couple … [Read more...]

Sibling Rivalry

We all know that kids fight, particularly brothers and sisters.  Although, I don't remember fighting with my siblings {when we were fortunate enough to live together} near as much as my boys argue {and nit pick and antagonize, etc}.  Is it just me or has sibling rivalry gotten worse over the years? As always, please link up your posts about parenting teens/tweens below: … [Read more...]

Time is fleeting…

I am feeling rushed. Urgency knocks on the door of my heart. Have you done enough?  Have you taught them enough?  Have you equipped them for this journey? A faint knock on the door of my heart beckons me away from urgency and toward comfort. I answer that familiar knock.  Then I remember that all He expects from me is my obedience.  Ultimately, these three special people are only on loan to me anyway.  They belong to Him who ordained their days in His book before they were ever born (Psalm 139). So, as one heads off to their senior year, one begins high school and one finishes up middle school, I lean back into my Father's arms. Parenting from His right hand is peaceful.  And, when you are parenting teens, peace is a true gift! Are you experiencing peace on this journey of … [Read more...]

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