Talking to Your Child About Politics


The election season is heating up!

The presidential candidates have been chosen; the debates will kickoff soon; and the tension between the proponents of the candidates will continue to rise above an already feverish pitch. What are we to do? How are we to vote? How should we communicate to our kids?

While the first two questions are important, the last question is the one God has been challenging me with the past few weeks. How do we demonstrate righteousness to our children throughout this election season? Continue reading

The Tween Years

tween years 3I loved the [fairly] straight-forward parenting of babies. I’m a bit of a rule-follower and soaked up everything my pediatrician said. Took notes, even. Sleep train? Check. Boot camp potty training? Check. Plenty of outside time at the park? Check. It’s all very step-oriented, and I like steps. And, we had our kids in church every time the doors were open. We really thought we had this parenting thing NAILED.

The next several years would prove me…well, “wrong” doesn’t really even cut it. Let’s call me “blindsided.” Parenting babies had lulled me into a false sense of security that you could actually GET it… Continue reading

Love Your Imperfect House

love your imperfect house.jpgOur white couch used to look pristine before we had Emerson and Ezra. Upon close inspection, you might have been able to see a pin-sized splatter of pasta sauce overlooked from a dinner-and-a-Red Box movie night.  Occasionally, the bluish tint from our new dark-rinse jeans would appear on the couch prompting us to wash our slipcovers as if it was an eyesore of the worst kind.

Now, upon not so close inspection, the white couch boasts gray fingerprint smudges, pink crayon marks, and water stains from leaking “spill-proof” sippy cups. We still wash our slipcovers, but the time between washes has gotten longer and the care with which we iron them has eased. The washing machine is burdened with extra loads of laundry and our schedules are filled with other responsibilities like feeding small human beings, giving baths, managing changing work schedules, picking up toys, and hosting play dates. Continue reading

Creating Space

creating spaceWhen my first son was born, I lamented to my husband that I had lost the cadence in my days to do the things that made me feel like a whole person, things that made me feel alive: art, reading, running, and prayer. He suggested creating some space for myself in the morning by trying to wake up before the baby. Naturally, I was defensive and indignant, given I was barely getting enough sleep as is. Why on earth would I give up precious sleep?

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Welcome the Wiggle

welcome the wiggleEach Sunday, my children stand with me in church during the worship set. These have been some of the sweetest moments and, if I am honest, also sometimes the most torturous. There have been the times that I have looked down to find them singing along or, when they were tiny, even imitating their dad or me by closing their eyes or raising their arms. But, there are also many times that I have been pulled from my own time of worship to place my finger to my lips and urge them to quiet down or remind them to take their feet off of the back of the seat in front of them. I am sure that they have distracted many people with their loud whispers or sibling spats. Continue reading

Watch Me Worship

WatchMeWorshipNearly three years ago I received an email from a single mom here at church, and the words she shared still resonate with me to this day. She mentioned that she attended one of our nights of worship at our Miracle Theatre campus. On this particular night, she brought her daughter, who was about four years old at the time. This mom revealed to me that up until that night she had never really responded physically in worship, and most of the time was disengaged, just thinking of the music as “nice”, or “something that gets us to the message”. However, on this particular night of worship, she was prompted by the Bible verse I shared before launching into Matt Redman’s song “Wide as the Sky”. Continue reading

Make Summer Count

make summer count 2There are just a few days of school left and we have been dreaming about summer! I’ve always been a wanderer. I guess that’s what brought me across the ocean from Romania to this part of the world some years ago. I think my desire to go, see, and do has bumped up a notch since having kids.

My oldest, Alex, is five now and I remember our pace being a little slower when he was just a baby. I got the sense that things would be a bit different as he got older and we would be able to do more. He grew up in no time and a whole new array of options seemed to open up. His younger sister, Norah, joined us not lon after that, but there was no more wandering around the streets of DC just to kill time with a sleeping baby. The double stroller had a toddler leading the way, ready to go somewhere.

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When Parenting Takes You on a Trip You Didn’t Plan

trip you didn't plan squareI read once that discovering your child is on the spectrum is like planning a trip to Italy. You’ve done your reading, learned the language, packed your bags, and up, up and away, you’re off. Then, upon landing, you are actually not in Italy after all. “Good afternoon Ladies & Gentleman.  This is your pilot speaking. Welcome to Holland!” Wait, what? This is not the journey we had planned.

It wasn’t exactly like this for us; not at first. Sitting at a conference table, surrounded by a team of developmental specialists, we were relieved to have clarity about our journey. It was with an audible “Hallelujah!” and a “Thank you Jesus!,” that we received the news that James, then three, was High Functioning Autistic. Judging by the expressions on the specialists faces, I was fairly certain ours was not a typical reaction. I was so relieved to have reached a destination, diagnosis, that in exiting the room I couldn’t help but turn, and like a quarterback having just won the Super Bowl, exclaim, “We’re going to Disney World!”… because it seemed fitting, and because (oh, the irony) we actually were.

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The Vantage Point: Live Out the Truth

We value and honor the voices of parents who are ahead of us on the parenting journey.  They have a unique Vantage Point.  We asked them, “Now that your children are adults, looking back to the season most of our parents are in, what would you say to us?  What do you wish someone would have said to you? What do we need to know that might save us a lot of worry or time?”  In this series of posts we will hear from experienced parents.  Here is what Karen Schmidgall had to say.

TVP- Live out the truth“I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn that many members of your congregation are diligent in living out the Truth, exactly as commanded by the Father.” 2 John 4

Give Faith Building Opportunities

When I was 10 yrs old, my mother gave me a monumental responsibility. It was in regards to a medical decision. She told me I had two options. She would pray with me – but it was to be my decision – that I should hear God’s direction, not her, because it was my body, my future. She would stand with me in either decision. Continue reading

The Vantage Point: A Journey of Faith and Commitment

We value and honor the voices of parents who are head of us on the parenting journey. They have a unique Vantage Point. We asked them, “Now that your children are adults, looking back to the season most of our parents are in, what would you say to us? What do you wish someone would have said to you? What do we need to know that might save us a lot of worry or time?” In this series of posts we will hear from experienced parents. Here is what Lynn Weatherby had to say.

TVP- A Journey of Faith and Commitment.jpgParenthood started with a simple prayer, which I believe now was inspired by God. It went something like this, “God give us children that we need, and help us to be the parents that our children need.”

It took years for me to recall that prayer. God answered that prayer with two amazing children created by Him and for Him. Peter and Amy are as different as night and day in personality and strengths. They are also very unique and different from both Dave and I as their parents. How can that be? Aren’t our children supposed to be somewhat like us? Dave and I are fairly easy going and compliant. Pete, our oldest spent his second month in Children’s Hospital with a diagnosis of “failure to thrive.” Later some learning disabilities were discovered and this presented new challenges. Our daughter, came out of the womb with a strong attitude of “I’ll do it myself, thank you very much.” We discovered that the gene pool is big, and God gave us the children we needed.  Only continual prayer and transformation by God could help us be the parents our children needed.

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