Stranger Things Holidays: Like Home Alone, But Without the Feel-Good Ending

When my firstborn daughter was one, we moved approximately 8,000 lonely miles from all our friends and family. After 32 hours of travel, we arrived to our new country,  on her first birthday (we did celebrate that occasion with loved ones before we left). Her birthday falls on Halloween, so we left our home country …

Grief at Christmas: Where God Meets Us (for FamilyLife.com)

If grief is a mighty river, most of us live the majority of our days from the safety of the shore, where the occasional strong wave laps at our toes. But inevitably, at some point in our lives, we’ll find ourselves in over our heads, choking on grief’s bitter water and grasping for air. Our …

A Prayer for Tired, Weary Parents

I don't know about you, but I've been feeling pretty worn down recently. Pandemic, politics and parenting have my baseline anxiety a bit higher than normal -- I've been catching my jaw clenched, my breath shallow, my back sore with tension. When anxiety is high, my threshold for other stimuli becomes lower. So when my …

4 Ways to Stop Toxic Thoughts During the Holidays (for FamilyLife.com)

The holidays are stressful. Schedules and to-do lists are packed, we see people we don’t often see (like your cousin’s father-in-law’s nephew), and there’s pressure to make everything magical for everyone. And while there are plenty of things vying for our mental and emotional attention, toxic thoughts don’t need to be one of them. What …

Anger Issues: How I’m Helping My Kids … and Myself (for FamilyLife)

I was walking through a friend’s house when immediately, a frog leapt to my throat. A painting hung there in her hall—and somehow, I felt more understood. I comprehended a nugget of that transcendent truth art can mine in the soul. The title? Jesus and the Angry Babies. Anger issues—angry babies (and angry children and angry mom)—is …