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 …

Day 32: Pen

The family happened to be all occupied. With what, I’m not sure, but it was calm and I decided to try slipping onto the porch without being missed. I grabbed a few quick supplies: drink, phone (always), book, and pencil and headed out to the swing camp chair. The pencil -- I’m pretty sure my …

Day 29: Dinner

“I don’t like that,” she said as her eyes graze over the food, then turned straight back around to march out of the room.  “I don’t need a treat,” she adds from her bedroom. My husband and I exchange looks of unsurprised displeasure tinged with resignation. Despite meals being the way we keep time during …

5 Ways My Husband Supports My Mental Health, A Family Life Guest Post

“Today was not a good day,” I darkly greeted my husband as he entered our apartment and took in the scene. I laid on the couch while the kids had some screen time in our bedroom. My struggle with anxiety and maintaining my mental health had taken a more prominent role in our lives over …

Day 23: Band-aid

Typical of little people, my children have both believed in the power of a Band-aid. Not just for broken skin, band-aids are requested for all kinds of boo-boos. Bug bites, scratches, or burns, and bruises, soreness, or bumps -- the act of adding a bandage has magical powers to soothe. It’s not just band-aids either, …