9.29.2015

Remember Who You Are

There were so many things I wanted to say in this big moment for my daughter. Shouldn’t I have a speech? Or a famous person’s quote? Or a highly engaging devotion all planned out?

She was heading to her first day of high school. And I knew she would soon face choices that carried more weight than ever before in her life. We make our choices and then our choices make us.

I swallowed hard and blinked back the tears. And suddenly I knew exactly what to say: “Remember who you are.”

This was the perfect statement. Not because it’s incredibly profound to the rest of the world. But it is to my kids. It’s our family motto.

We’ve spent years teaching our kids character lessons and highlighting people who model solid integrity. We’ve tied these lessons to be defining marks on what we want our name to stand for when people think of us.

But, we wanted a way to encapsulate all those lessons into one quick statement that could be said every time our kids head out into the world.

And, it had to be a statement that made sense to all of our kids, whether it was one of our teens heading out on a Friday night with friends, or a younger child going over to a friend’s house for an afternoon playdate.

So, we came up with the simple statement, “Remember who you are.” In other words, you are a child of the Almighty God. Live that truth today.

This is our family signature. This would be that quick reminder of the spiritual vision of our family.

All those life lessons …
– upholding purity in our thoughts and actions
– honoring God with the words we say and choose not to say
– keeping a good attitude whether we win or lose
– extending grace to others as God has extended grace to us

… boiled down into one easy-to-remember and easy-to-repeat statement: Remember who you are.

And this isn’t just a reminder to hold our family name in high regard. No, even more importantly, it’s a reminder to hold the fact that we are part of God’s family in high regard. Our name is worth something.

The Bible says in Proverbs 22:1, “A good name is more desirable than great riches.” Calling ourselves Christians is a huge responsibility. Christ’s name is part of our identity.

Yes, “Remember who you are,” was the perfect thing to say on this day of new beginnings, opportunities and choices.

Does all this mean we have kids who never mess up or let us down? Nope. It doesn’t even mean that I never mess up or let others down. It’s tough having a sold-out-to-Jesus soul stuck in a flesh-filled body.

It means we’ve defined what we’re shooting for, and hopefully we’re all in the process of getting closer and closer to hitting the mark.

I’m so excited to announce that today is the release day of my new children’s book, Win or Lose, I Love You! With this book, you’ll be equipped to help your child:

• Replace the selfish characteristics of competition with an understanding of how to treat others fairly.
• Overcome the tendency to display poor sportsmanship by using Biblical truths to develop a Christ-like attitude.
• Reject the labels of winning and losing and embrace that they are loved no matter how they perform.

Get it now for a special release day price of only $10.99! Purchase your copy here.

9.17.2015

When It Feels Better to Blame Someone Else

You want to know one of the hardest three-word statements to make? “I am wrong.”

It’s so easy to point out wrong in others. It’s so easy to want it to be someone else’s fault. It’s so easy to get critical and cynical and caught up in our limited perspectives.

But boy is it hard to see our own flaws. Where we went wrong. What we need to own.

I’ve been challenging myself on this. I recently had to correct one of my children for trying to blame someone else for something my child needed to own themselves.

I could clearly see the pride, the insecurity, and the fear all wrapped around her blaming words. And why could I see it so clearly?

Because it’s always easier to spot in other people. But when I see pride in others, that’s the exact moment where I must challenge myself to examine my own heart.

In most conflicts I have two ways I can choose to travel:

The Path of Pride: I can blame the other person, focus only on their flaws and refuse to own my part of it. That response will increase my pride and decrease the Lord’s blessing in my life.

The Humble Way: I can honestly assess what I’m contributing to this conflict, admit where I went wrong and ask for forgiveness. That response will lead to humility and increase the Lord’s blessing in my life.

I see this principle woven throughout the Bible:

James 4:6b, “That is why Scripture says: God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (NIV)

Proverbs 29:23, “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.” (NIV)

Matthew 23:12, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (NIV)

I know this. I believe this. So, why do I still find it hard to implement sometimes?

Well, here’s where my head wants to go when I start examining certain conflicts: But what if it really isn’t my fault? It’s not fair to assign the blame with me when this person did this and this and this.

But that’s the wrong direction to go. Don’t try to assign the blame. Just own the part you brought into the conflict. When I approach conflict with a heart of humility, I’ve yet to see where I haven’t added something to the issue.

And if the other person doesn’t own their issues — the Lord will deal with them. (See the verses above.)

There are gifts hidden in the tough stuff of conflict. There is grace and honor to be gained. But I’ll only see those gifts if I stop blaming others and start examining myself.

Help your child develop humility with “10 Biblical Truths for Your Child Whether They Win or Lose.”

It’s the perfect resource every mom needs as we point our kids toward God’s Word this school year.

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6.18.2015

4 Fun Ways to Grow Your Child’s Faith

My kids have always been fascinated when I’ve shared things I remember from my childhood with them. Those memories are especially meaningful when I point out how the stories relate to my life now.

So much about our stories can be traced back to God’s hand working in our lives, and when we share them, our kids can see evidence that Jesus is real and intimately involved with us.

What’s even more surprising is that they can later recall them in surprising detail! It’s amazing how well they remember the life lessons that I tie to the stories I tell.

While it may be difficult for a child to recall a passage of Scripture they just read, most can recall in specific detail the accounts of a story.

For instance, I love to tell them of the time my stepdad brought home a hand-me-down typewriter from his office. I placed my hands on the keys and wondered what it would be like to type pages of legible words. I loved the rap-tip-tap sound it made and envisioned myself finishing the final page of a book. I didn’t know enough words at that point to write an entire book, but one day I would.

That story allowed me to point out that even back then, Jesus was preparing me for my calling as an author. And although my kids may not understand their own callings yet, by seeing me live out mine and knowing that the Lord put it in my heart at a young age, they understand the reality that God does indeed have a plan for their lives. This gives them access to Divine Truth.

Jesus wanted children to have access to Him, “‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” (Matthew 19:14)

Tim Kimmel, in his book, “Why Christian Kids Rebel,” explains the number one reason that children walk away from the faith is that they never see it make a real difference in the lives of their parents.

So now, not only do I trace the hand of God in my past stories, but I also constantly look for ways to exemplify Jesus today.

I point out answers to things we’ve prayed about.

I show them the many ways God provides and make sure they know where credit is due.

I live my faith out loud so they cannot miss that Christ is the center of our home.

He has become too real to deny.

I pray my kids will start collecting their own stories of experiencing God. Then they can share the reality of Christ’s presence with their friends today and with their own children in the future. Yes, indeed, let the children have access to Jesus.

Help your child look for the hand of God in their life with “4 Fun Ways to Grow Your Child’s Faith”!

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