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Forgiveness Series: Throwing out the Rule Book

In my house we are trying very hard to eliminate the word “punishment” from our vocabulary.  There is discipline, not punishment.  The Lord disciplines his children.  And we discipline ours. I once heard a podcast and the speaker said “If your children don’t learn to be obedient to you, how will they be obedient to God?”  Obedience. People don’t like the word “obedience.”  After all, as Americans we are so focused on freedoms that we dislike the idea of being obedient.  We feel it infringes on our lives and our rights. But, obedience is required.  Following rules and laws is a form of obedience. Obedience isn't a bad word. We follow the laws.  Why?  Because there are consequences if we don't.  And in life there are consequences for our actions.  They can be positive or negative.  But there are consequences. Recently, I broke another “rule” of parenting.  
I am not supposed to let my child know that the words she used hurt me. 
In the course of her receiving discipline for s…
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Forgiveness Series: Why I Apologize

I sit down on the couch next to my 5 year old, with tears in my eyes. I look her in the eyes and say “I’m sorry.”  She immediately says “I forgive you.”  We discuss what happened then we both say I love you and back to playing she goes.  I don’t always get it right.  I don’t handle every situation correctly.  Sometimes, I yell.  I yell more than I would like to admit.  Sometimes, I can't handle all the noise.  Sometimes, my immediate reaction to misbehavior isn’t what it should be.  I am not a perfect parent.  I screw up all the time.  My kids are not perfectkids.  But who is perfect?  God. God is perfectGrowing up I didn’t have the best role models for how to handle discipline.  I was a well behaved child. I obeyed. But my obedience was out of fear, not respect, love or the desire to do the right thing.  I can recall specific situations, moments from as far back as age 4 or 5.  The age my two oldest children are now.  Punishments that made no sense.  Being punished for being a…

Mary or Martha

Have you ever come across something that just stops you dead in your tracks? Out of nowhere it knocks you right on your butt.  That was me today.  I was trying to read my devotionals while making breakfast, pulling my toddler off the counter, sipping coffee, it happened to me.  Here I was distracted as usual and BAM-right here in the story of Mary and Martha, it hit me.  
I...am...Martha.  
Eek.  I did not see that one coming.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
I am Martha.  I am too busy, too tired, too worried, too stressed all...the...time.  I am focusing on the million day to day tasks that need done, but neglecting one major priority: My time with God.  
Lately, I have been preoccupied with planning for back to school for me and the kids.  Trying to find the right masks, reading the latest numbers, the most recent article…

My Contributing Articles/Blogs

An Awkward Encounter

I recently shared how my life is sort of like a reality TV show.  I have been told I should write a book.  Hmmm. Anyway...moving on.  A few weeks ago in the middle of a terrible week, I had one of those weird incidents that typically only happen to me.  Someone backed into my van.  Now that seems like something that could happen to anyone. It is pretty common I assume. But, did I mention I was stopped, at a red light, on a busy road?  It felt like slow motion as I watched this car back up...down the hill and right into me.  I couldn’t prevent it.  There was nothing I could do at this moment. I mean, you don’t expect this to happen.  I was not mentally prepared for this. Especially, not on that day.  I did the normal thing I assume someone would do in a situation such as this. I looked at him awkwardly and confused. He got out of his car and proceeded to yell at me.  I am sure my confused look was even more awkward now. Was all of this really happening?  He informed me in his outside …

The Highlight Reels vs Real Life

The highlight reels. It’s typically what we share. Look at these pictures. Looks like pure fun. The enjoyment on their faces. All 3 girls quietly and happily painting. Focused on their art project. But this picturesque scene lasted maybe 3 minutes.
Rocks are a big deal around here. I don’t get it but every load of laundry I do I find a rock in someone’s pocket. They refer to them as “the collection.” Painting them is one of their favorite warm weather activities. They are intent on creating a rock garden.Since the weather has improved, painting them has been of high priority. But with the chaos of last week, it just wasn’t going to happen. So, I promised them we would this week and today seemed like the perfect day. I set everything up outside. I even brought out washable finger paints for Addy so she could participate. And as everyone started painting I took some quick pictures of their fun.But here is what you don’t see:It was windy. Elly spilled the water cup multiple times. Addy kn…

Finding Blessings in Chaos

I have been told my life should be a sitcom.Maybe a reality TV show.Things tend to happen to me that don’t typically happen to other people, or so I have been told…repeatedly. After the past couple of weeks, a friend asked me “Teri, did you walk underneath a ladder, carrying a black cat, while breaking a mirror on Friday the 13th?”Um, not that I am aware of, but I get why she asked.Summer is my favorite time of year to just have fun and make memories with my girls. So far, memories are for sure being made, but fun probably isn’t how any of us would describe it.Our first weekend of summer was set to be a beach day. My hubby was taking care of unpacking the van, as I attempted to wrestle our feisty 1 year old into her swim gear.Then, beeping of the back hatch as it closes, followed by screaming.Somehow my 3-year-old ran right into it as it was closing and split her head open.How it happened?No one could tell you. So instead of a beach trip, we took one to the ER.A few days later I notic…