The Danger of a Culture Fixated on Children

The Danger of a Culture Fixated on Children

Just days before my first child was born, a couple in our church gave my husband and me some advice to which I didn’t pay much attention at the time. I realize now that it was a glorious piece of information that I would later come to cherish in my motherhood days. In the conversation, our dear friends (who happen to have SIX children…SIX!) said to us, “Just be sure that … [Read more...]

When Your Blended Family Doesn’t Blend

When Your Blended Family Doesn't Blend

I sat across the room from her in my office each week. She was fifteen. Her parents had divorced when she was 4. They had been fighting over her ever since. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of court costs, counseling sessions, attorney fees, and custody evaluations. She had almost no memory of her parents living in harmony. She was numb, hated marriage, and hated divorce … [Read more...]

More Time with My Spouse :: Something’s Gotta Give

rope-736456_640

When the baby cries to be held one more time. When the daughter wants to be taken just one more place. When the son wants to buy one more game. One more. One more. How close is the rope to fraying? Sometimes just one more pull. One more feeling of pressure, and a snap will come. It’s physics. A rope is created to withstand only so much pressure before it gives. … [Read more...]

For Better or Worse: What to Do When “Worse” Gets Real

For Better or Worse: What to Do When “Worse” Gets Real

In the summer of 2012, we took a cross-country road trip. Somewhere in the mountains of North Carolina, after eating a big breakfast and then trying to read in the very back seat of the minivan, our daughter got carsick. This was a turning point in the life of our family. Not for the kid who vomited scrambled eggs all over herself, but for her brother, who witnessed … [Read more...]

Married and…Foster Parents

rMarried and...Foster Parents

Editor’s Note: This is the next installment in our “Married and...” series where we will interview couples from all walks of life. It is our hope that you are encouraged by the stories of people who have similar journeys as you, who share the same dreams you have, who face the same obstacles you do, and who can remind you that your marriage isn’t the first one to experience the … [Read more...]

The Perks and Struggles of Marrying and Starting a Family in your 30s

Marrying & Starting a Family in your 30s

Our story, while unusual to some, is becoming more common. Having dated occasionally throughout our 20s, we both found ourselves single past the age of 30 wondering if marriage would ever be a possibility. Encouraged (persuaded?) by others in our lives to consider the world of online dating, we met via eHarmony and married nine months later, when Shelley was 31 and … [Read more...]

The Art of Being a Disconnected Parent

The Art of Being a Disconnected Parent

You should be a disconnected parent. Harsh, we know. It feels weird to say, even to think, but it’s true. In our nearly three years as parents we have learned one thing: raising small humans is tiring. Who knew such tiny people could be so exhausting? And when we are at the end of our rope, we have little patience, less compassion, and we’re not very pleasant to be around. … [Read more...]

What You Can Look Forward to When the Kids Are Gone

connectedness-278507_640

My husband and I hated the empty nest…for the first 15 minutes. Then we looked around at our quiet house and each other and thought: “Hmmm. Maybe…maybe this is going to be okay.” And you know what? It is. It has been. We spent 20 years raising two children to adulthood and then they did what they were supposed to do: they left home. And our lives shifted and buckled … [Read more...]

Our Kids Go to Bed at 7:30

Our Kids Go to Bed at 7:30

My husband and I have three kids—now 7, 9, and 11 years old—and I would describe them as typical: they love sugar, puppies, and pushing boundaries. We decided early on to establish some boundaries to protect our relationship and our sanity. One of these was a sleep schedule for our kids, so from the time they started sleeping through the night, we put them on a 7:30 pm … [Read more...]

To Parents of Young Children: Let’s Talk about S-E-X

Let's Talk about S-E-X

Dear Parents of Young Children: I get it, really I do. You’re tired. So tired. And if one more person tells you how quickly this sweet time flies by, you may actually lose it. The truth of the matter is this: The years are short, but the days…are…long. As a person on the other side, one who didn’t always handle things perfectly in that season, may I just offer a … [Read more...]