Why Can’t We Tell Our Kids “Yes”?

I get really good at saying no. I can say it kindly, with force, in rapid succession, with anticipation of the question, and even without looking. In my mind, I always have a good reason for telling my son no. I don’t want him to do that, eat those, or bother me at the moment.

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I think I should invent an app kind of like the ones that record every step you take so you can see how many miles you incidentally walked in a day. Except this app records every time you say no to your child. On second thought, I don’t think I want to know.

Why is it so hard for me to just say it. Just Say Yes.

I think I know why. I am afraid if I say Yes too much it will ruin my son. Won’t he end up thinking that he can have anything he wants, do everything he wants to do, and never have to wait his turn?

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5 Mistakes We Make When We “Help” The Poor

You volunteer along with many others to help make some repairs at a family’s home one Saturday. You end up sitting on the front porch listening to the mother’s story. She shares her stress over mounting medical bills that keeps her awake at night.

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You decide to spend several hundred dollars to fly to the other side of the world to spend a week working with a mission organization. You get to know a few of the local people who work along the missionaries. At a meal, you sit by one local who shares with you their passion for the work they are doing among their own people. Within the conversation you learn that they need more financial support.

You have a compassionate heart. That is why you invest your time, money and energy into helping others. And their stories tug at your heart-strings. We look at our financial means, and we want to help. We “know” we can help out of our abundance.

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Why Giving Your Child A Voice Is Important

A few weeks ago I posted a blog, 15 Ways We Shame Our Children. The first in the list—We don’t give them a voice. I realize that you might not know what it means to “give a child a voice”. It’s important for any child to discover their voice. This usually happens in healthy families. But for kids that come to us from a hard place, it’s a struggle.

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The rest of this blog is a chapter from my upcoming book. I am still working on the title, but it’s a book for foster and adoptive parents wanting to apply parenting with connection principles and need encouragement and real life examples of failure and success.

What Is ‘Giving Voice’?

Most of our kids that come to us through foster care or adoption, no matter what age, haven’t been given a voice.

Babies that get no response to their cries learn to not cry anymore. A toddler learns to meet their own needs as best they can which is why we often say they are “street smart”. Teenagers revert to manipulation as they try to get their needs met.

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3 Ways Our Faith Frames Our Politics

Guest Post—Matt Peacock is today’s guest blogger. Matt is the Executive Director for Partners in Hope Lake Travis. To learn more about Partners in Hope LT, follow the link at the bottom of the post.

Presidential elections create a national discussion like nothing else. Even people who never engage in political discussions will get brought into the public dialogue whether they want to or not.

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Christians need to enter the political conversation carefully.

Political conversations are filled with opportunity as well as potential landmines.

It helps to remember a couple of things:

First take seriously that we are God’s representatives on earth. The words and attitudes we express reflect God for the world to hear and see. That should give us a dose of humility and pause before letting words fly. The Bible says to be slow to speak and quick to listen – which allows us to run our attitudes and words through the Holy Spirit filter first.

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His Hands. His Feet.

Sent to the fatherless, the brokenhearted, and those far from Him

You not only notice the person standing on the street corner holding a sign asking for help, you have compassion for them. You are the person who brings the child of another person into your home and treats them as if they were your own flesh and blood. You use your resources, like time and money, to invest in people who are in need.

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You engage with people who are hurting and broken knowing that it is going to get messy. You are the one who uses your vacation time to travel to places so you can share Jesus with people who might otherwise never hear about Him.

Even though you are that person, you don’t always know what to do. Some days you need encouragement. Other times you look for inspiration.

Why do you live life like this?

You understand that you are His ambassadors. He didn’t create you, then redeem you so that you could live your life the way you want. You know you are sent.

You are His Hands. His Feet.

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It Is Easier To Serve God Without A Call

Do you think God calls us to His work? Do you think He has a specific vision for your life? Do you give that thought any consideration or would you rather He just leave you alone?

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If you do want to serve God wouldn’t it be easier to serve Him on your terms?

It is easier to Serve God Without a Call or Vision.

Here is what that would look like:

  • We decide what kind of time and effort we give to God’s work.
  • We choose what we do for God.
  • We use our judgement to guide us to where we should go and how we can be the most useful.

What is wrong with that you ask? Or maybe that just convicted you, because you, like me, recognize that is how we far too often approach our service to God.

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15 Ways We Shame Our Children

As I work more with our adopted son and in the foster care/adoptive world, I see a connection between trauma and shame. Even if a child never makes a bad choice in their life, the things done to them, and what they see others do causes shame to pour over their soul like a bitter, sticky molasses.

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Abusive, broken homes are a sick petri dish for cultivating shame. I don’t think that surprises anyone. If a child is old enough to remember leaving a home to enter foster care or adoption, they often wonder what is wrong with themselves. Even a child who was a baby when placed in foster care or adopted seems to struggle with a deep sense of shame as they grow older.

Sadly, many children live in shame-based homes, not just ones that end up in foster care or adoption.

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The One Thing that Will Heal Our Land

I don’t often write about current events, yet I feel a bit melancholy by the events that surround me of the past week or so. It’s not just the tragic deaths of black men and police officers around the country over the past week or so. Over the same week the loss of two people who I knew, both passing on the same day, our day of independence in the U.S., July 4th, has me a bit introspective.

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One was a dear relative that I grew up calling Aunt although she was my cousin. She was only 11 months younger that my mother. Battling cancer her passing wasn’t entirely unexpected, still all who knew her will miss her love for life and contagious laugh.

The other was a friend that I knew from my church. His death was a surprise to us all. He seemed to be in good health, and he like my cousin had a passion for life.

Brevity of Life

As I sat in each funeral service, one on Friday, the other on Saturday of this past week, my mind pondered the brevity of life, as it does for most of us when we find ourselves at a funeral. It caused me to think about what is important in my life. I wondered if I was making a difference.

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Why I Joined the Self Publishing School

If you are like a lot of people, you have an idea for a book. Many of you have friends and family telling you that you need to write your story down. I know some have worked on a manuscript for years.

What holds you back from taking the next step? Is it that you don’t “have time”. You don’t know where to begin. You are afraid you will suck at writing. Or you have some other reason that hundreds of other people also have for not ever writing that book.

When people ask me what I do, I am finally comfortable with my answer, “I am a writer.” It’s accurate. I am a writer. I have blogged now for about three years. I published Adopting the Fathers Heart in 2013. I have two ebooks published on Amazon.

But I still feel like I don’t know what I am doing most of the time.

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3 Reasons Why It’s a Good Idea To Let People Interrupt You

Are you like me? Are you easily distracted from what is most important? Careful that’s a trick question! Do you get focused on your to do list, and the last thing you want is an interruption?

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All interruptions are good for is putting you in a bad mood or helping you procrastinate from the real things that need to get done!

No wonder there is such a thing as a monk’s life. Hmm…

Is that how we really want to live life though? I don’t just mean giving up and living as a recluse. We know that we need and want relationships, even if it means interruptions. But do we want to be in a bad mood or never get anything done because of constant interruptions?

Is there a way for interruptions to be a good thing?

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