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40 Days of Summer Devotionals

family summer growth plan

Has summer started in your house yet? Even if school isn’t out for your family yet, I’m betting you can feel it quickly approaching. Whether it’s within your own kids who are counting down the days to the last day of school or watching friends’ kids hold up those ‘last day of school’ signs in pictures on Facebook, summer is …

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Why I Didn’t Want to Read “Present Over Perfect”

present-over-perfect-sami-cone

I just finished a book I really didn’t want to read: Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. Shauna’s dad is Bill Hybels, founding pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, which was where my mom started going to church when I was in junior high. I never knew Shauna personally, but to me she represented an ever-increasing number of …

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The Wrong Way to Pay it Forward

pay-it-forward-for-emma

Emma would have been 17 years old today…but she died tragically almost two years ago. Her parents, Paul & Tiffany, are friends of mine from the blogging world and when they lost her, we all lost a treasure. Paul & Tiffany describe Emma this way on her tribute website, AGiftFromEmma.com: Emma Evelyn Ivanovsky is our 15 year old daughter who …

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Everybody Can Help Somebody

random-acts-of-kindness

“Nobody can help everybody, but everybody can help somebody.” ~ Denver Moore This is my favorite quote from “Same Kind of Different as Me” (and the new “Same Kind of Different as Me for Kids“). The beautiful lesson this teaches our children is that although everyone cannot help everybody, someone can help somebody. This simple concept demystifies the definition of …

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A Simple Bible Reading Plan for Kids (& you!)

Bible-Reading-Routine-for-Kids

With the New Year comes resolutions, plans and goals to live differently in the coming months. While some will quickly fade, there are others we hope and pray will stick around forever. One of those, at least for our family this year, has been to start a consistent Bible reading routine – not just for ourselves, but with our kids. …

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Top 5 Children’s Books (Elementary) for 2016

top-5-childrens-books-2016

Some of our favorite memories come from the books our kids receive for Christmas each year. Not only do we give our kids books, but some of our favorite memories come from book gifts our kids have received from friends and family. With all the books that come out each year, it can be difficult to pick the perfect one …

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Teaching Girls to Embrace their Unique Style

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From an early age, we knew our daughter would stand out from the crowd. Even as a toddler, she would gravitate towards clothes that were shades of blue, red or black amidst the typical pinks and purples. By the age of three, she was giving unsolicited fashion advice to her babysitter. Before long, that same babysitter would seek her advice …

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Feeling the Father’s Love through the Loss of a Parent

loss-of-a-parent

Losing a parent is never easy. I know- I lost my father one year ago this month. Even as I write those words, I can hardly believe it. I had fallen into a rut of telling people I lost my dad six months ago. Then last week, I started getting emotional about him all of a sudden, including in dreams. …

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When Kids Lose: 3 Truths to Tell Them

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“You may not win, but you must try. Sometimes, you’ll lose, but there’s no need to cry. Win or lose, one thing that’s true… No matter what, I love you!” ~ Lysa TerKeurst from “Win or Lose I Love You!“ I dare say our deepest heartache once we become parents is not when we get hurt, but when our kids …

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5 Old School Values to Teach Your Kids

5 old school values to teach your kids

My dad died recently. He was 89. If you’re assuming he was quite a bit older than I was, you’d be correct – 49 years my senior to be exact. While some may argue that I was at a disadvantage by having a father old enough to be my grandfather, I’d have to disagree with you. Although my parents divorced …

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