No Lido Deck On The S.S. Prodigal

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This is hell week for those who are grieving the loss of a mother or child. Greeting card companies, florists, jewelers and kitsch vendors urge us to celebrate the mothers in our lives. School children across America are making crayoned cards to gift to their mamas this Sunday. Churches have mothers stand for a round of applause or pass out carnations to adult women as they leave the service. Though some churches have grown more sensitive to the fact that Mother's Day isn't easy for some in t … [Read more...]

Spiritual Stage Parents

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"I would never behave like those crazed mothers on shows like Toddlers & Tiaras and Dance Moms," we parents tell ourselves. "Spray tans on a four year old? Competition that takes all the joy out of childhood play? I would never live my ambitions through my kid!"Parental ambition come in plenty of shapes and sizes. Most of them aren't featured on basic cable, but are everywhere we turn during our active parenting years:The dad who goes a little ballistic about a bad call during his … [Read more...]

#1, #2, Me, You

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When my husband came to faith in Jesus, he got the idea that really good Christians didn't poop. Or pee.You have to know he was 18 at the time. He was a member in good standing of his high school's audio-visual team, student council and chess club. I say this to highlight the fact that he was (and is) a very bright guy. He attended a Unitarian church for a while during his childhood, but had no first-hand experience with evangelicals to that point in his life. In fact, no one ever shared … [Read more...]

Fifty Shades Of Not Okay

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I used to think men were the primary consumers of porn, though I've known a few women over the years who admitted to their own porn habit. The Fifty Shades "Mommy porn" phenomenon has changed the conversation in our culture. Women, you may think that the dreck you're reading on your Kindle during naptime - or the movie you're planning to see this weekend to celebrate St. Valentine's Day - is between you and (maybe) your husband or boyfriend, but it's not. It spills into your kids' lives in ways … [Read more...]

Passing On A Legacy Of Epic Marriage

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Mike and Diane Siri offer a great example of what a second act in life and ministry might look like. They'd each built successful careers in the business world during the first half of their lives.“After twenty-five years in the corporate world, I realized I wasn’t pursuing my passion, which is the development and nurturing of God-honoring relationships,” Mike told me. “As I began pursuing a path of helping others restore, nurture and celebrate relationships, a vision began to form of a famil … [Read more...]

Parented By Grandparents

Afew weeks ago, I was at a McDonalds PlayPlace with my two grandsons, ages 6 and 11. There were a half-dozen other older caregivers in the room watching the kids burn off some of that Happy Meal energy. When a little girl took a tumble down a slide and cried, “Grandma!” we all rose to our feet to see if it was our grandchild who needed comforting. Boomers hear a lot about the stresses of the "sandwich generation," caught between caring for aging parents while still raising our own families. Plu … [Read more...]

By “Rightsize”, I Mean “Exorcise” These Nine Church-y Words

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As a writer, I spend my days playing with words. This also means I spend too much time - usually when I'm writing a first draft - watching cat videos, rearranging my cabinets, thinking about what to make for dinner, and watching the squirrels re-enact West Side Story outside my window.When I'm not watching Tony Squirrel woo Maria Squirrel, I do try to pay close attention to how people use words. Language is a living thing. I'm fascinated by the lists of words that have become tired, lazy … [Read more...]


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