The Flawed Theology of Naughty and Nice Lists

A few years ago, my mother gave me a Christmas pillow on which a picture of Santa's naughty and nice lists was embroidered.  She had a strange smile on her face when she gave it to me and once I looked at it closely, I figured out why:  Both my and my sister's names were on the 'naughty' list.Nice, Mom.Or should I say, naughty?For years moms and dads the world over have preached Santa's naughty/nice list theology to their children.  If you're good, you earn your way onto the ni … [Read more...]

Annoying Christmas Presents? I’m All For Them!

Leave a comment below and you'll be eligible to win a DVD copy of either The Lion King or Dumbo (please state your preference).I love giving presents better than receiving them.Really.There’s a certain delight that comes when I find the perfect gift and I realize, “I’ve nailed it.” Maybe it’s something you’d never get for yourself or didn’t know you desperately needed.  Maybe it’s something that’s purely fun and so whimsical it makes everyone laugh.  Maybe it’s a sentimental photograp … [Read more...]

Honor Your Mother And Father

Here is a two-minute video of the nursery kids from our church talking about how they honor their parents.  Ezra found a way to get himself into the nursery video even though he's well past nursery age.  (He has a small narcissism issue, but we try to take on one problem at time over here.)For the last twenty seconds, you can see Ezra's all too perfect imitation of himself when he is less than honoring of us - which is in fact the issue of the day these days. … [Read more...]

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme

Twenty Sunday school students sit in rapt attention as I roll out the Advent story.  The script, the candles, the materials - they draw us in. As we get ready to hear the story of the Holy Family, the story for the second week of Advent, I say: The church learned long ago that it takes time to enter a mystery like Christmas.  They gave us four weeks to get ready.  During that time, we are all on a journey.  A journey that was not just back then.  It's now too. Sometimes it's hard to enter a mys … [Read more...]

What Kids’ Drawings Look Like Painted Realistically

Artist Dave DeVries has plenty of experience painting monsters for Universal Studios and bringing comic book characters to life in realistic paintings. However, the sketches done by his four year old niece intrigued him more than grown up monsters and he began applying the same techniques to drawings by children.The result is an art installation and book called The Monster Engine, pairing the original drawings with interviews with the child and the final painting.I just love these. … [Read more...]

Enough about “balance”

I was at a conference yesterday for women who are small business owners.  It was called Spark & Hustle, and it was fantastic.  One of my favorite things was that not a single moment was wasted having that annoying conversation about "work/life balance." It was if each speaker & attendee made a silent agreement, acknowledging, "There is no such let's not talk about it."I've been to DOZENS of professional conferences.  In different career roles, I've attended gatherings for a … [Read more...]

Why I got Soap in my Mouth Yesterday

Yesterday I got soap in my mouth.It’s been rough around here lately.  Between too many activities, squeezing my parents for 4 weeks into a house that already felt slightly too tight, and the general emotional chaos of raising a 15, 13 and 11 year old, the words that have been flying in our house are way too salty and way too rude.Of course, apples don’t fall far from the tree, so what should I expect?Sometime in my own tweenhood, I paged through my baby book, a white cracking leather … [Read more...]

To Yes Ma’am or Not to Yes Ma’am

 There are the “Yes, ma’am” moms, and then there are the rest of us. (Do you ever get the feeling I’m here to make you feel good about your parenting? I’m happy to provide this service for you.) My ears perk up when I hear a kid answer, “Yes, ma’am.” Their mom has it going on. Their dad is in this parenting marathon. This kid probably does chores, without grumbling. Probably adores his grandparents. Probably looks out for siblings. Probably works for his spending money. Probably plays vi … [Read more...]