On Subtweets and Snapchats

I know today’s teens get a tough rap, but I happen to think you are pretty spectacular. You guys have been thrown a lot of curve balls – the ultra-protection that comes from living more of your lives post 9/11 than pre-9/11; the constant influx of new technologies; the increased pressure to get better grades, take harder classes, pass more tests…Being a teen today takes far more work than it did back when I was that age. But here’s what we had that some of this generation is missing: in-the-same-room communication. While texting and Snap chatting and Tweeting are fine – in the right context – none of that substitutes plain, old-fashioned talking. In the wrong context, texting, Snap chatting, and Tweeting can actually...

Finding God in “The Small Stuff”

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to “The Will of God”, I tend to think of the “big” stuff: choosing a career, getting married, having kids….that kind of thing. But the older I get, the more I realize that it is just as important to seek God in the small stuff as it with the biggies. Because here’s the deal: even the “big stuff” gets small. My wedding day, while amazing, was just a day. Thousands of days have passed since then. On my wedding day, I said “I will” to  “for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health”. But every one of those thousands of days since, I have had to make the choice, with God’s help, to live those vows out. Having kids...

Discipline

I don’t like having to discipline my kids – the biological ones or the ones in my classroom. I want them to behave because they know they should. I don’t want to have to force them to behave by bringing in restrictions, taking away gadgets, or writing up referrals. But, after 15 years of parenting and 7 years of teaching, I have learned that, like or not, discipline is necessary. If I let my own children get away with whatever they wanted, they’d be rotten right now. If I let my students do what they wanted in class, very little actual learning would take place. Discipline, though not fun, is necessary to accomplish my goals as a parent and a teacher. God is the ultimate Parent and the Master Teacher. As such, he recognizes that...

Who’s Pushing You Over the Edge?

This year, with great fear and trembling, my husband and I agreed to let our son play football (okay, so I was the one with fear and trembling, but whatever…). I’d much rather Thomas play something safe. Like chess. But he is all boy and super athletic, and he has begged for years to play football. I kept saying no (he’s just 11!!). But this year, I gave in.  Last night was Thomas’ first game. He was so excited. He didn’t get hurt (yay!) and he even made a couple pretty impressive plays. But most exciting of all was that he scored a touchdown for his team! After we got home, Thomas gave us the inside scoop on the touchdown: He had boys from the other team hot on his tail. But he also had boys from his team at his back. When he...

My “State of the Writer” Address

I figure it’s about time to write a “State of the Union” address as a writer. My last book has been out almost two months, and I’m getting a few “So what’s your next project?” questions from readers. So…What am I doing next? Writing another series? Sitting back and raking in all the dough I’ve collected from my first two series? Wrangling through a movie deal with a big Hollywood producer? No, no, and no. Here’s the deal: I love writing. I enjoyed every minute of writing the six books God has allowed me to have published. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be picked up by a publisher as amazing as Thomas Nelson. I am humbled and honored and elated to have been able to work with them and to...