Ready, Set, Date

Parents and teens alike struggle with the question of dating. How old is “old enough”? That’s easy. The answer is  30. Next question?? Just kidding. Kind of. Not that there’s anything wrong with waiting until 30. But just in case you don’t like that idea, here’s another, a little more complicated, solution: There’s not an exact age. But there are some questions you should ask yourself to determine whether or not you – or your child – are ready to date. Why do I want to date? If it’s because all your friends have boyfriends and you feel left out, because you feel prettier when you have a boyfriend, because you like the attention, or because you don’t like paying for movies – you’re not...

#relationshipgoals

Most girls crave relationships. We want to be known and loved and thought about. We want to share our feelings, our ups and downs, our questions and frustrations with those who will listen and understand. We spend hours watching movies and TV shows that glorify these kinds of relationships – perfect marriages and friendships where brief struggles are resolved and everyone lives happily ever after. The reality, of course, is that friendships aren’t always beautiful, and marriage isn’t always perfect. There are glimpses of beauty, of course, and moments of perfection in these relationships. But anytime sinful humans are involved, there will be tears, frustrations, annoyances…Our friends can be draining, our guys can be insensitive. Or...

Between Storms

A former pastor used to say we’re all either entering a trial, exiting a trial, or in the middle of a trial. It sounds pretty rough, I know. But those of us who have been walking with the Lord for a while know this is true. And, honestly, as I look back on a quarter century as a Christian, I realize that the times I feel closest to God is when I am in the middle of a trial. It’s in those times, difficult as they are, that I am desperate for Him. I need time in His word, in prayer, in fellowship with others, to get through each day. I know God allows trials, in part, to do that – draw us to Him, remind us that He is our strength. But what about the in-between times? I’m there right now – though I’m slightly afraid to admit it....

When Good Friends Make Bad Choices

We’ve all been there. Someone we care deeply about is contemplating – or actively pursuing – something (or someone!) terrible. What do we do? As a confrontation-hater, I like to “just pray about it” and avoid the person. God can change them, right? And He is in control. So He will make sure that loved one gets the message.  I’ll jump back in once God has done His thing….Until, as a confrontation-hater-that-occasionally-explodes, I just can’t take it anymore and then I say something I deeply regret. This strategy doesn’t really work all that well. And it’s definitely not biblical. God certainly calls us to pray for our brothers and sisters. But we are also called to action. Galatian 6:1 tells us...

Slow Down

When I began my AP Literature class this week, I told the students the key to success in that class can be stated in two words… Slow. Down. Students who rush through the AP readings (complex literature with many layers) miss most of what the passages are about and can rarely analyze the passages correctly. But students are so conditioned to rushing through so much of life – the downside of having the world at your fingertips – that the idea of slowing down is foreign. As I wrote those words on the board (Hangman-style, as requested by the students), I realized that I need to follow my own advice. Not for AP Lit, but for life. I tend to rush through much of my day. I multitask far too often and still find tasks that I have forgotten. I finish one...

The Last First Day

Several years ago, my friend Amy told me about a book she read that discussed how parents celebrate the “firsts”, but often miss the “lasts”. Usually it’s because we don’t know when those “lasts” will be…the last time we read a book to our child in bed, the last lost tooth, the last Band-Aid we apply. Tomorrow, however, is a “last” that I am very aware of. Tomorrow is Emma’s last “first day” of school.* That also means that, after more than decade, it’s the last day all three of my kids will start the same school together. This is the last year we’ll have a “first day” picture with all three kids, the last year my girls will play volleyball together, the...