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Are Baby Sleepers Safe? A Skeptic’s Review

You're pregnant and someone just told you about this awesome sleeper you just *have* to have for your little one. And then you see an article on Facebook that says they've been recalled. What's the deal?? Are baby sleepers safe or not?! Do they work? Well, that depends. (Did you used to roll your eyes when your mother said that to you? Me, too. :) ) The DayDreamer Sleeper is actually not associated with other sleepers that have been recalled. In fact, it addresses all of those issues (and more!). DayDreamer asked me if I'd like to review their sleeper. I wanted to. Oh, I wanted to. But my babies weren't babies anymore. They're big, sweaty toddlers now. So I asked a friend who … [Read more...]

Helping Others: When Your Teen Confesses Sexual Sin

Today, Tim and Barbara Lane are diving into the very difficult waters of discovering your teen's sexual sin and/or having them confess their struggles to you. If you missed the beginning of this conversation with the Lanes, you can catch up here, here and here.   Discovering or Confessing Sexual Sin - How Should We Respond? Jennifer: What if my child/teen doesn’t confess, but I discover their temptations and/or sexual sin? What, then? Barbara: Providing an environment where confession and asking forgiveness is a daily activity provides a place for this to happen naturally. If you find yourself in a spot where you have not been able to provide this (possibly you are a new … [Read more...]

Helping Others: Sexual Temptations and Teens

Today, Tim and Barbara Lane are sharing their perspective on parenting your teens through sexual temptations. If you missed the beginning of this conversation with the Lanes, you can catch up here and here. Those Sexual Temptations...and Your Teen Jennifer: Let’s say my daughter just told me she has feelings for a girl in her youth group and is afraid of what this might mean, wondering “am I gay?” How would I help her see the hope of the Gospel in this situation? Tim: The fact that your child feels safe to share that with you is an evidence of grace itself! Hopefully the things we have already talked about have encouraged an environment where confession and asking forgiveness are … [Read more...]

Helping Others: An Honest Look at Parenting Teens

Today, Tim and Barbara Lane are sharing their perspective on protecting our children and the challenge of parenting teens. If you missed the beginning of this conversation with the Lanes, you can catch up here. An Honest Look - Challenges of Parenting Teens Jennifer: It’s so easy to assume that our children will be different from the “bad kids” we know. But the reality is - we live in a fallen world with sin encroaching at the doors of our hearts. How can we as parents prepare our hearts for the fact that our children will sin - against us, others and, most importantly, God? Barbara: An understanding of the human condition and our need for God’s grace is probably the most critical … [Read more...]

Helping Others: What Does This Mean for Parents?

It was such a delight to be able to interview Tim and Barbara Lane for this series! I worked with them briefly a few years ago and was impacted by their genuine love for others that was obviously a result of their love for Christ. I wanted so badly for you guys to be able to also hear their heart for the church - how we can live out helping others, and even help our own hearts!, in this sticky journey called "parenthood." Join me for this 4-part conversation with the Lanes - I think you'll truly be encouraged to find what parenting biblically can look like!  Helping Others - What Does this Mean? Jennifer: Tim and Barbara, thank you so much for sharing with us your thoughts for … [Read more...]

When the Good News Becomes Old News

How does the good news become old news? See if you can find the subtle transition in these scenarios: A friend says, "Did you hear what Lauren said about you?! I can't believe she had the nerve to even act like she knows what she's talking about!" You stew for days/weeks/months/years while waiting for Lauren to "come clean" about her dirty, old gossip. Meanwhile, you give her the cold shoulder. A mom in your playgroup looks on and does nothing as her child "corrects" yours with proper playground etiquette, in a lovely and condescending and unrelenting sort of way. Suddenly, it's painfully obvious (to you, at least) how very "bad" her child is and you silently congratulate yourself for … [Read more...]

Preparing for Birth Spiritually and Emotionally

I had dreams and aspirations for the birth of my children that everything would go as planned. However, both children surprised me with an early arrival, with little time left for preparing for birth. At noon on Saturday, February 2, 2013, a friend called asking us to take custody of her nephew. What followed was a flurry of home inspections, background checks, and lots of cleaning. By 5:36pm that afternoon, a tiny trembling 8-month-old boy was placed in our arms with a little plastic bag of clothes, one blanket and a carseat. In less than 6 hours we had become parents with hardly any notice or preparation. Six months later, on Friday night, August 9th, at 11:00pm, I went into labor. No … [Read more...]

Set Apart – A Proverbs 31 Devotional Ebook Launch

Have you ever read Proverbs 31 and felt inspired? ....and then ready to quit at the "she rises while it is yet night" portion? Does the long list of things she does overwhelm you with reminders of what you don't? I hear ya! And this is why I'm so excited about this Proverbs 31 devotional: Proverbs 31 is a beautiful depiction of what a godly, beautiful-on-the-inside woman does and is. It was written by King Lemuel's mother to help identify a woman of character. It should not, however, serve as a list of rules we must adhere to in order to be the best we can be. Yet, as we read this chapter, it really is easy to feel defeated from the get-go. My list of accomplishments often looks like … [Read more...]

Not My Kid! A Mother’s Look at Sexual Temptation and Sin in the Home

"Mom, what's sex?" Gulp. I wasn't ready for this question from my 9-year-old. He was my firstborn and I knew questions about sexual temptation would come, but I didn't know when. I mumbled something about that being a great question that would be good to talk over sometime when Daddy was home and could he go and check on his younger siblings? Hours later when Benny came home I had forgotten about Josh's question, but he hadn't. He greeted his dad with the announcement that the three of us needed to talk about sex…and what sexy meant. Another gulp.   That encounter with my firstborn let this young mom know that church involvement, monitoring my kids friendships and … [Read more...]

When Fear Becomes Our Motivator – The Swinging Pendulum of Parenting

When you hear the word “Gatekeepers” what do you picture? I imagine a scene from the Wizard of Oz where all the monkeys are standing guard determined to keep out intruders. Yo-Ee-Yo-O-O-Oh...It’s scary and intimidating. A good thing when it comes to the evil that the Bible refers to as “crouching at the door,” (Genesis 4:7). But we mustn’t treat our children as if they are the evil ones when it may be that they are being tempted. And yet it is all too easy to respond this way when fear becomes our motivator. "What-Ifs" with Children ---> Fear Becomes Our Motivator Most of us are tempted to fear when we discover our children are being tempted to sin or have sinned. We imagine all … [Read more...]