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Relationships

💡 🎄 Navigating the Holidays as an Adult Child of Divorce

💡 🎄 Navigating the Holidays as an Adult Child of Divorce

At Christmas, decisions for an adult child of divorce become especially difficult, with both parents vying for your loyalty and attention.
I never wanted a stepmom. And I certainly never wanted my kids to have a stepgrandmother.
But when my first daughter was 6 weeks old, my mom left my dad. It had been a long time coming. And from every professional’s advice, he certainly deserved it. No one faulted her for it.
I was glad they waited so long to end their marriage. …

⚠️ Two Traps to Avoid: “If Only” and “What If?”

⚠️ Two Traps to Avoid: “If Only” and “What If?”

When these issues dominate my thoughts, I succumb to selfishness and fear.
In each season of my life, I’ve found myself falling into two mental traps which are not helpful. One is the “If only” syndrome, and the other is the “What if?” syndrome.
Here’s how “If only” might express itself:

“If only I had a husband.”
“If only I had more money.”
“If only my husband would act like…”
“If only my husband (or I) had a good job.”
“If only we had a different house.”
“If only my parents (or his) understood.”
“If only my child would sleep through the night.”
“If only I had a really close friend.”
“If only I didn’t come from such a wounded past.”
“If only I wasn’t stuck in this place.”
“If only I was free of this disease.”
“If only I knew how to handle my teen.”
“If only I didn’t have to do this.”
“If only I didn’t struggle with this.”

Can you identify? …

💡 🍂 When You Don’t Feel Like Giving Thanks…

💡 🍂 When You Don’t Feel Like Giving Thanks…

Thanksgiving can be a difficult reminder of the struggles we face, but there is comfort in the promises to come.
Helen Keller had every reason to bitterly complain about life—she was blind and deaf as the result of a disease contracted as a toddler. It wasn’t until she was nearly 8 years old that a teacher helped her intelligibly communicate with her family for the first time. She lived with these disabilities her entire life.
But because of her steadfast faith, …

💡 10 Ways to Teach Children to Be Thankful for Each Other

💡 10 Ways to Teach Children to Be Thankful for Each Other

Long after my husband and I are gone, I want our kids to still have each other.
As Thanksgiving approaches, I’ve been diving into Scripture to prepare my heart for a season of thankfulness. I wish gratitude was something that came naturally to me, but it rarely feels that way.
One definition of gratitude I recently read was, “readiness to show appreciation for.” This definition suggests that gratitude is something I can prepare myself for, to get ready to show appreciation for the many blessings around me. …

💡 🍂 4 Simple Ways to Add Significance to Your Thanksgiving

💡 🍂 4 Simple Ways to Add Significance to Your Thanksgiving

As family and friends gather, here are some ideas to create a holiday that is memorable and feasible.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving memory? For as long as I can remember, as soon as the crisp air chilled our cheeks, our family collected colored leaves, painted plump pumpkins, and baked apple pies.
These memories and festivities are rich, but I grew more and more tired by the seasonal check-off list. Finally I had to realize that more than a set of busy rituals, …

⚠️ The Struggle With Temptations and Fantasies

⚠️ The Struggle With Temptations and Fantasies

Loving God with all your mind helps guard against falling to temptation.
In the movie What Women Want, Nick Marshall (played by Mel Gibson) develops a telepathic ability to hear each thought, opinion, and desire that goes through every woman’s head.
Imagine this: Tomorrow morning you wake up and every man on the planet has developed the ability to read your mind just by being in your presence. Does the thought make you nervous? You bet it does! …

💡 How to Overcome Jealousy

💡 How to Overcome Jealousy

Complex Old Testament families mirror modern day stepfamilies.
Michelle and Jackson called for an emergency premarital counseling session. “We’re getting married next month and I’m finally facing my jealousies,” Michelle said. “Jackson is very close to his 10-year-old daughter, as he should be, but it scares me. I don’t know why, but I’m jealous of her. I’m also jealous of the fact that when Jackson and I have a child together it will be my first, but not his. …

❤️ We Are Created for Intimacy

❤️ We Are Created for Intimacy

We have a hole in our hearts that only God can fill.
Everyone loves a love story. Love stories are the stuff that movies and best-sellers and headlines are made of. That’s because we were made to give and receive love. We were made for intimacy.
Yet most of us know more about the absence of intimacy than the reality. That sense of aloneness and isolation we have all experienced somewhere in the core of our being is a God-created hole that cries out to be filled; …

😭 🙌 Watch This Beautiful Girl Get Surprised With Gift of Adoption [Tearjerker!]

😭 🙌 Watch This Beautiful Girl Get Surprised With Gift of Adoption [Tearjerker!]

Ten-year-old Ivey Zezulka learning that she’s going to be adopted by her foster family might be the most heartwarming thing you’ll see today.
Her foster parents Paige and Daniel recently surprised her with the news that they had finalized plans to adopt Ivey and her biological siblings Kai, 3, and Lita, 2, who had all spent years in foster care.
“She’s been living with a question mark of what will happen,” Ivey’s mom told ABC News. “We love her birth family and she loves them too, …

💡 10 Ways to Share the Gospel Without Being Pushy

💡 10 Ways to Share the Gospel Without Being Pushy

Here are a few ideas that can help you share your faith by using your home as a hub for Christ.
According to a study by Barna Research Group in 2013, only 52 percent of born again believers shared their faith at least once within a year. The study didn’t include the reasoning. Perhaps people struggle the same way I do. It may be a result of the awkwardness of starting the conversation about the gospel. Or maybe it’s the result of not knowing many people outside of Christian circles. …

💞 Frequent Forgiveness

💞 Frequent Forgiveness

Even after more than 40 years together, our need to forgive each other is as fresh as it was on our wedding day.
As a new bride, I knew that many aspects about my marriage to Dennis would be different from what I expected, but I’ve still been surprised by this truth: Even after more than 40 years together, our need to forgive each other is as fresh as it was on our wedding day. You’d think we would have learned not to say unkind things, …

💡 💍 Can ‘The Bachelorette’ Teach Us Anything About Marriage?

💡 💍 Can ‘The Bachelorette’ Teach Us Anything About Marriage?

Another season of The Bachelorette just wrapped up, and it’s been my guilty pleasure for the past few months. I know it’s not the most wholesome of content, but it gives this momma brain a break and a chance to dive into a type of crazy that is not my home.
Becca has ridden off with her Prince Charming, and I really wish them a happily ever after for as long as the relationship lasts—hopefully forever.
Of course, …

💡 Are Soul Mates a Fact or Fantasy?

💡 Are Soul Mates a Fact or Fantasy?

A soul mate isn’t someone you discover; it’s someone you intentionally and prayerfully become.
I don’t believe that society’s definition of “soul mate” is healthy or spiritual. It’s great for the movies and Hallmark cards, but no one’s marriage is like the romantic movies you’ve seen.
A good friend of ours is divorcing her husband because she bought into the lie that God wants us to “be happy” in marriage and that He would bless the idea that her happiness would be found when she was freed from her current spouse to find her one, …

🐮 😂 The Chick-fil-A “Yesterday” Beatles Song [Watch]

🐮 😂 The Chick-fil-A “Yesterday” Beatles Song [Watch]

Chick-fil-A
I could eat there seven times a day
Where the children laugh and people play
Oooo, I’m in love with Chick-fil-A
Suddenly, I need waffle fries in front of me
With some nuggets and a large sweet tea
Oooo, Chick-fil-A you set me free
Kids get in the van so we can go there today
But their stores are closed
Oooo, I know ’cause it’s Sunday
Chick-fil-A
What a dirty, rotten trick to play
Now I have to settle for Subway
Oooo, …

💡 Are You a “Mean Mom”?

💡 Are You a “Mean Mom”?

The definition of the word mean is to be unkind or malicious. But a good mean mom defines the word quite a bit differently
Call me crazy, but moms are becoming nicer. There used to be a time when kids could spend hours regaling one another with mean mom stories. I know it used to be a favorite pastime of mine.
“My mom is the meanest. Listen to this …” I brushed aside my big ‘80s feathered hair for emphasis. …

💡 4 Ways to Prioritize Your Spouse

💡 4 Ways to Prioritize Your Spouse

In our crazy, fast-paced lives, it’s easy to be distracted from what is most important.
A few years ago, a woman in my discipleship group at church pulled me aside after our time together and shared some wisdom I’ll never forget.
She had two teenagers and was on the brink of a divorce. Her family was falling apart and she blamed the dissolved relationship on her own choices. In our group time I told how my husband and I were getting away for the weekend to focus on our marriage, …

🚫 6 No-No’s for Relating to Your Man

🚫 6 No-No’s for Relating to Your Man

Intentionally connecting with your husband takes hard work.
Much of the happiness a woman will achieve in this life will be in direct proportion to how well she understands and engages the man in her life. In 1 Peter 3:7, the apostle gives husbands this command, “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way … since she is a woman.” What wise advice that is! I tell men all the time that no man “speaks woman” naturally. …

💡 What to Do When Your Kids Are Irresponsible

💡 What to Do When Your Kids Are Irresponsible

“I have two children,” an exhausted mom told me. “One treats me like I’m on earth to serve her. The other is so lazy I can hardly stand him.
I’m sick of the irresponsible behavior, and when I try to confront it, I get nothing but yelling and slamming doors. I really need some help.”
What this mom needed was a solo vacation to Maui…and a game plan that trumped her kids’ behavior. But as I helped her understand why her kids did what they did — or didn’t do — and how to form an easy game plan of her own, …

🛡️ Real Men Are Warriors Who Protect

🛡️ Real Men Are Warriors Who Protect

As a husband and father, you are the warrior who has been charged with the duty of pushing back against the evil that seeks to prey on your wife, daughters, and sons. If you don’t step up, who will?
It began as a shopping date with my daughter Laura, who was 13 at the time. I never dreamed it would end the way it did.
Laura decided that she wanted to go where her older brothers and sisters went to shop at the time—Abercrombie and Fitch. …

💡 📖 10 Bible Verses to Help Family Communication

💡 📖 10 Bible Verses to Help Family Communication

Scriptures to Help Guide You Through Your Relationships
“Familiarity breeds contempt.”
“You always hurt the ones you love.”
The timeliness of these old adages speaks volumes. It seems we reserve our unkindest words and do our most thoughtless deeds to those who mean the most to us. And because those close to us care more about what we say and think, those words and actions hurt more deeply. It’s a double-whammy. Because the stakes are so high in the family, …

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