Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Appreciating life



Hey Guys,

I watched this video today about an 18 year old that died of a type of bone cancer. I cried nearly through the whole thing. It’s long, but I assure you that this will surely put things into perspective for you today as you are going through miniscule problems. I was inspired and drawn to this young man and his family. I do urge to take notice of that last few minutes as he described the uncertainty of “IF there is something on the other side.” I am so thankful that we have a hope of a great and merciful God waiting on us. I was also really drawn to the love story in this video.

I am thankful that God has given me this life to live, and I am surely thankful for the blessings he has blessed me with personally, Dennis, and Daniel. We are not ourselves guaranteed tomorrow or are we promised that we will get to hold our children until the day that WE die, but possibly, until THEY die. I am not trying to be morbid but it’s true that we are to appreciate our days together with each other as we wait on the Lord.

Here’s a little perspective for you today. Please watch. I love you all! Smile

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tell her “you’re sorry”

**My friend Lisa sent me this email today as I have been pondering if I should make Daniel say that he is sorry knowing that at two years old he does not actually mean it. Do you remember your parents making you say this, and then you say it, and then they say: “say it like you mean it?” I was hoping to avoid this altogether, but as it turns out, there is some purpose behind it. Enjoy this article! from:

Parents frequently ask me if it is wrong to require their children to apologize when they are disrespectful or disobedient. Usually, their concern is that, by doing so, they might be training their child to lie. Wouldn’t it be better to wait for the child to apologize on his own when he feels genuine remorse, rather than to just repeat an apology he has been taught?

It is definitely commendable to want your child to speak and act only out of right motives. And yes, godly obedience goes beyond just saying the right words – godly obedience is right actions plus right motives, doing the right thing for the right reason. Godly obedience is what Christian parents want to instill in their children.

But how is godly obedience instilled? How is it trained? The answer might surprise you. Unlike adults who learn by reasoning, young children learn by doing. Adults want to be convinced that a course of action is the correct one before they will pursue it. Children, on the other hand, learn to perform the correct action before they are developmentally able to assess the reason it is correct. Doing the right thing actually precedes understanding why it should be done.

Parents intuitively understand and employ this “training truth” with young children in many areas:

  • We train them in the language of courtesy before they desire to be courteous (please/excuse me)
  • We train them in the language of gratitude before they desire to be grateful (thank you)
  • We train them in the language of respect before they desire to be respectful (ma’am, sir, Mrs., Mr.)
  • We train them in the language of prayer before they desire to pray (“God is great, God is good”, The Lord’s Prayer)

In short, we teach our children the language they need to interact with others well before they have any real concept of or value for why such language is necessary and good.

Because of this, I would answer the question “Should I require my child to apologize?” with an emphatic “Yes.” If we faithfully equip our children with the language of courtesy, gratitude, respect and prayer, why would we not also equip them with the language of forgiveness? Is it not equally important for them to know? How would training them to apologize encourage them to lie any more than training them to say “Thank you” before they are truly thankful? Would it not seem unloving to leave them verbally empty-handed when facing a situation where forgiveness needs to be sought?

the liturgical child

Children are wonderfully liturgical creatures: they love repetition. This accounts for their ability to enjoy the same book or video over and over again, their attachment to a bedtime ritual or a particular pair of socks, their tendency to shout “Again, again!” when they ride the carousel. Children are wired for repetition because repetition helps them to learn.

Just as a pastor in a church that uses a liturgy each week would not assume that his congregation possessed genuine faith because they repeated the Apostles’ Creed, we parents do not assume that our child feels genuine repentance just because she has been trained to apologize. But we give her the right words trusting that the right motive will attach to them as she matures.

Just as the congregation needs to witness their pastor live out the truths of the liturgy as he ministers to them, so our children need to witness us live out the truth of the language we teach to them. A child who sees his parents apologize with genuine remorse when they have wronged him learns quickly to do the same. Every time we apologize to our children we give them a picture of what mature, genuine apologies sound like: “I am so sorry I hurt you with my words. If I were you I would have felt so scared and sad that Mom yelled. It isn’t right for me to speak to you like that. You are precious to me. I love you so much, and I don’t want to do that again. I didn’t honor God and I didn’t honor you. I’m praying God will help me to stop. Can you forgive me?”

older children and apologies

Should we require older children to apologize? As our children grow, they become developmentally able to link right motive to right action. They become capable of seeking forgiveness without prompting and without memorized words. An older child who has demonstrated genuine remorse in the past (and has seen it modeled by parents) is probably ready for a different approach when an apology is needed.

  • “That was a big outburst. What do you think needs to happen next?” {I need to apologize} “Yes. Would you like to do that now, or do you need a few minutes to think about what you want to say?”
  • “I think you know what the right thing to do here is. I am praying the Holy Spirit will show you your need for forgiveness. We’re ready to talk to you when you’re ready.”
  • “You should apologize to your mom. Why don’t you take some time to think about what you want to say, and when you’re ready, come tell her how you feel about what happened.”

And then, yes, wait for genuine repentance to manifest. If it is slow to appear, you may need additional conversations about how unforgiveness harms relationships, and you may need consequences to drive home the point. But a child who knows the security of having a parent who quickly repents and forgives will typically run to do the same.

So, yes, require an apology from your young child. Don’t let fear of raising a liar keep you from training your children in the liturgy of repentance. Model what godly repentance looks like for them, train them faithfully in the language of forgiveness, and pray that the Lord will use your words and your example to bring about genuine repentance in their young hearts.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Presley’s First Birthday Photos

I don’t normally post my business photos to my personal blog, but this little girl belongs to a family we adore, and since not everyone uses facebook; I thought I would go ahead and post them here. Presley is a sweet girl, and I am enjoying watching her grow up!










It ended something like this, but that is okay, she was really patient with me for a long time! Open-mouthed smile

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Early Intervention

When Daniel turned 12 months old, we went to the pediatrician for his one year check up. The Dr. IMMEDIATELY asked me if Daniel was walking. I said “no.” He wasn’t. He actually wasn’t even close. So……… he said that we needed to come back at 15 months old to make sure he was walking. Well, he still wasn’t. So, they referred Daniel to an organization that would come help him if he was “delayed” a certain percentage. He tested, and he qualified for once a month services.


So, they come every month, and then every 6 months he gets officially tested again to mark his progress in fine motor, gross motor, and speech. If he continues to show a certain percentage of being “delayed,” he stays in the program. He currently receives services for all three areas.


This is Hope. Normally we have Megan, but she is on maternity leave. I really have enjoyed both girls very much. Daniel continues to show improvement each visit. And it’s also so awesome that I have this constant benchmark to keep track of his growth!


The picture below is a “test” to see if he can figure out how to get the crayon out of the container. He figured it out! Smile 


If you look closely at the picture below you will see some markings on the paper. He was supposed to draw a circle, vertical line, and a horizontal line. He managed the circle, but left us hanging on the lines! He also was supposed to fold the paper, but he wasn’t interested. Instead he wanted to “read” this book. IMG_0273

to date: Daniel is 27 months old. According to statistics he is:

33 months old regarding his speech.

30 months old regarding his gross motor skills.

24 months (3 months younger than he is) regarding his fine motor skills.

In my opinion, we have a very normal, middle of the road, child. BUT, I do enjoy and benefit from these girls coming to hang out with us, and they are great at giving me strategies and tips to help him overcome and practice his “short comings”

I am so thankful that Daniel just thinks that they are coming to play with him! Smile

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