A Letter To My Boys – The Real Reason I Say No To Electronics

[box] While I’m taking a blogging break, I will be posting some of my favorite posts from 2014. Happy New Years![/box]

This is a repost of the most popular post of 2014. I posted in January and again in May.

Boys back
Dear Boys,

Do you remember the day we went to the drugstore and the lady said, “Wow, you are the first kids I’ve seen all day with nothing in your hands.” Remember how she marveled at how you didn’t need an electronic device to carry through the store? I know how her words made you feel. I know how it reminded you that you are different because your mom limits your electronic usage. I know it was yet another reminder.

The same reminder you receive when we are out to eat and you notice all the kids playing their phones and iPads instead of talking to their parents. I know it was a reminder of all the sporting events where you feel you are the only kids whose parents are making them cheer on their siblings rather than burying themselves in a phone. I know it was another reminder to you that you feel different in this electronic age we live in.

Well, boys, it’s not you. It’s me. Me being selfish maybe. You see I can’t bear to miss a moment with you. Let me explain.

I want to talk to you when we are out to eat. I want to listen to your questions. I want to have training opportunities. I want to allow space for conversation that can take us deeper. And if you are always distracted with electronics, well… I might miss those moments.
I could give you all the statistics about how damaging it is to your development, your attention span, your ability to learn. While all of those are valid reasons to keep electronics away, that is not my primary reason why I say no to you so much. It’s more than that. Much more. I need you to understand this.

When we are together, I want all of you. The fullness of you. I want to experience you. Truly experience you. And I can’t do that with you when there is an electronic device between us. You see it acts as a barrier. I want to see what brings life to those eyes. I want to watch the wonder and magic dance across your face as you discover the wonders of this world. I want to watch you as you figure things out. I want to watch you process life, develop your thoughts. I want to know you. I want to know your passions. I want to watch you as you discover your God-given talents and gifts. And when you hide behind a screen, I miss out on all of that. And my time with you….well it will be over in the blink of an eye.

I want to guide you into an understanding of life and who you are. Boys, kids today are starved for attention, true connection and relationship. I don’t want you to feel starved. That is why I say no. I know that feeding the desire to play in your device is like giving you candy. It satisfies for a moment but provides no long term nutrition. It does more harm than good.

I don’t want to look back when I’m out of the trenches of child training and regret a second I had with you. I don’t want to merely survive. I want to thrive in this life with you. We are in it together. We are a family.

Yes, when we are waiting at a doctor’s office for an hour, it would be easier to quiet you with my phone. But if I did that, I fear I would send you a message that says I’d rather hush you than hear those precious words falling from your lips.

I can’t bear the thought of allowing you to miss out on the wonders and mysteries of this world. When you are transfixed on a screen, the beauty of this world will be lost to you. In every moment beauty is waiting to be discovered. I don’t want you to miss it.

I want you to be comfortable with yourself. I want you not to feel a constant need to be entertained and distracted. If you stay behind a screen, you never have to experience just being you, alone with your thoughts. I want you to learn to think, to ponder life, to make discoveries, to create. You have been gifted by God in unique ways. I want those to bloom. They can’t bloom in the glow of a screen. They need life, real life, to bring them to light.

I want you to be confident in who you are. I want you to be able to look people in the eyes and speak life into them. If I allow you to live behind a screen, you get little practice relating eye to eye. To truly know someone you have to look into their eyes. It’s a window into their heart. You see what can’t be seen in cyberspace.

When I tell you no to devices, I’m giving you a gift. And I’m giving me a gift. It’s a gift of relationship. True human connection. It’s precious and a treasure. And you mean so much to me that I don’t want to miss a second of it.

I love how God created your mind. I love to hear the way you think and process life. I love to see what makes you laugh. I love to watch those eyes widen when a new discovery is made. And when your head is behind a screen, I miss all of that. And so do you.
In this life we have few cheerleaders. In this family we will cheer each other on. I know it is boring to sit at swim lessons and watch your brother learn to swim. I know it is boring to sit through a 2 hour baseball practice. And in all honesty, it would be easy for me to give you the iPad and keep you quiet and occupied. But we all lose out when we do that. You will miss out on watching your brother’s new accomplishments. You will deprive him of the joy of his moment to shine for you. You will miss out on what it means to encourage each other.

I want you to grow up knowing the world doesn’t revolve around you. (One day your wife will thank me) I want you to learn to give selflessly of yourself….to give away your time, your talents, your treasures. If I distract you with electronics when you should be cheering for your brother, well, I’m simply telling you that your happiness is more important than giving your time to someone other than yourself.

This world needs more selflessness. This world needs more connection. This world needs more love. We can’t learn these behind a screen.

I want to raise sons that know how to look deeply into the eyes of the ones they love. I want my future daughters in law to know what it’s like to have a husband that looks deeply into her eyes because he knows the value of human relationships and the treasure of love. And that is best communicated eye to eye.

I want to watch your face illuminated by the majesty of life – not the glow of a screen. I want all of you. Because I only have you for a short while. When you pack up and leave for college, I want to look back with no regrets over the time I spent with you. I want to look back and remember how your eyes sparkled when we talked. I want to look back and remember how I actually knew those little quirky details of your life because we had time enough to be bored together.

It’s ok to be bored. We can be bored together. And we can discover new things together.

I love you. I love you too much to quiet you with an iPhone or an iPad or a DS. And I can’t even apologize, because I’m really not sorry. I’m doing this so that I won’t be sorry one day.

With all my love,

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The Unexpected Secret to Parenting We Are Searching For

[box] When I “met” Jeannie Cunnion via email for the first time, I knew we would be fast friends. Her authentically sweet spirit testifies to the grace she writes about. When I opened her book and began to read, the highlighting and underlining began. I felt she was living my life. Her book is a gift to parents to let go of the expectations of perfect parenting and embrace grace instead. I’m so thrilled Jeannie is sharing with us here today! [/box]


by Jeannie Cunnion

With three young boys who would rather play tackle football in the kitchen than get ready for school, mornings can get a bit challenging in our house.

And from the moment my boys woke up, I could already tell this particular morning would be harder than most.

I’ve heard it said that the average woman speaks about 20,000 words in any given day, but I can assure you I came close to hitting that number before 8 a.m. – mostly with words of training and correction. And I was quickly running out of patience and grace.

When it was finally time to leave for school we huddled together for our morning prayer, which, on this difficult day, was mostly about how much we need Jesus and how thankful we are for His forgiveness, and we headed out the door.

But things only deteriorated during our five-minute walk to school.

Brennan, my middle son, who is usually a bundle of joy and wonder, began to downward spiral. (I know you know about the downward spiral!) His list of complaints was long – He didn’t have a play date scheduled after school, he didn’t like what I’d packed him for snack, and he definitely didn’t want to go to T-ball practice that evening. It was one of those mornings when he felt like the world was his enemy.

When we arrived at school, I gave my oldest son, Cal, a big hug, whispered “I love you, God bless you” in his ear and sent him on his way.

And apparently, Brennan saw this moment as a fine opportunity to kick me (albeit gently) in the ankle.

I turned to Brennan, shocked, as he’d never done anything like that before.

I was fully prepared to address his actions with corrective words, but before I opened my mouth, the unexpected happened.

Grace found me.

And different words, words that were not my own, began to flow from my mouth.

I got down on my knees, looked Brennan in the eyes and I said, “Honey, you have to go to school now. There isn’t time for us to talk about what’s happening in your heart that’s causing you to complain and show such disrespect to Mommy, but before I send you into the building, I want you to know this very important thing: I have a feeling that when you get into your classroom, and you sit down at your desk, you are going to be sad and feel bad about the way you just treated Mommy. I know this because I know your beautiful heart and I know you love me and don’t want to treat me this way. So when that sadness hits you, I want you to remember that I love you and I have already forgiven you.”

Then I prayed in his ear, “Jesus, please bless my beautiful son today, whom I know you love even more than I do.”

And when I was done praying, my son immediately melted into my arms.

Grace found him too.

His hard heart was broken with grace, and no more words were spoken.

I held him for a moment while tears streamed down his cheeks, and then he walked into the building, but before he turned the corner, he turned to show me his face. We smiled at one another. My heart was full. We were both thankful for forgiveness and restored relationship.

As I walked home, hand in hand with my three-year-old son, Owen, I was overwhelmed with the goodness of God. With His faithfulness. He’d answered the prayer that we just prayed at our front door for more of His heart of grace and forgiveness.

Please trust me when I tell you that more often than not, my sinful and fallen nature wins. This was only Jesus in me, allowing me to be a reflection of His heart for His glory.

I stumble through parenthood, and make mistakes daily. But then there are these precious moments. These moments where God reminds me that He is still at work in me and He is not finished with me, with us, just yet. (Phil 1:6) These moments where grace breaks in and surprises me.

And what I’m learning, what God is teaching me, is that the more I reflect on my own brokenness, the more compassionate I am toward the brokenness of my children.

Brennan Manning says, “To be alive is to be broken and to be broken is to be in need of grace.”

We are all in need of the extravagant grace of God – His love that has no limits and no breaking points.

And showing one another this kind of love and forgiveness is only possible when we reflect on our own need for grace and the great mercy we’ve been shown through Christ. (Romans 3:22-24)

The more honest I am about my own flaws and imperfection, the more amazing God’s grace becomes to me, and the more able I become to give it to my precious kids.

His grace is more than enough for both of us!






Jeannie Cunnion is the author of Parenting the Wholehearted Child. She has a Master’s degree in Social Work, and her background combines counseling, writing, and speaking about parenting and adoption for organizations such as Bethany Christian Services and the National Council for Adoption. Jeannie also serves as the Council Co-Chairman at Trinity Church in Greenwich, CT, where she enjoys leading parenting groups and Bible studies when she isn’t cheering on her boys at one of their sporting events!

You can find Jeannie at www.JeannieCunnion.com


This post contains affiliate links. Please see disclosure policy.

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Answered Prayers, Unexpected Gifts, and Lyme Disease


If you have been reading along our health journey with my 9-year-old, you know that we have had 3 instances of unexplained knee swelling over the course of 2 1/2 years. Each swelling worse than the one before. He showed no other symptoms. He is a healthy boy, very active and bright. The most recent knee swelling proved to be the toughest we’ve faced. At the worst point, he was unable to walk.

Each trip to the doctor left us still searching for answers. What was causing this knee swelling? The doctors were genuinely puzzled. So we prayed. And we enlisted an army of believers to lift Zachary up to our Heavenly Father. Our prayers have been answered.

12 days ago Zachary and I spent all day at the Rheumatologist and the Orthopedic. Ten vials of blood and 2 bags of knee fluid later, we left with more questions. MRI, X-Ray, blood work, labs on fluids. Everything continued to show a healthy child.

But we were praying. And we had an army of believers placing requests on Zachary’s behalf at the Father’s feet. Specifically, we were praying God would grant wisdom to the doctors treating Zachary, that God would grant healing, that God would bring us the answer to the root cause of the swelling.

Four days after blood was drawn by the Rheumatologist, she called and asked if Zachary had been exposed to a tick bite. It was possible. I mean he is a boy, he lives outside, he loves the woods. I’ve never seen a tick on him, but anything is possible. Answered prayer #1- wisdom to the doctor. She had no good reason to test for Lyme because he showed no symptoms and we live in North Carolina. She didn’t know we lived in Virginia for 2.5 years. She could have fit him into a type of arthritis and treated him. But God heard our prayers, and He granted wisdom to that doctor.

Sometimes God is answering our prayers in stages, yet we move about life unaware of Him.

Lord, let me never become unaware of your constant provision.

Yesterday afternoon the rheumatologist’s nurse called. “Great news! Zachary’s blood work looks beautiful. He is one healthy boy.” I hung up with feelings of relief mixed with more questions. Thirty minutes later the doctor herself called to let me know Zachary tested positive for Lyme Disease. “I’m shocked,” she told me.

Answered prayer #2 – Answers. We can move forward with treatment.

Answered prayers #3 – God has been protecting Zachary’s body from some of the more severe symptoms of Lyme for the 3 years he has had this disease unknown to us. Praise God!

We are thankful for the multitude of people who have been praying for us, and we continue to ask for your prayers. Lyme can be a long road.

People continue to ask me how Zachary is handling this. On the drive to school, he said, “Mom, I think God allowed me to have Lyme so I can help the world.” Amen, sweet boy, amen. This child is tender to the Holy Spirit. He has a heart for Jesus like I aspire to have. He sees the hand of God at every turn along his journey of life. I’m confident that God will use Zachary to bring comfort or encouragement to someone else with Lyme. Or he may just use Zachary to shine a light for Christ to someone who needs to see beyond the illness and pain that plagues our world.

In the midst of all this, a friend contacted me Sunday and offered to volunteer several hours a week for the next 4 weeks to help me with my ministry. Friends! God provided for me before He brought me this news of Lyme. He is always taking care of us. He is always at work in our lives. When she contacted me, I sat at my kitchen table with no words. Why would she offer to help me during the busiest time of the year? She doesn’t even really know me. Why? Because we serve a compassionate God who loves us more than we can fathom. He placed on her heart to help me, and she followed the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Last night I researched online about Lyme. The more I read, the more fear began to speak into my heart. Fear is not welcome here. Fear and faith are at odds with each other. The best way to fight fear is with the Word of God.


2 Timothy 1:7 

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

We head into Thanksgiving, and our hearts of full. Thursday we celebrate our youngest turning 6. Not possible!  We have much to give thanks for.

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Dear Son, Why I Want You To Fail


Dear Son,

When you left for school today, I saw the anger in your eyes aimed at me. I saw your frustration. I understand you felt treated unfairly. Your anger was directed at me because you were casting the blame for your mistakes onto me, and I wouldn’t accept the blame. I wouldn’t allow you to throw your mistakes and failures into my lap. I tossed them back into your lap. And that made you angry.

Beneath your anger I saw sadness. I know how sad it made you feel to feel so angry towards someone you love. So I want to talk a little about the situation.

It’s hard to explain to you what I feel when you are so upset, which is why I’m writing you this letter. Keep it and refer back to it over the next few years. Sometimes we can’t hear the other person’s heart when our own heart is full of frustration and anger. Sometimes it’s better to assess a situation when our tempers have cooled down so we can think more clearly.

Part of getting older is becoming more responsible. As a parent, one of my roles is to guide you towards independence. I need to encourage you to take responsibility for yourself and your choices. At your age, one of the ways we do this is by letting you be in charge of when and how you do your homework. You know what is due and when it is due. You know the time available, and you know our schedules. We give you guidelines and timeframes to work within, but we give you the freedom to choose how you use that time. The same for your chores and your free time activities. We are trying to teach you how to organize and prioritize your life.

Here’s a secret you might not know yet. We don’t expect you to do this perfectly. In fact, we expect you to fail more than you succeed. Pause for a moment and read that again then hear this: We expect you to fail, not because you aren’t capable of success, but because you haven’t had much practice. Practice makes us better. Failure teaches us lessons.

Failure is as important as success. Failure at times might be more valuable than success. When we fail at something, we learn what didn’t work and can make adjustments for next time. When we fail, we develop a drive to work harder. We give a task more of us than if success came easily. We value the accomplishment more when we succeed if we have first failed at it.

Failure is ok. Perfection is not ok. We would rather see failure over perfection any day. But. But. But.

Failure is only ok when we are able to take ownership for the part we played in the failure. Can you look at a situation and say, “I messed up there. I made a mistake. I’m sorry.” Those all are hard words to say. Our culture today is struggling at this. I see it in myself, which is why I want to help you now.

Ownership of our failures is the secret key that unlocks us from the chains that keep us from being all we were created to be. 

Part of your frustration comes from the pressure you place on yourself to please us or do things the way you think we expect them to be done. But you are a pre-teen, on the brink of adolescence and adulthood. We don’t expect you to succeed at everything. And guess what, this doesn’t change as an adult. I fail everyday. Multiple times a day.

The most important thing I want you to walk away with now is failure is ok, and owning up to your mistakes is golden. In the culture we live in, we struggle to accept personal responsibility. Don’t follow the way of our culture. Be different. Be able to say, “I made a mistake. My fault. My bad. I’m sorry. I will try harder next time.” It’s ok to mess up. We just have to learn to see that we messed up and clean up our mess.

Be able to say, “I should have….Next time I will…..”

Here’s another secret I want to share with you: I didn’t have this figured out at your age. In fact, at 38 years old, I’m only just now beginning to see the magnitude of this in my own life.

As a parent, my job is not to be your friend, though I cherish our relationship and adore being with you. My primary role is not to make life fun or a trip to the amusement park for you. My role is to love you unconditionally. To love you unconditionally means I have to do hard things like allowing you to fail. I could’ve gathered your homework for you. I could’ve reminded you countless times of your responsibilities. But when you are an adult, no one will be coming behind you cleaning up your messes and clearing a path so you don’t fall. You will fall. I want you to fall as much now as possible so I can be here to lift you back up, dust you off, encourage you, and guide you. We will fall together. A lot. And that is ok.

Many of the roads we travel as we age will feel hard and bumpy, but if we stay the course, we will enter the even bumpier roads ahead prepared. We will have had practice navigating tough terrain- it won’t shock us as much. We will be tougher and stronger for it. The roads don’t become easier as you get older. However, the more practice we give you navigating tough roads while you are living with us, the better you will navigate tougher roads when you are on your own.

Sometimes we won’t feel like friends. And that is ok. It’s part of the growing up we are doing together. It makes for a richer and fuller relationship down the road. Tough days are ok when we are each able to look at the part we played, own up to our mistakes, say I’m sorry, and move forward.

I need as much work in this area as you do, so let’s work on this together.

With all my love,


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God Bless Our Christmas



I must start right out by telling you that Hannah Hall is my friend. Because of that, you may think my review below is biased, but really it’s not biased because…well, it’s just not, and you have to trust me. We’ve built that by now, haven’t we?

In May I attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. I felt like a kid going to summer camp, both the day I arrived, and the day I left. I wrote about it here if you care to read it. Day 1 I stood in line with trembling hands and half-hearted smile. I didn’t know a soul and felt very much out of my league. Day 5 I strolled around the bookstore feeling like a kid leaving camp. Friendships formed in a short span of time orchestrated by our sweet God. Hannah is one of those friends.

Here’s the thing about Hannah. She has the best sense of humor, and you simply don’t see it coming. So when she is funny, it just takes you by surprise. That is how her writing is as well. Please do check out her blog. Your heart will go from tugging, to warming, to chuckling in the span of 3 short sentences.

Hannah’s third childrens book has just released in time for Christmas, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. In our home, we keep a box of books that only appear at Christmas. We spend hours reading these stories each season. Sweet memories created while curled on our sofa, snuggling each other with blankets and words.



God Bless Our Christmas is a beautiful story that I wish so badly I’d had when my boys were smaller. This book is intended for ages 1-4, but my 5-year-old enjoys it and asks for it nightly.

This rhyming story is a beautiful picture of friends, family, traditions, and memories. See why I love it so much? And at the end, it all points back to Christ, the greatest gift ever given or received. It’s a story of togetherness with family and friends through traditions and fun activities with reminders of God’s blessings throughout.

Even if Hannah weren’t my friend, I would write this post and strongly recommend you add this book to your Christmas bookshelf. But knowing Hannah makes me want to share it even more.

We are giving away a copy! Leave a comment below about something you love about the Christmas season before Thursday November 13th at 11:59 pm. Winner will be announced Friday.

May God bless your Christmas!


Hannah C. Hall is a blogger, speaker and children’s book author. She blogs weekly about snotty noses, marital moments (the good and the bad), and seeing God’s incredible character in the chaos at HannahCHall.com. Her first book, God Bless You and Goodnight, has been on the ECPA juvenile bestseller list for six consecutive months, and she has released two more books this year, God Bless Our Easter and God Bless Our Christmas.

Hannah, her worship-pastor husband and three children live and make a lot of noise in an otherwise quiet town in Arkansas.



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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

When I Want To Take Away My Child’s Pain


A word, a sentence, a look is all it takes to arouse a fear lying dormant in the heart.

“Mom, I can’t bend at my knees. I think my leg is swelling up again.”

Fears in my heart rubbed the sleep from their eyes.

“I’m sure your knee isn’t swelling. You are probably a little sensitive to the possibility of it happening again.” I was convincing myself as much as my 9-year-old.

The following day he made mention of pain in his leg. We noticed a limp in his walk. Fears in my heart began to stretch their arms, preparing to come fully awake.

Easing himself into a chair, he placed his left leg out so I could raise the leg of his pants. The chattering of fear could be heard in the background. I talked back, telling fear that it was a different leg than last year. I talked back telling fear that this was a coincidence. I talked back telling fear to go back to sleep. He’s not welcome here.

Inching the leg of his pants up, I swallowed a gasp as my eyes took in the sight of his knee. Begging my eyes not to give away the fear now fully awake, I looked at Zachary. “I think it’s fine. It looks like it is a little swollen, but I’m sure it’s fine. We will keep watching it and pray it doesn’t swell like last time.”

One year ago we had a scare and a painful couple of weeks when his right leg became swollen, fluids drained, tests run, and finally no conclusions, but swelling gone. For a year the fear of a reoccurrence has slept in our hearts.

Now we are reliving the experience. This time in the left leg.

In my own heart, fear feeds on the unknowns and the what-if’s. In Zachary’s heart, fear feeds on the pain, the oversized needle, and the inability to do all the things he loves- running, jumping, and playing outside.

The mama heart in me wants to make everything right for my child. To take away every twinge of discomfort, every ounce of pain.

We pray, friends pray, family prays, teachers pray. I listen to his prayers. I hear the courage that wants to dominate, but I hear the fear that fights for its place. We ask God to take away the swelling. We ask God to bring back the normal function of his knee, his whole leg. We ask God to take away the pain.

As we lay our requests at the feet of Christ, my heart silently pleads with God. Please, God, grant us this. I want Zachary to see how you answer our prayers. I want him to see how you work on our behalf. I want Zachary to experience you.

And I hear His whispers back to me. I strain hard to hear. I freeze, making no movement to be sure I hear Him. I always answer prayers. I work all things for good for those called according to my purpose. My ways are not your ways. Trust me.

I argue with God in the privacy of my soul. No, God, really. I don’t want my child to hurt. I want to take away all his pains. I don’t want to watch him struggle. And more than anything I want him to grow in his faith. I want him to know you fully and trust you with everything he has.

Patiently, God listens to my moanings. He is my child. I love him even more than you do. I want the same things for him.

I see my shallow faith. I see my temptation to believe the lie that my child must get his way to believe God. That my child must have his prayer answered immediately the way I believe is best to believe in the God he’s placed his trust in. I feel the guilt in my heart growing.

It’s a struggle I face daily. Trying to be the Holy Spirit within my children. I’ve written about this struggle.  Thinking I know what is best for them. Wanting to guide them towards safety. Wanting to grow them into who I want them to be.

I want to take away the fears of my children. I want to take away pain. I want them to experience joy. I want them to trust God with all their heart.

But at times I want that so badly, that I try to get in the middle and do it my own way. I think I know best. I think that for my kids to fully trust God, that God must answer every prayer according to how I best see fit. I think for them to trust God, they must get the answers they want from Him.

God always brings me back to Him. To a place of seeing our most desperate need is not to get our own way, but to live out our lives His way.

Softly, He brings to mind many of the prayers He has answered in my own life. Many that He answered in ways I never would have anticipated. Many in ways I never asked. Some no’s, some yes’s, some maybe’s, some yes – but it looks different that you are picturing.

Zachary hobbled to the farmhouse table and eased himself onto the bench by the fire. The place where hearts are shared regularly. The place where stories are told and created. The place where the fire warms us, the food feeds us, and His Word nourishes us.

“Mom, I think I know one of the reasons God allows this to happen to my leg.”

I looked up to meet his eyes that spoke a tenderness commanding my attention.

“I think God allows this pain so I can help others. Now that I know what this is like, I can help others when they hurt.”

The gasp I swallowed out of fear earlier came to the surface. This time it didn’t come from the place of fear.

“Zachary, if I could take away your pain I would. If I could take it on myself, I would do it. But I can’t. God did that for us didn’t He? To save us, Jesus took on pain, shame, and death so that one day we could be with Him in glory.”

He reminds me again. His ways are not my ways. Sometimes He uses our pains and our struggles to create the person in us He wants us to be. Sometimes He uses our circumstances to grow the character needed to sustain what He sees ahead of us. Sometimes pain free isn’t the best place for us. Sometimes it’s there we are most aware of Him.

As a mom, I want to make life well for my kids. I want to take away what hurts them. Kiss the boo-boo away. Tuck them in tightly crowding out their fears. Sometimes, I want it so much I’m tempted to take away the place God wants us to be in that moment.

He sent His son to die on a cross for my sins. He knows the pain of a parent watching their child struggle. He knows that pain more than I can begin to fathom.

Yes, I can trust Him with my own child. After all, my child is His child, on loan to me for a time. My role isn’t to make life smooth and comfortable, removing the rocks along the path. My role is to encourage my child to keep his eyes focused on the One who leads him along the path laid out before him.


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In This House We Will Giggle


I’m so excited to share an interview with Courtney DeFeo discussing her new book In This House We Will Giggle. I met Courtney through a mutual friend and had the privilege to listen to her speak at She Speaks last summer. Last Christmas a friend bought me ABC Scripture Cards, which I fell in love with. I had no idea that Courtney was the creator until I met her at She Speaks. Today she shares her new book with us!


  1. How did In This House, We Will Giggle come about?  In This House, We Will Giggle began after I left a marketing career and became a stay-at-home mom. Two passions collided. My passion to empower others mom – and my passion to change little lives. I started Lil Light O’ Mine – a blog and company with ABC Scripture Cards. As you are aware, the blogging community for moms is so unique. We can share our failures and dreams and work together to change lives as we follow God’s promptings. I was given the opportunity to share a book idea at the She Speaks conference by Proverbs 31 and they loved it. So the rest is history. I was able to continue with my mission to empower moms and change little lives through innovation in the home. Just in the form of a book! Reaching many more families than I ever dreamed.
  2. What do you hope this book will bring to families? I hope they have more laughter and less lectures erupting through their homes. I hope moms see how very practical the book can be for their lives I want it to be a conversation for these 12 virtues. The 12 family fun activities are just ideas – and they are BEST implemented when our families embrace them. So tweak them, skip some – just give it a shot! I want our kids to experience WHO we know more than hear WHAT we know.
  3. What is your heart’s passion/desire behind this book? Truthfully, it is to know Jesus. I believe if our kids experience His goodness vs just hear about all the rules and consequences – they will want to stay with it. The way my parents lived out their faith left a mark on my life. Our kids are not too young to serve, to give and to change the face of a community. It will get in them and it is contagious. Good little Christian kids is not the goal. Ones who have Jesus in them – and they enjoy it pouring out – that’s the goal. There are millions that know a lot about Jesus in their heads, but not so much in their hearts. Adults and kids.
  4. Does the book offer practical ways families can begin putting into practice immediately? Oh yes! I am a busy mom. I don’t have time to read a book that offers inspiration without practical help. So, each chapter has a detailed family activity to go with the key virtue. In addition, it has an easy virtue definition (words kids can understand), a corresponding memory verse and much more. Plus, the entire book has 60 ways to make your family giggle.
  5. What age range of children is this book intended for? I have pregnant moms to parents of teens and grandmothers reading this book and loving it. The activities are geared for 2 to elementary kids but the majority of them can be implemented well into the teens.


ENTER TO WIN A COPY! Just simply comment below on what makes you giggle in your home. Winner announced on my Facebook page Monday, November 3rd.

You Tube Link to Trailer Video

About the Book: In This House, We Will Giggle: Making Virtues, Love, and Laughter a Daily Part of Your Family Life offers parents a practical approach to instilling virtues in their children through laughter, rather than lecture. Designed to cover an entire year, each of the 12 chapters highlights one key virtue in developing a child’s character, along with insights to help infuse the virtue into everyday life. In This House, We Will Giggle teaches children to experience the goodness of God, the joy of following Jesus and the difference children can make in the lives of others.


View More: http://aleamoore.pass.us/defeofamily
About the Author: Courtney DeFeo is a popular blogger and creator of ABC Scripture Cards featured on “The View.” She is a graduate of Auburn University and has worked in marketing for Chick-fil-A. Courtney and her husband, Ron, are the parents of two children. To connect with Courtney, visit CourtneyDeFeo.com

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