What my daughter wants me to tell you

By Shannon Popkin

(From www.shannonpopkin.blogspot.com, 02.15.12)

My daughter, Lindsay, remembers the day in first grade that she couldn’t play with Abby at recess. She wanted to, but I had told her she couldn’t. I said that Abby wasn’t a good influence, and Lindsay needed to have more than just one friend. “So tomorrow,” I told her, “I don’t want you to play with Abby. I want you to find a new friend, instead.”

For Lindsay, this was the longest recess of her life. She walked around sadly, twisting her toe in the wood chips, and wondering why Abby wasn’t a good friend. Wondering when she would ever have a friend again.

Sadly, I don’t remember this day at all. I don’t even remember Abby. I do remember worrying about Lindsay’s friend choices and the patterns that she was establishing. I worried a lot.

But at present, from our perch in her second half of eighth grade, Lindsay’s first grade friendships seem rather trivial to me. And I told her so. I said, “Oh, Linds… I’m sorry. I’m sure it wouldn’t have hurt you to play with Abby.”

So, Lindsay wanted me to tell you this. She’s thinking that you might have a kindergartner or first or second grader who has chosen a less than stellar friend, or has picked up some bad habits, or is falling behind. She wants you to know that parenting is a process and you don’t have put shellac on your kid just yet. There is time for some tweaking and fine tuning.

And in seven or eight years, you’ll realize that the one you’re making the most adjustments to is you.

SHANNON POPKIN loves the power tucked into a good story. As she connects with other women through writing and speaking, her passion is to tell stories within the context of the One Great Story — God’s. Shannon has been published by Thriving Family, MOMSense, and Family Fun, and she blogs at Tiny Paragraphs. Though she and her husband, Ken, are officially ‘Beyond Bath Time’ duty (their kids now shower behind locked doors), they’re convinced that the adventures of parenting have just begun!

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Stop waiting! (and Free Book Friday)

By Kim Wagner

If you’re waiting for your little ones to grow up enough to sit still for Bible stories—stop
waiting! They are ready to hear. They’re never too young for you to start.

I had the opportunity to help out in the “Infants and Crawlers Class” last week and was amazed. We had eight little ones. Two were in swings, two were in our laps, and the rest were gathered (in various stages of crawling, standing and sitting) around the teacher. The children were fascinated with her large laminated pictures of Rahab and the spies she protected. As Miss Emily started telling the story, every child looked expectantly into her animated face. Continue reading

Forgiveness for moms who fail

By Robert Jones

(From http://biblicalcounselingcoalition.org, reprinted with permission)

In my twenty-five years of pastoral ministry, I don’t think I have met a mom, including a preschool mom, who feels like she has done a good enough job. Most mothers labor under the weight of guilt—of frustrated ideals, imperfect performance, and deficient production. The laundry remains undone; story books unread, and tempers flare. . . . Continue reading

When Mothering Doesn’t Come Naturally

Just because nursing is natural, doesn’t mean it comes naturally. That’s the lesson that Jill learned the hard way as she tried to nurse two babies while battling an insufficient milk supply.

Most moms have been where Jill has. Her vision of motherhood looked one way, and the reality looked another. But Jill’s story is ultimately one of hope as she urges other moms to do what is best for their baby without guilt or shame.

So pour yourself a cup of Joe (or grab a caramel macchiato from Starbucks like Jill and I) and pull up a chair. Let’s get real about what to do when motherhood doesn’t go according to plan.

What mothering challenges have you faced that felt the most unnatural to you? In what area of motherhood do you most need to lay down the guit? Continue reading

Help! I’m a new mom (and Free Book Friday)

By Kim Wagner

“Being a mother has been so much harder than I imagined. I have been in tears many times over the past few weeks and in the evening I have been very depressed. The only thing that helps is knowing that God is with me and He is teaching me through this process.”

This new mom’s words took me back several years. We were living in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, with our firstborn. My husband drove our only vehicle into the city for morning classes, followed by afternoon and evening responsibilities at the church where he served as pastor. I was left home alone all day, with no vehicle, no family or friends close by . . . alone with a crying baby. And it was hard. Continue reading

Real talk about breastfeeding (and managing expectations)

By Erin Davis

“Well I breastfed my baby until she was 18 months old.”

“My baby didn’t have any troubles nursing. He knew just what to do.”

“My baby has never had one ounce of formula.”

We’ve all heard the stories and for moms who experience breastfeeding that is easy, I say
yahoo! But breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally, and then what? Continue reading

The moms group that saved my life (and Free Book Friday)

By Erin Davis

A couple of days after we brought Noble home from the hospital, I became nearly overcome by a wave of postpartum depression. One minute I was sitting on the floor, folding tiny clothes and the next minute I felt like a dark cloud of sadness had wrapped itself around me. Continue reading

A morning to remember … or forget (And Free Book Friday!)

(Moms, in case you haven’t heard, Erin Davis’ new book, Beyond Bath Time, is available now! And we’re so excited, we’re giving away free books every Friday in April. This week, all you have to do is leave a comment (with your e-mail address) at the end of this post. We’ll pick five moms at random to send a free copy of Beyond Bath Time.)

By Pam Gibbs 

From www.blogs.lifeway.com (09.29.11)

Mornings in the Gibbs household are like a box of chocolates, as they say. Today’s morning was no exception. Continue reading

A recipe to teach the resurrection

By Erin Davis

The concept of Jesus’ resurrection is a complex one to teach to little hearts and minds.
This year, my boys and I will be making “Resurrection Cookies” the day before Easter
and munching on them Easter morning. The cookies are made with a simple recipe that
incorporates ingredients to represent the elements of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It’s
hands-on, fun, and edible, making this lesson perfect for kids of all ages. Continue reading

Why I wrote Beyond Bath Time (and a giveaway!)

Author Erin Davis fesses up about being an imperfect and novice mom then shares why she wrote a book about motherhood anyway.

(Psst! Want to be among the first to read Erin’s new book, Beyond Bath Time? Simply leave us a comment below. We will send a free copy to the first 10 of you to comment. Be sure to include your correct e-mail address so we can contact you for shipping information.) Continue reading