America's Heartbreaking Teen Anxiety Epidemic

Last week the New York Times published a fascinating but troubling article entitled “Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering from Severe Anxiety.” You’ve probably already read it in your news feed or seen it creating conversation in your Facebook feed. 

As a mom of four boys, I found the article hard to read but impossible to ignore. After I finished reading, I felt nudged by God to set aside what I’d originally planned to tackle that day to share what was stirring in my heart.  I wrote a response that I pray will offer parents a hopeful (and do-able) way forward.

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For The Mom Who Feels Pressure To Produce Character In Her Child's Life

“Mommy, does Jesus live in your heart?” That’s the question a precious seven-year-old girl asked her mom after they’d finished their nighttime prayers.

The mom stroked her daughter’s hair, looked tenderly into her daughter’s eyes, and assured her, “He sure does, sweetie. Jesus has been in my heart since I was a young child like you.”

“Mommy,” her daughter continued with childlike curiosity, “what does Jesus do in there?”

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One Easy way to Weave Grace INTO Discipline

Our boys were recently fighting over who punched who first, and who said what mean thing to who last. When I asked them to explain what happened, they each had a different story, and they each had a pointed finger. 

This happened at the end of a long week and I was low on patience, and so naturally, I did everything I know I’m not supposed to do. I got mad. I tried to instill fear with empty threats. I demanded the truth. And of course, none of that worked. They continued to argue and point fingers. Until, that is, I reminded them of grace. 

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THIS is how we can find peace as a mom

I woke up at 3 a.m.  That’s not unusual for me.  It’s when I do my best worrying.  Nothing like trying to be a good mom after a good long night of sleepless worry.

Worry. This is one of those things we mommas do well. We worry about our kids—the decisions they make and the hardships they face. We worry about most of the parenting decisions we make and whether we’ve got it right. We do this, even though we know, in the words of Corrie ten Boom, that “worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”

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How To Parent In Freedom - Even Amidst Your Failures

When we are in Christ, God can’t stop loving us! The real us. The rebellious us. The unfaithful us. But, believing that can be so hard! Why? Well, for starters, there are simply too many parts of us that feel too unlovable. I know you know what I’m talking about. We know the mess that lies beneath our well-manicured outsides. Also, let’s not negate the power of the persistent message our culture bombards us with: “A little more perfect = a little more lovable.” Everywhere we turn, covert and overt messages assure us that our lovability is riding on our performance.

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How to trust God When Our Children Face Hardship and Suffering

I recently found myself tiptoeing toward trying to rescue my son from a hardship, until, that is, my husband gently reminded me, “Unless you plan on living in his dorm room in college and going on his honeymoon when he gets married, you need to stay out of the way and allow him to navigate this and grow. You have to trust God to use this for his good.” He’s a smart one, that man of mine.

As moms it’s natural and normal to want to ensure our children’s happiness and protect them from all of life’s hardships. My heart has broken in ways I didn’t know it could break as I’ve walked alongside my boys through some pretty hard stuff.

Can we be real about this? It’s so hard to watch our kids navigate the “gift” of hardship, even though we absolutely know that it’s essential to their growing into responsible and resilient kids.

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Pre-Order Mom Set Free and Receive Free Gifts!

A common question people ask me when they discover I’ve written another book is, “What led you to write this book?”

Well, the truth is, God wrote this book on my heart first. He knew how much the truths held within the pages of Mom Set Free needed to be embedded in my own heart.

And the reason I am so excited to share it with you is because I’ve discovered this:  I wasn’t the only mom who’d been trying to parent with grace without living in grace—without first accepting the grace of God for me, in all of my weakness, sin, and shortcomings. And I discovered I wasn’t the only one who struggled to believe God wasn’t disappointed in me(and even mad at me!) when I failed to reflect His heart to my children. 

It was that discovery, along with the clear nudging from God, that inspired me to write Mom Set Free

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WARNING: Don't Try This Alone

After having to ask my boys repeatedly to complete their tasks so we could get out the door on time, I shouted, “Boys, I am running out of patience with you!” But before I could speak another word, the thought ran through my mind: Aren’t you glad God never runs out of patience with you? I was able to use that small moment in the middle of our chaotic day to remind my kids of the Good News that “God never runs out of patience for us. He never comes to the end of His rope with us.” 

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