Are you really listening?

For many years I led a small group of sixth-grade girls, and we often talked about issues going on in their middle-school lives. One day one of the girls was telling a story in great detail about a misunderstanding with her teacher. I asked what her mom thought about the situation. I was shocked to find that this girl had not discussed what was going on with either her mom or dad. I was intrigued. Of the five girls in the room, all agreed that they don’t tell their parents most of what is really going on in their hearts and minds. Panic rose inside me because at the time …

Counterfeits and the Real Deal

I remember being at church camp as a teenager and hearing the speaker tell a story of a little girl with a fake pearl necklace. Here is my version of this popular and often-told story. A little girl bought a plastic pearl necklace with the money she had been saving all year. She loved her pearls and felt so grown up when she wore them. She only took them off when she went swimming or took a bath. Though the pearls weren’t real, that didn’t matter to her. She had bought them all by herself. This little girl had a loving father. One day he said to her, “Honey, do …

Patience

For the past few years, I’ve chosen a key word to help me clarify areas of progress: I’ve chosen one word to be the focus of prayer for each of my children. One year I gave my husband a word for the year. My amazing, fun loving husband tends to say whatever he is thinking so several years ago I told him I was choosing “filter” as his word for 2017. I also choose a word regarding an area of life I’d like to work on personally. Last year I didn’t do very well with my word – “thoughtful.” I want to be the kind of person who sends heartfelt letters, …