Confessions of a Not-So-Perfect [Christian] Mother

shutterstock_400379908It happened. If you knew me, you may have noticed something a little different. A dreamy look in my eye. A little lighter in my step. A cheesy smile on my face.

My son was complimented, unprovoked, on social media. Someone even gave me the credit in the comments. The mother graciously noted on my Facebook page how my son had returned the extra change inadvertently given him at the school store. “What a good kid” and “Great parenting” were two of the compliments included. Whoo-hoo.

If they only knew..

It couldn’t have been more than two days prior that an emotionally-charged me stormed off an email stating “I don’t want to do this anymore!” after a less-than enjoyable volunteering experience at our elementary school.

If they only knew….

Maybe five days prior, this same son who acted so nobly returning the money had broken a Christmas ornament in a store. I watched inconspicuously as he carefully placed it back on the shelf, putting the pieces back together as if nothing had ever happened—all the while looking over his shoulder to make sure no one noticed.

If they only knew…

Every day my one year old goes down for a nap–my precious, loving, adorable one-year old—I do a little happy dance and whisper “freedom!”

If they only knew…

(And this is really embarrassing) In the span of a month, I had to explain myself to the police—twice—for my bad parenting. First, my dog jumped into the minivan unbeknownst to me, so I didn’t know to roll the windows down. Only a few minutes passed, but when we returned to our car, the police were writing my license plate number down and a concerned citizen stood nearby on her phone. All in front of my kids. (The dog is totally fine thank goodness).

Then, my daughter and I were playing in the backyard, she in the playhouse, me in the garden when someone came and asked if I had a toddler. In a matter of seconds, she had snuck out of the playhouse and wandered out of our yard onto the sidewalk. Another wonderful and concerned citizen thankfully grabbed her–and called the police.

Both times the police responded with compassion, and thankfully nothing truly bad happened. But seriously, the guilt and shame of bad parenting and the “what could have happened” overwhelmed me.

Those are the most recent. The list could go on and on with the criticisms, solicited and unsolicited; warranted and unwarranted, I’ve gotten for my parenting.

So when another mother took the time to note with appreciation something good; something that reflected on all the hard lessons we spend 99% of our time trying to teach our children; the fruit of the repetitive chiseling of Godly values we painfully etch into our children’s hearts, I can’t help but rejoice.

Maybe that’s why God says to “Honor Thy Mother and Father.” He knows how flawed we parents are. We try and try and still come up short on occasion. But the parent who takes the time to instill the “way they should go” and use even these shameful, embarrassing moments as teaching moments, may occasionally get the “atta-girl”. Just maybe.

When my son tried to get away with breaking the ornament, I knew how he felt. If I could have snuck away from any of the situations described above and acted like they never happened, believe me—I would have!

But like God who disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:6), I love my children too much to let that become apart of their character. I made my son go back, get the broken ornament, and confess to the clerk what had happened. He cried, embarrassed and ashamed.

Nevertheless, the responsibility for molding a child’s heart falls on the parent. So, I tried to explain that it’s better to get in trouble for being honest than get away with something for being sneaky—whether it was intentional or not.

The clerk was compassionate. I believe that‘s why my son returned the money a week later. He learned it’s not so bad to fess up and it feels a lot better on one’s conscience to confess and take the rap (if necessary) than live with the guilt of trying to get away with something.

Bottom line for me—I love the Lord and I love my children. I give thanks and pray everyday for the supernatural protection God provides when He stands in the gap of my parenting blunders.

At the end of the day, I pray that our efforts to mold the hearts of our children, albeit painful, will transcend our mistakes. And I pray in the end, our children will honor us, their parents, and glorify God by living lives obedient to Christ; serving as lights in the dark world.

Parents: A New Christmas Tradition

I thought about putting together a Christmas Gift-Giving Guide for the Christian Parent. But this storyshutterstock_521383825, adapted from Dr Jerry Pipes and Victor Lee’s book Family to Family: Leaving a Lasting Legacy, touched my heart in a way that no list of gadgets could.

Are you ready ready to live the true meaning of Christmas with your family rather than barely surviving another chaotic season of activities that leave everyone drained?

Perhaps you would consider making this part of your family’s Christmas gift-giving tradition.

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The Most Important Lesson You Will Ever Teach Your Child


As a mom, I spend a lot of time in the car, shuffling my kids to and from school and activities (read: many opportunities to listen to the radio). Today, I caught a talk show host interviewing a child psychologist. The topic was how to give your children the best chance of staying on the right path. In her practice the number one stressor facing parents is knowing how to raise happy kids who make good choices.

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Place for Grace

Image 1What would a mother do for her children? Ask Lynn Murphy, the woman in the photo above.

Murphy is a single mother of four children. According to the attached article, she had to panhandle on the side of the road to provide for their needs. Murphy was worried she would be arrested, so she offered to leave, and admitted she shouldn’t be there.  Continue reading

Why Behavior is Only a Symptom


 Ask me to recall the offense and I couldn’t tell you. My eldest, then five years old, earned herself a consequence. In an effort to get her to “think twice,” I thought of a consequence that would get her attention, albeit not necessarily related to the offense.

“No desserts,” I emphatically pronounced to the kindergartener.

Around the midpoint of her term, I overheard one of her classmates gushing about the cupcakes they had in class. What five year old could resist? I didn’t need to ask. She sat quietly while I tried to extract a confession. Continue reading

Why We Care About Our Children’s Reads

My eleven year old daughter loves to read. To my dismay, however, her book choices seem to be limited to tales of sorcery, witchcraft, magic and mythology.

I’ve noticed that the occult influence is sneaking into our children’s lives. It’s happening right under our noses. Until recently, I couldn’t tell you the last time I gave a second glance to my child’s literary material. I, like most of us, would draw an obvious boundary around explicit material and even excessive violence. But I found myself asking, does it really matter if she reads about magic and witchcraft?

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Legacy of Faith

momslogoI’m so excited to announce the launch of the first on-line presence for M.O.M.s of Faith. M.O.M.s of Faith is a women’s fellowship and Bible study group that started eight years ago in Fairfield, Connecticut to fill a need in busy women’s lives to take a break from their normal routine to grow closer to God and each other by studying the Bible together. Continue reading