Archive for January, 2010

Also for ONEness


Third week of  Frequent Question Friday…and we have a FAQ that causes many parents to pause.

“Is sex ONLY for having children?”

Don’t you  remember being horrified that your parents actually “did this” 3 times? They must have…they have 3 children!!!

OH            MY              GOODNESS      %#!%#@#!!!!!!!

The big secret, mystery, and surprise  is this:  By God’s design,  sex is for ONENESS and for FRUITFULNESS. This is an essential part of marriage…for joy, wonder, and children. This is not for dating,  or for experiments,  or for cheep thrills..but it is giving your whole self for your whole life.

We didn’t invent it, and we can’t fully explain it..but that is what it is.

Let’s don’t leave that part out,  for goodnes sake!

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“That’s not true…”

I didn’t see all of the President’s State of the Union address last night, so I checked the news this morning to see what I missed. The BIG story was that Supreme Court Justice Alito actually shook his head and mouthed the words, “That’s not true.” while President Obama was making a statement about a recent Supreme Court decision.

I’m not going to get into politics this morning. I just want us to consider this brief scenario in light of  our parenting.

Do we sit in silence as the culture makes statements that would contradict our family values or do our children know where we stand?  Are we ever afraid to shake our heads or raise our eyebrows with concern? Does the pressure to conform to our culture become overwhelming, or do we state confidently what we believe is true?

Without much fanfare or a long lecture, Justice Alito respectfully made his opinion known. With a simple head shake and three words…we know where he stands.

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Home Made Soup


It’s a mild 58 degrees in Dallas today, but they tell us a big “weather event” is on it’s way…time for soup and grilled cheese! Here is my easy vegetable beef soup with wild rice:

Brown about a pound of ground beef. Drain & set aside

Dice (really small pieces) 2 stalks of celery, 2 large carrots, 1/2  onion & 2 cloves of garlic, and saute in pan with olive oil, salt, pepper.

In a large soup pot, put browned beef, sautéed veggies, plus 1 can of Rotel tomatoes, 1 can of black-eyed peas, 1 can of black beans, & 1 can of shoe-peg corn.

Add 2 quarts of water.

add 1 box of Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice (with seasoning packet), and 2 heaping tablespoons of “Better than Bouillon” (beef flavor)

Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer for 20 min.

Serve with grilled cheese (I’ll take mine… American cheese on rye)

Stay warm!

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Meet the Fam…

OK…between NFL playoff games I  was browsing through my blog, and realized that this will be post #25!!!  How do  I celebrate?

Like I celebrate every other milestone…bring in the family! Oh…you all haven’t met my family yet? Well, here they are:

Looking at this picture, Dave is the proud Papa right in the middle. Dave and I met in 1979,  married in 1980, and will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary this July. He is less talkative, more athletic, better read, more disciplined, and has more of a sweet tooth than I do. He runs almost every morning, then makes coffee for me, prays for our family, and works for Southwest Airlines with a passion. If he has another love…it’s golf. He dreams of Scotland, and of St. Andrews. I’m not too jealous…because it makes him so happy, and his golf friends are some of my favorite people. I love to watch the Masters with him, but I’m not a fan of that Disney-golf-challenge-show-thing that he loves.

God has blessed us in a thousand ways with our three children… Meg, Jill and Davis.

Meg will be 28 this year…wow.. that’s how old I was when she was born! (She is to the left of Dave, in the green ). After graduating from UVA as an English major, and interning for Laura Bush in D.C.,  Meg went to South Carolina to serve the church, and is currently the assistant to the pastor at the Downtown Presbyterian Church. Happily married to darling Travis in 2007…they live in Greenville, S.C. with their handsome, male, large-ish, yellow lab, Hatch. 

 Jill, will be 25 this  year….how can that be? ( Far right in the picture) Jill graduated from Furman University as an Art History major, and then got her nursing degree.  Jill has been working at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis as a Pediatric oncology nurse for the last 6 months. Also happily married since 2007, she and her precious husband, Ryan are moving this week to Charlotte, NC with their sweet, female, small-ish yellow lab, Callie.

Our son, Davis is 21 and is a junior at Clemson University (far left in the picture). He is a political science major who loves music, sports, writing, and his friends. His dream year would be to join his friends at the Masters in the spring, followed by a fishing trip to Colorado in the summer, a fall FULL of football, and then home for the holidays…in front of the fire.

As you get to know us, you’ll hear a lot more about our flaws and quirks. We’ve certainly got our share!

We also have pet stories that may turn you against us…but just know that on my tombstone my children have agreed that it should say, “she tried”.

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Let Parents Tell


Today we’ll address a fear that many parents ask me about. They WANT to talk to their children about sex, but they don’t want their children sharing this information with others.  Can anything be done about that!?


It is tricky to keep this information within our families, but try to help your children understand that every Mom & Dad will get to have these conversations with their own children at a time that they decide is best. Tell them how glad you are that YOU got to be the one to tell them these things, and that their friends’ parents want to do that as well.

Another point to cover with them is that it really would not be appropriate to talk about sex at school, in the carpool, or any place other than within your family. These are considered special family conversations.

But let’s be honest. This will be extremely difficult for some of our chatty-er children.

You know your daughter Emma better than she knows herself, and you just KNOW she is going to go straight to her best friend, Lily and spill all the details as soon as she possibly can….despite your warnings…..what do you do about THAT?

I suggest you call Lily’s mom. Explain the situation fully, and let her know…

she has 24 hours.

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A Beautiful Tapestry

Last Saturday night I had the privilege of speaking to a group of parents at Irving Bible Church. Tapestry is the name of the group, and they minister to families of adopted and foster children. What a beautiful tapestry it was! I want to send a thank you out to Michael and Amy Monroe and also to Kristin and Anthony Violi for their help on every level to me and more importantly to the Tapestry families.

When parents of adopted children and foster children have conversations about birth, reproduction, and conception with their children there are some deeper issues that need to be considered. The intermingled stories of infertility and birth parents give these families more to be aware of, and to prepare for. Thanks to the work of Tapestry, these parents are embracing this daunting task with grace and truth.

We also had our share of fun! Below you”ll find the video clip that opened our evening…can you relate?

Where Do Babies Come From? from Tapestry on Vimeo.

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‘Frequent Questions’ Friday


Welcome to the first edition of…. FREQUENT QUESTIONS FRIDAY!! Each week I’ll try to tackle one of the FAQ’s that come up at the end of my program.  

Let’s see….yes, you in the back…

“We have a 4-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. How should I handle it when sexual topics come up and they are both in the room? The other day our 7-year-old was asking about his teacher who is having a baby soon. I wanted to answer him, but didn’t know what to do about the 4-year-old!”

Great question! You want to keep these conversations as natural and easy as possible. When you have more than one child around just answer with the youngest child in mind. Answer the question as if it came from your 4-year-old, and then when you get time alone later with your 7-year-old, you can add more information. For example, in this instance, you might answer in the simplest language possible, but later add more vocabulary,  go into greater detail, and reassure him that he came to the right place for answers. That would be the right time to ask him if he has any more questions.

When we take children away to answer their questions, or tell them ‘we can’t discuss that now’ (although on rare occasions that is appropriate)…we bring more tension to the subject than information.   

Next Question?

Yes, you there … the comment box…

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Happily Ever After

Just got back from an amazing wedding in Austin!

The bride was the wedding planner for both of our daughters’ weddings, and the groom was my son’s Bible study leader. Yes we did….we set them up. Alison Morris and Brent Baker have been man and wife for about 24 hours, and we are thrilled to have been even a little  part of it!

One of the best parts of the wedding was the fact that there were so many children…both in the wedding and in attendance. They were loving it, too!

On the way to breakfast this morning, I had a nice chat with the father of the groom. He told me that one of his treasures from the night before was knowing his granddaughters had been able to witness Brent & Alisons’ wedding (the groom’s nieces were junior bridesmaids, flower girls, etc.), and they will have this memory for a lifetime.

When we think of all the things we want to tell our children, maybe we also need to try to take them to more weddings. Let them catch the vision, listen to the trumpets, the pastor, and the bride & groom say “I Do” in front of God and family. Soak it in. Let them see grandparents dancing, and everyone eating cake and throwing rose petals. Weddings are the best…children included!

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Practicing Your Faithfulness

I continue to think about the Tiger Woods’ tragedy. Standing in the grocery store line we get bombarded with the story! So here is my thought for today: Until recently, Tiger was a great example of the success that comes with practice. He is known for practicing…relentlessly. He didn’t wait till game day to warm up and hope for the best. He practiced every day.

Perhaps it’s important to let our kids know that before they get married, they need to practice their faithfulness to their spouse. The morning after the wedding  vows are taken may not be the time to START being faithful…maybe the time to start is now.  We’re not just asking our kids to say “no”…but to see that they are actively strengthening their future marriage just like they strengthen their muscles…by resistance.  Wait training. How do we practice being faithful? What do we resist now, that we will need to know how to resist later? Something to think about.

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New Year thoughts…

True confessions….I’m not sure if I’m going to be a top notch blogger.

Somehow “holiday life” took over and, like the laundry, the blogging just didn’t get done. How do busy people keep blogging? It’s a mystery to me.

But I must say, that while I sit here at the computer, I’m looking at a pile of clothes next to the ironing board. I have chosen blogging over spray starch. So maybe with the new year, I’ll be better at this than I am at ironing…we shall see. 

What does this new year hold for you? 

For our family…Jill and Ryan are moving to Charlotte, North Carolina in January, and that means that all three of our children will be in the Carolinas and within an hour or so of each other. Far from us in Texas, but near to each other…I’ll take that.

For my work… the most exciting thing that I’m working on this month is a program for parents of adopted children. Helping parents explain conception and birth to their children who are adopted is a bit more complicated than explaining these things to our biological children, but I’m finding that these are great stories of grace, redemption, and new life. Tapestry Ministry at Irving Bible Church has an amazing program for parents who are considering adoption, who have already adopted, and for foster parents. If you are interested in seeing what they do, check out this link:

For Dave and me…we have made a solemn promise to watch less T.V.

The Clemson-Duke game is on right now…

So much for our resolve…GO TIGERS!

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