Thursday, June 28, 2012

10 Ways God was Glorified

If you have been following along, you know that I just returned from a mission trip to the Three Angels Children Relief organization in Haiti. It was an amazing trip and I know that God was glorified!


1. God was glorified by His global church worshipping Him together on Sunday. It was fantastic to be in a body of Haitian believers and singing worship songs together {I in English and the crowd in Creole}. It reminds me of how wonderful it will be when peoples from every tribe and tongue worship the Lamb of God in heaven.

2. God was glorified because His followers not only sent items (diapers, wipes, medicine, clothes, shoes) to the poor in Haiti, but we went there and took our love. It is the ministry of presence and it is vital. It is one thing to air ship items to the people, but to hand it to them with a hug and a smile glorifies God because as we all know - God is Love.

3. God was glorified as we worked hard each day. God gave us these bodies. He made us strong {some stronger than others}. He made us capable for good works. We glorify Him when we use our bodies and strength to help others. As I workout at the gym, part of me wants to be skinny {don't we all?}, but the bigger part of me wants to be strong. I want to be a good help meet for my husband and I want to be able to help work for the Lord. That happened in Haiti. We painted. We cleaned. We lifted and packed and moved and swept and hammered and pulled nails and you get the picture. All sorts of manual labor {even sealing the cistern} and all for His glory!

4. God was glorified as we loved on the babies at the orphanage. The weak, the impoverished and infants cannot give anything to society. In many cultures, it is acceptable to even kill the unwanted babies even after they are born {it breaks my heart to think about abortion killing unborn babies, but some even kill them after they are born! I cannot even fathom the idea!}. The orphanage provides a safe, loving and wonderful environment for the parents who have children that they are not able to care for to be raised and wait for their forever family. We were a part of this process by loving on the babies. It is definitely a *God Thing* when this gal {pointing at myself here} who is not necessarily a baby person scoops up those lil' Haitian babies and instantly falls in love. God put a love for those babies in my heart and He is glorified!

5. God was glorified as the children attending the Christian school witnessed our presence. They may be saying in their hearts - why would these English want to come here? They are told that it is all because of Christ and the love that He put in our hearts - and therefore, God is glorified.

6. God is glorified through the testimony of our church - working with Three Angels by sending money, goods, people, Bible teaching, love and prayers. The Haitians involved with Three Angels know when Centennial Bible Church visits and they look forward to each visit. They eagerly sign up to receive notifications of the next visit. Centennial Bible Church glorifies God!

7. God is glorified as we bring the jewelry and purses back to sell. Many Haitians have learned the skill of sewing or bead/jewelry making and they need the opportunity to sell their goods. Since the average Haitian makes $1 a day, they are not able to purchase these goods from each other {they need that dollar to buy food and provide shelter for their families}, they send their crafts home with Americans to sell for them. This way, they are able to provide basic needs for their families. God is glorified as we assist in the selling of their handmade crafts!

8. God is glorified when my husband takes a week off of work - not to go on an elaborate fishing trip, golf in the Carolinas, hunt in the Rockies or even just relax on the beach. He took a week off of work in order to stay home and care for our girls while I {a SAHM} went on a mission trip to Haiti. I am sure that to the world this appears strange, but it was a loving sacrifice my husband made for our Lord and for me. I am so blessed and God is glorified through my husband's sacrifice.

9.  God was glorified as families from our church made meals for my husband and daughters while I was in Haiti. I could sleep a little easier knowing they weren't eating Wendy's each night for dinner. They even planned a trip to the movie theater and watched my girls so my husband got a bit of a break. God is glorified as we lovingly provide for our brothers and sisters in Christ. God was definitely glorified through our friends!!

10. God is glorified whenever you read this story and proclaim, God is Good!! So please pass this along so He will continue to be glorified.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Three Angels

Our church has partnered with Three Angels in Petionville, Haiti since 2008 {pre-earthquake}. There have been a few missionaries from our church that have made the sacrifice to be the onsite managers at the Three Angels location in Haiti. These have been my friends: Dr. Jack, Marcia, and Abbey. I have had a strong desire to visit ever since they were on location. This week, though they are not there anymore, I got my chance.

Before my trip, I was dreading the extreme heat, giant misquotes, and a general fear of the unknown. I was amazed at what I found!

I found Sandy, the current onsite house manager - full of kindness and a true servant's heart. Right away, she felt like family. I miss her already! She was quick to make popcorn, pizza, coconut chocolate cake, or whatever treat you might want {although Pastor Dave did not get the lobster bisque that he teased her about all week *wink*}. she kept the refrigerator stocked full of Coca Cola, which tasted mighty fine after a day in the sun!

I found the Jean-Louis family: Madam Valet and her children, Vastine, Stanley, Jean Darc and {last but not least} Edson. They serve in the compound in many different ways, but they mostly dish out love. Again, I instantly loved them and truly felt like I was with family. It is obvious they are brothers and sisters in Christ, so we are truly family. They love the Lord and they genuinely love others.

I found Alex, the fantastic teachers and the school children. Alex and the teachers are very professional. They take their job of training the children in their studies and in the ways of the Lord very serious. They also feed the children each day {and for some this is the only meal they will eat that day}. The children were testing this week so they were not all there each day {test days separated by age}, but there were still a lot of children. They all wore their uniforms, and though they were quick to play kick the can {or whatever they could find} during break, but they were just as quick to pay attention during the classroom time. They were full of smiles, hugs, high fives and even kisses.

I found babies - some of the cutest babies I have ever seen {next to my own daughters}. For various reasons, they are not able to be cared for by their parents, so they join the family at Three Angels. And it is a family indeed. The nannies love the babies! Vastine cares for the babies as a therapist. She monitors their development and loves on them to reduce any chances of attachment disorders. She {and the nannies} have done a great job. These babies, even the sickest one, Comerson, were full of smiles! They quickly won my heart and I loved every second I spent there! I could have held those babies all day, especially Lovely {her name describes her perfectly - she is definitely lovely}. I love her beautiful face and the way she wanted to talk so much {as much as she can at less than 3 months}. Melts my heart!

What I found was a family at Three Angels. I found friends that welcomed me in with open arms and gave me a gift much greater than I could have ever hoped to have given. They shared their homes, lives, children and love with me and I am forever grateful. I will definitely be visiting again and following the blog to see how my new friends are doing.

So the heat was not unbearable, the mosquitoes weren't a problem at all and I never felt in any danger. The things I feared were non-existent, but Haiti {and especially Three Angels} now occupies a piece of my heart. I see why my friends decided to stay much longer than one week.


I wrote yesterday of the extreme poverty that most Haitians experience on a daily basis. They know nothing of indoor plumbing or hot showers. Three meals a day is unheard of and some mix dirt or clay with their rice to add substance. They walk everywhere or squeeze into a tap-tap. They walk and live among dirt, trash, filth, mangy animals and pests. Sources of income and steady jobs are so hard to come by.

One woman had a vision. As she and her husband travelled to Haiti to adopt their children, they had a strong desire to help. They didn't want to give the Haitians "fish" per say, they wanted to teach them to fish. They wanted to empower the people and teach them a trade. So they moved and began a new life that was centered around helping people, a community and a nation. She started the apparent project. This teaches Haitians how to craft things such as bags, clothing and jewelry. Most of these products are made from local recycles, such as cardboard in making beads, so this not only makes something beautiful to sell, it is reusing something that would otherwise be considered waste and thrown in piles on the street {around houses, in parks, on the sidewalks, just everywhere!}.

Most of the ladies working at Three Angels are involved in making some jewelry. It is an amazing process to take slivers of cardboard {think cereal boxes} and roll this onto bamboo skewers and create beautiful beads! It really is beautiful! And even though they seem inexpensive to us on the states, it feeds a family an pays for rent in Haiti. Otherwise, these families are living in a tent among the trash and rats.

I am thankful for godly people who have a heart for Haiti and God-given talents that they are willing to share with this very needy nation.

I was also reminded by a fellow team member {thanks Ben} of the power of prayer. We are told that we can move mountains and that whatever we ask in His name will be ours {of course through prayer, our requests will be motivated and prompted by the Spirit living within to line up with the will of God}. So as I look at pictures, as I wear the beautiful jewelry made from cardboard and clay, and as I carry the purse I purchased - I pray the the Holy Spirit prompts me to remember to pray. And you can join me as I pray. Pray for the orphans. Pray for the children. Pray for the young adults. Pray for the mothers and fathers. Pray for the nation. Pray for revival and the love for the One True God of the Bible {and universe} to spread throughout the island. the power of prayer is beyond our understanding but so glorifying to God! It is free but priceless!

Mark 11:23-24
"Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

James 5:16 "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Real Haiti

On our first few days on this trip we experienced cool, rainy weather - totally not like Haiti. There were many times I was looking for my jacket. Today, I did not need my jacket. I officially experienced the true Haitian heat. It was in the 90s and humid! I took a shower and could not get my skin dry. The water would not evaporate and I was still sweating! We painted and worked out in the hot, hot sun!!

Then we went for a walk. We left the compound and left the major thoroughfare. We went to a view a hillside where the houses are built literally one on top of the other. I get it. Use one man's roof as your foundation. Much cheaper! And when you do not have anything, you do what you can. But these structures are the ones that toppled in the earthquake.
This particular one survived but would it withstand another one? The houses are small inside; generally just a couple rooms. Our guide was so proud to show us the inside of his house. He has recently 'moved up' from a tent to this house. But he keeps his tent. He is afraid that he may still need it at some point. He has twin daughters that he cares for (his wife left them) and wants to keep safe. They attend the Christian school here at Three Angels and look just like their Dad. They are very special girls!

We weaved through passageways down, down the hill. At the bottom was a creek. I am pretty sure this was not a natural creek, but more of a sewage run-off. It was rank! It was also a gathering place for all sorts of voodoo happenings. They fly a flag as a sign of their 'religion'. It was a bit creepy, especially since it smelled so bad. I started wondering what really made that smell. Chicken sacrifices? Shrunken heads?

Then we toured a tent city. When I saw this, I realized why the families in the tiny houses felt like royalty. They use tarps and make walls and ceilings on rickety frames. But at least they are somewhat protected from the elements and have a place to lay their head at night. They even lock the 'doors' so that no one disturbs their things while they are away. It doesn't seem like it would do much good to lock a tent.

There were naked children running around {I was praying they wouldn't pee on our feet as we walked by}. There was a large concrete hole that had about 4 inches of water in it. Our guide said it was a place for kids to play. Really? It was disgusting! It was a breeding ground for disease and misquotes. No child should be allowed near it. It was such a dangerous place, especially for children. But it is their home. There were goats and chickens running about. There was a dead dog on the road that obviously starved to death. It was heart-breaking.

Now I see why Moms here give their children up to the orphanage in hopes for a better life.

But there is hope for Haiti. More on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


The place I am staying in Haiti is full of love. One of the young ladies staying here was recently engaged and she was beaming with love and pride to show off her fiancé. She told me that she loves him so much because he loves Jesus. What a wonderful requirement for a soulmate!

At the Christian school, the students are not the only ones full of love, so is the headmaster. He has a heartwarming love for Jesus and the children. He has a strong desire for the children to be trained in the ways of the Lord. He knows that this is the only true way to make a difference in their lives and in the community.

And I got to great experience a fantastic display of love {and unfortunately heartbreak} today. They received a new baby at the orphanage. That place was hopping with excitement and frenzy as we were wondering it it was a girl or boy, the baby's age, the story....what did God have in store? Everyone wanted to meet the baby boy and it was moving. My heart breaks for the mother who loves her baby boy so much that she wants him to have something more than she is able to provide. But my heart is also warmed by the overwhelming display of love and nurture this baby boy will receive at the orphanage. He has a new {hopefully temporary since the ultimate goal is to restore the family} family that already loves and adores him. They zipped around to get ready and drove to the agency to get him as quickly as they could.

They received him with love and open arms, the same way Our heavenly Father receives us when we turn to Him.

Monday, June 18, 2012

What a work day!

Today is Monday and it was a work day. Can you even call it work when there is such gladness in our hearts serve?

We started our morning with a fantastic breakfast and then swarms of kisses and 'bonjours' from the kids at the school.

Then we walled over to the orphanage to worship the Lord with the nannies, missionary family that resides there and other staff. There is just something so moving and beautiful about the Haitians singing in Creole. During the singing one of the babies awoke and he did everything he knew how to do to get me to pick him up. Who could resist a smile like that? Not I. He is beautiful! They all are. We spent time just loving on the babies and it was great! Those babies adore the gal who is their therapist, helping them adjust after abandonment. They flash her smiles and keep their eyes fixed on her just waiting for to pay them some attention - which she is happy to do. I am not sure who loves her being there more, the babies or her.

We visited with the cute missionary kids who were happy to give us a tour of the roof, including the view of the ocean. I can't even imagine the way these kids' worldview will be impacted by their stay in Haiti.

After lunch, we went to work clearing out a couple of rooms they recently built. Tough work, but so rewarding. They currently have almost 300 kids attending the school and the CRAM into 3 {maybe} 20x20 rooms. The rooms they are building are to expand the classes. Can you believe the children sit still and pay attention to their teachers? They do because they have friends who do not have the luxury and blessing of attending school, something we take for granted (and actually complain about) in the states. We cleaned out rusty nails, sand, concrete blocks, trash, {dirty} water and lots and lots of wood.

Then some {not me. One word: claustrophobia} climbed down into a cistern to get the water out {buckets and small shop vac} so that it can be fixed and painted. Water is such a valuable resource.

After a super yummy dinner, more of the team climbed back onto the cistern to clean out the garbage that had been thrown down there. Ew!

Tomorrow...guess who will be back in the cistern to make the repairs and paint {again, not me but I am sure it won't be me - maybe Karstyn. He is quick to volunteer}. Guess who else is going to head back to the orphanage for someone love {me for sure!!}.

Until then, good night, sleep tight, don't let the Mosquitos bite.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Body of Christ

What an experience! To be in church where I can barely (if at all) understand the language, but know that we are worshipping the same God is such a fantastic feeling! To be a part of the literal, universal body of Christ. The Bride of Christ. It was beautiful! I will be honest, I cried.

Especially after the devotions last night (thank you Ben), it reminded me of how beautiful it will be for every tribe and tongue worshipping the King in heaven. I loved it that I was able to recognize the first few songs and sing along (in English of course). The service was filled with scripture being read in French, beautiful songs being sung out of love and a sermon that I absolutely could not understand. A few in our group were seated by our interpreter (and friend, Jean BeFleur) who said the pastor was persuading godly living based out of the scriptures. What could be better than that?

Afterward we walked 10 mins to a local {fancy} hotel for lunch before the youth meeting tonight. We were blessed to share a meal with Jean and his family {all 5 beautiful and well behaved children}. It was such a blessing! It was so cute to see the children flock around the fancy phones. Yes they love Fruit Ninja here in Haiti!

Next up...the youth meeting. One of our church leaders, Dave, will be teaching 90 youth and a couple young adults, Maddie and Ben, will be sharing their testimonies with the Haitians. What a treat - and it'll be in English!

More on that later...

Saturday, June 16, 2012


After a coffee energized, heart-racing start to our day - and I should mention that our day started bright and early (2:30 am) - we are in flight. It is my first experience on a mission trip. Where? Haiti. Hot, humid Haiti. I can't wait!! I am excited to serve others in the name of Jesus. I am excited to be a part of the global church as we attend a local Haitian church. I am excited to love on local children and brothers and sisters in Christ. I am excited for opportunities to share the good news of the gospel. I am excited to see how myself and others in our group grow in our walk with Christ and glorify God.

I am full of anticipation! My heart swells with love for my Lord!

Now I have a question for you...

Do you know Him? Do you love Jesus? Not that easy believing, loving everyone despite their commitment to Him, phony Jesus you hear from most TV preachers. I mean the Jesus of the Bible. He is a LOT different. Still loving, but also serious (especially about sin).

If you do not know him, start here. Start with John 1.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5, 9-14 ESV)


We arrived at the airport in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Although the airport was not the three ring circus that we were warned about (thank the good Lord!), the drive to the compound was eye opening.

If the compound were only 10 minutes away, it would not have had the same impact. We were in the back of the truck with the luggage (by choice so that we could experience the scenery at its fullest). Here is what stood out.

The smell. It smells like smoke from cars, smoke from fires (think burning tires) and dust from debris. It does not smell good. Thankfully the compound smells much, much better!

There is so much trash. I don't know where you put trash when you are on an island, and apparently neither do the locals. It is everywhere. The great news is that they are starting a recycling program!

But mostly what I noticed were the people. There were so many people just sitting around because they just don't have anything to do. They are desperate for jobs. The average Haitian makes a dollar wage per day. What really stuck out is that so few seemed happy. Sadness and hopelessness painted on their faces. Desperation.

What do they need more than jobs, recycling, and trash cleanup...Jesus. Jesus is the only source of true hope.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Top Ten Summer Activities

I have so many fun things I want to do with my family this summer, and I think my list may just be too big! Does that ever happen to you? Kind of like when your Mom used to say that your eyes were bigger than your stomach?  So many things look fun but the calendar just doesn't allow for it all {plus I think it is very important to allow for down time in children's lives}.

So here is my list of the Top Ten Things I want to do this summer:

1. Bible Study: I want to study a book of the Bible with a good friend and also involve my daughter. This summer the book of the Bible will be Job.

2. Book Club: I usually choose a fiction or helpful book (both need to be glorifying to God) to study with a group of ladies over the summer. I have already posted that we are studying Six Ways to Keep the Little In Your Girl and it proves to be an excellent, God-given choice. I am so thankful that He put this book in my hands while my daughters are still young.

3. Potty train my daughter. lol! I know this is not really something that is in my control, but it is something I strongly desire to complete this summer!

4. Complete our Park Passport by spending time exploring the local parks in our area. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful parks to choose from and I can't wait to explore them all! You can click here for a free printable for your own family.

5. Go camping. My husband loves camping and the great outdoors. I know it has been a desire of his for a very long time to take our kids camping and I am hoping (really hoping) we can make this happen this summer. Our church is having a "family camp" this summer, but it is in a hotel. I am sure my husband would appreciate something a bit more rustic. :)

6. Visit the Indiana Dunes. I am wondering if we might combine the camping night and a visit to the Indiana Dunes? Have you ever camped there? Was it a good experience? I follow their page on Facebook and it looks like a wonderful way to spend a couple summer days!

7. Teach our 6 1/2 yr old daughter how to ride her bicycle well so that we can go on family bike rides. Ok, so we already go on family trips when she is on the tagalong bike with Daddy (and I have our 2 *almost 3* year old in the bike trailer), but there are times when I want to take the girls out when Daddy is at work. If she could ride her own bike well, and I could pull the trailer, we could make this happen {and it will be SO MUCH fun!}.

8. Host a children's outdoor party. I am not sure if this will be a birthday party, summer party or a back to school party - but I have so many fun ideas floating around in my head for fun games and activities that I can't wait to entertain some kiddos!! Check back for posts about how it turns out.
Soapbox:  I am not a fan of birthday parties - although I love my girls and want to celebrate their birthdays - because they seem to elevate one person (birthday girl) over the others. They seem to be full of things I generally try to avoid - greed, jealousy, pride, envy - you know, sins. But we do love kids' games, hosting parties, fun food, smiles, giggles and just fun in general - so we try to  host at least one party each summer.
9. See fireworks. My birthday is just before Independence Day so fireworks have always been very special to me (I used to think they were all for MY birthday) and I love sharing that with our daughters.

10. Spend as much time outdoors as we can! You might notice that our list of activities are mostly outdoors and that is because we love to be outside! Summer is awesome for getting sweaty, dirty, chlorine-y (that's a word, right?) and bath-worthy! We love swimming, running in the sprinkler, digging in the dirt, boating around on the paddle boat or canoe, walking at the park, hanging upside down on the jungle gym (ok, that is reserved for my daughters now that I'm officially old), chasing birds, catching fireflies and soaking up some Vitamin D from the sun. I want to spend as much time doing this as we can this summer. So I am going to get off this computer and get outside!

What summer fun activities do you have planned this year? I'd love to hear them!

Park Passport

One fun thing we have decided to do this summer is create a Park Passport. This is a listing of many of our local parks. Each has an empty square that will be filled with a sticker or stamp after we visit the park.

The challenge - Visit all these fun parks before the end of summer. And hey, if we don't make it to all of them, I guess we may have to extend our summer break {wink}.

Below is an example of our Park Passport and a blank one for you to print {if you like} and fill in for your area.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Outdoor Tablecloth Solution

Our outdoor table (wrought iron) is to the point where it desperately needs to have a table cloth in order to eat off of it. It has just spent too many winters outdoors, not to mention our outdoor kitty who likes to nap on it. But table clothes drive me kind of crazy. I have used the little clips and such that are supposed to keep it on the table, but they never seem to work. Since we have a 2 (almost 3 - yikes, where does time go?!) year old running around, it is important that the cloth remains on the table.

It hit me like a bolt of lightning! The answer to the problem is elastic!

So I used some scrap elastic (it doesn't match all the way around, but as long as you keep your head out from under the table, you'll never notice) and it drew the dangling fabric up perfectly!

If you are "irked" by the flowing fabric under the table like I am, you might try sewing some elastic around the bottom hem to draw it up tighter as well. Let me know if it works for you, too!

Do you have any easy problem solving tips that you can share? I'd love to hear them!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Keeping the Little in our Girls Pt 2

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am in a book club and we are discussing Dannah Gresh's book, Six Ways to Keep the "Little" in Your Girl . This really is a must read for any Christian parent with little girls running around the house!

In the Introduction, Dannah tells just a bit about her own personal struggle with purity. I had a similar (although my story is much darker and the resulting chasm between myself and the Lord was much, much deeper) and I thought it was a key point when she said that "one of the physical consequences of s*xual sin is emotional and spiritual darkness."

This consequence is only important when we teach our children (both boys and girls) that a close relationship with the Lord is a treasure worth having. {Sadly enough, unbelievers won't get this.} It is the great pearl and worth selling all that you have and sacrificing anything of this world in order to keep. The Lord will never stop loving us as His children, but our sin (whether s*xual or otherwise) separates us from God. It keeps us from receiving His blessing and being in His will. So part of the groundwork that we need to lay as Moms and Dads is to demonstrate for our girls (and boys) how important our relationship with the Lord is to us. Maybe even share with them that there have been times in our lives where you have failed and sinned (oh come on - you have sinned at least once, right? Me? Daily.) and that it has caused emotional and spiritual darkness.

But there is something very important to stress for our kids {this is where I was lost for so many years}: we are in spiritual and emotional darkness UNTIL we repent and beg for forgiveness. The Lord is quick to forgive and cleanse us from all unrighteousness when we repent. I felt like once I was "impure", I was tainted for life and there was no forgiveness to be found for me. I have no idea where I got this, but it was a burden I carried for years. I am so thankful to know that all my sins - every last one of them - have been paid for by the blood of Jesus. It is finished!

Ok, I got off on a bit of a rabbit trail, but I'm coming back around...

This book talks about topics like modesty and purity {as you might have guessed from my intro}. It also stresses how we, as Moms and Dads, can do everything "by the book", and our kids are still their own person. They will make their own choices. This is not a manual on how to raise perfect daughters (although if there is one out there, please let me know because I'd love to have a copy). Dannah shares that there is "no way {she} can decide how things will go for my daughter, but I'm praying God will give me wisdom to be her friend and guide." That is what I want to be. My daughters' friend and guide. I want to be their gentle, loving and firm guide  as I teach them the ways of the Lord, but I also want to grow a friendship with them that will last our entire lifetimes. My daughters are 6 1/2 and almost 3 and I can already tell, they are cool kids. They are hilarious, smart and witty. I want to be their friend - who wouldn't?

Dannah tells that if you want to open up your 16 year old's heart, you gotta start "when she's 7"! It is so important to build a good foundation of communication, safety and love when she is so young because she will depend on that when she is a teenager. She will learn at a very young age if she can trust you and talk to you without fear of condemnation and judgment (although she should know that you will stand by the truths of God's Word).

Dannah tells of an APA (American Psychological Association) task force that states that "music lyrics, internet content, video games, and clothing are now being marketed to younger and  younger girls. The sexual content of the marketing and the products themselves - while creating no apparent immediate effect - is clearly linked to eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression when these girls become teenagers." It is SO important to know and monitor what your kids are watching, listening to, and spending time doing. I have said it before and I'll say it again. I am so thankful to be able to stay home and spend time (which is priceless) with our daughters so that I am able to develop a relationship with them. It breaks my heart to think of either of my girls struggling with these issues. It takes quantity of time, not just quality. What a blessing straight from heaven.

At the end of most chapters, Dannah suggests a "back away from the book" activity. This week it is breakfast for dinner. Awesome! And since this mother of dairy free, egg free kiddos has learned how to make DF/EF donuts, you can guess what will be on the menu!