Kids/Parenting, Link-Ups

Summer Fun

Well, mamas of school-aged kiddos, that time is upon us…summer…in some households, I think it could be considered a curse word! 🙂

For our house, this is the first time since I’ve been a mama I’m not working full-time this summer. The work that I will be doing is part-time (and I can take the kids with me), and of course improving my writing craft.

In case you don’t know, I have a 10 year old daughter, a 9 year old step-daughter, and a 9 year old son.

summer fun

Here are a few things that we will be doing for activities this summer:

  • Free bowling. Yep, I said FREE! If you go to this website:, you can see if this is available in your area. The kids get to bowl two free games every day, and for a small one-time fee (I mean SMALL, like $20 or something) you can add 2 adults to bowl with the kids. So, we are basically getting two games of bowling every day of the summer for less than the price of a movie!
  • Speaking of movies, I know in the past, our local theatre has done free or reduced price movies during the summer. While it may not be the latest blockbuster, it’s sure to kill some time and entertain the littles!
  • Of course, there’s always the park and the pool. Our local pools offer discounted rates for swimming after 4:00 pm. You could see if your pool does the same.
  • There are also crafts to be done during summer. Especially on those gloomy days. Here is one I really like: Heart Wreath Craft.
  • One thing we did over spring break was go to the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis. While we were there, we purchased a membership. Economically, it just made sense. For the five of us to go one time, it was over $100. For a full year membership for the five of us, it was just over $150. Plus, we get free carousel rides!
  • Other things that we will likely do to fill the days are: visits to the library, bike rides, walking some local, easy trails, and fishing (my son tells me that McDonald’s french fries make the best bait — which is good for me, since I don’t like slimy worms!).

The kids have some sports and church summer camps they’re planning to attend, so that will also use some time.

I know that, with a little planning, and some whitespace for down time in our schedule, we can make this the best summer ever!

I’m really anxious to see what kind of mischief we get into, since this is the first summer we’ve been able to do this. Don’t worry…I’ll report back as the summer progresses!

What about you? I would love to hear what your summer activities will be.

His Word, Kids/Parenting


Today I want to talk about restoration. defines restore as: “to bring back into existence, use, or the like; to reestablish”

Think of all of the ways this applies…

Just this morning, I was watching a home show where one party wanted to restore an old home to its original glory and their partner was more concerned with renovating it into something new and different. It had beautiful hardwood floors that one party wanted to cover up and the other party wanted to restore and refurbish.

It’s also true with old cars. Some people want to restore vintage cars to their original beauty. They see the value in bringing the former brilliance to the surface.

People are able to restore items – things like cars and houses and cast iron skillets {random, I know, but it IS true}.

When it comes to relationships; however, restoration is God’s business. This is what He specializes in. This is His full-time gig.

I guess it’s no surprise that on Father’s Day my thoughts drift to the restoration of relationships. There are so many broken relationships out there. And unfortunately, many of them are between fathers and their children.

Many of you know that my own father and I had a broken relationship for most of my life. It was only on Mother’s Day two years ago that we began the arduous process of restoring what the enemy had stolen – 35 years of brokenness.

Since that time, I’ve given God the glory multiple times. If it weren’t for Him, my dad and I wouldn’t be where we are. I can remember talking to my dad so many times before then and telling him that I had forgiven him for his absence in my life. But the truth is, I hadn’t forgiven him. I had desperately wanted to forgive him, but it was impossible to do in my own strength.

It wasn’t until I had truly turned the situation and relationship over to God that I was able to accept the hurt and brokenness in my past and forgive. I had to say to God what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said to King Nebuchadnezzar in the third chapter of Daniel when he ordered them to bow down and worship false gods:

“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” {Daniel 3:16-18}

I have to remind the enemy that the God I serve was and is able to rescue me from any situation, but even if He doesn’t, I will not worship any false gods.

Recently, I read and reviewed a book called ‘Untangled‘ by Carey Scott. In it, she said something so powerful that I have continued to come back to it in my conscious and subconscious thinking.

“In His sovereignty, God knew evil would find me that day. And while He could have stopped the enemy’s plan, He didn’t. That’s been a hard reality to accept…But maybe, just maybe, he allowed it to happen because His plans were to also give me… a voice.”

See, that’s the key to it all. Remembering what Paul tells us in Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

Restore-Joel 2_25

So, while I had many years of sadness and asking God why I couldn’t have a regular relationship with my dad, my Heavenly Daddy had other plans. He knew what my earthly father and I would have to go through before being able to let the past remain in the past. We are both strong in our Christian faith now and I firmly believe that everything had to happen in order for us to be where we are. We can both look at the situation and know, to the very core of our being, that this is where God had intended for us to end up.

Many of you also know that Emma and her dad have a broken relationship. There is one that God is truly going to have to grab ahold of and work some serious miracles in order to restore. And right about the time I think He’s up to something really AWESOME, he shows his true colors again…and I go back to fervently praying that Emma will continue to seek her Heavenly Father above all else. As He is the one who will never let her down. And I know that, in time, God will restore this relationship. But even if He doesn’t, He is able, and me and my house will not bow down and worship false gods.

I have another friend who currently has a broken relationship with his grown daughter. She has decided to pave her own way and blaze her own path. But, knowing God the way I do, I know that He will work this out for His glory and for the good of those involved.

See, I think the thing that we forget most often is that God does not work on our timetable. He doesn’t consult us for our master plan. You can’t set a clock by His timing. He isn’t a train or a plane that provides a schedule of activities in advance. We have to adhere to His timing, because, as our Creator, He knows us better than we know ourselves. And He knows what we are ready for and when we are ready for it.

The bible shows us over and over how God is able to restore many things – including relationships. Especially those we think are impossible.

After all, impossible is God’s favorite word.

His Word, Series

Catching Fire, the Real Enemy, and Our Weapons

With the release of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ on disk yesterday, I think it’s only fitting to use this movie to illustrate a point.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the book, and now movie, series, Katniss is the main female character and Peeta is the main male character. They were victors in a modern Gladiator-style ‘game’ in the first move ‘The Hunger Games.’ In the second movie, ‘Catching Fire,’ they are sent back to the game or arena, with the other remaining victors to viciously battle it out. One other important character, played by Woody Harrelson, is Haymitch, their mentor. It is his job to help prepare them, physically, mentally, and emotionally, for the battle.

Ok, now that you’re mostly up to speed, here’s where things get good. In Catching Fire, Haymitch is prepping Katniss for the arena. She is just beside herself that she has to go back, since winning the games has generally bought you a ticket out of future games. In her thinking, she views all of the other contestants as the enemies. She is trying to get herself in the mindset that, in order for her to win again, she will need to kill all of the others.

During one scene, Haymitch tells her, “Katniss, when you’re in the arena…you just remember who the enemy is.”

See, Haymitch wanted her to remember that the other contestants in the ‘game’ are forced to be there, just like she is. They don’t want to kill any more than she does. They are pawns in the government’s game just as she is.

I think that we believers could take a cue from Haymitch to remember who the real enemy is. We need to remember who we are truly fighting against. Recall what Ephesians 6:12 tells us:

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

In his commentary, Matthew Henry says that, “The combat is not against ordinary human enemies, not merely against people made up of flesh and blood.” See, most people think that the people we encounter during our daily lives or our arena, are ‘out to get us’ or are being difficult because that’s who they are to their core. But that’s not the truth. The truth is that they are simply pawns in the enemy’s games. He is using them to achieve his purposes.

Matthew Henry goes on to say, “Our enemies fight to prevent our ascent to heaven…because we grapple with spiritual enemies; we also need faith in our Christian work, because we need to draw in supplies of spiritual strength.” The devil wants nothing more than to keep you, yes YOU, out of heaven. He wants to see you suffering an eternal damnation, separated from God.

Because we are fighting this battle, we need to have supplies of our spiritual strength. Which is where Paul further goes on to tell us in verses 13-17 to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand our ground. He instructs us to stand firm with the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, and to take up the shield of faith. Finally, he tells us to take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit.

All of these weapons prepare us for the spiritual warfare that is going on around us and within us.

We, as believers, need to remember the words of our Savior Jesus Christ, found in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

It is not the desire of our loving, heavenly Father that we would perish or that we would fall prey to the enemy. He desires that we would come into a relationship with Him and draw upon His strength, use the weapons we have available to us, and bring others to Him.

Ephesians 6:17 instructs us to, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Fellow believers, lets put on the full armor of God this morning and attack the real enemy and not one another.