“A deep sadness settles over me.”
Has God ever asked you to sacrifice something that meant a lot to you, but you knew it wasn’t pleasing to Him? For instance, a relationship? But you resisted, knowing it’d hurt. I can relate. When God asked that of me, it felt like He was asking me to cut off a finger just because it might get infected.
For three weeks, I heard God’s warning alarm sounding in my spirit. “Caution: Danger ahead,” He kept telling me. When I finally heeded Him, life was no better. How baffling. I thought God would reward my obedience by making me feel better. I was a little perturbed, even wondering if I’d made a terrible mistake.
Then I came across this article today, and oh boy, I needed it. If you’ve experience loss recently, I hope it edifies you as it did for me.
Black Lives Do Matter. So do black families.
On their website, Black Lives Matter lists this Guiding Principle: “We are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure…” On that front, there is very little work left to do, as currently only seventeen percent of black children will reach their 18th birthday living in a nuclear family headed by their married father and mother.
Deion is one of those black children. He grew up in a family that was comprised of four half-siblings and his white grandmother. His mother brought four children into the world, all with different fathers, all absent. After a few years, his mother was absent too. Deion’s father was black; all of his siblings were white.
Deion was pissed off.
His siblings were pissed off.
Because when your father is not around, kids often feel unwanted and as a result… angry. Deion’s anger was a constant and he was only fourteen when he had…
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Paint the Storm is now available on Amazon! Download it here.
In case you haven’t seen my latest news, my new novel Paint the Storm will be available for pre-order on September 15. What’s so special about that? you may wonder. Well, PTS deals with a very controversial, and possibly uncomfortable, topic: same-sex marriage. In light of last year’s landmark Supreme Court case, how are we Christians to deal with this new reality?
That is the question I attempted to answer when I wrote this story.
When I began writing Paint the Storm three years ago, same-sex marriage was not yet legal in the US. At the time, I approached the story as if it were a likely future scenario. Two years later, it was no longer a “what if.” It became reality when, in June 2015, the US Supreme Court affirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry.
Unfortunately, it’s an issue which has polarized our nation, and even our churches.
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Hey friends, it’s almost that time — August 1, release date for the long-awaited Book 1 in my new Golden State Trilogy! And to satisfy your curiosity, here’s a peek at the cover:
To see what the book is about, click here. Then leave a comment below. I’ll choose one commenter at random to receive a gift copy on August 1. And be sure to let your friends know, too.
A gorilla is dead, but a child is alive. And a mom is getting hated on for supposedly not keeping a close enough eye on her son.
I’ve seen the video, and boy, if it had been my son, I would’ve been terrified. Not only at the danger to my son, but from other folks’ judgmental glares and the backlash on social media. That poor mom probably hasn’t left her house since. She’s the one I feel for.
I can’t stand the way society imposes unrealistic expectations on mothers. Especially single mothers. Not so for fathers. All that’s expected of them is the contents of their wallets. Sure, mothers are revered, but if we make the slightest slip, scorn is flung our way. That’s just not fair.
I’d love for you to share any memories of a scary moment with your kids. Did you ever lose sight of them for a moment, only to find they’d gotten themselves into a terrifying predicament? Or have you ever been the object of judgment for your parenting by observers who thought they knew better than you? Please share in the comments below.
Finally, someone has offered kindness and grace to this boy’s mom – an open letter to the gorilla-loving boy’s mom. Here’s the link:
In honor of Mothers’ Day — I saw this Facebook post earlier this week, and it just about ripped my heart out. Yes, there really are mothers like this one, who put their love lives ahead of their kids’ welfare. We need to keep speaking out against these Mommy Dearests, and do our best to erase the damage they do to these kids. Kudos to teachers like Lauren who are willing to get below the surface and reach out to these hurting kids.
(Reposted with permission.)
I get asked all the time why I teach. I never know how to answer it quite right, so I usually say something sarcastic like, “Because I’m really a huge fan of hearing myself repeat the same thing sixteen times in three minutes,” or “Because summers, obviously.”
There was boy in my morning class, I’ll call him Danny. At least three times a week, he showed up over an hour late to my class. He was always behind, never quite knew what was going on, and his late work caused extra grading for me. Frankly, he annoyed me. Every time he showed up late, I assumed he didn’t care. He wasn’t responsible. He didn’t respect me. Finally, I asked him. “Danny, why are you always late?” He shrugged. I said nothing, and waited for a response. He sighed, “My mom got this new boyfriend, and whenever she stays the night at his place, no one is home to make sure my little brother gets on the bus. I make sure he’s awake and get him on his bus, but that means I miss my bus and have to walk.” How far is your house from school? “A little over a mile.”
Danny IS responsible. Danny DOES care. Danny DOES value his education. See, whenever Danny was late, he would miss the school’s free breakfast and go hungry until lunch. He’s frustrated with his mom, behind in his classes, and is hungry. Of course this 13 year old boy is acting out! Now, when Danny shows up late, instead of greeting him with a detention slip and an eye roll, I get to greet him with a genuine smile and a granola bar.
Danny humbled me. To be completely honest, I get humbled by my students daily. They make me realize that I can be impatient, judgmental, and imperfect. But the thing is, there’s no eleventh commandment that says, “Thou shalt be perfect.” Jesus just showed up, met people exactly where they were, and loved them. Then he taught, but only after their immediate needs were met.
I teach because I get to ask kids “why” every day. Why are you late? Why aren’t your clothes clean? Why aren’t you doing your work? Why do you want to sleep in my class? Why are you so afraid to take a risk? Why don’t you trust adults? Why are you acting out? Why are you arguing with me? (Sometimes the questions are ridiculous: why are you hiding in my closet? Why did you think it was a good idea to throw your shoe out the window? Why did you just lick your neighbor’s ear?)
The “whys” teachers ask aren’t to be punitive and shame kids. Teachers ask kids “why” because we get to treat students like human beings worthy of love and respect. Those “whys” show kids that we care, that they’re worthy, that they matter, and that they’re safe. We ask why, and then we listen… Really listen to these kids.
From one Solo Mama to another: Fellow blogger Alexis has whetted my appetite for a Hallmark movie coming up this Saturday night, April 9, called Hearts of Spring. She’s written an eloquent review on her blog, God is Love.
Click here to read the review.
Who wants to join me in watching it this weekend?