Simple Discipleship for Ages 9-13

Simple Discipleship for Ages 9-13

On a recent chilly night, I put on a pink hat (a…weird decision since my hair is purple), so my four-year-old daughter wanted to wear her pink hat. Our commonalities go deeper than headwear: She sways to music the same way I do, loves The Great British Baking Show the way I do, and on this weekend’s donut run, my husband said she dramatically sighed and said, just like her mother, “My nerves are shot.”

Though parenthood is far from formulaic, it’s still fraught with plenty of this kind of inadvertent copy-pasting. We experience a similar phenomenon as adults when we catch a glimpse of our reflection in the mirror or hear ourselves talk and think, “I am my mother!” Replication happens all the time with parents and their kids, and often the stakes are higher than pink hats and reflections.

Read More

The Light Man: A Creative Retelling of the Big Story of the Bible

The Light Man: A Creative Retelling of the Big Story of the Bible

I have a story to tell you. Or rather, I have a story for you to tell your kids.

But before I tell you the story, here’s a little backstory:

I love to make costumes for my kids. They’re always simple and a little janky up close (the costumes, not the kids—gotta look out for those misplaced modifiers). The tradition is probably not sustainable longterm, but for now it brings me tons of joy, and (for now) the kids love it, too. This year at my sewing machine, a story started to take shape. (It’s it interesting how creativity has a way of spilling out in all different directions? I ignored the laundry.)

Read More

Nesting Mamas: What They Teach Us About God

Nesting Mamas: What They Teach Us About God

Nesting is a curious thing mothers universally do, tirelessly carrying the proverbial sticks in our beaks to create a place for our babies to belong. I remember hoisting our living room rug out the front door at 40 weeks because I decided it was too disgusting to be in the presence of my baby girl. Now that baby girl is four, and I still go to great efforts to make sure things around our home are functioning well for her and her little brother (though I haven’t irrationally tossed anything out the front door in a while).

Recently, my two kids started sharing a room, and I noticed how the preparation for the change felt like love.

Read More

Stop Being a Good Girl

Stop Being a Good Girl

If I was your mother, I’d warn you that people will tell you to be a “good girl” or a “good boy.” It’ll feel like a badge of honor, and you’ll want to hustle to earn it. But as a former good girl, I want to tell you the truth about that badge: It’s dangerous.

It makes you think goodness is something you can manufacture or hustle for. Something someone else can proclaim over you in approval: “Yay! You followed these rules! Good girl.”

Read More

Knowing Your Name When the World Tries to Name You

Knowing Your Name When the World Tries to Name You

"But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: 'Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.'" Isaiah 43:1

Names matter. My parents named me “Caroline,” and somehow that particular string of letters feels eternally linked to who I am, as if they line my DNA like biological alphabet soup. (It’s weird because they could have named me something else, like Karen or Bubbalicious or Raisin Bran, and I’m sure I’d feel just as connected to those series of letters if they had.) Praise the Lord, even though Dad actually loves Raisin Bran, my folks thought carefully and chose Caroline, just for me.

Read More