1
Trusting God can be hard. Not trusting? Even harder.
2
5 truths our kids need most (hint: getting into the right college isn’t one of them)
3
Why I am living in this “Mommy” moment
4
What to do when you need a Parenting Time-Out
5
UPDATE: Praise, patience and prayers
6
Who’s complaining? I am! …but then I remember this.
7
In the darkness of this Good Friday—watch and pray
8
When where you sit matters more than where you step
9
I GIVE UP: Why I thank God for my Lenten fails
10
Will you stop and pray for this little boy today?

Trusting God can be hard. Not trusting? Even harder.

By Beth Hartt

While preparing the craft for a Sunday school lesson recently, I found myself writing “Trust God” over and over on popsicle sticks.  It’s not a hard lesson to teach 1st and 2nd graders—trusting God comes easily to 7-year-olds. You tell them they should trust God because he knows what’s best for them and they don’t question it.

For adults, however, trusting God is a little more complicated.

I know I should trust God, and not just with the big stuff. But so often I only want to pray to him about the things I just don’t know what to do with instead of making him a part of every decision I make. And despite what I know to be true, I find myself believing the lie that I can handle whatever it is I’m dealing with just fine on my own. It feels like I’m in a constant wrestling match with God over things I think I can control. Only … I’m the lone wrestler. God is patiently waiting for me to realize, again, that yes, I do in fact need him for everything. Apart from him, I can do nothing. Read More

5 truths our kids need most (hint: getting into the right college isn’t one of them)

*Note: This post originally ran last May, and has been one of our most-read posts of all time.  With those banners going up again, we think it’s worth reposting. Don’t ask Abigail about it though, because now her oldest is almost a senior and talking about it might make her cry.
 

By Abigail McConnell

The graduation banners are up everywhere. Have you seen them?

They hang at neighborhood entrances, congratulating seniors name by name. Maybe it’s the new norm everywhere, or maybe it’s just around here, I’m not sure. But I confess they make me a little uneasy.

Don’t get me wrong. These kids have worked hard and it’s time to say well done. Graduation is a major milestone that already puts a lump in my throat — and I’ve still got two years till our oldest graduates. (Two years that will feel like six minutes.)

But the banner thing, it kind of makes me feel like we’re all playing a game. Like some 18-year match of College-opoly that culminates in the unveiling of a grand leader-board for all to see.

I’ve always assumed my kids will go to college, and I want them to push hard and find their strengths and dig deep into knowing. And yes, the kid who goes to college has a more secure financial future.  But, maybe mine won’t. Maybe yours won’t.

What would a blank spot after their name on that banner mean? Read More

Why I am living in this “Mommy” moment

By Mary-Evelyn Starnes

Lately, when someone asks how things with the kids are going, I say, “We’re finally in a good place. They can bathe themselves but they still call me Mommy. It’s the best of both worlds.”

So when my son called me “Mom” the other day, I did not take it well. My daughter had dropped the “-my” a few weeks before, a change I reluctantly accepted as a rite of passage for the girl who is 9 going on 19. But I could not accept it from my not-quite-seven-year-old. Not from my baby. Read More

What to do when you need a Parenting Time-Out

By Leigh Sain

She says it innocently, this sweet friend of mine, as we stand in the school copy room. The morning sun is streaming in through the windows, steam rising slowly off the tops of our paper coffee cups and her eyes twinkle with real honesty. “I just love this age. My kids are so great, now. They get along so well. We’re finally seeing the benefits of having them so close together.”

I had asked about her boys, who are the same ages as my older two.

“And you? How are yours?” she turns the conversation my way over the hum of the whirring copy machine. Umm … how did I not see this coming? Mine? Fine? I should’ve asked about the weather. Read More

UPDATE: Praise, patience and prayers

By Abigail McConnell

Several weeks ago I wrote about Praise, a little boy in Kenya with a tumor growing behind his eye, and I wanted to give you an update.

Well, I have good news and bad news.  Read More

Who’s complaining? I am! …but then I remember this.

By Jennifer Graham Kizer

I have a complaint. I have several, actually. But you haven’t got all day, so I’ll stick to the one I’m thinking of right now.

My older daughter’s fourth grade class has 31 kids in it. This is too big! The teacher spends more time on crowd control than she does on teaching. It’s easy for kids to fall through the cracks, to hide out in the back, to zone out. Behavior problems sprout up.

Students perform best when the class size is capped at 20. Anecdotal evidence bears it out, but there are also hard research numbers. My daughter’s teacher agrees that the class is too big. “Feel free to mention it to administration,” she said, when I complained. Read More

In the darkness of this Good Friday—watch and pray

By Mary-Evelyn Starnes

It seems to happen every year. Death and tragedy right around Easter.  For several years growing up, it seemed like our church lost a member every Holy Week.  Surely it was not every year, but it felt like we often got a dose of death that turned us from joyous to somber, darkening the Easter pastels we had already adorned our homes with. As an adult, on this Good Friday, I think a reminder that death is real is not a bad thing. There can be no joy in the resurrection if death is not real to us.

But it’s not just natural death. This season seems rife with senseless violence. With tragedy. How many April mornings have I been sitting at my computer frantically finishing up tax returns only to be derailed when I open my internet browser? There was Virginia Tech. There was the Boston Marathon. And now this. Now a college in Kenya, and my heart is sick. Read More

When where you sit matters more than where you step

By Leigh Sain

Spring has sprung here in the south. And after 900 cold, wet winter days with no outside play time for my wild boys, I am a bit in love this new season. Mostly because it has brought freedom to open the front door and let the wildings take their leaping ninja-fighting selves outside.

For five minutes life is a bit calmer, and then I notice an odd thing happening with my littlest guy. He is spending these glorious new spring days crying. Constantly. Right out in the middle of our cul-de-sac. Read More

I GIVE UP: Why I thank God for my Lenten fails

By Mary-Evelyn Starnes

If there is one thing Christians do that garners the most eye-rolls and jokes from non-Christians, it has to be the practice of giving up something for Lent.  ”So wait,” they say.  ”You gave up Starbucks to make Jesus happy?  I’m sure he really cares.”

As a former Catholic, I have a colorful history of religious practices built around Lent.  I do not like to use the word “religious” to describe any part of my faith, but it applies here.  “Religion” is how we act or try to act in response to God.  And I’ve run the gamut of Lenten religion.  I’ve given up things.  Some years I’ve added things instead.  It was not compulsory.  Once I started butting heads with the Catholic Church at the wee age of 14, I refused to do just about anything it told me to do.  But when Lent came around, even during the college years when the Church had no hold on me whatsoever, I felt an almost magnetic pull to return.  I needed to go get those ashes.  And I needed to prepare for Easter.  Giving something up was a response to that feeling that preparation was in order. Read More

Will you stop and pray for this little boy today?

There’s this boy I know in Kenya. His story might just break your heart.

He lives off a dirt road, in a small house with a dozen or so other kids.  At four, he lost both parents. His grandmother couldn’t care for him and released him to an orphanage. A few months ago his caretakers noticed something wrong with the boy’s left eye, something causing it to bulge out. Turns out he has a tumor. And it is growing.

But this is Kenya, remember, and things here move slow, sometimes even slower than a tumor. He’s being well cared for, but the complications of his case and the lack of surgeons available caused his treatment to get stalled. But the tumor was not. It keeps growing, and now the boy is in pain.

Heartbreaking. Maybe you’re ready to stop reading because it breaks your heart so much. I hope not, because there’s one more thing:

This boy I know in Kenya? His name is Praise.

A boy named Praise. Read More

Copyright 2014 The Cul de Sac.

Get our posts by email:
SUBSCRIBE