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4 Ways to Trust God as a New Parent

Becoming a parent for the first time is both exciting and terrifying. But you have a heavenly Father who is good and trustworthy. Trust Him with the unknown, cling to His promises, know that He always makes a way for His will to be done

7 Pieces of Bad Parenting Advice You Should Ignore

Inner rambling thoughts of nearly every mom or dad at some point or another when any piece of parenting advice is given:She may mean well, but it's a different generation that doesn't work today.Those words didn't just come out of his mouth, did they?But my life is different than hers, and I can't do that? Can I?He has got to be kidding. Oh, wait. He's absolutely serious!Oh, the many times I have heard advice from a "well-meaning" family member, friend, acquaintance, and yes, even a simple stranger (the grocery store is the worst), only to tell myself to let it go in one ear and out the other. Yep, it's a lot. I bet you can probably relate.While some advice is welcomed and helpful, like when my mom told me to put another diaper below the one I was changing (good call!) or the time a mentor couple at our church told my husband (in front of me) the best thing you can do for your children, is to really love their mother. That one made me smile. Other times, you get those words of advice that may leave you grinding your teeth, biting your lip, rolling your eyes, or just awkwardly smiling, awaiting the chance to slither away. Then there are those off-the-wall statements that just make you go, hmm.We've all been there. Getting advice, especially as a new parent, is like a rite of passage. The reality is that you are going to receive advice many times throughout this journey; it is unavoidable. The good news is that as parents, we can learn from one another and share our own stories, allowing us to shift the good advice from the not-so-good advice.So, with that, here is a collection of bad parenting advice, mostly for new parents, but could be applied for other seasons as well, that may spur on a few laughs, cause an "aha" moment, or give you a big virtual hug as realize you aren't alone.
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5 Surprising Ways You May Be Destroying Your Relationship with Your Adult Children

As parents, it's easy to discipline and guide kids when they're little. As young children grow and form their own values and ideas, it's easy to simply follow what Mom or Dad says to do. They learn boundaries, and they learn to be comfortable within those boundaries. However, when they become adults, they want to be treated as adults. It's difficult for parents to let go of past child-rearing techniques and instead continue to treat their children like children rather than the adults they are. Overbearing or controlling parents may be difficult for children to be able to relate to as they get older. This, among other things, may strain an otherwise enriching relationship between parent and adult. Here are some surprising ways you may be destroying your relationship with your adult children:
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5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before Becoming a Mom

You prepare your body for the baby for roughly ten months (40 weeks) or an adoption process that can span even longer as you assimilate a child into your home. But how much do we prepare our minds for the rest of our lives in how we see ourselves as a mom? No one really talks about preparing for the mental acknowledgment of being a parent, not just in the moment but in the years ahead.

7 Prayers for the Brand-New Momma

You are amazing! Just thought you might need to hear that right about now. You made it. You did it! Your love made that precious little bundle you have tucked so close to your heart, gifting you a title you never knew could come with so many emotional strings attached.Yet, here you are! You are a mom. A mom!You anticipated, waited, and earnestly prayed for this day, this new chapter. So, welcome to the club, sweet sister!It wasn’t easy, I know. Your body is weary, and your heart is still tender. It’s been quite a lot to endure lately. After all, you just carried a life inside of you for nine months and grew another tiny human. You did that! You dealt with mood swings and food aversions, watched your body morph in ways that brought forth both joy and frustration. You battled sleepless nights and wrestled a body pillow that practically kicked your hubby out of bed. You walked around even though you couldn’t see your feet, all while bracing yourself for lots and lots of (un)wanted advice. You prepped like never before, cleaning like a mad woman all while eating cereal like it was going out of style. You fought fatigue like a champ and read all the parenting books.You did all that, and now you are here! Holding this little human with shaky arms, unsure of how in the world you are going to do this. But, this is indeed motherhood.Sweet new momma, it’s okay to have all the feels and to be real and raw in the moment. You just underwent the most incredible yet physically, mentally, and emotionally draining procedure that a woman could ever go through. Sure, it was exhaustive, demanding, and intense, but oh, so beautiful.Yet, as surreal as that moment in time was, the journey has just begun! The healing will come, I promise. The emotions will eventually even out, I assure you. The fog will lift, and you will settle into this new role. Those motherly instincts will kick in and you will be okay. Trust that you are not only capable but so much stronger than you may think because God created you for this. And, He’s got you!In the meantime, as you snuggle that precious gift and settle into this new season of your life, take some time to get quiet before the Lord and let Him wrap you in His unfailing love. Below are some verses and pocket prayers to whisper up at any time. Let them bring peace and comfort to your new momma heart:Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Rawpixel

5 Things Christian Parents Need to Know about Gentle Parenting

Growing up, my dad used to tell me, "Children should be seen and not heard." This was a common mantra he heard in his home growing up. Members of the Boomer generation had parents who simply wanted their children to go play and leave them alone. Children had no say in decision-making, and little value was placed on a child's role in their parents' lives. Parents of this generation rarely said they were sorry to their children as parenting meant being the authority figure and always being right. However, as generations have passed, a new equality in parenting has been reached.Fathers are just as involved with their kids as mothers are. Parents are more apt to apologize for their mistakes. Yet children of a future generation may still adopt the model they saw in their house growing up. Some generations often used control and punishment as ways to curb bad behavior and reward good behavior—yelling and other forms of corporal punishment that may not be appropriate today were appropriate back then. Therefore, kids of younger generations have trouble understanding what it means to parent their child in a gentle way that allows them their own autonomy but still helps them become selfless, well-adjusted individuals. Here are five things Christian parents need to know about gentle parenting:
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Prayers for the Stay-at-Home Mom

Protect my heart as I carry out my daily obligations, knowing that investing in my children is how I bring glory to You. Help me chisel these little arrows to become a mighty army for You!

4 Things I Would Do Differently if I Could Raise My Kids Again

As a writer, I have many friends who write articles for different organizations. One day, a writer friend asked if she could ask me some questions regarding my parenting. Her main question when she interviewed me was, "What would I do differently if I could raise my kids again?" I wish I could say I raised my kids perfectly with no mistakes. However, there are many things I wish I could do differently if I had the chance to parent my kids all over again. As parents, we all make mistakes when it comes to parenting. Although we strive to be less like our own parents, the reality is we often adopt certain principles and methods of parenting just like our parents. Sometimes, we even find ourselves saying the same phrases with the same tone and mannerisms as them. Becoming like our parents is not all bad, but there are certainly things we could have done better when we look back on our time as a parent. Here are some things I wish I had done differently if I could raise my kids again:
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5 Notes of Wisdom I Embrace Daily as a Mom

Life is a full mix of fun and fear, and our kids are watching how we react to both. Jesus said He came so we could live life to the full. What life was full of, He didn’t specify. Raising kids will bring a lot of fun and a lot of fear into our lives. Holding on to these five notes of wisdom has helped me embrace the Lord’s joy through it all. All the crying messes, freaked-out moments, mistakes I’d rather not own up to, and blessed moments so full they could burst wide open. These are notes of wisdom I embrace daily as a mom. God places our children in our lives for a reason, and it is important to remember our mothers, too. Everything God ordains is intentional, and we are blessed to be made in His image to bring glory to Him.1. Seek God First Every Day“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 NLTThis first note of wisdom is how I begin each day. Most days, I’m at my desk with a dim light on, the Bible open, and the prayer list sprawled out. But even in seasons when sickness or sadness has robbed me of the early morning, talking to God still takes precedence in my day. The NIV Study Bible explains v33, “the heart of the matter.” We are created to bring glory to God and cannot accomplish this without a relevant daily relationship with Him. The Voice paraphrase of this verse reads, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too.” Faith done right feels like a warm friend, always there, not afraid to stick the truth to you, and forever forgiving.“Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him.” – 1 Chronicles 16:11 NLTMotherhood has stretched me farther than I ever thought I could reach. From sinking into the proverbial floor in despaired prayer to experiencing the joy of patience paying off – it’s been a long stretch of lessons! A continual season of seeking and searching for God in everything. The ESV translation of 1 Chronicles 16:11 reads, “Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!” The Hebrew word for continually is tamiyd, meaning “continuity, perpetuity, stretch.” It’s sometimes necessary to stretch to see God’s hand in our everyday lives. We know, undoubtedly, without minds, He is always with us, but stretching to see Him and seek Him in our everyday situations helps us remain on course to live a full life.Parenthood is busy. Many of us work full-time jobs and are full-time parents. But any amount of time we give the Lord pays off in high dividends. In the early morning hours, listening to something fruitful on our commute, taking a break, a prayer walk …it’s essential to seek God first, and often, each day. It’s become my method of motherhood survival.Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Inside Creative House

Is Surrogacy Okay for Christians?

This new invention, along with many other involved fertility treatments, raises new questions about the ethical implications of these actions. As with pretty much any current event, there are differing perspectives on the morality of surrogacy. We are still grappling with it as believers and seeking God for his wisdom when it comes to our desire to be parents.

10 Small But Impactful Ways to Incorporate Faith in Your Parenting

This morning, I drove my middle daughter to high school in utter silence. No words were spoken, no music was on, just the sound of the tires rolling on the pavement…and the huffs of her very annoyed breaths directed toward me!It's been a long week. We have had some issues unfold in our family that have caused a bit of tension to ensue. I'm tired. She's tired. Yet, when she got out of the car, grabbed her backpack and sports gear, then ever so casually looked at me, all I could do in that moment was remind her that I loved her - no matter what.This parenting journey is rough sometimes. It leaves me questioning if I am doing anything right. Maybe you feel this, too? Thankfully, God has a plan and purpose for our children and for us! Even if we feel like we are messing them up, we can rest assured that fine-tuning is taking place, and God is moving behind the scenes.The truth is, we aren't called to be perfect parents; we are called to trust a perfect God and allow Him to move in our lives and the precious lives of our children.So, today, I invite you to lay it all at His feet and return to the simple basics. Sometimes, we just need a reset button and a way to remind ourselves that while we can go through many highs and lows, God is with us. He is going before us, walking beside us, and He is picking up the messy pieces behind us (Joshua 1:9)!Below is a list of small but impactful ways to incorporate faith into your everyday parenting. I bet that you are already doing most, if not all, of these! The truth is we tend to overcomplicate parenting, but it is the small, seemingly insignificant things we do that matter the most. And, you want to know the best part? The best part is if you fail (which we all will), God's still got this!Photo credit: ©Pexels/August de Richelieu

10 Powerful Things Raising Daughters Has Taught Me

Raising daughters is not for the faint of heart. Raising kids isn’t for the faint of heart, yet many of us find ourselves in the thick of parenthood. Each season of parenting has taught me something new about myself and how much I need God daily. The two girls God put in my care have stretched me further than I thought I could bend, and I’ve embraced so many things as I have been on this journey with them. These ten bubbled up from my heart, but I’m only partway through the journey. Right now, they are 15 and 13, with so much more living to do ... and I'm trailing alongside for the ride, growing closer to God each step of the way as I lean on Him to help raise these beautiful daughters.1. The Joy of Waiting“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14 NLTThis verse has become my anthem for motherhood, especially as my daughters traverse their teenage years. Trailing alongside them, I often have to face the true definition of patience. It’s the opposite of control and criticism. Motherhood tends towards controlling choices, as we want our kids to avoid making painful decisions. The reality of Christ-centered parenting is allowing our children to choose and loving them the same whether they heed our wisdom or not. It takes patience to wait and see what they will choose! It’s painful! Yes, patience is painful at times. Yet, when we trust the Lord, it can also be joyful to wait on what the Lord is doing in their young lives. To trust Him with them isn’t easy. It goes against all our natural responses, even though we know God has good plans for us …and our children. Bravery and courage aren’t words we usually associate with patience, but perhaps we should! Letting go of the control we really want as parents is brave, and unconditional love takes courage.Top photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/CalypsoArt


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