A Question Every Parent Must Answer

a question every parent must answer


Can Our Children Be the Exception in a Sex-Obsessed World?

This isn’t a post about Miley Cyrus.

And it isn’t even a reaction to all the reactions.

I read this more than a week ago and then I immediately sent it to my husband and rechecked the filters on our computer. I sat my 11 and 13 year old down for (another) conversation. I had to.

If you have the Internet at home or your child has access to it at someone’s home, if you ever leave them with family or friends, send them to public school, homeschool them in a co-op, if you are a parent and you have children, you should read this post, too.

It’s always painful learning what my kids are up against in our sex-obsessed world, but I can’t pretend my kids are the exception. I believe if you are breathing, you have seen an explicit image in your life time or heard about you know who’s raunchy twerking this week. Sex is a hot topic in our world (premarital, homosexual, extramarital, and pornographic).

And being sex-obsessed is a cultural norm in our society.

Doubt that bold statement? It’s the most recent facts: 1 in every 5 searches on mobile phones is for pornography and that’s not even counting home computers. And it’s not just the bad boys or girls searching. 50% of Christian men and 20% of Christian women who attend church say they are addicted to pornography.

We talk regularly with our kids about purity, sex, lust and pornography.  (What we are teaching them). I firmly believe in sharing God’s standard for purity and sex before the world begins to tell our children what everyone else is doing.

When I shared the post on Facebook, a friend of mine asked, “Can our children be the exception?” My heart pounded at her question because I think the world would tell us no. But here’s what I answered: “I believe with all my heart it IS possible to raise kids counter culture to this “norm.” But I will say If you encourage your kids NOT to be the norm, they won’t fit in and be like everyone else and that presents an entirely different kind of hard, but it’s for their good.”

I know kids who are the exception and I’m sure you do, too. There are teens who aren’t sexting dirty pictures on their phones. Boys who aren’t experimenting sexually. Young adults who marry as virgins. Husbands and wives who aren’t hooked on pornography.

How do we raise children who are the exception? I don’t know. I believe we are on the path, but it’s a hindsight kind of journey. Here’s what I believe will lead us to children who are the exception:

  • I believe it starts with acknowledging what’s really going on in the world and talking to our kids about it.

  • I believe if we allow an atmosphere of grace in our home, our children will come to us when they make mistakes or have questions. (But we still need to open the conversation regularly)

  • I believe we need to let our children wrestle with God and His words on sexuality. We can teach them, but they have to decide if they will embrace truth. And when they make mistakes and give in to temptation and act human, we need to offer grace and forgiveness.

  • I believe we should say no to allowing social media privileges (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Etc) too early: Social media is the perfect breeding ground for sexual promiscuity–from sending, receiving and viewing inappropriate images to interacting with people we don’t know (and our children don’t know), it can be very dangerous.

  • I believe it is our obligation to limit the influence of the sexual revolution in our homes. It is okay to check your child’s phone. It’s okay for them not to have a phone. It’s okay for you to put filters on the computers and devices in your home. It’s okay for you to control their access as long as they live in your house. It’s okay to turn the TV off and not let trash in.

  • I believe our children want us to know what they have done, what they know, what they are tempted to do, what they don’t want to give in to. I believe we should be their dictionary, not Google. Not only has satan bombarded our kids with graphic images and access at every turn, he has convinced parents not to talk about it.

  • I believe we can defeat cultural norms from becoming normal in our home by sharing our own struggles and experiences with our kids in an open, loving, God-filled environment of forgiveness and hope. It might even start with getting help ourselves first.

I pulled my 13 year old aside and asked what she thought about Miley Cyrus a couple of months ago after I heard about the new video to one of her songs. I even offered to watch a quick portion of the video with her because I believe if we teach our children right from wrong, they immediately know wrong in their hearts when they see it. I’d rather sit next to my kids and help them make that decision than discover later they watched something like her performance on a friend’s phone at church. (Because y’all, it happens everywhere).

Thankfully, my daughter didn’t have any desire to watch it. Her words, “I don’t want that trash in my mind.” I overheard she and her best friend say they were going to pray for Miley. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Because really? Our society has failed these good girl teen movie stars who are now proud of their bad girl image. Our girls have been oversexualized for years in our culture and then the world is surprised this is how they go about shedding their good girl image? Sex sells and the same people who buy it are now bewildered. I have to say, I’m not shocked, just sad at what’s become normal in our society. (Okay, so maybe this was a little bit about Miley).

With God’s help, I believe we can raise children who know right from wrong in a culture that is constantly changing the definition.

If we’re not asking ourselves if our kids can be the exception, we’ve already decided the answer.

WFMW: Amazon Mom


I love Amazon. I love being a mom.  So, being an Amazon Mom  is a no-brainer for me.

Here’s why I love it:

  • It’s free
  • The first 3 months of your “trial membership” include PRIME membership
  • With PRIME, you get FREE 2 day shipping on all “prime” items during those 3 monts–which is a like a million things, seriously, from diapers to books to copy paper. You cannot beat quick free shipping.
  • You can do a lot of necessary shopping from your pajamas and not be judged. Ahem.
  • 20% off deals (always on diapers and wipes (not for my house, thankfully) like this:


  • Unlimited instant streaming of gobs of movies. Um, hello.
  • Borrow a Kindle book a month for free
  • If you’re already a Prime member, you can join Amazon mom and get the above benefits

Sign up here today 

It definitely works for me!

For Every Mother’s Daughter

It was more than an hour past her bedtime and she appeared at the edge of our bedroom door. Again. It had been the same dance all summer. And my feet were tired.

What I really wanted to do was point my finger and march her back to bed.

But I knew one day she would stay in bed.

She saw my indecision and her lip trembled.

So instead I invited her to come to me. She walked slowly to the side of my bed. Her face streaked with tears and I knew she was afraid again.


As soon as I tenderly touched her, the sobs came and I held her. What is it baby? I whispered. And the what if’s poured out…

What if your car breaks down? What if you can’t pick me up? What if you don’t come? What if I am alone?

Her fear was unfounded, irrational–this fear of being left and forgotten. I tried to calm, convince, comfort. But fear doesn’t make sense.

And in the moonlight, I knew this fear was bigger than even a mother’s love. I longed to promise her the world, give her everything, except pain and heartbreak, and guarantee life wouldn’t allow her what if’s

This moment-this was the astonishing hard place of motherhood.

Because I knew deep down from her first breath, the second the cord was cut, she breathed on her own and her first steps away from me came too quickly.

It happened with my own mother and I, she curled my hair every Sunday until I was 9 and then in a blink, I walked down the aisle into my best friend’s arms. I never looked back. Years later as I labored with this same daughter, my body racked with pain, doctors concerned, my mom chased my bed down the hall as they prepped me for an emergency c-section. Later she told me how she trembled and vomited in the bathroom…It was hard watching her baby have a baby. I can’t remember much about that day, but I remember her there for me. Always.

And I thought of this as I held my baby, trying to calm her fear, yet knowing life and love, living would come between the two of us. I’ve watched her older sister transform right before my eyes into a beautiful young lady and I can’t stop time or her steps away from me no matter how hard I try.

Last week my twin sister left her oldest daughter at college and I witnessed the gut-wrenching truth of letting your child fly. It’s a beautiful anguish, this growing up, for the mother and the daughter.

I looked my darling girl straight in the eyes and I spoke to her fear, the way a mother does with a daughter: I will be here when you sleep, when you wake, when you come and go. With every ounce of my strength, I will always be here for you.

Then Truth came because it must: And when I am not with you in bed when you can’t sleep or at school when you feel alone or when I don’t understand your fear, when I can’t fix your problems or protect you from mistakes, when your marriage is hard and your life brings sorrow and your feet are weary from the dance of  motherhood, who is with you?

She whispered His name: Jesus.

Yes, I said. Because He gave you to me and I gave you back to Him.

And when I can’t be there, He is. Always.

For the first time in months, she slept like a baby.

Because no matter how tall she grows or how far away she flies, that’s what she will always be to me.

A Prayer for My Children as They Return to School

School still life with copyspace on chalkboard

Dear God,

School starts on Monday. Thank you, thank you (sincere holy whisper). We both know that momma’s bag ‘o summer tricks is plum empty and hiding in the bathroom while my children argue upstairs is not going to work much longer.

We’ve got brand new school supplies tucked neatly into clean backpacks. The kids each have squeaky new tennis shoes and their first day of school clothes picked out, except for my son who doesn’t care, but you know that already. Thank you for providing every bit of it.

We’ve spent the last couple of weeks getting ready. And ready or not, it’s time.

There are some jitters, wondering about getting the locker open on the first try, making new friends and who to sit by at lunch. And that’s just me. I know my kids are nervous too. You know I got a little emotional this week as I stepped into their world, walking the halls they will everyday. I have some worries, a few fears because I don’t like the cultural “norms” in our world – many aren’t normal at all in our family.  I am proud of the Godly choices my kids have made but with every new school year, they take a step further away from me and that’s hard for every momma.

But you urge us not to worry.  So, instead I’m praying this over them today:

I pray you will be near them when I can’t be.

I pray if they don’t feel your presence, they will seek you and discover you’re right there with them.

I pray you will surround them with peace and comfort in every new situation.

I pray when they are pressured, you will help them stand.

I pray they find one good friend, a brother or sister in Christ because it’s hard to stand alone.

I pray that 6 AM won’t come as early this year.

I pray when they fail, they will forgive themselves and try again.

I pray you will give the school nurse an extra supply of patience and bandaids for my first grader.

I pray my kids will befriend those that are new, lonely or both.

I pray they will not sit next the child who has to throw up in the class trashcan.

I pray they will be a blessing to their teacher and not a curse.

I pray you will bless them with Godly teachers as you have in the past.

I pray they will have fun. But not too much, if you know what I mean.

I pray they will let their light shine, quietly or loudly, but in their own way.

I pray homework will be light and not become Home. Work.

I pray that you will help me to trust their choices, let them go even when it’s hard, and pull them close when they need me to the most.

I pray above all, God,  that you would use their challenges, disappointments and victories to draw them closer to you this school year.

Thank you for every gift.


Kristen, mom of three

WMFW: Organization for School Art


I’m about to have a first grader (again). And you know what that means? There’s a lot of cute refrigerator art coming home weekly.

We love art in our house! (Here’s my son’s latest piece):


All year long, I stuff art projects into a box because I know I’ll want to keep some pieces forever. Here’s how we handle it:

  1. Each kid has a big plastic keepsake binder (here’s the one we use: Young Artist Studio My Art Portfolio)
  2. At the end of the year, my kids get to choose ONLY their favorite pieces that required the most work and that they are most proud of. (Usually we narrow it down to 5 things for my older kids, 10 for early elementary)
  3. We put them in the binder and toss the rest.
  4. If it’s an award winning piece (we had two this year make it on display at the Houston Rodeo- a big deal around these parts), we frame and hang them.

It works for us!

Back to School Party with Osh Kosh

What do crayons, coloring sheets, fabric markers, cotton totes and lunch sacks, chocolate chip cookies and six kids under six have in common?

A party, of course!


I helped my first grader invite a few friends over to decorate fun supplies that Osh Kosh B’gosh sent us.


And my 13 year old was a huge help! (Seriously, everyone needs a teen daughter in the house.) Who doesn’t love putting on a little party with the cutest guests?


There was laughter, concentration, beautiful art, and empty cookie plates!


It was a fun way to get ready for the kids to go back to school.


I can’t believe my baby will be a first grader! She will by styling in her cute OshKosh clothes (get her red sparkly anchor shirt here).

I’m excited to announce the winner of the $100 OshKosh gift card from the giveaway I hosted last week. Congrats to random commenter #164 Amber!!


Disclosure Statement
OshKosh B’gosh partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote Back to School Tees.  As part of the program, I received product or gift cards.  OshKosh B’gosh believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words, and therefore did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products I used. OshKosh B’gosh policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. The winner of any giveaway in this program will be randomly chosen and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.

Why God Made Moms

“Why God Made Moms”

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions

Why did God make mothers?
1. She’s the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we get born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like He made me.  He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men’s bones. Then they mostly used stirring I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mother?
1. We’re related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other peoples moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1. I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
2. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that mom didn’t have her thinking cap on.

Who’s the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn’t want to be the boss, but she has to because dad’s such a goofball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What’s the difference between mom and dad?
1. Moms work at work and works at home and dads just go to work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller

I found this floating around the Internet and had to share! Source unknown.

Four Things I Wish I’d Known When I Got Married

He was assigned to row 26 seat B and my ticket put me 6 rows behind him in 32D. We wanted to sit next to each other on the five-hour flight back to the mainland from Hawaii, so we waited in line at the ticket counter to see if that was a possibility.

A young honeymooning couple from Switzerland stood behind us for the same reason. The airline attendant shuffled computer numbers and told us we were all stuck in our assigned seats due to a full flight.

My husband shrugged a, “Well, we tried” and I said, “I’ll see you in 5 hours” and we made our way to separate rows. I put my bag under my seat and fastened my seat belt. I looked up to the aisle across from me and saw the separated honeymooners. The new bride was crying her eyes out, looking longingly at her new husband a row over. It was probably the first time in a week they’d been more than 6 feet from each other.

I smiled, not at her sorrow, but because I would have probably done the same thing 19 years ago this December. I smiled because I knew something she hadn’t discovered yet: separation makes being together even better.

I couldn’t help but remember coming home from my honeymoon so long ago.


Here are 4 things I wish I had known then:

  1. Marriage Doesn’t Complete You-I remember being a doe-eyed virgin thinking if I could just get married, I would be complete. People don’t complete people, no matter how many romantic movies try to prove otherwise.  Because it didn’t take long for those thoughts to transition to “if I could just be a mom.” God completes people. He fills in the gaps and heals the wounds that people leave. Marriage is amazing, but it’s imperfect and it wasn’t created to make us whole. If anything, it reveals our selfishness and brokenness. Only God completes us.
  2. You Can’t Give Too Much-For many years, I kept record. I reciprocated what was done for me. But once I realized the more you give in marriage, the more you get, it changed how I viewed my relationship with my husband. The union of two inherently selfish people produces a selfish marriage. But when we understand we can’t give too much, it not only makes us want to give more. It makes our union a selfless place of service and joy.
  3. He is Home, but He is not My Happily Ever After- We just have to watch a chick flick to believe that getting married puts you on the road to living a fairy tale. But that’s not true: because my husband and I get on each other’s nerves. And lo and behold, we disagree. We’ve learned while there isn’t really a permanent happily ever after, there is hard work and selfless love that leads to a beautiful journey of commitment and peace. Sometimes it’s hot, sometimes it’s not. Happiness is temporary, but the abiding joy that comes from faithful commitment is what it’s really about. And that feels like home.
  4. Marriage Gets Better With Age– I don’t have flat abs or the energy of a 20 year old. I’m over the hill and I would have never believed after nearly two decades my marriage would be the best it’s ever been-from communication to sex to our comfortable friendship. The act of becoming one takes years of selfless living and limitless forgiveness. We learn that occasional separation is good for us. Many marriages breakdown in the middle place, but if we can keep our holy commitment to each other and God, it just keeps getting better.

The new bride across the aisle wiped her eyes and wrote thank you notes for most of the remaining flight. She winked at her husband and got up to go to the bathroom so she could brush by him a couple of times. At the end of the flight, they clung to each other like they had been a part for five months.

I smiled her way. She was already learning.

Marriage can be amazing. Marriage can be hard. I’ve been thru both with my husband and sometimes life is the best lesson. Check out my new Marriage Resource Page to help with both seasons.