Tag Archives: family


Hey it's Mom.

I saw you two sitting  beside each other last night. Hallie, you were on the couch. And Rylie you were right beside her as you leaned over while the two of you looked at her phone whispering about something you both found comical.

I heard you laugh...together. Not one of you laughing at the other.

You girls even took a selfie...the both of you...without being asked.

The crazy part (as if this wasn't already crazy enough) is that one of you had company, so I know you weren't just interacting positively out of boredom.

I've watched you through the years doing normal sister things. I've observed, countless times, one of you hog the bathroom and then exit proudly, your towel piled on top of your head, while your junk remained; heaped on her side of the sink and spilling on to the floor. I've listened to the other of you beat self-righteously on the door with zero grace demanding to be let in ten minutes before her exit.

I've watched you fight over a possession that would typically be claimed except that I was asking the rightful owner to pick it up and put it where it belonged, in which case you fought, both claiming (pointing the figurative finger) that it was hers.

Car trips haven't been too bad for years. But only because you each take an entire bench seat. You drown out the world with your pillow and your headphones; blasting the playlist you so carefully created before we left the house. You each forget the other is in the car until it's time to stop for a restroom break.

Sure you've taken up for each other a time or two when someone outside our family has criticized or mistreated your sister. That's what siblings do. They hold outsiders to a higher standard than they hold themselves. How dare anybody (besides me) treat her that way?

Was it the ice cream? Did yesterday's impulsive purchase of the Bluebell flavor The Great Divide have some sort of counter-cataclysmic effect that turned you into foreign characters...friends?

I can't be sure, but you give me hope.  I fully expect to hear arguing later, over whether or not the YouTube video one of you is playing loudly in the kitchen is annoying. I'll be patient and let you work it out.  I know from my own experience that the process from sister, to friend, to best friend is a long one.

I'll remember that one of the ingredients to such a friendship is a number of failed attempts. I'll know that the disappointments and heartbreaks that will come from outside (and probably in) our family will serve in helping you to better care for one another (as has already happened a few times).

Until then I've stolen this selfie off your Instagram account to remind me that it just might happen. While I wait I'll think about my own sisters, my best friends. I'll be thankful that we got it right, even if it took a little while.

Check out the ultimate book for girls here.

What a week; a week filled with thrilling rides, with Mickey and Minnie, good food, belly laughs,...

...and holding hands.

Disney World provided castles, fireworks, pixie dust- and rides which took you into a cave with swashbuckling pirates and on an encounter to Mt. Everest with the fearsome Yeti.

Yet nothing was as thrilling as the "togetherness" this past week.

Thankfully Rylie is just six and still loves to hold my hand and sit in my lap.  But if you remember, Hayden is almost sixteen.  He's an affectionate kid, but his affection is sporadic.  Hallie is eleven going on sixteen.  Holding my hand or Jason's hand is no longer a common occurrence.  With Hallie who now claims claustrophobia, holding my hand would be considered a rarity.

But hand holding and togetherness went on.

All week.

We stayed together because we were in unfamiliar territory. We linked arms so we wouldn't get lost.  We held hands as we didn't want to be separated in the masses. We walked in close proximity in the darkness that followed the night-time fireworks spectacular.

And there were times that we stayed close....... get this,..... just because we were enjoying each other.

In the midst of magic and madness, we were simply together.

Surely God feels the same.  He is with us every day, at the dinner table and in the car.   He is with us when we rise and when we slumber.  He walks with us in the mundane.  And he waits.

He longs for us to link arms with him as we board life's roller coasters with its twists and sudden drops. He wants us to hold tight to him in the crowd that so often blinds our view of him.

And when our hearts are spilling over with joy at the knowledge that life is good- God is good, maybe then most of all, he wants us to hold his hand.

..... do you think that the scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? James 4:5a







Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things................

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

-  Colossians 3:1,12-14


 the nectar that brings us together in sweet unity.

Thankful for peaceful days; days watching the kids enjoy each other.  Thankful for sisters having "sleepovers" with each other.  Thankful for Hayden and Hallie learning the joy that comes from working together.  Thankful for more hours of daylight-lengthened evenings to spend with Dad.  Thankful for the temporary ceasing of practices.  Thankful for summer.


Families are one of God's most precious creations. While we ought to be honoring each God-designed member with love and respect, it's often our family members that see our worst side.  

Being free to be ourselves can sometimes get ugly.  Comfortable at home we often use our words carelessly.  Being in our castle, we find ourselves inclined to lose our patience with anyone who disturbs our peace or pleasure.  On the other end of the spectrum, our busyness prevents us from spending time together and enjoying one another. 

Hopefully you've gotten a chance to check out:

-the Family Contract

-and just for fun The Daughter of the Year Contract


Think about starting a Lovely List (pictured above) as a family project.  If the name isn't masculine enough, it could be called the Whatever List.  We have started one in our family.  It hangs on our refrigerator.  It's basically a lined piece of paper that has Philippians 4:8 on the bottom.

...whatever is true, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.-Philippians 4:8

If Jason or I or even the kids notice something right, lovely or admirable we write it on the list.  It could be something positive that happened at school.  Seeing a flower or a blue sky and being reminded of beauty in God's creation could be noted.  Take notice of Your son saying thank you to his sister.  Our perspective is changed a bit when we are looking for lovely things instead of things to argue about or tattle on.

OBVIOUSLY, contracts, lists or any other creative ploy to bring about harmony is useless without constant prayer on our families behalf- (I'm reminding myself).


*Please share things you are doing with your family.  I'd love to hear from you!




As a God-designed member of this family, I agree to try to become a person:

Of Peace                     Of Gentleness

Of Patience                 Of kindness

Of Respect                  Of Obedience (parents-obedience to God)

Of Love


I will do my best to refrain from:

Tattling, arguing, fighting, yelling, pouting, ganging up, belittling and exasperating


We understand, as a family, that in order to fulfill these duties we must do our best to remember to:

Pray.                            Pray together.

Read and follow and God’s Word.

Listen to each other.


Put others before ourself.

Date:                               Signatures:




Last week I made up this contract for our family.  The contract was also handed out at our last GG's meeting.  Consider making one to fit your family.  After having dinner together as a family, we read over the contract, talked about it and said a prayer.  We put the contract in a frame so we can be reminded of our promise.

*There have been two ocassions where a family member has been called out for breaching the contract.  (It was me)!  The kids are taking it seriously!