How do you relate to your parents?  Do you still obey them even after you are grown and out of their house?  Sure, you are an adult now and can make your own decisions.  You don’t need Mom and Dad any more.

The Bible calls us to honor our parents.  It doesn’t tell us to honor our parents as long as we are minors.  It also doesn’t tell us that we can forget about Mom and Dad as soon as we are adults.  We are never on equal footing with them.  We are always their children, even when we have children ourselves.

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Obey My Parents?

I had to move back in with my mom, twice.  The first time was after living on my own (with roommates) on the other side of the country for nearly two years.  The second time?  I was actually married with a baby and coming out of the Air Force.

You would think that being on my own as long as I had, I would be really independent and have that mother-daughter thing all worked out.  Well, it doesn’t matter how old I am.  As soon as I get into my mom’s house, I feel like a little kid again.  I find myself wanting to obey, even when it goes against what I really want or need sometimes.

Setting Boundaries and Still Honoring

So, how exactly are we supposed to honor and obey our parents as adults?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Come to them when you want and or need their help, but let them know when you don’t.  They spent eighteen years looking out for you and helping you make the best decisions.  It is probably second nature for them to butt in and take over.
  • Listen to their opinions and thank them for caring about you.  They only want what is best for you and are not always convinced you know what that is.
  • Explain to them why you are thinking a certain way or why you made a certain decision.  They may only see your actions or the end result.  If you explain why you went with choice A instead of the choice B they wanted, they can see that you are thinking through things and may even come to see things your way.
  • ALWAYS be respectful.  You are human and so are your parents.  You are not going to agree about everything.  But disrespect is going to make matters the relationship so much worse and will never lead your parents to see you as an adult.

Have you struggled with how to relate to your parents now that you are grown?  Leave a comment below sharing your story.  And please share this post with someone who might find it useful.

As a girl, I would dress up in a long, white dress and pretend to be a bride.  Even from a young age I dreamed of what my “perfect” wedding would be.  Of course, our dreams rarely turn out to be reality.

Image courtesy of Nutdanai Apikhomboomwaroot/

Why Halloween?

I never planned on getting married on Halloween.  I was in the United States Air Force, stationed in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The majority of my family lives in Michigan (even more of them lived there when I married twelve years ago) and my husbands family were living in Florida at the time.

My husband and I, also, only had two weeks from the time we decided to get married (that’s right, he never proposed to me) to the date that we actually did.  This rush meant that we were heading to the Justice of the Peace.  My mother actually made it out to Colorado, but she was the only one who could.

But why Halloween, you ask?  Well, Halloween was on a Friday that year and I was mistakenly told that our county court house only married people on Fridays.  So, by process of elimination, it was Halloween.  I guess it somewhat worked out in my favor, however, because my husband who happens to be lousy with dates has never forgotten our anniversary.

Halloween Luck

My husband and I joke about how getting married on Halloween must have been lucky for us somehow.  Not only did we have two weeks to plan the day we got married, we had only been dating for two months at that point, as well.  In fact, we had only known each other for a total of four months when we got married.

I know that sounds crazy to some of you (ok, maybe most of you), but it has worked for us.  It sounded crazy to everyone else, too.  I had many people, mostly co-workers, try to talk me out of getting married.  Others would tell my husband and I to our faces that it wouldn’t work out.  It made us wonder what they were saying behind our backs.  Even my family questioned why we were moving so quickly.  I had to say, “No, I’m not pregnant” so many times, I started saying it in my sleep.

Regardless of everyones fears and concerns, my husband and I are doing great.  We have been married for twelve years (tomorrow), and we have a strong, happy marriage.  It isn’t really luck, but God.  My husband and I invited God on board in the very beginning and that is the true secret to our success.

I would love to hear about your wedding experience.  Did something funny, crazy or horrible happen?  Were your family and friends happy with your decision in a husband?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Also, don’t forget to share this post with someone you think might enjoy it.

It is always hard to lose someone from your life.  Even when you know that they have gone to be with the Lord, the hole they often leave is almost unbearable for awhile.  That’s when you finally realize the true impact that person really had on your life.  And if you are like me, you are the person you are today because of that impact.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Mourning Grandma

I had two such people in my life.  My grandmother lost her battle to stomach cancer over a decade ago.  I still think about her and miss her several times a week.  She was such a spiritual inspiration to me.

Grandma was always in a good mood, never letting anything get her down.  She was always the first person to step up to help anyone in need, even if she couldn’t afford it, or know how to help, she found a way.

But what was most amazing to me was her faith.  She had one of the roughest childhoods I could ever possibly imagine.  She experienced almost everything you typically shield a child from.  Grandma never was never bitter, never resentful, but most importantly never a victim.  Her faith and strength were in the Lord and you knew it the moment you met her.

Mourning An Uncle

The next great influencer that I have lost went to be with the Lord recently.  My uncle suffered a heart attack a few weeks back and I could not believe how hard it hit me.  I always knew I would miss him when he was gone, but I had never realized how much until he was.

After the shock wore off and reality that he was really gone set in, I began to remember times he had helped me.  There was never a big moment that stood out.  It was so many tiny things that added up to a huge impact.  My uncle always knew what to say to someone, even if they didn’t know they needed to hear it.  Kind words that made someones day.

I have a very large family with many cousins (including my two brothers and two sisters), and still my uncle made time to make each of feel important to him.  He was supportive always, and always loved all of us.  He was also the life of the party.  And, at his memorial service, the family found out that we were not the only ones he impacted in those same ways.  My uncle was a teacher and a track coach for several years and so many of his former students and athletes showed up to mourn the passing of someone that touched their lives too.

Both my grandmother and my uncle influenced and impacted so many lives, in their families, churches and communities.  Even though they are in Heaven with Jesus, and we know that we will see them again, the current hole they leave in our hearts in massive.

Is there someone that has impacted your life greatly that you have lost?  Leave a comment below with your story.  And don’t forget to share this post with friends or family who many need it.


Music is a universal topic of conversation.  No matter where you go in the world, or what culture you find, there is always music.  Music can bring people together and it can start some very heated debates.  And with an almost endless supply of genres to pick from, everyone has a favorite.

Image courtesy of nenetus/

My Music Revelation

This topic really became important to me when my son was two years old.  I remember driving one day and listening to the local rock station.  My son, from the backseat, began to sing along (or attempt to).  This was really the first time that I thought about what kind of music my son was really listening to.  He was singing the lyrics to these rock songs and I wasn’t happy about what was coming out of his mouth.

What I Looked For

I’m not saying that all mainstream music is bad.  Not by any means.  I’m just more discerning now that I’m a mother.  I still listen to my favorite stuff (mostly when I’m on my own), but I make sure that the station playing in the car or at home leaves my children with positive messages that relay the morals and values my husband and I are raising them with.


Here is my list of criteria for finding Stephens’ Family approved radio:

  • We are a Christian family, so we prefer Christian music
  • I must have a more rock then not (I like worship music and soft rock, on occasion)
  • I need to have the station coming in strong in most of West Michigan (no dead spots, or excessive static in the places I drive the most)
  • The DJs need to have a personality I can handle listening to for any decent amount of time.  No one too corny, please, I get enough of that at home from my husband.
  • My kids need to enjoy the music, as well.  I’m not going to force anything on them that they don’t like just because I like it.  It’s only music after all, not veggies.

I want to hear from you.  Leave a comment below letting me know if and how you monitor the music your children listen to.  Do you even care?  Or, just let me know what your favorite music is.  I know everyone likes to share that.

Oh, and don’t forget to share this post with someone who just might benefit from hearing a little about this.


Comfort foods.  I’m sure those words are already putting images into your head.  You are thinking about all of your favorites.  For me, it would be, grilled cheese, my mom’s macaroni and cheese, hot chocolate, a good meat lovers pizza and brown sugar toast (don’t ask).  But what do any of these foods have to do with the Bible?

A warm, inviting cup of hot cocoa. Image courtesy of satit_srihin at

Comforting Memories

I was thinking about church last night as I was making dinner.  What was for dinner?  Macaroni and Cheese, my mom’s recipe.  It is super easy, inexpensive and brings back wonderful memories of childhood.

Those wonderful memories of childhood led me down the path to thinking about church.  I have just as many wonderful childhood memories there too.  I guess that happens when your family tends to be very involved.  I spent just as much time at church when no one was around as I did on Sundays and Wednesdays for services.

For me, church has always been a comforting place to go to.  I feel peace when I walk into the doors.  Stress is lifted, even just for a short time.  But more importantly, I feel loved and accepted.  Church, for me at least, has always given me the same feelings I turn to comfort foods for.

Comfort Outside of Church

So, what are we to do then, when we need some comforting and can’t get to church?  When our waist lines are begging us to put that tub of brown sugar away?  When we need someplace to turn to hear God say I love you?  On our knees is a great place to start, but getting into His Word can be just as good.  A very familiar verse to some might be Psalm 23:4, but read it again and really think about it:

Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.

God’s staff used to guide us is His Word, the Holy Bible.  This verse is telling us that God will protect and guide us.  This should be a comfort to us.  This should console us.

When I am in need of comforting and consoling, I like to read some of my favorite stories in the Bible.  Stories that remind me of God’s love for me.  Stories that remind me of the power God really has.

  • Matthew 19:13-15 — Jesus Blesses the Children
  • Matthew 8:18-27 — Jesus Calms the Storm
  • Daniel 3 — Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego Thrown  in a Furnace

This is just a sample of what I love to read.  They comfort me with the fact that God loves me and no matter what I am going through, it could be worse.  I am never denied access to Jesus.  When need be, Jesus will calm the storms of my life.  And Jesus will always be there, right in the fire with me, keeping me from getting burned.  What a real comfort that truly is.

I would love to hear your opinions about this.  Leave a comment below letting me know what your favorite comfort food is.  Or even better, what is your favorite comfort story from the Bible?

Also, don’t forget to share this post with anyone who many need some comforting and consoling.  And subscribe to my newsletter so you won’t miss a single blog post (you get a FREE Quiet Time Journal to download).

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I face so many decisions on a daily basis.  Sometimes I struggle to know which choices to make.  Some of these decisions don’t really matter much when we look at the big picture, like what to fix for lunch or which way should I drive to church.  But some of the struggles I face have a much bigger impact on my life and the lives of my family members.  It is with these choices that I need help.  I need to know just the right truth for that particular time.

The Spirit of Truth

Times like these are when I take those struggles to the Holy Spirit.  In John 16:13, Jesus tells us:

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

I know the Holy Spirit is here to free me in areas where I struggle.  If I miss out on hearing the truth that the Holy Spirit has for me at the time I need to hear it, I could make the wrong decision.  I could derail my life from the path that God has set me on.

A Current Search for Truth

One area I am seeking help from the Holy Spirit with is our current homeschool curriculum.  We have been using Alpha Omega Publications since I began homeschooling my son going on eight years now and have begun using it with my daughter as well.  She is using LifePacs and he is using Monarch.

We absolutely love the curriculum.  My kids are doing a great job.  But I was presented recently with an alternative, Classical Conversations.

Both options are wonderful and have statements of faith that align with what my family believes.  This is important to me.  I can also see my children thriving with either option.

I Know This Works

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

The Holy Spirit knows the right choice and the right time to let me know that truth.  By listening to the Spirit of Truth, I can avoid making the wrong decision, just like when I struggled with the idea to homeschool in the first place.  God gave me the right truth at the right time.   1 John 4:6 tells us:

We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

This Will Work for You, Too

I know that God, through the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Truth), has the answers for you, as well.  You maybe really struggling with an area of your life at this moment, or maybe you have made some mistakes that you are trying desperatly

Take Action

This is your time for action:

  •  Think about any area or areas in your life that you are struggling with.  Areas where you need God to show you truth in your decision making.
  • I also want you to think about a time that God has helped you already.
  • Leave a comment below sharing a current struggle (I will pray for you also) or a time when turning to God has helped you through tough times to encourage others.

Problems in our lives can pop up at any time, usually without warning.  Sometimes we are able to work things out for ourselves, but then there are some issues that seem to be harder to deal with.  If we try to tackle these problems be ourselves, we can very often make matters worse.  So, what do we do when our back is against a wall and we see no way out?

keep moving forward
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

I remember when my son was only three.  He was diagnosed with a few developmental delays and was attending a special preschool program to help him.  I never felt “right” about this classroom.  The teacher and I disagreed on several things.  Needless to say, I was desperate for another solution, but couldn’t find another program for him.

I believed that there was another way, so I kept moving forward with my faith that God would help us through this situation.  I was sure God had another option for us, and He did.

Joyce Meyer, in her book Start Your New Life Now, says it best: “God works in our lives as we place our trust and confidence in Him, not as we struggle to do things ourselves.”

I could have very easily given up, thrown my hands in the air and said, “I’m done trying to fix this.  He can stay there.”  I didn’t do that.  I loved my son and I trusted God to take my burdens from me and deal with them for me.

1 Peter 5:7 tells us, “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”

How Do We Keep Moving Forward In the Middle of a Crisis?

  • Go to your Bible.  Use a concordance.  Look up every verse you can find that has to do with your situation.
  • Pray, pray, and pray.  Just as Peter tells us: Cast your “whole” care on God.  Give it to Him, have faith it is in His hands, but keep praying.
  • Meditate on the scripture that contains the promises you can stand on for your particular problem.
  • Be “still”.  This is perhaps the most important of the list.  Once you have given your cares to God, listen for a response.  God wants to communicate with us, but we have to be willing to listen.

Pressing forward when we are in the midst of a problem bigger than ourselves is not easy.  It takes faith a lot of faith.  God didn’t create us to do life alone.  He wants us to include Him, come to Him, and lean on Him.  When we learn to do just that, things will begin to work out much better and our problems seem to get much smaller.

Have you ever had a problem in your life that was bigger than you could handle on your own?  What did you do?  Give up or take it to God?

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Being thankful, these days seems like an old-fashioned concept.  Something that is going out of style.  When is the last time you received a thank you card or letter in the mail after giving a gift.  Or had someone than you for holding a door open?

1. Show Appreciation to Strangers

When someone does something nice for you, no matter who it is, stranger or someone you know, do you automatically say “thank you”?  It doesn’t matter how small that something is.  It could be as simple as saying “bless you” when you sneeze or as big as stopping their car to let you pull out into a long line of traffic.

There are good people out there, coming in and out of our lives everyday.  Some we might not notice, but when we do see them and recognize that they are going out of their way to be kind to us, acknowledge them.  Let them know that you appreciate that act, no matter how small.

2. Appreciate Your Family

Acknowledging and appreciating a stranger’s small acts of kindness maybe one thing, but trying to show appreciation for everything my family members do for me?  I would be saying “thank you” all day long.  Especially with young children who love to make “cards”.  (Yes, I get an average of ten cards a day from my daughter.)

I don’t know about you, but I feel that way sometimes.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my family.  I have a very wonderful, caring family that is great at big and small gestures alike.  I don’t have to drive myself crazy by constantly showing appreciation.  I can acknowledge them in bigger ways with less frequency.

Sometimes a bigger gesture of appreciation will mean much more to the recipient then a mere “thank you” each time something is done.  I have especially noticed this with my husband.  He enjoys my thankfulness so much more when I make his favorite dinner, or buy him something he has been wanting, but hasn’t purchased for himself.  I do these things because I love him, yes, but also because I want him to know that I appreciate everything he does for me.

3. Gratitude List

Some people call it a “Gratitude Journal”, for others it is just a list they jot down each night before bed.  Whatever you want to call it — it is a place for you to reflect on those things in your life that you are grateful for.

There was a post on Facebook making its rounds a while back that said, “What if you woke up tomorrow with only those things you thanked God for today.”  I’m not sure if that is the exact wording, but it’s close enough to prove my point and to make us think.  Have you been thankful for any of the things that you have today?

4. Be Thankful for Honesty

When you ask someone for an opinion, how many times do you get upset because they just happened to be brutally honest with you?

Does this dress make me look fat, maybe the most popular one, but these kinds of questions get asked everyday.  So many people are afraid of them that it is starting to get hard to hear the truth anymore.  Whether the dress is too tight or not, the answer is always, “No, it looks great on you.”  Well it may make you feel good at the time, will all of the stares you are inevitably going to receive all night worth the lie you are told?

When someone loves us enough to say, “Yes, the dress is too tight.  Why don’t you try another one?” we should be thankful.  You have a friend or family member that isn’t afraid to hurt your feelings temporarily in order to save you the embarrassment later.  Whether it’s a dress or something else, be grateful for those in your life who refuse to tell you what you want to hear.

How can you be more thankful in your daily life?  How are you already showing thankfulness in some of the above ways?