I’ve Always Hated Reading

True confession . . . as a child, teen and young adult, I always hated to read. I absolutely hated it. I would read what I HAD to read for school and nothing beyond that. There were even a few times in high school when I paid my little sister to read novels to me…

Take Me to the Water!

I have an obsession with bodies of water. If it is an ocean, lake, pond, river, swimming pool or hot tub, then I want to be near it, on it or in it. I grew up being around water: fishing, sailing, floating, tubing, etc. We had to drive across a bridge every day to get…

Jen’s Top 10

We receive so many well wishes and support each year in the days leading up to Vacation Bible School (VBS) and this year was no different. We hear things such as: “I hope you all have a great week!”, “I know it will be a great success!” and “I can’t wait to hear how many…

Tiny Chefs Who Cooked with Love

Connecting with people, connecting with purpose, and connecting with God are the three goals I keep in mind when preparing a children’s Sunday school lesson. Some lessons focus on one of those three things and some focus on all three at the same time. Our recent Sunday school unit, Women of Faith, focused on women…

Understanding Trauma

I have a long background in working with children who have experienced trauma. Trauma is stored in our brain differently than memories. The neuroscience behind what trauma does to our brains is incredible. I am NOT a neuroscientist, and yet I’m going to attempt to give a very, very simple explanation that I’ve used with…

Decembers to Remember

It’s December and December is a big month of remembering at our house. December isn’t just a big month because of Advent and Christmas, December is also a big month because of other things that happen in our lives too. December is the month of remembering big, life-changing events in our family. I love December…

Consistency Through Change

“The only thing that is constant is change.” -Heraclitus This quote is not at all comforting to me. If I’m being completely honest, it creates worry and anxiety for me (mixed with a little bit of excitement on occasion). This Socrates quote: “The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on…

Unlearning

It all started as a simple game with a new puppy. You know the game. It’s the one where you take a (somewhat) loud, deep breath and then gently blow in the puppy’s face. The puppy then spends the next five minutes acting silly and nuzzling his face on the couch and blankets to make…

Inappropriate vs. Dangerous

Maybe you saw or heard the uproar last month about the children’s film “Show Dogs”. Maybe you missed it. For those of you who were wrapped up in all the happenings in the month of May and didn’t catch it, I’ll quickly bring you up to speed. “Show Dogs” (listed as an adventure, comedy, and…

Stretching and Growing

Each year as the fifth graders enter their spring semester, we sense restlessness in Sunday school. It’s a restlessness of wanting independence and yet still needing supervision and guidance. It’s a feeling that something big and exciting is headed their way, with a bit of anxiety about change. The fifth graders know about (and have…

My Happy Heart

While I always enjoy church-wide Art Night and church-wide Game Night, I’ve been craving a church-wide event that deepens our connections with God, our connections with one another and is meaningful for all involved. Therefore, you must know that my heart was SO happy on Sunday evening at Let Us Pray. I loved watching children,…

“The Star” – Movie Review

Watching the preview for The Star movie, I thought “Finally! A new animated movie with an all-star cast about the birth of Jesus. How exciting!” I was even more excited to hear about the variety of well-known musical talents who recorded the soundtrack. I was hopeful that this was going to be a successful movie…