I will be what one Christian author and speaker would call a pioneer parent. Pioneer parents are mothers and fathers who did not have the examples of Christian parents to follow in their own childhood. I, simply put, without the help of the Holy Spirit, have no clue how to raise my future children in the faith. I didn’t grow up going to Sunday School, saying bedtime prayers, or attending church. How will I parent in a way that reflects and teaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ to my children?
It’s no surprise that Christmas is going to look different this year. Many of us won’t be having our usual big family celebrations or attending our typically packed Christmas services. Our ways of serving at Christmas, like doing food drives or giving trees, are likely impacted as well.
This year, we’ll all have to get a little creative, because people need assistance now more than ever! The pandemic has impacted many families’ incomes, so clothing, food, and gifts will likely be in short supply.
Remember when we all hoped that we’d be able to go back to “normal” by Memorial Day? Now Labor Day has come and gone, Thanksgiving is on the horizon, and we’re all still at home. Some of us might be back in person, but a lot of us are learning new things every day as we work and attend school from home.
As a child and teenager, I was always reminded of the Fourth Commandment: Honor your father and your mother.
Obviously, I should have been doing that anyway … but I was too busy talking back and rolling my eyes to remember.
Once I moved out and lived on my own—first at college, then as a working adult—I thought my days of obeying my parents were over. After all, I didn’t live under their roof anymore, so I got to make my own rules in my own home!
Today, I competed in a noon ping-pong tournament in my pajamas while eating leftover pizza. I went on walks with three of my four kids. I ran the dishwasher twice. Our day also included Zoom Wars—the dreaded competitions when more than one kid has an online meeting.
Like you, COVID-19 has brought a weird new normal to our home. It’s also brought lots of idle time—and bored kids are fighting kids. I just broke up an argument that was headed for a Cain and Abel situation over the remote.
Did you know that November is National Adoption Month? November 23 is National Adoption Day.
According to the Adoption Network, there are 428,000 children currently in foster care in the US alone. More than 60 percent of these children spend two to five years in foster care before their adoption is finalized. And although a third of Americans have thought about adopting a child, only 2 percent have actually done it.
Brenda and Tim Jank are part of that 2 percent.
For the Jank family, National Adoption Month is near and dear to their hearts. They have a blended family of five children, some of whom have special needs. Three of their children—Josh, Sam, and Noah—became part of the family through the gift of adoption.
Entering the back-to-school season, teachers have a great opportunity to reach out to the families in our schools and connect them to church. While some of these families may already be a part of a church body, many school families don’t have a church home of their own. During this season, churches are re-launching Sunday School and hosting back-to-school events and backpack blessings, but how can we continue to connect school families to church as the year progresses and schedules fill up?
Our kids, like most kids, enjoy a healthy dose of competition in their everyday life. Races to be the first one finished with dinner or the first one in pajamas occur often, followed by our four-year-old son saying something to the effect of “Actually, the last one in pajamas wins,” grasping for some sort of victory.
April showers have brought a big muddy mess to our backyard. Every time a child or the dog goes out to play, a ritual of foot washing commences with each re-entry to the house.