Monthly Archives: February 2012

Half price love…

I walked by the Valentine candy isle today. Fellow chocolate lovers, our best day of the year should be February 15th! All that chocolate for half price! Shelves of chocolate hearts; dark chocolate, milk chocolate, crunchy chocolate… Normally I would be giddy with the thought of stocking up on chocolate, but today the left over Valentines reminded me that there are many who are nursing unmet expectations and disappointing realities.

I’m reminded of the tears of friends who didn’t receive chocolate, flowers or a card. I thought of the scores of couples who spent hundreds (even thousands) of dollars on chocolate and trinkets in a vain attempt to revive a dying relationship. Valentine’s Day is a day many would like to eliminate from the calendar…I thought of my first Valentine’s Day as a new bride…

Brad and I were in our thirties when we married on a beautiful August day in Colorado. I never had a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day and over the years I managed to weave a beautiful dream about what the day would be like when I finally found my true love. As Valentine’s Day approached I eagerly anticipated my dream becoming a reality… (you know what’s coming don’t you?!)

Brad casually mentioned one night that he resented all the Valentine hype. “It’s a day Hallmark has blown up and marketed so they can sell a lot of cards and gifts. I don’t like being used like that. I wish we could just ignore the day all together.” One look at my devastated face and he knew he’d made a mistake, but like most new husbands he thought he could bring me around to his thinking if he explained it better…NOT!

Brad ended up saying he would get me flowers and a card for Valentine’s Day if I wanted him to. I told him I didn’t want him to get me anything for Valentine’s Day…EVER! So much for my Valentine’s Day dream!

Tuesday marked our 20th Valentine’s Day together. I woke up to find 3 red roses and a card waiting for me in the kitchen. A festive dinner with the kids took the place of a romantic dinner for two but that was fine with me. We laughed and shared memories we’ll all treasure. It was a great day, not my Valentine dream day…it was better. Why? It’s because we work hard at loving each other every other day of the year.

My dear friends, I hope you take advantage of the half price chocolate Valentines, but I pray you don’t settle for half-price love. Whether you’re married or single, God has placed people in your life for you to love and who will love you. The love may not look like the love of your dreams , but if you trust your Heavenly Father and fix your heart on His promises, He will fill it with a love that exceeds your dreams!   Ephesians 3:18-21

Cosmo is targeting our teenagers…what can we do?

I wrote about the sultry Cosmopolitan magazine covers a while ago. Walmart continues to display them front and center at their check out counters. Young children and under age teens continue to be exposed to pre-pornographic pictures and pornographic headlines every time they go to the grocery store. At least Publix stores try to keep the magazines covered. The Walmart near my house does not (even after repeated requests to do so).

Cosmopolitan has launched a new strategy designed to attract younger women. Dakota Fanning kicked the campaign off in the January issue. Barely eighteen, Dakota posed beside the headline, “HIS BEST SEX EVER”. The February edition features ‘tween’ and teen idol Selena Gomez. The headline,“50 SEX TIPS”, is strategically placed beside her right shoulder and her ample cleavage.

It’s not just the cover that concerns me, it’s the content as well. Nicole Weider of Project Inspired summed it up well.  As she says about Cosmo:

This publication has steadily declined into a full-on pornographic “how to” guide for teens and vulnerable young girls. Every issue dares girls and encourages them to try new sex moves (including anally), engage in threesomes, experiment with lesbianism, have public sex, watch porn, (with specific URLS listed!) and using sex toys such as dildos, shower heads, and vibrating tongue rings to “please your man and stimulate your clitoris.”

What is a parent to do? In addition to teaching your kids about the character of God and how that affects every decision we make; keeping the communication lines open and helping them choose to fill their minds with that which is good, pure, noble and holy (Philippians 4:8); you can join thousands of concerned adults who want Cosmopolitan’s adult only message restricted to… adults only! Go to: Sign the petition asking that Cosmopolitan magazine be required to put the magazine in a non-transparent wrapper and sold to adults only.

ALSO, as I said in my blog post, Walmart and Cosmopolitan (, please let your local grocery managers know that you’re offended by the Cosmo covers and don’t want your children exposed to the suggestive pictures and sexually explicit headlines.  Let them know that if they care about our children, they’ll cover up Cosmo.

We are not alone in this fight for the hearts and minds of our children. Let’s join our voices together and make a difference. Cosmo has the right to publish sexually explicit covers, but they don’t have the right to force our children to be exposed to it. Since our families must eat, we have no choice but to go to the grocery store. Cosmo (and your grocery store) does have a choice…cover up!

Like and share this blog if you agree!

How are your kids doing… really?

How do you find out how your kids are doing… I mean really doing? A startling number of our kids will go to college some day and completely reject the faith and values we’re trying to instill in them. For many parents it’s a complete surprise. It shouldn’t be.

Did you know that most parents spend more time getting ready in the morning than they do talking with their children? How can we discover what’s going on in our kids heads and hearts if we’re not talking with them? For many, conversations that go beyond, “How was your day?” and “Did you clean your room?” are few, if not non-existent.

(By the way, just because a child comes home from school and shares every detail of the day doesn’t mean you know how they’re doing. Knowing the details of the day doesn’t necessarily expose the feelings, thoughts and life altering experiences of the day.)

Asking a few simple questions (and being diligent to actively listen) will go a long way in helping you to know what’s really going on in your child’s heart and mind. Here are some questions to help facilitate conversations that count with your kids:

• What was the best part of the day? Why?
• Did anything happen today you wish you could erase or undo?
• How did that make you feel?
• When ________ happened, what did you do? Why? Would you do it differently if you could press a ‘redo’ button? Why/why not? What would you do differently?
• Since God is everywhere, He was with you all day. What happened today that you think made Him smile? Did anything happen that might have made Him sad or mad?

The key is to ask one or two questions, listen to the response and then follow up with a question that takes the subject to a deeper level. Few of the conversations will be serious and deep… after all, we are talking to kids! But if we consistently make the effort to engage them in conversation about their life, when the serious issues arise they will be much more likely to talk about them with us.

The Table Talk Questions on the dg4kids website calendar provide great suggestions for conversation starters around the table. The questions for this week are: Who’s easy for you to love? Why? Who’s hard for you to love? Why? Who does God love? Why?

When we asked these questions of our kids it sparked a very interesting discussion. I hope you find the questions helpful as you strive to know your kids and point them toward a life long journey with the Lord.

Love Language Game…

Dear GOD,
I bet it is very hard for You to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it.

I read this on Children’s Letters to God and laughed out loud. Did you ever feel like Nan? Maybe you still do! My siblings are incredible and I love them with all my heart, but there were times…  Okay, I wasn’t exactly an angel myself. I’m sure they would love to tell you about the time I kicked a hole in the wall or the time I refused to let my sister cross the line in our bedroom to go to the bathroom!

Loving our family is not the only challenge. Denise wrote in her letter to God:

Dear GOD,
If we come back as something – please don’t let it be Jennifer Horton because I hate her
. -Denise

Apart from the fact that Denise is confused regarding reincarnation, her sentiment about Jennifer Horton is clear. Denise’s parents are going to have their hands full helping her learn to love Jennifer! Teaching Denise about God’s love is the best place to start!

Our culture is waging war on God’s love. The strategy is the same as the one birthed in the Garden of Eden. Bend the truth just enough to convince them of the lie. For example: Jesus is one way to God but He’s not the only way. God wouldn’t be love if He rejected all the nice people who believe in other ways to Heaven. Really? How can a loving God send His Son to die a painful death for our sins when He knew He would allow everyone in anyway? Such a cruel God would be frightening.

The counterfeit love we see everywhere is one with no moral compass, no boundaries and no foundation. When we cheapened God’s love for us, our love for each others always follows. February is a great month to focus on love—God’s love. When we explore what His love really is, two amazing things happen: 1. We experience His powerful and unwavering love for us. 2. We experience His powerful love flowing through us toward others (even family and mean classmates!).

The Family Activity on the calendar this week is The Love Language Game. Gary Smalley wrote the book, The Five Love Languages. He gave us permission to create a game, around the love language theme, for families. The game will help you identify each other’s love language and give opportunities to talk about God’s love language. Click on, to find the instructions and downloadable game cards.   The game will require a little bit of preparation but it’s worth it!!!

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. John 4:16 NLT