Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2009

Favorite Books for Women to Grow in their Faith

What books have inspired you to be a Christian woman, a wife, a mother, a great employee, a friend, a homemaker, a discipler, a studier of the Bible, a prayer warrior, a servant... ?

My church is starting a woman's discipleship program , so I'm looking for books and articles to share that are based on Scripture, provide practical ideas for women to grow in their faith, and stimulate conversation for small groups of women.

Will you take a moment to think about the books that have helped you to grow in your faith? What are the books that you think every Christian woman should read?


10 Ideas for a Free Photo Collage

Photo collages are so fun to make - especially when they are free! Walgreens is offering a free 8×10 Collage today only (thanks for the tip Faithful Provisions).

Here are some ways you might use your free collage:
capture special family memories a vacation collagea year of memories for your childpictures of people that love your childrena sports collage from your child's last sport seasona thank you gift for Grandma or Grandpaa birthday gift for a friend with friendship picturesanniversary pictures to celebrate the growth of your marriagean extended family portrait collagequiet time collage with pictures and scriptures that remind you to spend time with GodHow might you use your free collage?

Discipline - Ideas from MckMama

We're continuing to struggle with discipline this week, so I was grateful when my mother-in-law sent me this great blog post about discipline. The author, MckMama, has four children ages 4 and under, so she's had quite a bit of experience in the arena of discipline. Here are the topics she covers during her article - I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Make expectations clear.
Give choices so your child has some reasonable measure of control over their life.
Act quickly.
Act calmly.
Get on their eye level.
Model for your children how to verbalize their emotions.
Be consistent.
Know and use your child's currency.

I'll pray for you this week, as I pray for my family, in regards to growing families that love Christ and reflect his character. It's a tough journey, but well worth the sacrifice. Best of all, we know that we are not acting out of our strength alone - we are soldiers of the High King, and he fills us with energy, wisdom and strength every step of the…
I've been struggling with children's attitudes in my house this week. I think it's the ripple effect of heading back to school. My mom has been very supportive in listening, and quietly offering tidbits of parenting wisdom. She just sent me this article from Barbara and Dennis Rainey of Family Life Today. Perhaps it will encourage you, like it encouraged me!

Question: Our 4-year-old child has started saying, “Who cares?” when we ask him to do something. We’ll say, “Mom and I want you to go up and clean your room.” He’ll say, “Who cares?” How should we react?

Dennis: Barbara and I built our own philosophy of spanking from Proverbs 6:16-19. It says, “There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him ... ” I wrote in my Bible these seven characteristics that God doesn’t like. The first is the one you’re asking about here, and that is “haughty eyes.”

Barbara: We call it sassiness, or disrespectful speaking. That’s when your children look at…

Helping Children Enjoy Reading

Maile Carpenter has posted some really good articles on pre-reading and reading at Here are some of her posts that I enjoyed tonight:

Fun activities for pre-readers
Fun activities for advanced readers (grades 2 to 3)
The visual learner (grades 1 to 3)
Fun activities for intermediate readers (grades 1 to 2)

Susan Ragsdale and I also wrote a handbook called Reading for Life that outlines 64 great picture books for preschool children, including a summary of each book and prompts that help caregivers use the books to explore Developmental Assets, such as Positive Identity, Empowerment, Constructive Use of Time, Commitment to Learning... If you would like a free copy of the book, just email me at mommysecretsblog(at)gmail(dot)com.

John Deere Tractors - Free Field Trip!

Today's errands took us to the local John Deere Tractor store to get a bolt for the lawn mower. It could have been a boring errand, but we made it into a field trip.

They have all kinds of tractors inside and outside the store, and they don't mind you riding on them. Well, not driving them, but sitting on them.

So we sat on all the tractors inside, then we got a free bag of popcorn from their popcorn stand, then we sat on the outside tractors while eating popcorn. It was 30-40 minutes of free fun that the kids loved!

When A Loved One Dreams About Marriage - Questions to Ponder

Because most readers of this blog are married women with children, I almost didn't post this great article that I ready by John Piper tonight - Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage.

Then I started thinking about all the single people in my life that I would love to share this with, and realized that you could probably share this with people that are hungry to know God's will in their relationships.

I further realized that our teenage sons and daughters need to be pondering questions such as these, as they start to consider steady dating relationships and marriage. As we talk with our children, they need to know that finding a spouse is about so much more than just physical chemistry. They need to know that it's about finding a life partner, a soulmate, a best friend, and a harbor in this life.

While you might not show a young teenager this list of questions yet, the questions might help you find ways to talk with your child about choosing a quality mate to marry fo…

Teaching Financial Responsibility - Tips from the FDIC

Do you struggle with how to teach your kids about the value of money and how to manage money wisely? I just read a one-page article, written by the FDIC, with lots of practical ideas on Click here to Ages and Stages of Money Management.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas from the article:

Ages 3 to 7 - Play games sorting, identifying or counting coins. .

Ages 8 to 12 - Consider rewarding your child for good savings habits by supplementing his or her own deposits or investments.

Ages 13 to 17 - Your child can begin making money outside of the home, either after school or in the summer... The emphasis should be on learning about the working world and responsibility, not making thousands of dollars a year in outside income.

Quiet Here, But Talking There

I've been a little bit quieter on this blog, because I've been writing a lot at my other blog. At The Asset Edge, I write about positive child/youth development strategies that inspire teachers, parents, youth pastors and youth workers to nurture young people. Based on research in the Developmental Assets (40 building blocks that all kids need to succeed), we empower youth and adults to live authentic lives of character, service and leadership.

I've also been investing more time in writing books. Susan Ragsdale and I are about to publish our 3rd book (Building Character from the Start), and we're writing a 4th book to come out next year. I am enjoying the writing so much - God wired me to be a nerd!

I've been quiet for the last 10 days, because I was on a wonderful vacation with my extended family on a lake in east TN. We've been b-u-s-y skiing, tubing, floating, kayaking, hiking, eating, making ice cream, playing cards, coloring, blowing bubbles, and hangi…