Why My Husband is a Good Dad

Father’s Day will be here in a little over a week, so I thought I’d share why I think my husband is a great dad to our children and how young fathers can emulate his example.

My husband was a great dad to our children. We have grown son and daughter, both married, who don’t live with us. Although they’ve struggled at times, my children have grown up to become responsible adults who love the Lord.

Jonathan and Jenna

 

My son is married and has two sons of his own. He is also a terrific husband and father. He supports his family working at Pella Windows and is the college and career and facilities pastor at his church.

Veronica and Darius

My daughter recently married. She’s planning to start her Master’s Degree in September for clinical counseling. She and her godly husband are very involved in their church.

 

Much of the reason my children are who they are is because of their dad. Here’s some of the things he’s done while they were growing up.

IMG_1045He spent time with them. My son and his dad would go to airplane shows, for walks in the park, and to look at race cars together. These were interests my son had, and my husband would take the time to encourage those interests. My daughter and her father would go on dates together. He would do what she wanted to do. That usually meant going out to eat, then going to a romantic movie or shopping. My husband doesn’t like chick flics or shopping, but he loved doing these things with his daughter.

He taught them things. My son knows basic carpentry, home maintenance, and how to do minor car repairs because his father taught him whenever he was doing something around the house. It would have been easier for my husband to fix a car or patch a wall without explaining every step to my son and allowing him to do some of it, but he understood that a good father teaches his children. He also taught my daughter many things like how to change a tire and how a man should treat her on a date.

He prayed with them. Whenever my children had any concerns growing up, my husband would have the same response. “Let’s pray about this.” My children learned that whenever they have a problem, the first response is prayer. To this day, when they have a problem, they will call their dad and hear him say, “Let’s pray.”

AsherHe was a godly example. My husband didn’t get saved until we had been married sixteen years. But even before that, he was a man of integrity. He was always where he said he would be, and I never had to worry about him being unfaithful. After he was saved, he stepped it up a notch by being a godly example in everything he did. He didn’t act one way at church and another way at home. Our children saw what it means to be a Christian by watching my husband.

weddingHe’s a wonderful husband. My husband loves me and shows me respect. He listens to me and supports me. And he’s faithful to me. This is one of the best things a dad can do for his children. He showed my son how to be a good husband, and he showed my daughter what a good husband looks like.

He was a strict disciplinarian. My husband showed his children love, but he also expected certain types of behavior from them. When they failed to meet the mark, there would be consequences. This also showed his love for them because it taught them that morality is the best way and that there are consequences in life.

He taught them life isn’t fair. When my children were growing up, sometimes they would complain that some decision my husband made wasn’t fair or something that happened with their teachers or friends wasn’t fair. Sometimes they were wrong. Sometimes it was fair. But sometimes they were right. Sometimes things happened that weren’t fair.

My husband’s favorite saying during those times was “Life’s not fair.” And it’s true. Life is not fair. Dads help their children most when they teach them this principle. Children need to learn to deal with the unfairness of life without becoming bitter or pessimistic. My husband taught my children that life’s not fair, but that doesn’t give them the excuse to be unfair or unkind or to rebel against authority.

I’d enjoy hearing comments about why your husband or father is a good dad.

10 Things You Can Do For Mom

Mother's Day

My Daughter-in-law, Jenna, with her two sons

Mother’s Day is in one week. Hopefully you’ve already bought her the perfect gift or planned something special for her. If not, it’s not too late. Here are the top ten things you can do for Mom on Mother’s Day.

10. Cook dinner for her. Everyone tries to take Mom out for Mother’s Day to crowded restaurants with an hour wait. This year, why not cook her dinner at home.

9. Give her a present. Flowers and candy are always nice, but if she doesn’t like candy and is on a diet, how about an Amazon or iTunes gift card?

8. Buy her a massage gift certificate. A day at a spa is always a wonderful gift for a mom.

7. Clean her house. Acts of Service are the best gifts you can give her. If her house is clean, do her laundry or yard work, or offer to do her grocery shopping.

6. Buy her a mushy card that tells her how much you love her or make your own. There’s nothing like a homemade card that wasn’t sent by Facebook or email. She’ll treasure it.

5. Skype or Facetime her if you live out of town. If she doesn’t know how to Skype or doesn’t own a computer, iPad, or iPhone. Arrange with someone to help her ahead of time.

4. Watch her favorite classic romantic movie with her.

3. Give her a list of the ways she’s been the best mother in the world to you. There no better feeling for a mom than to know someone noticed and appreciated all the sacrifices she’s made.

2. Buy her a plaque or make a framed certificate that says “Mother of the Century” on it.

1. Tell her how much you love and appreciate her. That’s what she wants the most.

10 Things to Do Easter Sunday

Here’s 10 things you can do with your family on Easter Sunday to make it special.

10. Cook steaks on the grill. There’s nothing that says you have to have ham. Easter reminds us of Spring. So clean off that grill and use it.

9. Watch an Easter movie about Jesus with the family. This link  shows some of my favorite.

8. If you have young children, watch a children’s Easter movie about Jesus. Here’s a link to some of my children’s favorites.

7. Go to a restaurant for Easter Dinner. This is especially good if you don’t like to cook.

6. Order Easter dinner. This is also a great option for those who don’t like to cook. Bob Evans and other restaurants are selling pre-cooked Easter dinners.

5. Go to the park and have an Easter egg hunt with real Easter eggs.

4. Spend the day in service to others. Serve Easter dinner at a homeless shelter.

3. Wear your best Easter outfit complete with hat.

2. Invite someone to dinner who doesn’t have a family.

1. Go to church. Whatever other plans you have, this is the most important thing you can do. Easter is about celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ after He died on the cross for our sins. If we don’t make the day about Him, what’s the point.

So what plans does your family have for making Easter special? Leave a comment.

10 Ways to Get Your Spring Cleaning Done without It Devouring Your Life

Spring is almost here. If you’re anything like me, you’d rather enjoy the nice weather than be cooped up in the house doing heavy cleaning. But it’s something that needs to be done. Here’s some of the things I’ve tried to keep it from devouring my life and my time outdoors.

1. Make a plan. Spring cleaning goes better if you make a plan of attack. Write out a list of what you need to do and the order you’ll do it in. This link will take you to a site to help you make a plan for cleaning and organizing your home.

2. Start at the front door. The easiest way to Spring clean is to start at the front door where company sees and move from room to room until you’re finished.

3. Have three bins or boxes marked Put Away, Give Away, Store, and a trash can for throwing things away. It will be much easier than having to stop to put things where they belong.

4. Avoid distractions. Let family and friends know this is the time you’ll be Spring cleaning. Turn off your phone, and don’t answer the door. And don’t turn on the television or check FaceBook or you’ll whittle away the whole day.

5. Turn on some loud music. It’s much easier for me to clean when I’m jamming to my favorite music.

6. Get family to help. After all, they live there too. Decide on a week for your family to help you. Then give them each a list to complete in that week.

7. Have a yard sale. You’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something if you have a yard sale at the end of your project. It will empty the house of clutter and fill your pockets with spending money.

8. Make plans for meals. Use your crockpot or order pizza. You won’t feel like cooking after a day of cleaning.

9. Spread it out. There’s no law you have to do all your cleaning in the Spring. Decide on a room to clean every month. Or download the My Home Routines app or use the app online at this link.

10. Hire help. I’m serious. It costs an average of $25 an hour for a housecleaner to come in and do your heavy cleaning. For $100, you could get everything done but the organizing and be free to enjoy your life. Isn’t it worth the $100?

Now that you’re done inside, enjoy the beautiful weather.

Author Cindy Thomson – Recording Memories for Thanksgiving

Cindy Thomson

Cindy Thomson is a writer and an avid genealogy enthusiast. Her love of history and her Scots-Irish heritage have inspired much of her writing, including her new Ellis Island series. Cindy is also the author of Brigid of Ireland and Celtic Wisdom: Treasures from Ireland. She combined her love of history and baseball to co-author the biography Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story, which was a finalist for the Society for American Baseball Research’s Larry Ritter Book Award. In addition to books, Cindy has written on a regular basis for numerous online and print publications and is a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Historical Novel Society. Cindy and her husband have three grown sons and live in central Ohio. Visit her online at these sites.

Recording Memories for Thanksgiving

crazy-brown-family-reunion

What I love about Thanksgiving is it’s not commercialized like other holidays. Chances are you don’t even decorate specifically for Thanksgiving. It’s the one day of the year that is set aside for spending time with family and giving thanks for our blessings.

Many people fill the time surrounding the meal with televised football or board games, and there is nothing wrong with that, but I have another suggestion. If you will have people from an earlier generation at your Thanksgiving table, take advantage of the opportunity because one year they won’t be there anymore and the chance will be lost. Ask them about their childhood, their parents and grandparents, the holiday traditions of a time long ago. Gather memories from all your guests, but especially the seniors.

Here are a few strategies you might want to employ:

Record Stories

Never has it been more convenient to get those stories and tales recorded. Most people have cell phones with video capability. You can also download an app just for recording audio–you know, like those tape recorders we had in the old days! Here is one in iTunes and here are some for Android. I’m not endorsing any, so look around and find the best voice recorder for you.

Hearing the stories about someone’s youth in his/her own voice is a treasure. Be sure to download the file to your computer and back it up. Remember to also record your own stories. Tell everyone you’ve invited to Thanksgiving dinner what you plan to do and just have fun. Chances are you’d be talking about these things anyway, so get them recorded. Just make sure everyone’s aware of what you’re doing. You might want to edit what you get later. Sometimes people say things they regret. Remember that Yogi Berra quote: I really didn’t say everything I said! Older people can be a product of the age they grew up in when there wasn’t as much political correctness, if you know what I mean.

Take Pictures

It’s easy to forget when you’re gathered with folks and caught up in conversations. That’s why my cousin hired a photographer for our family reunion.

Share on Facebook/Pinterest/Tumblr…then the image will be forever, right? Some social media sites like Pinterest allow you to make private boards if you’d rather. And don’t forget to get in the picture yourself. (Isn’t everyone taking selfies these days?) When my sister passed away I was sad to discover that she’d managed to stay out of the way of cameras for most of her life.

Use Paper and Pencil

Technology fails often, doesn’t it? Take some notes, put out a guestbook, encourage folks to write things down. Everything that I have in my dad’s handwriting makes me feel connected to him even though he’s been in heaven for a few years now. We’ve definitely gotten away from letter writing in this society, but often people will write down their thoughts and emotions better than they would in person. Don’t miss that opportunity. Give each one a notebook and ask that they record memories, blessings, whatever they would like. Can’t see Uncle Albert doing that? Don’t pressure him. Let him tell his stories out loud if he’d rather. Just make sure the opportunity is there for those who would like to write something down.

Most of all enjoy the time together. Whether the people you gather with are related to you or are friends, take the time to learn more about them and what matters to them. Everyone has a story. Take the time to listen and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

AS cover

Annie’s Stories

by Cindy Thomson

The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment-they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.

But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie-and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.

You can buy Annie’s Stories at this link.

Guest Post – The Subject Christians Don’t Want to Talk About

Jen and JakeJake and Jennifer Nelson are from intouchmarriage.com. In their 14 years of marriage, they have always been involved in ministry as a team. Through all of the ministries they’ve been involved in – children’s, teen, recovery programs, and even currently in music, how to work with others in healthy communication has always been their heartbeat.

The Subject Christians Don’t Want to Talk About

by Jake and Jennifer Nelson, In Touch Marriage

We started learning to build our healthy relationship early, before we were married, and continuing throughout. That foundation has kept our marriage strong through all that life has thrown at us. Over our years in ministry, we have come into contact with so many couples in trouble. Marriages full of frustration – especially sexual. Christians seemed to dance around the issue of sex like it was a dirty thing to talk about.

Our passion is to help couples learn to open up to each other. To encourage couples to make a commitment to communicate, open up about sexuality, and make every day (and night) with our spouse the best it can be so they can experience marriage to the fullest. When we learn to communicate our needs, and not be ashamed of our sexuality, we can truly live a marriage that is a reflection of Gods love for us!

Sexuality isn’t often explored in church, or talked about in Christian homes openly. Marriage classes or seminars are so few and far between and are often met with closed minded “our marriage is just fine thank you ” attitudes. But the truth is, we are all works in progress. Just like we discipline ourselves to become more like Christ, we can learn to become better communicators, more open, more trusting. A good marriage can become a great one. Hurts and misconceptions can be turned into victory and truth.

Proverbs 30:18-19  There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.

Christians are to live a life of freedom. And yes, that freedom extends into the bedroom. For some Christians, talking about sex is not only uncomfortable, but they may feel that it shouldn’t be done in a public forum, and that it is immoral to do so. That is not the case. We respect the convictions of others, but talking about sex with others is simply not wrong. (Titus 2:2-8)

Today, marriage is undermined from all sides. Pornography is more available than ever before. Websites that advertise “discreet affairs” encourage cheating. With the very definition of marriage being redefined, the issues facing married Christians need to be addressed, and that includes sex.

For some, talking about sex is easy and fun. For others, it is more difficult and kind of embarrassing. Some Christians end up in a third category. After a life of “just say no”, they can feel clueless, even sinful, around the idea or action of sex.   It is something to be enjoyed, celebrated, encouraged, taught about, and talked about.

No matter what group you are in, your situation will never change (for the good) without communication. It’s the lifeblood of a relationship, so crucial, so all important, and sometimes so hard.

Why is it hard sometimes to just talk? The answers are legion. Everything from embarrassment to fear of rejection, trust issues, past abuse, not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings, fear of change, and on and on they go.

These are all valid. It’s not fun bringing up issues when you’re not sure of the response you’ll get. Nobody wants to throw their most kinky fantasy out there only to get a “Eeeeeewwww, you want to WHAT with my WHAT?”

The truth is, by holding things in, you’ll damage your relationship. Over time, resentment can build, inadequacy will grow, and walls will begin to go up. Don’t let fear of a response hold you prisoner. The enemy of your soul wants to sour what God has planned to be sweet. Wants, needs and desires need to come out. Communication, and more importantly, how we communicate, is key.

Proverbs 12:18 (NIV) The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

There are far less restrictions regarding sex in the Bible than most people think. There are “gray” areas as well as black & white issues. When in doubt, look at Scripture and talk it over with your spouse. Remember, your marriage is a gift from God, and like everything He made, it is good. When we learn to communicate about sex, it can be very good!

For communication tips and ways to spice up your marriage, visit our blog at www.intouchmarriage.com

10 Ways to Prepare Kids to Go Back to School

This month children are headed back to school. The fun and excitement of getting ready is running through them. Here are ten ways to help your children get ready.

1. Start the school routine early. Most children stay up a little later during the summer. It takes at least a week or two for their bodies to get adjusted to the new sleep schedule. It will help them get a head start if you place them on that schedule at least a week before school starts.

2. Help your children decide a homework time. Children are more apt to follow through on homework assignments if they have a say in initiating it. Discuss with your child how much time he’ll need to do his homework, when’s the best time, and where he should work. Some children would rather do their homework as soon as they get home and get it out of the way. But other children need to unwind before they can concentrate on more work. Work with them instead of against their natural work habits.

3. Set up a homework station. Some children like to work out in the open where everybody is so they don’t feel isolated. Other children want privacy and quiet. Find out what’s best for your children.

4. Discuss extracurricular activities with your children. Most children are so overburdened with sports, dance, music, art, and other activities that they never have downtime just to play. Give your children limits. Let them know they have decisions to make about which activities to participate in. They can’t do them all.

5. Schedule and limit TV, computer, and video game time. Let your children know that, during the school year, these activities will be limited. Tell them how much time they have on each device, and let them decide how to use that time.

6. Buy a number of easy and healthy breakfast items for your children. If they’re running late, they’re much more likely to eat breakfast if there’s a banana or breakfast food readily available.

7. Take your children to the grocery store and let them help you pick out items for their lunches. If your goal is for them to eat healthy, let them know that, and help them choose foods they’ll eat and not throw out.

8. Go school shopping. This is an exciting time. Make a day of it.

9. Visit the school your children will attend. If possible, try to meet the teacher.

10. Decide how your children will get to school. If they ride a bus, what time will the bus pick them up? If they walk, who will they walk with? Have they met the crossing guard? What route will they take? If you drive them, you might want to set up a car pool with other parents. Also give your children a secret password that you can use for anyone you might send to pick them up in an emergency.

10 Things Every Father Should Tell His Daughter

Daughter Veronica with my husband Rick and me at her college graduation

Daughter Veronica with my husband Rick and me at her college graduation

My husband, Rick, has a special relationship with our daughter, Veronica. When she was young, he would take her on dates to show her how a man should treat her. Every girl and woman needs to hear these 10 things coming from the lips of her father by the time she becomes an adult.

Rick & V

Husband Rick and Daughter Veronica at her wedding

1. You are beautiful.

2. You deserve a man who will treat you like a princess.

3. If any man hurts you, they’ll have to deal with me.

4. I love you enough to find out where you’re going, who you’ll be with, and when you’ll get home.

5. May I have this Dance?

6. You can be anything you want to be.

7. I’m proud of you.

Rick giving Veronica away

Rick giving Veronica away at her wedding

8. I’m amazed at how smart and talented you are.

9. Would you like to go on a date with me?

10. I’ll always love you no matter what you do.

10 Things Every Father Should Tell His Son

My grandsons have declared war with my husband, Rick

My grandsons have declared war with my husband, Rick

My husband was a is a good father. Because of his example, my son is a good father who is raising his two sons to be godly men. Every boy or man should hear these 10 things from his father by the time he becomes an adult.

My son Jonathan with his 2 sons

My son Jonathan with his 2 sons

1. Treat your mother with respect. She’s my wife.

2. I’m proud of the man you’ve become.

3. Nothing worthwhile comes easy.

4. Be a man. Do the hard thing because it’s right.

5. Be a man of your word.

6. Treat every woman as if she’s a lady.

7. Be a gentleman. It will never be politically incorrect no matter what they say.

My son playing with his sons at Myrtle Beach

My son playing with his sons at Myrtle Beach

8. I love you enough to find out where you’re going, who you’ll be with, and when you’ll get home.

9. Choose a woman based on her mind, personality, and values, not her looks.

10. I’ll always love you no matter what you do.

 

 

Why My Husband Is A Good Dad

 Father’s Day will be here in a little over a week, so I thought I’d share why I think my husband is a great dad to our children and how young fathers can emulate his example.

My husband was a great dad to our children. We have grown son and daughter, both married, who don’t live with us. Although they’ve struggled at times, my children have grown up to become responsible adults who love the Lord.

 

My son is married and has two sons of his own. He is also a terrific husband and father. He supports his family working at Pella Windows and is the college and career and facilities pastor at his church.

IMG_1045

My daughter has recently graduated college. She’s works as a children’s pastor and is planning to get a masters in psychology.

 

Much of the reason my children are who they are is because of their dad. Here’s some of the things he’s done while they were growing up.

He spent time with them. My son and his dad would go to airplane shows, for walks in the park, and to look at race cars together. These were interests my son had, and my husband would take the time to encourage those interests. My daughter and her father would go on dates together. He would do what she wanted to do. That usually meant going out to eat, then going to a romance movie or shopping. My husband doesn’t like either romance movies or shopping, but he loved doing these things with his daughter.

He taught them things. My son knows basic carpentry, home maintenance, and how to do minor car repairs because his father taught him whenever he was doing something around the house. It would have been easier for my husband to fix a car or patch a wall without explaining every step to my son and allowing him to do some of it, but he understood that a good father teaches his children. He also taught my daughter many things like how a man should treat her on a date.

He prayed with them. Whenever my children had any concerns growing up, my husband would have the same response. “Let’s pray about this.” My children learned that whenever they have a problem, the first response is prayer. To this day, when they have a problem, they will call their dad and hear him say, “Let’s pray.”

He was a godly example. My husband didn’t get saved until we had been married sixteen years. But even before that, he was a man of integrity. He was always where he said he would be, and I never had to worry about him being unfaithful. After he was saved, he stepped it up a notch by being a godly example in everything he did. He didn’t act one way at church and another way at home. Our children saw what it means to be a Christian by watching my husband.

He’s a wonderful husband. My husband loves me and shows me respect. He listens to me and supports me. And he’s faithful to me. This is one of the best things a dad can do for his children. He showed my son how to be a good husband, and he showed my daughter what a good husband looks like.

He was a strict disciplinarian. My husband showed his children love, but he also expected certain types of behavior from them. When they failed to meet the mark, there would be consequences. This also showed his love for them because it taught them that morality is the best way and that there are consequences in life.

He taught them life isn’t fair. When my children were growing up, sometimes they would complain that some decision my husband made wasn’t fair or something that happened with their teachers or friends wasn’t fair. Sometimes they were wrong. Sometimes it was fair. But sometimes they were right. Sometimes things happened that weren’t fair. My husband’s favorite saying during those times was “Life’s not fair.” And life is not fair. Dad’s help their children most when they teach them this principle. Children need to learn to deal with the unfairness of life without becoming bitter or pessimistic. My husband taught my children that life’s not fair, but that doesn’t give them the excuse to be unfair or unkind or to rebel against authority.

I’d enjoy hearing comments about why your husband or father is a good dad.