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From the Editor -
Jamie Dale
Parents' Survival Guide
Featured Article
ParentsHeíll Always Love Them
By Jamie Dale

Iíve always told my children that Jesus loves them very, very much and will always love them no matter what. I was always sure that my point had gotten through to them, but it wasnít until recently that I realized that the meaning of what I was saying hadnít gotten across to them the way I had intended it to.

One morning I was on the way to my sonís basketball game with my three children in the back seat, when I heard my oldest son lie to my younger son. Children arenít always truthful; Iíve come to accept that fact, but I still do my best to instill how wrong lying is each time I hear them utter a falsehood. I promptly told my son that lying was wrong and to tell his brother the truth.

To my surprise, he told me that it didnít matter. When I asked him why in the world he thought it didnít matter, he informed me (with a tone that said he thought I must be the biggest flake born) that Jesus would still love him no matter what he did.

At that very moment, I realized that all along Iíd been giving my children the right message in the wrong way, skewing the message

I struggled as I looked for a way to explain to my son that a gift of unconditional love needs to be appreciated, not abused. I gently told my son that just because Jesus will always love him, doesnít mean that he has a free license to behave badly. I did my best to explain that unless someone is sorry for bad behavior, that bad behavior wonít be forgiven.

Itís important to nurture our children and their relationships with Christ,...

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Ten Tiny Fingers
By Karen L. Fasig

Children are not my favorite things in this world. They are messy, noisy and, above all else, demanding. Everything is about "them" from the moment they are born. Your life must revolve around their needs Ė as soon as they open their eyes, until they close them to go to sleep, you are theirs.

I know what I say is true, because I have three of them.

Now, three would be controllable, except that they bring umpteen friends into the house and then these friends are all about "them" also. They walk into a room and it seems as if an earthquake has struck. Shoes, books, coats, clothes and noise invade without consideration of other occupants.

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Monthly Parenting Tip

Letís face it, all kids need toys. Itís not just a want; itís a genuine, honest need. The trick is getting the toys we buy to serve a double purpose. Thereís a ton of educational toys on the market, but many of them can cost a pretty penny. Thankfully, christiandollarstore.com has come to the rescue. This online store has a variety of faith-based toys to choose from. Whether youíre looking for something entertaining and educational or just a little token to hand out for good deeds, the website has something for every budget.

Joy for the Journey

Hearing God SpeakJoy for the Journey
By Kay Brown

Go ahead. Ask me the exact shade of our local emergency roomís floor tiles. Interrogate me about how many children the admitting clerk has, what their names are, and where they all live. Quiz me about coffee shop hours and which of our doctors you never want to have to see. I know all these answers, because I live with six rowdy children. We spend a great deal of our time in the E.R.

Before I had children, I had only been to an emergency room once, for a strange reaction to a vitamin pill. Incredibly boring, the experience did nothing to prepare me for our exciting, midnight ambulance rides and breathtaking air evacuations. I knew nothing of vital sign alarms, oxygen cannulas and nebulizers, but I am familiar with all of these Ė now.

Quite frequently, I hear myself drone, "Knock it off, guys, we donít have time for an E.R. run right now!"

I am a veteran E.R. mom.

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