Author: Monica.Swanson

Making Gospel-centered decisions when your son is being negatively influenced by friends

What do you do when you know your son is being negatively influenced?   Do we really have any control over the influences in our sons’ lives—especially as they get older? These are questions that most parents face, and they’re not easy ones to answer. But they are good questions, worthy of some serious thought. I believe that guiding our sons in the area of influence may be one of the most important jobs we have as parents. But how can we help our son deal with negative influences, practically speaking? We can’t raise our son in a bubble...

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Simple ways to add adventure (and a lifetime of memories) to your family this summer

When life begins to get a little mundane, my sons have an interesting pass time:  They entertain themselves by recalling—really reliving—favorite memories.  The four of them literally sit together and talk through full days of memories, sometimes from beginning to end.   One of my boys in particular, who happens to be a textbook Enneagram 7, is often leading the charge in this nostalgia.  (On the Enneagram personality profile, type 7s live for fun.  They wake up thinking of the next fun thing to do, and they struggle to face anything that hints of drudgery, hard times, or, generally...

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When Your Son Is Lonely

Perhaps the only thing harder than being lonely is being the parent of a lonely child. We all want our kids to be happy, fulfilled, and surrounded by people who love them and think they’re as wonderful as we do. Yet most kids will go through a season or two (or eight) where they experience some degree of loneliness. Unfortunately it’s just a part of life. The good news is that lonely seasons will not last forever. Though telling our kids that may not make everything better, this truth can help us as parents to keep perspective. And as a...

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Giving Is the Sweetest Gift

I often enter and exit the holidays with mixed emotions. There is no doubt: I am a a big fan of Christmas everything, savoring the season start to finish. I probably shouldn’t admit this but, my boys and I even start dabbling in Christmas music right around … hmm, mid-September!  Yes, I love everything about Christmas—the lights, the food, the spiritual lessons, the music, the decorations. Everything! Except the commercialized/materialistic side of the holiday. And it’s not so much that I reject the material side of Christmas. It’s more that I tend to embrace it. And that bothers me....

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Our Hope Is Built on the Rock

My husband and I met and married relatively quickly.  We knew each other less than nine months when we stood before hundreds of people and said “I do,”  committing to a lifetime together.  This went against conventional wisdom, of course, and now twenty years later, I even sometimes shake my head wondering what we were thinking!  (and please boys, don’t do that!) Well, we might have been young and in love (and a little foolish too) but one thing we did choose wisely was a theme for our wedding. Or I should say:  A theme for our marriage. We had...

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