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  1. We just found out we are having a baby. These words are so powerful to us as we prepare to start a family and what it looks like to lead and love like Christ. Xo!

  2. I needed this read today! I’ve felt like such a failure at all 3 lately, especially in the area of living out my faith and Im married to a non-Christian and that makes it even more challenging at times. I’ve not been handling it well and definitely feeling the conviction while feeling reassured of God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness. Thank you thank you for the post!

  3. I know this post is so old, but I always giggle to myself as I finally get around to reading it from the list of nearly-forgotten messages in my inbox and find that it’s exactly what I needed to hear for the day! My husband and I just read the passage together this morning from Philippians 1:6 where Paul and Timothy are encouraging the people to remember that “he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ”. How reassuring to know that even though we mess up as parents daily, we have the saving grace of Jesus that does the perfecting for us, and when we’re faithful to teach our kids in humility and ask forgiveness when we mess up, they gain so much more than worldly knowledge- they get Godly wisdom that’s far more valuable than anything that will fade in the earth!
    Thank you for always being real with us in your posts as a wife and mother- it’s easy to get sucked into the “grass is greener” mentality when following bloggers, but you’re one of the few that I’ve found to be transparent and trustworthy when it comes to giving advice…I like feeling that you genuinely care about your readers and it’s as though you’re sitting and having a cup of coffee with us while we chat about family matters (even though it may be 1000’s of miles away) 🙂
    I hope this encourages you today as your words certainly bring encouragement to me!
    Love ya ~ Carmella

    1. Carmel! Oh you totally encouraged me! Thank you so much! I love to hear how God brought that post up at just the timing you needed to hear it. And it’s my favorite when a message comes up in multiple ways and you just know it is something you’re supposed to hear (or pass on.) I agree with you and even receive YOUR Reminder today about God covering our inadequacies with His grace. Amen!! Much Aloha to you and thank you again for taking the time to encourage me!

  4. Thank you so much for blogging! This post is just what I needed to read. You are a huge encouragement in raising my little boy. Thank you for continuing to prove that there is a better way to live.

  5. My daughter has been a subscriber for a while now. She recently signed me up. Living down the street from her I spend time with my 2 grandsons often .

    In my 70’s sometimes I delude myself with thoughts that I have exclusive immunity against mind and body deterioration. These thoughts never last long…. not my nature. However they do exist.

    Your article rang true for me. I do need to exercise my body and mind regularly. Still putting my principles and abilities in to practice inspire me and set a good example for my adult children and 4 grands.

    Thanks again.

  6. I agree with all you have to say. You forgot one very important fact…that some of us are divorced and have an even bigger responsibility to set an example for our children. I am a single Mom of 2 boys. I enjoy your blog, just wanted to point that out.

    1. Thank you for commenting Lisa! Not sure if you noticed that I did make mention of single parents in the “marriage’ section. That was really all I could do because I knew that I cannot speak for single parents much since I am not one (though I have so much respect for those of you who carry that load!) I wish I could be all things here, but can only speak what I know. 🙂 Sorry if I didn’t mention it throughout; unfortunately if I make mention of every unique situation my post would go on and on and on…:) (I have people reading who have kids with special needs, grandparents raising their grandkids, foster parents, and much more…) Hope you were still able to grab a few nuggets out of there regardless! aloha-

  7. Sheena Carnie says:

    Thanks for the reminders, Monica! Love the pic of you on the swing by the beach – so carefree!

  8. Thank you for this post. It reminds me that we are not all perfect , by learning from our mistakes and keeping God first in our lives helps us all become better people and role models for our children. God Bless!

  9. This is just right! I needed the reminder about language after my homemade chocolate birthday cake batter leaked out of 2 different springform pans all over the oven!! My husband came to the rescue & brought humor to my bleak baking experience saying, “this is better to clean up than dog pooh!” We must remember to make light of our darkness because we are loved, always & we can be in the light, it’s our choice.

    1. Well said, Sarah! And you have a good man! 🙂 Hope the bday celebration has been epic! Hugs to your boy from all of us! XO

  10. Sara Mirtaheri says:

    Greetings from a snowy Missouri morning, I loved your post. First, I just celebrated 25 years of marriage to the love of my life. Second, I have an amazing son who has been a gift since birth. My husband and I tried for 14 years to have a baby. We had many losses and yet we made it to the birth of our son. I would say he is spoiled just a bit being an only child. He will tell you he isn’t an only child. He will instead tell you about his sister who died and how his mom has several kids in heaven. He knows about loss intimately and shared it willingly. I think he has overheard conversations about how hard it is to know your babies are with God. His sister was born in the second trimester and he held her tiny body. He remembers it and isn’t afraid to tell others. Why is it children are never afraid to speak about things we would never contemplate speaking about to anyone, and do it willingly?

    I believe we show him life. The beautiful part and the painful aspect as well. We talk to him about situations we encounter, and I never lie to him when he ask me a direct question. He asked me point blank when he was 10 if me and dad was Santa? I hesitated and he said, “mom, you have never lied to me”, and he found out we were infact Santa. We have discussed everything from sex to playboy. He knows he is loved unconditionally.

    Third, he has seen his parents argue, get mad and sometime leave the house. I’m not proud of that one, but he has seen us come together after and tell one another how sorry we are. We are showing him real life and how to handle imperfections we all have.

    I believe we must let our children see life is not perfect, but life can be a blessing regardless. I know he sees God through us and how we pick our friends and how we go to church. I sing in our choir and he knows his home is a place where God dwells. I just need him to realize how important it is to have God in him. How can we minister to our son? I minister all day to my kids in my classroom which is a Christian school, but I have trouble reaching him. He is at the age now we’re he is more interested in being in his room than with us. I know it’s puberty, but it is hard to get him to focus on things.

    Sorry it has been a long post, but I’m just needing to understand what comes next? How do you get your boys to actively engage in real and meaningful dialogue?


    1. Hi Sara Mirtaheri ,

      I was reading your comment and saw you mentioned you have a ten year old son. I too have a ten year old son . He too likes to spend a lot of time in his room. Is sometimes hard to get him out . What I do with my son to get him engaged in meaningful dialogue, I begin with things that are of interest to him. With my son is a little different, because he has mild version of autism. So I have to have things prepared sometimes ahead of time and show him a schedule of activities and things that we will be doing that day. Sometimes this is the only way I can get him to spend more time interacting with us rather than be in his room all day . Plus we take him weekly to the family night at the aquatics indoor swimming for an hour and skating once every other week. He likes these outings and it helps with getting him to have conversations with us. I hope this helps.


    2. Hi Sara! Great comment, and I see that Melinda already left a really great reply! 🙂
      I agree with her and suggest drawing your son out through things that he enjoys. I know my sons cannot resist certain games or activities….which often lead to conversations and great dialogue.
      Also remember that you are the parent, and you can establish simple rules like how much time he spends alone in his room. If you are not feeling like it is right, perhaps he reads in the living room, or helps you more with duties in or outside of the house. Though he might resist you at first, he might find that he really begins to enjoy the fellowship.
      Just keep loving him like you are–sounds like you’ve done an amazing job, and I’m sure you’ll continue to grow and he will too! Aloha-

      1. My son is 12
        I accidentally stumbled across something that has turned out to be a wonderfully fun, non- confrontational, creative way of connecting, communicating and engaging with him.
        We moved into our new home and the previous owners had left a white board on the wall in a transition kind of space (not in public view)
        I started drawing little cartoons with speech/ thought bubbles on this board. My son would respond and we would go back and forth before we change and write a poem or a quote for each other. It has proven to be such an amazingly lovely thing.
        Another tip is to do something where your child is the “expert” or teacher and they are responsible for planning the activity. For me, this has been bush walking.
        Hope these are helpful suggestions.
        God bless your parenting journey

  11. Excellent article. Had hubby read it and he also concurred! Thanks for putting things in perspective. I am definitely a work in progress an also strive to live the best life I can. Thanks Monica!

    1. Thank you Sue. And indeed, we are all a work in progress. 😉 Keep it up!! aloha-

    1. Thank you Cathy! Sweet of you to let me know you enjoyed the post. 🙂

  12. Patsy Bendall says:

    thanks so much for your articles. I’m 81 and way past the age of raising kids, but we enjoy our grands and greats so much and seeing how happy positive influences make such a difference. Even the bad memories are good from a distance of 50 or 6 0 years and I treasure each one. Several years ago our daughter established a “bad day” gift and we look forward to it each year……..memories of those “bad” days that have turned into good. Your faith in the Lord is such a testimony. thank you

    1. Patsy–I absolutely LOVE hearing from you. I have such respect for those who have walked many years and still love and honor the Lord and want to encourage younger generations to do the same. You just encouraged me greatly! I’d love to hear more about the “Bad day gift” How does that work? Sounds fascinating! Thank you for your kind words and bless you and your family. Aloha!

  13. Love what you wrote here and I agree w all of it 100%. Thank you for the helpful reminders and I will continue to strive to keep these forefront in my mind each day. Thank you!

  14. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Our marriage was in deep trouble when our kids were 5 and 3. God worked miracles. He healed us overnight. I am thankful they don’t remember. They are 11 and 9 now plus we have a 4 year old now. God is good. He is our peace and our joy and the reason we have a love filled home. Praise Him!

    1. Thank you Jenni–So happy to hear that God did a miracle in your marriage, and with so many great years to raise kids in a healthy home!! 🙂 Love hearing your story. Aloha-

  15. Love this! Seriously needed this reminder, especially coming off winter break with the kids being home. I am guilty of all three, and feels good to know I am not alone.
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you Danielle. And no, you’re not alone. We all need the reminders, so glad if this helps a few of us continue to redirect our hearts. 😉 Aloha!

  16. Oh boy, it seems like you have had a front row seat to the last couple of weeks in my home! Guilty on every account, but also encouraged that I am in good company. Thanks for the solid strategies. My guys seem to be trying out “quasi-swears” ( crap, sucks,etc.) and if I look closely I tell them not to use those words but I do. And, I know my attitude is a barometer of the happiness level of my home. Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. Shannon– You did know about my hidden cameras in your house, right? haha. Thank you for commenting. I’m with you in all of this and I just remind others of what i’m reminding myself. Keep up the great work! XOXO

  17. This is one of the best articles I have read on parenting. Concise but straight to the point. It all resonated and sometimes we just need to remember what’s important.

    Thank you

    1. Melissa–Thank you so much. That is a really big compliment. 😉 Yes we all need to remember. So glad you resonated with this!! Aloha.

  18. How do you handle a narcissistic spouse? One who is stuck with reminiscing about the old days with friends & college football? One of is wounded from his controlling mother & couldn’t wait to get away to college & now transfers that wound onto his spouse?

    1. Ellen, I am sorry it sounds like you’re really frustrated. I would absolutely seek counseling. I’ve heard many worse scenarios that are absolutely changed and redeemed when you get help! Don’t give up. 🙂