Parenting Completely: Where the Little Stuff Becomes Big

We can’t help it. We want to do something important, something other people think is important, something validated by general nods from society. Something for the Lord.

In reality, however, most of us won’t be called to take the gospel to a tribe of cannibals, or become a renowned teacher. And the thing is, that’s just where God would have us, because His grace is most needed where people are thirsty and need their dirty feet washed.

And it’s in those humble, daily acts of service where we become like Him. It’s the only kind of ministry, in fact, He commanded.

Can we wake up joyful because we are right where He wants us? Can we rejoice for mundane work that, when done humbly, for the glory of God, becomes elevated to honor?

Can we remember that it’s in the daily grind where the Kingdom of God is and grows?

It’s not the big moments that move our children to love Him, to love life, to grow in grace. And we can’t parent completely in “quality time.”

Just like a garden grows…ever so slowly, where the gardener is faithful and consistent.

Watch the WA Homeschool Conference From Home–A Gift For You!

Live Stream Me to Your Living Room!

At the 2014 Family Discipleship and Homeschooling Conference, April 25-26

Watch the preview video at

I, my husband and little man Kaid will be heading to WA in a couple of weeks where I’ll be speaking at the Christian Heritage Homeschool Conference. I’m getting really excited and I pray the Lord works mightily to encourage and inspire parents and families.

And, I have a little surprise…I want to invite you to join me via live stream at the 2014 Family Discipleship & Homeschooling Conference, April 25-26 in Redmond, WA. My friends at Christian Heritage are offering all of you $5 off the Live Stream Pass, so you can join thousands of other homeschoolers for two full days of hope, encouragement and inspiration—for just $24.95. That’s not a bad deal!

Click here to receive $5 off your Live Stream Pass, or use the coupon code “STREAMKELLY”. The live stream of the 2014 Family Discipleship and Homeschooling Conference, April 25-26, will present something for every member of your family:

* Fathers will be called to loving, servant leadership and faithful discipleship in the home by looking to their heavenly Father for the perfect example of fatherhood they never had.

* Mothers will be encouraged with a fresh perspective on the big-picture “why” behind the daily routine of motherhood, as well as practical tips for keeping the “homeschool routine” from turning into the “homeschooling rat-race.”

* Young adults and children will be prepared to engage the culture for Christ with a biblical view of history, science and defending the faith. Through the lineup of dynamic speakers and practical sessions, you will be equipped to fulfill your great calling in life: making disciples of Jesus Christ – one child at a time.

Watch the preview video at

“See” you there!

P.S. Click here to receive $5 off your Live Stream Pass, or use the coupon code “STREAMKELLY”.



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History Comes to Life! Win a Copy of Under Drake’s Flag–I’m Giving 5 Away!

In “The Ultimate Cheat Sheet to a Christian Education” I mentioned the importance of living history and how Under Drake’s Flag can help history come to life for your children.

This audio theater is 2 hours of non-stop, attention-gripping adventure!

Produced by a friend of ours, Bill Heid went all out to secure some of the most talented voices and stellar cast in British theater, including acclaimed actor, Brian Blessed.

I can’t say enough good things about this exciting drama. My children are mesmerized when we play it!

But the best part–they have given me 5 copies to give away!

Read more reasons you need Under Drake’s Flag for your family!

A few features:

  • Fast Moving Adventure Keeps Kids Spellbound for 2 hours!
  • 2-CD Audio Adventure Captivates Children’s Imagination
  • Family Friendly Listening With A Positive and Encouraging Story
  • Turn Travel Time Into Fun and Exciting “Adventure” Time
  • Teaches Strong Moral Values Like Courage, Conviction and Character
  • Wholesome Entertainment With A Powerful Christian Message
  • Awakens Your Child’s Love of History And Adventure
  • Active Listening Audio Adventure Nurtures Imagination In Children
  • Makes Learning Christian History Fun and Exciting
  • Study Guide Helps Parents Engage Children With The Story
  • Reveals True History Of A Forgotten Hero
  • Recorded in London with a cast of acclaimed British actors

“In Drake’s adventure there are truths your child will pick up naturally and effortlessly because they are woven seamlessly into the narrative.”

***To enter the chance to win a copy, share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, your blog, or via email (to at least 10 friends). Leave a separate comment for each share and increase your chance of winning.

Giveaway ends Wednesday, April 16th.

Raising Entrepreneurs: Kids Starting Businesses

There are several reasons we encourage an entrepreneurial mindset in our family. Briefly, because there is freedom and variety in it, and unlimited opportunity, allowing a person to do what he or she is good at and loves. And, entrepreneurs turn the machine–they are leaders.

And it even goes beyond that: even if our children end up in a life work that is more mainstream, the entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable one of innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness. It grooms us to see that the world is full of ideas, and to solve problems and live optimistically.

I can’t remember if I’ve ever told this story here, but my son Brooks has a passion for machines. He loves to look at them, talk about them and ride them. He loves to watch his Poppy repair them, soaking it in like a sponge. He has wanted to operate a machine business since he was old enough to articulate it.

When he was 6, he began quizzing me about how a business operates.

“If I have a machine business, I want people to call me to work for them. But how will they know to call me?”

“Well, you have to advertise and list your phone number so they can find it.”

(Long pause) “How do I get a phone number?”

“You call the phone company and they’ll give you one.”

“How do I find the number to the phone company?”

And on it went like this for about an hour of pure, fascinating interest in running his own business. He got a crash-course in business that day that continues to propel his dream.

When we got home, I ordered him some business cards. By then, we had talked all about a business name, branding, marketing and saving up for his first investment–a skid steer, his favorite machine. I encouraged him to share his business cards and tell people about his dream business. Part of that, I told him, was to hone his relational/communication skills–something very important to a business owner.


Brooks has a jar of money he has been steadily saving for his first machine. He does odd jobs for us and for his grandparents to earn money. With an early vision of his goals and a growing understanding of economy, he should be well-equipped at a young age to launch into adulthood.

And even if his goals change, maybe he has a good start in the foundations of business.

If you’re interested in raising entrepreneurs, you may enjoy Raising Entrepreneurs, Raising Leaders.

Also, I’d love to hear your stories about how you’re encouraging business/entrepreneurial skills.


Mothers Need This, and Our Children Need it More (How to REALLY Make Childhood Magical)

It’s difficult to articulate how much I appreciate this article by Bunmi Laditan. How much I think we desperately  need to read it, yes, but BELIEVE it and live it.

My grandfather was a hard man. And so my father grew up hard. He had to shoot his favorite dog–his pet, his best friend–because the dog attacked the farm pig one day. Dad was 15 and Papa just handed him the gun and said “handle it.”

They had a dirt floor in a log cabin chinked with mud. One Christmas Papa forgot gifts. On Christmas Eve he ran to the drug store and bought my Dad a plastic watch.

My parents didn’t have toys. They didn’t go on vacations. But they turned out really well. Probably better than most.

So maybe these kinds of stories from our ancestors prompt us to give our children more. But then we fall into the other ditch, not realizing what “more” really is, and we sacrifice our time money and sanity for all the wrong things. This ditch is even worse. And in a subtly twisted kind of way, the Internet and social media like Facebook and Pinterest has fed the mania, often turning it into an egocentric, one-up performance.

In I’m Done Making My Kid’s Childhood Magical, the author succinctly makes a case for simplicity and I applaud her. Mothers need it to relieve guilt and anxiety, families need it to relieve time and financial constraints, and children need it to grow up happier.

Read it.

“Parents do not make childhood magical. Abuse and gross neglect can mar it, of course, but for the average child, the magic is something inherent to the age. Seeing the world through innocent eyes is magical. Experiencing winter and playing in the snow as a 5-year-old is magical. Getting lost in your toys on the floor of your family room is magical. Collecting rocks and keeping them in your pockets is magical. Walking with a branch is magical.

It is not our responsibility to manufacture contrived memories on a daily basis.” Read the rest HERE.


A Little Secret to Raising Kids With Character

Kids become who they are for many reasons, not the least of which, is the grace of God. But just like negative, destructive influences can cripple a child’s growth, purposeful, nurturing ones can cause him to thrive.

There is something I’ve done with my children since they were very young, continuing it as they get older, that I believe has had a profound effect on their character.

It’s simple, really, but it’s done very deliberately. Not constantly, but periodically.

When one of them does something like goes out of his way to help or serve, I give him “the talk.” It goes something like this:

“Brooks, you are becoming a man right before my very eyes!” (I stop what I’m doing and place emphasis on the words.)

“Thank you so much for clearing the table without being asked. That is serving. I love the heart for serving the Lord has given you! Guys, did you see Brooks clear the table without being told? I appreciate you so much, Brooks.”

This talk varies depending on the child and the action. But stopping to deliberately “speak into their lives” about who you hope they are becoming, even at the slightest hints of that becoming, is powerful.

The encouragement is contagious too. I caught Ellia on the cabinet putting away the dishes from the dishwasher. She put every last one away by herself. I had “the talk” with her too, and she beamed. It’s  a small thing with big dividends.

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