Buy The Christian Parenting Handbook NOW...get free stuff!

The time has come. Launch week for the new book from NCBP! The Christian Parenting Handbook is available NOW!!! This is the week that you want to order the book and when you do you get FREE STUFF!!! And it's GREAT FREE STUFF!

  • The Christian Parenting Handbook electronic versions for iPad, Kindle, Nook or any mobile device ($29.97)
  • Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, in You and Your Kids Lesson #1Complete Package including Lesson 1 on Video, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)
  • Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, in You and Your Kids Lesson #2Complete Package including Lesson 2 on Video, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)
  • Teach Kids to Listen and Follow Instructions on Video, Workbook, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)
  •  Correction Ideas that Touch the Heart on Video, Workbook, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)
  •  Addressing Bad Attitudes in Kids on Video, Workbook, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)
  • Everyday Parents CAN Raise Extraordinary Kids Session #1 on Video, MP3, Study Guide, and Children’s Lesson. ($59.95)
  • How to Use The Christian Parenting Handbook 30-minute Video ($24.95)

Click here to see how to participate in Launch Week! In order to make it to the New York Times Bestseller List, they need to sell approximately 10,000 + copies of the book during April 29 – May 5! Wouldn’t be fabulous to have a book that honors God on that list??? I say we do everything we can to help them make that happen!!

The Christian Parenting Handbook Is Almost Here!!!!!!

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the upcoming book launch of The Christian Parenting Handbook by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller RN, BSN! It's actually available now, but don't buy it. Not yet, anyway. Keep reading to find out why.

I am blessed to be partnering with the National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP) to bring my readers all kinds of information and opportunities during this book's launch, April 29-May 5.
Inside this guidebook for parents are 50 biblically-based strategies for raising Godly kids. It is full of common sense, biblical and practical ideas that any parent can implement. I think every Christian family will want it in their home library or on their Kindle.

The official launch of this book is April 29th through May 5th. It is VERY important that you buy the book during launch week, so, while you could buy the book now, we want you to wait.
In fact, if you wait and buy the book between April 29 and May 5, The Center for Biblical Parenting will give you $400 in parenting resources absolutely FREE! How awesome is that? Click here to discover everything you will receive and how to go about claiming your gifts.
Honestly, that's all you have to do to end up with $400 in parenting resources!!!!
Now GO!!! Sign up  to participate in the book launch and to get all your free goodies and plan to  buy your book during launch week!!!! I know I am!!!
We will also be having a twitter party May 1st at 8 PM to spread the word even further! There will also be some cool prize giveaways during the party, so go to Twitter and follow @biblicalparent and look for the hashtag #heartparenting to learn more.
Whew! I think that is all....for now. I am excited??? Are you???

Surviving Boston

What can you say about a week like this week? Most of us are still reeling from the Boston Marathon bombings which occurred on Monday. Other tragedies have occurred this week also, explosions in Texas, poisoned letters sent to the President and I could go on.

By Tuesday, I recognized the amount of stress and anxiety the Boston bombing was starting to have on me. I watched the news just like everyone else, I am sure. But with every news story, the repetitive showing of the bombing site and the people falling. Hearing about blood and limbs and then finally, the fact that an eight year old boy was killed, I could sense more and more anxiety building up.

By Wednesday, the anxiety started manifesting itself. It began by good things, like prayer. Prayer for those that were injured, and families of those killed. It then moved into things that I could not control but felt really, really bad about. Specifically, the eight year old innocent child that was killed watching his dad finish a marathon. His mom and sister are critically injured. I have a seven year old and I started to think about him being killed. How would I get through that. Then I started getting jumpy. If Greg had a meeting and it went long and I didn't hear from him, I started thinking something tragic had happened. When I couldn't find Carter on Wednesday, at the house, I was in a near panic (ends up he was in the bathroom, ahem, an unusually long time).

That's when I stopped watching the news. That's when I evaluated why I was feeling this way. And I knew I probably wasn't the only one.

When things feel out of control, we want to control them. And when tragic things happen, even if it didn't happen to us or anyone that we know, we feel out of control. And when we can identify with someone in a close way, much like this family who lost their eight year old son, we desperately want control. We want to be able to do something, anything. And there's just not anything we can physically "do". And that's frustrating. And if it's out of our control, we begin to think "what if", what if something like this happened to my family....

And that is where the anxiety comes in, because we don't have control. 90% of things that happen to us are beyond our control. It's how we choose to respond to them that will determine how they affect us, not the actual event itself.

So, I figured other people were probably feeling like me and I wanted to pass the biggest way you can circumvent your anxiety during moments of national and even local crises.



First, I don't know if you realize it or not, but news sometimes really isn't news. It's sensationalized information that may or may not come out as actual fact. Think about it, initially how many things were initially "reported" that turned out not to be truth. Because people can access news from so many sources, news media have to do everything they can to get the "scoop".  So often there are things that are reported just for sensationalism purposes because the news reporters are encouraged to keep the attention of the viewers. Keep that in mind.

Second, even if you don't struggle with anxiety, stress or depression, watching traumatic events over and over will increase a sense of helplessness and lack of control that can suddenly increase anxiety symptoms. If you are suffering from anxiety or stress, watching those videos over and over can actually make your symptoms much worse.   ONCE YOU SEE A PICTURE OR A VIDEO OF A TRAUMATIC EVENT YOU CAN'T ERASE IT FROM YOUR MIND. And if you watch it over and over again, it can actually affect how you feel. You might not even realize how it is affecting you until it is too late. Friday night I actually got to see a snippet of an interview on our local news with a psychologist from  Vanderbilt and she spoke about the same thing. That focusing on this tragedy will increase stress and anxiety. (Kinda made me feel good, since I had already written this blog post and she was talking about the same thing....).

Finally, connecting with a traumatic event through similar backgrounds and lifestyles can makes something feel very close and real to your own family. I personally experienced that this week when I started seeing pictures of the little boy who was killed during the bombings. And when you watch their story unfold on TV, and as the week went on they started showing video of the 19 year old placing the bomb near the child, and spinning that tragic story, it just yanks at your emotions, heart, and well being. I was reminded again...turn the TV OFF!!!.  I have a seven year old, this boy was eight. I started thinking of the "what ifs". What if they had chosen a different spot. What if the dad had finished later. What if. What if. What if. Then I started thinking about MY what ifs. What if something happened here. What if something happened to my children. How would I feel if my child had been blown up. What would I do....

Well, as I tell clients, that's a really good way to go crazy. Viewing traumatic events over and over just feed our natural tendency to worry, feel out of control, and when you couple that with similarities with people who have been traumatized, a connection, if you will, it is difficult to separate the feeling that something could actually happen to YOU or YOUR family. And the likelihood of something like that happening is so, so very slim, that is is pointless to even allow it to enter your mind.

So I stopped. I realized what was happening and I turned the television off. I stopped watching news coverage. I didn't read the stories on facebook, I scrolled through pictures and videos quickly so as not to view them because what happened to these people, as tragic and horrible as it was, it was not helping anything in my life and my surroundings for me to make it personal. Because it wasn't personal. It was crazy. And crazy things happen. And we can't control crazy. And I wasn't going to allow the crazy to take over my life.

The best thing I could do was pray. I am a person of faith. I cling to that faith during times like these because, for me, it brings me peace. You may or may not be a person of faith. For me, knowing that something bigger than me is in ultimate control brings ultimate peace. I am safe. My husband is safe. My children are safe. Bad things may happen, but I believe that no matter what happens to us, I can trust that my faith will carry me through. Others struggle with this type of crisis of belief. How could God allow this horrific thing to happen. If God exists and if He is good, why do bad things, tragic things, traumatic things happen.

I will cover that in my next blog post.

Kidney Transplant Waiting...

This week I am deviating a little bit from my normal posts to hopefully raise awareness for those in Renal Failure, those with chronic kidney disease and in need of a kidney transplant. This hits very close to home for us. My dad, Lyndal, is in need of a kidney transplant.

This coming Sunday my family and are a participating in the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney walk in East  Tennessee. We are doing this to raise awareness of kidney disease (1 in 5 Americans have it) and to help the NKF raise funds to help those in kidney failure, people just like my dad.

This picture is of my dad and all of his grand kids, taken back in 2010. This is no small feat, and has only happened this once, since my nephew lives in Minnesota.

My dad has been suffering from kidney failure for a while now. We knew, eventually he would be put on dialysis. His kidneys are currently functioning at about a 15% level. He is very close to getting on dialysis, so close in fact, he already has the port in his arm ready to go at a moments notice in case he goes into complete kidney failure.

Currently, my sister and I are looking into becoming a living donor for my dad. My sister is much closer in this process than I and hopefully we will find out within a week or two if she gets the go ahead to be a living donor, so please say a prayer for our family. We are in the kidney transplant program at Vanderbilt and the statistics state that they turn down 50% of all living donor applicants. My sister has just finished a whole, heap o' testing and she was assured that if she "passes" she can know that she is in extremely excellent health and can give my dad the kidney he so desperately needs.

If you would like to help support us in helping my dad and many others suffering through this illness, please click HERE to see my support page, just click donate on the right hand side of the page. We are currently about halfway to our goal.

Thank you for your prayers and your support.

What Feeds Your Soul??

I was sitting in a group therapy session, as a participant, when I first heard this question asked.

What feeds your soul??

If you really think about it, it's not an easy question to answer. Sure, there are very easy superficial answers. Since I live in the South, deep in the bible belt, most people respond quickly with, "Why Jesus, of course! Jesus feeds my soul". Because that's the "right" answer. And we worry about what other people think so we go with the superficial, right answer rather than the true, gut-wrenching truth.

 Obviously, as a Christian, my focus and belief system turns to Jesus. And yes, reading my bible, praying, and going to church help feed my soul but some of my most draining experiences have been within the modern church. What I have learned from this is that I would rather just fall in love with Jesus with my whole heart and let him lead and guide me to Him...which usually leads to quiet meditation and spending time with him in His word...hello! He tells me where to do His work. Often, though, we view our relationship with Christ as "doing" He longs for relationship, the doing will follow after that. Often we want to do it the other way around.

"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says....whoever continues in it--not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it, they will be blessed in what they do"
James 2:22,25

To me this passage says get with Jesus, read his word, listen and then follow and act on what you have heard. So often we act, act, act, do, do, do thinking this will get us closer to Jesus. It's really the other way around. Jesus will lead us where he wants us to go. I want to trust that process. It leads to peace and blessing.

So, not that I want to diminish Jesus, or faith, but we need to broaden our view on feeding our soul. It's deep, more complex, multi-faceted.

This week you need to focus on what really feeds your soul. When people would get stumped at this question, the therapist would ask, "what did you really enjoy doing as a child?" "What were you really good at and enjoyed in high school?" For some people they would answer dancing. Some, it would be a sport like basketball. The therapist would then encourage them to go play. Whatever resonates in the deepest part of their soul that is satisfying, playful and enjoyable.

And while reading and going to get a manicure are enjoyable, lets be honest. They truly don't feed the deepest part of your soul. Those are more of a distraction.

This week I want to really delve into the differences between distracting ourselves and truly investing in self-care.

A great handout that I received from another therapist  can be found at Unfortunately, they come in a packet of all her worksheets and cost $129.00, so I want to source her for the information I am about to give from her worksheet, "Deconstructing Eating Behavior". I have a feeling that you probably don't want to spend $129.00 for this info, as good as it is! Evelyn Tribole is a Nutrition Therapist and I have been reading her book, "Intuitive Eating", that she co-authored with another Nutrition Therapist.

Even though she is talking about food, when we struggle with other issues (like depression or anxiety) we can still look at what is going on inside to figure out our actions on the outside. This worksheet gives a great description of the differences in true self-care and merely doing other things, which are helpful, but don't really get to the "gut" of the issue.

Here goes:
Distraction: Music, Internet (ie: Pinterest!!!), Watch funny movie, Go to a bookstore
Support: Call, text or email a friend, Talk with minister, Talk with therapist
Deal with Feeling Directly: Write in Journal, feelings app (I've talked about that previously), Reframe thoughts or feeling, Listen to music that matches feeling, Write a letter, Talk with Therapist
Self-care: Set limits, Respect self-vulnerability, "Alone" time, Sleep/rest, Write in Journal, Unplug phone, computer
*Tribole, Evelyn; Deconstructing Eating Behavior Worksheet;

For a minute just think about this list. And see where you could go with it. Figure out if what you have been doing is truly nurturing yourself (although doing all of these is nurturing to a point) or just distracting yourself from the true feeling. All of these things on this list are good. Some of them just go deeper than others.

I love music, I always have. Because music feeds my soul I listen to it a lot. In the car, in the mornings during quiet meditation, I put music in when I am stressed out. I listen to worship music to focus on my relationship with Christ. I listen to music when I'm working out. Music moves me. It feeds me and over the years I have discovered that I need to be a part of something musical in order for my soul to be filled.

One way that I use music to feed my soul is by taking guitar lessons.  I like to sing but have never mastered learning an instrument (me and the piano just don't get along). But, with the guitar, I have found that while it's not easy, it seems you make quicker progress than with the piano. I wish I had more time to practice and really hone the skill, but my teacher is great wants me to enjoy this process rather than being a real disciplinarian about it. He makes it fun. And for that I am thankful.
What feeds your soul?

Get back to that playful self you remember. For some that will be through becoming involved in a competitive sport. Others it will be taking dance classes, or putting in the Just Dance DVD once a week. Write. Pick up that musical instrument (if it brings you joy). Figure it out. Then be strong enough to follow  it through. Even if you are met with resistance.

Remember you are worth it. Do not feel guilty. Love yourself enough to set healthy limits. And let go. You cannot control it all. It is pointless, futile, frustrating and can lead to so many problems. Just learn to let it go and find joy.

Next week we will finish up on self care with a few relaxation techniques. However, I did find this great website with 25 ways to Self-Nurture. Check it out HERE!