Small Talk

Reflections on faith and family.

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Sex and Sunday SchoolA Small Talk Guest Post by Megan Hill
Sex and Sunday School
tamarajohnsonbelieves/flickr

In anticipation of my new book, Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most, each week I'm featuring a different writer for a guest post. These posts dicuss the ways children's questions, comments, or actions have prompted deeper reflection for the adult. The series began with ...

How Godparenting Brought Me Into the Family of GodA Small Talk guest post by Katelyn Beaty.
How Godparenting Brought Me Into the Family of God
Ceyla de Wilka/wiki commons

This Friday "Small Talk" series is an opportunity to consider the ways God uses children as "vehicles of grace" in the lives of adults. The idea comes from my new book, Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most. In the second post of the series, Katelyn Beaty ...

Three Reasons Why We Should Read Books Instead of Blog PostsBooks cost money and time, which is why they are worth it.
Three Reasons Why We Should Read Books Instead of Blog Posts
spykster/flickr

I succumb to the same temptations as everyone else. I lie in bed with a novel next to me and my phone in my hand, scrolling through Facebook and Twitter to see what people have shared, clicking various articles and blog posts, flitting from one idea, one news item to the next. According to the Pew ...

I'm Celebrating by Giving You Free StuffPre-order a copy of Small Talk and receive a free subscription to Christianity Today and more.
I'm Celebrating by Giving You Free Stuff

A friend once pointed out to me that writing a memoir has three stages. First, you live it. Then you write about it. And then you send it out into the world and respond to it. As a writer, I usually don’t love the first part, the living-it part, because I’m in the midst of all sorts of ...

What I Learned When My Children Fell Apart In Front of MeAdoption, brokenness, and grace. A "Small Talk" guest post by Sara Hagerty.
What I Learned When My Children Fell Apart In Front of Me

For the past two years, I've been working on a book called Small Talk: Learning From My Children About What Matters Most. I'll be sharing lots more information about the book on this blog in the next few weeks (pre-order sale starts Monday), but one of the most exciting parts of announcing its ...

Lessons from the Parenting Sweet SpotWhat three kids in between diapers and puberty has taught me about holding on and letting go.
Lessons from the Parenting Sweet Spot
Niko Kähkönen

I’ve been waiting for nine years for this parenting moment to arrive. With children aged eight, six, and three (and no plans for an infant), I have hit a sweet spot. The past summer held the experiences I expected as a mom in the summertime—tennis lessons, skinned knees, popsicles, ice ...

How Children Change the Immigration DebateDale Hanson Bourke offers a primer on the recent news of tens of thousands of children attempting to cross the US/Mexico border
How Children Change the Immigration Debate
Brian Auer/Flickr

Many of us have a cursory understanding that illegal immigration is a problem in the United States. But it's also an issue that few of us—whether as citizens or as Christians—have taken the time to understand comprehensively in all its complexity. My attention has moved towards this ...

What I'm Teaching My Kids About the Fourth of JulyWhy we celebrate, even in the midst of a complicated history.
What I'm Teaching My Kids About the Fourth of July
Kevin Dooley/Flickr

Our dinner conversation goes something like this:

"Momma, how many days until the fireworks?" three-year old Marilee asks, her eyes big and earnest.

"Two more days, sweetie."

"Yay!" She raises her hands in the air with a huge smile.

I turn to my two older kids. ...

When Summer Vacation is HardDon't worry. Don't beat yourself up. The idyllic memories will come... eventually.
When Summer Vacation is Hard
Moyan_Brenn/Flickr

My memories of summer are filled with bliss. Laughing with my sisters on the raft in the middle of the cove near my grandparent's beach house. Playing card games with three generations around a painted white table past my bedtime. Watching storm clouds roll in, low and fierce yet almost comforting ...

Kids--Naked and UnashamedFor years, I’ve erred on the side of modesty. Maybe we need a little nudity after all.
Kids--Naked and Unashamed
Kymberly Janisch/Flickr

I've heard Christians say that if we still lived in the Garden of Eden, we would all be walking around naked. The story in Genesis 2 seems to support this idea. It was only after God confronted Adam and Eve about their tragic and rebellious decision to eat the fruit that they realized they were ...

Want a Better Devotional Life? Buy a BirdfeederWhat my grandfather and my son taught me about patience, love, and a gentle spirit
Want a Better Devotional Life? Buy a Birdfeeder
Gary Simmons/Flickr

I asked my mother for a birdfeeder for my birthday. I'm not sure what inspired my request. Unlike her, I've never been much of a naturalist. My one attempt at a vegetable garden failed. I often need someone else to point out the beauty around me because I find myself lost in an abstract world ...

I Didn't Grow Up Until I Became a MomI thought I was a mature adult, and then I had a baby
I Didn't Grow Up Until I Became a Mom
Flickr

I should begin with two caveats: One, I'm not all grown up yet. Maybe I never will be. Two, many of my peers who aren't parents are just as grown up as I am. But for me, having kids is what it took for me to begin to grow up, and as Mother's Day approaches, I'm considering all the ...

Stopping to Notice a Day of GraceI have plenty of grumpy and just fine days. But every once in a while, a really good one comes along...
Stopping to Notice a Day of Grace
Phil Dutton

Do you ever have a day that captures the simple goodness within your life? For me, it doesn't happen often. I have lots of grumpy days--when the kids are whining and I'm tired and there's a voice in the back of my head telling me to pay more attention to the good things but instead I ...

What Easter Has to Do with My Everyday LifeWhy am I surprised that God is willing to enter into the smallest problems, concerns, and details?
What Easter Has to Do with My Everyday Life
Neal Fowler/Flickr

It was a long week.

Penny, my eight-year old daughter, was on spring break. William (5) and Marilee (3) were not. My husband Peter was out of town. So I decided to pull William and Marilee from school and go to the Connecticut shore, where we have a family beach house. We got there Monday afternoon. ...

In Defense of Helicopter ParentingI wouldn't go back to an earlier era of parenting even if I could.
In Defense of Helicopter Parenting
stephanski Flickr

I think of myself as a rather laissez faire parent. I believe in germs and dirt. My kids, including my three-year old, go outside and play without my immediate supervision. When they fall down, I wait to make sure they are really truly hurt before I comfort them (like when Marilee, the three-year ...

Disney's Frozen: Not About Letting It Go After AllIt's about a princess who refuses to let go, out of love.
Disney's Frozen: Not About Letting It Go After All

Peter and I took Penny and William, our two older kids, to see Frozen in the theater in January. I was nearly as excited as the children. I had read the endless praise, including the writer who called it the best Disney movie since The Lion King (which I saw four times in the theater back in 1994). ...

Kids Glued to Smart Phones? Wonder Where They Learned That...Parents need consider our own screen time before we worry about our kids'
Kids Glued to Smart Phones? Wonder Where They Learned That...
Sisters-Screen Time by JeremyOK

I left our pediatrician's office feeling somewhat self-satisfied. The doctor had asked for a report on my three-year old daughter Marilee's use of iPads, iPhones, and television. She came in under the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for hours of screen time given her age. He ...

The Best Parenting Advice I Ever ReceivedSmile. A lot.
The Best Parenting Advice I Ever Received
Chris Cappoziello

People sometimes ask me what I've "done right" with Penny. They ask because Penny reads and goes to ballet class and practices piano and orders her own meal when we eat at a restaurant. They ask because she is "high functioning." I suspect many people assume we've coached ...

Anticipating World Down Syndrome Day: What I Admire About My DaughterHow Penny is helping me learn the secret of being content
Anticipating World Down Syndrome Day: What I Admire About My Daughter

When Penny was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth, I was sad and scared. The sadness and the sorrow dissipated with time, replaced by joy and hope. One of the reasons I began to have joy and hope for this baby I loved was because I began to believe that she wasn't defined by the list of delays ...

Lenten Reflections: Repent and Get on with itWhat my children's cheating taught me about sin and the kingdom of God
Lenten Reflections: Repent and Get on with it

A few weeks back, I was stuck inside with all three kids on yet another snow day. All of them wanted to be entertained. None of them wanted to play the same game. In an attempt to avoid a battle and to push off yet another hour of screen time, I agreed to play three games at once—memory match ...

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