I study the effect of media on children and families and recently finished a study on the effect of the superhero and princess culture on children. If you have ever been around a preschool child, you know that both superheroes and princesses are very popular with this age group. In fact, many children this age say that they would like to be a superhero or a princess when they grow up. I’ve pondered on how being a superhero or a princess might relate to our royal identity and what this might mean for the way we see ourselves in an eternal light.
I love a hug, and recently I read an adorable children’s book that expresses all the many different types of hugs there are in this great, big, wonderful world.
Bear Hug, by Caroline B. Cooney is a delightful journey into the many ways we can give hugs and receive hugs.
A little bit about the author: Caroline has created over ninety Young Adult novels in many genres, and her books have sold over fifteen million copies. Bear Hug is based on a verse that Caroline wrote for her own children, who are now grown.
I was planning to write to you from Africa this week, only, God had other plans. It’s a long story, really, so I’ll try and break it down into one, simple paragraph. Here goes!
I was booked on a flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, leaving on Thursday, March 23rd. While connecting through Atlanta, all of that changed. On two consecutive nights, my flights were bumped. To make matters more interesting, the airline could not get my family on another Johannesburg bound flight until the next Monday or Tuesday, which put us some five days behind on an already tight Spring Break schedule. How could we keep this holiday moving forward?
I adore reading with my seven-year old daughter, and I cherish any opportunity to explore books with her that share the central beliefs of our Christian faith. Recently, I had the pleasure of reading a book by Danielle Hitchen called, Bible Basics: A Baby Believer Counting Primer. (Catechesis Books, 2016)
Although this book might be considered a “young read” for my advancing 1st grader, I still found my daughter captivated by it’s beauty and simplicity. Counting from 1-10, children can explore clearly presented scriptural truths as they delight in twenty pages of colorful and inviting illustrations, by Jessica Blanchard. My daughter, especially, enjoyed reading about the 8 Beatitudes. The floral illustrations, in this section, caught her eye and sparked lively conversation about what it means to be merciful and peaceful children of God.
Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant, or insecure, remember to whom you belong. Ephesians 2: 19-22
A friend once told me, “There is no coincidence that the words story and store are only one letter different.”
The story we tell ourselves, and the memories we hold in our minds, directly impact how we store away, or perceive, life and our place in it.
All too often, the memory — the story — takes precedence over God’s truth. When the world makes us feel so very unloved, unimportant and insecure, we forget just how much we are loved by God.
In other words, sometimes we’re so focused on our own suffering that we block out the memory of God’s ever-present love.
We get stuck within the wound…
How you came into this world is not who you are.
I mean that! There has never been a more important time to make clear, to every adoptee living and breathing today, that you are not the sum of your earliest circumstance.
So often, we can become trapped within the earliest story of our lives. I call it the “primal story.” It’s real and, for adoptees, the primal story can relay messaging that we are not safe, loved, wanted, or worthy of being heard and seen.
He wants them to know that they are not alone in this life. And, so a man named Mohamed Bzeek takes them in. He opens his arms to terminally ill children who are part of LA County’s foster care system. Bzeek knows that the children are going to die, but he brings them into his home, anyway, and loves them like they’re his own.
I read about Mohamed Bzeek in a recent article within the Los Angeles Times. Reporter Hailey Branson-Potts shares the story with compassion and dignity. The fact that Bzeek, a Libyan-born Muslim, takes these children in when no one else will is pure example of living love out loud. This, in itself, is enough for me to write a response to. Only, it is how Bzeek values these children that is the focus of my thoughts.
“Love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 22:39
I didn’t take to the streets of America on Saturday, for the Women’s March. Please understand that I am a strong advocate for women — a believer in our unique capacity to heal much of what is hurting in this world. A very large percentage of my work is focused on inspiring women to realize the vastness of their potential.
I’m also in full support of free speech and the right to demonstrate peacefully. This freedom is not one shared by all governments. In other words, it’s a gift. Still, I chose not to walk…at least not on the streets. I walked, instead, in the garden around my home. I wanted not to be with the masses, but to be only with the Messiah — to take in his presence in what feels like very uncertain times.
Do you remember all the time that you spent playing when you were a kid? Gosh, take me back in time and I can see my nine-year old self playing outside with my dog, Rascal. He was a beagle, and as cute as they come! I can also remember riding my bike with my friends and taking in an exciting game of kickball. If I stay with these memories long enough, I even hear the distinct sounds of my laughter while at play.
When I played, it seemed that any heaviness from school or family life just sort of melted away. I felt lighter and, yes, a good bit happier.
Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant or insecure, remember to whom you belong. ~Ephesians 2: 19-22
I love this scripture from Ephesians 2. For me, it says it all.
Like so many other dear souls out there in the world, I have felt unloved, unimportant and insecure. On more times in my life than I’d like to count, I have felt lost and unseen. It’s lonely, right? It hurts, doesn’t it? Perhaps, even more so during the holidays.