A New Year: Thrive 1/15


Toddler parenting is fairly new in our household. Communication with a stubborn opinionated two-year old takes a lot of goldfish bribes, patience, deep breathing, and love. We have found a few key phrases we consistently speak to our daughter, N, in order to get our point across in a loving fashion. In the process, we have found a picture of ourselves with our Heavenly Father.
“You’re safe.”

When N falls and looks up at us, we tell her she’s safe, imitating a baseball umpire. This phrase however, refers to things much deeper than childhood scrapes and bruises. When we stumble in our faith and look up, Psalm 91:4 tells us “With his feathers he will cover you, under his wings you will find safety.” 

“Fun/No Fun.”

When an emotional power struggle rears its head, we tell N she can “obey and have fun with us OR not obey and have no fun (aka time out).” Likewise, our desires can cause a power struggle with our Father, who simply responds, “If you love me, you will keep my commands” (John 14:15). Disobedience will instead bring consequences.

“Look at me.”

When N is running full speed in her own direction and we need to get her attention, we will say “Look at me.” Sometimes we have to get on her level to disrupt her play. How many times is this me, caught up in my own desires and the Lord has to get my attention? John 8:47 says, “Whoever is of God hears the words of God.” O may I be more attentive to the messages the Lord has for me!

Even though I know it’s just a season we are passing through, I am thankful to be reminded that God’s love is sovereign, gracious, and merciful. What parallels are you seeing in your season of life that reflect the Father’s love for us?

Jennifer Perrin


Mommy/Daughter Journaling


During one of my mommy chats with one of my best friends three years ago, we were discussing how to intentionally keep the communication lines open during the tween transition period. She mentioned she and her then tween son shared a journal. She indicated the journaling between them was proving very helpful to talk through life.


So, I began writing to my eldest daughter, then age 7, in our Mommy/Daughter Journal. While we have not been crazy consistent in our entries, I find the journal to be a go-to for difficult seasons. Safety is found in the paper. It allows us both to express ourselves freely and honestly. We can connect when face-to-face conversations are proving difficult. The process of writing allows our thoughts to percolate and words to be chosen carefully.


Fast-forward three years and I now have two tween females in the house. At the age of 8 and 10, my girls already have weighty topics pressing on their hearts and minds. In the few short years I have been journaling with my daughters, I have experienced an intimacy with them I can credit to this particular line of communication. As we approach the teenage years, I hope my daughters will look back at this journal and the words will prove my love for them even when they might not feel it. Truth be told, I will also likely visit its pages from time to time to remind myself we are all on the same team.

Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts. Proverbs 3:3