Tips to Managing Your Summer Schedule Well

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Do you have big plans for the summer?

Maybe you’ve got visions of camping trips, sandy beaches, and long naps dancing through your mind. You’ve got a list of activities all mapped out with dates and locations carefully selected.

Other people prefer to keep summer loose and their schedules open. The fewer things set in stone, the better.

I think there’s a lot of value to both of those approaches.

That’s especially true if you have a house full of little ones and the idea of your kids being out of school for three months sends you into a near panic.

Change Your Thinking to Change Your Marriage

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What do you think about your marriage?

I don’t mean in vague terms, like, “It’s good,” or “We’ve had better days.” I mean, literally. What are the actual thoughts you have about your marriage?

Do you think of your spouse as someone to nurture and care for – or as someone you have to endure? Do you think of conflict as a battle to win – or as an opportunity for God to draw the two of you closer together?

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month – Here’s What You Can Do

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Child abuse is a very real problem here in the United States.

When we talk about abuse, most states recognize (and report) four major types: neglect, physical abuse, psychological maltreatment, and sexual abuse. Sometimes a child suffers from only one type of abuse, other times a child suffers from a combination of maltreatment.

In 2014 alone, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reported an estimated 702,000 children were victims of maltreatment.  Of these, roughly 75 percent of victims suffered neglect; 17 percent were physically abused; and 8.3 percent were sexually abused.

Six Traits to Look for in a Spouse

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What should a woman look for in a husband? What should a man look for in a wife?

Marriage is one of the biggest decisions a person can make and, yet, a lot of men and women are unprepared to answer that basic question.

Physical attraction is probably the most common attribute people consider, and it’s not unimportant. But some people never rise beyond that initial connection point. They’re fueled primarily by emotion and sexual attraction.

Three Things You Might Not Know About C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters”

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This year marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of one of C.S. Lewis’ most important books, “The Screwtape Letters.”

Have you read it?

In this classic, Lewis re-imagines Hell as a gruesome bureaucracy where a senior demon, Screwtape, corresponds with his nephew and apprentice, Wormwood. The younger spirit’s assignment is to corrupt a newly converted Christian young man living in London during the tumultuous days of World War II. Through the letters, Lewis examines Christian morality, temptation, and good and evil.

How to Connect with Your Grandchildren

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One writer called grandparenting the greatest job on earth, handed to you wrapped in a blanket.

That description might have something to do with the grandparenting stereotypes we’re all familiar with. It’s all the fun with none of the responsibility. You get to spoil your grandchildren with questionable levels of fun and sugar, then send them home to their parents.

There may be some truth to that perception, but grandparents can do much more than just create fun memories.

Why Moms Need Friendships

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A couple of weeks ago, I started my blog by saying, “Motherhood feels like the loneliest job on the planet for many women – especially for young moms who live far away from close family. They go through their days as a one-woman army, balancing work, children, and a never-ending list of responsibilities around the home.”

Moms need friendship, but many struggle to find it. Judging by a lot of moms I know, I’d guess one reason is that they struggle to find the personal time and space that would allow them to build relationships.

Focus Resources Also Available En Español

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Did you know there are 41 million native Spanish speakers living in the United States?

That means you probably know someone whose first language – the tongue they understand at a heart level – is Spanish.

It’s because of those 41 million people (and the other 429 million native Spanish speakers around the world) that we carry Spanish-language versions of many of our key marriage and family resources.

Our latest such offering is the six-session, DVD-based curriculum “Luchando por un mejor matrimonio,” based on the popular and effective book “Fight Your Way to a Better Marriage.”

It sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s true: there really can be a purpose to fighting in marriage – if you fight well.

Freeing Teen Girls from Their Secrets

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There’s a saying that “you’re only as sick as your secrets.”

Some secrets are fun and are part of a healthy life – like staying quiet about a surprise party or that special gift you bought for a friend. Other secrets are like a virus. They attach to the deepest, most vulnerable parts of who we are, and they eat away at us, bringing nothing but unhappiness.

That dark reality is a struggle many teen girls face every day.

A Lost Bear at Chick-fil-A?

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My wife and I recently had one of “those” parenting experiences.

You know the type. It’s a bit exasperating while you’re living it, but later makes you chuckle when you retell the story?

It all started a few months ago, when Jean and I welcomed two children from Colorado’s foster care system into our home. They’re a sister-brother pair, “Chloe” and “Sam.” She’s 4, he’s 3, and they both are great kids. They’re adjusting well to life at the Daly home, and our sons enjoy being big brothers.