5 Foundations in Early Parenting

My first-ever YouTube parenting series is underway, talking about five key foundations to establish in the early years with our kids!

In the series, we’re talking about love, obedience, respect, honesty, and responsibility.

If you haven’t seen the new LizzyLife YouTube channel yet, here are the first few links:

In “First Comes Love,” we discuss the importance of putting lots of love in the bank with our kids, creating an atmosphere of expressiveness and affection. This gives us the confidence we need to parent strongly, and the comfort of knowing that “love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

In the second video, “Establishing Obedience,” we examine what godly obedience looks and sounds like. (Hint: It doesn’t look like eye-rolling and slumped shoulders, and it doesn’t sound like moaning and wailing and muttered complaints.)

If you’d like to be automatically notified with an email when I post a new video, it’s easy to subscribe to the YouTube channel! You’ll need to visit YouTube directly—click here to watch “Establishing Obedience” from YouTube. Once you’re there, just click on the little red rectangle that says “subscribe,” found right underneath the video. I’m shooting to post videos twice a month for now, then we’ll see how my sanity and marriage are holding up! Heh heh. (Okay, but really.)

Thanks for watching, and I hope you enjoy!

For information on speaking availability, click here. 

You might also enjoy reading:

These days of small things

When being a grown-up means you’re still growing up

“I’m a Big Kid, No Wait, I’m a Baby” Syndrome

13 Confidence-Building Scriptures for Kids and Teens

Know some other parents who would enjoy these videos? Great! Click the icons below to share this post: 

Big news from LizzyLife!

Big news from LizzyLife…

I’m excited to announce that the LizzyLife YouTube channel is finally up and running! (Happy dance in front of the computer!)

I’m also excited to announce that our marriage and sanity survived the learning-curve process. (Because seriously, we had Major Technical Difficulties, involving several phone calls to my new BFFs, Quentin and Yolanda at Apple Care.)

And the first topic is . . . drum roll . . . 

Simple ways to bring God into your family’s daily life!

So what’s the overall plan for the YouTube channel? I’ll be posting brief 5- to 10-minute videos on a variety of topics, primarily about building family God’s way. The welcome video gives simple ideas for ways we can center our families on God every day. Coming up next: a four-part series on the foundations we need to establish in our kids’ hearts from an early age: obedience, respect, honesty, and responsibility.

If you want to be notified every time I post a new video, you can subscribe to the LizzyLife channel, and YouTube will send you an email.

Click below to watch Building Family God’s Way: Welcome to LizzyLife! (Ahem. Public service announcement: Despite my Crazy Eyes in this thumbnail, it’s an upbeat video, and I am only a little bit crazy. 🙂 )

Thanks for watching!

LizzyLife signature

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy: 

When Being a Grown-up Means You’re Still Growing Up

When Kids Know God Better than We Do

13 Reasons Moms Never Get Haircuts

13 Confidence-Building Scriptures for Kids and Teens 

Before you go, don’t forget to sign up for my monthly parenting newsletter! Some recent newsletter topics have included “5 Ways to Help Siblings Become Friends” and “6 Simple Ways to Teach Kids to Walk with God.” As a welcome gift, you’ll receive a free download: 7 Two-Minute Devotions to Do Around the Breakfast Table with Kids!




Free gift with newsletter sign-up!

The LizzyLife Newsletter is my monthly email newsletter with more parenting tips and Bible studies to help you build family God’s way! When you sign up, you’ll get a FREE download of seven two-minute devotions to do with your kids! Woohoo! You can sign up in the left sidebar! (Very random fun fact: That little sign-up box in the sidebar is actually called a widget. I really like that word: widget.)

Once you sign up, don’t forget to check your inbox for the confirmation email—LizzyLife will send you a link, and once you click on it you’ll be all set to receive the monthly newsletters and get your free gift! The first newsletter goes out March 17!

Santa’s Coming Early This Year

Such a cute and festive cover, right? Makes me want to go sledding.

On October 8, Santa’s elves will be making an early stop to spread some Christmas cheer in bookstores near you, with the release of Chicken Soup for the Soul: It’s Christmas! Why am I so excited about this book, you ask? I’ve always been a little obsessed with Christmas, but now, with not one, but TWO Christmas babies in our family, we go completely bonkers every December 25. (Okay, okay, technically one of our Christmas babies is a Christmas canine—our dog Cole was born on Christmas day, 2004; our (human) daughter Cassidy was born on Christmas day, 2005. But still. What are the odds?)

This is an old picture, but it’s too cute not to post. My two Christmas babies, Cassidy and Cole—this was taken just before their 2nd and 3rd birthdays.

Anyway . . . chapter 12 of Chicken Soup for the Soul: It’s Christmas! recounts my family’s greatest Christmas miracle: the birth of my oldest daughter—the child we thought we’d never have. It’s one of those so-amazing-it-gives-you-the-chills kind of stories. And our story isn’t the only one. This book is full of true stories that will get you in the holiday mood—so grab yourself a cup of cocoa and start celebrating a little early!

Makes you want to snuggle up with a cup of steaming hot chocolate and a fuzzy blanket, doesn’t it?

The Thirteenth Summer (and Jimmy) on Facebook

The Thirteenth Summer has its own Facebook page, in case you hadn’t heard: www.facebook.com/thirteenthsummer.

I’m posting lots of fun stuff about the book, including some deleted scenes from early manuscripts, inside info on the characters, and updates about the book’s Quest to Become a Movie (It’s been optioned by Hollywood producers, who are already shopping it around to film studios!). If you like the book (or if you just like me!) please also “like” the page on Facebook, and share it with your friends. The more of a following the book has, the better its chances of becoming a movie! 🙂 It also helps, when you read these posts, if you click the “like” button, so it posts to Facebook more frequently. Okay, commercial over. Back to blogging. THANK YOU!

Today I posted this scene in a note on the new Facebook page, and it felt kind of bloggish, so I thought I’d share it here, too, just for kicks. 🙂

One of my favorite things about writing The Thirteenth Summer was revisiting some of the cities I’ve lived in. Being a preacher’s kid, I moved up and down the East Coast throughout my childhood. I wanted to recapture, through Crystal’s eyes, some of the culture shocks I experienced.

When I was ten, my family moved from Atlanta to Boston. First let me say that, now that I live in Georgia again, fall in the South has been forever ruined for me by glorious memories of Boston’s Real Fall Weather . . . the trees a patchwork quilt of color; walking down the road to Wilson’s Farm to buy pumpkins and squash and caramel apples; aahhh, it was spectacular . . . But there were some bizarre moments, too. Like the first time I sat in my fifth grade class and said the word “y’all,” the WHOLE CLASS—I kid you not—turned around and stared at me like I had an alien popping out of my chest. For lunch, the cafeteria served peanut butter and fluff sandwiches. And here I thought fluff was something you did to your hair when you wanted a boy to look at you! (The sandwiches are divinely gooey, and an orthodontic nightmare, by the way.) If I wanted to buy a milkshake in Boston, people would ask me if I wanted a frappe instead. What the heck was a frappe? I’m still not exactly sure. And then there were the jimmies…

In case you didn’t catch it, that was my uber-smooth segue into a fun deleted scene from an early draft of the book.
This is Luke and Crystal in chapter 7, Coffee, Clothes and Cute Company, sight-seeing in Harvard Square with bodyguard Big Al—I’ll never forget my own first visit there. So I say again (dramatic pause here):

And then there were the jimmies…

Luke and Crystal bought cones at a small ice cream shop, and as the large grizzled man behind the counter scooped their cones, he grunted, “You want jimmies on those cones?”

“Excuse me?” Crystal said.

“Jimmies,” he repeated, looking at her as if she was two years old.

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand, who’s Jimmy?”

The man snorted and yelled over his shoulder, “Hey Bert, this little girl wants to know who Jimmy is!”

Crystal felt her face redden as she heard a hoot of laughter from the back of the store—apparently Bert was amused.

Luke stepped up beside her. “Hey, now, is that any way to treat a lady visiting Boston for the first time?” Crystal felt her face burn even more. No boy had ever defended her honor before.

The man glared at Luke, leaning over the counter as if to show off his superior size. “Hmmmph. So, jimmies or no jimmies?”

“We’d love jimmies, thank you.” Luke leaned down to Crystal (he was at least a foot taller than she was) and whispered, “I have no idea what they are, either, but we’ll try them, okay?”

She nodded, sure her face was still the color of a tomato.

It turned out that “jimmies” were just sprinkles, and Crystal was disappointed when Luke handed a cone to her. She’d been picturing something more exotic.

“Sorry about the rudeness, no Southern hospitality here,” Luke said between licks.

“Oh, hey, no big deal. And—um—thanks for, you know, sticking up for me.”

“No prob. But now you owe me one.”