Resources for Parenting: Parenting Beyond Your Capacity

Resources for Parenting: Parenting Beyond Your Capacity

Hey Parents! Over the next few weeks, we want to share some resources we have been researching for you. We hope that these materials will provide an outlet for you to learn, grow, and be encouraged in your unique role as a parent. Know that Vintage Church is here to partner with you. 

First up! Parenting Beyond Your Capacity: Connect Your Family to a Wider Community (The Orange Series) by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof. 

Read More

Thank You from a Vintage Church Foster Parent

Thank You from a Vintage Church Foster Parent

Dear Church,

Initially I was invited to contribute a parenting article from the perspective of a Foster Mom. The more I thought about what I wanted to share, the more I felt gratitude toward you, the body of Christ. So I would like to take a moment to thank you for all the ways you’ve made this journey possible.

Read More

#socialmedia #itssocial #misunderstood

#socialmedia #itssocial #misunderstood

Many children and adults who have autism find that social skills are extremely challenging. This has been true for my son, Lawton, for all of his 24 years. I have been trying to instruct and encourage appropriate social interactions for his entire life. This has been particularly difficult when he wants to tell someone exactly what he thinks. To help those who are not around someone like Lawton on a regular basis understand what I am talking about, here are a few examples. 

Read More

Are You My Mother?

Are You My Mother?

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what it means to be a mother—what exactly it is that makes one a mom. Technically speaking, a mother is “a female parent.” But I think we can all affirm that a mother is much more than that narrow definition. At the core, mothering is about nurturing. When you nurture or provide for the baby you just birthed, the baby someone else birthed but you are raising, or a baby who isn’t even yours at all, you are acting as a mother.

Read More

What an Art Thief Can Teach You About Family Bible Reading

What an Art Thief Can Teach You About Family Bible Reading

"Make a plan. See it through." That's the best advice I ever got from a TV show (White Collar). Last January I had my set of resolutions I wanted to accomplish, but the difference for 2016 was that I was going to make a plan and see it through. At least, I did that for some of the resolutions, and those were the only ones that I stuck with and accomplished. I had a big vision for the others, but I never laid out simple steps to get there, steps that I actually could accomplish. I never thought through how to incorporate these goals into the regular rhythms of my life. Because of that, I ended up being really inconsistent in my pursuit of them, and they eventually were set aside.

Read More

Set Your Eyes

Set Your Eyes

Newborn babies are very near-sighted creatures. Sometimes I can’t help but laugh when their sweet little eyes cross when trying to focus on something. Bless it! My little girl is well out of her newborn stage (still can’t believe that), but God caught my attention one day when she was tiny. I was attending to my toddler and having a conversation with her (probably sternly asking her to stop throwing her food all over the floor), and my baby started fussing a little. I kept saying her name from a distance to ease her frustration, but it never seemed to do the trick. I watched her. She started getting more and more nervous because she could not see me. She was moving her head from side to side pretty frantically looking for her mom. Her eyes could only see something that was close to her, and I was not close enough. It made her feel insecure, unsure of her surroundings, and a bit anxious. She had no sense of direction, peace, or stability. 

Read More

Maximize Your Christmas with a Family Advent Guide

Maximize Your Christmas with a Family Advent Guide

What would happen if family time & Advent both collided with just a little intentionally this Christmas season?

What is Advent?

Another year is closing out quickly, which means that Christmas is right around the corner. If your family is anything like mine you have trekked up to your attic or storage space recently to grab boxes of decorations. You've also made a trip or several to your local Christmas tree source and local hardware store for some important seasonal necessities. Now your house is filled with new smells, sights, lights, and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas with these exciting extras. Both my 3-year-old and 8-month-old have loved the last week of Christmas setup, from the tree to our exterior illumination experiment to a new Christmas village from my grandfather. My wife and I have intentionally planned several family trips in December to a few favorite New Orleans Christmas spots/activities. But as exciting as all the extra parties, activities, lights, and family time is, this season is really at the core about so much more. This season is in fact one of the most important times for us to reflect, renew, and refresh, because this season is ultimately about when the Lord solved the world's problem and provided the One through whom redemption would come.

Read More

The Aloneness of Autism

The Aloneness of Autism

It's not very often that I am completely alone. This is because I have an adult child with Autism. Even if Lawton is not with me, I am always available to him by phone, call, or text message.

April is Autism Awareness month, and April 2 is Autism Awareness Day. For the past several years, I have asked close friends and family to wear blue, eat Chick-fil-a nuggets or McDonald's pancakes (his favorites), or go to GameStop. The purpose of this is to remind our family and friends to stop and think of Lawton and pray for him. I ask these folks to take a photo of themselves and post it to social media with Lawton's hashtag, #lawtism. I want Lawton to see how much he is loved and how many friends he has who care about him and are praying for him. If I am honest, it's not just for him, it's for me too.

Read More

Toddlerhood: A Lesson in Grace

Toddlerhood: A Lesson in Grace

Lately my two year old has been in fine form. There have been instances of her saying the word “no” in a very high volume, spitting in our faces when she gets in trouble, disobeying and being sneaky about it, and whining constantly. There are many days when this sleep-deprived mom of a two-year old and a newborn wants to pull her hair out because the “terrible twos” get a little too far under her skin. I know that she is acting exactly as should be expected in her developmental stage and sinful nature, but it still frustrates me to no end. I end up having to separate myself from her sometimes just to maintain a small sense of sanity. Can I get a witness? Any toddler moms out there know what I am saying? 

 

The more I have been thinking about my little girl and her ever-increasing bad behavior, the more I have understood the love and grace of Jesus in a refreshing way. There are so many times I act just like a toddler in my relationship with Jesus, and He continues to love, show grace, and discipline appropriately to teach me. I am so thankful he never separates Himself from me in those moments like I feel I need to do with my toddler sometimes.

Read More

On Letting Them Go

On Letting Them Go

Before we ever got pregnant, my husband and I promised our families that despite the fact that we live approximately 10 hours and several states away from them, our children would have time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins every summer. In theory, this is a wonderful idea. We imagined our kids running barefoot through our parents’ backyards, playing at the pool with their cousins, visiting the mountains, swinging on tire swings and more. What we forgot was that when the kids were visiting our families, they wouldn’t be with us—and we would miss them terribly! The first day or two of peace and quiet without constant toddler questions is nice. But then, it is too quiet. Less joyful. The house feels a little lonely, to be honest. 

Read More