Check out the Latest Articles:
2015 Refresh Sibling Panel

2015 Refresh Sibling Panel

Next week I’m facilitating a sibling panel at the Refresh Conference. You all know how passionate I am about giving voice to siblings, in fact I’m currently working on a book on this topic.

My panel consists of two adults, one college student, and two young teens. All are siblings who had children from “hard places” join their families. Some of the panelists were also adopted, others were born into their families.

MLC static
Years ago we were fortunate to work with one of the best attachment/trauma therapists in the country. In one of our earliest visits, it became clear that I’d gotten something backward. I had become so focused on correcting the offender that I’d neglected to comfort the wounded.

There was a lot of conflict between the children and Russ and I were doing our best to reign in the challenging behavior in an effort to protect the little ones. In doing so, we were focusing too much attention on the offender while the injured child was left to tend to himself with minimal comfort from us.

I’ll give you an example.

One evening Russ was working in the garden with the kids when he got a phone call. He told the children that they could play for a few minutes. One of our children was not happy about this and began to interrupt him saying, “Dad, stop talking, we need you in the garden. There is nothing to doooooooo….” He gestured to wait and be patient. Finally this little one had had enough, so she proceeded to walk over to her little brother and pinch him.

tuesday topics

This week’s Tuesday Topic comes from a dad who wants help for his family.

We feel defeated by this child

We have 4 children at home: ages, 13, 11, 9, 4 (the 4 year old is our former foster son). We home school all the children. We have had the 4 year old since he was 3 months old. He was a drug baby, but not sure what drugs, and we are pretty certain there was alcohol in the pregnancy. He spent the first 3 months of his life in Children’s Hospital as he was born with his intestines outside his body; he had surgery and seems to be fine.

Obviously we are having some problems with him; so we started reading The Connected Child. It seems that all of the suggestions from the book are time consuming, and my wife feels like she simply cannot do all of the suggested things without neglecting the others. I know the book is not assuming that families only have one child. Sure he is only 4 years old, but he runs the house. He will scream and scream when my wife tells him “no.” She tries to correct with words, but it fails. She has tried to ignore but he will escalate until she responds.

yellow daffodils from Beza and an orange mug to remember Kalkidan

Guess what? It’s time to make some serious improvements on One Thankful Mom.

This June I’ll celebrate my 10th anniversary of blogging – can you believe it? I would never have imagined that writing here would lead to speaking, books, and hopefully more amazing opportunities.

As I move toward this anniversary, I’m also moving toward a new design and some exciting new offerings, like free printables, ebooks, guest series, and maybe even a podcast.

I need your help.

I want to write what is most useful and encouraging to you. I could write for hours on all kinds of topics, but if it isn’t what you need, I’m wasting a ton of time and energy.

Will you please take a few minutes to tell me what you would like to see at One Thankful Mom? It would mean the world to me.

I’ve made it very easy by creating a simple survey, you just need to click here. It will take only one to two minutes, and it will be worth it (read on to see why).


If people want their souls to grow through loss, whatever the loss is, they must eventually decide to love even more deeply than they did before.    Jerry Sittser 

I read this yesterday (A Grace Disguised) and it’s been rolling over and over in my mind. Once you’ve lost someone you love, or been terribly hurt by someone you love (which is also a loss), it takes courage to love again.

Thankfully, we have a love that will never fail and never end in Jesus. This is a verse sustaining me right now,

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor thing to come, nor power, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

giving thanks #1761 – 1770

dinner out with friends last friday; it’s very hard to make myself go out into big, social situations right now, and I’m relieved that we had a good time

MLC static

Eby has always preferred sleeping in small, confined spaces. When he was young, he often chose to sleep in a sleeping bag tucked between a chair and a cabinet rather than on his bed.

One day Russ dug out the kids’ old play tent and asked Ebenezer if he wanted to put his sleeping bag inside. Eby loved it and seemed to relax in the cozy enclosure where he also put his favorite fleece blanket, teddy bear, and favorite puppy.



“I love you Mom. love Kalkidan”

These words were a gift to me last Friday.

A friend was returning some books she’d borrowed; she handed them to me saying, “I found this in the book.” She held out a yellow post-it note with a few words hastily written on it. I glanced, and then looked closely.

It was a note from Kalkidan, complete with a little heart with the words, “I love you.”


I’m kicking off February Tuesday Topics with an easy one for all of us.

What is your favorite Valentine tradition or memory?

I’ll start.


Valentine’s Day is a fun day to show our families a little love. I asked Jennifer to write a post with me sharing our ideas and traditions. As you’ll see, we’re all for keeping it simple!

We don’t know about you, but in our homes, December through March is a blur.  It seems that Christmas is barely put away before we are smack in the middle of birthdays, anniversaries, new commitments, old commitments, and the added challenge of cold temperatures and deep snows – not to mention the sniffly noses and sick days those often bring.

We’re not ashamed to admit that neither of us have plans to make dozens of Pinterest-worthy valentines for our children’s many different classrooms this year!

But as mothers, we also realize how important family traditions are – that even the smallest memories will be held in our children’s hearts for many years ahead.  So we’ve gathered a few of our very easiest family Valentine traditions (for time-crunched moms)!

graphic with easy

MLC - offering choices to children

Making choices is a challenge for many children, and offering choices is often inconvenient for parents. That being said, we also know that being offered choices gives children voice, which they often need. Here is a tip I use for helping children make choices.

When I present my kids with two options, I touch first one palm and say the first option…

choices 3

…and then the other as I say the second option.