When Following Your Heart is a Bad Thing

As a good mom, I should encourage my kids to pursue their dreams and set their sights on what they feel is right. At least that’s what our culture tells me I ought to do. It sounds like good advice on the surface. But is following your heart really a good message to be teaching my girls?

 

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Teaching Our Children to Love God for Who He Is

Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing my absolute best as a mother. I want my girls to grow up knowing right from wrong – to be smart and to dream big. I want God’s best for them, and I desire that they succeed in all that they set out to do.

As parents, we have an amazing responsibility to our young ones. We do all that we can to raise them well. We teach them to share, to be loving and kind, and to stand up for what they believe in. But is this enough? Is it enough to be educated and successful? Is it enough to be a good person with integrity? In all of our efforts to raise well-rounded children, are we really teaching our children anything that matters in the end?

 

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Happily Ever After: When Jesus is Your Prince Charming | alyssajhoward.com

Happily Ever After: When Jesus is Your Prince Charming

Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl who dreamed of becoming a princess. She had a good heart and was kind to all. As fate would have it, she unexpectedly discovered a handsome prince. Upon meeting, they fell in love and lived happily ever after. The end.

I am the mother of two beautiful little girls. Needless to say, our home is filled with all things princess. They know these stories forwards and backwards. On the surface, the fairy tales seem pretty innocent. They can even be empowering. They teach young girls that kindness and love pay off in the end, that true beauty comes from within, and that every girl can indeed become a princess. These are all good things – right?

 

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Learning to Value Others When You Want to Shout "But It's Mine!" | alyssajhoward.com

Learning to Value Others When You Want to Shout “But It’s Mine!”

What is it that makes us feel entitled? We must be born with this tendency. This past week, my toddlers have gone out of their way to try to prove this point. The word “mine” is literally ringing in my ears. They both feel that everything belongs to them personally and that they are free to do as the wish with their things. If they want or need something, they expect the world to stop and cater to them. I would like to say that this type of behavior is something we all eventually outgrow, but I fear that we as adults simply find new “socially acceptable” ways of acting like toddlers.

 

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What Being a Parent Has Taught Me about God | alyssajhoward.com

What Being a Parent Has Taught Me about God

God is often described as our “heavenly Father.” Growing up, I thought I knew what that meant. It was easy for me to relate to being a child to a loving father because I was fortunate to have an amazing earthly father of my own. I understood what it meant to be a child. When I became a mom, however, my perspective changed. Continue Reading

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween? | alyssajhoward.com

Should Christians Celebrate Halloween?

Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s absolutely gorgeous! I love the pumpkins, the falling leaves, and of course drinking hot chocolate on a cool autumn day. There is, however, one thing I’m somewhat torn over… Halloween. Don’t get me wrong. I would love nothing more than to dress my adorable toddlers up in cute costumes and then show them off as we go door to door. There’s just one problem. As a Christian, how do I justify my Christian beliefs with Halloween? Can I still live out my faith and participate in this holiday event? Continue Reading

A Realistic Look at the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31

When speaking of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31, Bible teachers often focus on the attributes that make her a good mother, wife, and keeper of the home. But this passage goes far beyond that. It describes her as a woman who is well-rounded with a good head on her shoulders… smart and resourceful. The virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 provides both food and clothing for her family as well as her servants, manages the home and its finances, takes care for the needy, sells her own handiwork, and speaks wisdom and teaching to others. (She is one busy lady!) Continue Reading