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Summer, I see you coming. And here’s what I know about summer:

  1. I want it to be awesome, I want my kids to be awesome, I want it ALL.
  2. I run out of ideas fast. (by day two)
  3. I live in “traumatic expectation disappointment” (by day 2.5).

This year, I’m making my best effort to set our family up for success. What I’ve learned over the years is that rules don’t work. Rules don’t create character in people, they create boxes. Our hearts are not wired for legalisms. We find all kinds of ways to distort rules. We use them as weapons against one another (I’m better than you.) We use them as obstacles to overcome (I’ll find the loophole). We use them for judgment. (I’m good enough, I’m too bad, I’m…insert identity-crushing word here)

We don’t need rules, we need values. We need guiding principles that determine the direction of our lives, that help us make good and intentional choices toward a preferred future. So this summer, our family is throwing out the rules and ushering in the values.

Values create the best kind of tension. They make us examine motive and intent. They make us seek the best way forward even when some values might be in contradiction with one another. They create conversation, not condemnation.

Our kids are entering into the time of life where decisions begin to really matter. And I am praying and hoping that Dave and I will be able to help them find a compass of values that lead them forward into the kind of people we dream they will be.


So summertime, we are ready for you!

What values are most important to you?


P.S. If you haven’t found it yet, I’ve started a new thing–Monday Night Live. Every Monday Night, you’ll find me live on Facebook, bringing a word of encouragement for your week, answering a reader question, and always giving stuff away, because, GIFTS. Who doesn’t love a GIFT? You can join us Mondays at 7PM EST, or anytime later in the week on replay. If you choose to LIKE and FOLLOW my page , you’ll get notifications to remind you. Not on Facebook? We are working on getting everything up to YouTube as well. We’ll update you when we have that ready to roll.