Archives For Parenting


Stephanie Raquel  —  June 17, 2013 — Leave a comment

Some thoughts I shared Facebook for Father’s Day this year …

For the dads who love their children well … I am thankful.
For the moms who do both jobs well … I am in awe!
For those who grieve the loss of a dad or hope to one day get to know their earthly dad … I am prayerful.
And finally… For my husband, Steve, who’s an amazing dad to our kids! … I am forever blessed.

For anyone who finds a sting on Father’s Day, keep Psalm 68:5-6 in mind:

Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—
    this is God, whose dwelling is holy.
God places the lonely in families … Continue Reading…


Today is a special blog post for a host of reasons. Number one, it’s my birthday! And number two, today is a chance to honor women in my life who have shaped me as a mom, a leader, and a friend who’s left a lasting legacy.  This is also a chance to continue to say how very Blessed I am.

Thanks to the Legacy Campaign at Proverbs 31 Ministries, today is a day to honor the incredible legacy of others who have gone before me.  Today’s post is a continuation as we participate in an Online Bible Study of Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles. Continue Reading…

Learning to Ride

Stephanie Raquel  —  February 21, 2013 — 4 Comments


Oh, what a sweet privilege it has been to lead a new Online Bible Study with Melissa Taylor from Proverbs 31 Ministries.  The latest study is “Let. It. Go. How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith” by Karen Ehman. (Available here from Zondervan, 2012).

Thankfully I’m a pretty easy-going person and so generally speaking, it takes a lot to rattle me.  This is both a blessing and a curse, it seems, because in a previous life I had a peer say on an annual review, “Does she have a pulse?  Does anything ever bother her?”  By the same token, I know it is a strength of mine as a leader to remain calm in a crisis.

And so I jumped into this study thinking it would be helpful to learn some practical tools for helping other women — those in my bible study, and those I serve alongside in women’s ministry, etc.

And then I read Chapter 5.  “Micromanaging Instead of Mothering.”  Boom.

Again, micro-managing is not my normal M.O.  I’m a big-picture thinker.  But … this chapter really touched me and was a powerful reminder that there will come a day when we moms need to fully turn over the reins to our ever-growing children.  And that simply does not happen overnight.

It takes time to cultivate the appropriate level of responsibility in these young lives.  And quite honestly, Karen Ehman encapsulated that in better ways than I have seen in a long time.  To summarize:

  1. In the toddler years, offer your kids choices that don’t really matter.  After all, they’re toddlers, for pete’s sake!!
  2. In the elementary years, teach boundaries and consequences, but tell them why.  (Side note, I so wish my own parents would have done a better job modeling this for me!)
  3. In middle school, let kids get creative and determine some of their own consequences for crossing the line.  LOVE this, and I look forward to hearing what my 7th grader has to offer!
  4. In high school, treat your kids like young adults, not babies.  You are still their parent, yes, but lead with influence, not with forced obedience.
  5. In college, remember your adult children are full-fledged adults.  Helicopter parents who swoop in and rescue do precious little in helping their children learn how to fly.
  6. During all stages, point your kids to faith.  Who doesn’t win when we do that?!?

To be honest, there are still several women I’d like to read this chapter, who clearly struggle with helping their children learn age-appropriate responsibility.  And quite candidly, I’ve seen adult children with parent enablers who would have done well to learn these principles and apply them as well.  But meanwhile, it’s deeply affecting me.

Here is a quote I could not get out of my head this past week:  “Remember, it’s your job to teach your children to ride, not to pedal the bike for them.”  Simple, profound truth that has really resonated with me.  Thanks, Karen, for instructing us all!

So excited!  True confessions, I actually am a conference junkie.

And I love, love, love reading about leaders.

So a few years ago, I noticed our long-time friend, Cru’s Pacific Southwest Regional Director David Martinelli, was participating in something awfully intriguing.  I jumped at the chance to join this thing called a “blogference” to hear what leaders within Cru were doing around the globe.  This year, Brian Barela asked me to submit a post about being involved in ministry as a mom.

Click here for more of my thoughts on moms as leaders.

Here’s an excerpt:

 The last I checked, the Great Commission  (with its 1st person, imperative command) doesn’t have an exception clause.  It doesn’t say, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations … except if you’re a mom.”  Or, “… except if you’ve got three loads of laundry to do, groceries to buy, a turtle to find and four places to be in the next half-hour.”

The reality is, God’s word gives us a clear directive as believers, including mothers – young and old.  Parenting By THE BOOK author John Rosemund explains that effective parenting is truly effective leadership.  Women’s ministry author Sharon Jaynes notes that “What a person does with her family is what she will do with her church.  Family is a testing ground for effective leadership.”

Take a look-see and enjoy!  As Brian says, you can change the world from a coffee shop!