Entries by Nicole Balza

“It’s time for camp!”

“It’s time for camp!” These four words are the highlight of our family’s year every summer. I have had the privilege of serving as a camp leader at Camp Bird in Crivitz, Wis., for many years. Camp Bird is a weeklong Christian youth camp for kids in fifth to eighth grade. This year my son […]

Preparing for summer camp

I love camp! When I was a kid I went to soccer camp and basketball camp and Camp Phillip, a Christian camp in Wautoma, Wis. My love for Camp Phillip grew as I got older. I became part of the junior staff (high school volunteers) and then paid staff. It then moved into my full-time […]

Helping your child navigate the dating scene

I remember when my oldest son went on his first date as a high school freshman. It was hardly the stuff of romantic legend. Since neither he nor his girlfriend could yet drive, their “date” consisted of sitting in a corner booth at Culver’s while I parked myself in a booth nearby and tried to […]

One dad’s guide to surviving the dating years

I’m a parent of 2 boys and 2 girls ages 15 to 22. I have a front row seat to view the corn maze called courting. I admit to thoughts of electronic surveillance, homing devices, and background checks. Making it more complicated is that the way my kids date is as unique as they are. […]

What’s a parent’s role in dating?

Ah, the halcyon days of dating! The excitement, the romance, the mystery! Will he call? Does she like me? But now, you are the parent, and the word “dating” seems more worrisome than wonderful. What is your role as a parent in Christian courtship? Pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17): God would have us pray about everything. […]

Finding contentment

Dear Future Self, I’m curious, do you remember the winter of 2019? We had more snow on the ground than I had ever seen in my life. And with the snow came lots and lots of ice and cold and wind. So much ice. So much cold. So many days off of school. Six in […]

A different view of parenthood

Did you hear? So much for doing away with helicopter parenting. Apparently, hyper-involved parenting works. They’re saying it leads to higher test scores. Oof. I took my daughter to our first daddy-daughter dance recently. Before I did, I remember the comments when I told people it was coming. “How special!” “Once in a lifetime opportunity!” […]

How can we help a family with a sick parent?

In April 2018, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I never expected to hear a cancer diagnosis at 36 years old. I never expected to have to tell my two young children that their mom was seriously ill. I also never expected the amount of help and support we received from our friends, family, and […]

Struggling with healthy cell phone use

Let’s have a show of hands. How many of you are struggling to determine what healthy cell phone use looks like? Value Struggling can be good because it helps us identify our values. I really love how God tells us in Deuteronomy to love him wholly—to value him above all things. He doesn’t say fleetingly […]

Consider making a digital resolution in 2019

Our families are at war with technology and digital communication. At a time when information is more readily available than ever and we can connect with friends and loved ones in an instant, depression and anxiety among young adults and parents increase. Many report feeling disconnected from their families because of technology. So something that […]