Entries by Nicole Balza

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 […]

Trust in God provides relief from fear

How can we protect our kids without scaring them? I think it’s possible to look at this question and focus on at least two different aspects. The first is the practical reality of communicating issues of safety in an age-appropriate way with our kids (for help with that, see Sarah Reik’s article). But the second […]

How can we protect our kids without scaring them?

When my oldest child was very young, we were at our pediatrician’s office for his yearly physical. As she was checking him all over, she reminded him that only doctors and Moms and Dads can look at private parts of his body. She said that if anyone else ever does, he should say, “No,” and […]

Using Chrismons in Advent devotions

Chrismons are Christian symbols that are often used as Christmas ornaments in many Christian churches. They create an easy visual for a family Advent devotion. In her article titled Advent devotions keep family’s eyes on Jesus, Anna Geiger details how her family of eight uses Chrismons for their Advent devotions. Interested in learning more about Chrismons […]

Advent devotions keep family’s eyes on Jesus

During most of the year, our family gathers each evening for a Bible story and song. But we take a break from our regular devotions for the month of Advent. Instead, we sit at the dining room table around a lovely handcrafted Advent tree, a gift from my father-in-law. Simple Advent devotions First, my husband […]

Seeing the Lord this Christmas

I can see the candlelight in her eyes. It flickers there in the dark sanctuary. It lights up her small face in constantly new ways as the flame dances pushing shadows off her face. It was Christmas Eve 2014. She was singing “Silent Night.” I almost lost it. I hope it wasn’t just sentimentality. I […]