Entries by Nicole Balza

Reflecting God’s love begins with grace

As a mom of five, I admit to times of spiritual and physical exhaustion when I barely reflect God’s love to my own family, let alone my community. This seems like an overwhelming task, and the last thing you or I need is one more item on our to-do lists. The beautiful thing about Jesus […]

Love others by really being there for them

I’ve learned an awful lot from my daughter. The wonder and adventure of life with Jesus. The trust in him that is so simple and pure. The creativity that comes from looking at something from a relatively blank slate. The importance of really sinking into the perfect hug. She’s taught me a lot. Especially about […]

Tips for setting achievable resolutions

It’s a running joke every January at the fitness club I attend. One of the “regulars” looks around the packed club and grouses, “Why are there so many people here?” Someone else inevitably replies, “Just wait until February.”   It’s so true. If you search online for the “top 10 broken New Year’s resolutions,” losing weight […]

Teaching kids to work toward goals

I’ve never liked the term resolution. It has an ugly connotation in my mind of failed attempts at weight loss and unsustainable, temporary life changes. For several years now, my husband and I have spent New Year’s Eve setting goals rather than resolutions for the coming year. We record them on one of our phones […]

How to keep resolutions from fizzling out

“Hudson, my man! Let’s talk about the club we’re starting.”  Hudson is my eight-year-old grandson. In January 2018, Hudson and I are founding a photography club.   “I have ideas about how to make sure our club doesn’t fizzle out,” I say. “Want to hear them?”   “Sure.”   I show him the note app on my phone. […]

Cultivating a mission heart in children

These are my five ways to cultivate a mission heart in children. 1. Build awareness: When I was a young child (think three years old), I thought that everyone knew and believed in Jesus. As I grew older, the reality that a kind neighbor, relative, or friend in my small world didn’t believe was heart boggling. What […]

Embrace the quietness

It seems that we live in fear of quietness. Not only do we as a culture shy away from it, but we don’t particularly like it when our children grow quiet. I would encourage you to embrace the quietness. One of the benefits to homeschooling for six years was that I was able to easily […]

Is it a problem when our kids are silent?

One of the greatest skills of parenting is communicating with our children. Truly hearing them, reflecting their words, giving them an understanding that their thoughts and feelings are heard and acknowledged. Don’t we all want people like this in our lives? What a wonderful demonstration of love to be fully present with another person in […]

When your teen stops talking

Sometimes I think half the battle of parenting is not to take anything too personally. When your teenage boy goes quiet, for instance, it’s usually not about you. It can be a hard adjustment, though, because wasn’t it just last week when he was sitting in the kitchen, going on and on while you were […]

The challenge of teaching the Reformation

When it comes to teaching our children about the Reformation, especially our young children, we have to admit the challenge of it. Perhaps, the most obvious challenge is that the official date for recognizing the Reformation is Oct. 31, 1517. There is a part of me that wishes that Martin Luther would have had some […]