handsscapeIn the midst of a battle with cancer, Pastor Tim Keller stands before a congregation that has missed and prayed for him. He used the sharing of his battle to also invite his congregation to step into the place where he was currently living: a place of peace. “How do you face troubles like this with peace?” he asked. “The ultimate way to handle the troubles of life with peace is not through petitionary prayer, but through worship.”

His body weak from treatments and eagerly anticipating a vacation, he musters the strength to stand before his church for just one sermon. He tells the story of a woman who has inherited an old brooch, which has been thrown into a pile of other bobbles with little consideration.

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woman-praying-dark“In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord…”

The questions of motherhood poured out of her.

Lord, do you see me?

Could you change your mind on this one?

Is there something I could do differently?

Please, could you just let me have one baby boy?

She pours out her soul-breaking pleadings to the God of the Universe.

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Boxing-girl-Mamavation-300x200I was drafted into the Mommy Wars when my first baby was barely in my womb. Sitting with some trusted friends, I mentioned the name of my OB/GYN. (Big mistake!) After an awkward moment of silence, one of the other women went on to coyly describe her OB/GYN with adjectives that might make you think he was a borderline miracle worker when it came to pain, God-like in securing the safety of the baby, and had a bedside manner that made him a comedian. In hushed whispers (BUT NOT TO ME), I later overheard the woman suggesting my doctor was virtually a serial killer. (They didn’t think they should tell me that?)

Unless you have a good pair of proverbial boxing gloves, beware of these top ten topics that fuel the Mommy Wars. Number 7 is worthy of the click on the video to get your blood pumping. (Please read with an air of sarcasm, or you’ll be writing me hate mail!)

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Girl-headphoneDo the lyrics really matter? Months ago, I was appalled by a viral video of a sweet little tween girl sitting in the front seat of a car with her brother driving. Suddenly, Rihanna’s Work—wrought with explicit lyrics that are barely understandable—came onto the radio. This precious little girl jumped into the backseat and starting twerking like a stripper. My heart just broke!

Twerking in the back seat isn’t the only risk of inappropriate music lyrics and role models. A two year study by the American Psychological Association titled “The Sexualization of Girls” clearly linked music lyrics and the marketing associated with the songs to age compression in tweens resulting in eating disorders, body image issues, and depression when they are teens. The lyrics matter!

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iStock_000013517498XSmallLast week, The Washington Post reported on new research revealing that the “princess culture” is damaging young girls. Is it? (My team has been researching the concept of “princess culture” for about nine months preparing for a new Secret Keeper Girl tour and I might have a different take on things than the many hyped-up headlines.) While modern princesses like Elsa, Merida, and Rapunzel have been applauded for breaking stereotypes, the overriding impact of a slow and steady stream of physically perfect female lead roles awaiting their prince is accused of doing measurable damage. The study, a first measuring social science data on the impact of “princess culture” reveals three specific concerns.

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