Family Voices
November 8, 2019, 8:00 AM

Thankful for a Temper Tantrum?


Thankful for a Temper Tantrum?

by Kari Larsen




One of my favorite books is The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom. It’s a book filled with Corrie’s experiences and her incredible faith during her time in the concentration camps of World War 2. In one part of the book she and her sister are imprisoned at Ravensbruck, a concentration camp in Germany. They are sent to barracks that are crowded and filled with fleas. Corrie’s sister Betsie is reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” Corrie can’t understand why they should be thankful for fleas, but they pray a prayer of thankfulness that includes the fleas. It turns out that because their barracks are so filled with fleas the guards won’t come in to the building--which means they are free to worship and read the Bible with the other women there.


Each time I read this book I ask myself, "When have I ever been thankful for fleas?" In my prayers of thanks, I include the usual things--family, friends, house, sunny days…etc. But not fleas or other things that are hard or uncomfortable.


I was reminded of this story one morning while my youngest was throwing a huge temper tantrum. She was slamming doors, stomping feet, and screaming. If you are a parent you know exactly what I’m mean. She was upset because she couldn’t find any pants she wanted to wear. (Sorry mom for all those times I did that to you). After a lot of frustration we somehow made it through the fit and she eventually found pants to wear; however, it wasn’t a beautiful or smooth morning by any means.


As we were pulling out of the driveway, my oldest said, “Mommy, I prayed that we would restart the day.” A prayer to restart the day is something I do with the kids when we’ve had a particularly rough morning. I’m usually the one who initiates the prayer; but this morning while downstairs eating breakfast, he said a prayer. He prayed without being asked! It was a little like the moment in the The Hiding Place and I got a little glimpse of what 1 Thessalonians 5:18 is talking about when it says, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” I never ever thought I would say this, but I am thankful for that temper tantrum--because it moved my son to pray.


As we move into November and this season of thankfulness, may our hearts overflow with thanksgiving and give thanks in all circumstances; even if that means being thankful for temper tantrums.






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September 12, 2019, 10:00 AM

Ikea Parenting

Ikea Parenting

by Kari Larsen, Director of Family Ministry




If only parenting came with step-by-step instructions. We have so many roles as parents and most of them don’t come with directions. It’s like building Ikea furniture. You have the idea of what the next step looks like, but no written step-by-step instructions to get you there; only pictures of what each phase should be. For example, we bring the baby home from the hospital and we know that the next picture shows children sleeping through the night- but there are no specific instructions to accomplish that goal.

The Bible also shows us pictures of raising children. Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

Here the Bible says that parents are spiritual leaders for their family. We read this and think things like “parents are spiritual leaders? There is no way, how do I even do this, I’m not a pastor!”

The church probably can’t come to your house and get your child to sleep, but we do have resources to help parents be spiritual leaders. And just like how one child slept through the night at three months and some of us still have six-year-olds struggling with the concept; faith time at home will look a little different for every family.

Here are some ideas to try at home:

  • Share highs and lows from the day. Then pray about those highs and lows.
  • Read a Psalm from the Bible or read from a Bible story book.
  • Pray with your children at bedtime. It can be a memorized prayer, the Lord’s Prayer or a prayer from the heart.
  • Say a blessing for your child before they go to bed. Make the sign of the cross on their forehead and say “The Lord bless and keep you, _____”
  • Check out more ideas on our family ministry wall or at

These are just a few ways to build faith time at home. At our first Parenting Class this year [Sep. 26 and Oct. 3, 8:45-10:30 AM in the library], we are taking two weeks to not only share ideas, but actually practice some of these things together.

Let’s build a community that helps each other decipher the next phase for our children! And if anyone wants to come to my house and put my children to bed, I’m all for it.



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