Category Archives: family relationships

Heading Into Summer

Memorial Day has come and gone. The summer season is in full swing. It’s a time for pool parties, barbecues, family vacations, summer camp, and all the other fun that summer brings. It also inspires a lot of writing ideas.

What’s different about summer? What does it inspire?

Parenting

How can you help parents prepare for their children’s summer break? How can you help working parents juggle their children’s summer schedules? How can you help families build stronger relationships during the summer?

What do parents need to know about summer camp? How can they choose the right one for their child? How can you help parents prepare their children for summer camp? What can parents do if their child become homesick?

How can parents make the most of a summer vacation? How do they choose the right vacation spot for their family? How do they budget for a vacation? How do they handle a child who doesn’t want to go on vacation? How can they take creative photos that capture the essence of their family vacation?

Summer Parties

How can your readers throw a fun summer party? How can you help them cook great food? What can you tell them about decorating for a summer party? How can they help their guests have fun? How do you build relationships through a summer party?

Summer Activities

What can you write about gardening? Hiking? Bicycling? Cooking on the grill? How can you help your readers protect themselves from ticks? Mosquitoes? How can they recognize poisonous plants?

What health issues arise from summer activities? How can they prevent injuries? What do they do after they incur an injury? What about allergies? How can they keep themselves healthy in the summer?

What can you write for kids? How can you help them embrace summer activities? What stories can you write for them? What devotions can you write? What kind of personal experience article can you write? Who can you interview?

Enjoy the summer. But, always look for writing ideas. Most publications work several months out. Have fun. Gather ideas. Then, write when the weather gets colder.

© Deborah Christensen

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Seeds of Truth: Proverbs 3:6

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:6, NLT

What does this verse mean to you? What does it say about God’s will? What does it say about following His guidance? How do you find God’s will? What role does His Word play? What role does prayer play? How do you know if it’s God’s will or your own will? How do you hear His voice? How do you live each day for Him?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about trusting God, God’s sovereignty, prayer, healing, illness, salvation of loved ones, marriage, parenting, pregnancy, singleness, family relationships, relationship struggles, work, finances, unemployment, current events, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, persecution, trials, etc.?
  • What other issues can you apply this verse to?

Plowing Together: Targeting Innocents — Please Comment

Last night, a terrorist targeted children at a concert. As a writer, what can you write to help protect children?

Seeds of Truth: John 14:13

“You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.”

John 14:13, NLT

What does this verse mean to you? What does it say about prayer? What about when God doesn’t answer a prayer the way you think He should? How do you respond to an answered prayer? How do you respond to an unanswered prayer? How can you bring glory to God through prayer? Through answered prayer? Through unanswered prayer?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about the prayer, healing, illness, salvation of loved ones, marriage, parenting, pregnancy, singleness, relationship struggles, work, finances, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, current events, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, persecution, trials, etc.?
  • What other issues can you apply this verse to?

Mom’s Special Place

Yesterday, we celebrated Mom. Some people did it with picnics and cookouts. They laughed and hugged their mom. Others did it with tears, as they grieved a mom who is no longer there. Still others faced painful memories of a mother who hurt them in a variety of ways. What does Mother’s Day mean to you?

What is a Mom?

What did your mom teach you about being a mother? Did you learn what to do, or what not to do? What did you learn about God, love, sacrifice, cooking, organization, how to handle money, how to balance family and work, grief, making choices, etc., from your mom? If you’re a man, what did she teach you about choosing a wife who would be the mother of your children?

What memories did she create in your family? What was unique about her that made you want to be a better person?

The Practical Side of a Mom

Moms model so many things as we grow up. Did she show you how to sew, start a business, create a budget, play music, speak in public, serve in the background, etc.? How did she model the fruits of the Spirit? Did you see her on her knees, praying for you? Did you watch her make time with God a priority?

How did she create a loving home? How did she love your dad? How did she show you that she loved you? How did she punish you? How did she defend you when someone wronged you? How did she show you to face the world?

Our moms influence our lives in so many ways. Use the insights that Mother’s Day stirred up and write about it.

© Deborah Christensen

Plowing Together: The Difficult Talk — Please Comment

How do you talk to your aging parents about moving to an assisted-care facility or nursing home? How do you talk to them about giving up their lifelong home?

How would you write about it? What ideas can you share in an article or book? Your comments may inspire another writer.

Helping Aging Parents Navigate the Later Years

I am blessed to have my parents still with me. They are in their 80s and relatively healthy. But, they are slowing down. As their children, my sister and I help them with whatever they need. Other family members help, as well. A few weeks ago, their grandsons removed old railroad ties and pulled weeds from their back yard.

A couple of years ago, my mom was in the hospital. My dad walks with a cane and my mom occasionally needs a walker. Their physical limitations are growing but manageable. My mom still does laundry in their basement, refusing to allow us to help her with the stairs. They drive. And, they take care of my aunt, who lives in a nursing home. They want their independence.

How do you know when it’s time to step in? How do you help parents know when it’s time to stop driving, to move to an assisted-care facility or to get them in-home care? What are the healthcare options for aging parents? What do you do when you see signs of dementia? How do you help them without treating them like children?

We will encounter aging issues with our parents. How can we, as writers, help our readers know where to look for answers?

Share your own story. What worked for you? What didn’t work? What do you wish you had done differently?

Write a how-to piece. This will mean research. Talk to experts in the field and share their insights. Offer practical tips that your readers can use. Help them find the right government agencies, choose the right nursing home, find the best living situation that works best for their family.

Write a devotion. Use verses that talk about honoring parents and defending the defenseless. Help your readers understand that God commands us to care for our parents, forgive them for their mistakes and serve them until He calls them home.

Use fiction or poetry to share your insights. This is an indirect way to guide your readers as they deal with these issues.

Consider doing a tie-in to Mother’s Day. How has the meaning of Mother’s Day changed, now that your parents are aging? What are special ways to honor your aging mom?

As people live longer, more of us need direction to help our parents navigate the later years. Our parents took care of us. Now, it’s our turn. And, as writers, we can walk beside our readers because they’re navigating new territory, too.

© Deborah Christensen

 

Seeds of Truth: Psalm 60:12

With Gods help we will do mighty things…

Psalm 60:12, NLT

What help do you need from God? How do you learn to rely on God to take care of your needs? How do you put your faith in God to take care of you? What miracles have your seen in your life? How has God helped you to do mighty things? How do you trust Him to do mighty things through you? How does He help you when you feel insignificant? How do you learn to live in His power?

How Can You Use This Verse in Your Writing?

  • What kind of nonfiction piece can you write?
  • What tips would you offer in a how-to article?
  • What story can you tell in a personal experience piece? What takeaway value can you give?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire fiction?
  • How can you use this verse to inspire poetry?
  • Do you know someone who lives out this verse? Can you interview them and write a personality profile on them?
  • How can you explain this verse to children? What kind of children’s story can you write? What kind of nonfiction piece can you write for children? For teens?
  • What kind of devotion can you write on this verse?
  • How can you apply this verse to writing about marriage, parenting, singleness, infertility, unplanned pregnancies, abortion, adoption, relationship struggles, aging parents, death of a loved one, work, unemployment, trusting God, God’s sovereignty, fear, discouragement, weakness, courage, hope, forgiveness, health issues, anger, anxiety, patience, grief, finances, prayer, persecution, salvation of loved ones, trials, etc.?

 

Faithfulness for a Lifetime

hibiscusWhen Paul listed faithfulness as one of the fruits of the Spirit, he knew we can live out faithfulness in many ways. First, we must be faithful to God. Second, we must be faithful to each other. As writers, we can help our readers understand the role of faithfulness in their lives.

Faithfulness to God

The world pulls us in so many directions and, sometimes, it drowns out God’s still, small voice. Our readers look for ways to remain faithful to God.

Have you struggled with this? What helped you? What didn’t work? How did other people help you remain faithful to God? What emotions did you feel as you struggled? How did becoming faithful to God change you?

How can you use faithfulness to God in fiction? In poetry? Who can you interview to show people how to live in faithfulness to God? Do you know someone who lives it out who you can feature in a personality profile? What can you write for children to help them understand what it means?

Faithfulness in Marriage

In our sexualized society, faithfulness in marriage is often treated as old-fashioned. But, God calls us to remain faithful and committed for the rest of our lives.

Have you experienced infidelity? Are you the one who was unfaithful? What helped you heal? How did you heal your marriage? What tips can you offer to help your readers remain faithful? What help can you offer to help your readers protect their marriage before there’s a problem?

What about writing for singles? How can you help them prepare for a faithful marriage? How can you help them build a faithful character before they get married?

Faithfulness to Others

How tips can you offer to help your readers be a faithful friend? A faithful parent? A faithful child? How can they faithfully pray for others? How can they faithfully serve others?

Faithfulness affects every area of our lives. As writers, we can share tips, guidance, stories and examples of faithfulness.

© Deborah Christensen

The Value of Work

hibiscusYesterday, we celebrated Labor Day. Many of us took a break from work to celebrate the “end” of summer. But, we may not have thought about the work we do. It can bring us joy and purpose.

God worked when He created the universe. He also works every day in our life and in human history. He considers work an honorable pursuit.

As writers, we can address the issue of work in our fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

Finding Purpose in Work

How can you view your work in a way that honors God? How can you work as if you’re working for the Lord? How can you make the most of work you don’t enjoy? How can you see your work from God’s perspective?

How can you teach your children the value of work, even when they’re young? How can you help them view their work from His perspective? How do you balance work with your marriage? How do you keep your priorities straight?

How do you find the right job for you? How can you discover your gifts so that you can pursue work that fits who God created you to be? If you are a stay-at-home mom, how do you view your work as valuable?

Unemployment

What do you do if you lose your job? How do you handle the emotional pain from job loss? What is a good process to find a new job? How do you write a resume?

How do you know if you should look for a job or if you should start your own business?

God created us for a purpose. As writers, we can help our readers find their purpose and value their work.

© Deborah Christensen

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