4 Tips for Parenting Teens In A Digital World



Parenting teens in a digital world***Post includes a giveaway of  Rescue, Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture

As children grow, their needs change. Every parent realizes this fact early on, but during the teen years, it seems we become acutely aware of the world in which we are raising our children. With all the instant access to friends via social media networks and endless opportunities of online connections, the world can seem more troubling each day. I love digital connections, but teaching our teens to appropriately manage a digital world is extremely important.

About nine years ago, my oldest daughter was allowed to own her first cell phone. At this point in the cell phone economy,calling and texting were about the limit. Since then, social media and gaming sites have significantly broadened the reach of a cell phone user. Today I wanted to provide a few tips on parenting teens in a digital world.

1. Decide on a digital-free time zone as a family.

What works for us may not work for you;but for us, this digital-free time zone is meal times at home. I will say that we have made the exception at restaurants on occasion because waiting times have been longer than usual or the restaurant atmosphere is not conducive to conversation. Maybe your time is the last hour before bed. Decide on a family time together when everyone purposefully looks in one other’s eyes for good, old-fashioned conversation. 😉

2. Address self-image issues with a Biblical foundation.

No matter the age of the user, online comparison is a trap just waiting to happen. You can always find someone who has a better senior photo, more friends, or a stronger sense of fashion. But when I was a teen, we only saw that someone in social settings. Now they come through the phone into your teen’s bedroom via Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat and every other social media network. Teenagers need verbal encouragement from their parents on a consistent basis in order to proactively sculpt the right Christian self-image. Feel free to use this list of Bible verses for when you feel “not good enough” to reinforce how much God loves them just as they are.

3. Set behavioral expectations for cell phone, tablet, and all electronics usage.

Making wise decisions about who you trust with very personal information is extremely important. Remembering that every digital action and reaction leaves a traceable imprint is priority.

4. Emphasize that digital access of any kind is a privilege.

Just like any other privilege, if your teen’s phone or tablet or gaming device is used inappropriately for any reason, then that privilege can be withheld.

Parenting a teen in today’s culture is challenging to say the least. My son is in middle school and he is one of the only kids in his classes who doesn’t own a cell phone. While there are many reasons for making the decision of when and how much online and media access to give to your teen, today my hope was to provide a few thoughts to stimulate proactive parenting in this tough teen area.

Recently I was introduced to a newly-released book, Rescue, Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture by Candy Gibbs. This book is packed with practical tips for not only the murky waters of technology, but also the deep waters of sex, sexting, abortion, communication, family expectations,and more. Candy is the Executive Director of CareNet Pregnancy Centers in Amarillo, TX. I’m privileged to be giving away 2 copies of this awesome book today; just follow the Rafflecopter to enter.

For more information on this wonderful resource, check it out here:
Rescue, Raising Teens in a Drowning Culture

Have a marvelous Monday!



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a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Favorite Blogging Resources

favorite blogging planning resources
This weekend I’m leading a blogging hands-on platform building class at Proverbs 31 Ministries She Speaks conference. The focus of the workshop is content and I’m very honored to be a small part of such an incredible conference. This is my third year attending and I really can’t say enough positive things about it.

Can I just tell you that I don’t know everything there is to know about blogging? No, I surely don’t. But, what I like to do is find the people who have the blogging and writing answers. When our workshop meets together this Saturday, we are going to collaborate and brainstorm and talk about all the great places and people you can go to when you need a little guidance on writing or blogging.

Today I wanted to share my favorite blogging resources with you. This is not something I would typically share here on my blog, but I am receiving a lot of email requests asking questions like:

    • How do you find time to blog?
    • How did you get started blogging?
    • How much time do you spend blogging?
    • How do you start a writing ministry?

Whenever I notice a pattern to the emails I’m receiving, then I will typically write a blog post to address the issues. So consider this a “bonus post” if you will. While I can tell you that every single person has a different writing or blogging journey, and God’s plan for each person’s work is unique, writing and blogging takes work! Having the necessary tools makes it all the easier.

So, of you have some great suggestions for your favorite blogging resources, we’d LOVE it if you would share them with us in the comments. I’m hoping that you will add your favorites and we’ll have a great time collaborating! Ready?

michael hyatt wordpress






1.How to set up  a WordPress blog in 20 minutes FREE video. 

This video is wonderful and is Michael Hyatt’s instructions on building a self-hosted Wordress blog when you know nothing about blogging is a great instructional video. This video is designed for bloggers who want to use their own domain name, such as michaelhyatt.com or myname.me.

amy lynn andrews how to blog











2. How To Blog Step by Step Guide:

This step by step guide on how to blog by Amy Lynn Andrews is one of the best. And guess what? It doesn’t take hours!! Just 15 minutes!

3.How to Blog for Profit (Without Selling Your Soul)

If your goal is to earn money while blogging, for whatever personal or business reason, then I can understand that, even though I never started writing for money. I don’t recommend that you begin writing to make money either. But I honestly can’t invest tons of hours writing or blogging without earning an income. See exhibit A in the right sidebar labelled “Woj Tribe.” This book made a HUGE difference in the way I began to view ministry and business through blogging and really helped me understand blogging in an organized fashion. Even if you never plan to make a dime from blogging, I strongly believe that this book will help you become the best blogger you can be.

4. Blog Planner

When I purchased and read Ruth Soukup’s How to Blog for Profit book listed in point 3, I had never before heard of using a blog planner. This little tool gave me incredible insight and understanding. Not that I’m perfectly executing the plan… ahem… but honestly, I was too haphazard and didn’t see the value in planning.  Now I KNOW the best way is to be organized first. If you have no big picture, your goals will be crazy difficult to reach. Ruth offers a great blog planner that I’ve been using for over a year. Her intention is for the planner to be used in conjunction with her book mentioned above and the instructions for using the planner are in the book. I know I said this before, but if you never plan to try to earn money from your blog, you will still benefit greatly from the planner itself, even if you never use the profit portions of the book.

5. Blogging Conferences

Across the US, there are several writing and blogging conferences I have attended or know the organizers personally. Conferences are a wonderful way to expand your blogging hobby or career. For blogging, I recommend the Allume Conference as I attended it for two years and found it very helpful for beginner level blogging.  For writing, I recommend She Speaks Conference (writer’s track).

6. Free Book Review Programs for Bloggers

Many publishers give free books to bloggers in exchange for reviews. Below you will find the programs of which I am aware and have used at some time in the last five years: 

Blogging for Books  by Waterbrook Multonomah

BookLookBloggers by Harper Collins- Thomas Nelson and Zondervan

Tyndale Blogger Network

Bethany House Blogger Review Program by Baker Publishing



Tommy Nelson Mommies by Tommy Nelson

 7. Training Services

One of the most important parts of blogging is accountability. If you are not a disciplined person who can keep yourself accountable to your goals, then having a partner for this is pertinent. You can find a blogging friend or training service that focuses on keeping you accountable to your ministry goals.

I’ve not personally used any of these services, but they are highly recommended by my blogging friends.

For leadership, speaking and writing: Compel Training by Proverbs 31 Ministries

For platform building: Platform University by Michael Hyatt

For focused, purposeful writing: TribeWriters


I hope you have enjoyed this special bonus post for my She Speaks Conference friends and all the others who have emailed me and asked: Can you help me with blogging?

Best wishes on following God’s best for you!










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Team Lift Your Voice Hits GSN’s American Bible Challenge

Addendum 5/6: We learned today that Team #LiftYourVoice appears in the June 19th episode!

Hey Friends! I’m excited to announce to you that earlier this week, GSN’s American Bible Challenge trivia show announced their teams for the upcoming season… and team Lift Your Voice is one of those teams! WOOHOO!

My husband, Matt is on the far right in the purple shirt; my brother-in-law, David, is in the center, and then,there’s me.

The Voices


We are so thrilled to take part in this exciting game show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy with worship led/provided by Kirk Franklin!!

Team #LiftYourVoice represents our charity, the National MPS Society, and we can’t wait for the season to begin on May 22, 8/7c!

Don’t worry- I’ll remind you on my social media channels, just be sure you are following! You can check out all of them in the top right sidebar or for the most frequently used, click on the following:





But for now, can you give us a big shout-out to let us know you’re rooting for us? Use the social media links above and below this post to let all your friends know about this incredible, generous show and our opportunity to be a part! For more information, head over to the American Bible Challenge.  And PS: Hashtag #liftyourvoice :)

Thank you and much love!!