5 Truths To Add Grace to Your Marriage

JoanneKraft.com 5 truthsWhen I daydreamed about being married to my Prince Charming, our happily ever after didn’t include disagreements.

Who fantasizes about arguing over silly things?

If you’d asked me back then what might cause an angry word between “my whole world” and me, I would’ve guessed money.

It made sense that finances should take top arguing- honors. Imagine my surprise years later, when children became our biggest point of contention.

“Joanne, you let the kids eat too much sugar.”

“Why is she with her friends when her bedroom looks like that?”

“What is our daughter wearing!?”

“Has he been playing video games ALL day?”

“What do you mean he seems like a nice boy? There are no nice sixteen- year- old boys when it comes to dating our daughters, Joanne. Period.”

Raising a teenager seemed to raise the bar when it came to disagreements between my husband and I. There wasn’t a rule he gave the kids I didn’t argue with him about. You have to understand something about my Prince Charming here, as a former police officer and now full-time attorney, the law comes naturally to him. He’s most comfortable living with lots of rules. I, on the other hand, find the law when it came to our children, full of black and white and according to him, “too much grace”.

“Sure, you can have another cookie.”

“Staying out an hour later shouldn’t be a problem.”

“Why didn’t you finish the dishes? Well, try not to let it happen again.”

“Dad, you’re like the Old testament and Mom’s like the New Testament.” The kids would say. Mr. Truth and Mrs. Grace, that was us. So, how does truth and grace get along? For quite a while, we didn’t. At least not the way we were doing it. Someone who sees things through the prism of law and truth, finds grace a weakness, and grace finds law and truth hurtful and harsh.

But, then I remembered how Jesus is our perfect example of both grace and truth. He was who I turned to when I wanted to throttle my husband over his unbending rules. It was Jesus who my husband began turning to when he thought I was a spineless mothering jellyfish. (more…)

Words that Heal

JoanneKraft.com Psalm 56

Spotlight on a Mean Mom – Ann Goade

Spotlight on a Mean Mom--Meet Ann Goade!


Welcome to our “Spotlight on a Mean Mom”! Each Monday you’ll meet someone new!

Has your child ever said you were mean? If this is your first time here you need to know something–what a child defines as mean… a mom defines a little differently.

Remember, the word mean isn’t always the mean they think it means.

The Mean Mom’s Guide to Raising Kids will be available March 2015.

I had some help from some very special ladies while working on this book over the summer. LOTS of mean moms and marshmallow moms raised their hand to be a part of The Mean Mom Team, a focus group I pulled together on Facebook. (If you’d like to join just click on “The Mean Mom Team“. We’d LOVE to have you!)

Their wisdom was incredibly helpful. 

Would you please say howdy to our Mean Mama — Ann Goade

Spotlight on a MM - Ann Goade

Ann, tell us a little about yourself!

I live in Anna, TX with my husband of 18 years, William. We have three children. Lawrence is 15, Rachel is 13 and Gracie is 11.

Are you a “mean mom” or a “marshmallow mom”?

I’m definitely a mean mom. Many years ago, I read a poem by Bobbie Pingaro. The Meanest Mother. When my children say I’m mean, I figure I must be doing it right.

Share a recent “mean mom” moment with us.

Not long ago, my daughter wanted to see a movie with her friends that I (and her daddy) thought was inappropriate. When she told her friends she couldn’t see it, they went anyway without her. It was very hard to see her upset, especially when her friends excluded her by not going to see something else. But, I know we made the right choice even though it wasn’t the most popular one.

Is there a bit of “mean mom” wisdom you can give?

Be ready to follow through with consequences. Even if it means more work for you or interrupts something you’ve got going on. Mean what you say and follow through with it, NO MATTER WHAT!

                                Being a mom has definitely changed the way I look at God. Once I became a mom, I got a small glimpse of how God sees me. He cherishes me, loves me and delights in me just the way I cherish, love and delight in my own children.

                               My favorite verse ever for mothering and life in general is Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.

                                I continually remind myself that the best gift I can give my children is a good marriage between their parents. In the busyness of life, it’s not an easy task to make time just for the two of us, but we do as much as we can. And, when my children beg to go to dinner with us, I tell them that their Daddy is the one who will be here when they are all gone and we want to still like each other.

Thanks SO MUCH for sharing with us, Ann! Here’s a little something you may not know about our “mean mom” of the week…she is the creator of a phone app to help children learn to listen during the worship service. Learn more  at http://www.bigchurchbingo.com .

Guess what? Our very own Ann has a blog of her very own, too. Head over and follow her at  http://www.anngoade.wordpress.com .

Life in the South

JoanneKraft.com Life in the South          I was born in Laguna Beach, California. That’s a beach town in the southern part of the golden state. When my mom was waiting for me to arrive, I just have to believe a few angels got my paperwork confused and handed the Lord my earthly documents in a hurry. God just saw “south” and launched me out to “south-ern” California.

          You see, God made a terrible mistake. I should NOT have been born in southern California. I should’ve been born in THE SOUTH.

        I’m not one to question God, but living on the west coast all my life did make our move to Middle Tennessee all that sweeter. Since I was raised in the Bay Area and spent the last twelve years in the Sacramento area…well, I was ready for a slower pace, sweet tea, front porches and manners.

    I believe there are a lot of you gals out there like me.

You love shabby country charm and farmhouse photos. You decorate in burlap and mason jars while secretly wondering what it would be like to drink from one while sitting on the tailgate of a pickup truck and watch fireflies dance along the tall grass.

Yeah, I get you.

Each week I’ll share my different adventures in the south. You may find me posting on foods from these parts, and any other southern stuff I find pretty neat like county fairs, bonfires  and hometown parades. (It’s true:  I did attend a festival in the tiny town of Bell Buckle where the guests of honor were King RC Cola and Queen Moonpie.) 

King RC Cola


prayer williamson county


Grace tn horses 2013

I can’t wait to show you around these parts. If you need a refresher on how and why we moved from California to Tennessee in the summer of 2012 then click HERE. Now, get ready to add a few more reasons why you may want to move here, too. 

What Kids & Dogs Have in Common

JoanneKraft.com What Dogs and Kids Have in CommonThis is Dixie. Or, as I like to say, my favorite child.

We adopted her from a rescue shelter in our area. When we brought her home we thought she was a full yellow Labrador.

As she grew, we saw other traits in her personality that weren’t all lab—and her features began to change, too. We wondered, What breed is she?

It was a friend who figured it out. “She’s definitely lab but she’s Jack Russell Terrier, too.” Our vet confirmed she was right.

For those of you who know about Jack Russell’s—they’re an overactive breed that needs lots of exercise and attention. Since I struggle with exercise myself, it wasn’t a breed I would actively seek to own.

       Dixie was laying on her bed by the fireplace when my son came down the stairs. Immediately alert and as excited as a child on Christmas morning, she jumped all over David like she hadn’t seen him in years. “Why does she always have to act like this?” He grumbled.

Son, she can’t help it, it’s how God wired her. Jack Russell’s aren’t only active but they’re also known for being very smart. Thankfully, there is still quite a bit of lab in her so her Jack Russell outbursts are tempered. It got me to thinking; my kids are a lot like my dog.  (more…)

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