Merry Christmas to All!


Merry Christmas to all! I wish you all a peaceful season, with meaningful times with family and friends.

I wish you all a time of reflection, when you remember with wonder the awesome gift of God in Jesus.

And I wish for reconciliation, love, and grace in all of your families.

Have a wonderful holiday.

I’m taking off for a few days, but the blog will resume next week!


The Best of Top 10 Tuesdays posts at To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Best of Top 10 Tuesdays from 2014

The Christmas holidays are upon us, and soon 2015 will be here! And so, as I wind down for the year, I've been thinking back on all of the things that I've written over the last 12 months. One of the features I started was Top 10 Tuesdays, where I brainstorm and share lists of things for you. Sometimes it's not always 10s, but I still like the idea! And these have been some of my most popular posts. So today, as I'll be going offline for a few days to relax with my family, I thought I'd … Read More...

Reflections on Our Anniversary: My man of steel

My Man of Steel

Yesterday was my twenty-third anniversary. We've were married at Christmas when I was 21 and he was 22. When I started writing my newspaper column twelve years ago, one of my first columns was about my anniversary. And so I thought I'd publish it here--about what Keith meant to me after eleven years of marriage. This was first published on December 21, 2002. This Saturday I’m supposed to give my husband something made of steel. We’re celebrating our eleventh anniversary, and for this … Read More...

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree

When I was in Canadian Tire a while ago I saw an absolutely stunning Christmas tree. It was decorated in silver bows and balls with purple accents. It was my ideal tree. Such a tree, however, will never grace my living room. No matter how much I want a purple and silver one, I have too many other decorations that render a consistent colour scheme impossible. I have a family Christmas tree. First comes the gold heart embossed with "Keith and Sheila, 1991" that we received at our wedding. … Read More...

A true story of how an open adoption can leave room for more love than you thought possible.

How An Open Adoption Opened Our Hearts

Today I'd like to share with you my reader Linda Jonasson's beautiful story of an open adoption, and how they found more room for love than they imagined. It was December 1, 1998. My husband Rob had just put up the Christmas tree. We were particularly sad, knowing that we were facing another Christmas without children. Then the phone rang… I truly believe God brought us together. Three days after the phone call, we met Nicole and her boyfriend, Lance, at the Brantford Pregnancy Centre. … Read More...

How not to be a Christmas martyr in your family--and find peace once again!

Wifey Wednesday: Don’t Be the Christmas Doormat!

It's Wednesday, the day when we always talk marriage! And today Sarah Ball, aka The Virtuous Woman Exposed, joins us talking about how you can be a non-stressed wife this Christmas--by not being a Christmas martyr! Dad is sitting peacefully with his pipe by the fire, the kids are playing joyfully with their new toys, the in-laws have that 1,000 pieced puzzle mastered, and Aunt Sally and Uncle Joe dance arm in arm to “I’ll be home for Christmas.” But wait, where’s mom? Oh, right. She’s … Read More...


10 Weird Things About Sheila

It's Top 10 Tuesday! And I thought that for today's installment I'd share with you 10 weird things about me that you don't know (and maybe you'll wish you never did after you read this. :) ) 1. I Am a Tea Fanatic It's almost a sickness. I can't go into one of those looseleaf tea stores without coming out with a ton of tea. It's because last December 20 I quit Diet Pepsi, and I hate coffee, but I still need something with caffeine to drink. And I figure if I have lots of different flavours … Read More...

Do you keep the secret if you catch your dad--or another married relative--watching porn? Some thoughts on how to stop the cycle of lies in families.

Reader Question: I Caught My Dad Watching Porn

Every Monday I like to post a Reader Question and try to take a stab at answering it. With the Christmas holidays approaching and extended family being more on our minds, I thought this sad one would be an important one to answer. What do you do if you catch your dad watching porn (or another married relative)? My reader writes: I'm in my mid-twenties and still living at home while I finish up graduate school. I'm very blessed to have parents who are willing to support me financially while I … Read More...

Computers in Kids Rooms

Go to Your Room! Why Kids Should Hang Out in the Living Room Instead

For my column today I thought I'd rerun a Christmas column from a few years ago where I talked about computers in kids' rooms. It goes along well with our discussion yesterday about protecting kids with all the new gadgets at Christmas! Disciplining children is a minefield for parents today. You’re not supposed to spank. You’re not supposed to yell. So when a 13-year-old child is tormenting his 9-year-old brother, parents utter the greatest threat that’s still acceptable: “Go to your … Read More...

Protect Your Kids Online: If you're buying gadgets this Christmas, don't let those gadgets become traps. Help keep them fun--and safe!

Kids, Gadgets, and Christmas: Protect Your Kids Online

Have you done all your Christmas shopping yet? Personally, I don't usually start until panic sets in, likely around the 18th, but I have at least thought about what I'm getting everybody. We don't tend to do Christmas big; I focus on 3 Gifts (something they need, something they want, and something to nurture their spiritual side). And that's it. But with teenagers in the house, often the "gift they want" is some sort of electronic device. And that can be a real treat and a real benefit to … Read More...

When your husband is a workaholic: how to communicate your needs for him in your #marriage!

Wifey Wednesday: What Do I Do with a Workaholic Husband?

It's Wednesday, the day when we always talk marriage! I introduce a post, and then give you a chance to link up your own post in the linky below. And today we're going to deal with this problem: what do you do with a workaholic husband? A reader recently wrote me this letter: My husband's work hours are way out of control. He owns his own business and regularly works 75-90 hours a week. We have been married almost 30 years and our kids are almost out of the nest. His obsession with work … Read More...