Winds of Change



In March of this year, I sensed the winds of change blowing. In April, God confirmed what I was sensing. My vision for my businesses, Kairos Coaching, LLC, and Soul Graffiti Art Studio, was changing, as was the world around me. My family is changing. Both of my kids are growing older and are very active. Most of their activities take place in the afternoons and weekends. As a mama and entrepreneur, I have always said that I will put the needs of my children and family above any professional endeavor.

At the same time, I sensed the Lord calling me to build a space…a new and expanded studio space in, of all places, my backyard. I talked to my dad in late April. He is going to help us build and design it. He was thrilled! We have always enjoyed working/building together, ever since we remodeled our home as a family with my mom and sister. Then, I got the dreaded phone call from my dad on May 13th , telling me he has cancer. He is adamant and so am I that we will build anyway!

Therefore, as of September 30th, Soul Graffiti Art Studio will be moving. We will no longer be on Main Street in downtown Clayton. My vision, has morphed into my life calling:

“I help people see differently by encouraging them to shift perspective and reframe the world around them.”

My vision starts with me and God, and as a result, my whole world has been reframed. Turning 40 may have had a little to do with it, but I believe it’s deeper than that. When I stepped out in faith and opened Soul Graffiti Art Studio, the old Lizzie morphed into someone new. I have never done anything so wild and uninhibited in all my life. I don’t have the words to accurately depict the transformation. You can’t go back to the safety of the boat when the King of Kings calls you to walk on water.

I will be expanding my online presence, creating commisioned paintings, and teaching limited private lessons. I will no longer have classes or host parties at my private studio space. But, I will be painting, and to be honest, it is painting I have missed the most. I will also be writing a book about how to awaken the wonder in our lives. As I have been advised by people who care about me and my future, I have been encouraged to write and share with a broader audience the things I have learned as an artist and Professional Life Coach. The bigger and more distant plans will be to travel and speak all over the world sharing this life changing message. I’ve lived it and I know the power of seeing differently.

I will also be transporting my children to various events and practices, and possibly traditional school in the distant future. I want to be all in for the people who matter most to me. That also includes my husband and my family, especially my dad during his treatment for cancer. This decision has been clear from the beginning. I knew before I knew, and I know without any doubt that God is on the move, once again. I’m grateful He still speaks. I pray I continue to listen. The time I will get to spend with my dad is a gift.

Thank you for your support of Soul Graffiti Art Studio over the past 3 years. We opened on Main Street October 1st, 2013 and will move back home, September 30th, 2016, 3 years exactly. Everything at my current studio on Main Street will continue as normal until late September. I know God isn’t finished with Soul Graffiti. I’ve never had to worry about paying rent. Every camp this summer, but one, was sold out. Private lessons are full. But, GOD!!!! I’ve said to many of you, “when God tells me to move, or close the door, I will say with tremendous gratitude, thank you, Lord. What a thrilling adventure!” He isn’t closing the door, He’s opening a window and the view is spectacular. 

Please follow me via social media. More books, coloring books, paintings, instructional videos, and other inspirations are in the works:


Etsy:       (will be adding new art weekly!)

Website: (currently under construction)






Joining an Elite Club

The fine print on the back of the tube of emerald green paint was smaller than I had remembered. I blinked my eyes and turned away to refocus and tried again. The more I squinted and blinked, the blurrier the print became. Knowing that I am 3 months shy of turning 40 years young, in the back of my head an objective truth was churning that my subjective reasoning was trying to comprehend…

Maybe the print was smaller than normal. This could be true, except for the fact that I’d been buying the same Matisse Structure paint tubes for a couple of years. They all looked the same. Maybe the light was bad. So, I turned on a light, squinted my eyes, and tried again. Hmmmm. No better. My subjective reasoning was running out of options.

Could it be true? I mean, this happens for everyone, but this early? I read a lot and I use my eyes as an artist for detail work, but doesn’t this begin to happen in your mid forties?

I was having difficulty reading simple text that had never been an issue before. After I got over the shock of this monumental shift in my life…sitting on the cusp of almost 40 years old, two things ran through my mind. The vain part of me said, “Yippeeeee!!” I can finally buy those cool and colorful reader glasses that everyone over 40 wears! Seriously, have you seen the selection lately? Every color and pattern you can possibly imagine. My inner artist could care less that this means I am now a member of an elite club. She is just thrilled that color and snazzy patterns are in her near future!

The second thing that went though my mind caused me to pause and ponder:

12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:11-13

Oh wow. I was seriously seeing dimly. It was almost like someone flipped a switch and I could not longer see up close very well. I could see letters, but not make them out completely. You know the next part of the story, right?

After a quick trip to satisfy my inner artist, I had my first pair of $2.99 reader glasses. I was the stuff. And the stuff could read up close and look snazzy doing it.

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Now, I could see face to face. I could fully know what I was reading. I didn’t have to squint. What relief to know it was a simple fix.

But some things in life are not so simple. $2.99 and doesn’t even come close to fixing most of our dim mirrors in life. Most of our days are spent squinting and wondering what the next day will hold. Sometimes in matters of life and death. What do we do to gain clarity? To see face to face in the midst of the fog of life?

We have to use Truth to shine a Light on the fog. The promise that all will work out in the end, even though today is dark.

The Truths or promises of God are like my readers. I rely on them when life is foggy, when my vision is foggy. I am a highly exalted, loved and cherished, Light caster of the Most High. My Assurance is complete. I need to do nothing more to earn favor, mercy, or grace. I am deeply loved.

Remember how the verses above end? “The greatest of these is LOVE.” Freely given. Knowing you are loved changes everything. Even your perspective on the fog.

In order to read clearly, all I need to do is wear my readers. It was only fitting that my first pair of readers matched my emerald green paint. If I have to wear readers, they must be my favorite color.

So when life flickers dim and a shift in perspective is needed, remember one day we will see face to face and fully know all the whys. Until then, stand on the solid foundation of your assurance. In the midst of deep and dimly lit fog, you are deeply and eternally loved. Choose to believe this today. The fog may not go away, but you will be able to see it differently. And that is a choice we can all make…clarity comes when we believe what we know to be true.

Love to you all….and if you are approaching 40, get ready to pick out some snazzy readers!

Where I’ve Been


I saw someone tonight I haven’t seen in years. We met through our children years ago and I’ve always enjoyed talking with her. She’s been an encouragement to me as a writer and would let me know that my blog posts seemed to be on target in her life.

It sort of made me sad. To hear her say that. Because, I’ve not been blogging. And trust me, it’s not because I haven’t had anything to say. It’s because sometimes the things I feel led to share don’t come in neat little packages with bows and ribbons.

They are messy.
Rough around the edges.
Not shrouded in Christianese.

The things I chew on during the day and often way too late at night, don’t always have happy endings. They are not perfectly healed. Some things still have sutures and stuff oozing from them. I feel like I tip toe between what’s okay to say and what I really want to say.

This creates a wicked struggle in my head and heart. I know most of y’all don’t have it all together. Neither do I. I struggle. I fight every day to keep my head above water. But, I know more than I’ve ever known that healthy is not fragmented. Healthy is whole. There is no line between secular and sacred. It is ALL sacred. Even the messy.

I’ve determined that I need to share more of the messy, controversial, rough, and real things I kick around like a soccer ball in my head. I’ve held back for all the wrong reasons. The main one being offending someone.

Well, guess what? Not everyone is going to like me. And, I’m finally okay with that truth.

I know there’s a Light that shines deep within me that emanates from the Holiest of Holies. I only have to answer to the Source of that Light, my Father, and I know I am highly esteemed and have the assurance that I am His and He is mine. Nothing could ever separate me from His love.

I pray I love first and give grace abundantly. I pray no selfish ambition is ever used for my gain. May the Light of Christ shine bright as I open the door…


Roots and Wings

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I watch them. And I see them growing up.
I listen to them. And I hear their ideas.
I touch them. And I am reminded every time of the miracle of life.
I smell them. And I breathe deep as I try to not forget what they smell like.
I sense the change in our mother child relationship.
I am fully aware.

Like a turning of the calendar on the next season of their lives. They don’t need me in the same ways they’ve needed me for a decade. But, they still need me. Maybe more than ever, but differently.

We gave them roots. Deep roots that have wound their way into the fertile soil of their hearts.

We’ve read stories.
Prayed together.
Traveled together.
Walked together.
Broke bread together.
Played together.
Cried and laughed together.

But, most of all, we’ve just been present with them. Stewarding them in the way of life. Taking advantage of every teachable moment, trying not to create robots who don’t question us. They have had the space to question and ponder. Seek and discover.

The seeds we’ve planted along the way are beginning to grow. We can see the fruit of the long nights and the full days. The hours spent around the table of life have multiplied in ways I can’t enumerate. And I don’t know if I want to. It would take the mystery out of who they are becoming.

The winds are shifting. My heart knows and senses that I am becoming, too. Becoming a different lighthouse in their lives. I’m beginning to give them space. A different kind of space. More space to make mistakes and suffer the consequences of their actions without trying to protect them from every struggle in life. Hurt and disappointment will be inevitable. As their mother, I know this. It grieves me, but I can’t prevent pain in their lives, just like I can’t control what happens to them. It’s not easy to embrace this. But it is good for them and for me. It has to happen this way.

God used a dear friend just this week to open my eyes to this shift in my role as their mama. I have been their anchor, even as I have been teaching them to depend on their Creator for every single thing.

They have roots that anchor them. Now, it is time to help them find their wings.

As we start our 4th year of home school this week, I am deeply reminded of how little time I have with them. I want them to soar. I want to embrace them right where they are. As their mama who has diligently watered their roots, I want to be their mama who will get out of the way and let them flap their wings.

They will crash.
They will run out of gas.
They will run off the runway at times.

Our home, their nest, will always be a reminder to them of their roots, but it is time to fly.

“A bird is safe in its nest – but that is not what its wings are made for.” ? Amit Ray

Passion or Flatulence?



There are so many ideas swirling around in my head. All in Technicolor.

Blog posts, canvases, clients, dreams, home school ideas, what’s for dinner, I need a massage, better water the flowers.

I have to keep a notebook. An idea book of sorts. It’s where dreams begin to take place. Seeds are planted. I often look back over my notebook when I’m waiting for the kids to finish up a practice or lesson. It gives me instant energy.

My notebook is my go to when my fuel is running low. When I need a spark to get me started.

However, most often, life feels like a wild-fire and I am about to be consumed. How do you tame the fire that burns within you without tamping out the flames all together? How do you moderate passion? Give it boundaries? Tell it what to do instead of it consuming you?

Passion has an intriguing meaning. It is from Late Latin passionem and means “suffering, enduring,” and from past participle stem of Latin pati “to suffer, endure,”. Who in the world would want to be “gifted” with passion? Something that causes them to suffer. Something they have to endure.

Who? Would you?

There’s only one problem. I believe we are born with passion. With a fire in our belly. For something. The problem is it gets all twisted up and feels more like gas or flatulence and we take Gas X and call it a day.

But, what would really happen in our lives, in the world, if we took a moment to listen to this fire, this passion in our bosom. What is it telling you?

Instead of numbing out and being addicted to a substance or a person, take a moment or two and listen. Let that ache, that hurt linger for a while before you try to make it go away. Allow the emotions to rise to the surface. Ask yourself, “for what purpose am I here? What do I get to do today that no one else can do?”

This suffering, this enduring…it is truly where you are gifted. And it is hard to tame…maybe it feels impossible to tame. So what do we do? We give it boundaries. We write things down in a notebook. We talk with a trusted friend or life coach. We run 5 miles. We paint, sing, dance. But please don’t numb out and put out the flame that burns within you. Don’t isolate and smother the flame by dousing it with drugs, food, a person, or a copycat version of your passion.

We need your fire. Your passion. Your silent enduring and suffering needs a voice. And that voice may start as a whisper, but give it a voice today.




The stories that didn’t make sense.

The missed appointments.

The unreturned calls.

The arguments.

The excuses and lies. Oh, the lies.


The unexplainable notion that something wasn’t right.

But, she couldn’t explain it.

The way she always tried to fix it all.

Only left her without hope.

Her intuition had no words, just tears.

And it changed her.


Hope deferred.

You know it makes the heart sick.


The ache makes your chest hollow.

Sleepless nights trying to make things right.

It affected her in ways she never realized.


Decades later, not much has changed.

The lies still reverberate.

The pain still stings.

And she still tries to fix it all.

A child should never have to pay for adult choices.

But, they do.

And she still does.


Hope deferred.

You know it makes the heart sick.


What you learn as a child, shapes you as an adult.

She learned and saw so many things…

You can’t ‘un’see things.

People can’t be trusted.

She has to fight for herself.


How do you fix something that’s been broken for so long?

The little girl who saw and heard so much.

She’s longing for peace.

She knows a longing fulfilled is the tree of life.

The tree of life she’s in search of has no roots.

It was buried in shallow soil of brokenness and shame.

Bitterness and pain grew in its place.


She still tries to fix things.

And all she has is broken shards which have left their bloody mark.

Hope deferred…heartsick.





I’ve learned in 38 years that life can change forever as we know it in a mere second. But, this doesn’t stop me from wondering what the next day might hold. I am a dreamer and a visionary, always looking for the next God-given opportunity. But, there are times in our lives when we have to wait.

Waiting is by far one of the hardest things I HAVE to do.

But, in the waiting, there are SO many gifts. So much to soak in and learn. Here are a few of the gifts I am unwrapping as I wait:

1. Waiting builds our character: as we wait, we still “work” towards our goal, but we can’t make things happen. As a result, our character, or the qualities that define who we are, get tested. Are we patient and trusting that the end result will be what’s best for us or do we get easily irritated and frustrated with every little thing. I know I’ve been on both sides of that fence. I’m reminded of this verse when I’m waiting, Romans 5:3-5:

“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

2. Waiting builds our courage: as we wait, our courage muscle gets strengthened. We take baby steps in the direction of our dream. And our courage grows. Faith without works is dead. Useless. Faith in the God who knows the outcome and our daily courageous work in the little bitty details that seem to drain us in the short-term, add up to success in the long-term. Don’t lose hope. I’m reminded of this verse when I’m not feeling so courageous. It always helps to grow my courage that starts out as a small seed in my heart, Acts 27:25:

“So keep up your courage, (wo)men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.”

3. Waiting builds our commitment: as we wait, our commitment level to the dream or goal, grows or wanes. As we take small steps forward and some times get knocked backwards, we can determine whether or not this is the next opportunity we need to pursue. Either it is or it isn’t and waiting helps us determine our next best step. Sometimes, we need the waiting period so we can say no to what we thought was going to be yes. Other times, we need to waiting period so we can grow and God can prepare our lives for the changes that our new commitment will bring. When I am discerning my commitment level, this verse always helps me focus, Psalm 37:5-6:

“Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.”

Are you waiting for something right now? Does life seem to be standing still? I know how you feel. Waiting is so hard.

I encourage you to chase hard after God, not opportunity. To pursue Him with all you’ve got. Seek Him. Read His word. Surrender your dreams and goals to Him. He has a majestic plan for you. He is preparing your for tomorrow, and next week, and next year. I know it deep in my soul.

Seek God and He will give you all the opportunity you can possibly handle. Wait and see what amazing plans He has for you. As you wait, they will begin to unfold…in ways you would have never imagined or could have made happen.

“Trust the Lord with all your heart.
Lean not in your own understanding.
In all your ways, acknowledge Him,
and He will direct your paths.”
Proverbs 3:5-6

Opportunity means “favorable and suitable” and “going towards a port”. It involves action. And when things seem to be stuck at a standstill, trust me, many things and people are being moved on your behalf. Things feel stagnate, but God is working beneath the “stagnancy”. Movement is happening even when you can’t see or feel it. Do the things He calls you to do today and do them well.

Believe this friend…and peace will be another gift you unwrap as you wait for His plans for you to unfold. Peace for your journey. Peace as you wait for Him to move mountains.


Go to Goodwill

It has been a long weekend, but one full of amazing things. Not luck. Not coincidences. Not happenstances. But, favor. Grace. Mercy. I am learning that even in the midst of hard and painful times, God is present. Maybe even more so…




My mom fell and broke her hip last Thursday night while trying to prevent a patient from falling. She had surgery Friday afternoon. Upon release on Monday, she has been staying with us. Nurse turned into the patient and we get the privilege of helping her back to her former strength and vigor.

This afternoon, I was driving to the drugstore to pick up her medicine and out of the blue, I sensed the Spirit say to me, “Go to Goodwill.” I thought to myself, what??? Mom needs her medicine and I don’t have time to go shopping. Really?

Again, I heard Him say, “Go to Goodwill”. Not loud or bossy, just insistent. Persistent.

Ugh…yes, really. Okay. Reluctantly, I turned right off highway 42 and headed towards Goodwill. I didn’t even know what I was looking for. But, I knew I was on a supernatural mission. I tried to keep my eyes and ears open, but nothing seemed to make sense. This little diversion was already a waste of precious time.

I started in the boys section looking for pants for Sean who is growing like a weed these days. No luck. I went to the bins in the back and looked through the piles for about 5 minutes. No luck. I grew frustrated and the Spirit wasn’t offering up any more wisdom, so I was headed out the door. MY mission was going to the drugstore and getting medicine for my mom. And I was moving quickly to the front of the Goodwill to execute this known mission.


I looked to my left just before I exited the front door. And there it sat.

I could not believe my eyes. My body propelled itself towards the black and silver object. THIS was my mission. THIS was the reason I stopped at Goodwill.

A black and silver wheelchair.

It looked as if someone had purchased it and dropped it off at Goodwill without ever using it. What are the chances?

And, get this…I don’t carry a checkbook with me. I don’t normally carry cash. But today, I had $29 cash in my pocket. Guess what the nearly new wheelchair cost? $24.99. $26.68 with tax.

Mom got other medical equipment to make her transition to home easier, but not a wheelchair. However, I can not imagine being confined in a house for 6 weeks because we all know walkers are not fun at the mall or out to eat or at the park. I wanted her to have a wheelchair. However, I didn’t want her to have to pay for a new wheelchair. Wheelchairs are not cheap! I had done some research online and had looked at a few rather expensive models. And now, she has a nearly new wheelchair for $26.68.

Unbelievable. But, isn’t that what believing in a Father who loves us is all about? He wants to give us good gifts.

I don’t understand all that God does for me and those I love. I never will. But, I am so very grateful. So humbled by His hand and favor. He is my Father and I know He loves me with an insatiable love. He pursues me. He is never forceful or bossy, but is always looking out for my best.

And, He is doing the same for you. Right now. This very evening.

And when I got to the drugstore? All my worries about getting mom’s medicine on time disappeared. I had to wait another 45 minutes for my mom’s medicine. The time consuming, Spirit given mission had not prevented me from doing what I needed to do. It helped me see and understand so much more.

Listen closely friends. Don’t doubt your intuition. Trust with all your being in the God who made you and wants to be in deep relationship with you. Ask Him to help you hear Him. You never know where your God-given mission will take you. It may be the local Goodwill, where you will encounter the living God with His arms wide open…

Dreams Do Come True

I’ve been waiting a long time for this. 21 years to be more specific. I remember the day like it was yesterday. White jerseys. Blue shorts. A crowded gymnasium. Family and friends cheering us on. We had played together since 7th grade and we were seniors now. It was our big moment to shine. We had won 26 games so far and we were determined to win all of our games.

But, it didn’t happened the way we had planned. We lost our last and final volleyball game at Princeton High School. It was a hard, hard loss to swallow for a group of 8 seniors. For us and our coach, Paula Wooten.

Sort of like life, some losses are much harder to deal with than others. This one stung well beyond the fall of 1993. It has probably followed and haunted some of us for years. I know it has me:


Fast forward to 2014…yesterday, a group of tenacious young ladies changed all of that! The Princeton High School Lady Bulldawgs won the NCHSAA State 1A Volleyball Championship! I could not be happier for them! It was victory for them, Head Coach Paige Renfrow, Assistant Coach Paula Wooten, all the amazing players, and redemption for me as a player on the 1993 team that lost out in the state playoffs. WE ALL WON YESTERDAY!


Because, when you are from a town like Princeton, where everyone is like family, when one person wins, you win, too. Another way to say it would be like this:

Sometimes dreams don’t get realized by you personally, but you get to be a part of them when they do happen. 

I lost tears when the Lady Bulldawgs won yesterday at Reynolds. However, the tears were different 21 years later. They were tears of jubilation and celebration! Never stop believing. Never stop dreaming.

I am so proud of the 2014 NCHSAA 1A State Champions, the Princeton Bulldawgs! Congratulations players and coaches. You made this dream a reality! And, I’m proud of the small but passionate town of Princeton.

Dreams do come true:

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Addicted to Pixels


Something had gone horribly wrong. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew something wasn’t right. It was almost as if someone had cast a spell on my children. They were not themselves. Walking zombies. Eyes glazed over. Emotions a wreck. Sensitive to everything and tears came easily. Mouthy and disrespectful. And we’re not talking teenagers. We’re talking a 9 and a 6-year-old.

I first noticed the mood swings. Both of my kids are pretty mellow. But, during the past summer, both of them were so moody and hard to deal with. I chalked it up to the lack of routine summer often brings.

Then I noticed the lack of motivation. Neither of them wanted to do anything but sit around and watch television, watch videos on the laptop, or play games on the iPad. This concerned me because both of my kids are normally very active and creative. Typically, their energy is hard to match. I assumed it was the heat summer brings and they didn’t want to go outside and play.

Next, I started realizing they were not playing with their toys that didn’t require charging. Like dolls, LEGOs, books, games, puzzles, etc. Their play set in the backyard was covered in dust. I don’t remember them swinging on the swings all summer long. I would force them outside and they would sit on the porch and stare out into the yard.

Lastly, I noticed the aimless way they went through their days. Almost zombie like. This freaked me out. Nothing I did could snap them back to reality. They would stare off into space. I am not exaggerating. It was almost as if they were focused on something in another realm so intently that they couldn’t do life. They were sleepwalking through reality.

I asked both of them multiple times, what’s wrong? What are you thinking about? The answers I got from both of them were, “I don’t know,” or “I’m tired.” As a mom who spends a lot of time with her children, I knew something was not right. Something was out of balance. I was ready to take drastic measures. But, I couldn’t figure out what to do.

During the school year, things were fine. It seemed as if the unstructured summer months created a monster that I had yet been able to identify. I couldn’t wait for school to start back. I was hoping the structure and routine would help them snap back to their old selves. Surely this wasn’t permanent? I don’t like zombies!

We started school in early August. And it was hard. I mean really hard. All three of us cried most days. They would rush through their work. Callie would read her Nancy Drew books, but that was about it. Sean would just stare off into space if I wasn’t sitting next to him helping him focus. I was getting worried.

Everyone I talked with about my concerns thought I was being overly concerned. I felt like I was losing my kids and I had no idea what to do! No one could see what I was seeing.  We slogged through the first 3 weeks of school.

Then we left for Disney World. I was hoping and praying the change in scenery would help everyone. I randomly announced on the way to Florida that “screen time” would be off-limits while we were at Disney. No computer, television, iPad, etc. Even mom and dad agreed to no “screen time”. It was going to be a fun-filled week of adventure. I couldn’t wait!

Disney World was amazing. More than any of us could have imagined. I began to see glimpses of my kids pre-summer. They were energetic, creative, and most of all in touch with reality. Now, I know Disney World is not like real life, but my kids were slowly returning.

Vacation over, the kids played games on the iPad all the way home. Yes. ALL THE WAY HOME.

When we got back to NC, my zombies were back. Then, it hit me. FINALLY. The screens. The computer, iPad, and television. It is another reality and my kids have been spending way too much time in Pixel Land. They had been pixelated.

Indeed, something was terribly wrong and it was all my fault. My kids do what I allow them to do. I would never harm them on purpose, but what I allowed for several months in my home did harm them. And it all started out so innocuously. So much so that no one noticed until major changes had taken place.

Screens dramatically affect my kids. Their moods, their behavior, their minds, their lives. They  have a hard time coming back to the real world when they are asked to put the screens away.

As I thought about the past 3 to 4 months, it all began to make sense. They had limited screen time during the school year, but during the summer, those limitations were lifted by their loving and caring mother. I felt sick to my stomach. They didn’t do this to themselves. I allowed it to happen. But, this also meant that I had the power to stop it.

It was around 9pm on the Sunday night after we got back from Disney World and we were having our weekly family meeting. I announced that we would be screen free for the next week. You would have thought I announced we were moving to Antarctica. They both melted down and cried, “Why, mom? We didn’t play games or watch television all week at Disney!”

I explained to them why we were going to be screen free. After the tears stopped and they could hear me, they both settled down and shared what was on their hearts. Here are several observations they shared:

“Mom, when I play the iPad, I go into another orbit. I don’t know what happens to me.”
“I think Minecraft should be called Mindcraft because it affects my mind.”
“Playing electronics and watching TV all the time makes me feel almost mad.”
“It’s like I get sucked in. I can’t stop thinking about it even when I’m not playing it.”

Wow. I was the one in tears when we said our prayers and kissed good night. But, I knew something was about to change. And this change would be good for us. All of us.

The first week without screens went as expected, horribly. The withdrawals were intense. We were dealing with addiction. Addicted to pixels. What a revelation. And to think it was going on for so long beneath the radar of my watchful eyes. I felt violated by the pixelization of my children.

The second week without screens was much better. My eyes, now opened to this silent pixel invader, began to see glimpses of my kids. My real kids. Not the zombies who had been sleeping in my kids’ beds. They built forts in the back yard, LEGO masterpieces in the play room, and held tea parties for all of their stuffed animal friends. Both have read, painted, and created more in the past month than they did all summer.

During week three, we gave the screens back. With limitations. 30 minutes after school work had been completed and 30 minutes after dinner. This one hour daily total includes all screens, computer, iPad, and television. They set a timer and self-monitor.

But, the craziest thing of all? They don’t even ask for screen time anymore! This summer, they asked incessantly. ALL THE TIME.

Now, almost every night while we are saying goodnight and tucking them in, one of them will say, “Mom, I didn’t even use my screen time today! Wow, how did that happen?”


It happened because your mom started paying attention. And gave you guidelines by which to live your life. I’ve apologized to both of them. Both have given me grace. But more than that, I have my kids back. My creative, outdoor loving, energetic kids. My house is a mess. The noise level while they are playing is almost deafening, but they are no longer sleepwalking through reality. They are fully aware of the world around them.

My kids, no longer addicted to pixels, are addicted to playing. That’s an addiction I can fully support without limitations!


What are your thoughts? Have you experienced something similar with your kids? I would love to hear from you!