When Mothers Lose The Heroes They Raise

A Memorial Day Reflection

Memorial Day CK blog
22KillRingCroppedI recently purchased a 22Kill ring http://www.22kill.com/ from Honor Courage Commitment, Inc. It’s black and worn on the trigger finger. I wear it to honor our veterans and to bring attention to the sad and frightening reality that 22 veterans, from all wars, commit suicide every day. You read that right. Every day. 22. This has got to change! (Their website includes interesting information explaining the word “kill” in the name of the ring.)

I don’t only grieve these losses. I grieve the death of every military man and woman, whether they passed while training to secure freedom, providing support/humanitarian aid, or fighting the enemy in war. And, I grieve for family members who lost loved ones. I don’t think of Memorial Day as a day off, the start of summer, or an excuse for a large picnic. It’s a day to reflect upon and honor our men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and peace.

If you’d like to better understand what it’s like to lose a hero, from the perspective of a mom, read this blog written by a new acquaintance of mine, Scoti Domeij. She’ll challenge you and I’m confident you’ll think differently about how much gratitude we should have for those who serve and the family who loses them.

I needed to read her blog. Perhaps it will be important for you, too,

Pass developmentally-appropriate truths on to your kids. The earlier they understand, the better. – Dr. Kathy

Dreading Memorial Day – Originally published on The Havok Journal
May 9, 2015 by Scoti Domeij

My son’s body came home on Memorial Day in 2007, I hate Memorial Day, and I have to admit, it drives me nuts when people see it as the start of summer instead of what it is: a day to honor our fallen. My husband and I go to the local military cemetery and an honoring for all, then I go home and cry.” — Candie Glisson, Gold Star Mother of Sgt. Jason Schumann, KIA, May 19, 2007 in Ad Diwaniyah, Iraq

Rewinding the Memories

Sergeant Jason

Sergeant Jason Schumann, KIA 19 MAY 07

Before my son, Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer Domeij was killed on his 14th deployment in Afghanistan, I never ‘dreaded’ Memorial Day. As a child and teenage Hoosier, I looked forward to the Indianapolis 500, the church picnic and the hilarity of the greased watermelon race. As a twenty-something wife, I worried about my Memorial Day bikini body exposed for all to critique at the beach with other California friends. As a thirty-something overwhelmed single mother, I looked forward to a free day home alone with my sons. Sleep in. No rushing. No demands. Let the little warriors play and squabble. Play referee or time-out captain. I never celebrated the ‘holiday’ with a barbecue, because firing up the BBQ seemed like just one more burden on my endless list of chores.

My only stress on Memorial Day? Knowing this brief breath of freedom ended tomorrow at sunrise — with a reality slap in the face by summer’s grind — juggling several jobs and securing summer childcare.

Listen in as Dr. Kathy remembers celebrating Memorial Day when she was a young girl. She’ll encourage you to celebrate it in your family. Surely one of her suggestions will work for you. She’ll also encourage you to create a Memorial Day of sorts for your family. What power might there be in you and your children looking back? Might it unify you, inspire you, and help you look forward with different eyes? Oh, yes.

Dr. Kathy Listed On “Top 10 Christian Female Authors With Ministries”

HollywoodJesus.com honors Dr. Kathy with notable mention...


The Celebrate Kids Team has taken over Dr. Kathy’s blog for just a moment. We want to let you know that HollywoodJesus.com has named Dr. Kathy Koch as one of their “Top 10 Christian Female Authors With Ministries.”

From the HollywoodJesus.com website:

There are numerous Christian female authors, but a few stick out and have focused on using their writing talents to minister to other women. Many authors spend years writing and praying for their ministry to grow until it finally becomes a sustainable fulltime career. Each author also takes a different path and focuses on a different ministry, but they are each passionate about the calling to serve others and reach out to mothers, spiritually wounded women, teen moms, young girls and many other groups. More and more women are focusing on women’s ministry outside of the traditional Bible class at church.

Their list also includes some amazing women like Sheila Walsh, Beth Moore, and Dr. Kathy’s friend and co-author of “No More Perfect Kids” Jill Savage. Dr. Kathy is honored, and humbled, to be included on this list.

Congratulations Kathy!

Celebrate When Someone’s Dreams Come True

"Celebrations are launching pads to what’s next. Attend every one you can."

wedding party

How do you describe your family? How would your children describe it? I wish everyone could describe theirs like I can describe mine. Blessed, I am!

Family is supposed to be a safe group of people we can be real with.

People we’re glad to be related to and want to be friends with.

People we can dream with.

People who love us unconditionally.

People who help us meet our need for belonging.

People who are for us and not against us.

People who help us grow.

         People we can quickly forgive.

                                                                        People we easily celebrate.

This coming Sunday my niece, Katie, is getting married to Ezra. I enjoyed watching them fall in love, I’m proud of them for living for Christ, and the celebration will be grand! Our family is expanding and I’m thrilled.

Are you wondering, “How can I get these kids motivated to finish the year well???!!!” Dr. Kathy’s insights into this question, and a better question to ask, will be very helpful. You could watch this one with your kids and let her question stimulate a discussion. Ready?

Ending The Academic School Year The “Smart” Way

When we tell children they are smart and not just good, our words have much more power....

little boy smart study

It’s important to help our children end their academic year well. We want them to go into the summer believing they are smart in many ways and can be successful in life and in school. This not only makes for a more pleasant beginning to our summer, but more optimism when the next year begins.

We can help our children remember to study with all eight parts of the brain. For instance, if they are learning vocabulary words, they can use more than the natural word smart. They can ask questions about the words to use logic smart, draw definitions to use picture smart, put the word or its definition to a rhythm or melody to use music smart, act out the definition to activate body smart, look for patterns among the words to see how they are similar and different to use nature smart, talk with classmates or family members about the words and how to use them for people smart, and reflect on their opinions of the words to use self smart.

Ask A Teen: “What Are Your Values? What Matters To You?”

There's A Good Chance You Will Be Encouraged By Their Response

diverse teens

Yesterday it was my joy and privilege to share with 12 preteens and teens during the traditional Sunday school time at my friend’s church. I came away encouraged again about these generations. Seriously – if you haven’t spent time lately with teens, please do. You’ll then be able to reject media’s lie that they’re all lost, all selfish, and all entitled. These kids were “all” something, but not those things.

The very beginning encouraged me. They didn’t know what I’d be speaking about because I didn’t want to bias them toward a topic. I began by asking them, “What are your values? What matters to you?” They answered:

* Friendship * Education
* Small Church Family * My Rabbits
* Time With Family * Laughter
* Trying To Find Truth * Small Sunday School Class
* Friends * Children
* Music * Faith

After asking them about technology they do and do not use, I cautioned them to be careful. As I briefly taught about each lie, they began to see that their use of technology could change their values. They listened intently. Their values are good ones and important. (I wish you could have heard about the rabbits.)

Dr. Kathy works out with a trainer and says it’s one of the most important things she does. Although it’s really about her physical fitness and well-being, she often sees analogies to how we can teach and train our children while she’s there. This happened again after she pulled her hamstring. What her trainer did, we must do, too. If we don’t, there will be negative consequences for sure. Watch and see if you agree.

Lessons From ‘Baltimore Mom’ – Happy Mother’s Day

Her need to protect her son was strong. She knew her role and acted as a result...

mothers day

Security will always be one of the most powerful things moms provide for their children. No matter how old we are, our moms are still the ones on earth who we look to for emotional and physical safety – or we should be able to.

For this reason even if we’re adults when we lose our moms, as I was, there’s a broader void than we might expect. It’s more than love we lost; it’s security.

On my flight to Seattle yesterday, I heard the safety announcement I’ve heard many, many times before: “Keep your seatbelt fastened at all times because you never know when turbulence may occur.”

Help Children Prioritize Joy

Happiness is great. Yet, there’s so much beyond happiness.


My smile began five words into the sentence. It started small, but a few words later is was full. By the end of the sentence my smile was complete.

Reading my friend’s sentence made me happy and increased my joy. It was a deep, heartfelt joy for a good friend. It was good. It felt good. Joy is good.

I want our teens and children to know the feeling of joy and to want to experience it often. There are other feelings worth prioritizing, too.