Our Story

Our parenthood started with two tweens and a teenager being dropped off in our driveway with three trash bags of clothes. 

We didn't step into parenthood the typical way. We weren't handed a helpless newborn baby, and we weren't surrounded by a team of professionals who were ready to make sure our first moments of parenthood were successful. 

Our introduction to parenthood came when a single social worker dropped off three young men at our house. They were ten, eleven, and fifteen at the time, with a story of loss, trauma, and injustice. Everything they had to their name was stuffed into three black trash bags, and everything we thought we knew about parenting was about to go out the window. 

Our experience as foster parents was our first trial-by-fire introduction to parenting, as well as the first tiny seed of peaceful, grace-based, non-punitive parenting. And while that seed was tiny, and we had no idea what it would grow into, opening our home and hearts to children with trauma helped us realize that not every parenting style, approach, or tool works for every family. As well, it introduced us to trust-based and trauma-informed parenting styles. 

Foster care is still an important mission for our family. We are not currently fostering, but we remain actively involved in local and state-wide foster and adoption ministries. Currently. Dr. David serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Texas Baptist Home for Children.
Our second start to parenting was three and a half years later. 

It was three and a half years later, in the Spring of 2014, that our second start to parenting began. Our oldest son, Ezra, was a surprise rainbow baby, after years of infertility, fertility treatments, and one miscarriage. After years of struggle and heartbreak, we were overwhelmed with gratitude and expectation to welcome our sweet boy into our family. Ezra was naturally laid back and easygoing, with the exception of teething. His gentle nature captured our hearts and inspired us towards gentleness.

Seventeen months later, our second surprise baby joined our family. We knew during my pregnancy with him that Elijah was a fiery, feisty, and free-spirited little man, and we chose to name him after a fiery prophet who was boldly jealous for the Lord God. 

We started out parenting fairly traditionally, much like we were raised. By the time our oldest was fifteen months old we had resorted to time-out chairs and a few spankings.

We quickly noticed that while the punishments were curbing misbehavior in the short term, they were also complicating our relationship with him - where he once easily trusted us, we found him pulling away and avoiding us. 

We didn't jump into non-punitive parenting right away. Learning how to hold boundaries with gentle firmness, how to inspire our children towards trust-based obedience rather than intimidating them into compliance, and, quite franking, adjusting our expectations took quite some time. By the time both of our boys reached toddlerhood, we had shifted our parenting approach away from time-outs and spankings, and towards time-ins and peace-making. 
Since then, Flourishing Homes & Families has grown into a ministry that equips parents just like you to cultivate peace, gentleness, and grace in their hearts and homes.

What started out as occasionally sharing about how God was calling us to parent with dignity, respect, and honor for our children, grew into a ministry that reaches millions of families all over the world. Our mission is to support and equip moms, dads, and caregivers to parent from a posture of peace, with Jesus at the center. 

From speaking engagements at churches and mom's ministries to sharing our own parenting challenges and growth on social media, we love connecting with families who are navigating and nurturing the precious relationship that is parenting.  

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