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Susan Wanderer has worked with families in kids ministry for 20 years, with the last ten years serving as Kids Minister at Mount Ararat Church in Stafford. Susan and her husband Ed reside in Fredericksburg and have three amazing kids who joined their family in 2011 and who fill their days with adventure. Come join the conversation over at 

MWMG Pediatrics

My Stomping Grounds

America, we are a hot mess of emotions, opinions and status updates. And how do I dialogue with my kids through these tough topics?

Presidential Debates. Refugees. Confederate Flags. Gay Marriage. Charleston. Baltimore. San Bernadino.


Take down that flag!

The flag is my heritage, keep it flying!

Don't sell cakes for gay weddings!

Don’t accept those refugees, they are dangerous!

The refugees need acceptance, they are human!

Baltimore got what it deserved!

You have no idea what it's like to grow up in the inner-city!


Let's take a calm step back and inhale a big deep full-to-the-top breath.

I want to try and make sense of this smorgasbord of opinions and emotions without cramping my fingers in a tweet-status-insta frenzy.

Here are my initial thoughts as I sit down and try to gather my wits:

1. I don't want to post angry-all-cap-emotions to social media. Seriously, let’s stop it. If there is a hot-topic out there that boils my blood, I want to try my hardest to think through it before I take my stand in ALL CAPS. I've learned my quick-mouthed lesson on this too many times.

2. When did our perceived rights take precedent over compassion for our fellow humans? When I dig my Dansko wedges (I have plantar fasciitis, whatever man) into the sand, I need to err on the side of compassion, grace and mercy instead of anger and vengeance. 

3. I ordered (thanks to Etsy) a large piece of wood to hang in my home with these words on it: “Love each other deeply. Honor others more than yourselves.”

I want my clan to read this Every. Single. Day. Of. Our. Lives. 


Mom, how should I treat my sister, when she's driving me nutso?

Honor her more than yourself. Love her deeply.


Mom, there's a kid at school who is just odd. Everyone makes fun of them because they are different.

Honor them more than yourself. Love them deeply. Sit by them. Talk with them. Get to know them. Even if i'ts awkward.


Mom, how do we feel about the Confederate flag?

Honor others more than ourselves. Love them deeply. Therefore, no.


Mom, how do we feel about Baltimore and Ferguson (to name only two)?

Honor others more than ourselves. Love them deeply.


When did having compassion for someone and giving grace, mercy and honor mean we have to agree with them on every blasted subject?

Seriously, y’all... when did kindness and compassion get misunderstood as complete agreement and acceptance? 

Yes, I am FULLY aware that each of these topics goes deeper, has more tentacles and more debate points than I can count.  Don't send me angry-emails saying that I clearly don't understand the deeper issues. I understand.


But I would hope that honoring others and loving them deeply is at least a jumping off point where the conversation can begin.  I want my kids to learn to dig their heels in the soil of honor, love, kindness and compassion.

For the sake of the generations behind us, where self seems to reign, I want to embrace leading our kids towards honor, love and putting others first. 

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Pouches' Community Corner

Pouches Visits the Past


If Pouches' experience at History Camp is any indication, your son or daughter will enjoy joining Washington Heritage Museums and the George Washington Foundation for History Camp in Fredericksburg. The week-long day camp will be held June 25-29, from 9:00 a.m. to noon each day.

Young historians discover American history with hands-on experiences as they walk in the footsteps where the history of Fredericksburg, and a budding America, was created. The camp complements the history taught in classrooms with activities such as soap making, code breaking, colonial crafts, penmanship and much more.