Lindsay Franklin shares her story of becoming a teen mom, and she gives some fantastic advice for teen parents, their parents, and their friends. #teenmom #parenting


In early 2000, Lindsay Franklin was set to graduate from high school. The teen had big plans to go to college, get a Master’s degree, and have an amazing career. But all of that anticipation came crashing to a halt when she learned she was pregnant.

Lindsay’s first instinct was to research abortion, because she had always been pro-choice, and being a teen mom was not in her plan. So she got on her boyfriend’s parents’ computer and searched for a nearby clinic. The first thing that popped up on the screen was images of aborted fetuses, and in an instant, Lindsay knew abortion was not an option for her anymore. She was going to keep her baby.

But what was she going to do? She had always been a bit rebellious, but she had started going to church a few months earlier, which is where she had met her 19-year-old boyfriend. He was an upstanding church boy with a good reputation; this would ruin everything for him. So she turned away from the computer screen and told Dave she would disappear and be a single mom. This baby wouldn’t affect his life at all. He could stay in college and continue on with his plans for his life.

Dave chose a different plan. He immediately grabbed her hands and got down on his knees. He told her he loved her, proclaimed that the baby was both of theirs, and said they were going to be a family.

Continue reading “Lindsay Franklin: From Teen Mom to Mom of Teens”

Emily Roig: Finding a Refuge in Music


When Emily Roig moved from St. Louis to Nashville to pursue a music career in 2014, she wasn’t looking to make it big. She wanted to see if she could make an honest living with her music, and she wanted to learn. When she left everything she knew and a steady job for the unknown, she did it with a hope and more than one prayer.

Many people take off for Nashville to start pursuing music as a career when they’re just out of high school or college, but that wasn’t the path Emily took. In fact, it didn’t even occur to her to move there until she was nearly 30 years old. But Emily has never taken the normal route when it comes to pursuing music.

Emily and her brothers grew up in a home where it was impossible not to be musical. Her parents met while studying at a conservatory of music, and they’ve been highly involved in musical pursuits ever since. Her mom is an elementary music teacher, and her dad is the music director at a church. Emily says her dad is more of an artistic, creative musician and songwriter, while her mom has always been the interpreter of other people’s songs. Continue reading “Emily Roig: Finding a Refuge in Music”


A few weeks ago I called my young friend to interview her for this post. The last question I asked her was this: “When you hear the phrase ‘living well,’ what does that mean to you? What do you think it looks like to live well?” I wasn’t sure she would be able to quickly articulate an answer that question, but after a few seconds she responded:

To live in God’s image.

Wow. What 17-year-old gives an answer like that? MaKenna Maskey does, and her answer wouldn’t surprise anyone who knows her. She has no doubt that God created her just the way she is, and He wants her to live in a way that shows others who He is.

Nearly 18 years ago, MaKenna’s aunt Jenny called to tell me she had a new niece. The next day, the phone rang again. This time the news was grim. MaKenna had turned blue, so she was being airlifted from the small hospital in Mexico, Missouri, to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis.

MaKenna’s diagnosis was Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). You can look it up here, but to put it simply, the left side of her heart was undeveloped. The right side had to do all the work, which it would only be able to do for a very limited amount of time without intervention.

This wasn’t a condition that would resolve itself on its own, so MaKenna’s parents were told they had two options. 1) Wait for a heart transplant. 2) Opt for a series of three surgeries that were still fairly new and experimental.

Continue reading “MaKenna Maskey: Living a Full Life with Half a Heart”

Some of you are currently thinking, “Who in the world is TobyMac?” Others may have reluctantly taken your children or teens to see him in concert in the past few years. And still others are currently singing “Heavenbound” or “Jesus Freak” in your head because you’ve been a fan for decades. I fall into the latter category. But more on that in a bit.

When it comes to birthday and Christmas presents, some of my favorite gifts to give and receive aren’t things but experiences. For several years my mom and I bought each other season tickets to the Muny amphitheater here in St. Louis. A few years ago, I took my sister-in-law and two oldest nieces to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. (That gift was for birthdays and Christmas, by the way. HP World doesn’t come cheap!) I could go on and on, but you’d get bored.

Last fall, when my teenage niece’s birthday gift fell through after an online ordering fiasco, I decided it was time for another experience. I asked Mackenzie* if there was a concert she wanted to go to.

Continue reading “Steal My Show: I Want to Be Like TobyMac”