"Before You Leave Home"

Are your children ready for the world?

A book to prepare your kids for a great life on their own.

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Our Story

We’re David & Bernice Gudgel. Life has thrown a lot of big decisions at us. Maybe you can relate. Along the way – through good & bad experiences, the wisdom of others, and lots of prayer – we’ve learned lessons that we wish we would have known before. Now, we hope to help you make the best big decisions in life.

Bernice has a degree in Psychology and has focused much of her adult life on raising three kids (who turned out great!) and leading ministries in the church. Dave is a pastor who has a degree in Sociology, an M Div, and a D Min. He’s counseled over a thousand clients and hosted a weekday radio program.

Our Books


Take Time for Meaningful Conversations

How to Have Meaningful Conversations with Your Teenagers Before They Leave Home

Just One More Thing… Before You Leave Home was written to be a tool to open up conversations between you and your child who will soon be leaving to go to college or out into the world. It’s something we did with each of our three kids during their senior years in high school. I would take each of them out to a late Saturday breakfast and we’d discuss one topic each time over pancakes. If it would work for you to go through Just One More Thing with your son or daughter in a similar way sometime during their

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This Day Is Coming

Deadlines Are a Good Thing When Something Must Get Done

I’ve benefited by deadlines. The fact is, without them I doubt I would have accomplished half of the things I’ve done over the years. Especially when it came to parenting. By the time our first child was a year old we realized that eighteen years were going to go by really fast! That built in deadline for when a child traditionally leaves home was good motivation for me to be very intentional about parenting. Related Post: Every Parent Needs a “Just One More Thing” List Close By Bernice and I made a commitment to make the most of the limited

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One of Our Many Lists

Every Parent Needs a “Just One More Thing” List Close By

We make a lot of lists in our lives: Grocery lists “Stuff to pack for vacation” lists Bucket lists Christmas gift lists “Things to do today” lists“ Things we want to see and do while we’re visiting Paris… or Italy… or New York City” lists One of the most important lists a parent can make is the list of things they want to make sure their kids know before they leave home to go out into the world on their own. We call it a “Just one more thing…” list. Related Post: One of The Best Things We Did Before

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Pancake Conversations

One of The Best Things We Did Before Our Kids Left Home

Bernice and I are both list people. When we’re trying to figure something out or when we’re planning something, we make lists. When our oldest child got to his last few years of high school, we decided to make a list of some of the important things we wanted to make sure Brent knew before he went out into the world on his own. Things he had been taught from our example, or family devotions, or Sunday School classes, or whatever. We didn’t want to just assume that he got it all. So we asked ourselves – if we were

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A Word About the Hats You Wear

Two “Must Dos” for Doing Whatever You Do

This past week Colossians 3:17 gave me a new perspective on the hats I am wearing. It could do the same for you. Here’s what Paul said: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Take a minute and think about – or better yet, write down – the “whatevers” you do. Think about all the different roles and responsibilities you have.  I started my list with five hats. I’m a husband, father, grandfather, pastor, and friend. Then I got up

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Do You Really Believe God is Real?

Three Truths that Impact Every Corner of a Christian’s Life

If you are a person who truly believes… There really is a God out there somewhere The Bible is the true story of His relentless pursuit of a relationship with mankind The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus made it possible for us to walk with God, in spite of our sin …then there are three truths that should influence every part of your life. God is in Control God is all-powerful and He is in control of everything that touches your life. Now that doesn’t mean He causes everything that happens in your life. But it does mean that

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