Thursday, May 31, 2012

You Are Not Alone

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is the Father who is full of mercy and all comfort. He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us. We share in the many sufferings of Christ. In the same way, much comfort comes to us through Christ. If we have troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation, and if we have comfort, you also have comfort. This helps you to accept patiently the same sufferings we have. Our hope for you is strong, knowing that you share in our sufferings and also in the comfort we receive.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

God has allowed me to be in a unique position. One I never thought I would be in…but here I am. I have been mad at God. I have had seriously depressed pity parties. I have cried a million tears. My heart has been shattered and crushed. Yet I am alive, I love my God, my family and friends. I have never felt so loved and cared for. My heart is full and overflowing with God’s love, and appreciation for all that He is doing in my life.

For a season, I am a single mother. God has put this on my heart to share because I have received so much comfort from Him. Comfort that feels like a double portion of His love. I know that I have received that comfort, not to keep it all to myself, but so the Lord can use it to comfort others.

“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” 1Peter 4:12

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

I am here to tell those of you who feel like you are alone, stand firm in the faith and know that you are not alone. You have sisters in Christ all around you who are suffering. Don’t let the enemy convince you that you are the only one and that no one will understand. We may not have stories that line up word for word. But we all have mess and we all have a story.

In the beginning of this blog I said that I was in a unique position. I know it is not unique, but it does feel that way because it wasn’t in my plan. Beloved one of God, you are never alone. God is with you. He has also given you a family of believers to come alongside of you and to share with you the comfort that God has given. Let us love you, encourage you, and share some of our double portion of God’s comfort. Be blessed by your God and His children.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10-11

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Playground Encounters

                                        - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
My four year old son has a new best friend.....Sveta. She is a sweet girl, about 7 or 8 years old, who we met at a church picnic last week. Sveta really loved and cherished my little boy. She played with him and praised him.  I was so blessed as I watched how loving and accepting she was with my son. Sometimes my son can be difficult as he plays with other kids. Not this time. He sensed she was truly interested in who he was and what made him happy. She made an impact on him. It was a play date that he will not forget. He remembered her name and prayed for her last night all on his own :) She was a great example to my children as they played together.
I am grateful for play dates. Play dates give such great opportunity for growth and learning as we encounter other children. It isn't always easy. Sometimes our children are grumpy and not too friendly or loving. Sometimes kids may not share. But it opens up dialogue with your children that you may not have otherwise. There have been times my boys have been difficult and in those times of adversity it allows me to share who Christ is and what His word says.

About how we are to "love our neighbor as we love ourself" (Luke 10:27).

About  "do not forget to do good and to share with others" (Hebrews 13:16).

About "do not repay evil for evil" (Romans 12:17).

About praising God for friendship and to "love at all times" (Proverbs 17:17).

About praying for those kids having a rough day and to "be a peacemaker" (Matthew 5:9)

About how to "love our enemy" (Matthew 5:44).

Much fruit has come from those times of playing with others. We have to remember to take those moments off to the side or once in the car to explain and talk about the things that you encountered on the playground. We can be so rushed to get the kids in the car, get to the next place, or off to those scheduled events that we miss that small nugget the Lord was hoping to share through us.

So get out. Have fun. Pray ahead of time, in the car, with your kids for opportunities to show Jesus' love on the playground. Talk after. Pray after. Impart truth into the lives of your little ones. Smile. Enjoy those sweet teachable moments He gives you each day. You may be surprised how the Lord teaches you some lessons along the way too :)

What is God saying to you through this blog?
What do you think He wants you to do about it?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Honor our Heroes!

I don't come from a military family, realtors and pastors, mostly. So, I don't really understand firsthand the sacrifices made while a loved one is away fighting to maintain our freedoms. Nor do I fully understand the anxiety and waiting that family members back home experience. But I am extremely grateful, nonetheless, for those brave and selfless men and women who serve and have served our country over the generations.

My husband, on the other hand, does come from a military family. His father served in the Navy, and his family at one point lived in all 4 corners of our country near various military bases. In fact, we were married on a military base overlooking a beach. Many other family members have faithfully served as well.

While some of us may not have family in the armed forces, I believe we all at least know someone who does. At the very least, we can say we are thankful to live in a place where we are free to believe as we choose, worship as we choose, speak and write what is on our minds and hearts, and pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

Yesterday was a day to memorialize those who have gone before fighting on our behalf. It was a day off from work to spend with family, perhaps barbecue, and pray a prayer of thanksgiving and protection over our soldiers and their families.  But is that where it ends?

While we get back to business as usual, their sacrifice and work does not end. So, neither should our prayers. Can we commit to teaching our children to add just a line or two in our prayer times to pray a prayer of protection over our military and peace and provision for their families? We may not have specific names and faces to go with those prayers, but when two or more are gathered, we know there is power in our prayers.

My hope is that we moms can nurture an attitude of respect and humble gratitude in our children for the courageous men and women in uniform and make it a normal part of our daily lives to pray for them and their families. May Memorial Day be every day in our hearts and prayers. Let's pray together.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the sacrifice You made in sending Your Son to die that we may be free from the bondage of sin, and thank You for those brave men and women who follow in His footsteps, laying down their lives that we may have freedom to worship You. Please protect them Father. Please give them the courage and strength to fight the good fight each day. We ask that You protect their families and provide comfort and peace for them as they anxiously await the return of their loved ones. Please comfort those who mourn the loss of a fallen soldier who is also a mother, father, son, daughter, friend, etc. May their sacrifices not be forgotten or in vain. Please help us to teach our children an attitude of gratitude and prayer when it comes to those we owe our freedoms to. May we remember to keep our military in prayer each day and not forget or take their sacrifice for granted. Thank You, Lord.
In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. 

Monday, May 28, 2012


So encourage one another and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”
                                    1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT)

I just came back from the most refreshing time away with a group of ladies who love the Lord. A few of my friends and I escaped to the FPEA (Florida Parent Educators Association) convention in Orlando, Florida. This convention is focused on homeschooling, and it offers tons of incredibly useful information…not to mention an amazing exhibit hall with every homeschool curriculum imaginable…and a representative to explain and answer questions.

While I learned a ton about how to homeschool effectively, I was blessed the most by the fellowship of the ladies whom I met at the conference. Proverbs 27:17 says, “Just as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” I was strengthened, challenged, and encouraged by these ladies. John 13:35 informs us that we will know Christians by their love. There were approximately 4,000 homeschool families at this convention, yet the amount of peace as opposed to chaos was evident. The majority of the families there acknowledge Christ as their Lord and Savior and they live by that truth. Instead of feeling like moms were competing against one another to see whose child was the brightest, craftiest, most outgoing, advanced, etc., these moms simply loved on their children for who God had created them to be, and they acknowledged that each mom parents and teaches a bit differently. How refreshing!

I am currently blessed to be five months pregnant with a little baby girl…or another boy. J I also have a four year old and a fourteen month old. I am excited about having three little ones, even though that was not me and my husband’s initial plan. However, I also have to admit that while people are very excited to hear about your first and second child, they often seem puzzled and uncertain by the third and wonder (sometimes out loud) why someone would want to have “all those kids.”

God’s word says that children are a blessing from the Lord, but so often people view children as burdens…especially if you have a lot of them. My point in highlighting all this is to say that it is important to hang out with people who are going to encourage you in your walk with the Lord—people who have been where you are or are trying to walk the same road. That doesn’t mean that everyone we hang out with has to be just like us, but we should carefully consider the goals and values that we hold dear and then choose to invest in those types of relationships. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to chat and have tea with women who had four, five, six, eight kids. They were not crazy, weird, stressed out moms. They were fun, God-loving, transparent, witty, sane, and cool! I was blessed not only by their words, but by their example.

Sometimes as moms we can feel so overwhelmed by the things God has called us to, and that is OK. But perhaps the road we are traveling would feel less intimidating—less lonely—if we chose to walk with moms who love the Lord and our willing to pray, encourage, and share life with us. I would encourage you to pray for God to send such women into your life. You will be blessed! J

Heavenly Father, thank you that you did not call us to walk this life alone. You are always with us and you created us for fellowship with you and your people. Please help us to invest in friendships in which you are the center. Help us to be a reflection of you to the people we meet. May we encourage each other in love and truth. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Having arrived

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.  This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1John 4:16-18
Gods love surprised me. Again. I mean, I know He loves but I really don’t always live as though I know it. Sometimes extended periods of trials make me so weary that I begin to get used to life being hard all the time and accept it without question. I get surprised by His goodness when it is revealed afresh.

Recently I was reading “Les Miserable”, a great classic that deals a lot with human suffering and good and evil.  I had come to a part where two individuals surrounded with great dangers and obstacles, decide to meet secretly every night to declare their love for one another. They are so absolutely consumed with love that nothing else exists or matters. One line reads that; “Marius and Cosette never asked themselves whither this (their love) was to lead them (to a certain destination). They considered that they had already arrived.”
Maybe it’s just where I am in my reading of 1John about Gods love and the greatest commandment to love, but God totally spoke to me through that quote. “They considered that they had already arrived”, that great love they experienced was their destination! So strong that the trials to be expected were non existent  and ignored! The author goes on to write “It’s a strange claim on mans part to wish that love should lead to something”.

The bible says; See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.” 1John3:1, 2:25. Those two passages alone is enough to jump up and down in joy exclaiming “I have arrived at my destination! I’m His and nothing else matters.”

But I don’t, do I. So often  I strive and labor to fight obstacles and trials, forgetting His love for me. Instead of abiding in it, remembering  that all Gods promises have their yes in Christ Jesus, I strive and wrestle, as though I didn’t have a loving provider.  Why is it so hard to live out of that experience? To allow the weightier truths of the Word to energize me and sustain me through trials?
I believe the answer is that we are simply not perfected in His love yet. The Bible says that perfect love drives out fear. The reason I work and strive and try to overcome trials is because I fear being destroyed by them instead of trusting the character of God. The reason I don’t trust is because I don’t know His love fully. We trust and love Him to the extent that we know Him and we don’t always choose to love the Lord our God with all our soul, might and strength. Sometimes we choose our own mission in life and the striving and labor of our flesh again takes over. Our relationship with God can become dry and reduced down to a Sunday church routine and an occasional scripture that speaks to us once during a week.  We forget being in love and the flesh takes over again drying us up and forcing us to work.
The following story illustrates this difference of love.
 “As a sixteen-year-old, washing the family car was one of my Saturday chores. The law was laid down, and I followed it: I squirted some water on our green Buick Skylark, flung a towel over it a couple times, and went on my way. But that all changed when I thought I fell in love with a girl named Stephanie. You see, because Dad gave me permission one weekend to use the Skylark to take Stephanie out to dinner, I washed it, dried it, waxed it, buffed it, shined the chrome, polished the hubcaps, vacuumed the interior, and washed the windows. I transformed the Skylark into a thing of beauty. Why? Because of love—for while the law made me wash the car, love made me do the rest.” (Loosed from Legalism by John Courson)
Take inventory. How many things in your life right now is a “have to”? How can Gods promise in that area energize you to do it in His strength?  I have to watch my kids all week, but love makes me enjoy my kids without looking for relief and time away from them. I have to serve my husband, love makes me go above and beyond for him without expecting anything in return. You fill in your own “have to’s”. Love is the difference and the miracle that takes place when you really grasp what Jesus Christ did for you and how much He cares about you, it’s no longer, “I have to have devotions,”—but, “I get to talk with You today, Lord.” We simply have to fall in love with our Savior again! Go to Him, beloved. He is waiting.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Wise Homemaker

Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established;
By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches. 
-Proverbs 24:3-4

The job of a the mother, as a homekaker, is a tremendously fulfilling career, and a crucial responsibility. So many women today have bought into the notion that it isn't enough and that they need to seek fulfillment outside the home. But there is nothing more fulfilling than the role to which God has called mothers. Many women who have bought into the social pressure and have achieved corporate success are now realizing what they have lost by being out of their homes.

"Through wisdom a house is built." It takes real wisdom to create a home. "By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." It takes wisdom, understanding, and knowledge to be a homemaker; but it is one of the most fulfilling careers imaginable!
I came across the above commentary as I was doing my daily devotion in Proverbs. I was encouraged and convicted too! Encouraged as I was reminded of my value as I sacrifice the luxuries of this life for the "riches" I am hoping to impart in my children. Convicted because as I look at my friends, past and present, many have shared they must go back to work, and I have missed opportunities to remind them of the truth stated above. 

There is value in staying home. It is a sacrifice. It does cost something monetarily, physically, spiritually and emotionally. 

I think in those moments we are questioning whether to stay home or not, we must ask ourselves what the motive is for going back to work. Is it to get the new car, bigger home, new wood floors (my dream for our rental home someday!), name brand items, going out to eat, vacations ect.? Some days I think I need those things because the world tells me I will be empty if I am without. Those items will break, rust and be on a hill buried someday. You won't look back at your life wishing you had worked more. 

Five years ago I stepped down from full-time teaching. I pushed pause on my profession to invest in the lives of my little people, who will impact the world. Has it always been easy? Ummm no way! Our finances were literally cut in half. Sometimes I wish we had more. We will. Just not now :)

This season is one of stretching the dollar & coupon cutting as we watch Jesus supernaturally provide for us. Countless stories are hidden in my heart (maybe in another blog post) of how the Lord blessed us with exactly what was needed at the perfect time. 

Every time I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich I am reminded of our simplistic life but it is well worth it for the reward that we will reap someday.

I am not throwing stones, and I don't know your personal circumstance. Each situation is different, but I would just encourage you to seek His face on EVERY decision you make as a mom. Then you can stand firm because HE alone made those hard decisions for you and it will be a memorial for you to look back on in days to come.

Pray. Seek. Ask. HE will give you the wisdom needed.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. - James 1:5

Friday, May 25, 2012

Today is the Awards Ceremony!

Genesis 16: 13
"You are the God who sees me"

Our youngest couldn’t go to sleep in anticipation of all the awards she expects to receive at the Awards ceremony at her school.  She is a hopeless optimist. 

Having had our oldest children walk across the stage for so many awards over their completion of high school and college graduation, I know what it is to be a “bursting with pride” parent.

For our youngest, academics are tough. 

I remember going to her awards ceremony in the 3rd grade.  As I sat there in a public school, I felt such sadness.  Sadness that there would be many more ceremonies and she would not receive any awards.  How it breaks a moms heart to see our children try really hard, yet not be “good enough.”

At that assembly I sat in my “river of reality,” God sat and watched too.  To my surprise (not His) I heard her name called.  Her name was called for a student who worked with diligence!

You would have thought I had just heard my child give the valedictorian speech at a prep school.  I jumped to my feet and took pictures with tears streaming down my face.

As my husband and I chatted with her before bed, we tried to encourage her.  Even if she doesn’t win an award, there is so much we are proud of her for.  She is good enough! 

The Lord will watch with us as deserving students are given awards.  It will be our job as parents to help her understand and accept that sometimes we don’t receive awards.  It will also be our job to model a happy attitude for the other students.

The gift of our daughter’s optimism will help the ceremony to have perspective.  I’m grateful the Lord will sit through the ceremony with us.  Over the years since that 3rd grade assembly, I’ve learned I can trust the sovereign hand of the Lord and know that He sees me!  Whether she leaves as a certificate holder or not, we will leave bursting with pride to be her parents!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Waiting - Where Our Strength Comes From

My oldest daughter suffers from thinking too much at bedtime. Something most of us women do; our brain just gets turning and it seems almost impossible to shut it off. Some nights she will get herself so worked up.  She has thought of everything that has or could go wrong, tears start to flow and sleep seems a lifetime away.

My heart goes out to her because I really do understand how she feels. I will lay with her, pray, and talk her through a little meditation. I first have her close her eyes, I pray for her, and then I have her picture her heart. In her heart, I have her picture a little light. I give her time to focus on that shimmering light, it’s bright but it keeps getting brighter and brighter until her heart is overflowing with light.

She loves this exercise. Once she has calmed down we talk about how that light is the Holy Spirit. She remembers that she has the Power of Jesus living inside her. She remembers that His light is so bright it can chase the dark away if she lets it.

In our season of waiting I am, just like my daughter, encouraged every time I am reminded of where my strength comes from. It is an awesome and much needed reminder because waiting on God can be exhausting if we don’t tap into that power of the Holy Spirit.

The greatness of our God is seen again… He sends us into battle but never alone. He is always with us and has perfectly equipped us with the power of His Holy Spirit. His strength!

“God will strengthen you with his own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient.” Colossians 1:11 (NCV)

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!” Psalm 27:13-14  

“God is our refuge and strength an ever present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Hi, I’m Laura.  My husband Ryan and I have two incredible kids, Matthew and Jordan.  Matthew is two years old and Jordan is 10 months.  It’s an awesome privilege to write on this blog.  I heard it well said before, “We are all kids under construction.”  YES WE ARE.  But the good thing is we are God’s kids and He’s the Foreman.

The other day I went to the Blessed Ministry at church – a ministry for moms with kids from 0-5years.  Rosemary Barnes taught and if you’ve ever heard her speak, you know how the Lord loves to speak through her.  He did that day too.  The Lord spoke to me concerning the topic of legacy – what I had already been preparing in my heart for this blog!  And then the next day, my devotional from In Touch ministries taught about the SAME THING!  Legacy.  Or as they put it, “A Faith Worth Passing Down” with the reading from 2 Timothy 1:3-5.  I heard it on the radio as “the legacy we are leaving behind.” 

So, what are we doing to make choices today for the betterment of our kids’ tomorrow?  What is the faith-legacy we are leaving in our kids’ minds and hearts about who a real follower of Jesus is?  Oh, most days I feel like if I’m the only Jesus they see, they wouldn’t want to have anything to do with Him!  So to be more like Jesus is where I stand, but I know I’m not Jesus so I’ve got some work to do.  Here’s just a few things I’ve been working on. 

Words – I wrote a verse from Ephesians 4 on a sticky note and put it on my fridge because I noticed the negativity that keeps seeping out of my mouth.  “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” – Ephesians 4:29  We can adjust our speech to reflect the hope we have and encourage others around us, like our kids. 

Smiling – The other day I was putting our 2 year old son, Matthew down to sleep for the night and he reached out to touch my face and started feeling my lips and cheeks.  I realized at that moment that I needed to let him feel me smile.  My thoughts were: “Had I smiled that day?  Had I smiled at him at all or was I busy putting him in time-out, making breakfast, lunch and dinner, folding the clothes, answering texts, wiping diapers and runny noses, and so on.”  So the whole time he did that, I smiled –real wide.  Teeth and all.  He could go to bed knowing that mommy actually did smile that day.  It may sound funny, but every now and then I take a moment to literally stop and smile at him giving a good thumbs-up gesture too.  My confession is that sometimes smiling hurts my face!  Yikes!  But the brighter side is that the other day we had a break-your-face-cause-your-smile-is-so-wide contest.  It was great.  (Gosh, I get teary-eyed just thinking about his awesome smile.  Maybe God gets teary-eyed too when His kids smile at Him...)  We can add Scripture to our smile too, like “Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice! –Philippians 4:4.

Prayer – We were given this great bookmark card at Blessed called “31 Biblical Virtues to pray for your kids” by Bob Hostetler put out by that is a great prayer help.  Praying alone, with our kids, and encouraging our kids to pray too is so important.  …Most nights, after praying and singing with Matthew before he goes to sleep I tell him that he can pray to God at any time because God looooves to hear him pray.  That sweet boy prays with his eyes shut tight and in tongues too (or it’s just his 2 year old mind making up words but he says them with such conviction each time he prays…).  The other day my husband Ryan came home from work with a boo-boo on his head.  Upon seeing the wound, Matthew simply stretched out his hand, put it over Ryan’s boo-boo and began to pray for healing (and it was a long prayer).

God is at work in our kid’s lives ladies and if we will be the example to help guide their way, He will take them the rest of it and the generations will be forever affected in the name of Jesus.  That’s a legacy of faith worth passing down.  Are you working on anything?  Let me know.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Birthday Blessings

This past weekend we celebrated our oldest daughter's 3rd birthday. The weekend was filled with cake, presents, balloons, singing, dancing, and all the excitement that comes along with this special time in a child's life. It was also a time of reflection on the joy this little girl has brought into our lives these past 3 years and of what's to come in her life and ours as a family.

At a recent study, I had heard a mom tell how she selects a specific Scripture to pray over her children each year on their birthday and daily until the next year when she chooses another. I thought this was such a wonderful idea and have decided to start doing this for our girls. So, this year we will give Selah an additional gift, one that is not unwrapped and played with but is significant and special just the same. The gift of consistent and faithful prayer over her life.

In selecting a Scripture verse just right for her this season in her life, I looked for one that spoke of growing in knowledge of the Lord as she is getting to that stage where she learns something new every day and is able to better understand who Jesus is and our relationship with Him. There are so many wonderful benedictions in Scripture and prayers from the apostles to various groups of Christians, but my heart was led to Philippians 1:9-10 to be the verse we would pray throughout this year for Selah. We will print it out, decorate it and frame it along with a current photo of her (for a scrapbook/keepsake through the years), and hang it above her bed so that we will be able to read it as we pray each evening.

Image found on Google images
Do you have any birthday traditions in your family? Would this be one you are interested in starting? Even if it will not be your child's birthday soon, you can start this now. Our little one turned 1year old in January, but we will start praying her verse now as well. Committing to pray for our children is a priceless gift that will produce lasting fruit that will long outlive any toy or game we can wrap up!

Dear Heavenly Father,
I again thank you for the gift of my children and pray Your will be done in their lives. Please help me to commit to praying for them daily and throughout each season as they grow. Through your Spirit, please lead us to the places in Your Word that will reveal how we can specifically pray for each need and desire. May we become prayer warriors on behalf of our children, committing their lives to You, and surrendering ourselves that we may be filled with Your perfect wisdom in our day to day parenting. May Your will be done in their lives and ours, Father. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Savor the Moment

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

A little while ago I was at my Mom to Mom group, and it was just about that time when the host would give out a “Mommy Merit Badge”. These badges were usually a humorous play on the Girl Scout badges you would receive as a child, but they usually addressed some type of humorous, yet trying event that goes along with motherhood. Each woman who had dealt with that particular thing that week would raise their hand, and each mom with a raised hand would receive her badge.

Out of all the badges that were given out, only one has really stuck out in mind. The Mommy Merit Badge that was given out for…taking some time that week to sit down (or run around or get on the floor) and play with your kid(s). This didn’t mean that you taught this something new (i.e. homeschool, helped with homework), but that you genuinely played with them for at least 30 minutes out of the whole week. This struck me! Isn’t this sometimes the hardest thing to do as a mom?! What about the laundry? What about making meals? What about attempting to clean the house? What about teaching them to read? What about… (you fill in the blank)?

The host that morning joked, “To them it doesn’t matter that they had clean clothes, or that you made them something to eat, or that your house is clean, or that you taught them something new for school. They just want you to play with them.” Hearing that comment was God’s way of reinforcing something that he had already put on my heart earlier that week: to savor the time that I have with my kids. To enjoy them and love them for who they are right now…quirks and all. To let them know that I enjoy being their mom (most of the time LOL), and that I am thankful to be able to just hang out with them.

Moms, in the midst of the craziness, let’s try to take a few minutes each day to put everything else aside and give our kids a few moments of our undivided attention. Years down the road, we may just be surprised by the moments they treasured the most…the times when we stopped our busyness…for them. J


Heavenly Father, thank you so much for our kids. Whether we have one, two, or eight, they are all a blessing from you. Lord, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to just pause and give them a moment of our undivided attention. Help us to do so. I know Martha made you a wonderful meal, but Mary was blessed by the time she spent at your feet. Help us to know when to work and when to laugh and play. Help us spend time with you being filled up by your Holy Spirit, and then help us pour out your love on our kids. Lord, please help me to be a good mom, a loving mom, a disciplined mom, a tough mom (when I have to be), but also a fun mom. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

For the Least of Them

My family and I were sitting down at Boston Market about to enjoy our dinner, which sounds nice in theory, however, let me further explain. Although we love going out to dinner, at this stage in our family there is a price that comes along with going out to eat. Most of the time we bring along our 3 children, Abigail 5, Paul 3, and Andrew 8 months. Most of you can probably imagine there isn’t a lot of time enjoying our food but more of it is spent getting this or picking up that, or trying to resolve a conflict before it actually starts. This is the scene we are dealing with when a beautiful thing happens.

There is a young man clearing up tables, helping people find seats in this primarily senior centered environment, asking if anyone needs anything, etc. All of a sudden my husband and I hear a woman talking to this young man, who couldn’t be more than 16, with such disrespect and humiliation it made my heart sink. This young man was merely trying to serve her and she treated him like garbage...

This is when the beautiful thing actually happens, my husband took the time out of our chaos to call him over and said the most simple thing “You are doing a great job”. The young man smiled and said, “thank you”.

When was the last time you said something to encourage someone? When was the last time you looked outside of your craziness to bless someone else?

Lord Jesus help us to be sensitive to when others may need to hear a calming or encouraging word. Equip us with your eyes to see when others are hurting. Help us be light in this world where it seems ok to treat others with such disrespect. Help us to be more like You and stand up for those who are persecuted. Amen

The King will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Invisible Mother

A few days ago I was at a mom's Bible study when the poem below was read aloud. This is a poem we, as moms, need to go back to periodically to be reminded of the "great cathedrals" we are building. Read on and be encouraged.....

Legacy: The Invisible Mother

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.
I'm invisible - The invisible Mom.
Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more.
"Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?"

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?'
I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?'
I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.' 
I'm a means to an end, "Where's my other sock?, Where's my phone?, What's for dinner?'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history, music and literature - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!?

One night, a group of us were having dinner,celebrating the return of a friend from England. She had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when she turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe.

I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:
'With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:

1)  No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. 

2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. 

3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. 

4) The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A story of legend in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does.'
No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, no Cub Scout meeting, no last minute errand is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.
The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

"A wise woman builds her house..." - Proverbs 14:1

What is God saying to you through this blog?
What do you think He wants you to do about it?