Friday, August 31, 2012

THE RACE – Are We Crippling or Equipping?

Welcome Back, my precious sister-in-law, Jill!

Isaiah 43:2 “WHEN you go through deep waters, I will be with you. WHEN you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. WHEN you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned…” 

    As we watch the fun of the Olympics, it’s neat to relate all of that hard work to the faith and trust required for a healthy Christian walk…or race!  For example, Michael Phelps’ coach Bowman states, “I’ve always tried to find ways to give him (Phelps) adversity in either meets or practice, and have him overcome it.”  What a great concept for physical training in preparing for the unexpected challenges that occur in a race!  It’s a lot like how our “Creator/Trainer” strengthens our HEARTS for the unexpected by teaching us to overcome adversity and to grow in faith.  We all know He walks with us through our fiery trials, yet He does not extinguish them for us, because He refines us and equips us through those fires! 

     What if we all used that same kind of concept on our kids – and let them learn how to “overcome adversity?”  Why not offer them that same privilege, to be refined through their fiery trials and walk with them, yet not extinguishing their fires for them?  We could better prepare them to become responsible, mature adults, instead of leading them to believe that life will revolve around them and they will always be rescued from their mistakes and choices. Do we ever want to hinder opportunities for growth in their lives?  

     Some of us, as parents, may give in to our kids’ whims and desires a little too frequently (when they don’t hear the word NO often enough), some of us may try to soften the blow or rescue them from the consequences of their bad choices (and they don’t get to learn the importance of making good ones), some of us may not even give consequences (ouch), and well, you get the picture.  Sadly, we do all of this with “good intentions” and all in the name of LOVE!?  But if we continue to show our LOVE to them in this stunting way, we end up crippling them instead of equipping them!  We might even LOVE them right into a cycle of continuous failures and a dependency on us that could last for the rest of their lives!  We can’t let it be our job to be their “Savior” - that position is already taken J  I fully understand we are ALL still learning as parents, but let’s learn from God’s example to us, and also learn from each other as parents, and make the learning process a little less painful, not only on us, but also on our world!  A quote that has stuck in my mind since I heard it is, “Instead of trying to make the world a better place for our KIDS, let’s try and make our kids better for this WORLD – and say NO to them every once in a while!”  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Let Go

When my oldest daughter, Alexis, was five I had yet to let her try out a pair of scissors that were not child safety scissors.  My cousin, who has three children and at the time the youngest was six, informed me that I was being a bit overprotective.  So with great fear and apprehension I let her use big girl scissors.  Now she is ten and I am freaking out about letting her ride her bike down to the neighbors, ten houses down the street and what other little girls I should let her play with in the neighborhood.  Our children are so precious, young, and vulnerable that at times we can forget that we are not the only one looking out for them.  God is there too. 

I have to remind myself that God gave me these beautiful little creations to care for and love.  He knit them together in my womb; all their days were written in His book before one of them even came to be (Psalm 139).  He loves them more deeply than I do and His character proves that He has nothing but good intentions for them.  When I can see that, I don’t have to hold on so tightly I can trust in their Creator, my Creator. 

I started writing about how we hold so tightly to our kids because this is a blog for moms but we hold tightly to many things not just our kids.  We hold tightly to our plans, our dreams, our expectations and much, much more.   James 1:17 tells us “every good and perfect gift is from above.”   Often I think that I gave me those things, I have to hold onto them, I earned them, worked hard for them, love them, live for them.  But I tell you what ladies there is a freedom, an amazing freedom, in just letting go and trusting in the One who holds you in His hands.   


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Embrace & Trust Him!

"Keep me safe, O God, 
I've run for dear life to you. 
   I say to God, "Be my Lord!" 
      Without you, 
nothing makes sense." 
- Psalm 16:1-2 MSG

Recently I read a blog post by my friend, Catherine, that touched my heart and I want to share it with you today. I pray it challenges you right where you are. So many moments in parenthood are crazy and it is wonderful to know there is purpose even within the chaos. 

My hope is that, after reading it, you walk away asking yourself two questions....

What is God saying to me?


What does HE want me to do about it?


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Give the Gift of Giving

Think back to last Christmas. Bring to mind that one perfect gift you got for one of your children. The one you knew they really wanted. You imagined their reaction when you got it. Then on Christmas morning, you watched with anticipation as they unwrapped it. The crackling of the paper, the widend eyes and the squeal of delight.  Now, remember how you felt. Remember how delighted you were to bless your child. Remember how your eyes widend and your delight.  Jesus said,

"It is more blessed to give that to receive." Acts 20:35b NIV

I have always been a giver; many times to my detriment. I didn't mind giving and doing for people. I found out later, that this was a form of control, but that's another subject. A few years ago, someone brought to my attention that I never allowed people to do for me. I had a problem accepting gifts, acts of service and even compliments. They went on to say, that I was not allowing others to experience the joy of giving to me. I immediately thought of my daughter. We as moms, feel the need to take care of just about everything. Being a single parent, she would ask me to take her shopping for me. I thought it was silly and would tell her that I didn't need anything.

"The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord, and King David was filled with joy." 1 Chronicles 29:9 NLT

Upon learning this about myself, I changed immediately. I began giving my daughter opportunites to give to me. She was filled with joy as she wholeheartedly gave to mommy. I now get to enjoy her squeals of delight in receiving AND in giving. I'll admit, I still struggle with receiving gifts from others. I had to learn to receive gifts in order to Give the Gift of Giving!

Questions: Are you giving the gift of giving? Do you allow your children to do things for you? What about your offers from relatives and your sisters in Christ?   

Monday, August 27, 2012

Follow Me

“Therefore I urge to imitate me.” 1 Corinthians 4:16

My husband and I have been working with the youth at our church lately. We are excited to be a part of the lives of these young men and women. However, as we work with them we are noticing that although many of them have been going to church since they were young, not many of them know how to read and interpret the Bible for themselves; not many of them are sure of their salvation; not many of them know what the Bible says on key issues of their day.

On the other hand, what I love about working with these young ladies (and my husband working with the guys) is that their hearts and minds are open to the truth. More than that, they are curious about my personal story—particularly about how I met my husband and what our dating relationship looked like. At the heart of the issue, they not only want to know what the Bible says, but what it actually looks like when it is being lived out in the life of a believer. They want to know and see what I have done right, but I also find it tremendously valuable to share with them what I have done wrong and how I have learned from my mistakes.

I heard on the radio lately that Jesus spoke to the people in simple, relatable parables (stories) so that they could understand the deep Biblical truths he was teaching them. Whether your children are young or old, I would encourage you to share with them your story (age appropriate, of course) of salvation your successes, and your failures. I also encourage you to read the Bible with your children. Invest in a translation that is suited for their age, help them navigate through the books, chapters, and verses, and ask them questions to make sure they understand what they are reading. Most importantly, let’s live lives worth imitating, so as Paul said we can confidently encourage them to imitate us as we imitate Christ.

As I strive to disciple my own children and the girls I teach at church, I am challenged to be more accessible. I want to invite these girls over for dinner (or while I am making dinner) so that they can see up close what it is like to juggle the responsibilities of home, what it looks like to love my children, and my husband…what it looks like to be a disciple of Christ in the ordinary and extraordinary of everyday. I need to examine my life so that I can confidently say, “Follow Me!”


Heavenly Father,
Thank you for providing the ultimate example of how to live a life surrendered to the Father. Thank you for teaching us in simple stories that we can understand. Thank you for your Word that is so transparent and honest in its display of the men and women who sought to follow you. We have the privilege of learning from their godly examples and their mistakes. Help us to live transparent, honest lives of integrity that we can allow others to “read”. Help us disciple our children in a way that points them to you.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

When I was little, I always thought my mom was perfect, and that I was the only one who struggled with sin and making right choices. As I got older, I often thought, “Boy, I wish she would have shared that with me. I would have listened more if I knew she was talking from experience.”

1.       So…What areas of your life can you share with your kids to help them grow in their knowledge of the Lord? Help them see how God has transformed (and continues to transform) your life.

2.       Do you need to change the music you listen to, the books you read, or the TV shows you watch so that your example is one they can see and follow? I often find that as believers we are pretty good at listening to Christian radio or reading Christian books, but we often allow ourselves to be entertained by a lot of junk on TV…especially “reality” shows where we watch other people sin and seem to enjoy it. Just a thought…J

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Forgiveness - Part 2

Last Thursday I shared with you in “Forgiveness – Part 1” how the Lord gave me freedom through forgiveness.  In that time of examining my heart the Lord gave me a picture of what was happening in me.  It was a picture He would use the very next day to help my children see the very thing that I saw in a way they could understand. 

My children had witnessed a colossal adult temper tantrum.  They came to me asking why that person behaved that way.  And here is how I explained it to them:

I held up my fist and I told them to pretend that this was a person’s heart.  I held up my other hand, open with my fingers wiggling.  I told them to picture this hand as an octopus.  And not just any old octopus but an evil black octopus and when we get angry or hurt this octopus starts swimming around our hearts waiting for the perfect opportunity to wrap its tentacles around our heart.  When we turn from God and give into bitterness and resentment because of our hurt or anger the octopus has found its chance. 

“See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”  Hebrews 12:15

Once the octopus has wrapped its tentacles around the heart it then starts to take root.  The tentacles start to dig in and attach themselves around the heart.  (At this point I held the wiggly octopus hand around the hand that was a fist or the heart and started to dig my fingernails in.)

Next, I told them, the octopus becomes like a hard black shell around the heart that no matter how hard that person may try to pry it off they can’t of their own strength.  Because this hard blackness is around a person’s heart they become very short tempered, crabby, they become very focused on self.  It keeps that person from having a right relationship with God.  It really hurts that person and then they end up hurting those around them. 

I then explained to my children that this is why an adult can have a temper tantrum bigger than they do.  Then they were so concerned and wanted to know how the octopus comes off?  And this of course was exactly the question I was waiting for. 

I told them that the only way for a person to get that octopus off their heart was with Jesus’ help.  That person had to first of all have Jesus in their heart but I also told them that this octopus could get to those of us who do have Jesus in our hearts.  But what we have to do is pray, we have to read God’s word, and ask for God to help us because the only way for us to get that octopus off is to forgive.  And to forgive someone who has hurt us is very hard, we can only do it with Jesus’ help. 

Then what happens when we forgive is like a huge light explosion in the heart.  The explosion is full of so much light that the darkness or the octopus has to flee from it freeing that person’s heart.  (I of course then had to make some bomb noises and have the octopus blow away:) 

I then showed them my fist/heart.  And on the heart were wounds from where my nails were dug in.  I explained to them that just because God gives us the grace to forgive as He has forgiven us it does not mean that we are not left without wounds.  But now our heart is free off the bitterness and resentment and God can start working on the healing. 

“He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.”  Psalm 147:3

What happened next was beautiful.  My kids were so concerned for this person that they saw act very inappropriately.  They wanted to know, can we pray?  Do we go to him right now and pray or can we pray here?  They were so sad.  They were so sad for the lives they saw effected by this persons bitterness and resentment. 

I pray that the picture I shared with them from my own very resent heart transformation will stick with them forever.  I pray that they would grow up with hearts that love and trust the Lord to help them forgive and to forgive quickly before bitterness takes root. 


Saturday, August 25, 2012


I enjoy reading the "Complete Book of Baby & Child Care" by Dr. James Dobson and have gone many times to it for guidance and wisdom. It is a balanced book that gives great suggestions and I always look to it for the upcoming hurdles in parenting I will be facing next.  In the three and four year old section, I was struck by song lyrics they shared about the importance of quality time with your child. I want to share them with you....

It's nine-fifteen, and bedtime took too long, once again --
Another drink, another glass of water, and then
The questions come, the hands hold tight, and the eyes are opened wide,
And something in me whispers, "Now's the time."

"Mommy, why did Muffy die? Daddy, where's the sun?"
"Are there cats in heaven? And why did Jesus come?"
And though a whole day's dishes wait, and bills are piled high,
Something in me whispers, "Take the time."

Take the time, while they're right here by your side,
Take the time, while their arms are opened wide.
Teach them how to love the Lord with all their heart and mind.
Oh, they're only home a season, take the time.

Riding off to Narnia upon a lion's back,
Chubby fingers close the book and add it to the stack.
"Aslan didn't kill the witch-- oh Dad why did he die?"
And something in me whispers, "now's the time."

Her baseball games' tomorrow but so's my interview.
How can I play Scrabble, when there's so much to do?
Little faces plead with me to put my work aside,
And something in me whispers,"Take the time."

Take the time, while they're right here by your side,
Take the time, while their arms are opened wide.
Teach them how to love the Lord with all their heart and mind.
Oh, they're only home a season, take the time.

For one day they'll want to spend time alone.
One day they'll need to be on their own.
Next week their hugs may not seem quite the same--
Oh Lord, may they honor Your name.

It's nine-fifteen, and bedtime took too long, once again--
Another drink, another glass of water, and then
The questions come, the hands hold tight, and they eyes are opened wide,
And something in me whispers, "Now's the time."

Take the time, while they're right here by your side,
Take the time, while their arms are open wide.
Teach them how to love the Lord with all their heart and mind.
Oh, they're only home for a season, take the time.

--1985, Paul and Teri Reisser

The Bible tells us...

 Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.
-Psalm 144:4

 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. -Proverbs 27:1

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog--it's here a little while, then it's gone. 
-James 4:14

As we begin to start school, new Bible studies, small groups, and life lets enjoy and take in the "moments" that sometimes pass us by.

Pray and be led by the Spirit on decisions involving time and be careful not to get too busy to "Take the Time" with the little ones HE has entrusted you with. 

Jesus wants us to take time, entrust Truth, and love our children. Take the time!

What does your schedule look like?

Do you feel overwhelmed? 

Do you encourage those "talks" with your children even in moments that seem "busy"?

Life is a vapor! Enjoy the moment! Run in the rain! Get wet! Savor those kisses and hugs because they won't always want to cuddle in your lap! 

Friday, August 24, 2012


What’s more important?  To do your homework or to go to a friends house?  What’s more important?  To have your dinner on the table at a certain time or to finish a favorite book?

"What’s more important?"  A question we have asked our entire lives.  Now we are teaching our children to choose, “What’s more important?” 
This question is the essence of your priorities. A priority is: “something that deserves prior attention.” We evaluate our priorities every day.  It is interesting to watch our children evaluate right decisions. Actually the exchange is no longer “a right decision” but what works best with their personal priorities.

Our son has to decide in college if buying a new lacrosse stick is more important than paying his current education bill. Our eighth grader has to decide if she should spend the night at a friend’s house or complete an assignment from school.  Our eldest as a school teacher, now has to decide how late she should stay up as her mornings are early and demanding.

And as a parent, I too must decide what is important.  What is my priority?  If your child attends Calvary Christian Academy, we have been given another opportunity to hone our parenting skills.  The invitation involves a sacrifice, but it identifies our priorities.

Dr. Bob Barnes
CCA is making available Calvary Chapel pastors, CCA principles and Dr. Bob Barnes as they share their experience and expertise. It will be on Wednesday mornings from 7:45 to 8:45 during the month of September.  

The question becomes, "How serious am I about my parenting?"  "Do I care enough to look for every opportunity for the Lord to speak to me about becoming the best parent for my child?"

You may not live in our community, but my suspicion is you have your own way to grow as a parent.  Lets continue to make our children a priority by finding new ways to develop our parenting skills.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Forgiveness - Part 1

I want to take today and explain to you something beautiful that I experienced last week.  I have been specifically praying for God to show me my heart and if there is anything offensive in it.  My friend, He did just as I asked and it was not pretty.  God showed me that I was hanging onto some resentment in my heart and it was creating something very ugly in me.  This was not something that I was nurturing and intentionally growing.  I honestly did not realize it was there. 

But after a conversation where I was completely offended and hurt, God showed me that it was deeper.  There was a part of me in the offense and hurt that could tell I was being irrational, that there was something more.  When I went to a friend for council she confirmed that although I was justified in my anger and hurt, my heart really needed to be examined because of the bitterness behind my hurt and anger.  After a lot of prayer, tears, and scripture God brought me to the point of complete and utter brokenness.  I saw that I needed Him; I needed His strength to forgive this person so that my own heart could be untangled from this bitterness and resentment. 

 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”   Matthew 5:3-4

Really seeing our heart through Gods eyes can be intense and very painful but it can also lead to freedom and beauty.  It opened my eyes to a lot of things.  But one big one was the reason for what seemed like a big long continuous PMS.   I had been short with my kids a lot recently and I didn’t understand why.  This explained it.  I was me focused, maybe not intentionally but it was the product of a heart that has unforgiveness in it. 

I pray for you friend.  How is your heart?  I can tell you from resent experience that the ugliness of unforgiveness is heavy.  But our God is big.  He is very big.  Bigger than any bitterness or resentment that may have taken root in your heart.  And He is calling you unto Him.  He wants to be closer to you.  He wants you to see, feel, and know the extent of His love and His ability to heal the wounds that are left behind. 

This Sunday  Part 2:  The freedom in my heart was a beautiful thing.  But, I want to share something more with you.  In that time of examining my heart the Lord gave me a picture of what was happening in me.  It was a picture He would use the very next day to help my children see the very thing that I saw in a way they could understand. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Clouded Vision vs Clear Vision

Wipers – essential for motor vehicles.  When I was single, a friend from Bible study replaced my windshield wipers.  I was thankful but didn’t think they really needed changing as they appeared to be working just fine.  I wasn’t expecting anything the next time I used them.  However, that night while driving home I hit a patch of rainy weather and to my amazement those new wipers helped me see crystal clearly.  It was like the veil had been lifted!  I thought I was seeing clearly before, but in reality it was clouded vision. 

How about us in life? Life with children is awesome, but we need to make sure our spiritual vision is clear.  We need to be in the Word, in fellowship with other believers, and praying, otherwise our spiritual vision could dim slowly…but surely. 

Isaiah 58
 1“Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet; …
6 Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke? 

Fasting – essential for the Christian mom.  Have you ever fasted for your children’s salvation, for their health, for the friends they will choose in life, for their future spouses?  Let’s get on our knees and choose to make a difference through the act of prayer while fasting.  Let’s ask the Lord for clearer vision, discernment, and wisdom in raising the lives He has entrusted to us.  Foster moms, blood-related moms, aunts, sisters… have opportunities to change destinies through prayer.  Let’s refocus our spiritual sight, fast and pray, and expect God to do great things. 
8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.

          Recently, our 2 ½ year-old son was sick and I fasted and prayed for him to receive the Lord’s healing and to show me anything I might be missing as his mom.  The Lord Almighty is doing a great work in us, ladies, just keep seeking Him and communing with Him.

 Lord, I thank You for your ever-presence in our lives.  Thank You for doing that great work in us where we can clearly seek Your face, follow Your path, and show our kids how to do that too.  Lord, it’s an honor to serve You in this capacity and we don’t take it lightly, so please fill us with fresh wisdom and a renewed spirit to raise our kids in the manner pleasing to You.  Please help us to lead them to You.  We know You are waiting to give us new wipers for our clouded vision and we receive Your blessing now.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen. 

**For extra credit :-)  read the amazing rest of Isaiah 58, especially WOOHOO, verse 12 (part B)!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Where God Guides, God Provides

This devotional really encouraged my daughter and me this week as we encounter many obstacles on the path that God has directed us.  From not being able to register to the school she has been called to serve at to failing friendships.
“The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:24, NIV

God has never asked you to do something He is not capable of doing through you. God’s call upon our life means many things. His calling reminds us that we were not looking for Him but He for us. The very fact that you are committed to serving Jesus tells you that God reached out to you and called you to Himself. When He called you to be a Christian, He never expected you to live the Christian life on your strength. No, the one who calls you to live like a Christian is faithful to provide what you need to act like and be a Christian.
The first victory we need in our life is to recognize how faithful God really is and how unfaithful we really are. God knows your heart and mine and knows human effort can never fulfill divine appointments. Yes, the Christian life begins with trusting the faithfulness of God and His ability to “do it” and it never graduates from this experience of trust.

God’s call upon your life affects the person you marry, the career you choose, the things you buy, the church you serve and so on. When we call Jesus Lord, we turn over to Him the decisions of our lives. As Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” That places the responsibility on us to seek God’s will in all things. It places the responsibility on God to reveal His will for us. This verse is all about having peace in life. When you have heard from God about a matter, having sought His Word and acted in accordance, we can stand in peace knowing “the one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.”

QUESTION: Do you seek God’s direction and calling in all matters of life? What has God called you to do that you need to trust Him with?

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Carrot or the Stick

There is a lot of debate these days about whether schools should have treasure boxes or “blessing boxes” that contain small prizes for children who exhibit good behavior. There are strong opinions on both sides. I cannot give a psychological breakdown on the issue, but I can offer my sincere experience as a Mom coupled with the advice I receive in God’s word.

I love that the Bible is chock-full of wonderful information—I just have to seek it out and be willing to conform my life to His will. Well, recently, my husband and I were having a discussion about a reward system I had just developed for my oldest Doodlebug. I took out a clear plastic cup and explained to my little guy that whenever he listened the first time, right away, without any excuses, explanations, or “buts” I would put a cotton ball in his cup. Whenever he failed to do so, I would take one away or implement some other form of discipline. When his cup is full of cotton balls, I will take him for a “well done” type of treat—ice cream, cheeseburgers at Five Guys, a prize from Target’s dollar section, etc.

The main idea is that good behavior is rewarded. As my husband and I discussed this new reward system, we got into a little discussion about whether we should reward him for things he is just supposed to do. As we talked it out, we eventually came to the conclusion that as Ecclesiastes says, there is a season for everything under the sun. I would love for our son to obey all the time just because it feels good, and it is the right thing to do. However, we realize that because of his age, he may need to see the direct result of his actions (along with a little motivation)—through a reward or a punishment.

God is so good that he does the same thing for us. I mean really, how many people initially accept Jesus into the their heart as lord and savior because their present life is missing something (or a complete wreck) and they really want to go to heaven? It is often not until later, as we mature in our faith, that we learn to seek God’s face (presence) and not just his hand (blessings). As we mature in our faith, we understand that God knows what is best for us all the time, and that he is completely trustworthy. We also learn that obedience brings peace and produces a harvest or righteousness.

So, the carrot or the stick? I am convinced that God uses both. He lovingly and graciously rewards us both here and in the life to come. Yet, he also disciplines us when we stray or wander off course. As moms, we have no owner’s manual for our kids, but we can always look to the Bible for truth and insight. Whatever form of motivation or correction that you use, filter it through God’s word, pray for wisdom, and accept God’s peace that he made you the mother of your children…and it is OK if your parenting style is different from that of your friends.

Verses to consider:

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple…By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7;11

“Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.” Proverbs 19:18

“”Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.” Proverbs 20:11

Sunday, August 19, 2012

"I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again"

As I was driving the other day I heard this old school song and the chorus "I get knocked down, and I get up again" made me think of how I sometimes feel as a mom.  Occasionally, when I am having a challenging week, I will think of my failures with my children and wonder the damage I have done to my little ones.  I wonder how bruised their souls might be or what effects they will suffer in the future because of the mistakes I have made with them.  I know they mirror me, I know they now look to me as their impression of Christ, and I know they are learning and observing like sponges all they see daily and yet I still fail...

Although I may feel these things at times I quickly remind myself I am human.  Even though I sometimes fail as being the most patient or put together or loving mommy, I am the mommy the Lord has given to my children.  He knew what my children would need and what I am capable of.  According to the scriptures the Lord knew each of us before we were even a thought and He choose me specifically to raise them.  (Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you).  He also knows my intentions are to love them, teach them, and train them to love and honor Him, and that is simply all I can do. 

I recently decided I would re-read a great book by Catherine Hickem called “Raising Your Children with No Regrets,” here is a little taste of it.  
“A mother’s purpose is to give all of herself to uniquely impart values, faith, beliefs, and love into the children with whom she’s been entrusted.  Mothering with purpose is to recognize that your very existence defines love, gives life, protects innocence, believes in the impossible, and views life’s struggle as opportunities to enrich your children’s lives.”

So, when you feel knocked down what do you typically do?  Do you make sure you get back up again or do you dwell in the feelings of despair.   I would encourage you to remember the next time a situation arises, you are not alone, make what was wrong right by an apology if appropriate, pray with your little one, and start fresh.  Persevere through this time of parenting and fight this good fight, don’t let it get you down!

Heavenly father, we love you.  We thank you for the little ones you have entrusted to us. Please Lord search us and show us ways we can love and care for our children in ways that are pleasing to you. Equip us with wisdom from the heavens to build up this next generation.  Help us also to remember that even though we will fail at times you still love us. You remember our sins no more.  (Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.)  Again, thank you Lord, for allowing us to be moms...