Wednesday, October 31, 2012


"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, 
and to be subject to their husbands, so that 
no one will malign the word
 of God." - Titus 2:3-5

This is such a beautiful passage of scripture that gives great comfort. Every mom has a hunger for encouragement and training from the mothers who have gone before. The "older women" (Titus 2:3) hold tons of wisdom from past experiences stored up. Most parenting lessons are hard and it is less stressful when we are able share it with a mentor who has been there.

I remember having a mentor when I had my second son. She was so encouraging and looked for ways to uplift me with Truth as I questioned how I was parenting. In my exhaustion of trying to balance two children, the Lord used her to comfort me. I listened intently to what she had to share as her kids were older than mine. My prayer is that one day I can pass that comfort on to another mom in need and live out this verse...

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Do you have a mentor to go to for wisdom and counsel? 

If not, pray and ask Jesus to provide one for you.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wait or Step

I have always struggled over when to wait on the Lord and when to step out in faith. When I'm waiting, I battle with what I'm supposed to be doing while I'm waiting and when I'm stepping, I battle with is God leading me or is my impatient flesh leading. The Bible clearly states that we are to do both.

"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall ren and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

"Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my father promised." Acts 1:4

 "By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with Godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith." Hebrews 11: 7

"For she said to herself, 'If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.' But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, 'Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well..." Matthew 9:21,22

In each case, the Lord was sought or He spoke. In my finite wisdom, I have resolved that I should seek Him in the waiting period through prayer and His word and hear from Him before stepping in faith. 

"So then, faith comes by hearing, and by hearing the Word of God." Romans 10:17

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Please help me to quiet the noise around me, that I may hear Your voice. Please provide the quiet time I need to get alone with you and have you direct my paths. Please sharpen my listening skills and to know my Father's voice. Help me to be patient in waiting and quick to move once I have heard from you. I love you! In Jesus' name, Amen.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stop and Enjoy!

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8a (NIV)

It’s funny how adding another child to the mix can speed some things up, while slowing others things down. For example, I am now changing the diapers of two kids instead of one, and at several times during the day all three kids seem to need me at once. On the other hand, our outside activities have slowed down a bit…or at least my involvement in them. The funniest thing is that by slowing down, God has allowed me to reevaluate a few things in my life. One huge thing became apparent to me:

I need to enjoy my kids more for who they are and not become frustrated by what they are not. I need to enjoy them right now in the season that they are in right now, because the truth is that they are not my own. They are on loan to me from the Lord, and one day they will have families, careers, and homes of their own. When they are in that season, I want to delight in the fact that I had many wonderful years teaching, instructing, disciplining, and enjoying them. I don’t want to have the heavy heart of a mom who dragged herself through the day by day of life and forgot to have fun with her kids.

God is so good to not just remind me of the fact that I need to enjoy my kids—even on the crazy days—but he has also been faithful to send reinforcements my way through other blogs, Christian radio, the internet, and a variety of other media sources. It’s like He doesn’t want me to miss it. For instance, recently a friend sent me the blog article of another homeschool mom. As this woman’s husband was walking out the door, he lovingly told his wife, “Honey, I have prayed for your day with the kids. Remember to enjoy them today.” Another blog written by our very own, very beautiful Joannie, reminded us to enjoy our kids in her blog titled, “Let Them Eat Cake”.

As if all of this were not enough, I listened to a family life blog about moms (a very good segment that I will blog about in more detail later) that encouraged us as moms to stop competing with one another, stop comparing our kids to other kids, and to love and enjoy them the way Jesus encourages us to. Consider the following verse:

“The Lord your GOD is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

As a mom, I want to follow the example of our Heavenly Father; I want to take delight in my children. I want to rejoice over them with singing. This means that when my son wants to tell me some really long, dramatic, youthful story about Spiderman, or centipedes, or airplanes, I need to intently listen. You know what I mean…I need to do more than “act like I’m listening”. I should actually listen and try to see things through his eyes and share his excitement. If my younger son wants to play basketball on the patio, I need to take a few minutes to enjoy that pastime with him. I need to enjoy every moment of my precious newborn, because truthfully, I think she may be our last little one.

So moms, let’s enjoy the little personalities walking around our homes. Let’s celebrate the unique person God has made them. Let’s love them, guide them, pray for them, and enjoy them so that one day we can send them out to be the men and women God has created them to be…knowing that we enjoyed the process. J

Let’s pray:

Heavenly Father, Thank you that your word illuminates the beauty of you rejoicing over us with singing. Thank you for the children you have blessed us with. Thank you that your Word provides the ultimate guide for how to live in a way that brings you honor and brings peace and joy to our homes. I pray that we will imitate you in all things—help us to enjoy our kids in whatever season we are in. Help us to rejoice over them with singing.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Challenge: How has God uniquely crafted your child(ren)? Decide today to rejoice in their uniqueness and enjoy the personality God has given them. Also, what activity or simple pastime can you enjoy with your kid(s) that would really bring a smile to his or her heart?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Breathe Words of Life

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. - Proverbs 18:21

This past weekend I was blessed with a free ticket to go to the Women of Faith conference in Fort Lauderdale. The great speakers and awesome worship were so refreshing for me after a long and exhausting week. I was thankful to sit, relax, and be restored by His Holy Spirit. 

My favorite part of the whole conference was a quote made by comedian Mark Lowry. In his comedy segment, we laughed as he shared how as a child he was wild and active. He tested his parents and teachers. I tuned in as he talked about his mom and what she was like. He explained how one sentence his parents said each night, as they tucked him into bed, was monumental in his life...

"Mark, we know God is going to do great things with your life."

This statement reminded me of Proverbs 18:21 (above) and how much power is in the words we speak to our children. Mark expressed how much his parents voice meant in his life, and how, at 54 years old, he still thinks about those words today. 

Our kids will believe who we say they are. They will believe who we say Jesus is. As we trust the Lord to do great things in the life of our children, we need to be sure to voice that to them as well. So as I tucked my son in tonight, I stated the same quote, as Mark's parents, to my son because I believe it's true. 

What does Proverbs 18:21 mean to you?

Do you believe the Lord has a great plan for your child? 

Breathe life into your child and share that with them today.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been born blind.2 His followers asked him, "Teacher, whose sin caused this man to be born blind—his own sin or his parents' sin?"

  Jesus answered, "It is not this man's sin or his parents' sin that made him blind. This man was born blind so that God's power could be shown in him.

 -John 9:1-3 NCV-

It was a little over three years ago that the above passage came alive in my life. Sometimes you read a section of scripture and breathes in you new life  as you encounter the living God while reading it. 

These verses took on a whole new meaning to me when I gave birth to my second son Jack. It was only a few minutes after birthing my 10 lb. 9oz, 23 in., son that my mid-wife shared with me that he had a birth defect. We hadn't had a sonogram since 20 weeks and had no warning signs ahead of time. 

We walked through the first couple of weeks with our son and I remember questioning, "Why us?" I didn't understand why the Lord would choose us to walk through this trial. We were faithful servants with my husband in full-time ministry. I knew He was sovereign but just didn't understand this intersection in the path of our life. So often we question His purpose or plan with our finite minds, and we fail to remember He sees the whole picture. 

After many tears and questions the Lord gave my husband John 9:1-3 to share with me regarding our situation. Once I read this it completely changed how I looked at our situation. It changed from "Why us?" to "How can we use this for His glory?"

As we met with the surgeon we looked at every encounter as one HE placed before us. We prayed for ministry opportunities as we met with nurses and doctors in the office and hospital as well. My eyes became fixated on His will and not my own. It released the stress of trying to "figure it all out" and sincerely resting in the peace of Jesus. Our hope is to glorify the Lord through this process. 

A few surgeries behind us and one more in the future we look forward to seeing what the Lord will do if our hearts are just willing to let go of fear and hold tight to His hand. Christ wants to do much in and through us if we will take the focus off ourselves and place it back onto Jesus!

Are you walking through a season of your life that has you asking, "Why me?"

Seek for ways to glorify Him through the process.  

Read John 9:1-3 daily!

Pray for ministry opportunities.

You will be amazed at how He uses your "crazy" to encourage others because His Spirit is working in and through you.

Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”

Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.”
 - John 9:1-3 MSG

Friday, October 26, 2012

Swimming Pool Lights and Rear View Mirrors

        With a child in Florida and another in Virginia, our two oldest children communicate through texting.  Our oldest daughter is 22 years old and a month away from celebrating her 1st wedding anniversary.  Our manchild is in his second year of college.

         They both love their lives.  Michelle is striving to get the “wife of the year” award. (I suggest she begin working on her acceptance speech – she deserves it!) Drew is playing his heart out on the lacrosse field and at every opportunity taking an extra class on line to race his way through college in record time.

         This week I was privy to a series of correspondence through text they recently had.  After the normal pleasantries, they began a walk down memory lane.

         My memories of these two (who are twenty seven months apart) would include: trips to the beach from our little cottage in a red radio flyer with wooden sides; bike rides in baby seats and then their own bikes with training wheels.  My memories include a “talker” and a “hugger.”  Those two were like fish in their grandparents pool and enjoyed library story time as much as walking to Dairy Queen and stopping in the Lutheran church park to play.

         Their memories in texts culminated with Drew’s sentiment:  “Wouldn’t it be fun to swim to the light in Meme’s pool and turn back time?”

         What’s a mom to say?  Yes! I’d turn it back.  No! I wouldn’t consider it.

Philippians 3: 14  “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me...”

         Paul wasn’t familiar with a rear view mirror.  I think a rear view mirror is a perfect counterpart to our lives.  While we are moving forward we can peek in the rear view mirror and be reminded of things from the past. I’m grateful for the opportunity to move forward and on occasion take a glance in the mirror of memories of our children as little ones and the awe of being a mom.

 CHALLENGE:  Memories often get lost. As precious as the memory; too many years, too many babies later, I can’t remember which child, which outfit or which location memories happened.  I challenge you to stop now and write or log a memory that was special to you this week.  It may seem incidental, but our children may be texting it to each other before you realize.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


“It is unfortunate but true that most American Christians really don’t have a true appreciation for the price that was paid for their salvation.  In our selfishness, we often delude ourselves into thinking that we can have Christianity and the old, carnal lifestyle at the same time.”  (Steve Gallagher, The Walk of Repentance)

 This has been in my face all week.  This message has been in my bible study, some lectures I have been listening to, and even a friend who was just sharing a frustration with me.  I know this is not lighthearted encouragement but I pray that you will take this to prayer and examine your own heart.    
We are so double-minded.  We are like the Israelites when they would go up to the high places, sacrifice to the pagan gods, then come down to the temple of the true and living God and make a sacrifice to Him.  That sounds so appalling yet we do the same thing. We want all that God has to offer without giving up anything.  We want to live in the world and be like the world with a little slice of Christianity on the side.  The slice that makes us look good and gets us into heaven. 

 A friend the other day in frustration said,  “How are we any different?  We watch all the same shows, read all the same trashy novels, and skip church on Sundays for soccer.  We are teaching our kids at 9 years old that sports come before God and their church family.”

So I ask what outcome do we expect from that?  Have we forgotten completely the price that was paid for our salvation?  Do we think so little of our God?  Do we really think that we can live out a life in front of our children that is so much in love with this world and they will not be seriously affected?

In Haggai the Lord says to the people to "Consider your ways." 

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. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” James 1:5-8

 “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  James 4:8

 "This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways."  Haggai 1:5 and 7

"Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers." 1 Timothy 4:16

Heavenly Father, help me surrender all to you.  I pray that you would help me to clearly see my selfish desires and my love for the things of this world in the light of the sacrifice of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Help me see with your eyes; eyes that focus on the eternal and not on the now.   Purify my heart so that there is no double-mindedness in me.  I pray that my children would see in my life a love that is bigger and deeper for you than for the things of this world.  Help me to teach them to love you and to walk in your ways all the days of their life. 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

“Well” Watered?

If you think of a well to draw water from – it’s DEEP, it’s not so wide but concentrated in one direction to fulfill the purpose for which it was made.  Same with us.  We were made to be a well filled with water, living water, that should continually be drawn from and filled again…to overflowing.  Do you have the picture in your head of that well – bricks around the top and even a wooden roof was made atop (so no junk could fall in from the sky, if you know what I mean), and a watering bucket is hanging between the wooden posts with a rope to let down the bucket.

Bricks/foundation – God Almighty, sure foundation, solid rock (Psalm 62:2,6)

Roof – banner over us is love (Song of Solomon 2:4, Isaiah 18:3)

Junk – the world, sin (John 1:29, John 16:8, Exodus 9:27)

Bucket – our bodies, our offering, where the wellspring of life is (Proverbs 18:4, Romans 12:1)

Posts – our friends, accountability (Proverbs 12:26, Proverbs 17:17, Proverbs 18:24)

Rope – prayer, lifeline, connection to God (1 Samuel 2:1, Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 4:6, James 5:16)

Does your well-water runneth over so others can be blessed or is it always running dry?  Does it “runneth” at all?  Do your kids know you read the Bible?  Do they see your lifeline in action?  Do they hear you talk to friends with encouraging words (or gossip stuff)?  They see how you dress, is it representing an offering to God, or an offering to the eyes of the world?  Does your roof leak the junk of the world in or is your home covered by the blood of Jesus, in love?  Is the foundation of your life built on the solid rock of Jesus Christ? 

Let’s pray:  Lord God, we are so grateful and thankful for giving us Your word, the Bible.  We can read it and ask You to fill us with Your living water of love, and the fruit of the spirit.  We receive your gift of love and act on it today.  May our eyes be open to the possibilities around us.  May we look for ways to pour Your love onto others today.  May we experience the joy of our salvation when we share the hope that is within us today.  We’re thankful that we can draw from You today.  Help us be concentrated in one direction to fulfill the purpose for which we were made.  Thank You, Lord.  In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In the Midst of It All

22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:22-33 (NIV)
As moms, we are pulled in all directions. Instinctively, we try to take control or "manage" our duties and circumstances. When we lose control things seem to get "windy". Strong gusty winds such as being submissive, our children's behaviour, relationships with family and friends, hostile work environments, finances, loving the hard to love, the care and upkeep of our homes, and the list goes on. Be reminded in verse 29 that with Jesus we can perform miracles! Notice that not until Peter took his eyes off Jesus and saw the wind, was he afraid and began to sink. But notice, all he had to do was cry out, "Lord, save me!" and immediately Jesus reach out His hand and caught him. Jesus kept him In the Midst of It All!
Challenge: Listen to this song and be encouraged today. In the Midst of It All by Yolanda Adams.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Rejoice in hope, 
be patient in tribulation, 
be constant in prayer
- Romans 12:12

As I struggled this week in many areas of my life I was reminded in scripture where my HOPE comes from. It is not my situation that determines it. It is not conditional. My hope is not based on my finances or how "well" my children behave. Christ died so my HOPE could be and remain constant. The Lord reminded me that people (even our beautiful little children) will fail us, because they are sinners too! But Christ will never fail me. Many mornings this week I hungered for encouragement and HE met me as I opened the word of God.

Tribulation is defined as "a cause/state of great trouble or suffering." As moms, sometimes it can feel like we are in a 
state of great suffering, right? Romans 12:12 reminds me 
that I should be patient in those trying times. I must trust HE has a plan and will build my character as the heat is
turned up in my life. It is in the furnace that many observe 
and inquire about our hope giving way to ministry opportunities. A guest speaker at church recently said that we are always in 
one of three places as we walk through life (1) IN THE FIRE 
FIRE. Isn't that so true for the life of a Christian mom? But 
be encouraged it is not forever. Heaven is such a beautiful 
plan and many days I long to be there because of the crazy 
experienced here on earth.

Much help we can access if we will reach out with our voices and hearts in prayer to the one will all the power. Many times we go through our day, many tasks on our list, many mouths
to feed and hearts to train and yet we forget to ask the Lord  
for help. Christ wants us to ask the HELPER, the HOLY 
SPIRIT, to empower us to do the things that we cannot on 
our own. Showing love to those who have spit in our face, 
forgiving those hurtful words said, and loving the unlovable. 
Today was one of those days I failed miserably to call on 
the name of Jesus in the midst of chaos with my kids. I need to
put sticky notes up with the word "PRAY" on it as a reminder
to seek Him out when I want to throw in the towel. I need to 
be constant in prayer when I want to give up. Instead of 
checking my email I need to get on my knees ask seek His 
face (Psalm 105:4) continually. Even as I type this I
reminded of how much help I need in this area.

Of the above three (paragraph titles), which do you need 
most help with? 

Ask Him for help!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
-Isaiah 55:8-9

What are these verses saying to you today?

Lately the Lord has been stretching me. Encouraging me to trust Him even when I don't understand the path He has me on. Over the past year many decisions I HAD PLANNED didn't pan out and many other new plans appeared as I sought His word and direction. Plans I would have thought crazy but HE sees the beginning, middle, and end of each "plan" Christ lays before me. 

My finite mind can only see what is directly in front of me. But my God sees the end result and the woman HE is molding and shaping me to become... if I will trust and follow His prompting. But that is hard. It means letting go of my will and picking up His.

So what is it for you? Where is HE leading you that you never saw coming? Will you trust? Will you follow His prompting and leading? 

Jesus has your best interest in mind. After all the Lord created you and knows the purpose HE has for your life.

 TRUST and BELIEVE today my friend!

Saturday, October 20, 2012


See, I am doing a new thing! 
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? 
I am making a way in the desert 
and streams in the wasteland.
 - Isaiah 43:19

It was a few weeks ago I received my very first smart phone. The iPhone 4S. I was immediately in love with the games for the kids,  educational apps for homescholing, Bible app for me, daily alarm reminders, and a plethora of other great tools too! 

I was doing my normal routine a few days later when I noticed my older son making silly faces towards my phone and I assumed he was taking pictures. Fifteen minutes later he called me over to watch the reel he had prepared for me. Except it was not only pictures but video as well!!

As I watched my son's video creation I was blessed to hear him talk of "God's love" and "His creation" and my heart began to wonder what else he caught on video. *Side note*The Lord has been reminding me not to be led by my emotions causing me to yell at the kids when frustrated. To be honest it is something I daily struggle with but with His help I am getting better.  As I watched I was pleasantly surprised that in the background my voice was very calm and I wasn't frustrated...PRAISE GOD! This got me thinking..."What if my days were recorded on video for me to play back and watch later?" Would I be embarrassed? Would I praise God?  If I knew I was being recorded each day would it change the way I behave? 

This gave me a great idea...why not keep a record, on a spiral, the "highs" and "lows" of my days. In doing this it will remind me of what to praise Jesus for (highs) and those things I need prayer for (lows). It can be things about parenting, marriage, and life. 

Do you journal? Why not start now?

Allow the frustrations of the day to be the points that bring you closer with your Creator. 

Remember to praise the Lord for the good that happened within your day too!

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.
- 2 Chronicles 16:9