Friday, May 29, 2015

Ruth and Lilly

   Ruth had no idea how, or if, her redemption was going to play out. In the third chapter of Ruth, we are left with a cliffhanger.  Either Boaz would redeem her, or there was a more close redeemer who could. She may have ended up being redeemed by another redeemer.  The final instruction from Naomi in Ruth 3, is found in the last verse.  Naomi encourages Ruth to wait…essentially because she could trust “the man!”  Naomi was giving Ruth a hope for tomorrow.
         I have found this principle of a “Hope for Tomorrow” important as we parent.  There are so many activities we need to complete with our children in tow.  They learn that moms are not all about “playing” with them. 
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The children learn moms must shop, clean, do laundry, work outside the home, participate in church and community activities and many many other things.

         This morning as I walked our dog just after seven, I saw our neighbor’s front door wide open. The sound from inside the house initially made me concerned what I was going to hear.  It was the voice of second grade Lilly, who at the top of her lungs said, “Today I’m going to get a Root Beer float!”
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         I envisioned all her second grade classmates having celebratory parties as school finishes this week.  Lilly’s focus was on the “prize,” a root beer float.
         Over the years as I’ve parented, I’ve come to realize the importance of giving our children something to look forward to.  It can be considered a reward for accomplishing a goal, or it can simply be a treat.
         It’s easy to get so caught up in our own chores and to-do lists, that we neglect just having fun.  Celebrating another day together. In a small way this is teaching our children that there is a something to look forward to, a hope for tomorrow.

         Consider this week how you can have the goal to have fun with your children.  Take them on an outing or a visit with a friend, make homemade cookies or go have a “Root Beer float!’  The Lord Jesus has given all Believers something to look forward too, lets share with our children there IS hope for tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


As I sat there watching my husband whack, peel and break open a coconut I got to thinking about God and how He put so much into protecting the heart of the coconut.  Therefore that got me thinking of how He protects us and how He wants us to partner with Him in this effort.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

How much more God has clothed us.  He calls these bodies we are in “the temple of the Holy Spirit” – wow!  That is something special for sure.  Just like a coconut we are housing an important part too – the heart which is the well-spring of what we have been putting inside.  Think about how God has protected you through times and seasons.  <Selah> Like how our great Creator clothes a coconut, He gives us His Word to help us guard our hearts and minds.

As we teach our little loveys the Word of God, it is important to instill in them just how holy it is and how our Lord wants us to learn to protect our hearts and equip our minds with its content.  We can remind them just how perfectly God has woven them together to house the most important of things – the Spirit of the living God.

"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness," Isaiah 61:10

Thank You, God our Creator!  

Monday, May 25, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude

Lately, God has been challenging me to look inwardly at my heart. It began Wednesday night, when my friend, a single-mom of two grown children, came to our house for small group. While I scurried about trying to get things in place before the others arrived, she mentioned how sweet my Mother's Day bookmarks were the boys made that were hanging on the frig. Each bookmark shared what they loved about their mom and then inked their fingerprint on the bottom of it.  I stopped as she said it, not sure if she was being sarcastic or real. As I turned to look at her face, her response was so genuine and heart-felt.

Their responses were simple: 
-she gives me gifts
-she loves me
-she cuddles with me
-I am her son

Simple responses that I was so ungrateful for, initially (Even though I gave great gratitude to the boys the moment they gave me them!). Yes, its been a crazy busy tough season. I guess when I received them I was hoping for some monumental response like, "She sacrifices for us each day and loves Jesus much!" 

My sweet friend, from small group, was thankful for those words my kids had written on the bookmarks, now appreciating the small stuff even more since her kids are grown and gone. I am sure she would love to receive another bookmark from her kids telling what they love about her. That season in her life is over. Receiving bookmarks with love written on it, only happens for so long.

I found that my heart needed adjusting and that I needed to be grateful for those innocent and real words my kids wrote. I need to be thankful for the little things in life. Realizing this season is short and will be gone before I know it.

God places people in our life to re-direct our minds back to Truth. Now every time I look at those cards I am very grateful for another day with my kids. Remembering I am a work in progress...just like them. 

Has God placed a person or circumstance in your path that has caused you to look inwardly at your heart? 

Ask God for one thing this week that you can be working on as a Mommy. Tell a friend - so she can be praying for you in that area! 

Remember we are ALL a work in progress!

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Back Porch!

         When I was 14, my parents built our “dream house.”  It certainly doesn’t compare to the “castles” of todays architecture but it was much larger than our previous little home. As the only girl, I was given a large bedroom, walk in closet and a half bath.  I decorated this oasis from three brothers in pale green paint and light yellow carpet.  I wanted the room to look happy. And it was! 
         The house had other wonderful features, it was in an up and coming subdivision with large lots and rolling hills (to be expected, its was in Virginia!)  My parents did an amazing job of keeping it updated over the almost thirty years they lived there.
         Another feature of the house was the back deck.  The house had no back door neighbors because of the slant of the adjoining property.  With almost a full acre of property in the back of the lot only thick trees could be seen.  The back deck watched this little forest throughout the years.  Watching the full throttled green leaves change to a bouquet of red, orange and yellow as Fall met Summer.  The winter would decorate the trees with a depressing gray and occasionally ice would turn the bare branches into a winter fairyland.  Spring always came unexpectedly to the trees because it was usually still chilly and without warning beautiful buds and blossoms dressed them up to say they had survived.
         The back deck brought our family and friends to barbecues and sunbathing.  Late night star gazing and cramming for exams are all memories of the deck.  Years later my parent’s update of the house turned the back porch into an amazing glassed sunroom.
         This sunroom became the hub of our family.  It was large enough to have a table, a complete living room suit and what family could do without the beloved television?  Over the years we’ve had family celebrations and holiday meals there.  We’ve laughed in the sunroom until we cried.  We’ve cried in that room until we didn’t think we could survive. Many memories formed and made in the evolution of this deck turned sunroom.
         My mother for the most part called this space, this deck, this beautiful sunroom, “The back porch!”  The “Back Porch!”  In all due respect to the wonderful memories it has held, how dare she call this space a “back porch.”  “Come on Mom, this room is special, the memories are many, and you call it a back porch?”
         This week as our youngest and I sat, unhurried and enjoying each other in a small covered area of our house, just off the kitchen in the back of our house.  I realized…the Lord had recreated the deck, the sunroom of my formative years.  It is now my “back porch.” 
         After living in this home only a couple of years and tearing it down to the studs, Gods design was to create the space. Our children, Greg and I now have a “space” just outside to have meals, to laugh until we cry, to cry over what breaks our heart and to join our hearts as life happens.
         I’m grateful God has found a haven for our family.  Out of the world’s eye, a special place for our family to process our lives. He has entrusted to us a space to make memories.

         Find that special place for your family.  It can be a room, but it could also be a park bench or a library table or a restaurant play land.  It can be a cozy chair in Starbucks or a get away cabin.  Find your back porch!  Your children will be looking in their adult lives to offer their children (your grandchildren) the same oasis experience!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"You Knew I Could" By Fran Maynard

I’ve been sick, with the flu, so I was going to see if someone else could write for me but after being encouraged by a friend, I decided to write what’s been going on in our home lately.  I figured someone other than myself might need to hear it too...

We seemed to be in a season where we were watching our son struggle.  Where our hearts ached wanting to do anything to fix it for him.  Training, disciplining, loving, correcting, praying and so forth.  However, to no avail, the behavior was still a struggle.    

He is only 6 so the behavior he struggles with are minimal, but for us to watch our son display less then godly character to his siblings and his family saddens us.  It’s not just the ordinary brother sister rivalry but something a parent senses when there is a deeper heart issue going on.  

So, in my time of sickness and quiet I had time to pray and listen.  I had time to ask the Lord how to get through to this boy who was hurting.  So that day when he got home from school I took him aside and told him that I loved him very much and that he was going to get through this.  I explained mommy was going to be consistent about disciplining him for his poor choices but that I knew Jesus was going to help him make positive ones.  I told him with the help of Jesus we were going to get him back on track no matter what and that we were in this together. 

Ladies please don’t miss this.  The next day, I watched my son interact playfully with his siblings, something he’d been struggling to do lately.  That evening with a smile on his face he said to me “Mommy you helped me do this, you knew I could”!  Both in tears we prayed together and thanked Jesus for this victory.  

Is your child struggling with something?  Maybe it's time to ask the Lord if your child needs your assistance?  The result may be priceless!

Lord Jesus please help us be students of our children.  Help us listen to them and have wisdom to know when our children need us and when they need to work through something on their own.  Thank you Lord for this wonderful job called motherhood, please help us to do it the way you intended!  Amen 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Unexpected Opportunity for Ministry

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, 
making the best use of the time.
Let your speech always be gracious,
seasoned with salt, so that you may 
know how you ought to answer each person.
-Colossians 4:5-6

We all have a "Meghan." A person God has strategically placed in our life. On a playground, at swim lessons, in Gymnastics, or at the park. Those moms the Lord wants us to interact with, shine His light on, and remind them of Truth. It happens in the most "coincidental" way. Our kids play/interact with their kids and it gives room for relationship.

Each Saturday morning, at 8 am, I meet up with my "Meghan." Her kids take swim lessons with mine. Usually early in the morning I am SO not awake enough for conversing, but lately God has pushed my heart to embrace Meghan and talk about life with her. 

As our kids swim, we share about family activities we do throughout the week. I have grown to enjoy those 30 minutes and  faith has been our topic of conversation quite a few times. She has shared her experiences with church, moving a lot, having family in the military, and learning to embrace the city we live in. Jesus handpicked our paths to align at the same time, same place, weekly for two months, knowing our conversation would lead to talking about God.

We plan the events of our day, where it is so jam packed with the urgent that we miss the important. Many times there are people right in front of us that we overlook because we are so enthralled in our problems, our cell phone, our agenda, ourselves really that we fail to notice the opportunity for ministry. 

God wants to use you with women the Lord has placed right in your sphere of influence. Those places you visit with your kiddos on a regular basis. Those moms you smile at and see on a regular basis.

Who is your "Meghan?"

Who has the Lord strategically placed in your path - that needs to be reminded of Truth?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Sing, Sing, Sing!

Did you wake with a song in your heart?  

So many mornings I will wake with a tune playing over and over in my mind.   For me the songs I hear are the songs I learned as a child or those I learned with the children.  The words are simple but the messages are profound.

         Sing to the Lord a New Song.  

         I challenge you to sing to your children.  I challenge you to sing with your children.  It will bless the Lord as you make a joyful noise.  It will keep your mind focused on what is truly important.  It will be a legacy your children will be singing potentially the rest of your life.
 Sing, sing, sing!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Put it in ACTION!

I am SO confident of certain spiritual truths!  I believe with every cell in my body that we are living in what the Bible calls, "the Last Days," I believe the rapture of the believers could happen at literally any minute, and I believe that we will enter into eternal rest that is beyond anything we can imagine!

BUT... true confession here... sometimes I lack faith in my current circumstances.

Below is an encouraging word from our brother, Jon Courson, that helped me refocus and put it action!

And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
Acts 28:24
Some believed and some didn’t. That’s still the way it is — even among Christians.

You see, we as believers know our sins are forgiven. We know Jesus is the Messiah, and that we’ll soon be with Him in Heaven. Yet in the meantime, we might be in hellish situations of depression, defeat, and despair because of unbelief.

The Word of God says, ‘In everything give thanks,’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Why? Because all things are working together for good (Romans 8:28).

‘Oh, but you haven’t seen the stack of bills on my desk, we say.
Well, the Word says, ‘My God shall supply all your need according to His riches,’ (Philippians 4:19).

‘Yeah, but you don’t understand the hurt I feel because she dumped me,’ we say.
The Bible says even if she meant it for evil, God will use it for good (see Genesis 50:20).

‘But I feel so bad about my son. He’s not walking with the Lord,’ we say.
The Bible says we can be confident that He Who began a good work in him will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus — He’ll finish what He started (Philippians 1:6).

Some Christians believe what God says and some don’t. Those who don’t, find themselves engulfed in despair, defeat, discouragement. You see, it’s not enough just to know the Scriptures, gang. It’s not enough just to hear the Word. It’s not enough just to come to Bible study. You and I must believe. And ‘believe’ is not a noun — it’s a verb.

We can be the happiest, most carefree people in the world if we believe — and act on that belief. You might know the Scriptures backward and forward — but Jesus said, ‘Happy are you if you do them,’ (John 13:17).

It’s what you do — not what you know that matters, and it all begins by saying, ‘Today I’m going to believe that God is working, and that He is fulfilling what He has promised. You are faithful, Lord; and I will live in that today. I will proclaim Your faithfulness; and I will choose to rejoice in You.’

How can you put your trust in His faithfulness in action today?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

A day of celebration. A day of reflection. A day of joy. A day of remembrance. A day of stories. A day of wonder. A day of gifts and treats. A day to ponder. Mother's Day!

As I sat in church last night, I listened as the pastor shared stories of his wife. The kind of wife and mommy she is. I smiled at the encouragement he brought to us. Sweet reminders that we are not perfect but we serve a God who is. One illustration told how his wife scrap-booked and was really good about making family photo albums each year. They leave them on the table in their living room to share with visitors as they come to their home. For a moment...I sat and thought about how I don't do that. How I am failing big time in that area. In a moment, I went from feeling encouraged and empowered as a mom to..."Wow, I am really missing the mark in that department!" Sure I love to take pictures and post to Facebook but printing them out is a whole nother story.

There it was...the sneaky little "comparison" button that satan so often likes to push in my life. My weakness. So I decided in that moment rather than sulk about what photos I didn't print out last year that I would make an effort to start making photo albums more often. Not giving satan space in my mind to ponder the "what if's" but to allow the craft of another mom be an encouragement for me to do the same.

What if we did that, Moms? What if we decided that we wouldn't be threatened by other moms but allow their successes to nudge us in the same direction. Today we will see many posts on Facebook of what husbands did for their wives. What cute crafts your child never made you. What restaurant you can't afford but your friends went to for Mother's Day. Instead...lets enjoy whatever we have in our life. Right now. Let others' successes be a nudge for you to try out some of the same things. Not threatened but encouraged. So as you look through Facebook and email today, be encouraged with what YOU have! God loves you Mommy! Keep seeking His face in all you do!

"Commit your plans unto the Lord and they will succeed." - Proverbs 16:3

Friday, May 8, 2015

Line up Wonder Women!

         I guess I had some romantic notion.  I mean, it is my moms’ fault.  She made mothering look so easy, so inviting.  I thought there was no job I would rather aspire to. 
         I should have realized as I waited in a long line at the women’s bathroom at six months pregnant with our first child.  I can remember wearing a red dress with a white Peter Pan color thinking I was terribly fashionable for the performance of the Broadway hit, “Porgy and Bess.”  But as I stood in line with 40 other women all vying for a moment to go potty I realized no one cared of my condition.
         The lady in front of me commented how she remembered how frequently she needed to go to the bathroom.  Then the lady in front of her and the one behind me all began to empathize with me.  You would have thought one of these compassionate mothers would have gladly escorted me to the front of the line or at least allowed me to pass them in the line.  But no.  They were content to talk about “understanding” my condition.
         This should have been the fair warning to motherhood.  Lots of “understanding,”  lots of heads nodding and wagging and empathizing but minimal help.
         But my mother?  Well, that’s another story entirely.  She made motherhood a noble, desirable, over-the-top attractive profession. However today was the real day of discovery!  I am finally sure!  I’ve had my “wonderment,” but now I know…My Mom is Wonder Woman!
      After finding this plague, I’m convinced my mom IS Wonder Woman.  If you need a 150 reasons, I can give you more.  I hope many of you think your mom is Wonder Woman.         Because I know many of you who read this blog, I will respectfully put my mom at the top of the Wonder Women list and add yours!
Happy Mother’s Day fellow Wonder Women!  May this Mother’s Day be your best!  Love you girls!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Happy Mother's Day, Angel!

Grab a tissue and be blessed, sweet mother, you were chosen!

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him. - Psalm 127:3, NLT

Let's pray.  Dear God, Thank you for each mother reading this, and thank you for her precious children.  Today, may she realize that you chose her to be her child(ren)'s mother because she was the very best one for the job.  She is who her child(ren) needs.  May she today and everyday lead her child(ren) back to you.  In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

"Forgiveness" by Stacey Wooddell Imbimbo

Repent, then, and turn to God, 
so that your sins may be wiped out, 
that times of refreshing 
may come from the Lord - Acts 3:19

We were heading to the beach, meeting some friends at our favorite splash pad.
I was driving down Atlantic Ave thinking about how difficult the morning had been.  The kids were touchy and getting on each other’s nerves. 
 They were having a hard time listening and obeying.
There was lots of disciplining, reminding and redirecting.
It was slightly chaotic, and I was rushing around getting everything ready for our “fun day at the beach”. 
Then it happened….I lost it!   
It wasn’t pretty….
My words were NOT kind, my patience was GONE, and I had had enough.
Have you ever had one of those days?
In my heart I knew I had to do it….it wasn’t easy but it was so important.
I had to ask for their forgiveness.
I was wrong.
There I was, driving our minivan, letting them know that I was so sorry that I was not being kind. I was so sorry for the words I used.
Will you please forgive me?
As I watched from the rear view mirror, they were smiling saying “that’s ok, we forgive you” “we love you” “its fine mom”.
Children are such a beautiful picture of true forgiveness. 
They hold no grudges, they keep no record of wrongdoings.
We parked, hugs and kisses, and off they went to play.
It was such a great lesson for me as the mom.
 It was hard to humble myself to admit my failure to my kids. But, I was encouraged by their actions of quick forgiveness. 
As our children are following in our footsteps, watching our every move, hearing our every word, may they see us ask for forgiveness.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Exceedingly Mothering

This week I have recognized my parenting leverage could improve by implementing what I know to do as a wife.   That’s right.  I believe the greatest way to be the best mom is by loving our children’s dad.

         The verse I have been meditating on this week is from Ephesians 5: 33, which says, “The wife must respect her husband.” RESPECT, hum…

         The Amplified Bible says, “Let the wife see that

She respects

And reverences her husband

(That she…

notices him,

regards him,

honors him,

prefers him,


and esteems him;

and that she defers to him,

praises him,

and loves 

and admires him


         I’ve been evaluating this list…not thinking I would get a passing grade on most of these.  I have been practically choosing a couple each day to define and apply in our marriage.

         Although, I recognize I’m falling short everyday, my husband is making comments on how I’m treating him.  It is interesting to see how he is responding to me as I intentionally consider what would it practically look like for me to notice him, regard him or prefer him.

         My attempts at noticing him include; welcoming him home and stopping what I am doing while he talks to look him in the eyes.  Trying to “regard him” has caused me to think more intentionally about what he wants and by asking him what he wants or needs. Preferring compared to MY own agenda, desires and plans to what He may want or desire. 

         Ladies this isn’t rocket science.  This is being a student of our husbands and making application of what God says.  I challenge you to be in God’s Word. Allow Him to teach, convict and direct you to obey and exceedingly live out His Words. By living out His Words we will become the best mom for our children and the best wife for our husband!