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United For The Journey

My Sweet Friends,

 

You ever have God call you to do the hard thing?

 

You ever have God challenge you to do the needful thing?

 

Well last year He did just that to me.

 

You see, I’ve always been a writer. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew one day I’d write books. I’ve got a purple notebook on my bookshelf that I’ve had for over 20 years with book ideas in it. And last year I was in the process of writing my first book on Honoring The Temple.

 

But God!

 

He has a way of stepping right into your situation. He told me to put that book down. He told me to resurrect the dry bones. Those were His exact words. In that, He was telling me to dust off writing I had done year’s prior when I wrote and facilitated an 8-week course called Raising Godly Children. He said He would put meat on the bones of that work and that that would become my first book.

 

Well I wasn’t really interested in that. It was much more fun for me to write about honoring the temple. It was easy to talk about what God says about proper nourishment, rest and exercise. It was exciting to delve into the scriptures and make parallels between the spiritual temple and the physical temple.

 

But to dive into a discussion on parenting?! Well….not as much fun for me. While I love being a parent, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s not so glamorous. It’s not always easy. It’s the thing that keeps me clinging FIERCELY to the cross. Hence, it is the needful thing. But at times I can be a little more Martha than Mary. But in this instance, He was urging me to choose the better part.

 

And for that reason, God said that’s the very thing I need you to write about. That thing that makes you cry. That thing that has you calling out to Me. That thing that you have to believe Me for and trust Me for. Yes that thing that you can only do by My power and only with My grace. Yes, you will address THAT THING said the Lord.

 

Well nearly having a tantrum, I agreed to do that thing. When I went to resurrect that old material, I couldn’t find most of it. That nearly sent me into a tailspin as I panicked that all was lost. And again the Lord eased my worries. He said, “It’s okay. I’ve given you a new perspective and new grace for parenting so some of that old material isn’t applicable anymore. I will give you fresh words for the book”. And that He did.

 

57,000 words later, Purposeful Parenting was completed.

 

It was an arduous journey to complete this project. But through the journey God did an amazing work in my own heart. He softened my heart. He showed me His unfailing love toward me. And now I want you invite you to embark on the journey with me.

 

My book, Purposeful Parenting: Allowing God to Change Your Heart so He Can Reach Theirs will officially be released on May 30th. And I would love for you to experience the life changing transformation that I have experienced in receiving the Father’s love then being able to pass that on to the children in your lives. You will have the opportunity to read the book before it is released and you will be the first to sound the clarion call of Purposeful Parenting.

 

This group of people, the book launch team, will lead the way in loving children of any age wholly and completely. It starts with us. It starts with adults who know the way, go the way, and then show the way. In this group we will learn:

~How our own beliefs impact our ability to parent

~God’s plan and purpose for our children

~How to accept children for who they are

~How to connect with our children

~An extra bonus of how I was able to complete a book as a busy mama of 6

 

And much more!

 

If this sounds like something you’d like to be part of, you can sign up by CLICKING HERE. I’d love to have you partner with me as we directly impact our world for the good by pouring love into the hearts of children. And along the way, we will share laughter and maybe even shed a tear or too but that’s okay because we’ll do it in the safety of community. I thank you in advance for joining me in our quest to parent with purpose on purpose.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been inspired to be a Purposeful Parent!
Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Chasing Community, Grace & Truth

What Every Mama Needs To Know About Balance

With wind and a cold mist peltering his face like a zillion little bullets, daredevil Nik Wallenda became the first person to walk a tightrope directly over Niagara Falls. Taking the 1,800 feet trek, 200 feet above the falls, Wallenda teetered and swayed as he took careful steps in an attempt to maintain balance in order to reach the other side.

 

Mamas, do you ever find yourself perched precariously above treacherous waters, bearing a heavy load all in an attempt to make it safely to the other side?

 

Do you ever bear the weight of caring for your children, meeting your boss’ expectations, satisfying your husband in the bedroom, caring for an aging parent, and bringing food to a neighbor who just had a baby? And all that was happening within the first half of the day. WHEW!

 

Then factor in round two of returning an emails to the teacher, attempting to put a half way decent meal on the table, finding someone’s jersey for practice, pulling beans out of your baby’s ear then remember you forgot to pay a bill and today was the last day before cut off.

 

Mamas, you manage a dozen or more moving parts, ALL at the same time. Where’s the balance in that?

 

The notion of “balance” summons an image of perfectly executing ALL my responsibilities, ALL in perfect order, ALL the time. It looks like being everything to everyone, doing everything for everyone and looking cute and wearing a smile while doing it. And somehow mamas, we’ve bought into this LIE!

 

Yes. There, I’ve said it. The notion of balance we’ve been told is a lie. We’ve been sold a bill of goods that is no good for our mental, physical and emotional health. We’ve been shamed into thinking if we cannot “balance” all of our many responsibilities, all at the same time that we are bad mommies.

 

Well, I’ve come by to shed the light of TRUTH on that lie.

 

You very well may be capable of achieving some super human mommy feats of greatness. But it is unrealistic to believe you have to do ALL things well, ALL at the same time.

 

Trying to achieve balance can become a fruitless pursuit of an elusive goal if you’re not careful. Click To Tweet While it is great to have an ideal that you’d like to achieve, ensure that the pursuit is rooted and grounded in seek the Kingdom first. Also ensure that the pursuit is even realistic and attainable given your time, energy and resources. And beware of fall into the pit of perfectionism.

 

It is in embracing our imperfection, in knowing our limitations and in being realistic with our capabilities that we can truly achieve an attainable semblance of balance. Yes, “I’m every woman, its all in me” as Chaka Khan and Whitney sang. But I don’t have to be everything, to everyone all at the same time.

 

So what do you do?

 

Assess Expectations

Reassess your expectations of yourself. Are they realistic? Are you setting yourself up for success or failure with the demands you’ve placed on yourself?

 

Windows Of Opportunity

Have you made realistic goals for what you hope to achieve based on your time, energy and resources? I know you’ve planned to wash, dry, fold and put away 4 loads of laundry today but if you’re only home 4 hours in the evening IT AIN”T GONNA HAPPEN. Realistically there is not enough time so don’t sabotage yourself with unrealistic goals. Now I am a high achiever and believe in setting lofty goals, but we want to position ourselves for success and that requires an accurate assessment of what can truly be done given what we have.

 

Let It Go

Here’s another good one for you to think about. What can I let go? What is a level B or C that I can put off for another day, delegate or eliminate entirely?

 

Mamas, I know first hand the delicate work of trying to achieve and maintain balance. Surrender it all to Him. Allow the Lord to direct your steps as you seek to honor Him with your time and efforts. Free yourself from the trap of perfectionism and walk in the freedom of knowing you’re doing the best you can with what you have. (And to those who could be more disciplined, the Lord can help you too).

 

The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9a

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Chasing Community, Grace and Truth

A War Room Prayer For Our Daughters

Being a parent is not for the faint of heart. From watching a newborn’s chest rise and fall so you can confirm breathing to staying up late waiting for a teen to return home, being a parent can leave you sick with worry. Fear, anxiety and guilt can become permanent house guests if you’re not careful. But we are careful parents who do not let seeds of doubt and deception take root. We are parents who fiercely hold fast to the TRUTH.

 

While we may not have ALL the answers in parenting, we do have THE answer. And the answer is PRAYER. The single most effective thing we can do as parents is to pray for our children Click To Tweet I’ve fervently poured my heart out for our sons and you can read that HERE. Now let us bombard heaven on behalf of our daughters.

 

Lord,

 

You are a good good Father. You are the Good Shepherd who guides and protects us and our children. Thank you Holy Spirit for teaching us and leading us into all truth. And it is only by your power and revelation that we can effectively parent our daughters. So Lord I thank you that you see each of our daughters. You are intimately acquainted with everything concerning them for you knew them even before we did and you sent them for a time such as this. Thank you for trusting us to steward over these Proverbs 31 women in the making. Confirm for our girls that you love them with an everlasting love. If they’ve been wounded remind them that you see, that you care and that you are the balm that heals. Reassure them that they are the apple of your eye and a jewel in your crown. May they embrace their self-worth and see themselves clothed in beauty and splendor. May they seek to honor you in their temples by pursuing purity, eating right and exercising. May they be discerning like Abigail, knowing there is a time and a place for everything under the heavens. May they be judicious and wise like Deborah. Let our daughters be women of their word like Hannah. Through our own example, let us show them how to be hospitable like the Shunamite woman. Oh that they would have the faithfulness of Ruth and the courage of Esther. May they don obedience and gentleness as garments of praise. We thank you that your plans for them are for good and not evil. May they discover their purpose early and begin to walk in it at a young age. And when the lures of this world try to steal their attention, help them keep their minds staid on you. Lord let our daughters be cloaked in your favor. Above all, I pray they worship you all the days of their lives and dwell in your house forever.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News Purposeful Faith, Mommy Moments

 

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A Fervent Prayer for Our Sons

Kissing boo-boos and giving hugs.

 

Teaching, guiding, correcting.

 

Checking homework.

 

Giving advice.

 

Crying, praying and more crying.

 

A parent’s work is never done. The true work of parenting is not in what we say TO our children but in what we say TO GOD about… Click To Tweet I’ve been blessed with FOUR, yes 4 sons. Most days, I feel pretty adequate in meeting their temporal needs. It can get overwhelming though when I think about the magnitude of my assignment: to shepherd them as they discover and walk out God’s purposes and plans for their lives.

 

So whether you’ve got a son or a daughter (yup I‘ve got 2 girls also), the most effective thing we can do in parenting is to pray for them. So join me in a FERVENT prayer for our sons. Our young men have a charge from God to be strong and courageous. And we need them to be just that as they stand firm in their convictions to help heal our land.

 

Heavenly Father,

You are Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. You are the Creator of all, you see all and you know all. And I thank you God that you see our sons and you know them by name. You know every hair on their heads. You know their beginning from their end. Lord I pray that they will always pursue you with their whole hearts. As the deer pants for the water, may their souls long after you and YOU alone. I thank you that your plans for them are for good and not for evil, to give them a future and a hope. Lord I pray that you will keep them hidden under the shadow of your wing. I thank you that you’ve given your angels charge over them to protect them in all their ways. Lord I pray you grant them the wisdom of Solomon and the courage of Daniel. I pray they have the obedience of Abram and the faith of Joshua. I pray that they will walk with you like Enoch and be honorable like Joseph. Let our sons be a friend to you like David. Let them be filled with gentleness, love and compassion like you Jesus. May they love and respect their bodies and keep them holy and acceptable unto you. May they think critically, communicate clearly and solve problems help humanity. May they grow in wisdom and in stature in favor with you and with man. And may they walk in paths of righteousness for your namesake as you lead them in the way everlasting. Thank you Lord.

 

Amen

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with friends sharing the Good News #LifeGivingLinkup, Mommy Moments, Purposeful Faith, Grace and Truth

 

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Use Your Weakness

Unqualified

Inadequate

Incapable

Weak

 

Some days this is exactly how I feel.

 

In many areas of my life I feel strong and capable. In some areas I feel I can leap tall building in a single bound.

 

Marriage? CHECK

Health? CHECK

Ministry? CHECK

Friendship? CHECK

 

Parenting? WELL…..

 

That’s where it gets a little muddy. Some days I feel weak and inadequate as a parent. I read my bible. I’ve read some really great Christian parenting resources and even attending a few training sessions. In fact, I myself have written and taught an eight-week class on raising Godly children. Yet, in spite of that, I feel this is one area that keeps me clinging fiercely to the cross.

 

As I wrestle with the Lord on this, I wonder, why do I feel unqualified in this area? The answer to that becomes apparent. When I was a child, I had no consistent parenting. In my very early childhood years, my mother was present, loving and nurturing. Around age seven, she adopted some behaviors, which directly affected her ability to care for me. My parents, who had never been married split several years earlier and my father went on a quest to find himself so he wasn’t around. I was often in the care of my grandmother or cousins who cared for me but didn’t “mother” me. In my teens I did eventually move in with my father, but there was a gaping whole in my heart for MOMMY.

 

If I was not mothered, how can I effectively mother?

 

When the enemy of your soul sees a crack in your finish, he attempts to seep his poison in that space. Just last week he tried to play on my weakness. While I feel that one of my greatest areas of weakness is parenting, I KNOW that I KNOW that the Lord has and continues to divinely teach me to parent. There is no question about that. But here he comes spewing his venom. As I’m working on writing a parenting book, birthed out of that eight-week class I taught, this voice says, “Who are you to speak on this? You don’t know what you are doing. You mess up all the time”.

 

When people see me with my little flock and they say things like “Motherhood is your ministry” my flesh prickles like porcupine quills rising because the voice comes again saying, “Yeah but they didn’t see you roll eyes at your kid last night”. But again, I know the truth. I KNOW that the Lord has supernaturally taught me to love, nurture and lead this little flock.

 

TRUTH will always trump lies. And the truth says, where I am weak, I am strong. Click To Tweet

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

 

Not only am I made strong when I am weak, but God wants to use me, and He wants to use YOU right in your place of weakness.

 

Just like He used Moses. Doubting Moses. Unqualified Moses. Fearful Moses.

 

Moses who was fearful and ran from his staff when it turned into a snake; God told him to PICK UP that very thing and use it as a sign. That very same thing that Moses ran from was the same instrument that would hit a rock to bring water to nourish the people and would part the waters so they could cross on dry land.

 

The very area you want to run in fear, is the very thing God will use to bring a miracle. Click To Tweet And not just for you but for those whom you’ve been called to lead. God wants to use your weakness. He wants to use what you’ve got right in your hand.

 

And along the journey, He will not leave nor forsake you. He’ll be walking with you, talking with you and teaching you along the way. I can vividly recall having a hard mommy day about 8 years ago. I felt the children weren’t listening and that they weren’t doing the things I’d been instructing them to do. The Holy Spirit stepped in and told me, “Go to your room and open your bible.” I obeyed. He said, “Turn to Isaiah 54:13.” I had NEVER read that verse before so I was curious as to where He was leading me. There have been very few instances in my entire Christian walk where He has lead me to a single, exact verse but here was one of those times and this is what it said,

 

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13

 

What a word of confirmation!

 

God used Moses’ weakness. God used Gideon’s weakness. And God wants to use mine too.

 

So I’m learning to be more compassionate with myself. I’m learning that my weaknesses aren’t flaws I need to magnify but are opportunities for God’s grace to be magnified. I’m learning not to condemn myself when I do make a mistake in parenting. The Holy Spirit is circumcising my heart and uncovering the root of the disease. I’ve tuned into the voice of my negative self-chatter and found its not even my voice but the voice of an imposter. It’s the voice of an overly critical, brutish aunt whose charge I was once under. Under God’s skillful loving hand, I’m learning to grant myself some grace, extend myself some love and nurture the me who is weak and vulnerable.

 

Being weak and making mistakes is part of the human experience. I give myself permission to experience the full range of emotions and partake of the depth and breadth of my personal experiences, knowing that perfect is an illusion.   And parenting is by far not a perfect process. I’m learning to see the beauty in the mess-ups when I take my eye off what I perceive to be my errors and put my eyes on Jesus. He is the best parent ever and loves me unconditionally. And though I have my parental weaknesses, in this He has an opportunity to rise up and show Himself mighty and strong.

 

Yup, in the parenting arena I may be weak but I’m learning that that’s okay. I’m learning that God wants to use my weakness. I’m learning that my weakness is the vehicle that makes me strong.

 

In what area to do you feel unqualified, weak, or inadequate?

 

I count you COURAGEOUS for even stepping up to the plate and being willing to take your turn at bat. You may not always hit a homerun, but you put on your uniform, took the long walk to plate, lifted your bat, and let it fly. Your arms may be weak, but in that very instance, HIS power is made perfect in your weakness.

 

I salute all the weak, inadequate, unqualified souls out there today. Let me leave you with this final thought….

 

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

Happy to connect with these friends sharing the Good News:

Mommy Moments, #LifeGivingLinkup, Purposeful Faith, Titus 2sdays, Grace & Truth

 

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Oh and one last thing, Pastor Steven Furtick has a new book out called Unqualified. In it, he highlights how God uses broken, inadequate people to do great things. Check it our by clicking on the title.

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My Favorite Post: The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done

As I’m celebrating my 1st Blogiversary, I’ve spent this week reflecting.  I started the week with What I’ve Learned In A Year Of Blogging.  I’ve revisited the most popular post of the year, which was a surprise to me, I Have Faith Issues. So now I’d like to share with you my personal FAVORITE post of the year.  This is one that is extremely close to my heart.  It is the thing that has me in the trenches daily.  It is the thing that keeps me fiercely clinging to the Cross.  And before I stepped into that arena, I would have never imagined it would have been so challenging.

 

Parenting.

 

So here is a peek into my heart, my mama heart, as I candidly share on The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done.

 

Recently I got a phone call that took me by surprise.

Someone dear to me is pregnant, expecting her 1st baby. She’s experiencing many of the typical 1st trimester symptoms: fatigue, nausea, heightened emotions and the like. It was an honor for me to share words of wisdom from my personal experiences, having walked that road a few times now.

 

Kiss Baby

 

I am the mother of 5 fantastic children. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. Yup those are their ages; every year for the last 11 years I’ve been pregnant or nursing a baby. 2014 was the year that broke my baby streak (actually I did have a baby in 2014, just not one from my body. On October 25th of this year, my business Inspired Life was born).

2014-01-23 11.55.39

Five children.

 

I never imagined I’d be the mother of 5. Kingsland Party of Five as my cousin calls them. When I was a child, I had typical childhood fantasies of having a fine husband, driving a nice car and living in a big house. My parents were never married and of the families in my neighborhood finding a MARRIED couple was like finding the mate to that sock you’ve been looking for, for 2 years now. My vision of this perfect family included 2 kids, a boy and a girl of course. I don’t even know where that boy/girl thing began and the fact that it still lingers today is even more ridiculous as well meaning family, friends, coworkers and even strangers commented after I had 1st a daughter, then a son, “Well you’ve got your girl and your boy, so you’re done right?” People say interesting things they don’t really ‘think’ about. They just repeat what they’ve heard.

 

While being a parent is proving to be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had, it is is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Siblings Reading

For some, work may prove to be one of the most difficult things they’ve ever faced. I feel like, with a clear set of performance expectations coupled with my talent, knowledge, skill and ability, I can meet and even exceed an employer’s expectation. Work, I can handle that.

 

For some marriage may prove to be one of the most difficult things they’ve ever had to face. Joining forces with a person who may have had a different upbringing, values, cares, likes, and interests can evoke trouble. Even something as simple as how your spouse squeezes up the toothpaste to hanging their towel (or lack thereof); differences in marriage are not always easy to navigate. My husband and I met when we were freshmen in college so essentially we’ve grown up together. Through constant communication we have been able to create a beautiful union and I look forward to growing old together. So in marriage, I feel like when the expectations are clearly defined and both parties have committed to executing their duties, marriage works.

 

For others it may be dealing with a relative, an overbearing mother or an absent father. These familial relationships can bring about their own drama causing one to feel like being a relative is the hardest thing they’ve ever done.

 

Employee. Wife. Relative. I feel like those roles I can execute with a pretty certain degree of success.

 

Parenting on the other hand…well, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

 

The role of a parent is vital to the health and success of our world. The parent is the child’s… Click To Tweet It is the parent’s responsibility to steer, direct and lead their children. In the infancy stages, though fraught with sleepless nights and sometimes unexplainable cries, meeting the needs of the baby are pretty straightforward: fed in a timely manner, kept warmed and comforted, nurtured, kept dry, and soothed, baby will generally be well.

Pond discovery

Parenting with purpose to raise children that are responsible for positively contributing to making this planet a better place to live is a tremendous undertaking. Then stir the pot mixing in different gender, personality, proclivities, likes, dislikes, and temperaments and the stew is then indeed a mixed bag. But just as my African Peanut Stew I had for dinner last night was a mélange of vegetables, spices, beans and more, it came together to create magic on the tongue, my children will stir up their gifts to make this nation a better place.

 

And it is in being purposeful and intentional in learning each individual child and ministering to the heart of the child that the hard work ensues. It is in discovering that my 3rd born needs words of affirmation and my 4th born physical touch in order for them to truly feel loved is where it gets hard because those things didn’t readily show themselves. They didn’t carry a banner or poster or verbally tell me “Mommy, this is what I need”. It took careful observation and listening to discover.

 

It’s the hardest thing when your child is rejected by peers at school and part of you wants to go to the school seeking vengeance saying to yourself “See, this is exactly why I always considered homeschooling”. Part of you may remember what it was like to be rejected as a child and you may even still be crippled by that thing and as a result unable to even help your child move through that issue.

 

It’s the hardest thing when you know you’ve consistently taught them values such as caring, respect and honor then a child who came out of your body acts in a way completely opposite of what you know you’ve taught. You may feel ashamed, embarrassed. It’s hard.

 

But in the midst of the hard stands tall and erect: TRUTH

 

And the truth says:

 

~Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
 
~For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
 
~These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9
 
~All your children shall be taught by the Lord, And great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13

 

Mommy of 5

 

So be encouraged fellow parents. While it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, it is also the best decision I ever made. In my 1st pregnancy a male hairdresser shared a nugget of wisdom that has stuck with me all these years. He told me, when you give birth to a baby, you are giving birth to your authentic self.

 

It is through having my children and parenting with purpose that I’ve come face to face with myself. All of my strengths as well as my shortcomings have floated to the surface and must be addressed if I am to parent from a place of wholeness.

 

BTW, my childhood fantasy came true. I’ve got me a fine husband, a nice car (if you call a minivan with 220,000 miles on it a nice car) and a nice size house AND my girl and my boy plus another girl and another 2 boys. Blessed beyond measure and that makes the hardest thing I’ve ever done worth it.

 

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates. Psalm 127:3-5

 

P.S. When my future leaders grow up to take their rightful place in society, my husband and I will take the opportunity to fulfill some of the items on our bucket list: Bora Bora, Greece, Tahiti, San Tropez…Can you tell we like the beach? Maybe I should say I like the beach.

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Praying you joy filled days of parenting with purpose.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Back To School Prayer

Supplies?

 

Check.

 

back to school backpacks

 

 

back to school lunch bags

Uniforms?

 

Check.

back to school uniforms

Haircuts and hair dos?

 

Check.

 

From the looks of things four of my five children are ready to begin another successful school year. But temporal things aside, I don’t know if my mama heart is ready to release them back to school. Each year I feel like I’m sending my precious little flock into a den of wolves. Coming out from under my safety and protection, I willingly hand them over to be influenced by peers, taught by people who may not share my values and exposed to all manner of who knows what. Oh, my mama heart is rent in two. To be in the world but not of it is difficult enough for the mature believer, but how is a child to navigate this treacherous terrain? Even if your children aren’t leaving your covering for school, they are growing and maturing each day and will one day leave the nest.

 

Mamas let us cover them in prayer. Let us hedge them in. Let us instill His Word in their hearts that they may not sin against Him. Let us dwell with them in the shelter of the Most High. And let us stand on God’s promises regarding our children. Sit with your babies and prayer this back to school prayer with them.

 

Mama’s babies:



I love you so much. Oh how I thank God, Most High for trusting me enough to be your mother. We serve a God who is all knowing, all-powerful and all loving. He loves you and I with an everlasting love. God’s plans for you are for good, not evil to give you a future and a hope. The steps of a good man are ordered and I’m delighted to witness you taking steps toward your purpose each and every day. You will not walk in the path of evil but you will walk in paths of righteousness for His namesake. And when you do that, goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. You will be mindful of what you allow your eyes to see and your ears to hear. You will grow in wisdom and in stature, in favor with God and with man.

 

God has given you a brilliant mind. Use it to its maximum potential. Take firm hold of instruction but above that get wisdom, as it’s the principal thing. You are an obedient child who has great respect for those in authority. You will be quick to listen and slow to speak. When necessary you will calmly make a wise appeal if you disagree, standing up for righteousness sake. You are the salt and light of the earth. Let your light shine bright so that your teachers and classmates feel and see Jesus’ love in you. Don’t hide your love for Jesus. Let it show through your gratefulness, your kindness, your joy, and your self-control. While there may be many distractions at school, focus your attention on what is right, true, honorable and praiseworthy. You will not seek to fit in but will recognize you’ve been set apart by God. You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood. God has given His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways. Continue to love God with all your heart, all your soul and with all your strength. I am blessed because of you. The world is blessed because of you. You are blessed TO BE a blessing to others. I give thanks in advance for your amazing 2016-2017 school year.

 

(For my non-parent readers, you can pray this with a relative, God-child, neighbor, etc. Hey you can even pray it over yourself)

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!
Happy to connect with friends sharing the Good News #WordsWithWinter, Purposeful Faith, #LifeGivingLinkup, Grace & Truth, Dance With Jesus

 

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Caught Red-Handed

To be caught red-handed is to be caught with the evidence for all to see. It’s origins date back to 15th century Scotland, where it was used when describing a criminal caught with the victim’s blood on his hand.

 

I’ve been convicted.

 

I have a tendency to catch my children red-handed.

 

I am prone to catching them committing misdemeanors.

 

I seem to gravitate toward corrective action that magnifies their errors.

 

And perhaps that’s just the nature of the beast when you’re “training” 5 young children. 5 children ages 11 and under are learning, testing the waters, feeling their way through, collecting life experiences and many of the experiences come about through trial and error.

 

But God has gently whispered to me, you catch them red-handed, also catch them doing good.

 

At heart, I am an encourager. It’s who I am. It’s what I do. And that includes my children. I delight in seeing them reach their potential and cheering them along the way. But after I’ve reminded, nudged and motivated them to carry out the same chore day after day, well…that encouragement takes on a new shape. Gone are the words that affirm and here come the words that condemn.

 

But I’ve resolved to catch them doing good,

 

My children and I attended an annual American Indian Festival. My 9-year old Cub Scout, in uniform was completing one of his electives on   American Indian Life. While we were at the craft table my son noticed several young girls find a phone on the ground.  He got my attention and began telling me “Mommy these girls just found a phone on the ground”.  I lightly brushed it off, thinking he was just witnessing someone drop then pick up his or her own phone.  He told me again, “No Mommy that is not their phone.  I heard them say “Ooh look what I found.”  As he was relaying that information to me, the girls walked away.  Then we heard a woman standing next to us say “Where’s my phone?” My son asked her if she lost her phone and she said yes.  He said, “I saw the girls who took your phone.” He then led the woman across the campgrounds to point out the girls so the woman could retrieve her phone.  The woman was very grateful for his attentive eye and quick actions that led to her recovering her phone.

 

Here is a great example of an opportunity to catch him doing good. I almost missed it though, ready to brush his observation aside. It all happened so quickly and I was “busy” managing my other children, I almost let this opportunity slip me by. But God’s gentle nudge came and said LISTEN to him. And my son was right. What a great chance to catch him doing good. I commended him on his attentiveness and shared it with his extended family and Scout Den Leader.

 

Love hopes for the best and believes the best. So even when what they are doing is contrary to what I expect, I still hope for and believe the best about them. Instead of being so quick to highlight flaws, I will affirm the character I expect to see.

 

So instead of just telling my 11 year old “You’re slacking on those dishes. I KNOW you see them in the sink. Why do I have to ask you to do your job?”; I will reframe. I will affirm her for the significant role her job plays since our kitchen is the central nervous system of our home. I will catch her doing good. When she completes the chore proactively I will not say, “It’s about time”. I will acknowledge her for demonstrating responsibility. Instead of allowing one of my children to pick on another because she is sensitive, I will affirm the sensitive child for being compassionate and for demonstrating gentleness.

 

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

 1 Thessalonians 5:11

 

I will be an Intentional Encourager.

 

In Priscilla Shirer’s book The Resolution for Women, she admonishes mothers to be intentional encouragers. Shirer states, “She [the mother] doesn’t overlook their immaturity, mistakes and mishaps; but when she brings these points up, there isn’t a general air of disapproval and low expectation. She chooses rather to temper her honesty with the grace of edification and encouragement.”

 

Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful,

so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29

 

Just like I caught my 4-year old messing around in the kitchen.  When I heard all the tinkering I thought he was sneaking some snacks. I stormed into the kitchen ready to discipline him. What I found was that he made a fruit salad for himself and his little brother.  I’m so grateful God shifted me quickly from catching red-handed to catching doing good.

 

Be encouraged parents. Being a mother is certainly one of the hardest job’s I’ve ever done. But God gives grace and wisdom and is patient with me as I’m learning on the job. And He extends that grace and patience to you and your children as well.

 

With school out and summer break in full swing, I will have plenty of opportunities to catch them red-handed but I’m determined to catch them doing good.

 

Do you hope for and believe the best about your children?

 

Do you purposefully acknowledge their efforts and catch them doing good?

 

For more on acknowledging character, CLICK HERE for Character First’s list of character qualities.

 

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

 

(PS-For all the grammarians that are cringing at the phrase “doing good”, I know you’d like it to read “doing well”. “Catch them doing good” is what’s been ringing in my spirit so even for the sake of grammar I couldn’t change it. I had to write it the way God gave it to me. In fact, I would have been bothered by it too as I have a degree in Journalism but I write what the Lord tells me to write Insert Smile 🙂
Happy to connect with these friends spreading the good news Purposeful Faith, #WordsWithWinter, #LifeGivingLinkup, Mommy Moments

The Blessing of Motherhood

Do you nurture? Are you responsible for the social, emotional, mental, physical and spiritual care of another? Then you my friend are a Mother. Even if you have not birthed any children from your womb, you are a Mother. Mother Teresa bore no children of her own, yet she was a mother to poor, needy and orphaned children, serving them for over 45 years.

 

There is a terrible hunger for love. 

We all experience that in our lives – the pain, the loneliness. 

We must have the courage to recognize it.
The poor you may have right in your own family.
Find them.
Love them.

~Mother Teresa

 

 Kiss Baby

Our culture today does not esteem the role of motherhood. In fact, that role has been demonized. We’ve even gone so far as to indoctrinate children through many popular animated films that the role of mother is unnecessary. Mother has systematically been erased from these films or is represented as an evil figure.

 

But God validates YOU Mother. He sees you right where you are. Just as El-Roi saw Hagar and opened her eyes and led her to the well, He sees you. Just as He led her to the water, He is leading us, Mothers, to Him and His word, the river of living waters.

 

Mother, do you see how vital you are to LIFE? You carry life, you give life, and you speak life. And you provide the most basic yet essential human need of life, LOVE.

 

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Mother You:

 

Nurture

~The bible says that Sarah, Hannah, Jochebed nursed their babies. Their children were held close as Mother provided life-sustaining nourishment.

 

Protect

~Jochebed, Moses’ mother hid him (Exodus 2:2). Mothers we have a responsibility to hide our children under shadow of the Almighty. When Herod was on the warpath killing all the little boys, Mary and Joseph fled to hide Jesus Mother, in what ways are you protecting your children from the evils of this world?

 

Provide

~Every year Hannah would return with a new robe for her son Samuel. Eunice and Lois provided spiritual training for Timothy. How are you providing for the spiritual, physical and emotional growth of your children?

 

Guide

~ When she could no longer hide him, Jochebed put Moses in a carefully constructed vessel and placed her daughter in position to look over him. She guided him along a stream of living water. To guide is to lead or facilitate, but not necessarily to do everything for. Are there some areas Mother where you need to remove your hands and just guide?

 

Pray

~Hannah was a woman of prayer (1 Samuel 1:11, 2:1-10). Mary was woman of prayer (Luke 1:46-55). Aaron, the first High Priest wore the names of the children of Israel on his breastplate. And when he would go to minister before the Lord, he bore their names on his chest. How are you bringing your children before the Lord in prayer?

 

Stand

~Elizabeth said NO to the naysayers and spoke up as to what the Lord told her about the child’s name. She knew people wouldn’t understand, but she didn’t let that intimidate her (Luke 1:60). So when the Lord makes a promise to you about one of your children, later for the naysayers, listen and follow the Lord.

~Mary told the angel let it be to me as you have stated even though she’d risk persecution from the community and rejection from Joseph. Mothers, be on guard, stand watch.

 

Beware

Do not fall into the mothering traps of:

~Sarah’s interfering in God’s plans by manufacturing your children’s lives (Genesis 18:12-15)

~Rebekah’s manipulation and lying (Genesis 27:5-17)

~Salome’s trying to manage the day-to-day affairs of her adult children’s lives (Matthew 20:20-21)

 

And because of your faithfulness, Mother you shall be blessed.

 

Blessings

~Mothers are visited by the Most High or His representatives (Mary, Elizabeth, Hannah, Shunammite Woman)

~Kings of peoples shall be from you (Genesis 17:16)

~The Lord will do for you what He promised (Genesis 21:1)

~Salvation (2 Timothy 2:15)

~Your children will take care of you (Jesus to John, behold your mother)

~Directly impact kingdom building by influencing generations of believers, even those yet to be born

 

Her children arise and call her blessed;

her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women do noble things,

but you surpass them all.”

Proverbs 31:28-29

 

So Mother, as I reflect post Mother’s Day, I honor you. I celebrate you. Let us rejoice together at the blessing of motherhood.

 

Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat

 

And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has been mindful

of the humble state of his servant.

From now on all generations will call me blessed,

for the Mighty One has done great things for me—

holy is his name.

His mercy extends to those who fear him,

from generation to generation.

He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;

he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones

but has lifted up the humble.

He has filled the hungry with good things

but has sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,

remembering to be merciful

to Abraham and his descendants forever,

just as he promised our ancestors.”

Luke 1:46-55

 

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Women's Conference

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Mommy of 5

As always, it is my prayer that you’ve been Inspired To Live Fully!

Feature Image Photo Credit
Happy to connect with friends @ #DanceWithJesus and Fellowship Friday’s