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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Stumble, Hinder or Launch?

On a crisp fall afternoon, a nurse softly placed my very first pink squirming life into my arms and God pushed the start-button for motherhood.
Fast-forward twenty years and my tiny bundle is driving back to college after a weekend road trip with her girlfriends. Independent, strong-willed, determined to succeed in a world I tried desperately to prepare her for, she sprints toward a future she’s only dreamed about.
Today’s rainy weather put me in a reminiscent mood, wondering what part her father and I played in hurling her out of the nest. Memories flashed. And, before I knew it, I’d placed them all in one of three categories; stumble, hinder or launch.
“Mom, what do you think about this dress?” Standing in the dressing room and twirling for dramatic effect, my teenager waited for my answer.
I love it. She looks so beautiful. “I think it’s the one.” I smile.
“What about Dad? Do you think he will like it?” The low neckline had her concerned.
“I think it will be fine. Let me talk with your Father.” I winked, now concerned myself.

STUMBLE; moments in time where I tripped my daughter up—teaching her a wife can manipulate her husband—showing her it’s okay to openly side with a child over her husband.


“I will do that for you.”

“I’ve got it.”

“I’ll pay for it.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“I have it covered.”

“I can.”

“I will.”

“I want to help.”

How often had I done the very thing my child should have been leaning on God for? Over the years, I had stolen too many faith-building opportunities from the Lord to count. How much stronger would her faith be today if she had been given less from me and more of a reason to seek her Heavenly Father for the desires of her heart?

Hinder; moments where I intercepted, delayed, or even blocked the Holy Spirit from using a difficult situation to be the One to come through for her.  


“Mom, I want to come home.” Her voice cracked on the phone. After only two days in college, she was ready to trade her dorm room for chores and younger siblings.

“Honey, I really don’t think coming home is a good idea. You can do this.” I encouraged her to stick it out, even though every mommy-fiber in my body screamed for my baby chick to return to the nest and make our home whole again.

Launch; moments where we fling, thrust and hurl our child into their very own unknown—to dig in, move forward and press on.

            I regret those moments where I’ve stumbled and hindered but give a shout of thanks to a God who forgives and makes new. I am humbled by this parenting journey and pray I continue to evolve into a mother who uses each opportunity to launch my child into His plans for their life.

·         What about you? Have you stumbled, hindered, or launched your child today?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Child of God

When our children are leaving us to spend time with friends or family, after reminding them to behave, we whisper to them, "Remember who you are and Whose you are."

When you give your heart and life to God, you are on of his children. With that comes not only a new life but an abundance of promises He has made to each one of us.

We are His beloved.

He has given us promises of divine favor; mercy, grace, joy, love, forgiveness...the list is long and cannot be exhausted no matter what situation we face.

As parents, we need to remember who we are and Whose we are. Although, we do suffer through trials, and hardships, no matter what comes our way, we're still His.

We can't encourage our children to know their identity in Christ if we struggle ourselves. For this reason, I remind myself often:
I am a child of God, the thought out creation of the One true and living God. Blue blood runs through my veins.

I am the daughter of a King.

"But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to be called children of God." John 1:12

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

5 Fun Family Devotions

I was a spiritual late-bloomer. As a new Christian, I already had two school-aged children at home. I had much to learn.

Do you know what helped me most? It was when I watched women from my church interact with their own family. These godly gals inspired me by their gentle ways with their husbands and children. No matter who I spent time with, I discovered something I wanted to emulate. Picking up tiny treasures from each one, my parenting skills were sharpened.

It was Lara who inspired me most about family devotions. Lara was our worship pastor’s wife. Always striving to raise her children to know and love the Lord, I made sure to pay close attention to her. One of the things I noticed as I got to know her better, she made a point to have her daily devotion with the Lord in the morning and made sure to do the same with her children.

This was a foreign concept for me.

Each morning, before she sent her children off to school, she would gather them around their kitchen table. Sometimes she would read a story to them from the Bible, other times the children took turns reading a verse, some days she shared with her children what God had been showing her.

She began their day with the Word and a simple prayer before she launched them out into the world. She was doing more than packing their bag lunches and stuffing their backpacks with last night's homework. She was taking each one and arming them for battle.

Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Ephesians 6:13 NKJV

For those of you just starting out like I was, I’ve included five fun ways to share family devotion time together.

Teach them as you walk along the way. When I walk the kids to school, I’ll ask them who their favorite character is in the Bible. Other times, I’ll ask them to share their favorite Bible verse and ask why they love it. It’s a way to live out Deuteronomy 6:6-8; These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when lie down and wake up. When you sit at home and when you walk along the way.

Stuffed animal devotions. Telling the story of Jonah and the whale to your little ones is more fun if stuffed animals help you tell the tale. Noah’s Ark is another favorite when you use the animal toys in your child’s bedroom. It makes the story come alive!

•Holiday Devotions. At Christmas time, we have a set of twelve paper devotional ornaments I use for the 12 days before Christmas. Each ornament has a different scripture and shares a different part of the story about the birth of Jesus. If you can’t find these, enlist the help of your children and create your own!

•Let your children lead. When my kids learned to read, I would let them take turns reading the Bible verse or the story of the day. Now, with teenagers under our roof, they lead our family devotion on the weekends. It has been a blessing for my husband and I to sit back and watch them grow in their knowledge and understanding.

•A Proverb a day helps keep teen foolishness at bay. My husband and my seventeen year old son go over a proverb together each morning. Before our son, David, leaves for school he’s encouraged by his earthly father and his Heavenly Father.

Remember, your family is unique. What works well for one household may not work well for another. Keep at it and don’t lose your patience. With two of our children now grown, our daily devotions are memories they will take with them into their own family. As a mother, there is no greater legacy than being a part of teaching my children God’s word along the way.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Teachable Moments with Kids

“Mom, can I go on Netflix and watch a movie when you’re gone?” Samuel called me on my cell phone to ask. Just shy of eleven years old, our youngest is pretty responsible.

“No, son, wait until I get home. I’ll put a movie on for you.”

I was heading out to take Grace, our thirteen year old to youth group and could see her sigh and shrug in frustration at my response to her little brother. When I got off the phone, I asked her, “What? Why did you sigh like that?”

“Because, Mom, why can’t he just put on a movie? I don’t understand you sometimes. Samuel isn’t going to put on anything he’s not supposed to watch.”

“Honey, I trust Samuel.”

“Then why didn’t you let him go on Netflix?”

“Grace, you kids are my responsibility. I take this job seriously. You know, honey, there’s a scripture that comes to mind, ‘The enemy prowls around like a lion, to and fro, looking for someone to devour.’ Gracie, think about it, a lion is going to look for the defenseless first. Your brother is home alone. I am not going to leave him defenseless. Your dad and I have gone on Netflx before and seen pictures and things that aren’t always God-honoring. Why would I want your little brother to see some of those things?”

Once we got to church, Grace went off to meet her youth group leaders and practice for worship, while I went off to meet with my women’s Bible study. About fifteen minutes later, I could hear my daughter singing.

Being a proud mama, I just had to walk towards the sanctuary and listen. Not wanting to embarrass her, I stood behind a door in the hallway, my eyes closed, listening to her melody. I thanked God for her desire to sing and prayed the words she sung would go deep into her heart. The band stopped mid-song and started talking.

My daughter began to share in her junior high way, “Guys, listen to this, my mom won’t even let me or my brother go on Netflix unless she’s home with us. Can you believe it? She even started spouting scripture to me." She used her best mom voice, "‘The enemy is like a lion, searching to and fro who he can devour.’”

As she talked about me, I stepped from behind the door and stood there, smiling.

The kids in the band saw me first and said in unison, “Busted.”

Grace looked shocked. Nervously she laughed and ran off the stage, across the sanctuary floor and threw her arms around me, laughing while she said, “Mom! Were you there the whole time?”

“I sure was.” I smiled down at her, not returning her hug. “And, I have to admit, I’m really impressed…”

“Mom, I’m sorry!” She continued to giggle nervously.

“I am proud of you.”

“Proud of me?” She squeaked.

“You did a great job of reciting scripture to your friends.” I hugged her, kissed her on the forehead and left.

As a mom, I don’t enjoy making tough decisions, especially when my kids don't understand. My children are only home with me for a little while, so I try to make the most of opportunities like this one. Still, I’m always a little surprised to discover they listen.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. 1Peter 5:8