Let’s Come Together in Prayer ❤

This is a picture I took a few years ago – Martin Luther King Jr.’s words from 1963 speaking so much life and hope into despair years ago and today: “[With this faith we will be able to hew] out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.” 

In the spirit of unity, hope, and Jesus, I would love to pray together…

Lord, we thank you for Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream that we would see people for the “the content of their character” and that the “jangling discords of our nation” would be transformed into a “beautiful symphony of brotherhood.”

Thank you for his vision of bringing people together and for the change he made. In a time where it seems like so much has gone awry, Lord, bring us to that “beautiful symphony of brotherhood” that honors you.

You said in 1 Samuel 16:7 that “The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Lord, we confess times we haven’t looked at the heart. Would you give us hearts to see how you see? Lord, would we care more about the heart of a person than all else? Would you bring people together in your Name, as we lay down discord, pride, disagreement, and come together in peace, selflessness, and kindness by the power of Your Spirit?

Oh, God, would you move in a mighty way? You say that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed that we can move mountains and that nothing will be impossible for us.

Lord, we ask you to move mountains in our world, our country, our hearts. We pray there would be great change in our world by the power of your Name.

Jesus, would you bring Your peace here and now?

We pray you would change hostility to selflessness. 

We pray you would change anger to kindness. 

We pray you would change pride to humility. 

Would you move us to let go of anger, arguing, name-calling, and hatred?

Instead,

would we see Jesus in others?

would they see Jesus in us?

would we love as you have loved us? 

would we be lights for our world, our nation, our community, our family, our children?

Lord, would you be our center, our strength, so when we feel weak, helpless, not enough, that we would remember we are enough in You, our Rock, our Deliverer?

We thank you that out of a mountain of despair, there is indeed a stone of hope. 

You are our greatest hope, Lord. Our rock, our refuge, our strength. 

With You, all indeed will be well.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge..” Psalm 18

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Happy New Year!!! 🎉

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When our kids are frustrated, do we give them room to be human, or do we always try to force a smile?

My daughter was grumpy yesterday morning. Grumpy as grumpy can be. But, as we were trying to pull her out of the mood, encouraging her to replace the attitude with a better one, I thought about how my husband and I have our days too. And sometimes we just need a little space.

It can be difficult when our kids act like this when there seems to be no reason for it. But don’t we all have those days where we don’t feel ourselves and are just struggling some? If someone were to constantly get on us for that, it would be exhausting.

I don’t want my kids to feel like they have to fake it. To hide how they’re really feeling from us, and to project an “all is good” attitude, when they’re not feeling that way. I’m not saying to be okay with ungrateful hearts and sour attitudes – we do need to teach our kids that to have joy and gratefulness is a choice, and that the Lord calls us to it.

But, Jesus also cried, and was mad, and was filled with joy – he felt all the emotions because he was God and human at the same time. As humans, we just need to express ourselves sometimes, without it needing to be constantly filtered.

I do not want to take away their space for being human and being real.

Sometimes when we give our kids a few moments to gather themselves, they recover, and sometimes they retreat to their rooms. My daughter retreated to her room with glassy eyes. I knew she didn’t need a speech, but needed me to just come alongside her. So, I went into her room, sat on her bed, put my arm around her, looked into her eyes, and told her I loved her so much.

She broke down in tears, telling me how much she missed my dad (“Papa T” to her), who went to be with the Lord just two months ago. As my dad would always say, life is like a roller coaster – it will go up and down, but it will come up again. The ups and downs are just a part of life.

Whether our kids’ moods are up and down for a reason or no reason at all (aren’t ours at times?), sometimes they just need us to come alongside them, give them a hug, and tell them that we love them.

I’m not always very good at discerning between the two, but Lord, would you give each of us wisdom to know what our kids need and how to best love and lead them since you have entrusted them to us and since we love them dearly? Thank you, Lord. We love you. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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The Day After Christmas…

The day after Christmas can be such a let down for kids after so much anticipation. I love the meaning of the historic “Twelve Days of Christmas” and how Christmas was considered Day 1 of Celebration. And, then, after the twelve days, a period of Epiphany started, a time to continue celebrating Jesus… So, let’s continue celebrating and reflecting upon the joy of Jesus coming into the world!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you & yours!!!

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What I Want of My Kids

Isn’t it beautiful when we get to see the love of Jesus through our kids? This picture captures one of those moments.

My tears are rolling as I look at it. Do you know what my son did? He’s not perfect by any means, but his heart, oh his heart – it’s so beautiful.

My mom lost her husband of almost 50 years of marriage – my dad, who I love dearly – on October 21st. As she was leaving the “Celebration of Life” we did for him (just what he would’ve wanted), my ten-year-old son, walked up to GG, took her purse from her and carried it, put his arm around her, and walked with her, holding her close.

I snapped this picture as soon as I could get my phone out. He took my breath away. I wanted to hold onto that moment forever. We can learn so much from our kids. So much about how to love well.

That, is what I want of my kids.

To choose love first. Above everything.

To care deeply for those around them. To consider their heart, their feelings, their situation.

To ask for forgiveness when they’ve fallen short.

To give grace when someone’s wronged them.

To find “small” moments to show great love.

To be a kid who shines the light of Jesus so bright by the way they treat others.

Not necessarily in big, dramatic ways, but in small gestures, like when my son carried GG’s purse, put his arm around her, and told her he was there for her.

That, is what I want of my kids.

Lord, would you help our kids, and us, to love first? To lead with love and compassion, to put our arms around our loved ones who need it, to walk alongside them, to carry what they need us to carry, and to love them in the same beautiful way you love us? Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, amen. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

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I shared a quote recently by Sissy Goff: “Praise your kids more for their effort than their outcome.” So, today, I saw this mini cake. And, I decided to get it to celebrate Bates, Brooklyn, and Gracie’s (B, B & G’s) great effort in so many things lately.

It would be easy to get caught up in focusing on the sibling arguments, the unkind words said here or there, the messy room, or a number of other things. There’s definitely a time for consequences, but there’s also a time to notice what our kids are doing well.

So, today, I’m going to celebrate how hard they worked on the musical they were in at church, how they have included new kids at their school who didn’t know anyone, and how they have spent hours of working hard at tennis, football, and dance.

Life is too short to not take notice of what our kids are doing well. Find a way to recognize your kids’ efforts today and celebrate that! What’s a simple way you have celebrated your kids?

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