Having an “off” day

We all have “off” days sometimes. Where it’s just a tough day from the start.

When impatience grabs a hold of us. The dishes, the laundry, the messiness, the lateness, the traffic on the way to school, the raised voices.

For me, today was one of those days. Those days are frustrating. But, I have to remind myself that it’s a part of life. I have to give myself grace, apologize to my kids for lost patience, and grab a hold of the grace that we can start over.

We don’t have to wait until the next day.

We can start over right now. In this minute. In this very second.

We can grab a hold of God’s grace in the midst of our imperfections.

In the midst of our messiness.

With Jesus, there is always forgiveness.

There is always hope.

There is always a way to start over and restart the day.

So, if you have had one of those days or weeks, start over now.

It’s a new moment full of God’s grace for you and for me.

We are loved by the Lord, so loved, not because of reaching perfection, but because of who He is and who we are – His children.

Abide in his grace. Breathe it in. Let it refresh your soul. And as He renews your heart, mind, and soul with his awesome love, let that overflow to your children.

“Put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing loveand with Him is FULL Redemption.” Psalm 130:7 ❤

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The simple things in motherhood- they hold my heart.

My daughter reading, while my son picks music for us to listen to, while my other daughter braids my hair.

All together. In one room. Enjoying our sweet time with one another.

These simple moments. Enjoy them.

When we look back years from now, these are the moments that we will long for, remember, cherish, and wish we could have before us.

Everything in parenting doesn’t have to be extravagant. Enjoy the simple things in parenthood while these moments are right before us. ❤

A Simple Way to Build Our Kids’ Confidence

I know it can be our instinct as parents to fix things for our kids. To answer their questions for them, resolve their problems, and remind, remind, remind. But, that does not help them.

When we let our kids do the thinking and figuring out their problems and solutions, while giving empathy and walking alongside of them, it empowers them. It shows them that they are capable, which makes them that much more confident.

I have been reading the book, “Parenting with Love and Logic”, and it has really spun things around in my mind. I didn’t realize how many things I had been telling my kids to do – reminding them of things before leaving the house for school, if they need their coat, and if there is a problem at school, giving solutions. Which basically implies, you can’t figure things out or remember things for yourself, so let me keep telling you.

Now, since I’m not reminding them, if they forget something for school, they forget it – they’ll learn far more powerfully through natural consequences instead of nagging words or constant reminders which take away their need to think.

Releasing those reigns on my kids and letting them decide and think through things themselves as they get older is one of the most empowering feelings, not just for me, but also for them. It shifts the responsibility off of our shoulders and to our kids’. Yes, guiding when we need to and problem solving with them is part of parenting, but many times, part of parenting is also simply listening and putting the ball in their courts by asking questions. It simply prepares them for life.

When my daughter told me she was frustrated about something at school, my instinct was to give an idea or solution. Instead, this time, I said, “I know that’s hard. What are you going to do about it?” That communicates empathy, and that I know she can handle the problem, and overcome it.

Encouraging our kids to look to the Lord and to do more of the thinking and working through their problems while showing them empathy, gives them the confidence that they are capable simply because of who they are.

That’s the kind of confidence I want my kids to have. ❤️

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Sometimes we give our kids cereal for dinner because we’re just having one of those days.

It’s okay. Our kids will be fine. This is a small example, but mamas, it’s okay.

Sometimes, we’re just plain exhausted and can still feel guilty about not being the “perfect” parent.

But, there are no perfect parents. None.

When our kids see our own imperfections and see how we move forward through them, they are more able to handle their own. It’s just a part of life.

So, when you’re having one of those days like I did yesterday and you give your kids cereal for dinner, even if it’s three nights in a row, or whatever it is, give yourself grace, take a deep breath and know that you are just the mama your child needs, and that they’ll be just fine.

You can do this. We can do this. Lean on someone when you need support. We all need that sometimes.

Lord, thank you for each person reading this. I pray that you would empower them with your Holy Spirit. I pray that you would give them the strength and grace they need for parenting their kids today. Thank you for meeting our needs according to your glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Thank you for being with our kids, blessing them, and speaking to their hearts today. Show us how to parent and love our kids well, a moment at a time. Thank you, Lord. We praise you and love you. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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Natural consequences speak louder to our kids than lecturing and creating our own consequences. For example, instead of constantly nagging our kids to remember their things, if they forget to bring their computer or lunch or water to school without reminding them, the natural consequence is that they have to get a school lunch, school computer, or cup of water at school. They learn by the natural consequence far more powerfully than lecturing and nagging to remember it the next time.

It also puts the responsibility on their shoulders, instead of our own, which only helps them think for themselves and build their confidence. (And, FYI- I’m constantly reminding myself to stop reminding them of things- haha!)

I know sometimes we do have to come up with the consequences, but the more we can let natural consequences do the speaking to our kids, the more they will have an affect.
Lord, please give us the wisdom to parent our kids well and to guide them in ways that will build their confidence. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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The Simple, Beautiful Gift Right Before Us

I didn’t realize what a gift a facetime call from my dad could be.

My birthday was April 11th. And, it was bittersweet. Some tears fell as I realized that this would be the first time in my life I wasn’t able to hear from my dad on my birthday.

But, you know what God did?

Let me rewind. As some of you know, my dad has been in the ICU since December because of covid. He has been covid free for a while now, but the pneumonia affected him greatly. He’s been a marathon runner, has been working full time, and is the most positive person I know.

He had to get a tracheostomoy a month ago so he could rest his lungs and build up his strength. He just moved to another branch of the hospital to get weaned off the vent. We can’t hear his voice yet and can only read his lips until he gets off the trach., so I haven’t been able to talk to my dad on the phone for a few months now. They’re weaning him off of it now and he’s doing well and is started to gain strength. I’m praying for God to continue working a miracle in my dad. I know with God all things are possible.

So fast forward to my birthday. My family was gathered around the dinner table.

My phone rang.

It was my dad.My dad.

Facetiming me.

On my birthday.

Mouthing, “Happy Birthday.”

Wow.

It took my breath away.

That he remembered my birthday with all he has gone through and that he made sure to wish me a happy birthday.

That was the gift I wanted for my birthday, and I am so thankful the Lord gave it to me.

It sure is easy to take for granted the “little” things: being able to talk to loved ones, hearing their voices, being in the same room with them.

But don’t take it for granted. Take it in. Relish it. Enjoy it. Give thanks for it.

Let go of more, more, more, and ungratefulness, and give thanks for what is before you.

May we always give thanks for these simple gifts the Lord has given us.

Lord, we are so grateful.

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Have you ever felt like you just don’t know what to do, or how to handle something, in parenting, in life, or whatever it is on your plate?

I read this beautiful excerpt this morning that tells us just what to do, from 2 Chronicles 20. 

When a vast army was coming after Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and his people, Jehoshaphat said to the Lord: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

When you don’t know how to handle a situation with your kid, with work, with emotions, with whatever it is going on, we are reminded here to shift our eyes from that onto the Lord. 

While I was reading 2 Chronicles 20 this morning, I listened to Phil Wickam’s beautiful song, “Battle Belongs” and realized it comes straight from this story.

As the vast army was out to pursue them, all the men, women, and their children stood before the LORD and they were told: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”

Then, Jehosophat told his people to have faith. To get through their situation, the people all:

Bowed down and worshipped the Lord,

Gave thanks to the Lord

Sang and praised the Lord

And, as they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes up and that day Jehospohat was victorious. 

Then, Jehosophat and his people rejoiced and praised the Lord. “And the kingdom of Jehosophat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.”

In your situation, find rest, by turning your eyes to the Lord. He will guide you a moment a time. 

Oh, Lord, would you give us rest on every side? When we don’t know what to do, Lord, help us look to you. Our eyes are on You. Please show us the way. Thank you, Lord, that you are victorious, that you are powerful, that you are above all, and that all things are possible with you. We praise you for going ahead of us, giving us your strength, your heart, your wisdom, and for showing us the way. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Not Always Rescuing Our Kids

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Sibling arguments are inevitable. But, if there’s a way to limit them, I sure want to.

Yes, my kids still argue, but this verse has been a wonderful motivator to not repay insult with insult, but with blessing.

When one of my kids chooses the latter, I celebrate it big time. When our kiddos have these words in their minds and hearts, they are more likely to pause before paying back and to repay with blessing instead.

I love how the end of the verse explains why: “because to this you were called.”

I shared with them that as followers of Jesus he has called us to love one another deeply. With a love that doesn’t always make sense. When we repay evil for evil, it stirs up anger and hatred, but when we repay with blessing, it stirs up love, goodness, peace, and “the life that is truly life”.

When we walk in love like Jesus tells us to, we are a light for the Lord, experience more of his kingdom, his power, and him.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus (John 8:12)

Lord, help our kids and us to love one another like this. When we want to repay with anger, harsh words, and frustration, Jesus, help us to repay with peace, kindness, and love. Thank you for filling our minds and hearts today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Happy Easter!

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I don’t know what it is you’re going through right now- that big thing, small thing, hard thing, exhausting thing, whatever it is.

But, what I do know, is that Easter morning shows us that God is greater than all. That no matter what you’re going through, you can take heart that Great is our Lord and Mighty in Power.

He walked through the darkest places of all and rose above them so he could lift you up to be with him, so he could connect with you, to heal your heart, to carry you, to strengthen you, to pull you through this, whatever it is.

He knows. He cares. He loves you.

We praise you, Lord, for your great miracle today. We praise you for raising Jesus from the dead to life so we could have full and forever life with you. We praise you for being the Miracle worker, Lord and for how you’re going to meet our needs according to your glorious riches in Christ Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, amen.