“Jesus looked at him and loved him.” Mark 10:21

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In this verse, Jesus was preparing to tell a rich man how to move past what was holding him back.

Jesus didn’t yell at him. He didn’t condemn him. He didn’t belittle him.

Jesus “looked at him and loved him” even when he knew what this man STILL needed to do.

How can we imitate Jesus when we’re correcting our kids? When we see where they have fallen short and still need to do? Do we look at them and love them during it? Not necessarily correcting with a smile, but is my heart in the right place? Am I leading with love instead of anger?

This is definitely something I’m working on. Some simple ways that have helped me lean toward this in some moments are taking a deep breath, praying before I correct my kids, walking out of the room to lessen my frustration, and seeking Jesus in the morning before they wake up.

I pray that instead of letting frustration or anger cloud our words and thoughts, that, Lord, you would invade our hearts and minds so we can look at our children with love. In Jesus’ Name, amen.


Happy July 4th!!!

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As we celebrate July 4th, let’s take time to pray with our kids for the men and women who serve our country so we can have the joy of freedom.

Lord, we come together to pray for each man and woman serving our country, as well as for their spouses, children, and friends. Fill them with your peace, your presence, your power, your Spirit, your comfort, your truth, your love. We pray Jesus’ words for them from John 17:11: “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name.” Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

The Lord Does. Not. Change. & “Godliness With Contentment”

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There are so many changes as we raise our kids. And so many changes in life in general. We’ve spent almost a month in hotels because of moving. This morning, I felt overwhelmed (no dishes and or making beds has been great, but 8-year-old triplets in this tiny space- you can imagine. 😂)

Everything in our lives seems to be changing… a new city, a new house, new friends – everything is just new. It can be exciting, but it can also be a lot.

After living in Atlanta, Guatemala, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and South Carolina over the past 20 years, I sure have seen a lot of change. But, as I prayed this morning, I was comforted by the words the Lord settled into my heart: The Lord. Does. Not. Change.

Wherever you are today, if you feel the floor beneath you slipping or if you are rejoicing, remember that the Lord doesn’t change. He is strong. He is capable. He is.

The Lord is near. The Lord is here. He goes ahead of you. Before you. Beside you. With you. The Lord. Does. Not. Change.

Now, bring on the adventure!


A prayer for you and your family today:

Lord, help us reach “Godliness with contentment” in the small and big things so we can honor you, and so our kids will be more likely to do the same. ❤️ In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Mimicking Our Kids’ Pace This Summer

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My daughter can be sooooo slow getting ready. I found myself getting really frustrated trying to get out the door, and rushing her. Then, I read this verse: “Calmness can lay great errors to rest.” (Eccl. 10:4)

That morning, instead of hollering up to my daughter to hurry up and come downstairs, I went up to see if she needed any help. After trying the former many times, I prefer the latter. We walked downstairs to breakfast in peace.

Before we left for school, we started the process five minutes earlier, so even though she was taking a long time to simply put her shoes on, I didn’t need to rush her.

The words, “Hurry up”, wanted to seep out of my mouth, but I sealed my lips.

And one minute later, she was ready. Our morning was much more peaceful for her, her siblings, and me, because I didn’t rush her.

One minute. It was worth it to bite my tongue.

Believe me, I’m not always that patient, but I sure hope to get better at it. Instead of creating moments of worry and anxiety, I can help create moments of joy and peace.

Instead of depleting those moments, we can add to them by LEADING with peace.

I love this quote from Ann Voskamp’s book, “One Thousand Gifts” about one pastor’s greatest regret in life:

“Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing.”

Let’s embrace the thousand gifts, tens of thousands, right in front of us, by slowing down, mimicking our kids’ pace, and welcoming His peace.

Let Summer Begin!!!

A Fun Way To Love Our Friends & “Time Is Not Running Out. Time Is Gaining.”

Instead of seeing this time with our kids as fleeting, like sand slipping through our fingers, we can see it as sand building, time gaining, as we stand on the brink of eternity.

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A fun way to “gain time” with our kids: sneakily write encouraging chalk notes for them…

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A Fun Way to Help our Kids Fall Asleep & Giving Consequences

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After giving my daughter a consequence the other day, along with a few minutes to settle down, I made sure to continue speaking to her in a loving way.

I had to rise above my frustration and show my daughter that her actions and response DIDN’T MOVE ME – they didn’t change how I felt about her.

Even though my daughter knew the consequence stood, her defenses lowered when she saw my consistent loving attitude toward her. She went from saying this was “the worst day” to feeling secure enough to move forward pretty quickly. We ended up having an awesome hike twenty minutes after the episode and she said, “Mommy, this did turn out to be the best day.”

My daughter saw that how the day went was her choice.

It definitely doesn’t always turn out like this. And, I don’t always respond this way. But, seeing the fruit from me being the ANCHOR and continuing to SPEAK LOVE into my daughter alongside the consequence, sure made me want to try and do this the next time.


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When my kids can’t sleep, they love for me to tell a story to “start” their dreams. As I leave the room, I tell them to finish their dreams and that I want to hear what happens in the morning.

I just turn whatever pops into my mind that they’d like into a story (it doesn’t take much to entertain kids!). For example: “Once upon a time there were two unicorns who couldn’t fly. They walked down the road together feeling so sad. Suddenly, a tiny mouse popped out from behind a rock. He squeaked, “If you follow me, I’ll take you to the magical land that will give you wings so you can fly high into the sky.”

Then I tell them to finish the story and that I can’t wait to hear about it in the morning. I do this from time to time when they can’t sleep, are frustrated or scared, or if they simply ask me to. Sharing an imaginative story is a fun, sweet way to calm their hearts and bring them into dreamland.

 

Practical Idea for Memorial Day & The Gift of Being Face to Face

fullsizeoutput_7c34How can we go beyond the surface for Memorial Day? How can we reach those who have lost loved ones? How can we help their loved ones’ legacies live on?

  1. Write letters to their families.
  2. Pray for their families.
  3. Talk about them with our kids.

My friend, Tyler, died while serving in Iraq. When I think of his family, my heart aches for them. I want his family to know I have talked to my kids about Tyler, who he was, and his kindness and bravery. I want his family to know that we are so grateful for him and that his legacy lives on.

I asked our kids, “What can we do to show Tyler’s family we are grateful for him?” My daughter said, “Send them cards!”

So we all made them cards. It was difficult at first and it took us a while because they wondered what to write. I explained that he was a kind and brave friend of mine who died in the war serving our country. We have freedom because of him and all the people who serve and served our country.

I guided them with ideas that might encourage his family, but I also told them to write from their hearts in their own words. There is something special about a kids’ words as they are raw and honest.

If you are one of the families who lost a loved one serving our country – thank you. I pray today that the Lord would comfort you, and that you would know our gratefulness for you and the heroic sacrifice of your loved one. In Jesus’ name, amen.


The Gift of Being Face to Face

fullsizeoutput_7c31Remembering those who served and lost their lives makes me want to soak in this time with those right in front me. I am taken back to the words of Corrie ten Boom, a holocaust survivor and hero.

In1944, after hiding Jews behind a wall in her home, Corrie ten Boom was sentenced to prison camps and solitary confinement. After a month, she was allowed to leave her cell to take a shower.

In her inspirational book, The Hiding Place, Corrie wrote: “How rich is anyone who can simply see human faces! The shower too was glorious: warm clean water over my festering skin, streams of water through my matted hair.”

How Rich is Anyone. Anyone who can simply see human faces.

When we’re with our friends, spouses, and children, let’s indulge in the richness of being face to face.

The richness of being able to talk. To connect. To be together.

What a gift.

Jesus embraced this gift of being face to face.

People were never an inconvenience to him. Ever.

When Zacchaeus was in the tree, Jesus sought him out.

When leaders rebuked the blind beggar, Jesus called the man to him.

When the disciples told the children to leave, Jesus called them to him.

When Jesus saw a crippled woman, he stopped preaching and healed her.

Jesus walked through life with his twelve disciples and many others. He took the gift of being with people to heart and made time for people.

Let’s do the same and soak in the gift of being face to face.

Indeed, “how rich is anyone who can simply see human faces!”