It’s Here Right in Front of You, There is Always Hope, and a Prayer


As parents, it can be easy to think we’re letting our kids down – not offering enough “big” opportunities, trips, things.

Or that WE are missing out, thinking the big things and big adventures matter most.

But, it’s the ordinary moments to relish in.

Playing basketball with our kids.
Curling up and watching a movie together.
Brushing our daughters’ hair while we chat about silly things.
Watching them discover the beauty in serving others.
Making a mess of the kitchen as we cook with our kids.
Reading a book together you can’t put down.
Our kids asking us about life and things they don’t understand.
Making a meal and card together for a neighbor who’s struggling.
Enjoying those moments of uncontrollable laughter.
Watching your child break it down to a song from “The Greatest Showman”.

In the movie, The Greatest Showman, P.T. Barnum pursues his dreams and gets caught up in it all.

At the end of the movie, he has the realization that what matters most is right in front of him. He has his arm around his wife as they watch their daughters’ dance recital, and he sings:

“It’s everything you ever want
It’s everything you ever need
And it’s here right in front of you.”

Mama, don’t believe the lie that you’re missing out – that there’s so much more out there. Or, that your kids need so much “more” when they really just want you.

When your mind wanders to those places, remember that what is beautiful and miraculous is right in front of you. You are watching a little human grow before your eyes.

On those sleepless nights, know that you are doing the Lord’s work: you are loving with all your heart, without being noticed, in the secret.

The Lord sees what you’re doing.
And He is honored by it.

The cleaning,
the burping of babies,
the changing of so many diapers,
having the conversation with our child in tears when we’d rather avoid it,
doing the never-ending laundry,
washing the dishes for those we love,
driving our kids to activities,
the forgiveness we ask for when we fall short,
the simple smile we give our children as we delight in them.

When I look back at family videos, whether we’re on a trip or at home, it’s not the place I zone in on, but rather, it’s the ordinary moments, the people within those videos, that capture me.

The Lord has us in this place, in this season, in this moment. Let’s open our eyes to the small and ordinary and relish in it.

“It’s everything you ever want
It’s everything you ever need
And it’s here right in front of you.”

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:10





Encouraging Our Children to Care about Inner Beauty & the Heart Above All

How do we raise our kids to love like Jesus did and look beyond outward appearance to the heart,


to talk to people even when they think and look differently than ourselves,

to get that each person has a story,

to understand that people long to be known?

I think it begins with teaching our kids what matters to the Lord: “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam. 16:7)

When I taught at a predominately African-American school focused on racial reconciliation, we were open and honest in our conversations about race.

I remember a conversation in one of my classes. One of my fourth grade students shared a story about white people and said to me, “Well, I’m not talking about you–I don’t see you as white.”

She saw past my appearance because she knew me.

It took knowing me to begin breaking down the walls of stereotype and judgment.

She saw me as a person.

Relationships make that happen.

They strip down the walls and stereotypes we build up.

So, how do we raise our kids to do this?

We teach them to look to the heart of a person.

We teach them that God has created each person uniquely and in his image.

We teach them that we are to love others who are different and similar.

We model it.

Our attitude toward people different than us is reflected to our kids.

I assume that’s what most of us want – to be seen for who we are, on the inside.

We are all very different, but we also have one beautiful thing in common:

Every one of us is made in the image of God (GN 1:27).

I am so inspired by MLK Jr.’s passion and pursuit to bring all people together and to look beyond appearance. I love his words here:

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

Let’s share these truths with our children so they will see people as people, and look past outward appearance to the heart.

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16

My husband began asking our girls the following question when they were 3 years old: “What makes you beautiful?” At 8 years old, they still answer, “My heart, mind, and soul.”

Let’s share this with our daughters so they will prize loving the Lord & others and inner beauty above all else, and

so they will know what truly makes them beautiful.




A Prayer for our Children…



When Our kids Make a Bad Choice, Crumbs, & a Prayer for Our Kids



When I was cleaning up, I wondered how old my kiddos will be when their crumbs won’t cover the table and floor.

I can get so frustrated with the messes, but as I vacuumed, it hit me that if I had the spotless table and floors, it would mean I wasn’t gathering around the table with my kids.

Because this is the thing – those crumbs mean I have a house full of kids, laughter, noise, chaos, arguing, and joy.

I’ll take that any day over spotless “perfection”.

I sure am grateful for the messes because it means I have this family I love.

The why behind all we do reminds me of this quote by Mother Teresa:

“Wash the plate not because it’s dirty nor because you’re told to wash it, but because you love the person who will use it next.” Mother Teresa

Even cleaning up the crumbs is a way to love those closest to us. ❤️

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18



Donating Clothes WITH our Kids, the New Year, & Not Running to the Comfortable

IMG_0121It’s easy to throw clothes in a bag to donate without our kids.

It’s easier if we don’t have to hear our kids complain or argue about missing certain things.

But that defeats the point of giving.

When we get our kids involved with the giving, they can experience the joy of opening their grip, giving, & loving others.

It’s helpful to research the place where you’re donating with your kids so they get an idea of who it helps.

This makes it easier to open our grips on what we’re giving.

It’s great for our kids to join us when we drop the clothes off so they can see where the clothes go.

A lot of these places can also use volunteers to help organize the clothes – an easy way for our kids to help out.

When we did this together, I played music to make it more fun, and several times afterward we had treats to make it even more enjoyable.

Reading a verse about serving beforehand also gets our hearts and minds in the right spirit, reminding us that serving and the little things, is a way to love the Lord & love others.


I love when the new year begins. Regardless of whether or not we follow through on certain goals, what I love, is the newness.

I love how it reminds us of what it feels like to have a new chance, to start again. To refresh.

I love how it reminds me of the great forgiveness the Lord gives us when he tells us that the old has gone, the new has come.

We are new in the Lord, not because of our “perfection”, but because of Jesus.

What freedom. What freedom we have in Jesus.

There is so much hope in the Lord.

No matter where you’ve been or where you are now, there is ALWAYS hope in the Lord.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Accomplishing goals is great, but knowing Jesus – his love, his peace, his joy, his presence – is where true freedom and victory are found.

Why do we always want to run to the comfortable?

I sometimes have this false notion that I should constantly feel at peace and completely happy.

That’s just not reality. I know this, yet my mind still wanders to that place.

It’s okay to feel sad in a season.

It’s okay to feel uncomfortable in a season.

It’s okay to “not feel like yourself” for a season.

It’s okay. Seasons won’t last forever.

We just moved to a new state. It will take time to build community and feel that sense of belonging and at peace in this new place.

It’s easy for me to run from that feeling – to long for the comfortable.

Even though I know the world doesn’t satisfy, my mind and heart can linger to the place of thinking it will.

But, the Lord subtly reminded me that it’s okay to be in the season I’m in. Just to be.

Not to fix it, because

He’s my steady.

He’s the one who is unchanging.

Some seasons are harder than others, but there will be beauty.

When we look to him, the Lord will bring beauty from emptiness.

The Lord will, if we seek him.

Jesus, help us gain our contentment not from approval, affirmations and perfection, but from you. Help us to look for peace in you, not this world. Help us to find joy in you, not in what’s around us. Thank you for giving your life for us – for experiencing so much pain and sadness so you could give us the greatest joy this world has ever known – life with you now and forever. Jesus, I love you so much. Thank you for loving us. no. matter. what. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7

Here’s my article about not saving our kids from their emotions, but walking with them in it:

Rdg Bible in 1 Year Chronologically, Being All In, & The Secret to Real Joy ❤️

Happy 2020! I’m planning on reading the Bible in one year chronologically if you want to join me. No guilt if we have to play catch up or it’s not finished. But this schedule below helps a lot to stick with it. Share this with a friend you want to join us! ❤️

Chronological Bible Reading Schedule:…/oneyearchronologicalbi…

New Testament & Old Testament Daily Readings:…/oneyearbiblereadingpla…

IMG_7218I want to be all in

right now, with my kids,

with my husband,

right where we are,

in this place,

in this stage,

in this season.

Enjoying the little things and the big things.

Slowing time down by stepping into the moment.

Being all there.

Thank you, Lord, for this sweet, sweet gift of family you’ve given us. In 2020, help us to find so much joy right where we are and to be fully present in the big and little moments. ❤️

“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation…I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

P.S. In case you’re wondering what we’re making in the pic.- they’re Betty Crocker crepes. Yum! It’s the little things.



It’s the Little Things…

Our kids don’t need elaborate. They remember time together, laughing, the little things. Have a Merry Christmas enjoying the little things.






This seems so simple – to pray for our kids when they’re struggling.

But, it can be easy to get lost in their worries and ride the wings of anxiety than to bring it to the Lord.

This last few weeks, my daughter has been feeling anxious. It happens several times a year – the morning, full of stomach aches and clinging to me.

She pushes through and goes to school. After school, she usually shares that she has had a great day.

But, the next morning it happens again. It goes in phases. She’s such a joyful, happy kid, but then the anxiousness will hit her.

When I found myself absorbing it, I got up early, grabbed a cup of coffee, and prayed.

So simple, yet so easy to become too busy to do.

To pine after solutions when we need to bring it to their Lord.

There are definitely practical things we can do to help our kids when they struggle, but let’s not forget to talk to the Lord about it.

I sat in our sunroom, praying for our sweet girl.

In the middle of lifting her up, I heard little footsteps at 6:15. She said, “Mommy, can I sit with you.”

I told her I was in the middle of praying for her – what perfect timing.

So, we snuggled close in my tiny chair and prayed together.

I shared three verses I had read that morning that I felt were for her.

In her struggles, I’m glad she knows I’m praying for her and that the Lord is with her.

When we are filled with anxiety about our children, remember that Jesus tells us to ALWAYS pray and NEVER give up. There is ALWAYS hope. When we are overwhelmed, take rest in the Lord.

Jesus, please be with our children right now. I lift up those who have minds filled with anxious thoughts. Would you please fill their hearts and minds with you instead. Help them release worry and replace it with your peace, your joy, your hope. Please give them great and strong friendships. We ask for wisdom with how to lead our kids and how to encourage them to be strong, while still comforting them. I pray each of our children would look to you. Jesus, please help them look to you. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Here are the three verses I mentioned earlier:

“When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I will not be afriad.
What can mortal man do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4

“God will go before me.” Psalm 59:10

“O my Strength, I sing praise to you;
you, O God, are my fortress, my
loving God.” Psalm 59:17

Our Kids See Us & What We Value ❤️


In one of Sissy Goff’s books, she asked a number of teenagers what encouraged them most to follow Jesus.

They said it was watching their parents read the Bible.

What a simple answer… watching their parents make time for the Lord.

What a great encouragement for us to do just that.



This verse is intense. It makes me want to check my priorities.

What do we value highly? What is at the top of our lists?

What do we want our children to value?

I’ve heard before that what we spend our time on is what we value most.

What has our hearts, minds, and souls?

Lord, in the midst of this beautiful season, help us devote our thoughts, hearts, and minds to You.

Help us value You far above worldly things.

Thank you for your joy, life, and peace that last forever.

In Jesus’ name, amen.
Here’s the verse in context if you want to see more of the details around the powerful words Jesus shared:

13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

Thank you, Lord, for refreshing our hearts with your love and forgiveness, and pointing us to you. ❤️