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. ❤

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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Great News For Us Parents…

Great news for us parents… in Luke 18, the one who was justified and lifted up by Jesus was the one who admitted he wasn’t perfect.

Isn’t that awesome? We don’t serve a God who tells us to show off in our parenting and get all our ducks in a row and have everything nailed down precisely and perfectly before the Lord meets us and connects with us. Nope.

We serve a God who gets that we are flawed and human and imperfect, and need Him. A God who longs for us to simple come to him to find forgiveness, refreshment, restoration.

That doesn’t mean that we get a free pass to not care and not try to be the best parents we can be, but it does mean as we try our best to love the Lord and our kids, that Jesus will

pick us up when we fall,

give us strength when we feel rung out,

refresh us when we are weary,

forgive us when we fail,

and guide us when we feel lost.

When we fail in parenting, in life, remember that THAT is why Jesus came – to cover our imperfections in his love, his grace, his forgiveness, his perfection.

We simply need Him.

The Pharisee, the one who showed off, who had it all figured out, who bragged to everyone else about having it all together, was actually Not the one who Jesus said was justified before God.

I love Jesus’ thoughts on the man who humbled himself and desperately cried, “God have mercy on me, a sinner.” Jesus said, “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Lord, we need you. When we are so imperfect in parenting our kids, please forgive us, lead us, and give us your wisdom. When we feel self-righteous or above others, please forgive us. In humility, we come before you Lord – we are SO in need of You. Have mercy on us and show us your grace. Please uplift us as we parent, love, and guide our children. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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On National “Single Parent Day”, let’s take a minute to pray for these parents and to help in a simple way like bringing a meal, helping out with carpooling, a play date, or asking how we can help.

Let’s Teach Our Boys…

Remember the “check this box if you like me” love notes from elementary school?

Well, my friend’s son received a number of love notes several days in a row from a girl in his class. She wanted to know if he had a “crush” on her too. He told his mom that he was going to ignore the notes so he wouldn’t hurt her feelings and so she would stop. His mom said that would just make her like him more – that the right and kind thing to do was to be straight-forward with her and to tell her directly that he didn’t like her, but that they could be friends.

So, he did. Now she knows, and he hasn’t received any more love notes from her. (:

How do they learn what being respectful and kind means if we don’t teach them?

We have awesome teaching opportunities in moments like these to share with our boys what it looks like to be courageous, kind, and respectful to girls right now, so when they grow up, they will know how to be men who are straight-forward, respectful, and kind as well.

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Getting my covid vaccine was tough. Not the actual shot, but just going to get it.

Thinking, if my dad had been able to get the vaccine, maybe he wouldn’t be in the ICU as he has been for three months.

I waited in line for the shot, tears becoming very clear in my eyes as I watched people congratulate each other on getting the vaccine. I am genuinely happy for each and every person that can get it. I’m thankful I was able to get it since I substitute teach at my kids’ school. But my heart is also so broken inside as I think, what if my dad had gotten it. This has just been so hard, but I’m still praying for a Miracle for my dad.

I’m not sure why I’m writing this, but maybe just to say if you’re one of those people who also has a broken heart and find yourself with tears falling regularly, I feel you. I get you. I understand. I can relate. It hurts. So deeply.

Jesus, would you lift up each of us who are broken-hearted inside. Jesus, would you be with our loved ones and heal them. Lord, help us look to you. This is so hard, Lord. We love you. In Jesus’ name, amen.“

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

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