A Call to All Mamas & Encouraging Our Children to go Above & Beyond.

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Let’s keep a running list of how our children go ABOVE AND BEYOND this week. Then, at the end of the week, let’s read it to them and celebrate ways they loved others well to encourage it more.

While it’s disheartening when our children choose selfishness and arguing, isn’t it so refreshing when they choose to go above and beyond with love and kindness?

IMG_5962Yesterday, my son filled up my water bottle for me. It was a small thing, but it was beautiful because I didn’t ask him to. And, this morning, he offered to help his sister make her bed without being asked.

Difficult moments are just natural in parenthood, so when I saw this sweet one, I captured it. My daughter also jumped in to help after seeing him help. His kindness was contagious.

Let’s start with asking our kiddos what they think it means to go above and beyond with loving others and talk about some examples. We can let them know we’ll be on the lookout for those “above and beyond” moments, but that even if we miss some, the Lord doesn’t. He sees it all.

The poor widow is a great story to share on going above and beyond. She gave two small coins – all she had to live on – to the Lord. As Jesus sat across the way watching her, he was so pleased by the love she put into her giving that he actually called his disciples over to him to share the moment with them. (Mark 12:41-44)

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 ❤️

Not Trying to Tweak & Change Our Kids

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One of the things I’m working on as my kiddos get older is opening my hands. Not trying to tweak and change them.

It’s so easy to want to control all they do and say, but in the long run, that only creates a wall between us.

But taking time to get to know our kids and be with them – that creates a healthier and closer connection.

Yes, we are to parent and teach our children. To teach them about the Lord, wisdom, and love. That is one of our key responsibilities, but we are not called to control all they do and say.

Lord, please help us with this. Help us to give our kids freedom to be themselves and to not try and control them as they learn about life and following you. Give us wisdom to direct and teach them, but then to know when to take a step back. I pray our children would always choose you. Be with them today and fill their hearts and minds with your love and presence. Thank you for your love for our children and us. We love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen. ❤️

{The podcast I listened to about this is called the Prodigal Mom by Nancy on “Story Tellers” Live.}


 

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Earrings Giveaway & Faithfully Pursuing the Lord ❤️

fullsizeoutput_8371Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Amanda for winning!


Happy Labor Day! Let’s celebrate with a Giveaway!

If you’d like to enter the giveaway, just comment on this post and you’ll be added. {I’m opening the Giveaway Wednesday to everyone else. It closes Friday, September 6th at 1pm.}

I so appreciate each of you so you’ll have 5 entries just for following my blog. (: And, let me know in the comments if you share this post with friends or on Facebook or Instagram and I’ll add five extra entries for you.

Follow my friend, Lindsay, @CreatedbyLindsay on Instagram, to see her awesome handmade earrings and beautiful barn wood signs. I love the one I have from her hanging in our kitchen.

*Because of shipping, the giveaway is limited to people living in the continental U.S. The earrings are a light grey leather teardrop, about 2.5″.


A piece of encouragement that the Lord keeps reminding me of…

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When things don’t appear to be going well from the world’s eye, remember that the Lord sees differently than people see.

Paul and Silas were locked in chains, and because of that, the jailer, his family and others came to believe in Jesus.

The poor widow gave two small coins – all she had to live on – and the Lord said she gave more than all the others. She was “rich”, but not by a worldly view.

Jesus dying on the cross looked terrible from a worldly perspective, but God used it to redeem those who would believe in Him.

His kingdom is upside-down and not worldly.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18.)

Helping Our Kids With School Jitters & Anxiety / Leading Our Kids by Example

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Those first day school jitters can be tough. And for so many of our kids, those “jitters” come throughout the school year.

In first grade, my daughter went through a time where she didn’t want to go to school for days. Every night at bedtime, she cried and complained of stomach aches. We brought her to the doctor for an x-ray since it had happened so many times and she seemed to be in a lot of pain, but everything checked out perfectly.

We finally realized our daughter was experiencing anxiety. We prayed together and I affirmed her. And, then someone mentioned a practical way to me to help her get through it.

I took my daughter to the store and let her pick out a special stuffed animal. I told her that it would help her get through the anxiety. She walked straight to the grey bunny on the shelf and said, “That’s the one.”

She named her “Peace”.

That night was the first night in a long time my daughter slept in peace. We continued praying for our daughter and reading Scripture with her. And, each night, she held Peace tight.

Anxiety disappeared for about eight months. Then, the stomach aches and tears returned. She didn’t want to go to school again. I held her close and comforted her.

That morning, we packed Peace in her backpack. At school drop-off, she clung to me with tears covering her cheeks. I wanted to take her with me to protect her from those painful feelings.

But I knew my daughter needed to see for herself that she could indeed get through the day and that she would be just fine. Seeing this would help her overcome the anxiety. I told her that the Lord would keep her strong and that Peace would be with her.

My daughter ended up having a great day and was stronger because she learned that she could do it. She later said, “Mommy, my tummy aches are gone!”

Some anxiety does indeed require more serious interventions. But, in my daughter’s situation, encouragement, prayer, and a simple stuffed animal named Peace was just what she needed.

Lord, we pray that you would be with our children as they walk into their schools. Fill them with your peace, your confidence, your presence. Protect them by the power of your name. I pray for their teachers – that you would guide them and give them strength. I pray our kids would be drawn to great friends and that they would be lights for you. I pray that you would replace any anxiety with your peace and that they would get their confidence from you. In Jesus’ name, amen. ❤️

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Jesus (John 14:27)


 

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Just as Jesus took the time and heart to SHOW us how to love and serve, we get to do the same with our kids.

When John 13 takes place, Jesus knows he is about to endure the cross. In the midst of all the emotions he must have felt, “having LOVED his own who were in the world,” he bent low and washed his disciples’ feet. His disciples didn’t understand why Jesus would take that place of humility and do that.

Jesus told them, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you…As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:15, 34

Hope in Jesus & Facing Peer Pressure

With all the tragedies we’ve heard about in the news lately, and ones we haven’t heard about, these words spoken by Jesus offer us hope here and now and beyond this place.

When our children face tough times, let’s remind them of these powerful words in John 16.

And, to all those walking through a difficult time right now, we are lifting you up. ❤️

“And surely I am with you always.” Jesus (MT 28:28)

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Facing Peer Pressure

Jesus’ response to the Pharisees challenging him is so powerful. It’s a great example for our kids on how to face peer pressure. In Jesus’ words:

“I know where I came from and where I am going.”
“I am not alone.”
“I stand with my Father.”
“The one who sent me is with me.”

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Two Words Your Kids Need to Know & When You Rise at 3am, the Lord Sees…

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My recent article published by For Every Mom:

The Two Words Your Kids Need to Know

“The reality quickly surfaced that we can’t protect our kids from every bad conversation and influence. Instead, we need to equip them.”


 

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While watching the new Lion King, our daughter nestled between us, grabbing daddy’s hand and mine. As we sat there watching the movie, our eight year old, holding our hands tight, I had a moment.

I thought, what a gift that this daughter of mine trusts me, wants to be close, looks to  her daddy and me.

We get to be her comforter, protector, and refuge. Out of all the people in the world, she looks to us.

This morning I thought about how the Lord must love when we also look to him as our comforter, protector, and refuge.

How he must find joy in seeing us depend on him, trust him, grab his hand, and follow him. He loves you. You are His. Look to Him.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1


 

Sibling Arguments & a Gratitude Journal

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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 share 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.

When we walk in love like Jesus tells us to, we experience more of his kingdom, his power, 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 be a light for you and react with peace, kindness, and love. Thank you for filling our minds and hearts today. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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After a recent move, I’ve found myself wading in ungratefulness at different times. But yesterday morning, I read this verse: “He who sacrifices thank offerings, honors me.” Psalm 50:23

So, each morning, my kids and I have written one or more things we’re thankful for in our “Gratitude Journal”.

When we place our minds and hearts on the Lord and gratefulness, it overpowers the darkness and honors the Lord.

Want to join us in doing a “Gratitude Journal” with your kiddos or just yourself? It doesn’t have to be drawn out – keep it simple and just jot down one or more things you’re grateful for.

Let’s start the mornings by refreshing our minds, hearts, and souls with giving thanks to the Lord. 😊