The Power of Praying for Your Family

I pray that the following words would encourage you in loving Jesus with all your hearts and loving those right in front of you. Lord, would you lift up each person reading this – please meet their needs and give them your joy and peace today, Jesus. Give us eyes and hearts to see you, seek you, know you, and honor you. In Jesus’ name, amen. ❤️

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When we think the world is spinning out of control, let's breathe and remember that the Lord is above all, over all, in all-2


 

Lord,-3


If you’re feeling overwhelmed, turn to Psalms, and take time to praise the Lord.

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Homecoming Days, Choosing to Praise the Lord, & Being Present

116608322_1233102877029325_4406584621221463470_oBrooklyn’s homecoming day was yesterday! If you haven’t read my story about this, its below. If you have, you can skip to content below it if you’d like. (:

My first weeks as a mother did not go at all how I had imagined. It was the most difficult time of my life.

It started on April 1, 2011. I went into labor at 29 weeks and had an emergency C-section. Our triplets were born weighing 2.5 pounds each. I was overjoyed, but it was also really difficult seeing their tiny bodies covered in so many tubes.

On April 19th, my middle daughter, Brooklyn, three weeks old and three pounds, contracted a life-threatening infection that was quickly killing her intestine. It was tough wrapping our heads around what was happening.

She was very, very sick and the doctors didn’t know if she would make it. I remember doing what I could to breathe and take the next step. Then, the phone rang.

The doctor told us Brooklyn’s intestine had perforated and that we needed to come immediately. The infection was spreading and she needed emergency surgery to try to save her.

My husband held me up as my piercing screams echoed through the hallway. It was the weakest moment of my life.

The surgeon removed the infected segment of intestine. We hoped to hear that she was getting better. Each time we spoke with the nurses, I searched, hard, for any word of improvement – anything.

But, there were none.

The surgeon told us Brooklyn was getting sicker and that if we didn’t try something, anything, she wouldn’t make it.

The nurses gave us a moment before wheeling her into the surgery room. Brooklyn was fast asleep in her incubator. My husband and I looked into the incubator at our three-pound baby girl.

Brooklyn’s courageous eyes opened for a few seconds and met ours. It was a beautiful moment branded in my heart.

I told her, “Jesus is going to heal you, Brooklyn. You are strong and you can do this. We love you.”

They wheeled her through the double doors into surgery.

During those grueling hours in the waiting room, we poured our hearts out to the Lord for our baby girl.

After surgery, we were told we had to wait to see how she would do.

After some long days, we saw glimmers of hope. Brooklyn started showing improvement and the nurses told us, “Brooklyn is a miracle baby.”

A few weeks later, my son, Bates, got the same intestinal infection. You can imagine my mama heart in that moment. I wasn’t quite sure how we were going to do it. I needed the Lord’s help so much. Thankfully, after Bates surgery, he showed improvement quickly.

They are now thriving nine year olds and I am so grateful to the Lord. I am also so thankful for all the doctors and nurses who were heroes during that time.

Yesterday was actually Brooklyn’s homecoming day (you can see her breakfast in bed waffles in the pic.!) – we celebrate those glorious days each year when we were able to bring our babies home from the NICU. Gracie’s homecoming day was June 10th and we celebrate Bates’ homecoming day, August 25th.

However, the pain we went through during that time has not left my heart. I think of those of you with a different outcome, and I hurt for you.

I think of those experiencing difficulty as I write this sentence. I don’t know what pains your heart so deeply it physically hurts when your mind wanders there. But I know Jesus meets you there when you call out to him, in whatever way you are capable of doing.

The Lord raised Jesus out of the darkest places this world has ever seen,
and he will do the same for you.

I have never felt more pain and weakness as I did during that time. When I didn’t have strength to walk, words to speak, thoughts to think, Jesus carried me.

When I was with my daughter, speechless, the Lord sang a song of praise through me.

My first weeks of motherhood were not as I had imagined. Not even close.

But I reached through the darkness and gripped Jesus’ hand, and he brought us through it.

In whatever place you’re in, reach for Jesus.

He will carry you through it.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus (Matthew 7:7-8)

Previously published by ForEveryMom.


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School Decisions, Listening to our Kids, Chasing After the Wind, & a Prayer

In the midst of all these school decisions, Lord, fill our souls with your wisdom.-3


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Listening well to my kids is something I’m continually working on.

Not out of guilt, but because I know this time is fleeting, and I want to be present.

I want to look into their eyes and really listen to them.

Because I love them.

In the midst of a million distractions,

I know it is vital that my kids know I’m listening.

I’m working on decluttering things and activities around me

so I can be more focused. More intentional. More connected. With my kids.

I want my daughters and son to know that just as I listen now, I will listen when they’re older.

When I half-listen or brush off their thoughts and questions,

it’s easy to miss the moment.

To miss the connection.

To miss showing my kids that what they’re saying matters to me.

If I’m in the middle of something and can’t listen well, I try to tell them to wait a certain amount of time until I can give them my full attention.

So I can connect with them, and hear and know their hearts.

I obviously fall short sometimes since I’m human, but it is worth it to me to keep pursuing the better way of listening well and loving well.

Let’s listen better to the little things now – to those things that might seem unimportant to us, but are huge to them – not only so they’ll know we care, but also so they’ll know we’ll be listening when they’re older.

“Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life.” Proverbs 21:21


Let’s enjoy the “good”, the simple moments, along the way.

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We cling to the idea of more.

God wants us to be.

We strive for more.

God wants us to be.

We compare.

God wants us to be.

We worry.

God wants us to be.

It’s a chasing after the wind.

Unsatisfying.

The worry, the more, the envy, leave us empty, bitter, dry, wanting more.

If you’re feeling restless and unsettled, Stop. Just be.

Keep your thoughts steadfast on the Lord.

Soak in Jesus’ words:
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13, 14

May we not chase after the wind,
a never-ending feat,
but chase after Jesus,
the Satisfier of our souls,

to have a heart like His,
so we can love like Him,
and transform the world,
starting with our families.


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Happy July 4th!, Donating Hair, & Knowing Jesus

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As we celebrate July 4th, let’s pray with our kids for the men and women who serve our country, as well as their families.
 
Thank you to each of you who has served, is serving, or has a family member serving. We are so very grateful for each of you and that because of your commitment, service, and sacrifice we can have freedom.
 
Lord, we come together to pray for each man and woman serving our country, as well as for their spouses, children, parents and friends. Please fill them with your peace, your presence, your power, your Spirit, your comfort, your truth, your love. We pray your words from John 17:11: “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name.” In Jesus’ name, amen. ❤️

 


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A simple way for our kids to think about and love others is through donating their hair. My daughters and I just donated our hair – it was awesome getting a chance to give together, even if it was in a little way.

I gave them the choice to do it or not. When they saw the video of how it helps kids who have cancer, they were excited to do it. (let me know in comments if you’d like the link to the 2-minute video.)

The person cutting my daughter’s hair said she’d have to cut more than originally thought. It was going to be very, VERY short. The lady asked her, “Do you still want to donate it?

My daughter thought for a second and said, “It’s more important for someone with cancer to get my hair for a wig than for me to not have really short hair.”

I about cried right then and there.

When I gave her the free choice, she chose selfessness. I know this doesn’t always happen with our kids, so when it does, isn’t is so beautiful?

Let’s big time celebrate those moments when our kids choose love above everything, even if they’re small moments like this one.

Lord, help us to raise our kids in the way of love through everyday moments. In Jesus’ name, amen. ❤️

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Teresa

Thinking of Nathan, and Amy and her mom, as we donate our hair. Lifting y’all up in prayer. You. Are. Strong!


Are you feeling hindered in starting a relationship with Jesus? Wondering where to even start? Not knowing how to reach out to him? Thinking it's too confusing to begin? When Jesus was on the cross, a criminal-2

Sometimes figuring out how to start a relationship with Jesus can appear like a magic formula and seem confusing or unattainable.

But, in Luke 23:39-43, Jesus shows how we can have a relationship with Him.

The three crosses stood on the hill called the Skull – Jesus was being crucified between two criminals.

“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’”

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?

We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

_______

Jesus doesn’t say – sorry, you believe in me, but your past is too bad.

He doesn’t say – sorry, but you didn’t say the five-step, exact word prayer you needed to, so you don’t make the cut.

No, Jesus knows the repentant heart of the man.

Jesus sees how the criminal acknowledges his own guilt.

That the criminal saw him on the cross, innocent, not deserving of this.

The criminal recognizes Jesus is the Messiah – the one offering the way to God’s kingdom.

And, Jesus says, “TODAY you will be with ME in paradise.”

Not that he would think about it and consider what he’s saying.

The man reached out to Jesus and Jesus accepted him – right then and there.

____

Right now, wherever you are in your faith, Jesus wants you to turn to him.

To choose him.

To believe in him.

 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Jesus (Matthew 7:7-8)

Jesus is there for you.

He came to this earth for you.

He died on the cross for you.

He rose again for you.

Because he loves you and wants you to come into his kingdom.

So you can have life now and forever with him – the life that is truly life.

This world is limited. But life with Jesus is everlasting.

____

Here are some other verses that talk about starting a relationship with the Lord.

I’m praying for you. That the Lord would speak to your heart, comfort you, and connect with you.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” Jesus (John 5:24)

“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

“For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Acts 2:21 & Romans 10:13


It's so good for our kids to not always get their way. It might cause a pouty attitude, but it builds self-control & contentedness.


Don’t look at that Mama over there and compare.

God made you the Mama of your kids for a reason.

Your approach to parenting might be different from hers, but that’s okay.

What works for her kids might not work for your own, and what works for your kids might not work for hers.

Don’t look at that Mama over there and compare. God made you the Mama of your kids for a reason.Let’s stop comparing, envying, and feeling less than because of another Mama’s ways.

We all want the best for our children.

Sometimes we fall short.

Sometimes we’re rock star moms.

Sometimes our kids don’t behave and sometimes they do.

Life is not always so clear cut.

Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s hard.

That doesn’t make someone better than the next mama.

It just makes them different.

So, when we want to evaluate another mama’s approach to parenting, let us stop, and remember that we all have stories.

Her story influenced her to be where she is.

Your story influenced you to be where you are.

And my story influenced me to be where I am.

It’s what makes us unique. What makes us who we are.

When another mama is struggling, let’s not judge, but ask how we can help, walk with her, lift her up.

Or just listen. Learn her story. Because we care. Just because we care.

And, when we’re struggling, let’s ask for help and not wallow in pride or loneliness. But reach out. Because sometimes we all just need someone to lift us up a little.

So mamas, sometimes we might not feel like it, but let’s choose to cheer each other.

Because we are indeed all in this together, and boy am I glad to be walking this journey with each other.

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30

“Therefore encourage and build one another up.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11


Lord, would You be with each person reading this today. Would you fill them with your grace, love, Presence, wisdom and strength. Help us to look to You always and to love those around us with Your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Hope you have a wonderful week, ❤️

Linsey

Calmness, Contentment, & Parenthood

Isn’t it easy to want to yell when our kids misbehave and don’t listen – when that last straw is broken and we’re at the end of our rope?

103870776_1191416281197985_7591546141507610951_oBut hostility just makes things worse, strains our relationships with our kids, & leaves us with oozing guilt.

Consequences with calmness work far more powerfully.

When we played basketball yesterday, my daughter said something in a rude tone to me.

I’m not okay with disrespect and I had already corrected her earlier, so I calmly sent her to her room for 10 minutes. Sometimes I snap back instead, but I strive to speak with grace and react calmly. When I don’t, I apologize.

She tried to get out of it and explained why she spoke that way, and I told her it was not okay, and repeated what she needed to do.

It diffused the situation, I relaxed, and she came back with a kinder tone.

Just before the basketball game began, my son let his other sister provoke him and continued overreacting and responding with anger toward her.

Sure, these emotions are normal and there’s no way to raise perfect kids who don’t fight, but if I can direct them toward better responses that reflect Jesus, I’m going to.

Instead of creating more chaos with a heightened reaction from me, I calmly sent him to his room.

After that, we read through Ecclesiastes 7:9 together, “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit for anger resides in the lap of fools.”

We talked about how every human struggles with this, including me.

But that when we ask the Lord to help us with it, he will.

Finally, my kids and I were all outside together to play that b-ball game I wasn’t sure would ever happen.

While the game was delayed by “interruption” and “inconvenience”, that’s what parenting is – stopping in those moments to raise our kids and directing them in ordinary circumstances.

When we let repeated misbehavior slide, it becomes more of the norm and ends up being more difficult on all of us.

Calmly giving consequences reminds our kids who is leading, that we won’t wither to bumps in the road (making them feel secure), and that we are committed to showing them the better way because we love them.

We all need grace and sometimes reminders are just what our kids need or they might need to work it out on their own without our involvement, but if rude tones or strife are becoming the norm, consequences with calmness can make a big difference.

Lord, when we’re at our wits end with our kids and want to react with yelling and fits of anger, please lead us with calmness and grace instead. Give us your wisdom to know how to parent our kids, connect with their hearts, and lead them to you. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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