Monday, July 20, 2015

Truth in Target

I Am a Child of the One True King
“God saw ALL He had made and it was VERY GOOD!” Genesis 1:3

     Towards the end of the summer I was doing some back to school shopping at my “second home”, Target.  I was filling my grocery cart with crayons, number two pencils, composition, a hot pink pencil box, and a lady bug lunch box for my kindergartener and preschooler.  I glanced up ahead of me and there they stood.  It was a mother and daughter marking off items on their “Get ready for college” list.     I tried to hold it together until after I had checked out and was in the safety of my car.   I only made it to the parking lot, when the tears started streaming down my face.  My tears came as the result of being given such a heart racing, knot in my throat foreshadowing of my future.  It is a future with my two precious girls that I know will come more quickly than I could ever imagine. 
     Every morning in the midst of brushing teeth and making sure hair bows are placed perfectly, I make my girls take a moment, look into my eyes and I tell them. “You are smart. You are kind. You are beautiful. You are brave.”  Before they step out of the safety of the nest and into the big, bad, sometimes scary but also wonderful world, want the last thing their little ears hear, is uplifting, encouraging truth.

You are smart

     My two girls love school.  My kindergartener is up and happy at 6 am in order to be ready on time for kindergarten.  Even my preschooler is equally excited about her little school day. Watching them bloom as learners; gaining the ability to read, write and even do a little arithmetic, is an incredible experience.  As their minds are being filled with knowledge, I also want them gain to wisdom.  I don’t want them to just regurgitate answers on a worksheet and move on to the next lesson.  I desire that that take each little nugget of information and apply it to their lives.
     At home I try to apply what they are learning in their everyday lives.  As we drive to and from after school activities, I may comment on how the trees are green and the sky is blue.  I then may ask them to try to name something that is red or that starts with the letter “Z”.  Even though it may be a simple or even silly game, I want my daughters to know that what they learn in school can help them in more than just getting an “A” or a sticker on the top of their papers.

You are Kind

        I know that my two girls will be best friends one day, but there have been days at our house when I have doubted that fact.  Those of the days when I have said, “be kind, share, don’t push your sister”, about a hundred times, all before I have finished one cup of coffee!  One minute they will be playing sweetly together and then the next minute they are acting like WWE Divas!  As much as they love each one another most of the time, there are many opportunities throughout the day, to remind them of their sisterly love for one another.
     It is important for me to not only teach and guide them in how to be kind to each other but to also want them to be kind to those they come in contact with at church, school, dance class and in playgroups.  The world can be a harsh, scary and discouraging place.  I want my girls to shine and be a breath of fresh air as they encourage the people that have been placed in their lives.

You are Beautiful

     In my home you will find a lot of pink, sparkles, and princesses. Pretty much at any given moment, one of my girls will be dancing around in a costume, wearing a glitter covered crown or making sure their babies dressed and accessorized.  They are constantly asking my husband and me, “Do I look beautiful?”
     The world will tell them that they are beautiful only because of their size, the clothes they wear or how they fix their hair.  I want them to know they are beautiful because they are amazing creations of God.  That everything that God makes is “very good”, including them!!

You are Brave

     As my oldest stood next to her elementary school sign for the first time on our way into kindergarten orientation, I could not help but notice that she was not even as tall as the sign.  While I was a bundle of nerves, she bravely walked in, met her teachers and took a tour of her new school.  When it as my preschoolers turn to meet her new teachers, friends and take a look at her new school, she walked in with the same confidence as her big sister.

     God has incredible experiences and awesome adventures just waiting in my daughters’ futures.  My desire is to instill the truth of Scripture into their hearts, to give them the confidence to step out on faith into the perfectly designed plans for their lives.  Bravery is not the lack of fear.  Bravery is feeling scared yet holding fast to God, trusting Him to lead and guide each and every step.  

Monday, March 9, 2015

More than Words

More Than Words

Teaching our children to love the Lord with their words and their actions

      Right now I have a little one who is in the “Why” stage.  I ask her to go put on her pajamas. Why?  I ask her not to jump on the couch.  Why?  I ask her to be kind to her sister.  Why?  I tell her to hold my hand in the parking lot. Why?  Soon the words that come out of my mouth, the dreaded words that I said, I was never going to say, came out of my mouth, “Because I said so!”  I am a rule follower.   If I am given a rule I will follow it.  That is pretty much how I have viewed my walk and relationship with the Lord.  I would read the Bible and did what it said.  Not because I loved the Lord, but because He had, “said so”.
Our family’s mission statement is, “Be kind to everyone that God brings into your world.  You may not agree with their actions or their beliefs, but you are to always be kind.”  We want our daughters to not just learn and memorize God’s word but we want them to put their knowledge of the Word into practice.  In both our words and actions, our family strives to live out our family’s mission statement in the daily encounters in our lives. 
Why Mom, why????

Hiding the Word in their Hearts

“Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against thee”. Psalm 119:11

      Each day I repeat Ephesians 2:10 to my daughters and tell them they are amazing creations of God and He has great plans for their little lives.  I tell them that Mommy and Daddy love them and have loved them, even before they were born.  I encourage them to honor the bodies that God has given them, by being modest in their clothing, words and in their behavior.   I tell them the importance of purity before marriage, even when the world around them, may make them feel that the opposite is true.   
      My daughters are taught in our home to be compassionate and encouraging to the people in their world, based on Proverbs 16:24. They may have a friend that is having a hard time at school, a parent out of work, or a handicap sibling.  I encourage them to be like a balloon and lift up their little friends instead of being like a brick and pull them down.  We tell our daughters that the second greatest commitment they will make, next to their commitment to follow the Lord, is marriage.  Every morning during my quiet time before the Lord, I pray (it being God’s will), for the husbands that He is creating for my two sweet girls. I pray that my husband and I give them a Godly and honest example of a Biblical marriage. 
Today a bridesmaid...tomorrow a bride!

Putting the Word into Practice
If you are going to talk the talk, you need to walk the walk!

     Our church held a coin drive to support a local crisis pregnancy center.  I asked my oldest daughter if she would like to donate some coins to help babies and other mommies.  She went and got her piggy bank from her room and put all the coins she had, into a container in order to make her donation.  Recently, one of my oldest and dearest friends faced the death of her stepfather.  Since the funeral was local, I made plans to attend.   I was telling my oldest that my friend had two little boys, who were sad. My daughter said, “We need to get them a present.”  It was just a little something that I took to my friend’s sons, but they thought it was great…who doesn’t love a Teenage Mutant Ninja turtle coloring book!  My prayer is that my daughters saw that even the simplest of kind gestures can make a huge difference in the life of someone going through a heartbreaking trial.      A friend of mine became separated from her husband. She came to me for some counsel because she told me she saw something “different, happier in my marriage”.  Over several months my friend came to our home for dinners, cookouts and even the occasional s’mores on a back yard fire.  During our time together, my husband and I were able to share the reason our relationship was different; Jesus Christ had saved and transformed our lives.  Soon my friend and her husband restored their relationship.  Most importantly, they both had a life changing experience of accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. 
     Parenting our children towards a real, transparent, deep relationship with the Lord can be challenging and often time consuming.  We do not do it perfectly, but we do it with the perspective of wanting our children to grow into adults that love the Lord with all their minds, hearts and strength.  We desire our children to serve the Lord with gladness, not just with lip service but with service to others.

Our family is not perfect, but we sure do love each other!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Day 2015

      I have no greater joy in my life than being the wife to Adam and
 the mommy to these precious girls!

  Man of my dreams and wonderful Daddy

Can't wait to watch these two follow the path that God has laid out for them.

I love the snow, I have always loved the snow.  As a child, I used to love to get bundled up, call up my buddies and brave the high hills in my neighborhood.  In college I can remember sitting in my warm apartment with great friends, watching "You've Got Mail" and drinking delicious coffee.  Now as a mom I loved dressing my girls matching mittens, jackets and hats as they create their own memories in the snow.

The snow came in with beautiful, wonderful white flakes, but it was a little unexpectedly and not without its hassles.  As we woke to snow, school closed and streets covered, I had to make a choice.  Like most situations in life, I had to make a choice to react with joy and happiness or with anger and frustration.  I could either look at it as another day "stuck" in the house with my girls or  I could look at it as a time to stay in our pj's a little longer and enjoy extra cuddles.  I could walk around the house snapping at my children for every little child like "mistake" they made or I could focus on making fun memories with my girls.  I was not perfect in staying positive during this impromptu winter break, but I did try to let the positives far out weigh the negatives.  So the next time you are faced with an unexpected, unplanned and possible frustrating situation, instead of choosing disappointment and anger....CHOOSE JOY!!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

BE BRAVE! The IF Conference

                                             IF GATHERING 2015

                                           IF GATHERING: Marietta

                                             Our stones of remembrance


It has taken me a week to really process the conference I attended last weekend because there was just so much amazing, great, thought provoking information to digest.  This past weekend, I attended a similcast of the the  IF GATHERING conference. (  To say that it was incredible would be an understatement.  Let me preface this by saying that I have been a Christian since I was eight years old and I have been working "Christian Land" since I was eighteen.  I have been to all the standard issue, status quo women's ministry conferences and this one has been by far my favorite.

The conference had amazing speakers like Christine Caine, Jen Hatmaker, Jo Cochran, Jennie Allen, Ann VosKamp, Angie Smith and more and more incredible, Godly, authentic speakers. I loved it all!  The biggest reason I loved it was because it wasn't about a "Christian celebrity" but about celebrating Jesus Christ and pursuing the amazing plans that HE had planned for us!  To get beyond focusing on ourselves and our junk and turn our focus on how we can change, challenge and make a difference to the generation that is coming behind us!

The following is a few things that I learned and have been trying to process from the conference.

1.  God is good all the time. That means He is good when life is going great and He is good when life is really hard!

2.  Obedience is just step, by step by step. Jesus said, I am a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.  Nothing dramatic, just simply following step by step!

3. You are not a grasshopper.  You are so much more then you think you are!  You are more!  God has great plans for you!

4. Be the person who God has actually designed you to be.  Stop trying to be someone else!

5. Live in the fullness of our identity in Christ and live in the fullness of our potential. Remember Jeremiah 29:11.  God has great plans for us...plans to give us a hope and a future

6. Sometimes we stay in bondage because freedom seems too scary.   Get over it, move on, we're done!  All of us have junk and baggage that holds us down.  Drop it at the feet of Jesus and move on into an incredible future

7. Moses you servant is dead.  You can not move on into the "Promise land" that God has planned for you when you keep on holding onto your past, no matter how good or bad that past was in your life....move on!

8. When you bash the church you bash the bride of Christ.  No church is perfect.  Churches are made up of dirty, filthy sinners who are trying their best to follow, love and serve the Lord. If you are unhappy in the church you are attending, find another body of believers to join.  The easiest thing to move is your church letter!

9.  Unless you are willing to serve in the unseen, God will not raise you up to a position or platform.  Be willing to work in someones shadow. and serve others before you are go and stand in the spotlight

10.  Keep this book of the law and the word of God always on your lips.  It is not about what such and such speaker, teacher or preacher says, but it is about what the inerrant, infallible WORD of GOD says!

For more information look at:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The not so perfect quiet time

     When I was single and in my twenties, I used to have epic quiet times.   I had graduated from both a Christian College and a Christian Seminary (are you impressed yet?) and I just knew that the only way God was going to bless my days was if I had forty five minute to an hour quiet time.  If I did not perfectly fill in all the blanks in my Bible study, somehow my day would be wrecked!  
     Now as a mom of a six year old and a two year old, having that managed morning quiet time can be a little bit challenging.  Yet, I know that if I do not start my day in prayer and Bible study (even if just for a few minutes), that chaos will ensue in both my heart and in my home.  There are days that the girls stay in their beds all through the night and I wake up refreshed at the beeping of my alarm clock, when I do have those great, 30-45 minute quiet times.  Then there are mornings when the night before was rough and the morning rush begins a little too early, when my quiet time consists of reading one or two quick Bible verses and says a brief prayer. 

     Two resources that have really helped me is getting a daily email devotion from  IF:Equip and Christine Caine.  
You too can receive the emails at
1. IF: Equip
2. Christine Caine

I know that everyone has their opinions on who are their favorite speakers and writers.  For me at the stage in my life, these two resources are both challenging and encouraging.  

Let me encourage you try to start you day with even just a few minutes with the Lord!  You will be surprised how much better you will be grounded throughout your day.
"On Christ the Solid ROCK I stand, all other ground is SINKING SAND!"

Friday, January 2, 2015

Psalms 5:11-12

"But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name
may rejoice in you.
Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with

your favor as with a shield."

I love Christmas! We do Christmas BIG at our house!  I love decorating my house, placin precious ornaments on our tree and carefully hanging up our stockings on our fireplace.  I love to dress my girls in matching footed Christmas pj's, to drive around and look at Christmas lights while sipping on hot chocolate.  I love how my girls are now old enough to help me set out and set up their own Fisher Price Nativity scene.  Of course they remember to put the wise me in a different place from the manager....because the wise men did not come see Jesus until he was home and was more like 2 1/2 years old.  They were not at the manager!  

My most favorite Christmas tradition is gathering together with my extended family.  I love hanging out and hugging the necks of my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, my brother,sister in law and my niece and nephew.  We eat a delicious lunch made up of casseroles, salads and yummy desserts.  We watch the kids run around, ride on riding toys and make our hearts swell as we listen to them giggle over secret jokes.  It is a day full of laughter, joy, reminiscing, memory making and love.

Like everybody else's family ours is not perfect.  We have our flaws.  We have had hurts and failures.  We have lost jobs, moved to different states, dealt with hard changes, had our heart broken, said goodbye to love ones, but through it all we held each other tight.  We have also shared great joy and happiness with each other.  We have had weddings, new jobs, exciting opportunities, new houses bought and lots of babies born!  Through it all, we have clung to the truth of words from the old hymn, "On Christ the solid ROCK we stand, all other ground is sinking sand."  No matter if we are on the top of the mountain experiencing great joy  or the in the valley, struggling to get our footing, the true constant in my family's life is the love, power and grace of the LORD, JESUS CHRIST!  In the days and moments when life is tough we cling to the Lord and on the days and moments when life is grand, we give thanks to the Lord.  

As much as I love all the fun of Christmas.  I love the ONE we celebrate on Christmas even more!!