Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The TRUE Meaning of Christmas - Mary - What a Mom!


Last week I passed a sign that said,

"Christ is the reason for the season.
Don't X-Mas Him out!"

We all need to remember, that no matter what is going on in our lives, no matter how much we have, or don't have, and despite our circumstances, God gave us the greatest gift of all in His Son Jesus Christ.

Each year we decorate the house, including a beautiful conifer tree.
We buy gifts for our loved ones, and give to those less fortunate.
We bake, cook, and spend lots of time with family.

These are all amazing blessings!

I do have to wonder though, if we did not have all of these amazing blessings, if I would feel the same about Christmas.

I certainly hope I would!!

I think of Mary and Joseph. Ousted from their homeland - by an angel with a message.
Mary, 8+ months pregnant, riding on a DONKEY across the desert.
The night she was going into labor, Joseph checked her in...not to a comfortable, sterile hospital room, but into a STABLE with the animals!

I cannot imagine her love for God, that she would not question if this was really how she was to serve Him. I often struggle with His direction...especially when it pushes me in the opposite direction of my own plans.

Can you envision what this world would be like if Mary had said, "No. I don't think I want to have a baby, without a husband, and in a stable. Thanks anyway. I would really like to fall in love, get pregnant the old-fashioned way, and make babies with my own HUMAN husband. I would really like to have my baby in a tent, like everyone else, with a midwife and other women from the community to support me. I just want a "normal" baby, birth, and life."

When my first baby was born, she turned breach, on the evening of her due date!
The doctors attempted a version, but she would not turn. So, despite my own best-laid, and prayed-over, plans, I was stuck having a c-section.

I prayed, and cried, and prayed, and cried even more! This was NOT the way I wanted to have my first experience as a mother! WAAHHHHH!! Then I remembered Mary!

Dear Lord,
Somehow our society has made it not only acceptable, but expected, to be selfish and "know what we want" and to strive to achieve our own goals.
Help us to be more like Mary, and to follow your requests, unselfishly.

Luke 2:5-7
"He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Most Popular Bible Verse - a Gift for us All!

Based on the comments from my Holiday Hop, the most popular "favorite" Bible Verse is John 3:16!

"For God so loved the world, he gave His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life."

That is the first Bible verse that I remember memorizing!

What on Earth does it mean, though?

It means that God loves us so very much, that He gave us the GREATEST gift of all!
He made a HUMAN version of Himself, in His own image, but in our likeness, who suffered and was put to death in order to save us!!

How do we rate? How can He possibly love us that much?

I imagine my own children - and watching them suffer through illness or injury.
It's excruciatingly painful as a parent to watch your child suffer helplessly!
You want to take away any pain or discomfort!
So often, we cannot help our kids though!

Imagine God's feelings for us and for Jesus - when He was being persecuted and suffering.

God wanted to protect and save us (from ourselves and our own sin, mind you), that he sent His son - and stood by, watching, as He endured the most painful of deaths - all for US - His beloved children!

I am so very thankful that God has the LOVE for us, and the enduring patience to watch His only son suffer, and to watch us struggle and suffer in our lives, so that we may live eternally with Him in heaven.

Thank you Lord, for sending your Son, to suffer and die for my sins. None of your children, save Jesus, are perfect. We sin - but not because we don't honor You - only because it is our nature, which comes with the free will You have gifted to us.

We look forward to the eternal life, Lord, where we will spend every moment basking in Your glory, with Your son. May we live every day in memory and honor of the ultimate sacrifice You made in Your son, Jesus, so that we may see you and be with You forever!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

WINNERS: Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop!

I have been truly blessed by the responses to my Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop!

I have prayed more than 230 prayers, and feel so very blessed by the opportunity to pray for all those who responded to my blog!

I also have new followers, who I can continue to bless through prayer!

And the exciting part....we have WINNERS!!!

The following posts were chosen by
as winners of the prizes:


Emails have been sent to each of the winners - and as soon as they respond, I will send them out their prizes!

This has been an adventure, and I look forward to hosting another giveaway/hop!

Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered.
—Proverbs 11:25

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my Blog and the Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop!

Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop

This event has been months in planning and I am super excited that the day is finally here! I have up for grabs over $25 in Gift Certificates to be won and more than 3 winners on my giveaway alone!

There are well over 150 blogs involved in this HOP! Please be sure to visit them all!

This blog is my small effort to bless others through prayer and in my writing!

In an effort to obtain more readers, and people I can bless through prayer, I am giving away some gift cards in the Spirit of Christmas and the Holiday Gift Giveaway Hop!

3 Different Random Winners will receive one of the following Gift Cards
in Random Monetary Values no less than $5 each! gift card

Starbucks Gift Card

Paypal Money Transfer (for International Bloggers)

Each and every person who enters this Hop will be blessed by a personal prayer!
Some may be the topics of future blog posts as well (names will be left anonymous).

The Amazon and Starbucks gift cards are valid in the U.S.A. only.
International bloggers are still encouraged to subscribe and enter - as they can win the Paypal prize!

To Qualify for the Gift Card Prizes You MUST:

Follow my blog publicly on Google Friend Connect AND leave me a comment that includes either your favorite bible verse and/or a prayer request. Please include whether you are in the U.S. or International in your message!

3 Optional Bonus Entries:

1. Follow me on Twitter. - Leave a comment to let me know, please! :)
2. Follow me on Networked Blogs . Again, leave a comment! :)
3. Write a prayer for me, and submit it as a message via email to me. Please be sure to include your name/blog name to be entered to win the prize.

Giveaway ends on December 5, 2010 at 11:59 pm EST. The winners will be selected by and notified by email and will have 48 hours to reply back before a new winner is selected. Good luck!

Entries received by December 5, 2010 at 11:59 pm EST will qualify for the prizes!

I look very forward to "meeting" many new bloggers...and I wish you Very Merry Christmas Blessings!

God's Blessings,

Being a Mommy with Health Concerns

When Mommy gets sick, who takes care of the family?

Around here, it usually falls to my husband.

What happens when there is a special need in the family, like diabetes, or OCD?
The burden on our spouse or others to help out is magnified.
But, the worry on our mommy hearts is also multiplied beyond others' comprehension!

If you are not the mom, no one else but God can understand the worry and the anguish we feel when we are not able to take care of our own children because of illness or other health complications.

Today I am praying for a dear friend whose daughter has OCD, and has come down with a cold. My friend has to go in for a major surgery, and her mind cannot relax and concentrate on her own healing because of her concern for her daughter!

Dear Lord,
Please protect my friend as she heads into surgery this morning. Guide the surgeon's hands, the anesthesiologists, and all of the other health officials who are making her body stronger and less painful through You!

Help her mind to realize that You are in control! Not only do You have the surgery under control as our almighty Physician, but also her daughter's mental and physical health. It is a struggle, each and every day, for the family to watch this girl torment herself with the compulsion to wash, and to stay clear of germs. With this cold, Lord, she is ever worrying that she may leave germs all over and make her mom sick.

Lord Jesus, you are aware of each of these beautiful women, and their needs and desires.
I pray that YOUR strength will infuse each of them through Your Holy Spirit, today especially, as they both struggle through these issues with their earthly bodies.

Thank you, Lord, for putting these sisters in my life - and bless them today through the healing power of Your love!

But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth.” (Psalm 86:15)

And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known...” (Deuteronomy 7:15)

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities; who heals all your diseases …” (Psalm 103:2)

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:14)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Not Thankful - Especially at Thanksgiving


Everywhere I look, I see reminders to give thanks. Television ads and programs ask what you are thankful for. People are posting their thanks on their Facebook status and tweeting them too.

What about those people who can't think of something for which to be thankful?

There are those who are down on their luck, or unemployed, or just plain depressed.
Are these reminders making them feel guilty for not being thankful, or worse?

There are so many people in this world who rely on the human weakness of concentrating on what they lack or what others have that they wish they had.

I am not one of those people. I thank God every day for the many blessings he has given to me.
That is not to say that my life is perfect, or that I am not envious of the blessings others have that I don't possess.

I do, however, know how to focus on the positive, and downplay the negative.

God has given me LIFE!
I am breathing.

That is something to be thankful for.

If that is all you have to be thankful for, at least give God the Glory for that, through thanksgiving.

I am sure, if they think about it, they could come up with other "small" things that they have, that God has given them, and give thanks for that. The biggest gift our Lord has given us is Salvation through his Son. I am thankful that, just for asking Him, I have been forgiven and saved! If anyone asks what I am most thankful for, that must be my answer!

Our society has made Christmas into a holiday that concentrates on "wants" and "wishes" rather than the blessings and gifts Christ and the Lord our Father have given us!

My biggest wish this Christmas season, is that all of you will examine your lives, and discover the gifts the Lord has already blessed you with, and be thankful!

" And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel." 1 Corinthians 10:10 -

"I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul." Job 10:1

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil 4:6-7

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How You See your Circumstance is All About a Choice

The title for my blog today comes from a song by the group 33 Miles, called "Jesus Calling".

Bad things happen, but we have the power to decide how our circumstances make us feel!

I have been told that I have a "Pollyanna" attitude many times. If you are familiar with this Disney movie, then you know that Pollyanna was a little girl who ALWAYS searched for the good, in every situation. Her parents were killed, and she had to live with her aunt...later she fell and broke her legs - and would never walk again. She looked for the good in all situations.

I always make the best of things. I trust God!
My firm belief is that everything happens for a reason, and God will not let me down.

If something bad happens, and there are bad things all around us, I believe it is up to me to learn something from it.

This is sometimes easier said than done. For certain, I still get depressed. I still cry, and blame myself. I still have feelings. But I do not let the "bad things that happen" rule my life!

I pin them on Christ and watch Him work through the challenges that have been presented to me.

If we follow God's directions in the Bible, we will walk with Him, and he will guide us and uphold us through all the difficulties our world may bring up on us. It is our decision whether we look up on the challenges as ways God is teaching us, or if we view them as the awful things that are thrown in our way to keep us from following the Lord!

So many people walk away from God, because they feel He has given up on them! I tell you, God will NEVER give up on any of us! We can sin, and we do, but He will always forgive us and be willing to take us back as His sons and daughters.

I am thankful for His forgiveness, and for His understanding that I am not perfect. I will make mistakes, and learn from them that God has blessed me in more ways than I can count. It could always be worse...I could lack the trust in God that he will make my life into something that will bring Him Glory!

Dear Lord,
I pray that I will see my circumstances as Your way of showing me how I should live.

"...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control." 2 Tim 1:7

"I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." Psalm 16:8

"Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22 (AMP)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

God Doesn't Promise us Happiness on Earth

Prayer is such an important part of my life.
I pray for my family, friends, and those who are in my life who weigh heavy on my heart.

"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up." Luke 18:1

I have had to learn not to pray for "things" or "situations" to be as I want them to be.

God has a plan for each of does not mean that God will fulfill OUR plans for ourselves, just because we pray for it.

Prayers of thankfulness for the blessings God has provided in my life almost always outweigh those that ask Him for more.

It is really difficult to remember that His plan is not the same as our plan...and that He does not promise us anything about happiness on earth. He does promise us Salvation if we believe and follow Him and his son Jesus' teachings.

Dear Lord,
Please help us to see the many blessings You have given us as blessings from You, and not take them for granted.
Help us to accept that those prayers we are tempted to pray for material things, and wants of the world we live in may not be within Your divine plan for us.
Lord I pray that you give me the words to share with those reading this blog the concept of thankfulness for what we have, and the wisdom to know the difference between asking for Your plan to come to fruition, and praying for what we want, which may not coincide with your plan.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Children Serving The Lord

"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Serving the Lord. Sounds easy, right?
In reflecting on my life and priorities, I have to wonder whom my household truly serves.

I have to remind myself that doing the laundry, cooking, cleaning, and teaching my children are serving the Lord. I do these things to honor Him.

I do not need all of the "things" in my house, and my children do not NEED all the latest toys and most expensive clothes. We don't need to eat the most expensive or trendy foods, nor do we need the technology we have come to take for granted.

How do we teach our children to appreciate all of our blessings as gifts from God?
Do we take all of our possessions for granted or do we give credit to the Lord, as everything we have comes from Him?

Dear Lord,
Please help me to serve You in everything I do. Help my priorities to reflect Your Glory, and not any other entities that I could serve in this world.
Jesus, please help me to teach my children to serve You and Your Father. There is nothing more important in this family, than Your will and Love.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thankful for Prayer

"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up." Luke 18:1

It's November, a month known for Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for a God who listens to my prayers. I know that He is there, watching and listening to my prayers. He sees and knows exactly what I need.

Dear Lord,
I pray that you will hear my prayers, and the prayers of those who read this blog.
There are so many ways to pray, not one that is right or wrong. You hear us, no matter how we say what we think.
Thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayers.
Please teach us, Lord, that your answers to our prayers may not always be tangible. We may not see or hear the answers, but you have answered us.
Lord, teach us to pray according to your will. We may pray for things that we want, that may not be according to Your plan for us.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tithing: Giving of yourself

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."
Malachi 3:10

When the Church asks us to Tithe, it is only because the Bible calls for such gifts to the Lord.

Abraham and his decedents made animal sacrifices. We are not called to make such sacrifices, but to give willingly to the Lord of our abundance which he has provided.

I love to see the children at church go up and put coins in our offering basket. Many of them get these coins from their parents, but some actually take the money from their own savings. They are learning a great lesson.

While God's love for us and our Salvation are FREE - we must ask Lord to bless us with them.

We will be blessed beyond our wildest imaginations, if we simply give of ourselves to the Lord.

God does not focus on the dollar amount, nor does he expect us to give up our last dime.

My challenge to everyone is, what better to use that last dime for, but to Glorify the Lord??

Tithing is giving of your time, treasure and talents, that with which God has blessed you.
How has He blessed you?

Dear Lord,
I pray that we will be challenged in our daily lives to Honor You!
You have so richly blessed all of us with so many talents and treasures. I pray that we would seek ways to honor You by sharing these blessings back with the church and with Your children here on earth.
In Jesus' Holy Name,

Friday, October 29, 2010

Giving = loving

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity
on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with
words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” — 1 John 3:17,18

In my bible studies I keep feeling the Lord call to me about the material things we have and so many people believe they need. I look at how our modern society has it so much easier than those who lived before our modern conveniences, and marvel at the fact that so many people take running water, inexpensive meal options from a grocery store, and things like cell phones for granted.

Our society has become so overwhelmingly focused on the material things in our lives. There are so many families who feel the "need" to have newer cars, homes that are bigger and newer, cell phones that access the internet and do everything else imaginable for such a small device.

I think of Sarah, Abraham's wife, and how she was asked to ""Quick," he said, "get three seahs of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread," and prepare a feast for the visitors God sent to them.

If my husband hurried in to let me know that God had sent divine visitors to dine with us, I would panic! But, then I should not have to panic. I can look in my pantry for flour, and the other items I would need to make some bread. The flour would be there, the eggs would be in the refrigerator, and the recipe a quick search on the internet away.

Think of Sarah. When Abraham asked her to "Quick...make some bread", she had to go out into the field, get some wheat, make the "seahs" of fine flour by herself, and find the rest of the ingredients without the ease of a grocery store. She had to knead the dough, and prepare the entire meal without the convenience of a microwave, refrigerator, or modern oven.


I had my children roast hot dogs over the fire in our fireplace last week.
We talked about our ancestors who had to cook every single meal in this fashion. The kids were in awe! They could not imagine the world without our modern appliances and conveniences.

I wonder how I will teach my children to appreciate all of the wonderful time-saving devices we have today, while hoping they learn to see them as blessings with which we can honor our Lord and God?

I hear people talk that they could not live without their cell phone, or that they do not know how to cook, and rely on restaurants or pre-packaged food for their meals.

How would these people fare if they took Jesus' words to heart, and gave away all of our worldly possessions to the poor, and lived a simple life, honoring God with every choice and action?

As a recovering borderline hoarder, I see all of the excess in my home.
I am taking Jesus' words as a challenge to give away the things we do not need - which is almost everything in this house!

I pity those who value their worldly possessions above God's love.
They do not consider those possessions as gifts from our awesome Creator, to be used in His honor.

Enjoy the many, some very small, blessings that God has given you...and give Glory to God!

"Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work--this is a gift of God." Ecclesiastes 5:19

"God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil." Ecclesiastes 6:2

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blessed with Children, Gifts from God

‎"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night." Psalms 1:1-2

I have been blessed in so many ways, and I cannot begin to count the blessings the Lord has given to me.

My children are blessings, and I need constant reminder to see them in this light.

I am so very blessed to have a wonderful husband, parents, siblings, and in-laws that support us as a Christian family.

It is very difficult, at times, to attend events or converse with people where some of those people constitute the "wicked" and not to mock them. They may mock me, as well, but I have to stand strong in the Lord, and remember not to be bothered by the wicked ways of others.

Gossip bothers me, and I am guilty of gossiping at times. Lord, please forgive me for the pain my gossip may cause. I do not intend to gossip or mock others, Lord, as they are all gifts from you.

I stand strong in my faith, and strong in my belief that all people have God within them, and they all deserve my respect and love. In our society, this respect is becoming more and more difficult to honor. So many people have become followers of the "entitlement" frame of mind. Everyone is entitled to all of the benefits of "the good life" just because they are alive. They don't have to work for anything...they should just get it. Nothing is ever good enough for many of these people. They are given something, and all they can think about and talk about is how it could be better or what is wrong with what they've been given.

Lord, I pray that I will be able to remain thankful for the many blessings you have given to me. I also pray that I will be able to use all of those blessings to Honor You, the faithful God. I pray that others will see You, Lord, in me, and that I will be able to live fully for You and Your Glory.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Grandparents...Blessings and Babies

“"Honor your father and mother." This is the first commandment with a promise: that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”" Ephesians 6:2–3

"Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents..." 1 Timothy 5:3–4

We follow the 10 Commandments that God has outlined for us in the Bible. "Honor your Father and Mother" is a very well-known and important part of our Christian lives.

What happens when your parent becomes more like a child...and is overtaken by Alzheimer's and/or dementia???

How do you honor someone who cannot take care of themselves?

My grandmother is more like my two-year-old son in many ways. She has the same reasoning skills, and negotiation skills he has. She communicates as though she cannot remember the conversations we just had. She cannot remember the date, her full name, or where she is.

She just knows she is not where she wants to be.

But, she does not know where she wants to be either.

She wants to live on her own, but cannot. She does not realize she needs help - and that is the worst part!

I would love to have her live with me - and honor her, repaying what she has provided in my life and the life of my mother.

Would she be safe here? Would she even want to stay here?

I fear not...

Therefore, it would not be honoring her, to have her live with me, if she would not be safe, nor sound.

As much as I would love to relieve the financial strain that a nursing facility would cause, I am not sure that it would be emotionally or physically possible for me to meet her needs in my home.

My children love their great-grandma. I love her, too.
She is a widow who really in need...and I am a Christian struggling with the fact that I want to do the right thing and take her into my own home and care for her.

Please, Lord, give me the strength to do your will in this situation. If I am to consider this, I need Your strength and guidance, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Making the Best of a Bad, Rainy Situation

"The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother." Proverbs 29:15

"Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth." Hosea 6:3

My husband signed us up for a 5K walk, and the company picnic to follow. Normally, I look forward to this event with enthusiasm, as they provide so many fun, free activities for the kids that we always have a wonderful time.

Yesterday, however, we left the house to travel to the walk and picnic in the pouring rain. The kids were in a good mood, and my husband was adamant that we actually attend in the rain. Despite my own miserable feelings of uncertainty, and foreseeing that our 2-year-old and 3-year-old little boys, let alone our 6-year-old daughter, would not be able to complete the walk in the rain, I reluctantly agreed to attempt the walk.

The boys splashed in the puddles, and our two-year-old was completely soaked from head-to-toe before the walk began. When the air horn signaled the official start of the walk, my three-year-old was pulling the wagon, my husband and our daughter took off ahead of us with the empty stroller.

This left mom, and her two toddler boys splashing in the rain puddles, as the rain poured down.

Okay - I hate to be wet! But, watching my boys splash, and laugh, and smile in the rain and puddles was actually fun. They were having the time of their lives.

I had resigned to the fact that we were not going to walk the 5K distance, but stay in the parking lot and splash and have fun. My three-year-old, however, had decided to follow the crowd and walk, pulling the wagon, behind him in the rain, while the 2-year-old continued to get even more drenched in the puddles.

I tried to convince the two-year-old that there were more puddles over by his brother - and I couldn't leave him behind. I also could not let the three-year-old go on by himself...and daddy was nowhere to be seen. I asked the baby to ride in the wagon his brother was pulling, but NO, he wanted to be carried.

Finally I started I saw my shivering little two-year-old crying over 50 yards away from me, while my 3-year-old yelled for us to catch up, with a smile on his face.

I had to pick up the sweet, little shivering bundle out of his puddle, and carry him to where his daddy and sister had completed half of the 5K distance and were waiting for us. He continued to cry as I strapped him into the stroller his daddy was pushing. I couldn't carry him any more, but I didn't want to listen to him cry, either. He cried, no matter what.

We quit walking and found a bathroom, where we stood under hot-air heaters in an attempt to dry off.

The Good Lord has blessed us with the rain, and children who can enjoy it. I had to adjust my attitude to make the best of the bad, cold, wet, rainy situation.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for my wonderfully resilient children. Thank you for my husband, who has pushed me beyond my comfort zones to experience the puddles and joys of my young boys! I was wet, and not having fun, but my children learned some good lessons. Thank you, Lord, for teaching me that despite the physical discomfort the rain may bring, I can always make the best of all situations just by looking to You!

I was not Noah, needing to build an ark. I was looking to You, Lord, as you were prepared before my morning to provide me with the insight that my children and I can enjoy even the shivering, wet mess of the pouring rain.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Level Ground...finding it on the Roller Coaster of Life.

"Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground."
Psalm 143:10

Keeping Your will in sight, God, is so difficult with all the distractions that tempt us around every corner. As a parent, it is tough to remember God's will, rather than our will, for our children. The level ground is often more difficult and challenging, as it may not be our original plan for us or our families.

I remember my friends with children who have Type 1 Diabetes. I know that was not in the plan for their families when they had their babies. And I know it is NOT level ground, it is a roller coaster! I pray that the Lord's good Spirit can lead them, and teach us all as parents, to do His will, and forget our own.

There is nothing more important in this world than remembering that God made us the parents of these babies. They have us as parents for a is God's Good Will!!!

Although they may lead us down paths that appear dangerous, scary, or just plain unfamiliar, we must trust that God has His good plan, and that He will provide us with the strength and tools to make it through the circumstances He places in our lives, and the lives of our children.

Please, Lord, help all parents to be the best parents, and teach us to follow your will, on Your Level Ground, while riding the roller coaster of life.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Discipline + Youth = Patience

As my two-year old threw two temper tantrums at the mall today, I have been looking to my bible for reinforcement of how to respond to him in the future.

"Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes: but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment." Ecclesiastes 11:9

We all do things that we know are not right. Unfortunately, we all sin. My children all test my patience, disobey, and sin as well. Teaching them right from wrong is tricky. They ignore the warnings, and continue to do what they should know is wrong.

Discipline is ever difficult, and I know that others judge my parenting style. I take comfort in knowing that whether they agree with my manner of discipline or not does not matter. The only judgment that matters comes from the Lord.

I am thankful that my children, in their youth, can make mistakes, and walk in the ways of their hearts, and still be God's children. He forgives, and teaches us to walk in His ways.

Dear Lord, I pray that you will guide me as a parent, to walk my children down the paths You have laid out before them. Thank You for showing me that they are young, and they are Yours. I do not have to worry about whether or not they will be accepted into Your kingdom. They will - for in their youth they are to rejoice and experience life.

Help me, Lord, to react with joy and patience, as my children learn and grow. Help me to remember that they need naps (Oh, do they need their naps) and that my adult schedule needs to be structured around their little bodies.

Most of all, Lord, I pray for patience.

In Jesus' Name,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Prayer over Teachers and Leaders in Schools

"Let the elders who rule be well considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching." 1 Timothy 5:17

Dear Lord,
As the school year begins, my heart is full of anxiety over those who will influence my children every day of the school year. There are wonderful teachers, who will spend more time with my daughter than I do every school day. I have been the teacher you sent to guide her for so long, and now she has other adults in her life.

I pray that these teachers and other school workers will be vessels of Your good plan. I know that You have put them in my child's life for a reason, Lord. Please help me to accept that they are good influences on my child.

Please let Your light shine through my children. Let all of the students and teachers see YOU in her, more than they see her. Help my children to bless their teachers, as the teachers bless them in all they do.

Please help me, as well, Lord, to be a blessing in my child's school. These teachers spend so much time and energy making my child's life so enriched, that I hope to be able to reciprocate to the teachers in some way.

Thank you, Lord, for teachers, and for the strength to accept the new influences in my child's life. You will be there to carry her, as well as me, through the school year.

In Jesus' Name,

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Closer to God...without man's rules.

"The Lord says:
"These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is made up only of rules taught by men." ~ Isaiah 29:13

We get caught up in the rules of our society, within our government, work places, schools, and homes. Our churches have rules, and many Christians believe that if they simply follow the rules of their church, they will be saved in the eyes of the Lord.

Is following the rules of the church enough to please the Lord?

Not according to Isaiah 29:13. The Lord says that we must not only honor Him with our lips and words, but in our hearts. I love to think that I do this....but how do I teach my children to honor the lord, not just in worship at church, but also in their hearts? We take our children to church, and we teach them how to pray. We read our bibles, and read bible stories to the kids. How do we know when we are actually following God's will for us, and not just playing along with the rules taught by men? Not one human knows the answers to these questions. We must rely upon our bibles to tell us what God wants from us.

My prayer:
Dear Lord:
Please help me to know you and honor you in the depths of my heart. I pray that you help me to teach my children how to worship you, not only in the ways taught by the rules of our human church, but in ways that are pleasing to you in our hearts.
Help our family to be centered around you, and your delight, instead of the human things that make us happy. Your happiness is our reward. Please help us to keep sight of your happiness, and help us to focus less on our pleasures.

Lord, please show me the path that leads to your treasures in my heart, so that I may know You more. Help me to teach my children to follow that path as well, Lord, so they may know You and love You.

Going to church is important in our lives, but help us to make more of the human rituals, Lord, so that we may experience your Love for us, not only in the man-made customs and ceremonies, but in our every day lives.

Live in our hearts, Lord, Jesus.