Family Friday – Mom’s – It Will Pass!

If you’re a parent perhaps you can remember when you brought the first child into your home, every older person probably gave you the same advice, “Enjoy them while they’re little; they grow up so fast!”  Maybe you’re struggling today with sleepless nights, potty training, disobedience, bad attitudes, lying, or rebellion and you’re having a hard time seeing the end of the Parenting Finish Line.  I just want to remind you, friend, it’s out there, and the time is clicking away.

Instead of feeling frustrated, instead of wishing away their lives, or ignoring it all by drowning it out with entertainment, social media or a job that will take you away, can I just say this – Enjoy today!  It’s a gift from God.  All that other stuff will pass, but so will the sweet times – tea parties, bath time water wars, Family fun nights, hands held around the kitchen table, good night kisses at bedtime. It will be gone.  Oh they’ll still be your kids, but those years are gone (and we need to let them go!).  So, enjoy it today while it’s all around you.

Even if those feet aren’t so little any more, if they’re still putting their feet under your table, enjoy the day and accept it as God’s gift to you, Mom!

Refresh your momma heart!

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Family Friday – Mother’s Day Dilemnas

That holiday is approaching.  You know, the one where our family bows at our feet, singing our praises for the sacrifices of

  • laundry at midnight
  • science projects aided
  • homemade cookies baked for classroom parties
  • wounds kissed and cleaned
  • A patient, listening ear always ready to fix a relationship problem.

Okay, maybe not.  In reality, likely not.  Not if you still have children in your care.  Not if you’re a single mom.  Not if your husband is caught up in the pressures and stuff of life.  But I’m not here today to shake my finger at them because it’s so easy to forget.

I admit forgetting, too.  As a little girl, I was pretty much only focused on what my mom could and would do for me. Because she was so consistant, I came to expect a hearty meal every day at 5:00, clean clothes in my dresser, hugs when I was mistreated, and words of wisdom to guide my life.  It wasn’t until I became a young adult that I realized how much was sacrificed in order for me to possess that kind of home environment.  It was then that I really learned to say thank you to my loving mom.  I began to comprehend how truly blessed I was.  Every Mother’s Day since then, it’s been my goal to express to her how grateful I am today for all she was and still is.

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So let me stop to say, Mom (Millie Ray), thank you for all you did to make home so special.  Thank you for the meals you prepared that were both delicious and graciously served.  Thank you for taking the effort to decorate our home and keep it clean, and also teach me how to do those household tasks.  Thank you for sacrificing your own career so you could be home for us.  Thank you for loving God and making sure I knew Him, too.  And thank you for loving my dad and showing me that marriage was for keeps.  I appreciated it as a child, but today I once again say thank you and I love you!

To all you readers who are moms, I say, enjoy Mother’s Day by not expecting anything from your family.  Put your thoughts on your mom, or some other woman that the Lord has put in your life to encourage you, love you and support you.  Be grateful for them.  Do something to show your gratitude.  Stop and thank the Lord for your children.  Keep your focus on gratitude, rather than on your expectations. I learned this the hard way!

This is one holiday that makes me hurt for some dear women.  To those of you who wish you were a mom and find pain on this day, I say I’m sorry, and even greater, God understands and sees your grief.  Remember that He is a good, good Father, and don’t doubt His love because He has withheld this from you.

To those who didn’t have a loving mom, I say, God saw, God knows, and that is the reason we needed a Savior.  He gave us His son so we could all understand the greatest kind of sacrificial love.

To those whose mom or child is in heaven, remember that we’ll be joining our loved ones sooner than we think, never to be separated again. I love to think about what my daughter, Ashley is enjoying in heaven at this very moment!

Let’s allow Mother’s Day to find us showing our families that our greatest desire is God’s, “Well Done,” and that the joy of His comfort is enough for every pain in our hearts.  There are many coming behind us that need to learn from us that holidays are man-made, but the joy of being a Christlike woman is God-made!  That’s a gift that only He can give us, and that is enough!

Find refreshment in Christ!

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Family Friday – What To do With Unfulfilled Expectations

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Most little girls grow up playing house with a cute, tiny kitchen set and china dishes filled with sugar water in tiny cups.  We imagine we’re married to Prince Charming who is our adoring husband.  We cradle a baby doll and we coo, and cuddle and kiss its plastic face as though it was the soft, supple skin of a newborn.  We pretend and we anticipate the day when all those dreamed-up situations will come to pass.

Those little girls grow up into womanhood, but then face the disturbing fact that one or more of those childhood rehearsals that they dreamed about never come to fruition.  It might be that a woman…

  • Is still waiting to find her Prince Charming.  It’s easy to feel that “everyone else has a husband, except for me.” She attends and participates in the weddings of all her close friends, but wonders when it will be her turn to find Mr. Right.  That longing can make that woman feel lonely, left out, unwanted or unloved.  Her expectation of being married is unfulfilled.
    Or she
  • Is married, but her husband isn’t the Prince Charming she’d dreamed about.  He doesn’t lead their home spiritually. He is apathetic about God.  He doesn’t help with the children or the house.  He doesn’t listen when she speaks.  He isn’t at all what she thought he would be. She can feel disappointed, trapped, frustrated and even angry.  Her expectation of marriage is unfulfilled.
    Or she
  • Is happily married, but God hasn’t given her a child. The questions and comments from others about “When are you going to have a baby?” Or “You look so natural holding that baby, why don’t you make one?” hurt no less than a dagger in the heart.  She feels unfulfilled, empty, less than a woman, and maybe bitter towards those that hurt her with their words, or even with God. Her expectation of motherhood hasn’t been met.

What is a woman to do in any of these scenarios?

  1. Realize that because there is nothing you can do to change your situation, your total dependence must be upon God.  This is the very best place to be!  The truth is, this describes every woman, no matter her marital status or the number of children she bears.  Satan likes to magnify what we don’t have, so we won’t focus on what we DO have, which is sooooo much!
  2. Get to know God’s character – Who He is.  (Loving, Good, omnipresent, omniscient, faithful, unchanging…) Then you can look at your situation with a right view of God and what He can do in your life!
  3. Take your expectations to Him in prayer and give them up.  Open your hands and surrender your singleness, your husband, or your barrenness to the Lord.  Do this until you’re really ready to let God do what He knows is best.
  4. Transfer all your expectations from the dating service, or nagging your husband, or your plans to leave him until he changes,  or your idea to fix your barrenness, and turn and put those expectations on your mighty God instead.  Psalm 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.  He will never disappoint you.  He will never keep from you what He knows is best.

This week I was struggling with a personal situation and worrying over what might happen if this event took place. It made me afraid and weepy.  Then a dear, godly friend said to me,

If we could see what God sees,
we would want exactly what He has planned because His plan is perfect.

This is where faith steps in.  We look with eyes of faith to an unknown future and what our good God will do and we stop trying to make our plan work!  This changed my attitude!  I knew she was right!
If we believe this, we will wait for God to bring a man into our lives, or to give us peace about singleness.
We will stop trying to be the Holy Spirit in our husband’s life. and we will trust Him to make the changes necessary in him.
We will expect God to do a work that will turn out for my good and His glory, whether or not that includes a baby.
This is what “putting our expectation on Him” looks like!

Then and only then will the feelings described in each of those situations become hope-filled and joyful instead!  Then each woman can say with the psalmist in Psalm 42 –

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?
hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him,
who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

If one of these scenes describes you, my friend, I want to encourage your heart today that God knows what He is doing, and if you knew what He was up to, you would be full of hope, too!  Throw all your expectations on Him and you’ll not be disappointed!

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Family Friday – How To Pray for Your Children/Grandchildren

 

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When I became an adult there was a day when my mom apologized to me for the lack of “big” family vacations while my sisters and I were growing up.  It was such a surprise to me to hear her even mention that because it never entered my mind that I had missed out on anything!  We didn’t have yearly adventures at theme parks or cross-country road trips, but our family had daily/weekly worship times, family times, games, fun and a loving environment and that was enough to allow me the blessing of growing up fulfilled and more than satisfied with all that our home provided.

But I understood my mom’s heart.  Parents who love their children know that those little ones need so much. From nurturing, to physical care, education, and daily provision, there’s so much to provide for each child.  But if we are trusting the Lord for wisdom to know how to give them what they need, He will not only give to them spiritually, but will also provide everything else that is essential in their lives, just as He did in our home.

A huge part of the spiritual provision comes when we pray for our children.  As I’ve mentioned before, if we’re not praying for our children, who is? Here’s a great list of prayer requests to pray for your child, with Scriptures to use as your platform to come to God.

  • To know the Scriptures which are able to make them wise unto salvation.  II Tim. 3:15
  • To grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  II Pet. 3:18
  • To be obedient to parents. Eph 6:1
  • To be respectful to parents Eph. 6:2
  • To have a heart for God. Deut. 5:29
  • To know God and serve Him.  I Chron. 28:9
  • To hate sin. Ps 97:10
  • To understand their sin will be found out.  Num 23:23
  • To choose the right friends. Prov 13:20, I Cor:15:33
  • To say “no” to sin. Prov 1:10
  • To learn to submit to God. James 4:7
  • To have a repentant heart.  Ps 51:103
  • To be teachable. Prov 13;1
  • To be a servant to others.  Phil. 2:3,4
  • To trust God for their future mate and ministry.  Prov. 3:5,6
  • To remain pure for their future mate and future mate pure for them. II Cor. 6:18-20
  • To surrender their heart and life completely to God. Rom. 12:1,2
  • To stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. Col. 4:12

There is no greater gift you can give your child than to faithfully pray Scripture for them.  It’s bigger than Disney world, and more impacting that the view of the Grand Canyon. Also, aside from what it will do for your child/grandchild, it will also change you, and that’s something NO vacation can do!

Pray and refresh others!

Have a great weekend,

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Diligence At Home Brings Blessing

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A woman who is a homemaker can feel overwhelmed with the length of her tasks which might include:

  • Laundry
  • Errands
  • Meal prep
  • Laundry
  • Dishes to wash
  • Rooms to clean
  • Laundry
  • Groceries to buy
  • Calls to make
  • Preparations for things upcoming
  • Laundry

Those tasks are on repeat.  They come each day and have to be repeated again and again.  It’s easy to feel unimportant and overlooked.  A woman can also feel overwhelmed with all that is on her shoulders.

So what’s a woman to do?  A guiding biblical principle is obey right now what you know you to do.  Being obedient will bring blessing from the Lord (Prov 8:34, 35).  Stopping to read God’s Word might seem to others to be counter-intuitive, but the Lord will use His Word to direct you, give you guidance and peace.

Just this week on a very busy day, I had the churning feeling of wondering how it would all get done.  God directed me to Proverbs 22:29

 Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean (obscure) men.

It was a reminder to me of a man like Joseph, in the book of Genesis, who worked so diligently that he was promoted more than once!  He was noticed and appreciated.  He was a real testimony to unbelievers, simply by his work ethic!  Though we have no kings to stand before, it’s a reminder that our work is a testimony to our God.  Who is the One who does the promoting, the noticing?  It is our Heavenly Father.

If our business takes us to a job, that’s fine and good and we must give it our best.  But it’s no less a calling to have your “business” at home as a wife and/or mom.  That is a high and lofty calling.  Do your business to your best ability!  Don’t whittle away time doing useless, time-wasting things.  Sometimes when a person feels overwhelmed, they just give up before they ever get started.  Use your day carefully, going from one task to the next.

The blessing of being faithful may come from those you serve in your home, and it might not, but it will come ultimately from the One who gave you that place in which to serve.  He sees you, even as He saw Joseph down in the prison cell.  He notices.  He promotes.  Today you may just be the Queen of the Laundry, but be diligent in your business as you do it to the King of Kings.  Your “Well Done!” from Him will make it worth it all!

Lovingly,

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Family Friday – Enjoy Today

If you have children at home and are ready to pull your hair out, do yourself a favor and watch this video.  It will remind you to slow down and enjoy today.  Go get a Puff, you’ll need it.

Get God’s perspective on the time you have to pour into your children’s lives.   James 4:14 reminds us:

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Mom, you slow down and enjoy each moment, each child, today.

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Family Friday – The Price of Sparing the Rod

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When you bring a sweet little baby into your home, your last thoughts are about the time when you’ll need to correct them.  I mean, they’re so adorable and innocent when they’re little!  But those discipline days come sooner than you imagined, and you find yourself either taking up the rod and lovingly obeying Scripture, or you talk, reason, bribe and threaten until you’re sure someone will die in the process!

I can vividly remember one day with one of my daughters in which I learned a lesson the long, hard way.  She had been a “stinker” all day.  I had warned her and tried to use my words to correct her behavior  (using words as rods is just cruel!).  Late in the day I realized that I failed to obey God’s directives to take up the “rod,” and discipline her in love.  I pulled her to my lap and told her that what she was doing was sin, and that because she’d continued to disobey after my warning, I was going to have to give her a spanking because I loved her and didn’t want her to continue in her sin.  She bent over my lap and I administered the two or three swats with my little paddle.  She cried.  I cried.  I held her in my arms and we prayed that the Lord would help her obey.

Tears were wiped away and she merrily skipped on her way to continue her play.  She was so HAPPY!  Her attitude was completely transformed, as was our day!  It was as though she had been waiting for me to deal with her biblically to prove the amount of love I had for her.  

A parent who loves their child will discipline them as God disciplines us.  Over and out.  I had selfishly kept back from the training she needed.  But now, here she was, singing, playing, and happy after the loving rebuke.  She knew I loved her, and I had learned the lesson to give the correction when it was needed so we could both enjoy the child/parent relationship as God intended!

Do you find yourself frustrated as the parent of a young child?  Have you obeyed God’s Word and lovingly administered discipline?  It’s God’s way, and if used lovingly and consistently, will produce the results of leading a child to recognize their sin, and their need to repent – both to God and their parents.  Stop the frustration, and obey so your child can do the same!

Don’t lose heart; train your children with love and your relationship will be refreshed in unbelievable ways!

I read this article this week that was excellent.  I pray it will encourage you as a parent!

Lovingly,

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