My Prayer for Summer Camp

23 Jul

It was just me and him on our way to the church for summer camp drop-off. I can hardly believe he’s old enough. Hardly believe he’s got one more year after this then it’s middle school camp.

He had given me a little attitude that morning. I held my tongue as best I could. The thought of sending him off after an argument seemed dreadful.

As we rode we prayed together. For safety. For the other kids. For God to speak.

And I silently continued praying in my heart…”God, please speak to him. Please don’t let the week be about do this and don’t do that. Let it be about grace. Let it be about God’s love. Let Your salvation be what forms every thing that enters his tender heart.”

Yes, I want people to challenge him to get in the Word. Yes, I want him to learn how to pray. But he’s a first-born. He’s a rule follower. And without grace, we are all so quick to fall into routine. We are quick to take on the description of a Pharisee.

I’m learning with each child-shaped arrow that enters our home that only God can do the saving. Only He can do the changing. And He does it with love. Maybe love in the form of correction. But love. Holy love. Godly love.

And so, so much grace.

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1)

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We are all loving watching the house being built!

The Truth about My Time with God

13 Jul

I should get up before them. I know. I should exercise. And pray. And read my Bible. I should. And I have. But to be transparent, that’s not happening now. Not normally. Not in this season.

We’ve got 2 babies who feed off each other. If one wakes up at night crying the other is quick to follow. Most days I am bone-tired. And I lay in bed a lot of mornings til one of the babies forces me to get up.

That makes it hard for the things I consider necessities. I could condemn myself. Some days I do. In the past I probably would have thrown in the towel in all things related to pursuing God. If it couldn’t be perfect I would have thrown it out.

I used to believe that time with God meant quiet. It meant highlighter in one hand. Pen in the other. Journal close by. I hope it will mean that again soon.

But ultimately in this season I’m learning that God loves me no matter when we get to chat.

He loves our morning walks where I push 2 babies in the stroller and form half sensible prayers as the day’s plans threaten to take over. He loves it when I sneak into the bathroom with my Bible for just a few quick minutes. He just loves me.

And He sees my heart. He knows I’m a sinner. I can’t hide it from Him with my organized quiet times and perfectly executed plans.

He just wants me to want Him. He wants me to love Him.

And in this season He faithfully keeps speaking to my soul…no matter where we may find ourselves together!

Be encouraged…

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Little hands help me keep my place (and expertly crumple pages!)

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Here’s to time with God in the floor where I unzip Kenan’s pj’s in hopes he’ll stay calm a little longer!

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

“If interruptions annoy me, and private cares make me impatient ; if I shadow the souls about me because I myself am shadowed, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” -Amy Carmichael

Abortion & Adoption

7 Jul

I was driving the other day and saw this bumper sticker. I googled it so you could see…

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It’s so simple. I’d never thought of it before. But could those 2 words be more similar?

The abortion topic is a tricky one. My hands feel tied. The thought of those sweet babies…oh I can’t even type it.

But adoption could be part of the answer. Couldn’t it?

Nope, not everyone is called to adopt, but I believe more people are than have responded to the call.

Jeremy and I knew we were called to adopt for years. We kept waiting for the “right time.” We wanted…1-our kids to be older, 2-to save up more money, 3-to do a little more research. Those were wise thoughts, but they quickly became excuses.

We prayed about timing, and one day I came across this song. (You can skip to 3:00 if you don’t want to hear his explanation.). And finally, we said no more waiting. We went for it and trusted God (most days!) to lead us.

Now there’s this precious mocha chic with crazy hair who has her Daddy wrapped around her finger. She dances. She kisses. She has a smile that lights up a room. She was the one. She was worth the wait.

I have learned more about God’s grace and love through Esther Grace than in any other way throughout my life.

So pray about it. Then go for it. The journey may be hard, but…wow…God is faithful!

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“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27)

In Light of Recent Events…

30 Jun

“Did you hear about the shooting in Africa?” Jeremy looked up from his phone at me. Just last week he asked, “Did you hear about the shooting in Charleston?” And the weeks have been filled with these type questions.

The answer to each was no. I didn’t know about any. He keeps me informed because I block myself from pain. I avoid the news. It easily upsets me and bad news hangs around in my head for weeks.

But we can’t always hide. We shouldn’t. And Jeremy knows this, so he updates me.

And my response to him after hearing all this pain that’s happened recently, “Why doesn’t the Lord just come back?”

It’s a sad world we live in. Sin runs rampant. We live for ourselves. And I’m pointing the finger at myself as I type. I am no different.

I held Kenan as Jeremy and I talked. And the thought came to mind, “God could use our kids. He could use me.” So I said, “We could raise 4 boys who grow up to be men who love God and change the world for Him.”

We beg God to do this.

May I be careful of passing the baton to them while excusing myself to sit back and do nothing. It’s hard to know what to do.

This phrase keeps going through my head. It doesn’t completely make sense, but it’s there. “Mercy forgives. Grace restores.”

The cross. His forgiveness. That has to be the answer. Unconditional love for broken sinners; myself at the forefront.

For me. For our world. “Mercy forgives. Grace restores.”

Father, do what only You can do. Glorify Yourself in this chaos. We are here, ready to do what You say.

“For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.” (Isaiah 48:9-11)

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Blue Toenails on the Back Porch

16 Jun

She washed my feet. Put lotion on them. Painted my toenails bright blue.

We sat on the porch. Esther slept. I fed Kenan. And our kids jumped on the trampoline.

I was reluctant at first. This seems crazy. But I know her heart. I know pieces of where God is leading. And I believe with her that God could use foot washing and pedicures to change lives.

God moves people in different ways. He takes them different places. He takes the little moments and turns them into holy ones.

“Quietly, Jesus got up from the table, took off his robe, picked up a basin of water, knelt down, and started to wash his friends’ feet…One by one, Jesus washed everyone’s feet. ‘I am doing this because I love you,’ Jesus explained. ‘Do this for each other’.” (The Jesus Storybook Bible)

I am humbled by friends who love enough to serve. I am humbled by a Savior Who laid down His crown, washed feet, then bore my sins.

And when I fuss about God calling my “closest ones” away. He patiently washes my feet. Cleanses my soul. And reminds me that a life worth living is one that’s given away.

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (John 13:3-5)

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Esther got hers done before her nap.=)

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Ya’ll…that’s the Creator of feet washing feet. Unbelievable!

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