"When you influence kids,
your influence outlives you"
This summer, as the children are home from school, consider taking time to be involved in a child's life. Opportunities like VBS and summer camps are great things to volunteer for. Those weeks can make huge differences in a child's life if they have loving, committed leaders. As an adult, I still remember some of my VBS leaders and the fun things we did.
Maybe spend time getting to know a child in your neighborhood by inviting him or her over for a picnic lunch (after getting permission from his mom, of course). For you empty nesters, this could be as much fun for you as it is for them. I am sure working moms would appreciate the time and attention you give them while stay-at-home moms would appreciate the break!
My children grew up living beside a precious couple who were empty nesters. They often came over and got the children to help make cookies or to go on "nature" walks. Sometimes they invited them over for lunch or to go to the park. Mrs. Jackson would talk to them about her love for birds and about her love for Jesus. They taught my children life lessons as well as spiritual lessons and it was always comforting to know there was someone close by that I could call on.
So make summer count by showing Christ's love to those little ones that He loves so much. Your life will be enriched from the effort!
Walking the road with you,
Jennifer is a precious friend who like many of us has been through some times of great brokenness and of scratching her way back up the mountain. I read this heartfelt post of hers on Facebook and immediately messaged her to ask permission to share it with you. She told me a leader in her present church told her “good leaders who make a difference must learn to be vulnerable.” Her obedience to act upon God’s whisper through that person in her church truly renews my motivation to share and continue sharing the things God has taught me through difficult times. I pray it will motivate you too!
This morning, at 5:30 am, as I was carrying Zoie down 3 flights of stairs, my heart crumbled before God. I asked, "How am I surviving? This life is too hard. I didn't choose this. I don't even know how I made it this far."
Ten minutes later, Zoie woke up confused and yelled "Mommy!! I just have feet! I think it's raining and I don't know how I got to the car without shoes. How will can I get inside without shoes?"
Instinctively I said, "Love, don't worry. Mommy carried you to the car. You didn't need shoes. Don't worry, because I will carry you into the house."
And as the words left my mouth it was as if God was speaking directly to my heart.
Friends, life is hard. We have things happen we never wanted to happen. We have responsibilities we never signed up for. We even find ourselves in situations we know are much bigger than we are.
But Good news- God carries his children. Take a deep breath, and rest in his arms. He is a good father, better than you can imagine.
PSF’s Dear Friend,
I know God is smiling over her obedience to share with the purpose of touching even just one heart with encouragement. These are the acts that allow people who are also struggling to trust your wisdom… because you’ve BEEN THERE and have not just grabbed the words out of thin air. I encourage you to listen for those moments and act on the opportunities to stand vulnerable before others and Christ. What a legacy to leave… thanks Jennifer!
Walking the road with you,
Let Your Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fear.
My children are all grown now and one son even has a child of his own. Not long ago, however, I was thinking about all the things I used to worry about when they were growing up. Will they be healthy at birth? Are they secure in their car seat should we have a wreck? Will someone make a comment to them that could destroy their self-esteem? Will their friends be a good influence? Will they be introduced to drugs and alcohol before they are wise enough and strong enough to say "NO"? Will they struggle with grades? Who will they marry? Will they be loved by that person as much as I love them? Will they grow into a person running toward Jesus and not the world? So many unknowns. I don't know about you but, in my opinion, raising a child is a job too important and too enormous to do by ourselves. Christ in His grace and wisdom gives promises and directions for us and for our children.
These are just a few of many He gives us to help in this very important job:
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness."2 Timothy 3:16
"For this child I have prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore, I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord." 1 Samuel 1:27-28
"For I have chosen him so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just" Genesis 18:19
"All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children." Isaiah 54:13
"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" Jeremiah 29:11
Basically He says to:
Pray for them, their friends and their future mates from the time of conception
Use scripture and the examples of Jesus as your basis for training them
Be confident that they are His children and that He loves them
Provide a good and just model for them to follow
Always know His ways are the best ways when it comes to helping pave the road ahead. Defer to Him with every decision, being careful not to take away the job which is ultimately His anyway.
Fervent prayer and knowing scripture while gaining wisdom from other seasoned, godly parents can help us parent out of faith instead of fear. Our children need to see us confident in our Heavenly Father and they need to see us looking to Him for guidance. Should they see us in our mistakes and shortcomings? Sure. I personally think it's important for them to see our struggles to a certain degree but more importantly to see us looking up when we have doubts and questions. That way they see that our faith is truly bigger than our fears or failures.
Walking the road with you,
I’ve been working on restoring an old wooden rockin’ horse. The horse was my children’s when they were little and I want to get it in shape so that my grandchildren can ride it when they visit. The mane looks like a rat’s nest and there’s splattered paint all over the body from a project in the attic where it lived for many years. It’s not a very smooth ride anymore but there is potential to make it desirable again. The sad looking little horse just needs to have a rider with sweet little stumpy dimpled hands holding on to the wooden dowels. It needs to hear belly giggles as together they rock faster and faster. I’m determined to make that happen for my grandchildren and this sentimental horse in need of love.
I feel like I can fix the outside of our prized little brown pony. It just needs some TLC. Maybe I’ll sand and paint it. Maybe I’ll braid its unruly mane into a beautiful show horse look. I think I can make it completely whole again on the outside for the purposes it was meant to have..
What if I was the wooden horse or if you were? The world breaks us down sometimes and makes our hearts and souls a broken mess lying in shambles. There are hurts splattered on us and our lives may resemble the mane of a little horse that’s been in the attic unloved for not just years but decades. We can become sad shadows of our former self really fast when we are in need of love.
What makes a “broken us” into something whole and complete isn’t what happens on the outside though. Feeling whole can’t come from any amount of new clothes, hairstyle or make-up. Believe it or not, it can’t even come from a surgeon’s knife. Completeness can only happen through change on the inside and transformation like that can only be done by a guy who was a former carpenter. That carpenter’s name is Jesus and he loves us enough to want to mend our broken hearts.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” –Psalm 34:18
How can he do this? Well, he left an instruction book for us to follow and then he asked us to “Be still and know that HE IS GOD”. Can it truly be that simple? The road to becoming whole again can certainly start right there. Then the “broken us” can begin to be rebuilt into something whole and beautiful. I'll be praying for your desire to have God start on the restoration!
Walking the road with you,
Mom 2 Mom
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