Will You Choose Joy or Defeat?

Little eyes stare up at me, her head is hot and feverish and she’s thirsty. With her lamby lovie in one arm and her purple blanket in the other she heads to the couch to get some rest and drink from her sippie. I lay a cold wash cloth on her head and the dimple gleams for a moment “thank you mommy.” She chooses joy.

Little eyes stare up at me as he begs to play monopoly. Exhausted I answer, “Not tonight dear”. Son’s countenance falls…my heart feels heavy too – “go get the game.” We play, we laugh, we love. We choose joy.

Leader husband is weary…problems, troubles, burdens and cares bring hardship in his work. We cannot lift his burdens for him – he must carry them on his own. But he is not alone. Little hugs and kisses, cuddles and cards are made – he chooses joy.

How do we stand the hardships of life? How do we as weary moms and wives help those in our home as they face their own hardships? We have weary pilgrims in our house who need comfort, rest, love and a replenishing of spirits. We must role model defiant joy! We must choose joy and smile despite our feelings of defeat at times..

We have the power to bring joy to our entire family.

As I walked along outside in the cold last week – something beautiful caught my eye. My hydrangea was blooming – yes, it was nearly December in Ohio and one little bloom was fighting to survive. As a matter of fact it seemed defiant. In the midst of hardship, even snow – that bloom smiled and glistened in the November chill! Oh to be strong like this bloom. To be able to smile in the face of hardship.

We do have a choice – will you choose joy or defeat? On our own – we will be defeated. But when we walk with the King – Romans 8:37 tells us: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

As I grabbed my camera to capture this bloom with definat joy – it winked at me and whispered, “see me, I can rise up and sparkle in the sunshine despite the fact that I am surrounded by trouble and death. You can too!”

Walk with the King,

I Was a Recipient…

I was a recipient…of a random act of kindness!

Yesterday I was grocery shopping in Aldi with both kids. We were in the meat department and the children were buzzing around this poor woman like bees swarming a hive! I asked the children to please stand by the cart – so they did.

The woman smiled and said “it’s okay, I have 3 of my own, I know how hard it is.” I apologized and said “well, you are here without them so you deserve a moment of silence and not my kids bothering you. Enjoy your moment.” We both laughed and smiled and then I finished my grocery shopping.

When we got in line there was long row of poinsettas by the cash register being sold. This same woman happened to be in line in front of us and she continued to watch my interactions with the children and smile at me. And I watched her as she picked up one poinsetta after another. I admired them and said how beautiful they are.
She checked out. I checked out. And as I began to bag my groceries…she walked up to me with a poinsetta in hand and said “this poinsetta is for you. I can see that you sacrifice a lot for your children, you need to do more for yourself. You deserve this.”

I was floored, surprised and overwhelmed. A stranger is giving me this beautiful flower for no reason! I didn’t deserve it. I hadn’t done anything special to receive it. And there I stood holding a poinsetta – humbled by her words of praise.
I wanted to give her something in return – but I had nothing to give her (offering her some bagels or green beans didn’t seem appropriate! lol!) So I received her gift and out the door she went and the children began asking 100 questions: “Why did she give it? Do you know her? What did she say?…” I just smiled from ear to ear and said, “She’s a kind woman, we need to be like her.”
When Jesus sent his disciples out in Matthew 10:8 he commanded them “Freely you have received, now freely give.” This poinsetta whispers this verse to me. I did nothing to receive it. I received it freely.
This holiday season, you have received the love of Jesus freely. Now we must give it away. It starts with a smile, a kind word, a hug, maybe even a gift. Not just to those you truly do love in your family and friends – but even to strangers. Freely give the love of Jesus to everyone around you!
Hebrews 13:1,2 says “Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”
Give a random act of kindness today! Who knows as Hebrews 13: 2 says, you may even bless an angel!

Walk with the King!

Video Blog: How To Deal With Difficult People

Don’t forget to pause the music on the sidebar!

“You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.” – Saint Francis de Sales

Walk with the King!

Mailbag Question: Smiling At Home

My mailbag is PACKED full!!! And this question was asked a lot so I thought I’d start here:

Here’s an email from Jamie: “I am a stay at home mom of a 3 and 5 yr old. i would love to be like you for my husband but I just can’t seem to keep my house clean, clothes washed and still find time for myself. How do you do it and still keep a cheery face on?”

The video above answers “how I stay happy in the home” – but in regards to how I do it all…I use a daily/weekly schedule. It will not work for every personality type. But for me a schedule works. Some of my old schedules are posted, so browse through them if you think they could be helpful. When I went back to reread my fall schedule, I see that I have already changed a few things that weren’t working for me. But you will have an idea of my goals.

Please feel free to offer advice in the comment section if you have found something that works for you! My way is certainly not the only way and we can all learn from each other.

Walk with the King!

Praying for Your Children

Last night some friends were over and we made “Prayer Cards” for our children. Aren’t their cards adorable! I love them and am so excited to begin to implement them today!! I posted this list of prayers for children last month – but I thought I’d list them again for anyone who missed them.

Parenting is a challenge and we must not try to do it alone! Remember we have access to the God of the universe and we must never fail to pray for our children. Every phase of life has it’s challenges with our children. It seems that as soon as my children are trained in one area they begin to fail in another – or often times I am disciplining them over and over in the same area – and I wonder “will they ever get it?”.

Remember that God is at work in your life as much as he is at work in your child’s life. He is purifying you both through this process. Through our children, our weaknesses (and sinfulness) are revealed. I never realized how selfish, short-tempered and inpatient I was until I had kids! And those are some very ugly character qualities that I must not accept into my life.

So, as I battle my flesh I must walk closely with God – pray hard – call on his name in times of trouble and temptation and model for my children a mom who is loving, kind, patient, joyful, at peace, gentle, and self-controlled. None of these qualities come naturally in our flesh – they come by walking in the Spirit and through prayer and God’s word we draw close to God and he enables us to walk in the Spirit. So as this holiday weekend is upon us, I encourage you to get on your knees and pray for your children. If you don’t, who will?

Here are some verses you can pray over them:

1. When they wake up: “Let the morning bring (child’s name) word of your unfailing love, for she has put her trust in You. Show (her/him) the way (she/he) should go, for to you (he/she) lifts up her soul.” (Adapted from Psalm 143:8)

2. When they are getting dressed: “Therefore, as God’s chosen child, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Lord, help (him/her) bear with others and forgive whatever grievances (he/she) has against others. Help (him/her) forgive as the Lord forgave (him/her). And over all these virtues, help (him/her) put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Adapted from Colossians 3:12-14)

3. While they are eating: “Teach (child’s name) the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Teach (him/her) that (he/she) can do everything through him who gives (him/her) strength.” (Adapted from Philippians 4:12-13)

4. When they go out of the house: “(Name of child), do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Adapted from Romans 12:2)

5. While they are taking a bath: Lord, give (name of child) clean hands and a pure heart, and let (him/her) not lift (his/her) soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Let (him/her) receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God (his/her) Savior. Let (him/her) be part of the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. (Adapted from Psalm 24:4-6)

6. When they are going to bed: “The Lord Your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, be will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

7. While they are sleeping: “I pray that (name of child) will do everything without complaining or arguing, so that he/she may become blameless and pure, a child of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which he/she shines like a star in the universe as he/she holds out the word of life-in order that he/she may boast on the day of Christ that he/she did not run or labor for nothing.” (Adapted from Philippians 2:14-16)

Walk with the King!