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!

Weight Loss: Self- Control vs. Gluttony

Proverbs 23:20, 21 say “Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor and drowsiness clothes them in rags.” Gluttony is eating without restraint. I have never been drunk but I see the correlation between the two. They both cause drowsiness and essentially ineffectiveness for God’s kingdom.

Proverbs 28:7 declares, “He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father.” And Proverbs 23:2 says, “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.” That’s pretty harsh isn’t it? But those are God’s words not mine! The ability to say “no” to anything in excess is self-control (a fruit of the Spirit – Gal. 5:22). Gluttony is the opposite of self-control.

Think for a moment – If you saw a friend getting drunk you might have a talk with her. But if your friend orders an appetizer, dinner, AND dessert I doubt anyone would say anything about that. It’s the norm. If I complained I was so full that I felt sick – I don’t think anyone would be offended.

Gluttony destroys the body and is careless Christian living. In America, many diseases are on the rise as a result of gluttony. The rampant obesity in our culture is a result of gluttony (in most cases) and many people are reaping the harsh consequences of this sin that is rarely discussed in church yet is prevalent.

Food is a gift – obsessing over every little bite we take and worrying that we might gain a pound is not appreciating the gift of food that God has given us. But likewise, indulging in food to the point of gluttony is abusing the gift of food.

In Bible times people ate to sustain life – excess was only available to the wealthy. Women had to sweat a bit more doing their household tasks – they did not have washing machines, dish washers and cars to carry their groceries in. The Proverbs 31 woman had “arms strong for the task” and it wasn’t from lifting weights – but from doing her daily work. She was not tempted to eat a big mac, fries, soda and ice cream.
Times really have changed and that is why the Bible seems silent on exercise and weight loss. The disciples would probably laugh if they saw the treadmills we run on. The Proverbs 31 lady might find our pilates exercises a bit strange and unnessary. We live in different times – but God’s word was applicable yesterday, today and will be tomorrow. The principles of Proverbs stand and we must live by them.
If you are guilty of gluttony – that is you lack self-control with food and over-indulgulge yourself regularly – then the first step toward weight loss is to call gluttony what it is – sin. Repent of your sin.

Remember – on one end of the spectrum is obssession over every bite – that is not living freely. On the other end is gluttony – which imprisons you. In the middle is self-control, balance and freedom. Be free!

Walk with the King!

Are You Gentle?

On April 24th I shared with you all that I had begun a ” 30 Day Gentleness Challenge“. For the last 18 days, 4 moms and I have been keeping each other accountable as we work on displaying the fruit of the Spirit – gentleness – our goal was to work on not raising our voices or speaking harsh words to our children. So every morning we report to each other how we did the previous day.

We want to abide by Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” and Proverbs 31:26 “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” It seems that with our children – the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
So you wanna know how I’m doing??? Hmmmm…should I tell the truth??? The good news is I have not raised my voice to the children in 18 days – that is a victory – does that sound terrible to admit that I do raise my voice at them from time to time?
But in the area of keeping my words wise and gentle – rather than harsh and critical – I have failed… well a number of times. One day I thought I had done quite well being patient with my son, who was refusing to clean his room. He gave me a bit of attitude and lip about it. Rather than giving him a consequence and then walking away – I instead chose a choice lecture. After the long winded lecture – I realized – wow – that wasn’t gentle speech. I was completely convicted and realized that I give “harsh lectures” from time to time that need to be ejected from my life! I quickly apologized to him and sought out his forgiveness.
The best part of this challenge is that God’s word and Spirit are shining light on dark areas of my life. There are things that in “secret” no one sees – but God is bringing light to those dark areas and because I have humbled myself to the conviction of the Spirit, I am being freed from Satan’s grip.
It has been refreshing to realize that the other 4 moms struggle too – I am not alone. There has been no room for pride – we have all been open and honest with our failings and as a result I feel like real change and transformation has come to our homes! Thank you Jesus for freeing us!
Join me in my freedom – and pursue gentleness in your life. Pursue it not just in parenting but in all your relationships – as you deal with your husband, extended family members, co-workers and fellow Christian friends.
Romans 8:37 says “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” There are 12 days left in this challenge…We cannot do this in our flesh – we must walk in the Spirit if we want to be conquerors. Are you gentle?

Walk with the King!