Monday, February 20, 2017

Pray for Moms

Are you ready to start praying for moms? Because moms need each other right now!

A busy mom down the street from us is loud. She looks tired. She tries to control three children - older children who roll eyes, curse back, and have no respect for her.

A tired mom across town from us wants to give up. She never disciplined, so she is being controlled by her teenage sons. They laugh at her. They tell her how things are going to be, and she slowly withdraws because she feels like a failure.

A mom in another state has given up being happy. She allows electronic devices to parent in her place, because it's just too hard with some many little ones. She is easily irritated and often uses words that hurt to make herself feel better.

Maybe you're not one of those moms, maybe today is a good day. Then you're in the perfect spot to stand in the gap for another mom.

pray for moms

Can we pray for moms today? All mothers around planet earth - the young, the old, the tired, the happy, the energetic, the weird, the liberal, the Christian, the hurting, the sad, the lonely, the forgotten, the wild, the fun, the healthy, and the angry moms.

Can we pray for moms in our neighborhood? The ones who wave at our children as they bike ride past. Or maybe shout an alert that at car is coming. The ones who buy the cookies and calendars - every single year.

Can we pray for moms in our schools?  The ones in the car pool lines judging or not judging our son's mismatched socks and wrinkled shirts.  The ones who bring in cupcakes to share. And the ones who have given our children a ride home when we're sick.

Can we pray for the moms who are running late, show up too early, talk entirely too much about their perfect kids, the chipper ones, and the ones who are too shy to share what's really going on with them.

Can we pray for the moms who feel like failures.  The ones who think they can write books on parenting because they've had one great day, and the moms who were up late last night cleaning up barf ... again.

Can we pray for the moms who just can't do one more day of that, the single moms, the unavailable moms, the fighting to get through it moms, the working moms, the confused moms, the teenage moms.

Can we pray for the moms who have prayed their hearts out and haven't had an answer?  The ones who feel like they've spent more time on their knees crying out then rejoicing. The ones who might not even know how to pray. The ones who vent on the phone to friends.

What would happen if every mom started praying for one mom? Just one other mom? How would you feel if you found out someone somewhere ... was praying for you?

Can we start praying for moms??  I'll start.

Father God - You are wonderful to create mothers so strong. Not just physically to carry children and deliver, but emotionally to raise them too. Mothers are a wonderful thing and I am asking You to make Yourself known to the moms who are seeking you today. Comfort those who need comforting. Protect those who need protecting. Heal those who might be ill. Strengthen those who need just a bit more of You. Pour out Your spirit among mothers Lord - give us Your power to face the enemy and give us Your words to parent our children well. Help us by renewing our faith and trust in You. Lead us from distractions that steal our time and energy. Direct our steps to the good things. Help us to glorify You in our homes! We need You Jesus!! Encourage mothers today Lord, fill us with the head and heart knowledge that we are not alone. ~ In Jesus name, Amen

Friday, February 10, 2017

Remove Criticism

We are learning with a teenage boy in the house (and a somewhat sarcastic mother) that criticism can fly easily yet hurt deeply. It also leaves behind a stench in the heart.


The bad habit of criticism is contagious. 

I complain and criticize how someone did something. Usually it's because - it didn't go "my way". I vent. Then a tv show promotes teens complaining and criticizing someone's something. Yet on tv it's so over-exaggerated and children are STARS ... it's hard not to laugh.  (remember when we were kids and it was a family of stars - not one smart back talking kid??)

Watch out! The green light for criticism flashes and it's not long before we're speeding down a highway full of discontent in our homes.

I wasn't even aware of my son's criticism of others. It was a gradual thing silently building up in his heart. Until one day he unloaded. Oh he unloaded, on everything. I sat stunned when he started to criticize his closest friends.

Moms, Dads, Grandmas & Grandpas, Sisters & Brothers, Teachers, Church Leaders (oh middle school church leaders I know you think you're so cool, but please hear me), their ears are open and they are hanging on every word. Not just the curse-free words!

They are picking up on tone, sarcasm, just kidding slaps, and guilt trip intentions. They notice discontent, jealousy, and passive aggressive anger. They hear bitterness. They hear hurt. And they definitely hear criticism.

Can we remove criticism from our daily dialogue?

remove criticism

Can we give our children a chance to practice self control by practicing self control ourselves?
Can we try to look at bright sides and give second chances?
Can we stop believing we can do better and start appreciating those who do anything?
Can we keep our comments for edifying rather than for crushing?

I used to believe sarcasm was witty and only intelligent people are witty.  Yet I am understanding that sarcasm is immature and backbiting. It is not God honoring.

I have made a new rule in our home for television shows. If I overhear a character who is notorious for the bad habit of criticism, we no longer watch that show.

I am trying to stop negatively commenting on what other people are doing, saying, writing, etc. My 88 yr old favorite great aunt says, "if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all." Sometimes - silence can save me from sinning far quicker than putting down one of God's creations.

I am pointing out that criticism's root lies in the choking weeds of pride.

When we feel better, smarter, prettier, thinner, stronger, faster, or more talented ... we can easily look down on others. Pray your children, your spouse, and your heart become humble before you find yourself trying to remove criticism from your home.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Life Giving Words

The tone of our world is drastically changing. Do you ever wonder how you are contributing to it?
So I'm back to blogging. It didn't take much, really. I mean after cancelling all my hosting and domain names.  But I was reading this tweet and that Facebook update. I was listening to this protest and seeing those Instagram posters and I realized ... we just might be loosing our minds.

We all have a microphone now. We all have the ability to share words across a huge platform. What words are worth sharing? Because children hear us, so why aren't more of us determined to share life giving words!??! 

You do not have to be a famous speaker with a million followers to impact that hearts in your home. 

I am reading these articles telling parents to stop doing the things that are fun - because it makes lazy parents feel bad. We should all lower the bar. I say, do them anyway!

I am seeing books about depression and struggling to finish this parenting journey barely Army crawling across the finish line. Just get there and be done with it. What about the minority of us who want to skip and enjoy parenting?

Where are the voices of hope? Where are the voices of joy?

I'm not back here to share homeschool unit studies. I'm not going to sell brick ebooks. I'm not going to promote homeschool conferences ... I want to be a different voice out there - a small voice - rather than the ones that have been drowning the good things.

How can we start?

  • I might have struggles raising children, but I'm not going to post embarrassing photos on social media.
  • I might fail at being a great friend, sister, or neighbor  - but I will find forgiveness in Jesus and try again. 
  • I might not agree with the current politics of our country, but I do not have to bring everyone around me down with complaining and negativity.  
  • I might be upset with my spouse, but I'm not going to bash him to others. 

It's time to speak life giving words.

In my home, in my circle of friends, on social media - we need more life giving words to fill the air!