Rising to the challenge

We had a heck of an evening.  One of those disaster after disaster days when you question whether or not you have done anything right as a mother.   

After several minor sibling problems and other behavior issues brewing amongst several of our children.  Our daughter especially presented us with quite the challenge as her preteen attitiude took rude and disrespectful to an entirely new level.  There have been moments of this attitude here and there but this evening her attitude exploded and crossed many lines.

I will not go into all of the details but reached a point a line was crossed and enough was enough.  It was not quite 6 pm when this situation peaked.  As an immediate consequence her youth activities at church were taken away and she was sent to bed without dinner.  And to bed without being allowed to complete her homework for the evening.  If you know Emily you know that not being allowed to do her homework is devastating.  

All this being done with discussion and further consequences to be given tomorrow.  These are the moments when parenting is at its hardest and most challenging.  Respond don’t react.  Don’t overreact.  I am human, I struggle in the heat of the moment with this concept, but today this situation I kept it together.  Calm face, no raised voices. Success, no yelling or arguing she put herself to bed.  Deep breath and I have time to collect my thoughts and prepare to sit down and discuss this with her tomorrow.  

Several hours later after I chopped up some fresh veggies for salad I slipped into Emily’s room to slip the carrot peels and lettuce heads to her bunnies.  I startled her out of her sleep as I was slipping back out of the room.  Half asleep, eyes closed and she says quietly to me “Mom I love you”.  That’s it, drifts back off to sleep.  

No pleading for getting up out of bed, no justifying her behavior, no apologizing, begging, arguing, just a sweet simple ‘mom I love you’.  

This is the first thought she had when she woke up.  Not angry with me for holding her accountable.  Not trying to get out of consequences.  Just that she loves me.  Oh despite her many flaws I love this girl’s heart.  This sweet heart melting moment does not change her consequences the following day.  She is still held accountable for her words, actions and behaviors.  


But as I lay drifting off to sleep I wonder what if that’s how I responded to God.  When I am dealing with the consequences of my own sin, facing the mess I have created trying to do things in my own strength and not turning to God.  Instead of rationalizing, justifying, complaining and worrying about the discussions of tomorrow.   To just stop and rest and tell the Lord I love Him.  Laying in bed after a day of trials and storms and just say “God I love You.”  How peaceful, simple.  

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”  ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭


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Fearfully and wonderfully made

This past year has been a year full of blessings, changes, challenges, growing and blending for our family. God is good all the time and all the time GOD IS GOOD! Anticipation and excitement is growing as rapidly in our house, almost as rapidly as our sweet baby Nathaniel is growing- in just over a month we are expecting our son to be born. My husband and I were married last June, we joined our lives together forever with our vow and promise to love and cherish each other as God loves us. In our marriage we joined our families, my three children and his two children became OUR children and we united together as one with God the center of our home.

The upcoming birth of our son is so exciting and such a wonderful blessing from God. It is so very exciting to be bringing the unity of our family to a new level as all of our children will now share in one sibling. Nathaniel will hold a very special place in our home as he will be little brother to all 5 older siblings, he will be a connection to join them together in a different way. The kids are all so excited, just this morning debating on the car ride to school who would be first to hold him in the hospital. A lot going on over the next month as we make all of our final preparations to be ready to bring Nathaniel home. During this time the kids are finishing up at school, finishing spring sports getting ready for summer vacation and the excitement will continue building as we make our home ready to welcome and celebrate this new child of God.

Psalm 139:13-14
‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’

BABY @ 31 WEEKS_6

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BABY @ 31 WEEKS_43

ALL are precious in HIS sight…Jesus loves the little children of the world…

By far this was one of my favorite songs growing up, ‘Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world’….. And now as a mother when I reflect on the true meaning and what the words in the song actually say it has a much deeper meaning to me. He does love ALL the little children of the world including my children. He loves them COMPLETELY and He loves them PERFECTLY, He loves them more than I am capable of loving them which is very hard to realize this. The love I feel for my children is UN-measurable and grows each day so how could anyone possibly love and care for them more than I do…. GOD does, His love for my children surpasses my own, how humbling and breathtaking is that!

Possibly the hardest and most challenging responsibilities I face as a mother is learning to let go and trust God to take care of them when I cannot. I struggle with this every day, several times a day, all the time constantly having to remind myself that they are in His protection. I cannot be with them 24-7 and put them in a ‘bubble’ to protect them from all the evil in this fallen world and that is so hard to accept this cruel reality. When my mind starts going down the ‘what if’ path and doubt creeps in I turn to find my comfort in the Lord, in knowing I can cover them and surround them in prayer, I can lift them up to God the One Who loves, cares and cherishes them more than I can even comprehend and trust that He will protect them for me. So I guess in a way I can keep them in a bubble, a bubble of prayer, surrounding them in prayer and scripture and keeping them lifted to God, He is their bubble.

In my prayer life my best prayer time is when I am prayer journaling. I find this best directs my thoughts and feelings as I share with God. I am not very outspoken verbally but express myself more effectively through written words. When I sit down and pray this way and am writing everything out, I have learned it is a little overwhelming to pray specifically for each of our 5 children every time I sit down to prayer journal, so I rotate and each day I spend time journaling I pray for all of them together and then I focus on one child specifically, this seems to work well for me. As I have been doing this I have carefully, thoughtfully and prayerfully selected two bible verses for each child to pray over them with. They each also have a list of 10 prophetic words that me and my husband have chosen to pray over into their lives. I have made them each have a poster in their room with their photos and their 10 words so they can see it each day and start believing these things about themselves.

So today I take comfort in the words of this popular children’s song…”Jesus loves the little children, all the little children of the world”. It is quiet and sweet reminder that Jesus loves and cares for my children more than I do. He is with them when I cannot be and will always protect and watch them in His will and not my own. He is MIGHTY and SOVEIERGN and my faith and trust are in the Lord. This is especially important for me this week as my children are away for the entire week and I need this constant reminder more than ever during this difficult time. It is painful during this time to be separated from my precious children; they are each a piece of my heart and something is missing when they are not at home.

To my dear sweet children- today these are my prayers for you….

 

 

———-Joshua James– bold, courageous and sweet Joshua…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Beloved warrior of Christ, Faithful, Intelligent, Generous, Compassionate, Determined, Adventurous, Servant’s Heart, Courageous, Strong

Jeremiah 20:11 But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior so my persecutors will stumble and will not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced and their dishonor never forgotten.
Romans 1:16-17 for I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith as it is written “The just shall live by faith”.

I pray you grow more and more each day into a beloved warrior of Christ that God has made you to be, that you are true to your namesake of Joshua in the bible, that you remain adventurous and determined in all that you do, you amaze me with your intelligence and generosity for others, I pray you continue to be compassionate and have the heart of a servant with all you do in this life. I pray you continue to grow each day into a strong and courageous young man who is following and living for Christ. I pray you remain faithful to Christ in all the struggles and triumphs you shall face. I pray that you live out your favorite verse and live boldly sharing the Gospel without shame or fear. If you keep your heart and life focused on God He will protect you in all you do. I pray that you know even when enemies come, because they will come, that you find strength and confidence in the Lord and with Him you will always be victorious.

 

 

———-Tyler Lewis– kind, wonderful, brave Tyler…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Compassionate, Brave, Determined, Honest, Loyal, Son of God, Loving, Faithful, Patient, Humbled

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not for I am with you be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you; yes I will help you I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.

You are a cherished son of God, I pray your walk remains loyal and honest, that you grow into a patient and humbled follower of Christ, faithful to Him in all you do. I pray for you to be loving to all those around you, that You know Christ loves you and can share His love with those around you with compassion and bravery. I pray that you use your determination for the Glory of God in all areas of your life, that you live your life with complete trust in the Lord; He will always give You strength when you are faithful to Him. I pray you turn to Him in times of hardship and celebration, I pray You seek Him always and let Him guide your path in this life. I pray you have the will to go to God with your problems and feel safe and loved and comforted by His presence.

 

 

 

———Emily Ann– sweet, beautiful, loving Emily…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Loyal, Ambitious, Kindhearted, Pure, Smart, Fearless, Complete, Honest, Talented, God’s Cherished Daughter 

Romans 12:2 do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what good and acceptable and perfect will of God is.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

 You are such an ambitious young lady in all you do, I pray you use this to glorify God that you ambitiously seek Him in all you do. I pray you remain loyal and kindhearted as you grow up and that you can use this to share God’s love with those around you. I pray for you to remain complete and pure and that you always know without a doubt that above everything else in this fallen world you are God’s cherished daughter. You are incredibly smart and talented, I pray this continues and can be used for the good of God as you find the path He has made for you. Your heart is fearless and honest; don’t be afraid God is always with you. If you turn to Him and remain faithful to Him in all you do He will not let you down. Trust in Him always. I pray for you to see the beauty of this work and the goodness of people without being conformed to the world. I pray sweet daughter you have the confidence to raise your head yet know when to go before God with humility. I pray the Lord gives you wisdom and shows you how to make good choices in life. I pray you will hear the still small voice inside, God’s voice leading you and guiding you and you will always find your strength in the Lord.

 

 

 

———-Noah Towsey– loving, bold, amazing Noah…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Worthy, Strong, Complete, Loving, Peaceful, Kindhearted, Smart, Child of God, Servant, Gentile
Numbers 6:24-26 The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future.

 Your heart is so loving and kind; I pray that this continues to grow each day. That your heart and life is filled with love, that You know Christ’s love for you and you use your talents and strength to share Him with those around you. Let all you do glorify God and shine His love onto others. I pray that you come to understand you are complete and worthy the way that God made you. I pray for you to continue to grow and learn in all that you do, you are smart and unique and loved the way you are. You are a remarkable Child of God. I pray for you to be a servant of Christ and your gentile heart and ways will open hearts around you to see the love and light of the Lord. I pray that your walk with the Lord brings you peace in all that you do. I pray for you to overcome some of the challenges this life has forced you to face and that the challenges that you do not overcome you are able to embrace and use them to grow stronger into the young man and follower of Christ that God has created you to be.

 

 

 

———-Richard Turner– charming, determined, sweet Richard…
YOU ARE AND ALWAYS SHALL BE—>Affectionate, Living, String, Worthy, Humble, Devoted, Brave, Wise, Deserving, Mighty Warrior of God
Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world, a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.
Romans 8:28 And we know all things work together for good to those who love God to those who are called according to His purpose.

 My precious son, I pray that you grow each day as a might warrior of God. I pray you will always know that you are worthy and deserving. You are so affectionate and loving in all that you do, embrace this and use this in your life to share the light and love of Christ with all the people in your life. You are so wise and brave, it amazes me how quickly you learn things. I pray that you grow in your wisdom with the Lord as Your Sheppard, trust in Him always and let Him lead you in this life. I pray you are devoted and humble in your walk with God. Something about your eyes can light up a room, use this to share the truth and the gospel with those who see your eyes, sweet boy you are the light, let God’s love shine through you in everything you do. Find comfort and strength in the Lord, turn to Him when you are hurt, lost, happy, broken hearted, always turn to God first and let Him comfort you and strengthen you, if you remain faithful to Him He will not let you down, He will always be with you , leading you and loving you.

 

 

 

 

Lord above all else today, I thank you for the privledge and honor of being a mother and stepmother.  Thank you for this incredible blessing.  Please continue to give me strength, courage and wisdom as a parent to lead and guide our children, to raise them most imporantly to know and love You.—–AMEN

My sweet Richard, not a baby anymore….

Happy 3rd Birthday my sweet Richard!!!!!

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Oh my I just don’t know where the time went. I cannot believe that my baby is turning 3 years old. He has grown up in so many ways in just this past 6 months. He has mastered potty training his speaking and vocabulary has grown enormously and he has lost ‘baby’ appearance and turning into a little person. My heart is so full of love for my children and it is such a bittersweet feeling to see each of them grow another year older.

Richard is different in many ways than my older he two, he is certainly keeping me on my toes. He is so incredibly smart, he learns things so quickly. He is strong willed and determined. This boy can throw! He is strength and aim when he throws a ball…..not always a good thing for a toddler as this has been cause for many mishaps but baseball is likely in this child’s future. He knows what he wants. He is growing up quicker than the older ones in the sense that he just wants to be one of the bigs kids, most of the time he thinks he is one of the bigs kids trailing behind them, trying to keep up. In a different way he seems to be snuggling and more attached to me in a way the older ones weren’t. The love and happiness that lights up on his face when he sees me after being apart melts me from the inside out.

There have been several significant life changes with out family over the past three years, and in reflecting on these changes I am in absolute awe of how truly blessed we are to be where we are today. God is so good and awesome! God has done such incredible things in our life.

I am so thankful for being their mother and for the children they are growing into but at the same time it is sad to let go of different stages in their lives. The experience of being a mother and the love and emotion that is in my heart for my children words cannot describe. I never imagined that I could feel so much. My children are like little pieces of my heart walking around outside of me, I love them so unconditionally and in a way that can only be a truly a gift and blessing from God. I am so thankful He chose me to be the mother of all of my children, my natural children and my stepchildren. What an honor that God chose me to be in their lives and raise them and love them.

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“Then they brought the little children to Him that He might touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, ‘let the little children come to me and do not forbid them for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly I say to you whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will b no means enter it. ‘ and. He took them up in His arms laid His hands on them and blessed them.” Mark 10:13-16

My sweet Richard I hope you have a wonderful birthday and cannot wait to celebrate this day with you next weekend. Today my prayer for you….

” Heavenly Father,

I pray that You would bless Richard with the gift of eternal life at a young age, the strength to remain pure in heart and body, a fear of The Lord that leads to great wisdom and protection as he brings the gospel into a dark world.

I pray he always knows Your love and my love. That he always feels treasured and never doubts how wonderful he is. I pray he grows into an affectionate, loving, strongly, worthy, humble, devoted, brave, wise, deserving mighty warrior of Christ.

Thank You Lord for my children I know they are a gift from You, daily I need Your strength and wisdom to train them in the way they should go. Give me patience and a joyful heart let me be an example of Your love and forgiveness. Thank You for the honor of being a mother.

In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”

” I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4

For Our Children- Praying for Protection

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Tonight my heart is heavier than normal, full of thoughts, worry, and prayers for our children. I wish I could put all of our children in their own little bubble, a bubble of protection to keep them safe from any possible harm when they are away. However this is not physically possible of course so all of my power lays in prayer, I can surround them and cover them in prayers of protection. I must let go and trust God completely, He is with them wherever they go. This is extremely difficult and at times impossible for me to do when it comes to my children.

I have a constant need and desire to do everything in my power to protect and shield these amazing children. As a mother I feel like they are pieces of my heart walking around outside of me, and when they hurt I hurt. I long to guard their hearts from being hurt or sad, I yearn to protect their bodies from being harmed, I wish to protect their minds, to shield their eyes and ears from darkness of this fallen world and from things they cannot begin to understand.

I struggle not being able to be their complete protection in this world. I have to constantly remind myself to let go and realize that prayer is the most powerful and effective thing I can do to protect my children. I can circle and cover them in prayer, God is their ultimate Protector and He loves them and nothing will happen outside of His will.

“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

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Joshua, Emily and Richard are with their father for and extended period of time- without going into details of the situation they need to be lifted up in prayer during this time for protection and healing. Tyler and Noah returned home this evening from being gone for an extended time and I can see how they are struggling with conflicting emotions their mother has laid on their hearts and minds, they need to be lifted in prayer for healing and growing.

“Glorious God, Heavenly Father, Dear Lord, I call upon Your name,

My prayer is for my children, I ask You to protect them physically,emotionally, spiritually,mentally, and in every way.
I pray the Holy Spirit would equip them to face any situation they must endure.
I pray that Your presence guides them and leads them to make decisions that glorify You.
I pray Your light and love surrounds them.
Lord please let our children be little lighthouses in this dark world shining Your light and love that those around them can see You through them.
I pray for Matt and I as parents to be able to do what is best for our children despite what we want, that we keep God in the center of our lives and home.
I pray for strength, guidance and wisdom as parents.
Let us continue to grow into one united family loving each other as Christ loves us.

God, please bless our children with the strength to remain pure in heart, mind and body.
I pray that our children no matter what will always know they are loved, that they know Your unconditional love and that they know Matt and I love them unconditionally.
Thank You Lord for blessing us as parents, our children are a gift from You.
Please give Matt and I strength and wisdom to guide them and and train them in the way they should go.
Please give us patience and joyful hearts, let us be an example of Your love and forgiveness.
Thank You Father for the honor of being a parent.

In Jesus Name I pray~AMEN”