November 29, 2014

Laundry Room Therapy

It's the day after Thanksgiving and my beloved sister asks,

"Would you like me to keep the kids for the day so you can be home alone?  Clean your house?  Catch up on a few things?"

I think I started to cry.

Right before I laughed out loud.

And then I became so excited considering all the things I could accomplish given a whole, ENTIRE day....

You know.  All those practical, sensible things like ~

A) Clean my house (which is very therapeutic for me when I'm alone)
B) Catch up on paperwork
C) Plan homeschool lessons
D) Organize the pantry
E) Finish sanding the lockers Firefighter just built (I stole this husband-naming from author Ann Voskamp, who refers to her husband as Farmer.  I'm chuckling just thinking about the moment the hubby reads it in here.)
F) Write Christmas cards
G) Exercise

But I did none of these things.

Instead, as Emily Freeman so beautifully encourages, I found a place for my soul to breathe ~

And although it may not look like practical productivity to some...

It was exactly what this momma needed on Black Friday.
October 20, 2014

A Mother's Prayer

I've always been a reader.  I was one of those little girls who would read every surface on the cereal box while eating breakfast, including the honey bear label.  My siblings and I used to hide our current books from one another for fear they would be hijacked before we finished reading them.

As an adult, I still enjoy literary works from almost every genre.  I love beautiful language, historically-based stories, and rich character development.  My appreciation for Walt Whitman and William Wordsworth deepens with age.

There are a few books, however, I find myself returning to again and again, more for reference and inspiration than for storyline.

Each one of the above titles has changed my life powerfully in some way, and in specific seasons. Were you to browse through my own personal copy of each, you would find many, many dog-eared pages, underlines, highlights, comments, and dates in the margins.  

This morning, during my quiet time, I once again pulled out Stormie Omartian's The Power of a Praying Parent.  Although I pray for my kids off and on throughout each week, as I'm sure you do as well, I was at a place in my prayer time where I craved more structure and direction in this area.  Do you ever feel like there are so many aspects to pray over your children that you have a nagging anxiety you may have missed one?  Like praying that your kids have a desire to learn?  Or that your child will be strong enough to resist rebellion?  Or that your children will develop a hunger for the things of God?  

Omartian's book is such a wonderful guideline for all aspects of prayer for your children (and I will often use some of these prayers for my husband as well.)  She even offers scripted prayers in each specific area at the end of her chapters, along with related Scripture for proclaiming aloud.

This morning, as I read her prayer aloud at the end of Chapter 1, I was overcome with the cry of my own heart as I spoke each sentence, recognizing how accurately this prayer represents where I am in my own parenting journey right now ~  not only toward my own three children, but for the other three little ones currently in my care.  Although a bit long, I thought it was worth sharing with you today in the hopes that you, too, will find some comfort and strength in these words:

I submit myself to You.  I realize that parenting a child in the way You would have me to 
is beyond my human abilities.  I know I need You to help me.  
I want to partner with You and partake of Your gifts of wisdom, discernment, revelation, 
and guidance.  I also need Your strength and patience, 
along with a generous portion of Your love flowing through me.  
Teach me how to love the way You love.  
Where I need to be healed, delivered, changed, matured, or made whole, 
I invite You to do that in me.  Help me to walk in righteousness and integrity before You.  
Teach me Your ways, enable me to obey Your commandments and do only 
what is pleasing in Your sight.  May the beauty of Your Spirit be so evident in me 
that I will be a godly role model.  Give me the communication, teaching, 
and nurturing skills that I must have.  Make me the parent You want me to be 
and teach me how to pray and truly intercede for the lives of my children.  
Lord, You said in Your Word, 
"Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive" (Matthew 21:22).  
In Jesus' name I ask that You will increase my faith to believe for all the things 
You've put on my heart to pray for concerning these children.

Have a blessed week,