God Knows Your Worth


For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Psalm 139:13-14a

Have you ever noticed how little children want to impress those they admire the most.

I work with kids every day and I see it many times over. One child brings a new toy to school and what is the first thing he says? “See my new toy!” One child learns to dribble a basketball and he can not wait to show the bigger boys who are on the basketball team how well he can bounce that ball.

I see it with my own children every day. One finally passes a level on a game he is playing (Please, no hate mail. Yes, I let my children play video games 😉 ) and the first thing he want to do is show it to me or his dad. When our little girl learned to put her own hair in a pony tail she could not wait to show me how she could do it herself. Our children love to play music; when they can finally make that chord they have been working to make we must stop what we are doing and listen.

Children are always searching for acceptance in the world. Sometimes it is from friends. “Other times it is from their own siblings. Often times it is from a parent.

As I thought about the need for acceptance, I thought to myself, “Children are not the only ones who feel this way.” Even as adults we often try to prove ourselves to each other. Too many times we work very hard to be seen by those around us. I will not even begin to list the ways in which we do this. I am sure that even now each of us is thinking of one situation or another in which we try to gain the acceptance of our peers.

Do we not do the same thing with God? How many times do we bring our abilities to God and say, “Look God! See what I can do.”

Friends, we do not have to try to impress God. Our worth is not in how much money we make or what car we drive. God does not place a value on us depending on our job or relationship status. God loves us just as we are.

Our verse today says that He knew us while we were still in the womb. God knitted us together Himself. God wants us to come to Him just as we are. God desires for us to bring Him all our imperfections and lay them at His feet.

You see, with God all things are beautiful. In our own hands they are nothing more than filthy rags. It is only when we lay them at the feet of our Savior that He will take our gifts and use them to bring honor and glory to His name.

I want to encourage you today. Stop trying so hard to impress those around you. Do not let the world tell you that your worth lies in what you have or what you can do, and stop trying to prove your worth to God. He loves you just as you are. John 3:16 tell us that God loves us so much that He gave His one and only Son to die for us. We did not do anything to earn that love, nor can we ever earn it. It is a free gift, given from a Savior who knows we are worth dying for.

I pray today that you will see your worth in God’s eyes. Offer Him your gifts, not trying to earn his acceptance, but as an offering of praise for all that He has done for you.

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Sailing Uncharted Territory


willow-tree-mother-and-son

 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3

Today our family will embark on a new journey.

We are headed into uncharted territory.

We are officially the parents of a teenager!! Today our oldest son, Big D turns 13 years old.

As this day has quickly approached, I have found myself filled with mixed emotions. On one hand, I am extremely excited to see what the future holds for our family and for our son, yet on the other hand I feel a bit unsure and unprepared for what is to come.

This new time in our lives has brought me back to where it all started. 13 years ago, today, I was a 19 year old girl with no idea how my world was about to change. I was young and believed that I knew it all. (You see, teenagers think that for some reason.) I had not really considered the future to any extent and I surely had not thought far enough ahead to realize that one day I would be raising a teenager!

I was a newlywed. My head was still in the clouds.

Even as I sit here now and look back on that time, I shake my head and chuckle under my breath at the naivety. Praise God, He has carried us through all these years!

Today we celebrate this new trek of our adventure. We boldly (and prayerfully) march into an entirely new phase of life. As the shock wears off, I am more and more excited to begin this new journey. I have loved being a mom since that first day, 13 years ago, and I have enjoyed every stop of this adventure since then.

While I do understand that children do not come with an instruction booklet, I am confident in the assurance that God has given us all the instruction we will need in His word. As our children grow, I find myself holding onto God’s promises more and more. I would like to share some of these promises with you this morning.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”

Proverbs 29:17 “Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.”

2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

I hope that you have enjoyed listening to this overwhelmed Mom ramble on about a new phase in life. I also pray that it has somehow encouraged your heart. I truly believe that children are a gift straight from the Lord. As a parent you think that you are teaching your children life lessons every day, but I must say that I learn so many things from my children on a daily basis. I feel very honored to carry the title Mom to these three “not so little any more” blessings of ours, and I am thrilled to see what God has in store for our future.

Revell Book Review: A Mom’s Prayer for Her Son


*This post is a bit different from the content that I normally share with my readers. I do pray that you will enjoy it just the same. I have decided to review some books for Revell Reads. I will periodically be posting my reviews. I pray that each review will introduce my readers to encouraging, Godly books.*


 

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I have recently had the privilege of reading, ” A Mom’s Prayer for Her Son” by Rob and Joanna Teigen.

If you are a parent, then you should not be surprised when I tell you that raising kids is an adventure. If you are a parent to boys, then you also should not be surprised when I tell you that parenting boys is a completely different journey in itself. As parents we should be praying for our children every day. There are times, however, during which we are unsure of what to pray. Inside of this book I read words which encouraged my heart. I also found that I am not the only mom who feels the burden of raising Godly sons.

A Mom’s Prayer for Her Son is filled with prayers for every stage of your son’s life. I really appreciate the love and concern I hear in the words which this mother prays over her sons. Included in the pages of this book are Scriptures that go along with each prayer. There are words of encouragement and guidance from other moms as well.

One of the things I enjoy most about this book is the fact that it can be read as a whole, or it can also be used as a resource guide when you feel the need to pray specific prayers over your sons. Each chapter covers a different need and offers specific Scriptures and prayers for that need.

I would recommend this book for moms with sons of any age. It would also be a great gift for new moms or even moms-to-be. If you visit your local Christian bookstore and purchase a copy, consider picking up an extra one to share with a friend.

Reading A Mom’s Prayer for Her Son has been such a blessing to my heart. I have enjoyed the opportunity to review this book for you. I pray that you will take the time to read it as well and share in the blessings.

I Got This


maze

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Oh, the joy of raising children! (any story that begins this way must be good, right?)

I must admit, there is never a dull moment in our house, especially since the kids are growing up and beginning to spread their wings just a bit. All three of them are at an age now where they are beginning to assume more responsibility. This means learning to do new things around the house. The boys, being older than sister, are the first ones to learn how to do things for themselves and to help me out when I need it. One favorite for the boys right now is learning to do things in the kitchen. (Yes, I let my boys help in the kitchen. I believe that it is good for them to know their way around. Plus, I am sure their future wives will thank me one day.) Both of our boys really seem to enjoy learning to cook, and they are pretty good at it.

Learning new tasks does not always go as planned. We have had a few mishaps along the way.

The latest adventure for the boys has been learning to “make the coffee pot” as we call it in our house. ( I think that is a southern term.) Each night before we go to bed, we get the coffee pot ready and set the auto-start for the next morning.

Last night, as I was cleaning up the kitchen and putting things away, I remembered that I still had to set the coffee pot. When I turned around, the younger of our two boys, Little D, was already there working on it. When he realized what I had come over to do, he looked up at me and with that big boy, take charge tone, he said, “I got this.”  This is something new for Little D, so I was reluctant to leave him with the task. He was so sure of himself , however, that I decided to let him do it all by himself. I went on about my business and never thought anything else about it.

This morning when I walked into the kitchen, still half asleep, I saw my husband bent down looking at the coffee pot. As I approached the scene I could see Daddy B wiping down the coffee pot and the counter top. When I asked him what had happened, he told me that coffee was all over the coffee pot and the counter. While I examined the situation, the image of little D “making the coffee pot” came back to my mind. The image of  him standing there so confident and saying, “I got this,” played in my memory. After further examination, I discovered that he had failed to replace one of the pieces. Instead of running into the pot, the coffee overflowed the filter, filled the reservoir and ran  down the sides of the machine. Needless to say we had quite a mess on our hands. Thankfully I was able to clean the coffee pot, remove most of the coffee grounds, and make another pot of coffee so that Daddy B could be on his way to work.

After everything settled back down and I had a moment to reflect on the situation, I could not help but chuckle at what had happened. After all, these are the things of  which memories are made.

As I thought more about what had happened, I could not help but hear Little D’s voice over and over in my head saying, “I got this.” He was so sure that he knew what he was doing. He wanted to prove to me that he could handle this task all by himself.

Friends, how many times do we treat God this way?

How many times do we face a task, a trial, or a new situation and say, “I got this,” to God?

You see, it is human nature to want to handle things ourselves. From the time we are just little children we want to do it ourselves. We want to do it our way. It is as if we have something to prove. As if we feel the need to be self-sufficient.

In our lives, God gives us tasks to do. He allows us to face trials, and new situations in order to teach us. He wants to help us grow through these things. Why is it then that we refuse to listen to His guidance? Why do we insist on doing things our way? What is it that makes us so confident that we say, “I got this,” to God? It is our carnal nature. It is the part of us that still believes that we can make it on our own.

So many people are stumbling through life. They are making one mistake after the other. They are failing and can not figure out why. It is because they are trying to do it themselves. They are confident that they “Got this.”

 God does not set tasks in front of us planning on failure. He is not sitting back waiting on us to fall on our faces. No, God wants us to succeed. He wants to see us grow and learn, but He knows that we can not do it without Him. He has told us over and over in His word that we need to depend on Him. God, however, is a gentleman. He will not force us to follow His will. He will not force us to depend upon Him. He will allow us to fall. He will allow us to fail. Yet, the entire time He will be calling to us. He will be whispering to our hearts, ” Let me have it. Lay your burden on me,” and He will be there waiting with open arms when we are ready to surrender our lives to Him.

I want us to realize something today. We can not make it on our own. We can not figure it out. Outside of God’s mercy and grace we are hopeless. The only hope we have in this world is Jesus Christ. If we are going to have any hope of succeeding in this world, we are going to have to learn to depend on the One who created us, the very One who spoke our world into existence. When we turn our lives over to God, when we allow Him to show us the way, life will begin to make sense. This does not mean that we will not face trials and troubles. It simply means that we will have God to lead us, to guide us, and to help carry us through even our toughest times.

God loves you, friend. He wants to see you succeed and grow. The question I want to leave with you today is this: Will you turn your life over to God, or will you say “I got this,” to Him?

Give Your All


miracle_of_the_loaves_and_fishes“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9: 6-7

Sunday night at church I had the privilege of teaching our children’s class. Since I was working with preschool and kindergarten ages I decided to teach them about Jesus feeding the multitude with five loaves and two fish. We talked about how Jesus performed a miracle with just one little boys lunch. I explained to them that God will provide for their needs no matter how big they are and no matter how little they have to give.

Last night, as I thought back on the lesson I had taught the kids and how God does supply all our needs, He brought another point to my mind. When we hear the story of the multitude being fed with such a small amount of food, we are often in awe at that miracle. Last night, my attention was drawn back to the little boy who gave his lunch to Jesus. Not a lot is said about the little boy, but having children of my own I can only imagine what must have been going through his mind as he watched the whole story unfold before his little eyes.

Put yourself in this little boy’s place for a moment if you will:

You wake up one morning, get dressed and ready for your day. Just before you run out the door, your mom hands you a small basket or bag of some sort and assures you that there is enough food in it for your lunch that day. Being a little fella you do not think much about it. You kiss your mom good-bye and you run out the door.

As you wander along, carrying your lunch, you happen upon a crowd of people. This is not just a couple of people standing around visiting. No, this is a very large group of people (a multitude the Bible says.) Being the curious child you are, you push your way through the people until you get close enough to the front to see what all the fuss is about. As you peek through the crowd, you see Him. It is Jesus and He is speaking, teaching the people who have gathered here. You stand there, gazing into the face of this man with the kind eyes, and you listen to His words as you try to understand what He is teaching these people.

As the day carries on you get so caught up in the words of this kind man who you forget all about the time. As it gets later in the day, maybe your stomach lets out a little growl reminding you of the lunch that your mom packed for you just this morning. As you find a quiet place to sit, away from the crowd, you open your lunch and find your favorite meal: fish and bread. Just about the time you begin to take the first bite, one of Jesus’ disciples comes up and asks you for your lunch.

What would you do? Would you gladly hand it over to this man, or would you tell him no? Would you be willing to part with the only food you had for that day, or would you tuck your little lunch under your arm, turn and walk away? We are not told what the little boy’s response is to the disciple, but we do know that the lunch was given and it was taken to Jesus.

Maybe the little boy had heard about Jesus. Maybe he had heard his parents talking about a man who performed miracles. Maybe the little boy, having the faith of a child, gladly handed his lunch over to the disciple knowing that it was going to Jesus. Can you imagine the surprise on the little boy’s face when he saw Jesus take his little lunch, bless it, and begin to pass it out?

I do not know where the little boy fell in the line of getting some of the meal, but it being the little boy’s lunch to begin with he knew that there were only fives loaves of bread and two fish. How must he have felt as he saw Jesus break it into pieces and give it to His disciples? I can only imagine how excited he must have been when the disciples came to him and handed him his part. How glad must he have been to sit down and share in this meal with this great crowd of people? The Bible tells us that they ate until they were full.

What do you think was going through this little boys mind as he watched the disciples gather the left over food? What must he have been thinking as he counted the baskets as they were filled and brought back to Jesus?

What started out as five loaves of bread and two fish had not only fed over five thousand people, but had also resulted in twelve baskets of left over food. Wow, what a miracle!

What do I want us to get from this story today? Well, There are a couple of things that God revealed to me as I put myself in this little boy’s place.

First, I believe that God wants us to have the faith of a child. This little boy had no idea what was going to happen when he gave away his lunch. But he gave it willingly.  I believe that God wants us to give what we have. Even when we do not know God’s plan he wants us to trust that He can and will use it for His honor and His glory.

The second thing that God laid on my heart about this story is that the little boy gave his whole lunch. He did not just give the disciples a fish and a couple of loaves of bread and say, “I will keep the rest.” No, that little boy gave all that he had. In turn, God took it, blessed it, and multiplied it.

You see, God wants what we have. However, he does not just want part. God wants us to willingly give all that we are and all that we have to Him. I understand that just the thought of this can be a little scary and overwhelming, but just as Jesus took this little boys lunch and used it in ways the little boy could not imagine, God can do the same thing for each of us. If we will hand our lives over to God fully, He will take them and do unimaginable miracles in our lives.

I want to encourage you today. No matter how little you think you have, give it to God. Hand it over to Him fully. I promise that you will be amazed at the work God will do. I pray today that no matter what you have to offer that you will be willing to give your all.