Do you find yourself in a season of parenting and marriage where you need a re-focus of vision, purpose, and of what matters most in life? On my 14th wedding anniversary this summer, Troy and I were in Ft. Worth, TX, attending a NAUMS conference with fellow Board members of our school, and listening to the teaching of Dr. Rob Rienow of Visionary Family Ministries. We had no idea what an impact his encouragement to us would be that day. I couldn’t have known that the Lord would encourage my weary mothering heart through Dr. Rienow in such a compelling way so that I would clearly see God’s provision when finding out I was pregnant with our sixth several weeks later. There is nothing–NOTHING–that brings hope and motivation like biblical truth. I’ve recently finished reading one of Dr. Rienow’s books, Visionary Parenting: Capture a God-Sized Vision for Your Family. It […]
Did you know that you are not only a parent to your children, you can and should be a pastor (or shepherd) to them as well? It is our job as parents to lead our kids to a true understanding of the Bible. God’s Word is clear about our role as parents: 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. This is the motivation behind The […]
Do you tend to think that little ones (who don’t read and may not even talk yet) are too young to understand God’s Word? Nothing could be further from the truth! I’m kicking off a series on how to read the Bible with children through the ages over at The Better Mom today. My post today shares tips and resources for reaching your 0-3 yr. olds: “If you’ve been around a child between newborn to 3 yrs. old, you know the words that characterize this age group: curious, short attention spans, unable to sit still, energetic, noisy, playful, inquisitive. If you tend to think of the Bible as dry, boring, academic, serious, and complicated, then reading the Bible with your infant or toddler may seem like a practice in futility. However, if you know God’s word to be a vibrant, adventurous, humorous, inspired story of God’s redemptive love…well, then you […]
When we are told in the book of Revelation, that the church in Ephesus had “lost their first love,” we may immediately think of it as a feeling that’s been misplaced. But, in our marriages, we might find that sometimes, it isn’t that the feeling has gone away, it is simply that the pursuit is not with the same diligence and delight as it once had. Thus, the Ephesian church was commended for effectiveness, but for all their correct doctrine, they were reproved for not being motivated by the love they once had. I’m at Beautifully Rooted today, opening up about pursuing my first love in marriage, but ultimately within my union with Christ: “A well-running marriage routine is not a suitable stand in for tender love; neither is sound theology a replacement for deep devotion.” Read the rest of the post here. Please come and join me!
Some seasons of life effervesce with adventure, anticipation, and lightness of heart. They are the days filled with many friends, and much time for frivolity. Telling your story to others flows naturally, and your camera captures the seemingly endless moments of a luscious life. Then there are the seasons of life when standing firm, keeping the faith, and perseverance in joy IS the adventure. Days are filled with baskets of laundry, incomplete projects, difficult decisions, and the burden of responsibilities. The only story to tell may be the story of a Great God writing a big story with a family of weak beings, awaiting the next chapters that only He can tell. That’s where I’m at today. My heart is warm with love for the Lord, and there is joy even in unpleasant tasks of the everyday; and yet: Life on earth, in the body, this side of heaven…is hard. […]
17th century Puritan, Jeremiah Burroughs offers this: …the peace of God is not enough to a gracious heart except it may have the God of that peace. A carnal heart could be satisfied if he might but have outward peace, though it is not the peace of God; peace in the state, and his trading, would satisfy him. But mark how a godly heart goes beyond a carnal. All outward peace is not enough; I must have the peace of God. But suppose you have the peace of God, Will that not quiet you? No, I must have the God of peace; as the peace of God so the God of peace. That is, I must enjoy that God who gives me the peace; I must have the Cause as well as the effect. I mus see from whence my peace comes, and enjoy the Fountain of my peace, as […]
It’s been busy around here lately! With each thing that is going on, there is also a realization of God’s greatness and faithfulness in all circumstances… Our family’s been: Hosting a dear friend who is visiting with a baby :: ”It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35 Getting over some illness :: He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.” Isaiah 4:29 Researching and purchasing a new (to us) family vehicle to replace our totaled one :: “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’” Matthew 6:31 Confessing impatience and unkindness towards one another in family meetings :: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” James 5:16 …and soaking up the brisk, but sun-soaked Fall days. :: “For everything there is a season, […]
10 phrases that breed discontentment: 1. I deserve… 2. why can’t I… 3. …I’m so tired of… 4. If only… 5. Someday… 6. …you never… 7. …why not now? 8. I can’t do this anymore… 9. …why me? 10. …why not me? 10 phrases that cultivate contentment: 1. In spite of me… 2. Because of His faithfulness… 3. …nevertheless… 4. …rejoice in the Lord always… 5. I’m so thankful… 6. …better than I deserve… 7. Today is the day that the Lord has made… 8. …Thank you… 9. …and you? 10. …because He’s always good. As one who is weak in my flesh, but triumphant in the Grace of God: I encourage you, friends, to let your lips direct your course toward contentment this day. Have a blessed Monday!
Last night, the women of my church met to discuss the first of nine chapters in Carolyn Mahaney’s wonderful book, Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother. It’s the second time I’ve lead the study, but the encouragement is still as applicable for me now as it was the last time. There is nothing easy about the high calling of biblical womanhood. While happy marriages, obedient children, organized homes, and graciousness in character may be lovely and blessed byproducts of this high calling, it is not to this end that we grow and labor. The seven virtues expressed in Titus 2 are ultimately about the gospel working in us and displayed through us. It is for Christ! I’m so very thankful for Paul’s admonition in Titus 2 for older women to train up younger women to: love [our] husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive […]
Our family woke up thankful this morning; very thankful to be alive and to have all 7 of us. While on our way to dinner with my brother’s family, who was visiting this weekend, we were involved in an accident that miraculously didn’t injure any of us, save a few backaches. Upon having a green arrow to turn left, we and the car next next to us began to pull into the intersection to turn. A gentleman ran a red light (he was driving into the blinding sunset, and could not see the light, he said) and took out the front end of our vehicle. The man driving the other car is fine as well, thanks to the fact that The Preacher hit the breaks when he did. A moment later and my husband and baby boy #5 would not be with us. It’s humbling. Life is so fleeting and […]
I am so enjoy reading each and every one of your comments. Occasionally, I receive questions and specific emails regarding certain posts. I recently received this question from a new reader regarding this post. I thought through my response to the question, and thought it may be encouraging to share it with you: Ruth, I have recently discovered your blog, and I must say it has blessed my life in many ways! I love reading back through all your past posts. I have a question for you sparked by this particular post: given what the bible says about money and possessions, how do you balance using money as a means to meet the needs of this fallen world with viewing it as blessing for yourself and your family. It seems that your family has a beautiful home and you speak often of shopping (finding deals!), so I just wonder what […]