Summers on Purpose ~ MOMS

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All three kids were already awake when I finally quit hitting snooze. UGH. Rolling my eyes, I took in a deep disgruntled breath, threw the covers off, and immediately started barking orders at everyone. There was snapping, yelling and maybe some gnashing of teeth, you know what I’m talking about right? UGH. We rushed around and made it to school on time, I think, but I felt so defeated because my day didn’t start as I intended it to, nor had I acted the way I desire to act as a mom.

The baby and I came home after doing the carpool/drop-off thing and my attitude was still so awful. I made more coffee and got the baby situated, hoping he wouldn’t get into anything for just a bit while mommy tried to get it together. I’d been too rushed and irritated in the chaos to take two seconds to pray and ask the Lord for help, so right there, in my pantry I got on my knees and prayed.

With the baby playing around me, my face was on the ground in desperate need of the Lord’s help and forgiveness when I realized my hands, initially in the prayer position, had moved onto my face, covering my nose and mouth like an oxygen mask.
I’d already been thinking so much about the upcoming summer and the importance of my morning heart, soul and head being in tune with the Lord first so I can love and enjoy the craziness that summer often brings…
And there my hands were, as an oxygen mask breathing in His grace, breathing out myself. Emptying me of myself and letting Him fill me. Words spoken to the Heavens with each breath out, His love and grace returning with each breath in. My soul was immediately quieted and calm. Goodness His peace is beautiful and so needed in my life.

This whole scenario reminded me that I’ve got to take care of myself first, oxygen mask on myself first, before I can be the mama Christ has called me to be. This “self-care” that pours into everything else that I do comes from a place of complete surrender and dependence on Jesus to grant me the things I cannot give myself in the chaos of everyday life. Things like self-control, kindness, patience…three things I desperately need to be a good steward of the children God has entrusted me to, along with being a wife, daughter, friend, etc… This O2 mask is of Jesus Christ Himself.

But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

I think of how the O2 mask falls out of the ceiling in an airplane when it is needed, typically only in emergencies, hanging there ready to be grabbed by the person needing it. With Jesus, He’s always hanging there. Right in front of our faces ready to be taken a hold of and put on.

…that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:19

I couldn’t really find a verse about an oxygen mask (ha) or taking care of ourselves first, because the Bible is all about the “I’m Third” mentality–which is awesome ~ Jesus, others, ourselves…but we find several times in Scripture where Jesus withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5:16).

Quiet moments with God, even a quick surrendering of our wills to Him before our feet hit the floor in the mornings, is the best O2 mask we can ever wear. Because when we are filled with Christ, we will have more grace, love, and patience which means less yelling, reacting and snapping (yes, please!).  When we soak Him in and soak His Words up, we will be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit guiding us in the calm or chaos a day might bring (yes, again, please!).

Mother Teresa said, “to keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it.” She was so right on that. When we pay attention to our needs we will be better equipped to meet the needs of others. He knows our needs and when we seek Him first and above all else He will give us everything we need (Matt 6:33)…it’s a promise!

Those moments on my pantry floor completely changed my attitude for the entire day. I was more calm, kind and surrendered to the only One who knows my every need before I even ask and is more than happy to supply an overabundance of Himself to my surrendered mama heart.

So, Moms, we can be purposeful this summer by putting the oxygen mask Jesus on ourselves first. To tap into Him daily-momently. In the pantry, in the pool, etc…He’s always there and always willing to help, to fill us so we can pour into others, especially our precious families.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… Ephesians 3:20

A prayer for us mamas…

Dear Lord, what a mighty blessing and miracle our children are- it’s truly amazing. THANK YOU!  May we mamas, in each moment, praise Your name for allowing us to help mold and influence these little lives.  It can be a daunting task, Lord, but when we seek You first and acknowledge Your control over all and our lack there-of, we allow You to step in and guide us. To use us as instruments of Your grace for our children.  We can’t be the mamas You have called us to be in our own strength, so thank You, for being strong in our weaknesses. I am so weak so often, forgive me. But help me to point them to You even in my sin, weaknesses and apologizes.  Help us to lean into You and not ourselves when those hard mama moments come, no matter how many.  Fill us, Lord, so we can fill our homes with Your love, grace and truth. May we dive into You and Your word in new ways this summer. May this be a summer on Purpose for us and our kids all for Your name. Amen!

Pray Without Ceasing ~ More Ways to Pray

“What a thrilling, glorious thing it would be to see the leaders of our country today kneeling before Almighty God in prayer. What a thrill would sweep this country. What renewed hope and courage would grip the Americans at this hour of peril.”   

~Reverend Billy Graham

https://vimeo.com/267823029

(Video transcript (kind-of) below-keep scrolling for ways to pray!)

Prayer:  a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God; an earnest hope or wish; to address God with adoration, confession, supplication, or thanksgiving; to intercede

Today is National Day of Prayer, a day that our government designated decades ago as a day for American’s to turn to God and pray. It has quite the history that I found super interesting!  For instance, National Day of Prayer shares common roots with Thanksgiving in that it establishes a day of prayer as a nation; prayer and thanksgiving in the fall (Thanksgiving), prayer and fasting in the spring (National Day of Prayer). President Abraham Lincoln established the fall observance as the official Thanksgiving holiday in 1863 and in 1952, President Harry S Trumann established the spring observance as the National Day of Prayer.  Click here to read more on the origins of this special day for our nation. 

I love that our government does this and I hope and pray they continue to call us to pray at least for one day a year, if not for the other 364 as well because we certainly need them as individuals, a country and world!

Something else I found interesting it that the use over time for the word prayer has significantly decreased since the 1800’s yet has increased slightly since about 2000.  So maybe it’s on the rise- let’s make it rise, because prayer moves God.  Worrying about it, talking about it, thinking about it just wears us (and others!) down.  But our prayers and cried for mercy, help, love and grace can change and shape this nation and world one heart at a time and it starts with ours.

It doesn’t have to be overwhelming to pray- just share your heart with the Lord, pour it out to Him, make your requests known to Him! And what will happen? He will HEAR YOU. The peace of God that surpasses all with come to you.  Do you know this? Have you seen it? Felt it? I have.  But I’m not going to say prayer is always what I turn to first.  Usually it’s my thoughts then a friend then my thoughts and my thoughts oh yeah and then maybe I should pray about this.  Like really PRAY about this.  Give it to the Lord so He will take it away and make me fruitful for the day. When we give Him our hard stuff and hard ships, he may not take them away but can take the weight of them away for the day…And help us not to be a stuck mess of a hamster on a wheel rehashing, assuming, worrying, etc..

God’s got us. He loves us. He is for us.  He is for the U.S. of A.! He is for this world! He is for His people He created everywhere! He is for you my friend! He sees all and knows all and is good always. We must look to him in prayer more than just this one day, we are to pray without ceasing.

Just as MC Hammer put it, We got to pray just to make it today.  YUP. We do.

Stop. Drop and Pray.  Nothing is too big or too small.

Prayer lives are different.  Some wake up and get on their knees and pray for 20 minutes, others just pray throughout the day. There’s no recipe.  Just your heart poured out as a drink offering to Him. Even though He knows your heart, it’s always good to tell him anyway.

Pour out your heart like water before the Lord. Lamentations 2:19

Do not be anxious about anything but pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done. Philippians 4:6

May my prayer be set before you like incense Psalm 141:2

The prayers of God’s people are as incense in a golden bowl…Revelation 5:8




Below are more ways to pray!

  • Walk through your home and pray bold prayers over your family and home.
  • If you are a teacher, pray for your students and those under your influence.
  • Pray as you are folding your family’s laundry.
  • Walking or jogging through your neighborhood?? Pray.*  Pray for the homes, for your neighbors, their marriages and children.  You may not know what is going on but the Lord does.
  • Making or serving food at a restaurant? PRAY.* Pray for those who will be eating it.
  • Driving down the street and see someone walking or running or begging for money? Pray* for them.
    • *God, because You are God You know all so you know this person (or these people) and I don’t. You know their situation and circumstances. God I pray that they would seek You to know You above all else and to encounter You today. Protect them Lord. In Jesus name, Amen
  • While scrolling social media, PRAY for our friends. If judgement, rejection or criticism come to mind, shut it off and pray for that person. And ourselves.
  • When we say we are going to pray- PRAY. Stop and do it then, don’t wait. If a friend needs prayer, do it over the phone or in person with them. It doesn’t have to be fancy or full of flowery words. Just pray.
  • Pray before taking trips, in cars or airplanes. (We fly a lot and the kids love it when we pray for God to put a bubble of protection around us like bubble gum and not let it pop!)
  • Keep Christmas cards and allocate some time each month to praying for each family on the card.  Do one a day or one a week.
  • Have a prayer board with a specific prayer for each family member or any other specific needs for that day , week or month.
  • Have a weekly or daily verse to pray as a family.
  • Drive by your children’s school and pray for the teachers, staff, students…for protection, safety and for God to be there in so many ways.
  • Get a recipe box and index cards. Write prayers down on index cards and do one a day. Categorize them, “Me” “Husband” Children” Family” Work”, etc…photo
  • Last but not least…LISTEN. This is sometimes the hardest, isn’t it?? To hear Him is to pray to Him also. His big, bold, beautiful, yet gentle, quiet voice will carry and guide us if we let Him (and that’s a whole separate blog post!)


  • Click here for this verse printable!IMG_1926.PNG
  • Click here for more information or to order a 30 day prayer journal by Anna of Asher. (I have gone through several of these and love the guided, scriptural based prayers! It’s also neat to look back and see answered prayers!)

  • Easy ways to teach children to pray:
    • A.C.T.S.~ Adoration. Confession. Thanksgiving. Supplication.
    • WOW! THANKS! SORRY! PLEASE! (We LOVE LOVE LOVE this one and do it almost every night because it’s fairly easy for my children at this age) Click the following link for the printable –>  WOW THANKS SORRY PLEASE

~Great books on praying: Before Amen (Max Lucado), Upside Down Prayers for your Children (Lisa T Bergen), Fervent (Shirer), any chapter in the book of Psalms 

A Final Prayer for Today~

Heavenly Father, you are so, so good. So good that You hear and long to hear from every single person you have created. Your word says if we would humble ourselves and seek Your face You would heal our land…Lord our land needs healing. We need your power. Help our nation to turn to You today and everyday. Help each person reading this to turn their worries, regrets, hardships, anger, everything, into a prayer to the One who is Mighty to save, change and redeem. You, dear God, can do anything. We praise You for that! Help us to be a praying nation! We were founded on You, how I pray we would stay on You. Thanks for staying on us and never giving up on us. May we be praying people, praying wives, praying husbands, praying mamas, praying daddies, praying children of You. Without ceasing. Without doubting. Just with You. Help us to listen for Your voice sweet Lord. Speak to us please so we can better do Your will. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Pray Without Ceasing; A Way to Pray

Just a quick, simple way to start your day and pray throughout it using the YouVersion Bible app!

To get the kiddos involved: On the way to school or at the breakfast or dinner table, have them read the verse for the day (depending on ages) and come up with the prayer for everyone to pray throughout the day.

 

The Lord’s Supper

I sat in church fighting back the tears but ultimately giving in.  They flowed freely down my face.

My thoughts drifted back to the Jewish Proverb my grandmother had on her flip-calendar the day she died, “Tears are for the soul what soap is for the body”. So I allowed the tears do their job.

Something about communion gets me every time. It never did this when I was younger, but as an adult…it’s so much more. His body, His blood…so real to me in the tender moments of the Lord’s Supper. So close He feels. Such a sacrifice He made to die on a cross. To save me; my Savior.

It was dark, the music was beautiful and my soul…my soul was deep with my Lord. My heart and my head all in alignment with Him. Honoring His sacrifice and saving act. Eating His body- praying I feed only on Him; to eat of Him alone. Drinking His blood- after spilling some on my dress- praying I only thirst for Him, long for Him and nothing else, to let Him fill my cup. To drink from Him and be drunk on His Spirit alone.

So personal. So close. Such love and grace I felt as my soul washed away doubts, anger, fear…anything that wasn’t of Him. I wanted to stay in that place it felt so safe and full, so real and awesome. Just meditating on what He did for me, His love for me…and then it was over, and it was back to reality…the business of life, the rush of getting kids and going out to eat with three little ones.

The rest of the day I longed for that place, that sweet time with Jesus my risen Savior, my Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace.

I long for Him.

Those moments tucked deep within my soul and faith but ever present and life-changing for today because of the beauty and growth brought from the simple reminder of what He did for me- for us. Because He is real, and He loves us, is for us and wants us.

His body, Hid blood, his grace and His love. Lean into it today my spirit I pray!

Thank you for the cross, Lord, but mostly thank you for your plan. One that didn’t stop on that dark Friday of death. One that unfolded in the resurrection of our King. One so beautiful no one saw it coming. One of redemption with a Gift bearing gifts for us whenever and forever- Your Spirit and life eternal. You are so good.

“My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” Psalm 84:2

Easter Baskets on Purpose, Free Printables and other Easter fun! (Grown-Up post only!)

Yay It’s almost Easter! Below is a video that explains more about the fun printables and several links to help make Easter fun and memorable for your kiddos while incorporating God’s word and the reason for the season.

I’ve designed these free printables for you to use however you like~ use them for your children’s Easter Baskets or randomly put in their lunchboxes- His Word never returns void the Scriptures tell us! These verses can start some really great conversations with your children no matter their age.

Click HERE to download these Easter Basket Verse Cards I designed for YOU!


Click on the following links for more great ways to do Easter on Purpose:

PS- Don’t get overwhelmed, there are a lot of things you can do for Easter. Pray and pick a few or just one thing and do it, you don’t have to do it all sweet Mama or Dadda (I’m learning this too!)

2017 ~ There Was Him

There was loss, there was gain, there was destruction there was pain. There was His glory, His freedom ~ there was HIM.

There was peace, there was chaos; there were questions and doubts. There was self-control and wisdom, there were failures and sin.

There was me, there was Him. Me flailing, running, trying to catch up with Him to keep in step with Him when all I really needed to do was rest in Him.

There was friendship there was hope. There was gut-wrenching sorrow. Things we will never be able to understand or have answers to.

There were tears, there was laughter. There was brokenness and healing. There was surrender there was pride, there was humanness there was humility.

There was hurt, there was help. There was tragedy there was love.  People coming together to assist, rebuild and encourage. There was community.

There was Christ.

There were celebrations, there were smiles, there was joy, love and grace.

There was resilience there was refreshing. There were blessings there was disciplining. There was weakness there was strength. There was despair there was hope.

There were broken people, there was broken me. There was love there was hate. There was fear there was faith. There was fight there was freedom.

There was good there was bad there was happy and sad.

There was life, there was death.

There were prayers answered and those that linger still.

There were seasons.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for everything under Heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

There was Him.


“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and springs in the desert.”     Isaiah 43:18-19

We can remember, we can forget. We can hold these things closely or release them to Him.

He will make a way in our wilderness and bring forth water for those who thirst- streams in the desert.

There will be beauty, there will be restoration, there will be Him.

No matter what there is, there will be HIM.