Raising Beautiful People in a Fallen World

Train up a child in the way he should go_ and when he is old, he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22_6Today, I watched my little boy put an oven mitt over his hand and mix up an imaginary meal.

Like any mother would be, I was touched to see my son enjoying himself – playing fearlessly in the Children’s Museum and exploring with many fun and creative toys.

He would open the wooden fridge and purposely put a spatula in a specific compartment. Though it was not known to me his reasoning – or anyone else for that matter, you could tell – he had a plan for that metal spatula and it was to be in that freezer.

When he placed that oven mitt on his hand today – a truth hit me like a brick. To some it might be a super cliché truth; but, nevertheless sometimes cliché sayings hit us harder at specific times for a reason.

The truth was: I had never shown him how to put that oven mitt over his hand. He simply had watched me cook dinners with these funny looking mitts on. From watching me he knew what to do.

Sometimes, I overlook the fact that he is still so young. Not even 1 ½ and he gathered enough of what was happening around him to know how to copy me. More and more each day he studies what my husband and I are saying and doing, and he tries to mimic us.

As parents, it’s a scary truth. Little eyes and ears are always watching what we say, do and how we react to certain situations. That’s a serious reality – one we mustn’t overlook.

These little one’s minds are impressionable, and it’s our duty to reflect love, respect, reverence, commitment and so much more into their little lives.

Children learn more from what you are than what you teach. ― W.E.B. Du Bois

It’s funny –a silly, little oven mitt today made me remember to watch my words and actions. But, isn’t that how God works sometimes – through the simple?

It made me remember to slow down and truly reflect on my movements – for little eyes are watching expectantly – trying to figure out this brave new world.

We have been given a huge task by God – to raise beautiful people in a world full of despair. The fibers of our character can knit a masterpiece in our child’s lives or a misshapen garment.

May our little ones pick up more than just how to put an oven mitt on their hands from our lives. Our goal should be to live in such a way that integrity and uprightness is interwoven in the filaments of their hearts.

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

I pray LORD that you give me your hands and feet. I feel elated and honored that you chose me to care for this little one. May he see in my life – someone who is not perfect; but relies on the Master of the Universe for guidance and wisdom. This is my hope and prayer – that he sees and desires to emulate one day. May he see you through me!

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Little Girl, I Say To You, Arise!

-Little girl, I say to you, arise-Awake my soul. My heart palpitates with fire-like jolts. Smells around me only intensify with every warm tremble in my chest. Sensing the robust dark coffee in the air, I call out to the heavens in the dawn – ‘Deepen my desire, LORD. Make my soul quake with an untamed blaze!”

I hold out a banner of praise. Fill my mouth and my longings with your power. You are my anthem. May my feet seek to follow the wake of your glorious splendor. Ignite my soul. Open these sleepy eyes – fixated on earthly plunder and worldly gain.

May I wake with one goal in mind – to shine your precious love. Let your spirit pervade my senses. May I truly seek the realm of godliness – to be clothed in a purple robe sprinkled in the dust of your steps. For this is power – this is might. This is strength.

Your holiness shakes me to the core. You say to me ‘little girl, arise.’ You wake me from my eternal sleep and breathe breath once again into my body of bones.

He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”). – Mark 5:41

How I am this privileged to trust and follow such a magnificent King? I want to sit at your feet for all time, LORD. The beauty for ashes you have brought into my life is unimaginable.

Hands in the air – fill me with the presence of you. My prayer is this – to house the goodness of your nature in my soul. Make the darkness of depression flee in seven directions from my life. It is you I want to exude through my interactions, quiet thoughts and personal aspirations.

Death once encompassed my life – you brought me back for a reason. Elevate my soul with visions from the chambers of your heart. May my eyes see the priceless glory of your affection, and may I walk through this life with the weight of your riches pressing on my spirit.

Hope, Refreshment, New Life – Around Every Corner

Pastel blue robin’s eggs – a creamy blue to the naked eye. These petite life vessels are quite fragile. They are tiny homes to little mouths that will need to be fed by the nourishment from the earth. The wingspan of the mama will protect, shelter and guard the bodies of her sweet baby birds.

The spring air brings with it such hope and refreshment. New life is around every corner. Flowers, aromatic and vibrant, burst forth from the moist ground – reaching upward toward the rays of the warm sun.

Daylight brings with it sweet anticipation. May we open our arms to the sky and expect the rain to descend upon the thirsty ground. The Maker of Heaven and Earth will water his creation with provision and blessings – it is coming!

We are, like those delicate eggs, dependent – for sustenance. Gaining strength day by day, this grit comes not by our power or might – but is made perfectly complete in Him. It is by his spirit says the LORD!

LORD, may we be filled with the fragrant wind of new life! Embody our actions and mind.

He builds his lofty palace in the heavens and sets its foundation on the earth; he calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land—the Lord is his name. – Amos 9:6

Makeover our temples – and illuminate us. It is my desire to be a walking lamp-stand. I want to shine like a string light proudly fashioned in a pitch black backyard. A little strand of jovial intimacy but also sheer brilliance.

As the earth brings forth newness of life – may this season usher forth in our lives a fresh sense of urgency to shout your name from the rooftops! Miracles happen to those who put their trust in the Mover of the mountains.

Transplant the highlands, Sweet Jesus. This child opens her will and sacrifices her way – for yours! Like ivy on a colossal oak, may my soul cling to your precious promises! Mighty are you GOD of ALL.

Starbucks Drive Thru Blessing

starbucks blessingThere are so many things we take for granted in this life. It is so easy to overlook the simple, everyday blessings and focus on that glaring storm cloud ahead. But, focusing on that gloomy sky can steal those precious moments of sweet praise.

Aren’t our lives made up of tiny little blessings and moments anyway? It is right to praise God for the centimeters, as well as, the inches of glory he sheds over our lives.

I have been putting off sharing a story that really blessed my life recently – because it was a small daily occurrence that we so often push off. My blessing took place at a drive thru window.

It was just a typical Saturday morning – and a typical drive through window at Starbucks. My coffee maker coffee was not cutting it. (Sorry Trader Joe’s). Starbucks has that bold taste that will really put some pep in your step. And, I needed that this chilly morning.

So, I ordered my usual – Grande dark roast coffee with cream. Nothing fancy, just the strong stuff. Expecting the normal process to pull out the debit card and pay for my little warm cup of joy, the cashier told me, ‘you’re coffee has been paid for by the car ahead of you.’

My heart stood still. I hear about this on the radio ‘The Drive Thru Difference’ but it has never happened to me. You would have thought that car ahead of me paid for a four course meal at a fancy hotel – this gesture affected me so deeply.

I went about the whole day so thankful for life and humanity. And, to tell you the truth, am still affected by this small gesture. This unique blessing also made me think and mediate on the gravity of what Christ did for us. He paid for us. He took care of the tab with his blood and infinite forgiveness. He said, ‘your life has been paid for in full.’ Chills.

If you think about this week – bless someone, even if it is buying their $2 cup of coffee. It makes a difference, just look at me. I was affected immensely by a Starbucks drive thru blessing.

Kindness Speaks Volumes

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Kindness is roses from Trader Joe’s for someone in a difficult situation. A $3.99 bouquet can mean the world to someone.

Kindness. It is a word we say often; yet, it’s meaning and legacy speaks volumes to others lives.

A simple smile of kindness, words of comfort and a touch of empathy can change a person for a lifetime.

As human beings, we experience ups and downs, trials and triumphs and praise and criticism. These emotions weigh heavy on the heart and they can either make you stronger or drag you down.

Let’s pray they make you stronger! And, trust me, it is easier for this to happen when you surround yourself with kind people.

It’s important, as a Christian friend, to be in tune to these emotions in others.

As God’s children, we are called to love others (we are all children of the King). However, loving others in their moment of distress can be difficult. It definitely is not a walk in the park.

Hurting people will do one of two things: push you away or cling on to your strength and drain your energy.

When people push you away:

Often times, people who are hurting push you away. It is important not to get offended when this happens. As I have been taught, hurting people hurt people. Yet, the pain they inflict can be damaging. Try not to let this affect you. Which is easier said than done.

A note of encouragement means a lot to a hurting individual – especially if it hurts to be around them. Slip it in a book they are reading, send a card via snail mail. Encouragement is a great act of true kindness. Tell them what their friendship means to you, remind them of fun times you’ve had together, comment on their contagious smile. This might just touch them forever. Words carry weight. So, it’s important to choose them wisely.

When people cling on to you:

It is easy for people to cling onto your strength when they are going through a difficult time. First of all, they want the strength they see in you – so try to grab hold of it by being with you and needing you all the time. While this is flattering to some degree, it can zap the life out of you.

It is important to set boundaries with this type of person; because, if you don’t, you might end up hurting yourself or your family members. Set aside a time just for you and that person (but that’s all). Maybe it’s one coffee date a week – or a 30 minute phone call. Do not exceed the allotted time. You can be kind without being walked all over. If this person needs more time than this (excluding family members) they may need to seek professional help.

Kindness is never the wrong choice. 

A single act of kindness goes a long way. Choose kindness this week. Smile at a stranger, buy the coffee in the car behind you. You never know who’s life you could be impacting. Love your neighbor as yourself – but be good to yourself at the same time. Being a healthy person breeds kindness toward others.