prayers and blessings

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May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

The weekend before my first doctor’s appointment/ultrasound, I went to a sweet retreat, Flourish,  where everyday we had quiet time with the Lord. We could read our Bibles, pray, journal… whatever. During one of those moments, I journaled prayers and wrote lists of characteristics “they” would have. Not “knowing” that there were two sweet baby girls were growing in my belly, yet I consistently used this plural pronoun. Even when I felt so stupid and would scratch it out to write he/she, it felt wrong. So, I kept writing “they” and moved it along. I spent that weekend pouring myself out to the Lord and praying for my daughters.

Most mornings and/or nights, when their heads are on my shoulders and their breath is on my neck, I can’t help but to thank God for these two little miracles. I’m thanking the Lord that they’re finally asleep and I survived another tag team, the best kisses, food spilled on the floor, the sweet sister moments, and the laughter. And, I pray for them…. for every aspect of their lives from their temperaments, personalities, work ethic, goals, friends, boyfriends, husband (one for each! no lol), their relationship with each other, the relationship we would share together and then myself with each individually…… I soak their lives in prayer.

It is up to me to pray for and bless my children…. to trust God with their lives, their hopes, and their dreams. To trust that he has created me capable and is molding and shaping me to be even more capable, more wise, more discerning, and ever loving to raise these girls to have a heart for him and a love for his people. Which means, there’s a lot of praying about who I am, a lot of focusing on the different things I feel the Lord pressing on my heart to better, and intentionally drawing closer to Him.

We don’t pray with our fingers and toes crossed, wishing the stars align and the universe responds to our good behavior. Do we? Or are our hands lifted in surrender, hearts poured out, and declarations spoken of God’s faithfulness, love, and grace? I hope and against hope, I pour out my heart, and ask the Lord for my heart’s desires. Trusting and believing that he will deliver, that his will certainly will be done, and that I will glorify him as we benefit from all things working together.

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The days are long, the years are short…. and, so are the nights… but our babies lives, but most importantly their souls, depend on our faith in Christ and how we lead them to the Lord. A question that has rolled around in my mind is: Am I taking my babies’ souls seriously? Are we? We take their fashion seriously, their hair, and other materialistic, outward beauty very seriously. But, what effort are we putting into their character and souls? Who are we teaching them to please and obey – us or Christ? If we are disciplining and training to make ourselves comfortable and easier for ourselves during the day (which I get!!!), they aren’t learning to look any further than the imperfect, taller person in their lives. But, when we teach them that there is a Father who loves us deeply and desires for us to serve others and love him, they obey us as parents out of respect for their God…the creator of the universe and the redeemer of the world.

Wouldn’t that perspective help foster a relationship between them and the Lord?
Respect for Him first and me second?
… considering they are His before they are mine?

I don’t know, ya’ll…. I’m just 15 months in and there’s more than plenty to learn on parenting children…..but, I’m praying that if I teach them to focus more on the Lord than on me, they’ll be better for it. If we’re a house full of people focused on honoring and serving the Lord, I’m faithfully praying that it will result in a home where fullness of joy, peace, forgiveness, love, service, grace, patience, and all of the goodness that flows from Christ reign…. rather than the pull and force that comes with training someone to please you… oh a house full of offenses, impatience, frustration, anger, disappointment and hurt and sadness is in control. Same people, same sin issues, same disobedience, same mistakes, same frustrations but a different perspective about the ones you share your walls with and your response to them because of who you’re ultimately trying to please.

Lord, be with us as we raise these little images of you. 
Cover us with your grace and love as we walk this tough and exhausting road.
Energize us, equip us, and bless us with your wisdom and peace.
Amen.

In what ways are you praying for your children? Do you have specific areas of their life you focus your prayers on at certain points of their life….  Ministry? Gifts? Character? Faith? Relationships??

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whoosh….

whoosh goes the time.life It’s fast. Unforgiving. Borderline rude in how it just steals moments and gives you no notice of what’s to come.
And, if we aren’t careful, we’ll miss everything.

Am I the only one who tries to squeeze in a bit “more” in an already packed space of time? I always feel like there is something else that should have, could have, or would have been done if I wasn’t doing this….  Even if the this is legit. I’m always multi-tasking… cleaning the microwave while my dinner is sautéing… sneaking a moment to respond to an email while I’m waiting for the girls breakfast/lunch/dinner to warm clearly warrants the Guilt Fairy to sprinkle all kinds of guilt dust over my head. There’s nothing wrong with that but I guess it looks very un-awesome mother-like to be on your phone … during downtime?!?!?!
Can I get a “Me, too, sister’? What is the deal?!?!

I told you guys way over here who I was…  no sneak attacks. I’m a perfectionist, I hate to make mistakes, and I’m constantly looking for better ways to do/be/speak/communicate/write (literally pen to paper write)/____ better. And, it’s stealing my time. It’s siphoning moments that should be used to soak and etc forever in my memory all the 14month old twin savory sweetness because everything has to be just so or else I’m frustrated.
Then, I negatively self talk which causes me to lose even more time.
Que : Let It Go

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I’m learning that we all have some many questions about life… about  motherhood… our relationships… careers… passions and purposes in life that we want answers to right now. We are so pressed by the clock and that we can’t see the freedom in it. Our lives and perspectives are so dictated by culture, lists (how many words is a 14 mo supposed to say??), and Pinterest perfect expectations that we are losing time to do what really matters: love. We don’t realize that in time, all things will be answered. Either here on Earth or in Glory. So, why stress and get all ugh over an answer when there is so much joy, peace, and laughter offered in the moment?

We’re (I’m) busy rushing a baby off my hip, rushing to get to the next stage in life, impatiently waiting for this or that to happen and I’m missing it… I’m missing opportunities to love inaction.
Opportunities are to serve pass me by because I am far too easily distracted.joyful
I don’t want to look back on my day and realize that I used a lot of rushing words (Hurry! Let’s go! We have to go! Finish up! etc) and not nearly as many loving/life giving/encouraging ones (You’re holding your spoon so well! Thanks for helping me take your shoe off! Do you  like your fruit?)…. One builds relationships, the other builds stress. One causes another to smile, one causes feelings of inadequacy, as if they aren’t doing enough. One teaches impatience, while the other is teaching embracing the moment while being productive.
(There will be plenty of times we will have to legit to rush… let’s not do it all the time!)

In our moments of busy-ness, we cannot let what needs to be done overshadow our role. Right now, my most important job is to be loving and lead my little people to Christ… yes, I have to cook, clean, wash, fold, comb hair, grocery shop, pick up toys, and complete a never ending list of tasks. BUT, my priority is to first love.. guide in love, discipline in love, redirect in love, enforce boundaries in love. I need to encourage, I need to mold and shape more than I need to do laundry. I can’t honor God in my role if my first priority to sweep the floor. Everything is in vain if I’m not loving. A sparkling clean house means nothing if love is not filling those four walls. We have to use wisdom in when and how to do what our kiddos and households need and stages of life are different, but we should know that it’s when our priorities are out of order stress rears it’s ugly head. Am I right? Have you noticed that when we’re too focused on our list before our kids, we’re short tempered?

In order to be productive, we  need a game plan, some Slim, and prayer, but
when we center our to do list around our life,
we’re happier mamas who raise happier families
.

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feel the love, fill the home

13mos2I am so thankful I have twins, not because twins are just neat,
but because the girls have a sibling.
The girls are more fun than I ever imagined.. Their personalities are hilarious and I wish I could embed their interactions as their relationship develops in my memory forever. They’re just so sweet… God’s grace in diapers, you know?  One of my heart’s deepest prayers is that they have a relationship of depth and that they truly know, like, and trust each other. That they have a character and personality that encourages and invites. One of the other prayers I have is that the relationship the three of us share is one of not only depth, trust, and like but that we know each other. That the Lord continues to mold and shape me into the woman and mother that will be able to lead and guide, impart wisdom, and teach them well in every area of their life. My goal is that they leave my home well rounded and prepared to live on their own and be successful.
Our relationships are such an enormous deal to me because the Gospel is grasped, understood, and  lived out in relationships and I want them to get it early on…. in the comfort of their home… with people they have to endure because they aren’t old enough to move out. Or know any better. And, they’re going to like it.
Which is why my home is such a big deal to me. It’s a sacred space. So much happens within the walls of a home and my prayer is that I create a comfortable space and that I am who the Lord is calling me to be (kind & gentle before anything else).  All of our hopes, dreams, fears, success, and failures will be exposed and will either produce a confidence or brokenness.13mos
And, I know all of this may sound half control freak-esque, but I know that if I’m not intentional about what the Lord has put on my heart, I will for sure miss the mark. More than getting it right, I want to chase this passion the Lord has put inside of me.  I didn’t come from a home where all of this was a part of the fabric, so I have to be even more so intentional and aware of creating a space where relationship & Christ is the focus.
Joyfully, with peace and fun we will fill our lives with love and laughter. A serious matter but when the focus is Jesus we will smile wrinkles and memories that bring belly laughs and smiles across our faces. When you think about it, how huge of a deal is the day to day state of your home life when future generations are influenced by what is happening in your homes today? Our homes and are where we learn how to relate to the world. It’s within the relationships of those we share our couches with and pass in the hallways that we learn how to hold a conversation, how to stand up for ourselves, be forgiving, how to be love in action, and show ‘no matter what’ kind of love…. Our homes are where we learn how to compromise, share, work as a team, mentor, become teachable, work through issues, pray for others, ask for prayer, support, encourage, & serve.
We learn how to deal with conflict and how to celebrate… Our definitions of love, our ability to accept ourselves and others, our capacity to dig deep, our work ethic, and who we are is established in our home. one year shoot
While we’re still settling in and as I Clorox everything, I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed over our home. A home where beauty will be given for ashes, a home where healing and new beginnings will ignite life within the walls of this house we share.  Prayers about what will happen during our time here, prayers about my hearts goals and intentions, how the girls will grow…. prayers about how God will use us in this home are constantly thought, whispered, written, and spoken.
I know that the quality of their future deeply depends on how well they are loved, disciplined, and reared now. Parenting is the greatest calling that is a whole lot less about how great we are and how cute our kids are but more about how great our God is. So far, so good and we’re enjoying every moment.
Post Jam: I Get to be the One by JJ Heller
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