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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proud mama

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You know when you don’t have kids, people always talking about their kids is annoying. Really annoying.
And, I get that because until you’re a parent you just don’t get it.

You don’t.

And, that’s completely okay because I wouldn’t want anyone to ever understand what it’s like to be a mama until they’re a mama. Until you have sweet babies in your arms that you care for at all times and that you watch grow in ways most other people won’t think twice about. Until you see them respond to your voice initially with blinking eyes, then turning their head, smiles, then laughs. The joyful response at your voice will certainly turn to annoyance at some point, but for now their responses warm every piece of your heart and cause you to beam from the inside out. You’ll never know what it’s like to see your personality come out of another person until it does. It’s hilarious and you want to laugh and share it with everyone- it’s the other mamas (and, daddies too) who will laugh along with you and share stories of their own.(null)The fact that I love these little people more and more everyday isn’t surprising because that kinda thing happens when you truly like AND love a person…… But how big can that love get?

I’m grateful. I can never say that enough. These girls understanding WHY they are so special is what I hope to teach them. That they’re amazing not only because their mama believes that they are, not only because they’re created by a perfect God, but also because they are real life examples of God answering prayers and giving your heart exceedingly and abundantly more than you prayed for and exactly what your heart desired.(null)I’m having a blast raising them – teaching them everyday that they matter and that they are important, that I can be depended on, and that they are loved. I love playing with them. I love how they teach me to laugh and not take things so seriously. That shirts get stained, that things get lost, and mistakes are made; there’s a lesson in getting past things that aren’t FUN while still remaining joyful.

My hope is to continue to raise young ladies I can respect, enjoy, learn from, be corrected & challenged by, and proud of throughout their lifetime and mine. And, vice versa. Because, if we can’t do life together like that, I’ve missed the mark.(null)
“Here’s to strong
(Godly, courageous, loving, kind, fashionable, beautiful, friendly, gentle, productive, encouraging, inspiring, humble, intelligent, classy, funny, wise)
women.
May we know them.
May we be them.
May we raise them.”

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sweet love

IMG_5817.JPG The days are long, rest is rare, but the love runs incredibly deep.

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