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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… h & c • 23 wks

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23 weeks… This seems so unreal.

My girls will be here in a few very short weeks.
Because we’re expecting twins, our goal week is 35 weeks. So, we have literally 12 weeks to go before the girls make their little debuts.

Twelve weeks isn’t very long but because there have been a few complications and the obvious move from full mobility to limited bed rest and possibly soon full bed rest, each day is incredibly important.

Every week, until our girls arrive, I will be posting what week they’re on & the development that happening with them. I’m asking that you pray for our girls’ health & that they are developing as they should and that they stay put for as long as possible. Although we know that medicine is constantly advancing & they could survive with some serious medical intervention at 24 weeks (a week away), we also know that it is best for them to remain in utero.

So!
This week……
Size: mango
We have some major brain development going on! Their little cerebrums (where intellect, motor control, & memory are located) are developing folds & other regions of the brain are also developing. Their lungs are still maturing & hearing is also improving! & they’re moving quite a bit!

The girls have been active for a while and our prayer is that continue to play, stretch, and try to find comfortable positioning the rest of their stay!

I’m believing God for their overall health…… I know you’re trusting Him, too!

Will you pray with us weekly/daily for our babes??
…. And, our birth family, as well?? While this is such an amazing, amazing time for us, it’s very difficult for our birth family. We are looking forward to two very sweet, long awaited girls while they’ll experience a great loss. No matter how much we’re helping each other, it doesn’t make that truth any easier to accept or less painful. Thank you!

…. here’s to you – our support, our friends, our readers, and family. You’ve been more than we could ever ask for!

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… say his name

My brother (in law) is an amazing speaker and story teller. He’s so easy to listen to. He has a way of capturing your attention & detailing a story in such a way that will make you feel very much a part of the plot. It’s insane.

Well.
He was storytelling at work earlier this week & he asked who didn’t end their prayers with “in Jesus’ name”. My hand was the only one that went up. Again, a shameful situation that I’m not quite embarrassed by. Lol. (Story of my life!!!)

But, I had to wonder at that moment- why in the world DON’T I say “pretty please” as my brother put it at the end of my prayers? Certainly Jesus is petitioning for me anyway and do I really have to add “with a cherry on top” to get things moving?

Not sure. Wouldn’t even label asking for the things I want in Jesus’ name as begging. Because it isn’t.

It’s standing on a promise. It’s trusting that Jesus will be faithful when I ask for things. Things that are in His will, things He is leading me to pursue and have put on my heart.

I’m trusting that He will say “yes”.

20130816-222036.jpg This is verse 14 but the end of verse 13 is pretty awesome, too.

Jesus says that He will give us what we ask for so that God will be glorified through Him.

So, now that we have a promise to get what we want, we have to check our motives to be sure that wrong motivations won’t cause us to receive a no as James 4:3 says.

Thankfully, the closer we grow to Christ the more like him we become and the our desires will begin to line up with His.

I’m grateful that I have a father that WANTS to say “Yes!” to the good things I ask for. Things that will be of a benefit to each other and will cause others to glorify Him.

From peace in a troubled situation to a little bundled blessing in my arms – I know my father hears me and wants to bless me for His glory.

I encourage you to seek God’s face and I pray that His desires become yours, that your heart becomes tender to the things that grieve our father. I would love for our hearts to become full at the goodness of God and that we choose to see his glory & righteousness in every situation! In Jesus’ name… we will become strong men and women in Christ who seek justice, love mercy, & walk humbly with our father – bringing him glory in everything that we do! Amen!

… here’s to trusting God’s word and receiving every good thing he has for us IN JESUS’ NAME!!!!!

Y’all have a good night. IJN!!! (My new acronym!!) lol

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