Monday, October 20, 2014

What I Learned from a Staircase


I learned an unforgettable lesson from a staircase.  Surprisingly, the teacher was my dawdling toddler.

He was learning to go down the stairs by himself.  He had mastered going up a long time ago.  At first, going down was a little scary for him, so he was cautious.  Then it became a game.  He was not sure if he wanted to go up or down every time he was on them.  But he was very sure he did not want my help.

I was sure I did not want him to fall.  Our stairs were not yet carpeted, so a spill down the wooden staircase was especially dangerous.  I would stay a few steps down, encouraging and spotting him.  I would remind him to climb down on his belly, since he had more control.  I tried to anticipate any slipping.

I was happy that he was learning this new skill - my back needed a break!  But I was not thrilled about how much time he spent practicing.  And inevitably, he would start to play his game when the phone was ringing downstairs and my older son was calling for me. 

As I resigned myself to being patient on the stairs one day, I thought about how God sometimes waits for us.  Sometimes we are well aware of something God is calling us to do, whether it is to learn a new skill, follow through on a particular commitment, or begin an endeavor.  God encourages us by reminding us at poignant moments of his call, but it is easy in the everyday rush to put it off - or even play games ourselves.

It’s true - the staircase is a metaphor for God's call.  It might be challenging, it might take some practice, but making the journey takes us someplace different and someplace better.  My son didn't know on that particular day, I was taking him to his favorite gym class once he climbed down.  And following through can bring its own blessing for us too. 


God reminds us in Jeremiah 29:11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"  When we choose bravery and obedience to his call, we can best experience God’s goodness.  It might be scary to obey.  We might have to fight some old procrastination tactics.  But I love that we’re still children, children of a big God who has his own surprises in store – for us.

So climb, fellow moms, climb.  See where your journeys take you.  And one final thing:  Remove any abandoned socks on the stairs.  Little boys like to leave them.  

*****

Did this post encourage you?  Then you might also like Music Class Changed My Faith. Did you like the scripture verse from Jeremiah?  Then stay tuned for news about a FREE GIFT this week!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My *Live Sermon* on "Family Matters"


I am excited to share my recent sermon on three ways we can honor God in our family today.  Gain godly direction, clarity, and the permission to slow down and capture quality time!

It was a joy to preach on Sunday about a topic so close to my heart - and this blog!  Learn more about why I created this blog and the invitation that each of us has to make a difference.

Click here to watch it.

You will now also find this sermon link under the "Resources" tab.  

Saturday, October 11, 2014

How to Craft a Lasting Legacy


Have you ever thought about your legacy?

Housed within the well-known Ten Commandments is a less known, but important scriptural promise that concerns your legacy.  When the Lord commands us not to make any graven images, he also says, "You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments" (Exodus 20:5-6, emphasis mine).  When we seek to honor God as we raise our children, we are not only blessing them, but we have the power to bless a thousand generations beyond.

Can there be any doubt that our work as mothers is valuable in the Lord's eyes?  I am done with the tired debates about the value of motherhood.  I am eager to elevate it to the sacred task, the vocation, that it is.  

I am eager to grow a community of mothers who believe:


  • We are not perfect, but we believe that God can magnify even the smallest act of faithfulness for the benefit of our families, and we seek to be faithful. 
  • Amidst the sometimes lonely moments of motherhood, we have the power to connect meaningfully with one another and remember that we are never alone. What's more, we're stronger together.
  • Parenting is difficult and life is not without its challenges, but God is bigger than any of them and he's given us divine resources.  We look to scripture for the framework of our daily life so that we can live encouraged and inspired.  
  • Motherhood is a vocation, and by esteeming it as such, we will invest in our own well-being and that of our children.  We want to use our gifts to create homes of abundant blessing.
  • Love is our motivation.  We bask in the unconditional love of Jesus, whom we want to know more each day.  Further, we give love to others out of its overflow so that we are continually renewed on our respective journeys.

Parenting is not the art of mastery, but the art of surrender to God.  For as we listen, he will inform.  As we question, he will gently nudge.  And as we seek to grow our family witness, we can leave lasting footprints for a better world.  

Right now, we can only imagine how the years will unfold and God will shape our legacies. I can't wait to share that journey with you!

This entry is now the under the "Community Values" tab on my blog homepage.  I welcome your feedback!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

3 Common Mistakes Every Parent Should Avoid

3 Common Mistakes Every Parent Should Avoid

When you’re a parent raising little children, it can be difficult to find time for introspection.  You can become so busy in a cloud of activity that it’s hard to lift your head above the fog.  Advice that’s seasoned, timely, and respectful is a treasure trove, but who really has time to seek it?  Exactly.

Luckily, I happened upon a parenting lecture that was helpful, and that I’m eager to share with you.  The lecturer, Dr. Amy Flavinis a mom of two grown children who has practiced family therapy for over twenty years.  What I respect most about her is that she’s not someone who happens to parent, but someone who approaches parenthood with intentionality, or as I like to say, a vocation.

Parenting as a Competitive Sport

In her lecture, Dr. Flavin notes three pitfalls of modern parenting and includes suggestions on what to do about them.  First, she is surprised by the prevalence of “parenting as a competitive sport” today.  Parents compare their children and activities with others, resulting in busier children and increasingly overloaded parents just trying to keep up.  Yep.  We all know it’s easy to get overloaded...

To find out what to do about this pitfall and discover the two others, click here to continue reading the article on iBelieve.com.  Don't miss these valuable insights from a favorite mommy mentor of mine!