The Loveliest Garment

Can you recall when you first awakened this morning? How did you feel? Did you jump up with glee or were you still tired from lack of sleep?

From the moment our eyes awaken we are met with decisions. Perhaps those first decisions are minor. Decisions like, do I hop out of bed immediately or press the snooze button?  Make coffee or shower first? Wear red or black? Skirt or pants? Which shoes… oh, shoes should we even go there?

Our mornings are filled with many decisions. Most of which we do out of routine and without deep thought. But let’s go for a moment to the bigger decisions; those which require more consideration.  These types of decisions often take time; they require more from us, but their effects are far more reaching.

The most important decision I make today won’t be the clothes I put on or the shoes I choose. The most important decision I make will be found in the time I spend with the Lord. Jesus has an excellent wardrobe filled with the most lovely and beautiful garments.

His Word implores me in Romans 13:14, “clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

What do Jesus’ garments look like? We find them in Colossians 3:12-15: tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, making allowance for other’s faults, forgiveness, love and peace.

My friends, Jesus isn’t a one-time decision; He’s a moment by moment decision. Once we’ve made the most important decision to follow Him our next decision becomes what are we going to do with Him? It begins with focusing our thoughts on Him and practicing His presence in our lives continually.

Today, let’s not just think about the physical clothes we will wear, but let’s fix our thoughts on Jesus and be clothed with His presence. I can’t think of a better garment I would rather wear!

Father, I pray for each person reading these words. I pray you meet them in a very special way today and help them fulfill your Word to be clothed in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. You are the loveliest garment, Jesus; it is a privilege to take you with us each day! In Jesus Name, Amen.

Your Future

My Son

As time is passing your personality is unfolding a little more each day. And, while daddy and I have noticed many things about you, there is one characteristic that describes you well: observant. You are a master at observing the ways of others and then imitating.

The first time you visited the dentist, you came home and spent the next three days calling yourself a dentist. You used a little mirror, just like the one from the dentist, to look in mine and daddy’s mouth.

When you visit your pediatrician, you come home, find your doctor’s kit and begin looking in our eyes and down our throats.

One of our favorite moments came when we took you to our college alma mater for a basketball game.  You are still running around the house with a basketball and whistle pretending to be the team’s coach.  You fondly call yourself the “coacher.” And, we smile!

You’ve imitated mommy washing the dishes, folding laundry and sweeping the floors. Outside you can be seen mowing the grass, digging holes or lifting weights just like daddy.

You’ve turned your bike into a four-wheeler. Your big wheel into a motorcycle (like Papaw). And typed on an old phone to send text messages to your family and friends.

In your short two years you’ve learned to imitate many things.

But, today, when we were sitting on the couch you told me something I never want you to forget.

With a flashlight in your hand, you were looking down my throat. I wasn’t sick, but playing doctor is something you enjoy.  I asked you if you were going to be doctor when you grow up. Quickly, you replied no.  Your response surprised me since that is one of your favorite things to play. But what you said next surprised me even more. You said, “I’m going to be Joel.”

My son, I hope you never forget to “be Joel.” As you grow you will meet many individuals: some who will challenge you, others who will encourage you, and those who slip into your heart. Regardless of who crosses your path, let not their words or actions bring you to a place of compromising what you know to be right, true and admirable. When God calls you to a place – be Joel. When He lays a ministry on your heart – listen to His voice and then follow in the way He shows Joel, not the way He shows someone else.

You’ve got a bright future ahead of you. Fill the shoes God gives you, and if someone else’s shoes look more appealing, remember, “I’m going to be Joel.”

Father,

Into your hands I commit this child. You’ve woven him together in the depths of my womb. I thank you for gifting him with talents and abilities unique to his calling.  Thank you for the divine connections you have already made for him to be able to fulfill the calling you have given him.

I pray you go before him and follow him. I pray you place your hand of blessing on his head. I pray your hand guides him and your strength supports him. (Psalm 139:5,10)

As he grows and travels many different paths, I pray you always remind him, “I’m going to be Joel.” And, then Holy Spirit would you, please, strengthen him to never let go of this declaration he made at two years of age.

In Jesus Name,
Amen.

A Prayer for Deliverance

A friend sent me a message recently with words no momma wants to type. It relayed that one of her children had created a lifestyle that included the usage of drugs. Before we go any further, I want to ask you, if you will, to think with me for just a moment about what it would be like to type those words about your own child. Perhaps you have. And, if you are reading this and that has ever been you, I want you to know how very much I care about you. I wish I could give you a hug and whisper to the desperate places of your soul… God is still on the throne.

As we live our daily lives it’s important that we listen to others with a grace-filled heart. When you hear devastating news about another, remember: at one time, everyone was somebody’s baby.

And so, today, I want to offer a prayer for those precious souls that are caught in the horrible trap of addiction. I have left blanks throughout the prayer for you to fill in the name of anyone you know who needs this prayer.

Great and Gracious Heavenly Father,

It is by your grace and love each of us has been created.  There has never been a moment you did not know ____. You created ____ with a purpose and calling that has never changed; it has only been thwarted for a time.   Thank you for having a hope and a future for ____ (Jeremiah 29:11) and including in that future total deliverance from the desire for any drug. I thank you that you will take away every negative desire in ____ and replace it with a hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:8).

I thank you that Micah 7:8 reminds us though ____ has fallen; he/she will rise again because you are his/her light. Gracious and Sovereign God, thank you for breaking this yoke of bondage. (Nahum 1:13) Thank you that you will completely restore ____ and replace for Your glory what these terrible influences have stolen from him/her. For with you nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37).

I commit ____ to you and pray that you place divine protection over his/her life. As the future unfolds we will give you praise for all you are going to do in returning ____ to his/her place in the Kingdom and bringing wholeness and freedom to this precious life.

Thank You, Father.

In Jesus’ Name.

Amen.

The Rocks

My Son

Today I watched you use a newfound stick to defeat the rocks in our driveway.  With determination you swung your stick from high in the air to pound the rocks below. You drug the stick through the rocks as you yelled, “no more rocks.” I’m not sure why you wanted to defeat the rocks, perhaps it’s because you fell in them the other day and got your first scraped knee.

Today, you were playing and having fun, but before long you will be grown, and unfortunately “rocks” will still be in your path.  As the rocks you were hitting today are hard, so will there be hard times as you grow. Times when things don’t go your way, times when life hits you harder than you ever expected, hard people, hard situations – they can come into our lives with a force that has the ability to knock us off our feet.  But remember, you have a force far greater inside of you than any of those unwanted rocks – the force of Almighty God! And, with Him, you are more than a conqueror. (Romans 8:37)

I want to encourage you to keep the same spirit I saw in you today. You were on top of the rocks. When life gets tough, and it will, keep your focus on the Lord and keep swinging your sword, which is the Word of God. With God, there is nothing you won’t conqueror.

I Love You!

Mommy♥

Father God,

You know how much my momma heart wants to protect this boy from any kind of hurt or hard times, but I know it is you who uses those times to build faith and trust into us – your children. You draw us closer to your heart and reveal yourself to us in new ways when we walk through the “rocks” of life.  I pray that you will strengthen my Son, even now, to know You, to think on You and to form a relationship with you very early in his life. May he cling to you through all of his life experiences.

I pray Ephesians 6:10-12 over his life: Joel, “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

Thank You, Father.

Amen.

Hearts at Home

I am a relatively new mom.  My “baby,” (as I like to call him) is two and a half. Like many mommas, I spent the first several months of my adventure in motherhood awake at night rocking and feeding this blessing who needed his momma’s touch to feel secure through the night.  Needless to say, these nights gave me a much better understanding of the phrase sleep deprivation.

While many of my nights were spent awake, my days were spent teaching a room full of six and seven year olds. It was here in my role as a teacher that my adventure to Hearts at Home began.

One morning as I stumbled into the teacher’s lounge for our morning meeting I noticed a pile of books on the table. I fumbled through them and came across, “Real Moms… Real Jesus.”  Overly exhausted and feeling a bit underqualified for this mothering thing, I picked up the book hopeful that I would find a nugget of wisdom.

Nearly two years later I began reading the book. As I combed through these pages of wisdom and encouragement, I began to feel like Jill Savage (the author) was a God send; a sister, who had walked my path of questions and struggles and now had the position to offer me personal and biblical insight.

It was her insight that drew me to her website. I wanted to know more. From Jill’s site I was led to the Hearts at Home website where I discovered the conference. I clicked on the information tab, but quickly left to look at something else. My first thought was, “why look at the information for this conference, there is  no way I can travel half way across the country for a conference that is taking place while school is in session.”

The next day I was on Karen Ehman’s website reading a blog post. At the end of the post she presented the opportunity to leave a comment for the chance to win two tickets to the Hearts at Home conference. On a whim, I left a comment thinking there is no way I will ever win those tickets. That night; however, as I was going about my nightly routine I started thinking and found myself in a bit of a panic, “what if I do win those tickets?” “I can’t go to that conference.” So, I said a quick prayer that went something like this. “God, you know who needs to go to this conference, so would you please just select the recipient and make a way for them to go to the conference.”

The next day I received an email from Karen Ehman saying I had won!

What? Me? Won? How did that happen?

With only a couple of weeks to spare, I began to pray for God to make a way for me to travel to the conference. He did so, and on the morning of March 12, my sister-in-law and mother-in-law set off on our way 12 hours across the country to find Hearts at Home.

I could never fully recount the goodness of God at the conference. He met me during a particularly challenging time of life and spoke joy and hope into the desperate places of my heart.

The hospitality of the Hearts staff was unparalleled. The speakers were phenomenal – every one of them! The content of the conference was perfect for a momma at any stage of motherhood and let me just say – bring on Tennessee in November 2016 – I can’t wait!!