May 7, 2019

Pray, Fast, Wait, Repeat...

SHINE Reading Plan: Go here. 
Questions? Email me at shinegirlsshine@gmail.com

If you haven't figured out already, for some reason the video I attached did not send in your SHINE email. However, it is posted on the website. Weird. Technology. Oops.


So, as I was cutting up an onion this afternoon, I kept going back to our reading in Nehemiah.

I have a tendency to jump the gun on things. When an idea strikes, I am ready to implement. This can be good sometimes, and NOT so good other times.

Nehemiah is teaching me a lot about waiting. And praying. And fasting. And waiting.

When Nehemiah heard about the state of Jerusalem, he literally wept. He grieved.

The Bible says, "When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of Heaven." Nehemiah 1:4


Nehemiah heard the tragic news  of Jerusalem and its decaying walls in the Fall. However, he did not implement a plan to help until that next Spring. It was all about timing. God's timing.

A couple of things to learn here.

His heart of compassion for the Jewish people.

He wept when he received the news.

How many times have we heard devastating news, and we just move on or turn the channel?

I am definitely guilty of this.

When did we become so calloused to suffering?

It seems all too normal to hear of horrible things, right?

But, Nehemiah, did not move on. He sat with it. He grieved over it. He prayed about it. He fasted.

This lasted for several months, Not days, not weeks, but months. 

When the time was right, he did not tell a soul. He waited and then left in the middle of the night on the journey to help Jerusalem rebuild its wall.

Nehemiah and the workers ended up finishing the wall in 52 days. 52!!

This was nothing short of a miracle.

They never stopped working. In fact, many were not happy about the rebuilding of the wall and tried to distract Nehemiah from his work.

His exact words, "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” Nehemiah 6:3

Wow, read that one more time.

I have an entirely new post for that one scripture.

I will save that for later.

What has God laid on your heart to do?

Have you prayed? Fasted? Waited?

Let us learn from Nehemiah.

Goodness, I love God's Word! Don't you?!!



waiting, fasting, praying,


jill


May 6, 2019

SHINE Spotlight.....

SHINE Reading Plan: Go here. 
Questions? Email me at shinegirlsshine@gmail.com

Hey, SHINE friends! As we enter into our 5th month of reading through the Bible together, I want to encourage you to stick with it. 

Maybe you aren't currently reading through the plan with us, but you are looking for a reading plan? 

We would LOVE for you to jump on with us! 

You can purchase the Daily Walk Bible on Amazon or at a Christian bookstore. OR, you can print out the plan here. It is so so so good. 

Each day has a reading and a devotional to go with it. 

Here is a little clip of one of our SHINE friends that is currently reading through the Bible with us. 

Be encouraged by Erin Davis! She and I talk almost weekly about what we are reading and how it is literally changing us!

If you are currently following the plan with us, I would LOVE to feature you as well. Email me and let me know!



May 2, 2019

Hit the Floor....

SHINE Reading Plan: Go here.
Questions? Email me at shinegirlsshine@gmail.com




Late Tuesday night my oldest child, Joseph, left on a field trip to Disney. Yes, DISNEY. I don't remember having those kinds of trips when I was his age. Do you??

It's a little hard letting my children go for a few days. It's never been an easy thing for me.

Fear has been a big part of those reasons. Yes, I love my kids.  However, fear is what made my heart tremble when they would be out of my sight. I felt like as long as they were with me, they would be fine. Control issues, I know.

Early in my parenting years, fear haunted me day in and day out. I could not eat some days. I could not sleep. Fear tormented my mind. Every possible worse scenario I could imagine, is what my mind stayed focused on. It was terrible.

My husband thought I was going crazy. In fact, I probably was. The enemy was whispering lies into my ears and I was listening to them and believing them.

There were many days when I would drop my kids off at school and go home and cry. All day long.

Fear was my enemy.

One day, a wise friend told me to pray scripture over them each day. She told me that not only would it help me, but it would help them.

I thought it was a little crazy at first, because I wasn't really believing what I was praying. It felt kind of not natural. My mind and my flesh were very opposed to praying like this. If I was praying, who was going to worry for me?? Crazy, I know.

Soon after, I began to hang scripture all around my house. At the coffee pot, in my bathroom, in the kids rooms...all over the house. Lem thought I had officially lost my mind. When, in fact, I was beginning to get my mind back from the enemy.

Those horrible thoughts were now being pounded with Truth. Day in. Day out.

Those fearful thoughts had no choice but to leave. They could not dwell where Truth was beginning to dwell. They didn't even stand a chance.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

Praying scripture over my children changed my life. Dramatically. It brought peace to  heart racked with fear. It brought joy to a heart in despair.

My old prayers sounded something like this, "God bless my children. Keep them safe, please!!!"

God taught me through His Word to change my prayers to this: "Keep my children from all harm. Watch over their life, watch over their coming and going. Both now and forevermore." Psalm 121:7-8

When we pray God's word back to Him something amazing happens. His Will opens up. The Heavens open up at the sound of His Word being spoken back to Him! You can even feel it in your spirit as you pray! When His Words become our words, POWER comes!

If you are new at this, or if you have been doing this all along, I want to share some of my favorite scripture prayers with you. You will adapt to your favorites along the way, but this will get you started.

"Lord lead my children away from temptation, and deliver them from the evil one." Matthew 6:13

"Put a hedge of protection around my children and everything they have" Job 1:10

"Remind my children that they belong to you and not the world" John 17:15

"Lord, cause my children to love their enemies, to do good to those who hate them, to bless those who curse them, to pray for those that mistreat them. Help them do to others as they would have done to them." Luke 6:27-31

"I pray that my children's identity will be firmly rooted and established in Christ's love, and that they may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide, and how long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge...that they may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19

"Let my children know that they belong to you" Romans 14:7-9

"Let the light of your face shine upon my children. Fill their heart with joy, and let them lie down and sleep in peace." Psalm 4:6-8 [a really good nighttime prayer]

"Show my children that they are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that your works are wonderful. Teach them that they are precious in your sight, and that you love them." Psalm 139:14, Isaiah 43:4

"Like Timothy, may my children be an example to believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity" 1 Timothy 4:12

"Please let my children have the ability to rise above the traps of people pleasing so they can be kept safe by trusting You, Lord" Proverbs 29:25

"May my children think on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is commendable; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, may he think about these things" Philippians 4:8


The best way we can win the battle for the hearts of our children is on our knees. So, let's start praying now. Shall we?


on my knees,


jill

(original post 4/30/15)

May 1, 2019

Don't Quit....

The Lord always speaks to me through the life of my kids. Always.

Since I began writing on this blog, I have almost daily wanted to shut it down and quit writing. As much as I love writing, at times it feels too vulnerable. Too exposed. Too much.

 Sometimes I just want to be a different kind of girl. A girl that has different gifts and different talents other than the ones God has given me.

I want to be like my friend who can make the best cinnamon rolls in town. Or like my friend who has the gift of hospitality. Or like my friend who sings on stage and sounds like an angel. Or like my friend who has a passion for healthy eating and exercising. Or like my friend who is a teacher at our local school and is loved by all of her students. Or like my sister who is crazy talented with hair and makeup. Or like my mom who can make anyone laugh in five seconds flat.

Most of my life I have questioned my talents. Often wondering if I had any.

However, very recently something happened with one of my kids. Something God used to speak so pointedly to my heart.

My daughter was singing in the car. I told her how beautiful her voice was. She stopped and said, "I have a horrible voice. Nobody ever says I sing pretty when I sing at recess."

I replied back to her, "I think you sing beautiful, sweet girl. You make my heart so happy every time I hear you sing."

She replied back, "I am just never going to sing again. Nobody listens anyway."

As I envisioned my struggle with wanting to keep writing, I thought about her words.

My daughter has a gift. A gift of a sweet singing voice. She blesses me each time she sings. God has given her the ability to hear music and sing in tune. Why would she ever think that of not using her gift?

God gives us gifts to ultimately glorify Him.

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. Romans 12:6

Our gifts are not about the people that do not celebrate our gifts, it is about the Giver of the Gift.

It all goes back to Him.

When we are waiting for the world to give its approval, our gifts will be suffocated and smoldered. Or even worse, never used.

God is showing me that when I write, it is not about how many people read it or approve. My writing is for Him. Whatever He does with it, us up to Him.

We may never, ever know what He does with our gifts. Although, I do believe He gives us glimpses occasionally.

However, we deprive ourselves and others when we choose to not use our gifts and talents. Just like with my daughter's singing, if she doesn't sing, I will miss out on the opportunity to hear her sweet voice.

If my mom decided to stop being funny, I would miss being able to belly laugh with her! If my friend decided to stop making cinnamon rolls, I would miss out on the best cinnamon rolls my tongue ever tasted!

Maybe you feel your gift is not special or important. Maybe, like me, you wish you had someone else's gift.

I encourage you to embrace what God has given you. If you have any doubt about your gift, talk to God about it. He will make clear your path. Trust Him to lead you.

Ask a close friend, or your husband. They will tell you what your gifts are. Sometimes it's something that comes so natural to us we don't even notice it.

I pray God will surround you with encouraging friends that cheer you on as you use and discover your gifts.  Pray for these kinds of friends. They will spur you on when you want to quit. Trust me on this one.

Let's be THOSE kind of friends.  Let's encourage each other instead of comparing ourselves to each other. Let's take the time to notice when a friend needs a little lift. It could make a world of difference in their life.

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds"Hebrews 10:24

So, I guess I will keep writing. I know there will be days when I want to close up shop. I will try my best to remember that writing is not about me, it is about Him. The Giver.


still writing,


jill


(original post 5/14/15)

Apr 30, 2019

Our Great Assignment....

SHINE Reading Plan: Go here

Who's still with me on our Reading Plan?

 I know some days can be hard. Really hard.

But, keep going. Push through. You will be so very glad you did.

Today, we read about King Josiah. His father and great grandfather were some of the most evil kings in history.

However, Josiah was different.

Josiah's priest, Hilkiah uncovered God's law in the Lord's Temple. It had been sitting there for many years. Untouched.

Josiah quickly aligned the people he governed under the Law of God. He destroyed anything and anyone that was not in line with the book of God's Law.

He was a very successful King with a heart to serve the Lord.

Here is what sticks out to me here....

No wonder his parents and grandparents and so on were so evil....they had not been taught about God.

Not one father had passed the Law of God down to their children.

After all the Lord had done for this mighty nation, somewhere along the way, the teachings of Moses, given by God, had been forgotten about completely.

As a mother, this really resonates hard on my heart.

I have a huge responsibility here.

What am I teaching my children?

Do they know about Jesus?

Not just from sunday school, but from my own example.

Where are the bibles in my house?

Are they hidden on a dusty shelf, or maybe even on display but never open?

These passages from 2 Chronicles jolt me to life.

It starts with us.

Or it ends with us.

Which one will it be?

I want to leave my children with a legacy of faith.

No matter what path they choose, I want to know for sure that I led them to the Living Water of God's Word. That is my job.

The world will try its best to squash our teaching. To lead our kids down a path that seems shinier and more popular.

King Josiah knew it had to start with him.

He did everything in his power to follow God's Word and to lead his people to do the same.

Are we doing the same?

Oh, I sure want to.

But, sometimes its easy to get lazy. And tired.

Let King Josiah encourage you today.

Go, dust off that bible on the shelf.

Open it and let it breathe Life back into your weary lungs.

There is only way Way...and it's God's Way.

All else will lead to a path of destruction. Look no further than the Old Testament.

Parents, we have an assignment that is bigger than anything we could possibly imagine.

Are we leading our children to "Seek first the Kingdom of God?" Matthew 6:33

Let's encourage each other, friends.

The world needs a generation raised in the Lord and His Truth.

There is much work to be done.


forging ahead,


jill

Apr 23, 2019

The Hidden Life.....

As usual, this is not the post I was about to sit down and write. Nope.

There is no preparation for this post. Just a heart being bent a different way by the Holy Spirit as I write.

I was talking to a friend yesterday about motherhood. How hard it can be at times. How hidden it can feel at times. Meaning, so often, what we do is not seen. And, may never be seen.

But, God sees it.

 However, sometimes we want others to notice. To applaud us. To recognize the sweat on our brows and the exhaustion in our bones.

Often, it just seems like what we are doing as mothers will never inch us closer to the world's version of success. Or successful motherhood anyway.

I used to scroll Instagram seeing mothers which multiple children. Some even adopted or fostered With multiple playrooms. With multiple everything that I did not have. Mothers looking fabulous and of course always witty and enchanting.

It seemed so.....perfect.  I would look up from my phone and see my smaller house and two kids, and feel so......average.

I would look in the mirror and see the lines on my face and the aging in my eyes and think....wow. I really don't look successful. Or even average. I look....rough. 

Do you ever feel like this?

Do you ever feel that if you don't post a picture or a status update of your motherhood in motion and in action, that maybe, you don't really exist?

Gosh, I sure have felt this way.

It has seemed that if no one sees what happens here, it doesn't really count. If no one applauds me or nods their head in agreement to the thousands of words I let fall out of my mouth each day, some good and some not so good, then it must not really matter.

Through social media our lives have become open books. Open to the whole wide world to see, to interpret, to look into.

This has to affect how we live. How we mother. How we think.

Nothing is discreet or hidden these days. Everything is laid out for the whole watching world to see.

Hence, our children feel the pressure. To measure up. To look a certain way. To purchase filters for their pictures to enhance and edit their precious bodies. Because....

The world watches.

And what about the mothers?

We have felt it too.

We follow  mothers that we do not even know, quoting what they quote, buying what they buy, cooking what they cook, dressing how they dress....

At some point, we have to ask ourselves, what is reality?

Is there even such thing anymore?

The hidden life. The treasures found in a serving life. Away from the limelight. Away from the glare of the camera lens. Away from the approval and likes of others....

This is what I so desperately crave.

Like the woman with the alabaster jar of perfume.

Giving all she had...not thinking twice....and pouring it out on the Lord's feet. Washing his feet with her hair.

No accolades, in fact insults from the men around Jesus. "Why do you do this? You could have made money off of this to give to the poor..."

Jesus replied, "The poor you will always have, but you will not always have Me."

I am paraphrasing here. Look up the complete passage here in Matthew 26.

I want to be like this woman.

Wanting nothing on earth but Jesus.

Wanting only His approval and His eyes.

But, why is it so hard?

I think of John's piercing words here...

"He must become greater, I must become less." John 3:30

How do we become less in a world that shouts that we need to be greater?

Could it be that the greatest treasures are hidden. Away from the world's peering eyes. Away from the amount of social media friends, likes, and comments we have.

Could it be that the greatest treasure is actually found far away from all of it.

In the quiet of your bedroom. In the clink of pans in your kitchen as you prepare your one millionth dinner for the week. In the whisper of your child's breath saying her prayers each night. In the closeness of your spouse as you sit on the couch together watching the news. In the hello of your elderly neighbor as he sits on his porch watching the birds sing and dance around him.

The simple ordinary average  life. Just may be the greatest treasure we will ever unearth.

Maybe our lights shine even brighter when He lights them and we don't. Perhaps we don't even see the light, but others will and they do.

We can still be a city shining on a hill...

Like a lighthouse. It glows. It beckons. It shines.

And brings others ashore.

Without saying a word.


You matter, and He sees.


Embracing the hidden,



jill
















Apr 20, 2019

Seeing Jesus at The Dump.....

Reading Plan: Find it here. 

I had no plans to write this story today. None. However, sometimes the words in your soul are palpitating against your skin and they must come out to breathe the cool air of release.

Words hold such power. If we truly could see the healing or damage they do, we would probably never utter another solitary word without deep consideration.

I pray these words bring healing to those hurting, grieving, and broken.

On February 6th of this year, Lem and I went furniture shopping at a place in Atlanta called The Dump. Sounds lovely, right?

It's a HUGE place. Furniture everywhere. I mean, everywhere.

A little overwhelming for this small town girl to be honest.

We were walking around for a few minutes when I noticed a sweet family sitting on some sectional couches. I had to do a double-take because they looked so familiar. Without trying to look stalky, I looked each face over intently. I could not place how I knew them. Something though, was beckoning me to keep watching them.

Really, I am not this strange usually. I promise.

As Lem and I kept looking over all of the furniture, I kept glancing over my shoulder at this family. What was it about them that was drawing my eyes to them? Why was I so fascinated with these people?

Lem dragged me by the arm and pulled me off into another direction. He's kinda used to my weirdness.

About 30 minutes later, I saw the mother of that family on a sectional by herself. It was the same one my husband and I were looking at. I went and sat next to her.

Who am I, and why am I acting so crazy? I don't usually go and sit next to a perfect stranger as they are testing out a couch. I promise.

We quickly started chatting, and chatting, and chatting. I was so drawn to talk to her, to listen to her, and to know about her precious family.

Honestly, I don't remember much about the entirety of our conversation, but I vividly remember the end of it.

As we got off of the couch and said goodbye to each other, I casually asked her how old her children were.

She told me their names and ages, and ended with, "And we have a 17 year old that passed away in December."

I thought maybe I misunderstood her for a moment. But, the look on her beautiful face told me otherwise.

She went on to tell me small details about what had happened to her son.

It was a tragedy. A crime. A murder.

With tears spilling down my face, I grabbed her and wrapped my helpless arms around her.

How in the world had she been able to casually talk to me on that couch? How as she able to get out of bed that day, or any day for that matter? How in the world could she look that peaceful and beautiful in the midst of such horror?

Immediately, I pulled back from her and looked at her face again.

"You are a believer, aren't you," I asked her.

I knew what her answer would be before I asked her.

"Yes, I am."

She went on to tell me how God had been so gracious to her and how her church family, family members and friends had been a life-line for her and her family. She said they could not make it through without them.

I just sat there slack-jawed. Taking in the sight of this providential moment.

After saying our final goodbyes and assuring her I would pray for her family, Lem and I got to the car and I cried my eyes out.

I had left a piece of my heart right there near that leather sectional we were sitting on.

I had just witnessed the Peace and Love of Christ like never before.  It was all over my new friend's face. In her mannerisms. In her voice. In her stillness.

I had just seen Jesus.

God had drawn my eyes to her from the moment we walked in and would not let me leave without talking to her. He knew I needed to know her story, and He knew what it would do to my soul.

As a mother, when we hear of these kinds of tragedies, our blood runs cold. We stop breathing for a moment and picture ourselves in their shoes.

Empathy sets in and we cannot shake it without drenching it with prayer.

She has been on my heart heavy ever since.

As I picture the scene in my mind of Jesus on the cross, I see my friend's teenage son. I see the injustice. I see the horror. I see the inhumane tragedy of a life cut too short.

As I picture Jesus's mother, Mary, at the foot of the cross, I picture my friend's face.

She has walked in Mary's shoes. She is walking in Mary's shoes.

Daily. Hourly. Minute by minute.

My friend has had to walk through her own child being taken by the hands of evil.

Yet, she is able to have Peace. To have Comfort. To have Assurance...

This is not the end.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. Revelation 21:4

And, just like Mary, she will see her boy again. It will be sweet and it will be eternal. And, in the meantime, the impact of her life and the story of her son will draw many to the Cross. Even at a place called the Dump.

Isn't God just like that.

Making a place called The Dump, a place of Holy Ground.


Sunday is coming,


jill

(Originally posted 3/2016)





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Apr 16, 2019

Parenting with Joy....

Original post 4/3/17

A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

I always hesitate to write posts on parenting. I am not an expert by any form or shape. However, I have learned some things along the way. Mostly from older women in my life who have been down this path and their lives and the lives of their children teach volumes. I am so thankful for these women in my life!

If you are an older mother, I encourage you to share your wisdom with those coming up behind you. We need you. We need your teaching. You may say, "Oh, I am not a teacher!". However, I believe we are all teachers in one way or another. Whether we intend to teach or not, we are teaching. And many are watching.

Something that the Lord is constantly having to remind me of is to have joy with my parenting.

Normally, I have a very joyful and sanguine personality. However, raising children can affect my joy if I am not constantly seeking the Lord for help in this area.

Mundane tasks, constant teaching and correcting, disciplining,  cooking, cleaning,  driving, and more driving....

Did I mention driving?

All of these things can weigh a momma down. There are times when my joy diminishes and my kids see a burnt out mother just going through the motions and checking things off her list.

We tend to think that kids don't notice these things. As long as we are "performing" and meeting their needs, the kids are good.

I don't believe this is true.

Kids sense when we are going through the motions. Doing things out of duty instead of joy. [Uh, husbands sense this too! Another post for another day...]

A joyful mom can stop in the middle of the daily grind and look her kid in the eyes and listen to their words. Laugh at their corny jokes. Be present when it would be so easy to be distracted.

 A joyful mom realizes that our kids much prefer us to be present over perfect.

Yes, we can spoon feed them scripture and lofty teachings telling them how to behave. However, I believe what sticks with them the most is how we respond to them. How do we respond when something doesn't go our way? Or when something turns out differently than we had planned.

Do we lose our joy and become bitter and hateful? Do we spew words of condemnation, hurt, anger, or sarcasm?

I know I sure have at times.

Joy is not dependent on our circumstances.

"The Joy of the Lord is your strength" Nehemiah 8:10

This scripture from Nehemiah was the first verse I memorized as an adult. It was soon after I had my first child. The Lord was reminding me to keep joy in my heart. In my home. Towards my children. In my marriage.

I wanted perfection.

A clean house. A good baby. A skinny body. A full bank account. A perfect husband who acted the way I wanted him to act. [ha!]

When those things didn't happen,  I fell apart.

I would lose my joy.

Depression, anxiety, fear, and sadness would set in.

The standards were set even higher when the second child was born. It was just too much to maintain all of these things that I thought made me a "good mom".

I would try so hard to do all the right things. Put a smile on my face in public. Keep up  the demands of being a mom with babies, a husband, two dogs AND a cat, and a house to take care of.

But, deep down, joy was nowhere to be found.

When the Lord opened my eyes to my need for His Joy instead of my "standards", it seemed almost too easy.

Have joy?

Really?

Too simple.

Surely, I would need to add 7.5 hours a day of prayer. Along with perfect church attendance. And attend two or three bible studies a week.

No, Jill. Just clothe yourself with my Joy. Let Me be your Joy. 

 I heard these words so clear in my heart.

I began to daily ask Him for Joy. I begged Him. I wrote it on my mirror with an expo marker. I taped scriptures about Joy all over my house. I set my mind every single day to be intentional about clothing myself in His Joy.

 Oh, y'all, I needed joy desperately.

Little did I know that Joy would change everything.

Joy comes  from the Lord.

Joy is not a feeling or emotion, it is a gift from the Lord.

Joy is the overwhelming contentment that floods our soul.

Joy is always coupled with gratitude.

Joyful people are thankful people.

 Instead of being bitter about our lot and season of life, let's be thankful. Let's be joyful! And heaven forbid even stopping to laugh once and a while! The bible even tells us that it is GOOD for us to laugh! [Proverbs 17:22]

And, hey, what if we really took the following verse to heart. Laughing, without fear of the future. Surely, our joy would be so evident to others. Especially our children!

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25


Let's ask ourselves these questions:

Do our children see themselves as our joy? Or as our burdens.

Would they define their momma as joyful? Or stern and unbending.

Are we overflowing with joy? Or just overbearing.

How do we respond when life doesn't go the way we planned?

Our children are watching. Taking notes. Looking for us to teach them about joy.

Will our children be drawn to our faith in Jesus because of our strict standards of living and no-nonsense attitudes?

I don't think so

I think they will be drawn to Jesus through our joy.

In gentle words. In kind responses. In loving gestures. In having a servant heart.

In JOY.

Even in very difficult situations and trying times, joy is possible.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”  James 1:2-3

When doing the same tasks over and over each day, we can have joy. We just have to ask God for it, and set our minds on praise.

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done. How great are your works, Lord, how profound your thoughts!  Psalm 92:4-5

I began years ago making it a habit to praise the Lord and pray over my kids as I fold their laundry and cook dinner. Praising God and praying over my people brings my heart JOY! It's like killing two birds with one stone. Multi-tasking at its finest.

 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Our children will forget  a lot of the things that we said to them. But, they will never forget how we responded to them. How we loved them and listened to them. Looked them in the eyes and stopped for a few minutes to be present with them.

Will our children remember their mother being full of joy?

Oh, Lord, let it be so.

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23


seeking joy,


jill