Children, Family, Uncategorized

8 prayers I pray for my children

8 prayers I pray for my childrenSo often I find myself wondering what kind of world we are leaving our children. It is in these moments that I find myself silently praying for my kids and most often it’s one of these 8 prayers I pray for my children. Mind you, these prayers aren’t lofty nor are they spoken aloud. These are the silent, constant prayers that mothers find themselves praying.

Whether it’s in specific thought, or during those times when sleep evades us…when tragedy strikes another family and we are counting our blessings while grieving with them. A mother’s prayer is constant. It’s a bath of protection and blessing and desires and hopes and faith…a jumbled mess we hand over to the Father. These are 8 prayers I pray for my children.

I pray for my children’s safety

Our world is so dangerous. Some may say it’s always been dangerous, but I see it creeping precariously close to the safety of the home. People are becoming more evil in how they would harm children or how they would harm random people, no matter the age. I pray for my children’s safety. I pray for God to protect them with warrior angels. Warriors. To fight the evil that exists around us at all times. So I pray for my children’s safety. As Girl Child has prayed for, “the strongest bubble that no one can break through!”.

I pray for my children to stay close to each other

This one sits in the back of my mind and I pray on it when it bubbles to the front. I pray my children remain close friends. Hopefully we will be around for a long time but when we are gone, my children will have each other. And I pray that they rely on each other and confide in each other. I pray that they look out for each other and keep up with each other. They can still irritate the mess out of each other because that is sibling right, but at the end of the day I pray that they always love each other. It’s simple but it’s important.

I pray for my children’s future spouses

Yep. And I know many other parents who do the same thing. I pray for my son’s wife and my daughters’ husbands. And I pray for their safety and I pray for God to guard their hearts and minds. That they are immersed in God’s Holy Word and I pray for their health. I pray that God helps them to make good decisions along the way as they are growing. It’s all important…from childhood to adulthood and these future spouses need to be bathed in prayer just as much as my own children are.

I pray for my children’s hearts

I pray that the seeds we plant in their hearts about their Heavenly Father are deep-rooted, healthy and strong. That they will judge everything they encounter with the knowledge they gain each day from studying the Bible and that the world is no match for God’s promises. I pray that they have joy in their hearts that cannot be taken away.

I pray for my children’s sweet dreams

Sweet dreams. Sleep is the place for rest and recuperation from a busy day. I pray for sweet dreams for my children so that their sleep is truly restful. So that their bodies can rejuvenate and be ready for the next day of learning and excitement. Sweet dreams ensure peace whereas nightmares causes anxiousness. So I pray they are able to rest and that their imaginations will deliver wonderful stories to them throughout the night.

I pray for what my children will become when they are grown

I can only imagine now what each child will become or where their interests will take them. So I pray for what they will become because all of that starts now while they are young. What they’re exposed to, what captures their interest, what comes naturally to them…it starts now. I pray that they find something they are truly good at and something that grabs their interest. And I pray they love what they become.

I pray for my children’s happiness

Happiness is a luxury and I pray my children have an abundance of happiness in their young lives. I pray they see the happiness in their world. That they see the joy in the little things all around them. I pray that their happiness is infectious and that they share it with as many people as possible. And I pray that their happiness only grows and that they enjoy being happy.

I pray for my children’s childhood

Their childhood is so very important. So many children no longer get to have a real childhood because they are forced to grow up so quickly. Perhaps it is how fast our world is with technology. I pray my children are able to hold fast to their childhood and that they enjoy their time for as long as possible. I also pray that we are able to protect their childhood and we are able to shield them from whatever seeks to steal our children’s childhood away from them.

So I pray for them all the time. Sometimes with words, sometimes my prayer is simply the thoughts in my mind and on my heart. But I pray for my children. Every day.

Children

Just like that she was 8

And then she was 8I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. She was a complete miracle. And just like that she was 8. People say “blink and you’ll miss it” and you never really understand how true that is until it happens.

We had struggled with infertility for over ten years before we were blessed with the birth of girl child. And do you know, after all that struggle we almost lost her. Actually “they” almost lost me, too. I had a placenta abruption before the emergency C-section that the doctor ordered because something didn’t look right to him. Little did he know I was hemorrhaging internally and Girl Child lost her supply of oxygen as a result of the abruption. We were both very bad off when she was born.

Fortunately, a flood of specialists swarmed the surgical suite, much to my husband’s concern and yet relief that so many came to help our baby. And thank God for my doctor and his skill in repairing me as well. Girl Child rebounded quickly and was whisked off to the NICU for a brief observation while I was sent to ICU to monitor my need for a transfusion since I had lost so much blood.

Once we finally met, I looked down at this warm, wiggly little being and tried to imagine what she would look like as a young girl.

And then she was eightAnd just like that she was 8.

Where did the time go? I remember being there for all of it. And it takes forever to get through a week, but here we are…8 years later.

She’s defining who she is to herself, who she is to her friends, who she is to her parents and who she is to her Lord and Savior. And as much as I want to just continue to keep her in the contained box of childhood, I know I have to open the lid and let her climb out to see what else the world has for her.

So we talk. And I let her do. By herself. Then I show her. I reenforce what she already knows.

When she finds them, I fill in the gaps. I ask and then I listen. I redirect and then I back up a step.

Back up a step…this is the hardest thing. But if she’s got wings to fly, I have to get out of the way so she can start using them.

Children, Family

Hangman

IMG_4314.JPGI recently played a game of Hangman with four-year-old Baby Girl. Now before you faint from her ability as a four-year-old to not only think of a word, but spell it out mentally and provide the corresponding tick marks where each letter goes please know that this is not how this game works for her.

I love her dearly and think she’s a smart little cookie but she cannot spell. Well, that’s not true…she can spell her family’s names and her own name. Outside of that…don’t bet on it.

So, we played Hangman on the back of a paper kids menu while waiting for our dinner at a restaurant.

I went into this game the way I go into a hearty game of checkers with Baby Girl…there are no rules, but try to keep the game “looking” somewhat like it’s supposed to. She’s good with that. And also, when you play these games with her…really play them. She can spot a phony opponent a mile away.

So here we are…playing Hangman. Her rules are basically this:

She draws the Hangman noose apparatus thing? Then she draws out a bunch of tick marks where the letters go. She’s a fan of big words (read: a lot of tick marks). Sometimes it looks like I’m guessing the letters that make up a sentence. Now we are ready for the game to begin… well, a few snide remarks from Girl and/ or Boy Child about her inability to spell words followed by a quick admonishment from a parent and now we are ready to begin.

Occasionally, I do something outside of the rules and boy, she calls me on it…the little stickler! But, rules are rules so what are ya gonna do?! I say “oops, I forgot!” and we keep moving along.

Her sparkly eyes, her impish smile and her little elbows on the table…one hand holding up her head, the other hand playing impatiently with the crayon she has methodically chosen…

“Pick a letter, Mommy!” she says.

So I do…I pick a letter she loves to write. Lately, it’s the letter ‘R’. And without fail, that was a correct letter. Imagine that!

We go through this process many times and I pick the letters she loves to write…K, X, S, R, L, M (she knows this is Mommy’s favorite letter because, well, “MOMMY! That’s your letter!”)

Every once in a while, for the letters that aren’t in her current favorites list, she’ll say, “nope!” and start to draw the cutest hangman in the hanging thingy. And she’s giddy with delight!

Now for those of you who are sticklers to rules and playing by them, this game will kill you. Literally. Because what you have at the end of this fun game of Hangman is a bunch of letters that don’t spell anything. Although Baby Girl will tell you what it says…something like “Mommy is my best buddy” or “I love to eat yogurt”.

If you ever get the chance to play a game like this with a little one, put your OCD away for a bit and watch the magic unfold! It’s a beautiful thing to watch a little mind work.

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Issues!

It’s not a threat. It’s just physics.

Untitled designSomething happened to me today on the way in to work that stirred something inside of me and took me down the path of figuring out why and what happened. Along my route is a school zone and the road is a two lane with a center turn lane. The road isn’t very busy, despite the elementary school being right on it and the bustle of parents and school buses dropping off kids.

Speed limit is 30mph. A school zone.

And yet, this extremely important lady decided that she was above the rules and passed me in the turn lane to zip on down the road, completely disregarding the school zone and consequently the very reason it exists.

Sadly, I met her at the red light at the end of the road so her expeditiousness and law breaking saved her no time whatsoever. And she didn’t appear to be in distress, in labor, or otherwise stressed. In fact, she was checking her phone, probably for her important messages and texts. So important.

So she potentially endangered walking children, other drivers, buses, school personnel for literally no reason.

What made her do this?!

What made this selfish woman think that the rules didn’t apply to her?

And this is where my mind went…because I think it’s been a ticking time bomb that’s based on the “you are important” mentality we are mistakenly instilling in our children. That we have been instilling in our children for quite a while now. Let’s all enjoy the fruits of this mistaken approach to encouragement.

In order to live in a society together, there must be order, rules, boundaries, etc. We cannot live only for ourselves or we will cause each other physical harm. If I made decisions just for me, without any regard for the people around me, someone will get hurt. I don’t care for red lights but if I didn’t care ABOUT red lights, someone’s gonna get creamed.

It’s not a threat, it’s just physics.

People a long time ago were put in place to determine things like road rules, ordinances, methods of decision-making, orders, etc. In addition, people were put into positions to represent the masses on the forward movement of the society that ensures the benefit of as many as possible. Heck, we even had the forethought to put in place a mechanism that allowed for the change of people if those said people were not performing on our behalf in the best way possible. How lucky for us!

Long story short…the rules are there to keep everyone safe.

Which leads me to this…and it might sting.

You are not important.

Well, you are important…of course you are, bless your heart you sweet thing.

But seriously, you aren’t important. You are unique…just like everyone else. There are many of us…and there are many more to come.

Parents are telling their children “You are a leader!”, “You are a strong, independent person…you will go far!”, “Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do something!”.

You realize kids take this crap literally, right?? Where is the talk about when things don’t go your way?

“Hey, sometimes you will be on the bottom of the totem pole” or “Hey, sometimes you will have to clean the toilet”

It’s why they suck at being friends, getting along, enjoying each other’s company, generally socializing with other people, etc. And don’t tell me that’s not true. Kids today are snarky, rude, selfish, lazy…and we’ve been telling them they are special and important. They believed us!! It’s not their fault!

Sometimes you aren’t the leader…that negates the idea of teamwork when your mentality is built on always being the leader.

Sometimes you aren’t a strong, independent person… we actually aren’t all good at everything and each of us possess specific skills and abilities that should complement each other.

Sometimes you can’t do something…there, I said it. Sometimes you just can’t and that’s actually ok because sometimes someone else can. I can’t build a car engine, but by golly my brother could do it easily with his eyes closed!

Sometimes you will have to clean the toilet. Just a fact.

I feel like some mothers are putting this crap in their kids’ heads now to prep for the day they envision when their grown child is standing in front of the press giving credit to their success (and obvious subsequent wealth) and that child says, “I owe everything to my mom because she always told me I could be anything I wanted”. And that’s selfish.

We cannot be a society of leaders. An upside down pyramid does nothing to move society forward. Every hive needs worker bees and being a worker bee is not a bad thing. It’s honorable. It says you care about others in addition to caring about yourself.

So…in conclusion:

Don’t pass me in the turn lane of a school zone!!!

Children, Family

I’m kind of a thief!

9eea464898656e7fa5931defa7e5cfc610ff95dcThat’s right…a thief.

Well, thief is a really strong word. Actually, I collect my payment without bothering the debtor with the details of repayment specifics.

See, it’s much easier to just quietly collect my payment than to go back and forth on negotiation and who said what and terms of agreement. Let’s not get caught up in the details.

Of course, my little debtors don’t really know they are indebted to me. But they are. Oh, they owe me big time! But that’s ok…I collect when I can and they are generally none the wiser.

I’m kind of like a repo lady but I only repo perishable goods.

I think you know where I’m going with this…are you with me?? I go through my kids candy stash like it was my own. Of course, I leave the super awesome candy that the kids have already inventoried, bar coded and sorted. And I apply a percentage-type fee. So baby girl’s stash is a little less picked through than boy & girl child’s stashes.

There are three generally lucrative times in which I collect payment from my unsuspecting brood: Christmas, Easter and Halloween.

I do not apologize for this method of payment. I stand by my actions and I believe there are more out there like me! Which leads me to the following:

Newsletter

Our Best- Vol 1, Issue 3

the (4)I’m a day late and a dollar short…well two days late, but who’s counting!

Today, this regular Tuesday, I think I just want to say this to you and hope that this falls on the right “ears” because it was said last week in a meeting I attended and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

You should never be bitter in the work you are doing. Do all things the very best that you can. And along the way, look for and find your purpose and calling in God’s design for your life.

If you don’t know what your purpose and calling is or don’t know where to look, ask God to help you find it. Specifically ask Him to help you find your purpose and calling in His design your your life.

Here’s the other part…listen and wait on Him. (The waiting is the hardest part, right?)

Be encouraged this week and know that God’s got great things in store for YOU!

Heather,
The Best For Our Family

Newsletter

Our Best- Vol 1, Issue 2

Well, friends, here we are on the cusp of the next week. On the eve of the next thing that needs to be done, the item to cross off the list, or the project that needs to be finished.

Take a moment just now and breathe. Enjoy the moment you are in right now. It’s precious. The coming week is bound to have many things in it. What do you plan to focus on?

The joy, laughter, pride, and peace?

Or the difficulties, stress, sadness, disappointment?

Pick what you want to focus on. I guarantee you’ll want to look for the good. Below is a free printable note card that you can tape to your mirror, attach to your computer…put wherever you need the reminder.

Look for the good in your day…it’s there, I promise!

Be good!

Heather,
The Best For Our Family

Look for the good

Printer-friendly version: Look for the good

Children, Family

The irony of me

FullSizeRender.jpg-1Last night I got to do something I haven’t been able to do in a long time.

I got to play in the yard with my kids. And get this…my cell phone? In the house somewhere!! I know, right?

We had three kids, two soccer balls and a frisbee and a lot of laughter. It was so nice and I didn’t realize how much I missed being able to just be with the kids.

I wasn’t correcting anyone, I wasn’t scolding anyone…no one went to time out. No one was upset. The world fell away and for about a half an hour after dinner, I had the fun of just being with my kids.

The older two had their “world championship” soccer match in the cul-de-sac. They stretched before-hand and discussed strategy. It was a big deal. I have no idea who won or what the parameters were but they did and the game worked beautifully in their eyes.

My extra special treat was to actually play “kick the ball” with baby girl and she was in heaven to have my complete attention. And little did I know, she can actually kick the ball really good! She’s got some skill apparently.

As with all good things, this time came to an end and the kids scampered into the house- out of breath, cheeks rosy and hair stuck to their faces with hard-earned sweat. Today I sit all day, alone, doing mandatory grown-up things and think that I would so much rather be home actually playing with my kids.

It was just a typical evening of fun for them but it was so important to me. They won’t even know or understand the irony of what it is to be me. I leave them everyday, all day, to make a living- for them. I work and work to be able to give them what they need.

You know what they keep telling me that they need? Me.

Does this describe you at all? Tell me in the comments!

Newsletter

Our Best- Vol 1, Issue 1

Our first newsletter…we promise we’ll keep it short!

Sometimes the beginning of a week can be daunting. There’s so much on the horizon that needs to get done and often times, it’s only you that can get it done. From laundry, checkbook matters, bathing little children, appointments, traffic, weekly activities…it can all be so overwhelming.

Many times, the feeling of being overwhelmed is enough to reduce the quality of what we do. And that’s when we must remember why we do what we do. This is the maintenance of the family. It’s God-honored work and it’s always going to bear fruit. Try to find joy in what you’re tasked to do for the week. Fill your lungs with fresh air and organize your tasks and responsibilities. Then, complete them one by one.

In the days of smartphones and technology, paper seems so antiquated. But nothing beats seeing my tasks spelled out in front of me and the feeling of accomplishment I have when I see those items crossed off or checked off the list.

We are giving away this free printable to help you stay organized for the week.

It's all gotta get done!(Click link for printer-friendly version: It’s all gotta get done!)

So, get going on your week…write it down and watch the items get accomplished. You can do it!

Heather,
The Best for Our Family
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