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Wife, Mother, Pastor

I’m HearingVoices

Voices. Everywhere.

I know you hear them too.

Turn on the TV to another talking head telling you their opinion about something or someone.  Login to Facebook to another blog about the dangers of donuts, why this politician is the Antichrist, why we’re good moms (even though they don’t know us), or why the Titanic is a conspiracy.

Voices saying why we need a pet (a rescue pet of course) because it lowers blood pressure. You also have that book idea you have been sitting on for years and all you need to do is sacrifice some more sleep so you can write just a page a night.  You also need to budget, create more wealth, run 5 miles a day, take time for your hobbies, take care of yourself- but not too much or you’ll become vain.  There’s another romance movie telling you your husband isn’t good enough, another magazine article reminding you of your son’s inabilities, and another co-worker traipsing through Europe.  More voices telling me what I don’t have and how my life doesn’t measure up.  And don’t forget to pray that hour a day along with bible reading, scripture memorization, and worship.  Oh, and are you resting?

Don’t get me wrong, most of these things are not bad. However, what I have discovered over the years is that I have allowed way too many voices into my head and in turn have put too much pressure upon myself.  All this pressure has made me self-conscious and too busy.

In January, our church did a 40 day corporate fast.  My fast?  You guessed it, VOICES.  After 8 am I shut off the car radio with no music or talk radio.  I cut back on my social media supply because all I heard all day long were the voices, and it was pushing out the main voice I needed to hear: God’s.

That forty days was one of the best prayer times I have ever had.  I drew closer to God and I felt I was hearing His voice more than anyone else’s.  However, I have gotten back into the rat race of busyness and listening to everyone else.   Here are some steps I am taking to de-clutter my brain so I may hear what God wants me to do and not what everyone else thinks I should be doing.

  • SOCIAL MEDIA. Not having Facebook in this day in age is like being a missionary to another country without knowing the language- it’s just how our culture communicates. However, you might need to cut back.  I went through my ‘likes’ and ‘unliked’ a bunch of pages that were just not necessary in my life. I also removed the app from my phone.  Having an app is way too easy to get into other people’s drama.  This way if I really need to get on, I’ll do it the long way.  Also, turn off all app notifications.  Is it necessary to know every time Kohl’s is having a sale?
  • RADIO AND TV: Just turn it off.  If you want to make sure you are up and up on the news, watch it in the morning and then turn it off. If you are like me I blast AM radio every time I’m in the car, and really, it’s just more voices.
  • SUBSCRIPTIONS: Clean out your subscriptions whether it is your e-mail list or your magazine list. Do you need one more magazine reminding you of the nice house you do not have? Do you really have time to read that blog that comes into your email every week or day?
  • KEEP YOUR FOCUS: I have not only cleaned out my email list of articles to now just areas I’m focusing on, but my books as well. Sure, that Andy Stanley book looks really awesome, but does it pertain to my life right now? I really could learn something from him, he’s awesome.  However, right now I’m not a senior pastor trying to rear my congregation.  My focus is children and families, so are my book choices reflecting this?
  • A SELECT FEW: Everyone has an opinion, and we need to hear those opinions in our line of work. Praise is awesome, but you can only grow to the amount of criticism you can handle. However, this does not mean that all criticism is from the Lord. If you don’t agree with the constructive criticism then take it to prayer and your select few that you trust to speak into your life.  You may be able to understand a situation better with your ‘wise counsel’.

PRAY WITH ME, SISTERS

“Dear Lord, forgive me where I have placed other voices above yours.  I ask God that you would show me areas in my life I need to de-clutter in order to make more room for you and to actually live my life. Show me the areas of busyness I need to move away from to not be so consumed by ‘stuff’ but so I can be more consumed by you.  In Jesus Name, AMEN.”

What are you doing right now to clear out some of the voices cluttering your brain?  I’d love to hear them!

Putting the Teachers First

It’s that time again. SCHOOL.  Many of our churches do what we can to bless our students and schools.  Blessing in a Backpack is a very popular outreach to those schools.  Now, hear me out.  I am not against this outreach.  What a great way to show students they are loved by the Body of Christ.  However, let me offer an alternative.

I’m a big advocate for making sure we put our marriages above our kids, our employees above our customers and our leaders above regular attenders.  Why?  Because when we pour into the top, it trickles to the bottom.  What do I mean?  When we put our spouse first, our kids benefit.  As a boss when your employees are put first, the customer benefits.  And when we pour into our leaders first, the rest of the congregation benefits.

So why not put the teachers and the administrators- the ones at the top- first?  Making them happy will in the long run help make our students better.

Last fall we started a new outreach that will continue this year.  The school that our church as adopted and has worked hard to pour into made baskets for all the teachers.  Love speaks in many different ways to people.  For educators, love speaks by not having to buy what they truly need- SUPPLIES. Teachers budgets are small, and anything they don’t have to buy is their love language.

But we didn’t stop at the baskets.  Each basket/teacher had one person and/or family praying for them all school year.  Each teacher, the principal, and the administrators were covered in prayer throughout the school year.

Each basket not only had extra supplies, but a card from the person praying for them.  They were told that they would be praying for them all year and left their emails if any requests were needed.  Cards followed throughout the year.  We even did a catered lunch for them the last day of school where some of the teachers got to meet those that had been praying for them all year.

This idea came about when I began making small gift bags for my kids’ teachers at the beginning of the year. You can check that blog out here. I figured if we can do this as individuals, why not for a whole staff who work incredibly hard and receive very little? Why not the whole church banning together to show the teachers just how much we care about them?

Here are just a few examples of what we put in our baskets:

All ready to load up!

All ready to load up!

  • Coffee– (obviously), K-Cups if they have a Keurig
  • Individual Tea Packets
  • Chocolate– (another obvious)
  • Cough Drops
  • Character Band-Aids– because even the smallest ouchie needs a band-aid!
  • Fun Pencils– a teacher told me this is a great prize for their students when maybe they don’t always want to give out candy
  • Snacks– Some are so busy grading papers that they may not have time for lunch
  • Beef Jerky
  • Kleenex– I get the Vics Vapor Rub kind since its special and can be just for teacher
  • Sticky Notes
  • Expo Markers
  • Sharpies
  • $5 Coffee Card

    One of our many baskets.

    One of our many baskets.

As I said, I have nothing against Blessing in a Backpack, this is just another angle to bless your school.  Our teachers were overwhelmed by the love that was poured out upon them this past year. I pray we will be able to do the same this year.

Also, you do not have to do large baskets like we did.  Many churches are like teachers and are working with small budgets.  Even just a pack of Expos with a coffee card and a note telling them they will be prayed for would be much appreciated!

Bless you all in your endeavors!

Loading them up to take to the school.

Loading them up to take to the school.

Your thoughts?  How do you bless your schools?

Unpacking the church van. We left the baskets in each of their rooms for them to find when they came the next day.

Unpacking the church van. We left the baskets in each of their rooms for them to find when they came the next day.

The Anti-Feminist Loving the Feminist

Before you stone me for saying I’m not a feminist . . .

Unless you’ve been living in a hole, there have been a lot of protests in the news lately.  Mainly focused on the Million Women’s March (I think . . .).  I roll my eyes because we as American women have so many rights it’s crazy.  I listen to women yelling cuss words and think, “Is this how we get what we want anymore?  Temper tantrums?”  I listened to Madonna share that these protests were about love, then a few minutes later tell those that don’t agree, “F*** you!”

At first I was angry.  How hypocritical . . .

But then I was saddened as I remembered Jesus’ words: They are blind.  They have no idea how deceived they are. I can’t expect them to understand they’re stepping on our feet when they can’t see. These women are screaming for love but are so blinded by Satan’s deception and bitterness that they don’t know what love really is or what it looks like.

We as Christians know Jesus is the one who gives us our rights and validation, not the government, not man.  He approached the woman at the well that no one else would talk to, saved a woman from stoning, and healed women that no one would touch.  Women were the ones who discovered His empty grave and were the first to spread the Gospel.

In God’s image He made us male and female.  When Adam and Eve were created, He said it was VERY good because we’re better together.

As I prayed about my small voice in this huge world, I wondered if I should voice anything.  My opinions, facts, etc. This is between you and the Lord, but for me at this moment, Silence is Golden.  I feel that if this generation of protesters want love, that is what they should get. Could you imagine a surge of evangelicals loving on those that are lost? Oh the confusion that would happen!  It would be amazing to see their faces when confronted with those bestowing kindness and listening ears.

I am still praying as to how to accomplish this, but one thing is for certain- my opinion is white noise.  My memes will only cause anger and harden hearts towards the Gospel.  My facts will not change anyone’s mind, just make them more bitter.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud  or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is what will enhance the Kingdom.  Love is what will change the hearts of men (and women).

PRAY WITH ME SISTERS:

“Lord, thank you for making me a woman.  You are the one who opens doors for me. It is because of YOU I have freedom and validation.  I pray that through all the noise of the media, politics, fake news, and social media that you will show me how to truly love people.  Help me to stand up for truth, but show kindness to my fellow men and women, because it’s your kindness that leads us to repentance. Use me in a mighty way this season in our country’s history.  And help me to keep praying for those that are serving the White House, whether I agree with them or not. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

I’d love your opinion and ideas.  How do you think we should show love to these women?

URGENT! Don’t Stop Praying!

The energy I saw the days coming up to the election was unbelievable. I watched as Governor Mike Pence, evangelist Franklin Graham and others were sending urgency to the Christians around the world to pray. Everywhere I turned it seemed more people were fasting and getting down on their knees before God, crying out for mercy.

I was one of them.

All throughout the election coverage I found myself speaking in the spirit because I didn’t have the mental energy to spout anymore of my own words.

What was happening?

We were worried.  We were worried about the sanctity of life. We worried about us as parents having our rights taken away on how we raise our children, about our public schools, the list goes on. However, no matter your opinion on our new president elect, you should still be worried. Why? I’m reminded of when Abraham Lincoln quoted Jesus during the time of the Civil War:

“”A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved—I do not expect the house to fall—but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.”

Lincoln was right. Our country was completely divided between the north and south and he knew it could not stay that way and did everything he could to bring unity.

As I watched the news Tuesday night and into the morning, it brought to light more than ever how divided we are. We are incredibly similar in division with our 1860s ancestors.  What pains me even more than our country being divided, is our Christians divided. More than I’ve ever seen.  We as Christians are lashing out at each other when the real enemy is Satan. We do not fight against flesh and blood but against the evil forces of this dark world.  Don’t lose focus on who our true enemy is.  And furthermore, to quote my good friend Denise Glowicki, “The church has an opportunity to shine in this dark world, but I’m seeing many trading their witness for damaging opinions. Please pray before you post.”

I had two predictions going in and out of this election. One, candidate X we didn’t want would win. We would all be discouraged and depressed, and would stop praying.  Second, candidate X that we wanted would win. We would then wipe the sweat from our brow and say, “Few! We did it.” And would stop praying.

This is what I have to say:  DON’T. STOP. PRAYING.

You know what’s going to make America great again? Christians who pray.  You know what’s going to make America great again? The church being sanctified, turning away from our own corruption and obeying God.  You know what’s going to make America great again? Christians unifying and standing up for truth.

What would happen if all Christians obeyed God? MIRACLES.

Please keep praying and fasting with the same amount of urgency we did the days up to the election.  Pray:

  • Revival
  • Unity
  • Sanctification in the church
  • The mind and wisdom of Christ for our new leaders
  • The next cabinet and Supreme Court justice to be full gospel believers
  • The eyes of unbelievers to be open
  • That we would raise up a generation of future adults not children
  • That we we continue to care about the Great Commission

PRAY WITH ME:
“Lord, I thank you for a president elect that wants to protect life and put a pro-life judge on the Supreme Court. Thank you for a Vice President elect that is not afraid to announce that he is a Christian. However, we are a nation divided. A house divided against itself cannot stand.  Please have mercy on our country.  I repent on behalf of our nation for turning away from you.  I repent and ask that our churches be sanctified.  I pray that the hearts of the fathers would turn back to their children and the children back to their fathers.  Show us how to continue to pray from this point on.  In Jesus Name, AMEN.”

 

I normally don’t ask for you to share my posts.  Most bloggers do, and that’s not wrong, I’m just weird like that.  But I’m asking you to share to help others realize the urgency of continued prayer.  Thank you!

What’s Holding Back the Battle?

I feel so hopeless in this world. When I look at the state of our culture and how far from God we have come, I fear for my children. I feel like battles are lost before they even start. I’m so discouraged by people’s negative posts on FB towards Christianity when they have no idea the context, or don’t care to know. I get discouraged when I look at our governmental leaders and their willingness to compromise.
I know I need to pray, but I feel my prayers will not do any good. I know our God is more powerful than the God of this earth, yet I lack the faith in my prayers.  But today I did what I should do no matter what I feel- prayed anyway.  I went to my prayer closet, got down on my knees and began my faithless time with the Lord, pleading for His grace and mercy. I turned to Joshua chapter 7 and begin to read.
To summarize, in chapter six, Joshua and the Israelites destroyed Jericho. Joshua instructed his men to burn everything and take no plunder, but Achan, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the cursed things (7:1).  When it was time to take the land of Ai, Joshua’s spies told him not many men were needed to fight because there were so few people.  To make a long story short, 3,000 Israelites were killed in battle.  Feeling God had betrayed him, Joshua cries out and questions Him. God explains it was because of his men’s sin of taking forbidden plunder (7:10-12).  Joshua is then instructed to go and purify his men; that they will not be able to face their enemies until the sin was gone.  Once Achan was burned and the cursed items retrieved, they were able to face their enemies at Ai and defeat them.
I found revelation and encouragement tucked away in this one chapter. I believe one of the reasons why we, as Christians, are struggling in battle is because of sin in our camp.  Like Joshua, it may not be us in habitual sin, but those we are sheparding in our church, those that are compromising because of our changing culture, money or power. Whatever battle in our culture, we need to be repenting on behalf of our nation and the continued sanctification of the American church if we want to see battles won.

Should I be praying for God to protect marriage as being between one man and one woman? Yes. Should I be praying for marriages to be healed and children to no longer be abandoned by parents? Yes. Should I be praying for those in Hollywood whose lives revolved around sex, money and power? Yes. But I’ve added something new to my prayer list. Well, kind of. I’ve always prayed for the sanctification of the church as a whole, but now I realize how much of a priority it is for victory.

This morning when you pray for America, when you pray for her salvation and revival, remember Achan. Remember his role in 3,000 men dying because of his one sin. When you pray, pray for the consecration of our nation’s Christians. Pray that the American church be freed from habitual sin and be purified so we can be better prepared for war when we partner with God in defeating the ‘god of this world.’

PRAY WITH ME SISTERS:
“Lord! Help us! Show your grace and mercy upon this country. I lift up the American church and ask that you would not allow sin in your house. Help us to recognize where we fall short so we may come to you in repentance. I know you have a mighty plan and purpose for this country and you are not done with us yet.  Mighty things are yet to come. Consecrate us!  Help us to show mighty love to those who need help being set free. Give us shepherds dreams and visions to help consecrate our sheep. Thank you for the sheep you’ve given us. May we be great stewards to them. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

To The Mother Of My Future Son-In-Law

To the mother of my future son-in-law,

Hello!  My name is Rachael and one day you and I will be ‘related’.  No, we might not share Thanksgiving dinners or Christmas mornings together, but we will share other events.  A wedding, grandchildren, birthdays, graduations, etc.  We will be forever linked.

Let’s get to the point-I love my daughter.  Being female myself, having been married 10 years, and consistently studying the state of our culture, I have some concerns.   Concerns for my fellow man and his male offspring.  At this point, I’m all for arranged marriages.

As a parent I ask myself, “What kind of adults do I want my children to become?  What skills/abilities/characteristics do I want them leaving my house with?”

But since I can’t arrange my children’s marriages (or can I?), I ask of you- the mother of my future son-in-law:

    • Please teach good finances– how to be a provider and a giver. One of the number one reasons for divorce is money.   No matter your view, men want to provide and women want to feel secure. Tithing and giving is the best way to learn selflessness. Budgeting teaches responsibility. Get him a checking account at 16 and budget it. Get him a credit card with a $100 limit and show him the importance of making sure this gets paid off. Allow him to fail in this area under your protection instead of the hard way after he has left. Check out Dave Ramsey on money and kids. This $100 allowance is also my favorite.
    • Teach him how to cook- I’m shocked at the number of young people I meet that leave their homes and not know how to cook (or do laundry, dishes, etc.). Eating is a pretty important skill to have. I wish I could just hand this over to my husband some days. He says, “If you’ll teach me I’ll do it.” A sweet gesture babe, but honestly, I’m your wife, not your mom. I don’t want to teach you how to cook. I’m trying to teach all of our children so they won’t live on Ramen Noodles forever. Your future daughter-in-law will thank you, whether she is my daughter or not.
    • Cut the cord and let him take risks-  seriously. Do we really need to be cutting our 5 year old son’s grapes? Cut. The. Cord. Allow him some freedom-with responsibility.  Let him try to figure things out. Budgeting, cooking and laundry are a start, but let’s take it further. I’m not super mom, don’t mistake me for her. However, all my children make their beds and clean their rooms in the morning before school. And it’s the alarm clock that wakes them up, not me. I just remind myself what I want my boys to be like as adults and I start now. This little thing at a young age will help them become individuals, build self-esteem, and know that I am their mother, not their maid- and their wives will be their wives, not their maids. This leads to-
    • A producer, not a consumer- “I love that my husband plays video games,” said no wife EVER.  I’m not against technology, but we need to help our children navigate it, not allow it to take over. What ever happened to making our children go outside and play with sticks? Oh yea, we’re too afraid of them getting poked in the eye or getting kidnapped that we isolate them inside and take away freedom.  I like my TV as much as the next person, but being in front of the screen allows more time for consumption, and no time to create. If we instill fear in our sons and put them in front of a screen to consume, how do we expect them to ever take any risks for Jesus as an adult?
    • Manners and social etiquette- Manners bring favor and gratitude. Manners like “Please” and “Thank you” and “May I have a snack please? Can you pass the ranch please?” Learning to shake hands with proper greetings. When you as the mom ask a question that they not answer you with “What?” but “Yes, mom?”   It takes time but start early. This is up to you. Yes, dad can help in this, but it’s up to you to respect your son as well as expect respect and manners from him so he knows how to treat the women (and future wife) in his life. Get this book for more help.
    • Prayer and devotions- We all want our children to have an amazing relationship with God, but it starts with an example. I struggle to pray and getting time to pray; but my children see me. They see me praying for the car accident we passed by on the road, they see me kneeling at my bed when I’m lost and don’t know what to do. They hear me fighting the enemy for their souls. I pray with each of them every night. They hear me. I’m still learning myself, but just as I tell the students in kid’s ministry, it’s nothing fancy-it’s just talking to God.
    • Give him something to fight for- We like our causes. We like to protest all sorts of things. GMOs, grain-fed anything. But like my boss/lead pastor says, “GMOs didn’t destroy the city of Detroit.” What did? Drugs and alcohol. I don’t see many protesting alcohol, yet it’s one of the leading killers and destroyer of families in America. What about sex trafficking? Abortion? There are causes out there destroying families and cities. My son is only six, but every night he chooses an unreached people group (a group that has yet to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ) and he prays. Even at six my son can fight a battle. As he gets older the battles will get bigger and harder. They will cost him more.
    • Teach him purity- not just abstaining from sex. You can be a virgin and not be pure. Pornography destroys marriages and intimacy. Oral sex is still sex (did a kid’s pastor just say oral sex?). He may ask, “How far is too far?” But that’s the wrong question. The question is not how far is too far, but, “How far can I stay away as to stay pure?” Part of respecting women is to respect boundaries. We are nowhere near perfect, but my husband didn’t even say I love you until there was a ring on my finger, and we didn’t even kiss until, “You may now kiss the bride.” Does that mean that’s what our kids have to do? No, but I guarantee there will be no regrets. This is part of him learning how to be a protector of a family.

There is so much more, but I hope this helps. Please know that I am working tirelessly with my daughter to be a mature, loving, amazing godly woman for your son. I am praying for you as well as your son!

Sincerely,

Your future daughter-in-law’s mother

Dear Christians, STOP THE VACCINE WAR.

I interrupt your Facebook reading to bring you an important message- stop. Whether you are for or against vaccinations – STOP.
I will not tell you what I do or don’t do- that is neither here or there. Quite frankly, I don’t want to know your choice nor am I up for a debate- because it’s just that: your choice. My kids are not going to hell either way; but sometimes that’s where we seem to put vaccines- on the hell or heaven pedestal.

In the book of Acts chapter one, Jesus is excitingly (well, in my mind) telling His disciples about the gift He is about to bless them with that will help them share the gospel: the Holy Spirit. In the process of sharing, the disciples almost ignore the fact they are getting a gift and ask,

“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

I can almost see Jesus’ agitation as He is trying to give them their new marching orders hypodermic-syringe-and-needle_2818406[1]and their minds are somewhere else.  He quickly answers them, and moves back to His topic- the Mission.  They were so focused on their oppression from the Romans that they had forgotten about the oppression of sin others were living under.

Is that what we’ve done?  Focused so much on our ‘oppression’ (whether we should or shouldn’t vaccinate) that we have forgotten the oppression of others? I know I have.

Why do I highly dislike this subject? Because I see it dividing the Body of Christ. The bible says that unbelievers will know us by the love we show for one another (John 13:35), but it seems instead we are tearing each other down. We are supposed to be an army. An army of love, yet we are dividing ourselves in the name of shots. Shots are not a war I want to die fighting for. I want to die fighting for the orphans, the widows and the poor. I want to die for the mission.

Let’s focus on our mission. What’s our mission? THE GREAT COMMISSION. Instead of us advocating for or against vaccines lets advocate for souls. Three billion people have yet to hear about Jesus. There are women and children who are being sold into sexual slavery every day, religions that abuse themselves so their ‘god’ can forgive them having no idea someone was already abused so they could be forgiven. There are men strapping bombs to themselves to ‘earn’ Allah’s love- and here we sit, in our comfy homes, good food and advocate for or against shots.
I’ve prayed about my decision – a lot. With so many facts and figures coming from both angles, do what’s best- pray. If you don’t agree with my decision then pray for me, one of us will change. As for now- let’s lay our differences aside, unify together and save religious-statuary-1_2109181[1]souls. The Great Commission is this:

“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15

So I leave you with this- STOP. Get focused on our mission. Advocate for what will really matter once we enter eternity. If I showed love to the least of these and if I won souls in the name of Jesus.

You may return to your regular Facebook viewing.

TEN MINUTE COMMANDMENTS- Struggling to Pray for Your Kids?

stressed-out-mom7[1]A revelation hit me the other day.  As a new again mother, I have forgotten how hard it is to get anything done.  Caleb and Jayce are four years apart.  It only took four years to forget what it’s like to have a baby around.  It actually took me about 20 minutes just to type these first two sentences, between trying to get Jayce back to sleep and getting myself a cup of tea (totally over the whole ‘no caffeine’ thing, just dilute the milk with some formula and we’re good).  Anyway, a revelation hit me.  So many moms are struggling with just getting some time to pray, worship and have quite time with the Lord.  It’s hard, and I’m a pastor!  But alas, I’m struggling just like every other mother out there.

Not only do I struggle because I’m a mom, but I struggle because I’m in ministry.  Sounds odd considering I’m paid to pray, but with so much work involved with ministry I end up putting my tasks before my prayer time.  And when I do pray, I find myself praying more for the congregation I serve than my own family- not cool. My family comes first and I struggle at times to make sure they take priority.  Also, I’m not a natural intercessor.  I find it a struggle to pray basic prayers, so I often turn to the scriptures for ideas- not a bad problem.  

One night while walking back and forth with my bundle of joy (oh let’s be real, he’s my bundle of fuss), I looked up at the Ten Commandments I had plastered on my wall a few months prior to him being born (Exodus 20). I thought, “Hello?!”  I looked at each Commandment and prayed over Jayce as I held him. As I walked around my living room, I prayed that he would love God more than anyone and anything else.  I prayed all the way to number ten; that he would not be jealous of anyone, that he would be content with what he has in life and desire to live a simple life as to give more of his time and provisions to the Kingdom.

Praying the Top Ten covered all the basics and more; from respecting God and other authorities, to his purity, to his integrity.  Sometimes as moms we are expecting our devotions to be the same as they were BC (before children).  During our BC years we could spend time in worship without someone pulling on our shirt, without being interrupted, or having a child play the question game as you try to write your blog!  The bible says to pray without ceasing- pray all the time. It doesn’t say, “You must spend 3 hours in complete silence with no interruptions to talk to me.”  Why?  Because God knew that would be impossible for parents.  God is so GOOD!

TODAY’S CHALLENGE

Don’t get me wrong, we need those times to escape and lock ourselves in the bathroom in order to have peace (I do this with a fist full of brownies).  We need those times to just break away and go for a prayer walk, to have an extended period of time alone with God.  However, that will not happen every day.  Pray while you are cooking.  Pray in the spirit while in the shower.  Turn on your Bible App in the car and just listen to God’s Word as you drive.  Believe me; God isn’t mad at you because you haven’t “done your devotions”.  He longs to spend time with you; you just do it in a different way now.

PRAY WITH ME SISTERS

“Lord, I pray you would help us make you a priority in our daily lives.  Help us also to put our families above our congregations.  With so many hurts, problems, board decisions, budget issues (or lack of), it is so easy to place them above the ones in our own homes.  I ask that you would give us wisdom on how to better prioritize our time.  Prompt our minds when we could be praying during our simplest takes.  Help us, and open doors for us, to have extended alone time with you. Thank you for your grace and goodness in this area. In Jesus name, AMEN.”

 

For my non-intercessor easy friends- here is a basic outline that I hope helps.

  • Not having any Gods before the Lord and not having any idols:
    • I prayed that God would be #1 in my babies’ lives.  No boy/girlfriend, spouse, children, no amount of money, false religions-ANYTHING, would take first place.
    • Their lives would be ones that live to Glorify God above anything.

 

  • Respecting God’s name:
    • Not using His name as a swearword, but also having a healthy fear of the Lord.
    • They would respect His name and reputation.

 

  • Remembering the Sabbath:
    • Prov. 10:4- I pray against the spirit of laziness and they would be extremely hard workers.
    • Though I want them to be hard workers, they would not be workaholics (like myself) and spoke refreshing and rest- no burnout.

 

  • Honoring parents:
    • Pray they would not only honor us as parents, but ALL authority.  Teachers, pastors, bosses, etc.
    • Eph. 6:4-I pray we would not exasperate our children, praying that God would help us as parents not to hinder our child’s salvation.

 

  • A loving, compassionate heart:
    • Seeing God’s creations through His eyes and not their own.
    • They would be slow to anger and offense which leads to bitterness and then hate.

 

  • Giving hands instead of taking hands:
    • For honest children full of integrity and character.
    • I also like praying Eph. 4:28- that they wouldn’t steal but would use their hands for work and would be generous givers.  Especially givers to the Great Commission.

 

  • Living a pure life- before and after marriage:
    • Protection over their body, eyes, mind and heart- for them and their future spouse.
    • Would flee temptations such as pornography, romance novels, etc.
    • Them, and their spouse would only have eyes for each other.
    • Would be thankful in their marriage no matter what, it can always be worse!

 

  • A honest mouth:
    • Having mouths that speak truth no matter what the cost.
    • The inability to speak lies, and if so will be caught every time.
    • Eph. 4:29- Mouths that do not speak anything unwholesome, but only what builds others up.

 

  • A thankful, grateful heart:
    • What a struggle in our culture!  Praying against materialism.
    • To live a simple, minimal life in order to give more to the Kingdom.
    • To be humble, thankful, grateful for anything and everything they have.
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