10 Ways to be a Good Mom

As a mom, life can be unpredictable. The stress we face on a daily basis is sometimes unbearable. Our daily lives can turn from smooth to chaotic in a split second. We read article after article to try to “figure it out.” We compare our kids to other kids and give ourselves a pat on the back when our child doesn’t throw a tantrum in the grocery store. But what truly measures the quality of motherhood? Is it measurable?

The question has crossed every mother’s mind: Am I a good mom? 

Here are 10 ways that I think every mom can be great:

  1. Teach your children biblical principles – Ephesians 6:4 “…bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
  2. Encourage your children – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”
  3. Discipline your children – Proverbs 13:24 “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”
  4. Stay calm in stressful situations – 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
  5. Create structure throughout the day
  6. Love your children’s father – Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”
  7. Be selfless – Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.”
  8. Improve your own relationship with God and everything else will fall into place – Matthew 6:33 “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
  9. Don’t worry – Matthew 6:27 “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
  10. Express your love to your children daily through words and actions – John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

I know there are a lot of ways to assess your job as a mom, but before going to any other resources, I go to the Bible. This list helps me remember that I’m doing a great job when I feel like I’m failing.

To every mom out there: You’re doing a great job!

God Bless.

A Reminder for All Moms

Fishing is my three-year-old son’s favorite hobby. He absolutely loves it. He would go every day if I complied. As a compromise, I let him go “fishing” in the front yard with the pole I bought him for his birthday. I take the hook off and leave the bobber on and he practices casting his pole across the yard. He stays entertained for hours.

During his fishing adventures, he comes to me multiple times when his line gets tangled or stuck on something. Fishing line is, by far, my least favorite thing on this planet. I swear it gets tangled so easily, especially when a toddler is in charge. Nevertheless, I willingly untangle it. However, there are times when I get really frustrated and impatient.

The other day, as I was untangling the twisted line, I caught myself expressing my frustration to my son who was completely innocent. I asked him multiple questions without letting him answer my complaints.

“How did you let it get like this? What were you doing? This is crazy! Why did you let it get this bad before telling me? You need to be more careful. I’m not untangling it anymore.”

I said all of these things with a harsh, frustrated tone in my voice, taking the joy from his favorite activity. Later, I felt guilty for the way I handled the situation because he didn’t intentionally upset me. He was simply playing. I couldn’t help but think about how God treats us when we have problems.

God doesn’t get frustrated when we turn to him with our problems. He doesn’t give up on us. He doesn’t tell us to figure it out ourselves. He remains patient and loving even when we come to him a million times with the same problem. I couldn’t help but think of the following verse:

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

Isn’t it ironic that the verse specifically says the word cast?

As my son casts his pole and brings me his anxiety/worries, I must cast my anxiety on Jesus. As a mother, sometimes I have to step back and take a breath and let God take control. Every day I realize more and more how a mother’s relationship with her children emulates God’s relationship with us, his children. I have to remind myself daily of this truth because if I don’t, I become impatient with my kids. I get overwhelmed and stressed. And I forget what it’s all about: love.

As a stay-at-home mom, sometimes I lose sight of my purpose. I’m probably not the only one who feels this way. There are times when my tasks feel mundane, meaningless, repetitive, and stressful, but my job is one of the most important because I am raising a human being and am responsible for teaching, disciplining, and shaping his character. During those times I want to go lock myself in the other room, I have to keep in mind my true purpose, which is to mirror God’s character to my children. If I keep this at the foundation of everything I do, it all becomes so much more relevant.

I encourage all the moms out there, working or stay-at-home, to cast your anxiety on the Lord and remember what motherhood is all about.

God Bless.

Your Thoughts Have Power

Did you know that you think more than 40,000 thoughts per day? I came across this fact recently in a book I read and thought it was pretty interesting.

The way you think about things can shape your reality. For instance, imagine your spouse was supposed to be home at 6, and you have dinner hot and ready right on time. Six o’clock comes and goes. Then 6:15… then 6:30. Finally, he walks in at 7, apologizing for being late because he was caught up at work and then hit traffic on the way home. Meanwhile, dinner is cold and you had to eat alone. Instead of being mad, sulking, and thinking of all the negative things about this situation, why not choose to be thankful. Be thankful that you have a husband that works hard to provide for you and the family. Be thankful that you have someone to keep you warm at night. Be thankful that you have a companion to share life with. You could very well be a single parent barely making ends meet.

One positive thought can change your life for the better and make you much happier too. If you find yourself thinking negatively about a situation, make a conscious decision to change that thought into something positive and watch how your attitude will change. You will start to see yourself and your life differently.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — whatever is excellent and praiseworthy — think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV

You are what you think. And God tells you how to think!

Set your mind on things above. Colossians 3:2 NIV

I have been working on this area of my life lately. I realized that I complain quite a bit, which is the result of negative thoughts. My husband actually pointed it out. I was in denial at first, but now I’m glad he revealed it to me. No one wants to be around a negative person and I definitely don’t want my children growing up thinking I’m a discontent or negative person. The Bible even says specifically not to complain about ANYTHING. Complaining and discontentment should not be characteristics of a Christian.

Do everything without complaining or arguing. Philippians 2:14

The great thing is that we have control over our minds. We should be renewing our minds in Christ daily and thinking positively. After all, we have a God who loves us and cares about us and listens to us! That’s reason enough not to complain.

A Rebuttal to “5 Reasons why marriage doesn’t work anymore”

I recently came across an article shared by a few friends on social media titled, “5 reasons why marriage doesn’t work anymore,” which immediately caught my attention. I’m sure you can see why. I curiously clicked the link and read what may be the five most pathetic excuses reasons for why marriages don’t seem to work in today’s society.

Anthony D’Ambrosio, the author of said article, is divorced shortly after tying the knot in 2012. It seems as if he’s speaking from experience and a little bit of bitterness. I’ve been married to my husband for less than two years and we have two children together (ages 2 and 1). While every day hasn’t been a walk in the park, I have never thought of the “D” word. I just can’t seem to relate to D’Ambrosio’s article. It rubbed me the wrong way. I see why the divorce rate is so high because obviously couples are ready to leave for any slight irritation.

Here are the 5 reasons D’Ambrosio states:
1. Sex becomes almost nonexistent
2. Finances cripple us
3. We’re more connected than ever before, but completely disconnected at the same time
4. Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved
5. Social media just invited a few thousand people into bed with you

Do you see what I mean by pathetic now?

First, sex only becomes nonexistent if you let it. And there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t be making love to your spouse regularly. If you have a true connection with your spouse beyond the physical level, you will want to engage in this activity as often as possible! We need to stop making sex a chore. After all, it’s a great stress reliever and gets your mind off anything that may be bothering you. If you’re a Christian, you know that God WANTS you to make love to your spouse. Some say it is a sin to refuse sex to your spouse, stating 1 Corinthians 7:4, “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” So, no more excuses!

His second reason is finances or lack thereof. Okay, I get it, the cost of living has risen since our grandparents were newlyweds, but so have wages. D’Ambrosio states, “We’re too busy paying bills to enjoy our youth.” Our mid-20s may be difficult financially because we’re just starting our careers and maybe wanting to have kids, but that’s no reason why we can’t enjoy our youth. Last time I checked, you didn’t need to spend a lot of money (if any money at all) to enjoy your spouse. In fact, if you think you have to go on elaborate dates or vacations to keep your marriage alive, then you are completely superficial. My husband and I don’t have very much money and he has been unemployed for 8 of the past 12 months. Has it been tough? Of course. Has it crippled our marriage? No way! Our relationship has stronger roots than that. We make an effort to spend quality time together, even if it’s just taking a drive without the kids and reminiscing on the days when we first met. I don’t know about you, but those moments mean more to me than an expensive birthday gift. Don’t base your marriage off finances. There are going to be ups and downs, but learn to enjoy the ups and let the downs bring you closer.

The rest of the article blames technology.

The third reason talked about in the article is technology, cell phones specifically. D’Ambrosio claims that text messaging and apps have hindered our communication, thus removing human emotion from our relationships. I, however, believe that text messages have enhanced our communication. When we used to have to pick up a phone and call our loved ones, we can now send them a sweet text message in a couple seconds no matter where we are.

The fourth reason is the most ridiculous to me. First of all, speak for yourself, D’Ambrosio. If your desire for attention outweighs your desire to be loved, you have serious issues. The Bible says in Galatians 1:10, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” You can’t be a Christian if you’re always seeking approval and attention from others. Your main goal should be to first please God, then your spouse.

The final reason discussed is social media and the fact that nothing is private anymore. We make every aspect of our lives public. I do believe that posting everywhere we go and everything we eat is crazy, but we have control over it. Don’t be a slave to social media. It goes back to seeking the approval of others.

All these things may cause added stress, but they are no reason for divorce. It happens when husbands and wives stop bonding and lose sight of why they fell in love in the first place. It happens when we pursue our own interests instead of pursuing each other. It happens when women try to lead instead of follow and submit and serve their husbands. It all comes down to this: If God isn’t the center of your marriage, then you can expect to be unhappy or divorced.

Revamp in progress!

I have been MIA long enough and I’m ready to get back to blogging! I am in the process of revamping my site. While motherhood will remain the main topic, I will also write about other things that are on my mind, such as marriage, cooking, and Christianity. My goal is to post weekly, but as you know, life happens sometimes!

Check back soon for new posts!

God Bless!

The True Meaning of Christmas

The holiday season is in full swing. Lights illuminate houses. Festive music plays on almost every radio station. Stores are full of holiday shoppers looking for the perfect gift. Kids visit Santa with excitement gleaming on their faces. Adults attend various Christmas parties. All of these things are nice and harmless, but we can easily get caught up in what society has made Christmas all about and forget about the true meaning.

I grew up in a Christian home. I knew that Christmas was the day that we celebrate the birth of Jesus; however, I also knew that we got gifts! The Christmases when I got exactly what I had asked for were the ones that I considered the best. Some years when my mom’s budget was tight, we may have gotten a couple small things. And when people asked how my Christmas was, I remember saying, “It was okay.” Looking back, I think, wow I really based my happiness off of how “good” my presents were, completely forgetting what the holiday really represented.

All that to say, I don’t want my kids growing up with that mindset. As parents, we have the ability to shape the way our children think. We are their greatest influence after all. If we emphasize gifts on Christmas, then that’s what they will look forward to. If we focus on praising our Savior that day, then they will surely follow our lead. Gifts are great, but when we make them are number one priority, that’s where it goes wrong (and becomes extremely stressful, too)! I don’t think God wants us stressed out.

A friend of mine posted on Facebook recently saying she got so many things for her two-year-old son and he was going to have the best Christmas. It just made me think that society has made Christmas a time of getting instead of giving. Jesus is the best gift we could EVER receive anyway, and we already have Him! If we know that, then why are we teaching our kids otherwise?

A couple people that I know emphasize Santa and even go to the extreme of putting out reindeer food or dressing up as Santa. This is a difficult topic for me because I think it is ridiculous and I have a strong opinion on it. So if I offend anyone, I apologize in advance. When you tell your child that Santa brings them gifts based on their behavior, you are ultimately LYING. And when they find out the truth, you have simply broken all trust they may have had in you. Because children are so impressionable, tell them the story of Jesus instead of the story of Santa. Sure, it’s fine for them to recognize Santa when they see a big man in a red suit with a white beard. But they will grow up just fine without believing that he drops off gifts to every house in the world on Christmas Eve.

My kids are still young at ages 1 and 2, so me and my husband are still trying to find nontraditional ways to celebrate Christmas. We definitely want to avoid a big emphasis on gifts. They will get a couple gifts, but definitely not on Christmas day because that day is about Jesus, not us. We will spend time with family and tell the kids why we celebrate. They may not understand yet, but its important to start young. All I want for Christmas this year is to be a positive influence on my children and a light to others.

“Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:6

What are your Christmas traditions? I’d love to hear from my readers!

A Step Toward A Healthier Family

Fall is here! According to the calendar, at least. In Texas, we are still hitting 80 degree temperatures! Grrrr. I would like for it to cool down a little more because Fall is about chilly weather, jackets, colorful trees, and runny noses. Yes, the dreadful days when snotty-nosed kids wipe snot on the sleeves of their shirts are right around the corner! Yippee! *sarcasm*

It’s inevitable. Our children will most likely catch something this Fall/Winter whether it be a slight cold or full blown pneumonia. Especially here in Texas where the temperatures decide to change drastically from 80 degrees one day to 50 degrees the next. Of course, we would all rather be soaking up sun at the pool than bundling up in multiple layers just to walk outside. Well, I guess I should speak for myself ☺

So, what do we do at the first sign of sickness? Run to the drugstore, check the medicine cabinet, call the doctor, or google our symptoms (isn’t technology great?). Although the latter usually just creates panic in my mind because so many possibilities pop up at the click of a button! What if I told you to ditch the drugstore because there is a better product out there for any and all of your wellness needs? You would most likely think I’m crazy. I mean how could we live without Tylenol, Benadryl, Zyrtec/Claritin, and all the other drugs we use?

I, personally, have never liked giving my kids these drugs because I know their tiny little bodies have to process them and the side effects, which usually include drowsiness, that come along with them. I don’t know about you, but I won’t want my baby walking around like a zombie just because I gave him something to help his runny nose. It’s just not worth it to me, which is why I found something better; something that will ease my mind and have zero side effects.

It is Young Living Essential Oils. Some of you may have heard of them already because they are the world leader in essential oils. They produce the most authentic oils because of their seed to seal production process. They are awesome! I have always liked a more natural approach to health and have used essential oils in the past, but I just ordered my starter kit, which came with 11 oils, a diffuser, and some samples. I’m so excited to take control of my family’s health without any worries in my mind. There is seriously an oil for everything!

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Of course, I’m not saying to never use any drugs ever again, but try these first and you will be surprised at how effective they are. Leave a comment below if you would like more information or to order your very own starter kit! You can also visit the company’s website, which has a lot more information than I have given you.

God bless!

The Meaning of Life

Have you ever felt like there’s more to life? Are you living to your fullest capability? Or are you just going through the motions of your daily life? It goes something like this for me: wake up to the sound of the baby whining and the toddler yawning, change diapers, pour milk in a bottle and sippy cup, make coffee, turn on worship music, eat breakfast, pack my husband’s lunch, get dressed, play, resolve fights, eat lunch, nap (for them, not me), clean, workout/read Bible if I’m lucky, cook dinner, bathe kids, put them to bed, spend time with my husband if I’m not too worn out, and repeat.

If you’re a mom, I’m sure you can relate. Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m supposed to be doing more! Not physically, but more for God’s kingdom. When my earthly life ends and I stand before the throne of God, He is going to ask me what I did with the tools he gave me. And I want to hear the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Sure, I got a college degree, got married, had a couple of kids, went to church regularly, stayed out of trouble, and prayed daily. But did I expand the kingdom of God? Did I witness to people? Did I spread His love? Or was I content with keeping it to myself?

All of those things mean nothing in heaven. Yes, children are a blessing and we aren’t meant to live alone. But we can’t take our degree with us when we die. We may see our spouse in heaven, but we aren’t married in heaven. In my weekly Bible study class, we have been discussing the topic of witnessing. We shouldn’t be timid about sharing what we already know. That is, if we have the knowledge. I know it is intimidating sometimes and takes courage. I am not the type of person to approach someone and start a conversation, especially about God. Mainly because I fear what their reaction will be. But witnessing doesn’t always mean you have to go preach to someone. It could be done through your actions. Because I’m not a talkative person, this is my main method of spreading God’s love. I don’t always have the right words to say, but I do know what a godly life looks life and I try to display it to my friends, family, and strangers.

Even that doesn’t seem like it’s enough. I asked God to show me how to be “enough.” I’m not saying do a bunch of good works so that you will make it to heaven because we only make it to heaven through salvation by God’s grace. God has been showing me how I can do more for His kingdom. And now I’m learning that he definitely has more for me than I thought! You can’t ask God to show you what you’re supposed to do with your life and not expect an answer or ignore the answer. Ignoring God’s voice or going against His will for your life can have serious consequences. But if you listen and obey His voice, you will surely reap great benefits on your life and your reward is great in heaven.

So what will you do for God’s kingdom today and everyday? What will you do with the tools he gave you?

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Becoming a Praying Parent

It’s the best of jobs. It’s the most difficult of jobs. It can bring you the greatest joy. It can cause the greatest pain. There is nothing as fulfilling and exhilarating. There’s nothing so depleting and exhausting. No area of your life can make you feel more like a success when everything is going well. No area of your life can make you feel more like a failure when things go wrong. PARENTING!

From The Power of a Praying Parent

I recently started the book quoted above and I’m learning so much. First of all, I absolutely love this quote. Parenting is no easy task and oftentimes it is discouraging. There are ups and downs. It has been a learning experience for me. I’m trying to figure out how to be an effective mother and raise my children in the ways of the Lord. But the great thing is, I don’t have to do it alone.

Now, I’ve always prayed for my children even when they were in the womb, but this book is giving me a new perspective on HOW to pray for them. Parenting is a huge responsibility and we can’t do it without God. All of our worries and fears about our children’s lives must be given to Him or we will drive ourselves crazy. An important part of our jobs as parents is to keep the details of our kid’s lives covered in prayer. Also, don’t try to force your own will on their lives. Trust the Lord with your children!

It is extremely important to pray. The book quotes “When we pray, we are humbling ourselves before God and saying, ‘I need Your presence and Your power, Lord. I can’t do this without You.’ When we don’t pray, it’s like saying we have no need of anything outside of ourselves.” She pretty much hit the nail on the head there. Prayer is our communication with God, so if we don’t pray, we are pretty much saying we don’t need God.

One thing we need to realize is that we would be nothing without the mercy of God. All that needs to happen in our lives and our children’s lives cannot happen without God’s divine presence. Prayer invites God into the intimate places of our lives, to walk with us, and depend on Him fully.

Whenever you pray, do it as if you are interceding for your children’s lives because that is exactly what you’re doing. Satan has a plan for them too and if we don’t pray, he will succeed. We must pray and forbid Satan access to their lives. We can resist Satan more effectively if we quote scripture when we pray.

If we…
WATCH Him,
WALK with Him,
WAIT on Him,
WORSHIP Him,
and LIVE in His word,
WE WILL WIN this battle for our children.

Oftentimes, I beat myself up when things don’t go perfectly. And most of the time, they don’t. Have you ever seen a mom or dad out with their kids in public and thought, Wow, they have it altogether. We can’t stress over being perfect because we will never have it all together. Honestly, it’s not about being a perfect parent because none of us will ever be perfect. It’s about being a PRAYING parent! Wow, that is such a relief. God gives us the ability to rest in Him and stop relying on the “unreliable, every-changing methods for child rearing!”

We must release our children into God’s hands and pray for them continually. We can’t do it without God. If you don’t pray for your kids regularly, I hope you will start. Give it all to God because He cares and wants to be the center of our lives.

Is Being a Stay-At-Home Mom Enough?

This post was originally posted on unsteadysaint.com and it really struck home with me so I wanted to share. I hope some of you can also relate. Enjoy!

He coos beside me. She’s been stuck in the princess book since scrambled eggs. I stalk Instagram accounts as pans wait patiently on the counter.

Being a stay-at-home mom runs deep in my blood. Before societal, or parental, or theological voices shared their views, it was my dream. Images of a boisterous dinner table and tucking love notes into lunch boxes felt like part of my design. Part of my self that I someday hoped to meet. And as I field my seventeenth request for crackers at 8:40am, I realize I’m meeting her.

In some ways she’s just who I envisioned. Deeply satisfying, engaged and alive.

In other ways she’s not. Her days are more busy and mundane than I envisioned, more simple and somehow chaotic. 5:45am-10pm (if I make it that far) runs a jagged course I never knew possible, with meaningful highs mixed with naked lows.

She’s also posed a question lately that’s caught me off-guard.

Is being a stay-at-home mom enough? Is just being at home with my children today satisfactory?

If so, why the tension, and what’s with “just” entering the conversation? (When’s the last time you heard someone say, “I’m just a teacher,” or “I’m just a doctor”?)

Women aren’t expected to stay at home anymore. It’s not the norm to “just” be a mother. Even for we “stay-at-home” moms (and even when finances don’t deem it necessary), there’s a pull toward also being a DoTerra rep, or writing another book, or starting a cookbook blog, or…

I often wonder about my grandmothers, who both seemed like a June Cleaver of sorts, draped with an apron, or jotting a thank-you note. What were their layers beneath? What did they worry about, or talk about on play dates? Did they ever feel teased by unavailable pursuits? Did they feel like their job at home was enough?

As a little girl, diagonal brush strokes glided over her subtle cheekbones and I wondered, “How much will be enough to gain mommy’s delight?”

As an adolescent and into adulthood, journal entries repeated a variation of, “When will I be enough to capture a man’s affection?”…“Am I enough, God, to capture Your attention?”

With two down for nap-time and an empty page before me, I’m still pondering “enough”. When will it be satisfied and why does it so quickly lead as my barometer of (lacking) peace?

If I read them each three stories, or the red bump on her eye goes away…If he doesn’t roll of the bed again, or I check off “exercise, clean and cook”…if I maintain joy amidst meltdowns, enthusiasm toward afternoon boredom…have I done enough? If my husband arrives home to savory aromas and a well-behaved household, have I done my job well?

The voice of Enough tells me, “No.”

“There is yet more. Always. That was kind of you to remember her birthday, but why not write a letter instead of just an email. Glad you found the deal on salmon, but how about find a coupon for the other ten things, too. You should at least have time to vacuum and bake muffins for the neighbors across the street. Oh and you missed a spot when shaving your legs this morning. And when you finish these, come back. I always have more to offer.”

In other words, Enough will never be satisfied. If my barometer is about “enough,” I will never know peace.

Sometimes I think my enough questions are about guilt.

There’s a story in John 8 where Jesus is teaching in the temple. Some studied religious folks bring him a woman who’d cheated on her husband. Angrily pushing her through the crowds, they yell,

“Teacher, this woman was caught having sexual relations with a man who is not her husband. The law of Moses commands that we stone to death every woman who does this. What do you say we should do?”

Jesus knelt down and started writing on the ground with his finger. They kept badgering him for an answer.

“Anyone here who has never sinned can throw the first stone at her.”

One by one they walked away, until it was just Jesus and the woman.
“Woman, where are they? Has no one judged you guilty?”

“No one, sir.”

“I also don’t judge you guilty. You may go now, but don’t sin anymore.”

We don’t know what Jesus scribed in the sand, but it alludes to words that knocked the breath out of this woman’s shame. And rightfully shamed the arrogance of those breathing down her throat.

It alludes to guilt. Forgiving guilt. Telling guilt it has no place anymore.

I also think my enough questions can be about boredom.

A therapist once defined boredom to me as the inability to enjoy oneself. When I’m enjoying my self, the self God has thoughtfully given to me, I feel free. I feel awake and alive. I feel honored to be a mother who gets to spend full days at home with her children. And free to be a mother who in a given day does this, or doesn’t do this, but gets to be with my children.

When peers provoked Jesus with “enough” questions (How much is enough to get me to heaven? or Who’s doing enough to become the greatest?), he knew “enough answers” would never be enough. He knew souls of his children are satisfied only in light of with – only in light of Immanuel.

This name of Jesus is mentioned three times in Scripture and translates to “God with us.” In other words, God in our midst. God in broken animal crackers and rocking chairs and onesies a size too small.

“Guilt” and “Should”, that is, you can “Devise a strategy today, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is now with us” (Isaiah 8.10).

Sometimes when I’m doing dishes, Elliana sits on the floor, nuzzled-up against the back of my knees. It’s not a pushy or winey nuzzle, but more a nuzzle about belonging, an unspoken sentence that she wants to be with.

God, would you help me be with my children today? Would you help me be present, noticing their eyes and listening for You in their play.

Would you help me surrender the part of me that wants to be enough for them? Remind me that I can’t be enough, or do enough, or give enough to rescue someone, to understand and fix and heal the broken stories in their inner and outer midsts.

Would You help me remember my greatest task today, regardless of the job or roles it pertains to, is to be with You. You left home, in a sense, Jesus, to be with us, that we might learn to be with You. Would you teach me to truly be at home in You today, that I might truly be with my children. And to know that being at home with my children, as an overflow of being at home with You, Immanuel, is more than enough.