RSS

Tag Archives: devotions for parents

To Where Does a Week Go?

To Where Does a Week Go?

To where does a week go?

To where can I point my finger and say, “It went here.”

An hour in a gymnasium. Sixty minutes of life gone…   

 And yet in one moment life stood still.

Right then, when she stopped and looked back to make sure I caught it. 

And I had caught it. 

Her smile and time stood still. 

 

She ran off again.

Just like that- she and time were gone again.
Our oldest son jumped from a trampoline across the room.
And he “stuck it.”

His body solid in its place. All that force stopped still, but for a moment. 

One moment and then time forced its way on. But here now- as I write- I “stick” time. 

It is possible to stick time. 

  
Baby girl sat in the bleachers next to me watching and waiting and snacking. I asked her to smile. Her joyous smile looked almost painful. Joy can be like that. My heart is often like that. Somewhere between now and then- and pained slightly at the ever present awareness of fleeting time.
 Time… So ordinary and yet so absolutely precious.  

So mysterious to me and yet incredibly so familiar and known by my Maker.

Is it possible to catch time? To inspect it and determine what was infront of me all along? 
  

It is. Like the mysterious green flying insect perched on our window sill, right infront of my face- time can be caught, zoomed in on, inspected and realized. 

But it takes time to do that.

Twenty minutes gone to catching a green bug and discovering it was a baby dragonfly. 

More time spent to set it free.

And what of me?

Can I look a little closer at myself? Zoom in, inspect, realize and discover all that is in me and then set it free?

Twenty minutes spent with a baby dragonfly made me think so.

Time well spent.

 

Then there were piano lessons. Our oldest spent three hours with his instructor this past week. And the many minutes spent riding in the van to and from… They all add up. And I feel it. The weight of the worry, “Is it time well spent?”

But as I watched him teach his sister her lesson, and as I heard the sound of that piano echoing off the same walls that have echoed their sibling rivalry battles…  My heart felt a peace. 

Because not every moment this week is where I wanted it to go. The quarrels, the whining, the battles that come with every week of raising children- how glorious it would be for no time to have gone there. 

Those moments were heavy.

But the sound of the piano echoing on the walls whispered to my weary heart, “It’s all part of learning and learning is a glorious sound.”

  

To where else does a week go?

It went to countless hours of homeschool lessons. Homeschool battles. Homeschool victories. It went to planning  out more lessons of homeschooling.

By Friday we are all ready for a break.

This past Friday rolled around and there was wood stacked high in the fire pit. We checked the website. The state fire ban was still in effect. Sad faces all around, for the loss of more time for roasting marshmallows. Ah- but a grand idea came to mind and I became the hero for the day when we resorted to a marshmallow roasting on the grill.
Sometimes you have to improvise.

Time well spent.

  

To where else did the week go? 

Time at the grocery store.

Time at the playground.

Time to video games.

Time to a movie night with the kids. 

A whole lot of time to cooking and feeding, cleaning and laundry.

Time to fishing.
  

And catching.
  

Time.

The shadow of the fish he caught so perfectly centered his green shirt. I look at it and am reminded that how we hold up our time says a lot about what we hold up in our heart. 

  

Our oldest son had a friend on his heart. He leaned in, “So, mom. How many minutes…”

He wanted to know how many minutes he could spend with his best bud down the street. 

I love that his brother caught this moment. 

The classic face of young man trying to work his charm. His brother sat next to me, taking pictures and laughing at his attempt. Yes, even the young try and bargain for more time.

  

The young…

My husband and I have been leading up the young children’s ministry at our church. 

Part of this week went to planning lessons and teaching.

Time spent praying for God to reveal to each of their hearts so much more of his love than we ever could.

It’s been the end of every week for us for some time now.

We start the week in a house full of kids.

We end it with even more. 

Time invested. 

  

A new week will start tomorrow, God willing.

More homeschooling, gymnastics, piano, dentist appointments, grocery shopping, planning for children’s church… 

The whirlwind will start again.

Yours will too.

And at the end of the week we may find ourselves asking once again, “To where does a week go?”

God help us to live out this next week in a way that surpasses the choices we made this week. Help us live out this next week in a way that we will be able to know with confidence we spent our time well.
  
 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

“Don’t eat that.”

“You should have this down by now.”

“Didn’t you tell them not to do that? They don’t listen to you, and everyone sees it.”

“Look at all of you. What a disgrace, a far cry from the Duggards by far.”

“What were you thinking? A wise mother wouldn’t do that.”

“Why did God choose you to be a mom anyway? You clearly aren’t good at it. He picked the wrong person for this job.”

“Have another one? Ha! You can’t even control the ones you have! You need to quit now, pack it up before it gets even worse, because you know it is going to get even worse. You are barely afloat. Have anymore and you are going to sink the whole ship.”

“They behaved like that in church! Shameful. All that work getting them there for what? Just stay home. Save yourself the work and embarrassment.”

“You act so happy and blessed. Look at you. This is the real you. You are miserable. You are a fake and have no business ministering to anyone.”

Words whispered from an all too familiar voice. He loves to spew his poison in the midst of the seeming chaos. He speaks as clearly as The Lord, yet his words never bring peace. He brings doubt. He brings defeat. He comes with accusations and with lies disguised as truth. He often comes camouflaged as your very own thoughts. At times his voice is so similar to The Lord, but don’t be fooled. His words if ingested lead straight to death. Ask Adam. Ask Eve.

Where good mixes with evil, that is where you find him. Where truth becomes blurred by lies. And God has said, “Don’t eat that.” Yet the enemy slides in whispering, “Eat… Listen… Believe.”

Oh yes, the enemy wants you to be believe. He wants you to believe his words that you aren’t good enough. He wants you to believe that you should have everything in control. He wants you to believe you are a fake. He wants you to believe you are a failure. He wants you to believe you can’t… You just can’t, and furthermore, you shouldn’t. He wants you to believe that others are against you. He wants to isolate you. He wants you to believe that you will never measure up. And most of all, he wants you to believe that God was wrong. God was wrong when he made you and wrong when he chose you. Believe that and you will doubt everything God has said.

Satan whispered to Eve, “Did God really say?” And his whisper hasn’t changed.

Satan lied when he said, “You won’t die.” And he still is the speaker of lies.

Eve was deceived, but you need not be.

Adam ate freely and then blamed God.

Don’t you.

Don’t ingest the enemies lies.

A prayer for today:

“Heavenly Father, we ask that you give us a discerning ear. Help us to recognize your voice and the voice of the enemy. You said your sheep know your voice. Help us to know it. Help us to daily filter the words that approach our mind and heart, for every word is like a seed, capable of producing fruit. May the words we ingest be your words. May they plant and produce much fruit. May the words of the enemy find no place to take root. May we spew them out of our heart. May they wither and die and produce no fruit. Help us to remember that you desire to do mighty things through us, far more than we could ever imagine or comprehend. Help us to be at peace with who we are in you. Truth rise up. Joy rise up. Light arise. Darkness flee. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Written on His Hands

20140520-000335.jpg

So on Sunday our Pastor encouraged us to pick up a prayer bracelet to remind us to pray for a young person that would soon be attending a Young Life camp. Standing in the parking lot after after church I felt the feeling of a something being wrapped around my wrist. I looked over and our son had wrapped this bracelet with the name “Cole Swayze.” And since then, I have been praying at all moments of the day and night for Cole Swayze. I have no idea who he is, but I must admit I can’t get over how this one little bracelet has caused me to think about and pray for him all the time. And it has got me thinking.

Somewhere is Cole Swayze. He has no idea who I am or that his name is written on my wrist. He has no idea that I even exist let alone that I am filled with hope and joy for him. He has no idea how the little things I see cause me to stop and pray for him. So many thoughts and prayers because his name is right there near my hand.

And you know something? Your name is written somewhere to.

Isaiah 49:16
“See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands…”

God knows your name. He has written it on his hands. His thoughts of you are countless. His hopes for you, unending. And you may not have a single thought about him, but that doesn’t stop his many, many thoughts and prayers for you. My prayer for you tonight, as it is for Cole Swayze, is this:

May you daily see the hand of God moving everywhere you move.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Step Wisely

20130824-134150.jpg

I watch our children’s bare feet step through the grass in our backyard.

They are headed somewhere.

Headed in the direction they have determined in their mind and heart to go.

We all are.

We are all eternal, but only for a fragment of time are we here, headed in the direction our mind and our hearts have determined.

Yet, often we don’t truly consider where our steps are leading us, or where our first step will find us, when our steps here on this earth are through.

I think of these things as I watch their feet stepping, their little feet that are so precious to me. I watch them step and I am reminded that we all are stepping, headed somewhere, eternally.

And our feet,

Truly, YOUR feet,

Yes, YOU,

YOU reading these words right now,

Your feet and hands, and every inch of your body and mind and soul and spirit are precious to God.

Your steps matter to God, every
single step,

And you are either headed towards him or away from him.

So step wisely and daily consider that first step after you die. It may just change your steps while you live.

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

– Proverbs 14:12

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,