When you’re angry at your child…


Sometimes I just feel angry toward my child.  Persistent disobedience or sin, rudeness to a sibling, arrogance, or disrespect all seem to bring out anger in me.  Thank you for emotions and how they can signal a need for action. Thank you for clarifying in your word that anger itself is not a sin.  In fact, it is something You yourself felt and feel.

Help me to steward anger wisely. Help me not to react quickly… You are slow to anger. Help me not to shame or belittle my child when I’m angry…You are abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.  Help me not to hold grudges or keep a record of wrong…you are forgiving. Help me not to be idle against sin, either my own or my child’s…you righteously burn with anger against sin while at the same time fiercely loving those who sin, like me and my child.  Give me your wisdom and perspective. Thank you good Father. Make me a parent who is like You.


Scripture references:   Exodus 34:6; Deuteronomy 13:7; Psalm 103:10-12


Prayer of Faith

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us).”   Matthew 1:23


The very fact that you brought a baby into the world through a virgin stretches my mind to its limits. You are the Creator and You alone can defy the natural laws of creation which You set up.  You are God and you became man, God with us, Immanuel.  Thank you merciful Father.  Thank you my great Rescuer.

Even knowing your power and majesty, I still struggle to believe that You can untangle the difficult situations in my life.  Forgive my unbelief and strengthen my faith.  You are with me.  You see me.  You have a plan that I cannot foresee.  No Israelite ever stood on the shore of the Red Sea and thought you would part the water, but You did.  Give me faith to trust that You know a way that I absolutely cannot see.  Lift my eyes off my circumstances so that I do not miss your work, so that I do not miss You.  When emotions cloud truth, help me remember that You are Immanuel, and You will never leave your people.

Lord, I praise You for your faithfulness, mercy, gentleness, and truth.  May all those in need know You as Immanuel today and every day.  May that knowledge strengthen our faith and make us stable, joyful bearers of your light and love.  Thank you.  Amen


Prayer of Peace


I am weary, overwhelmed and anxious. Thank you for the gift of peace, a peace that the world cannot give, a peace that so infiltrates my heart that it soothes troubles and overpowers fear.  Remind me that You yourself are peace, even in the midst of a hostile world.  There is much to be troubled about and much to fear but You sent Peace to be with us, Emmanuel.  Let me rely on your peaceful and never-failing presence.

I sometimes confuse peace with circumstantial ease, but your peace is a calm, strong, unshakable rest in the midst of a circumstantial hurricane.  You are the everlasting Rock. You are the reason for peace.  You are the root of peace. You are the Prince of peace.

Isaiah 26:3: You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You.  Lord, let my mind stay on You. A million things can take my mind away but keep bringing me back by your mercy.  Let all my responsibilities, worries, relationships, and interactions be filtered through your peace.  As the holidays approach with many possible reasons for stress, make me into a peacemaker.  Spread your presence of peace in me and through me.   Amen

John 14:27; John 20:26; Ephesians 2:14; Isaiah 26: 3-4; Isaiah 9:6; Matthew

Prayer of worth

Have you ever looked at someone’s social media and without thinking, measured how you stack up? Maybe a quick scroll through FB or Instagram leaves you feeling a little emptier than when you started.  Or maybe there is a difficult person in your life who makes you feel less than or belittled.  I can say with honesty that I have struggled with all three.

Recently, I was around a person who is difficult for me.  After I left, my mind was a swirl of questions, “What have I done to them?  Why do they treat me this way?  Why am I never enough for this person?” and so on. The whole rest of my day was one big funk from which I couldn’t pull myself out.  Thankfully, the next morning, God so kindly reminded me of His intimate love and my worth in Him through reading the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1.  She was struggling deeply through the pain of infertility and to add insult to injury, she lived with a woman who relentlessly provoked her about it.  Hannah’s response to this cruelty was prayer and deeper devotion to God.  Her worth came from God alone.

So if you, like me, have ever struggled with any of these feelings, here is a prayer to lead us to our loving Father …

When I feel like I’m not enough…

Dear Father,
Thank you for creating me.  Thank you for choosing me to live in this time, in this culture, in this city, in this family.  Thank you for knowing me before even one of my days came to be.  You have given great attention to me even from the beginning, when you knit me together in my mother’s womb.   Thank you for seeing me, for You are the God who sees.
Lord, you know how I am struggling.  You know how I am questioning.  You know my longings to be accepted and pleasing.  Your truth says that I am fully loved and accepted in You, because of the loving sacrifice of your Son Jesus.  You say that nothing can separate me from your love.  Let my spirit rest in this truth.  Let the extravagance of your love wash over me and soothe my insecure parts.  May I be satisfied in your love and long for nothing else, because You more than enough.
Father, for the person who continuously knocks me down, give me grace and compassion, just like you have endlessly shown me.  Help me see if I have wronged them.  Lead them to a place of total security in You.  Thank you for your deep love for them as well.  Amen

Scripture References for this Prayer: Psalm 139, Genesis 16:13, Romans 8:38-39, Psalm 90:14

Prayer Practice

Several years ago, I read the autobiography of George Muller, a man of great faith who began several orphanages and schools in the mid to late 1800’s.  Under his care, more than 10,000 orphans received a home, love, and care and more than 120,000 children received christian education in one of his 117 schools.  In all these endeavors, he never asked any human for financial support.  He believed strongly in the power of prayer and in God’s wide, deep ability to provide for all his needs and the needs of those under his care. As I read story after story of God’s faithful provision in answer to prayer and often against all earthly circumstances, my prayer life was radically changed.  In a way, I could say that I learned to pray in faith from George Muller.

Corrie Ten Boom, a Christian holocaust survivor and woman of deep faith, is another one of my heroes.  She said, “Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be turned into a burden.”  How the practice of prayer changes the very fabric of our lives!  I yearn for a heart that resembles the heart of my Father.  I am far from that now yet He kindly draws me nearer to His heart through prayer.  Prayer is not presenting wishes like one would to a genie in a bottle.  It is not a way to manipulate your life or the life of someone else.  It is not a way to earn spiritual points, if there was such a thing.  It is an intimate practice of unity with God.  God comforts, understands, teaches, loves, encourages, and restores His people through prayer.

It should be as fundamental to our spiritual life as breathing is to our physical life, yet sometimes it is hard or even intimidating.  I’ve been in a few conversations lately in which women so honestly shared their struggles with prayer and I think we can all understand.  What do you say?  When do you pray?  Can you do it wrong?  Two things that are helpful to remember…God created prayer, knowing it would be life-giving AND He is full of mercy, remembering our frailty with compassion.

So, in efforts to help us enjoy this gift of prayer, I’m going to post a series of prayers over the next few weeks.  There is absolutely nothing special about these prayers.  In fact, they will be rather simple, yet rooted in Scripture (which I will note after the prayer).  My prayer for you in this series is that God will draw you closer to Himself, that you will feel and know His care and restoration.  I will do topical prayers so if you ever have any suggestions, please let me know.  Happy praying my friends!


Yearning for a life of Prayer:

Father God,
Thank you for your care.  Thank you for remembering my frailty.  Thank you for giving me this gift of prayer.  Thank you for hearing my exact voice, even though there may be millions across the globe praying to you at this moment.  Thank you for your mercy.  Thank you for your never-failing presence, which I can count on in all that I encounter today.  Lord, let me rely on your presence.  Let my day be one continuous prayer to you.  Let me pray without ceasing, enjoying You and rejoicing in You in all circumstances.  Restore me through your presence in prayer.  Thank you Lord.  Amen

Scripture references for this prayer: Psalm 103:14; Psalm 116:1-2; Matthew 28:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-1

Team Mom

There are so many different moms in the world, so many different labels even – the natural mom, the working mom, the stay at home mom, the crunchy mom, the attached mom, the helicopter mom, the nervous mom, the older mom, the controlling mom, the young mom, the new mom, the step mom, the room mom, the laid-back mom, the adoptive mom, and on and on.  It’s kind of a tough “mom world” out there yet I believe Moms are some of the world’s most powerful people.  Each day, I get to influence 4 little humans by my attitude, my priorities, my body language, my looks, my words, my touch, and by the way I spend time.   One day, those little humans will grow up and influence countless others in their own way.  The extending branches and fruit of motherhood truly cannot be measured.  No matter what label you have or don’t have, your job as a Mom is highly important.

People with highly important jobs like us need teammates and support systems.  In my opinion, every mother, no matter what her walk of life, is on the Mom Team.   We are walking through this crazy season of life at the same time, on the same earth together.  So why are mothers sometimes so ugly to other mothers?  Why is there so much competition and territorial behavior?  (If you don’t think this is true, just attend a youth sporting event or be the new gal somewhere.  These less-than-lovely behaviors show up far too quickly.)  I’m not sure if I can say why moms are sometimes ugly to each other, but I do think that it has something to do with what is going on inside that mom.  So many of us bear bruises and scars, carry insecurities, and deal with crazy hormones – all influencing us to behave in ways that are challenging.  We must have compassion on others for these things, remembering that people are much deeper and more complex than many interactions will reveal.

Two of our boys are currently playing football.  When they were put on their teams, both knew only one or two other boys.  They did not pick their teammates or their team but now they all play together as one great team.   So it should be in motherhood – moms from different walks of life playing together with kindness, support, vigor, and encouragement.  If only we could view those around us as our teammates, thinking about those whom we may not have picked, and wondering what we can learn from them.  There have been many times in my motherhood journey when a mom has handled something differently than I would or when she has done things I don’t understand or even don’t agree with.  In my thoughts, I have responded poorly more often than not.  But but God’s mercy and grace, I am reaching for a higher standard, a more loving and selfless one.  Maybe I can respond in love when I do not align with the practice of another mom.  Maybe I could get to know her better and thus, possibly understand her and learn from her.  Maybe I could leave my mom group and befriend a mom standing alone.  Maybe I could excuse myself when conversation turns toward talking about another mom.  Maybe I could pray for her instead of just thinking about her.  Maybe I could get over myself and compliment her with sincerity and generosity.  Maybe I could use social media to embrace and portray real life instead of our very best moments.  Maybe I could be just the tiny voice saying “Team Mom, Team Mom, Team Mom!” and perhaps hands and hearts would start to join, even the unlikely ones.  Anyone with me?

God Whispers

Thank God our newest addition, Flint, finally did arrive on Christmas Eve, 2015.  He is a total blessing and joy to our family.  Something about having new babies around makes me very reflective.  My heart feels full of things I could write here.IMG_5462

Today as my 2 littlest were napping, I took my lunch outside, left my phone and all reading material inside, and just sat and listened.  Have you ever noticed how the wind rushing through bare trees sounds so much like the ocean waves?  Have you seen how quickly light can change everything around you just because of a cloud blowing in front of the sun?  Have you watched a tall tree sway violently at its top but stay still and steady at its base?  These are all the things I treasured in my silently loud lunch today.  And in watching all this, God whispered to my heart.


The way the wind roams freely and affects everything in its path – that is so much like God.  He does not change but He does indeed move.  That one thing breathed hope into my soul.  My changeless Rock, my wise and loving Father, is moving in this fallen world.  He is working all things together for the good of those who love Him (Rom.8:28).  He is finishing what He started (Phil. 1:6).  His truth has not changed but it is on the move.

The way the tall trees sway at the top but stay still at the bottom – that is me and God’s calling on my life as a Christ-follower in this world.  I am rooted deep in Him and those roots will not be severed because of His faithfulness.  The truth of His Word is what grows those roots deeper and deeper and makes me stronger and stronger.  But those roots are not meant to make the entire tree stuck in space like a statue.  Instead, the strength of the roots allows the tree to bend, sway, carry great weight, and even drop weight when branches break.  All this happens without damage to the roots but rather, because of the roots. Like the tree, I also am meant to sway – bend in serving others, put my own goals aside at times, listen to others, humbly learn, carry weight or burdens of others, drop weight or burdens not from God…all while staying firmly rooted in Him, because of Him.

God, thank you for your whispers of truth through all creation.  Help us to listen more.  Thank you for your truth and for being on the move in this world.  Grow my roots deeper in You and teach me to sway with beauty for your glory.  Amen


Advent …what a season of waiting. It’s the time of preparing our hearts for the truth of God made man, Immanuel.  It’s the time of preparing our lives for what God’s living Presence with us truly means.  It’s the time of preparing our homes for Christmas and all the joys the season brings.  At our house this year, it’s also the time for preparing for our 4th child’s arrival, now 5 days overdue.

As this season of Advent has coincided with our own season of baby expecting, I’ve thought a lot about waiting.  I’ve thought about those in the Bible who were told of the Savior’s arrival hundreds of years before He came.  Many people in that time period died waiting to see a Savior… And they never saw Him with earthly eyes, yet many still hoped and expected.  In several Biblical accounts, those of faith waited well.  I’ve also thought about several people I now know who are waiting…waiting on that job, waiting on that test result, waiting for deliverance, waiting for restoration, waiting for healing, waiting, waiting, waiting.  And I’m right there too – waiting for labor, waiting for delivery, waiting for our son.

I’m just not sure I wait so well.  Each day overdue feels like an eternity, increasing the pain, anxiety, and discomfort of the situation…much like it feels for so many who wait in their own situations.  But the truth is that even if our eyes do not see the end come true, God is still faithful.  Abraham, Moses, Job, Esther, Isaiah…they never saw their Savior, yet the Savior still came.   Their believing did not come through seeing.  A college friend of mine died last week from cancer, at 32 years of age, leaving a husband and 3 young girls behind.  It’s an earthly tragedy too great for words.  And with our earthly eyes, it seems that prayers for her healing were not answered.  Yet as her faithful family believes, their prayers for healing were answered in her home-going to perfect Heaven to see perfect Jesus where she has been made perfect in Him.  Again, believing does not come through seeing, and that truth changes the way we wait.

What if we believed that God’s promises to us were already done?  What if, in the midst of waiting, we praised Him for the deliverance that is already finished for us, whether our earthly eyes see it or not?  What if we claimed the truth of God’s goodness toward us and believed that even right here, in the midst of turmoil and pain, He is acting out His good intentions toward us?  Just, what if?

A wise woman once told me that waiting is the most active time of our spiritual life – for it is then that we continue to go back and go back and go back to God, until He calms and assures us. Here are my current verses for our waiting period…”Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say rejoice.” (Phil. 4:4) In my time of pain and anxiety, I say aloud, “I rejoice in this exact thing.  You are faithful God.”   I also love Phil. 4:5-7…”The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  This verse speaks of the repetition of going back to God.  He is close and because He is close, we don’t have to be anxious.  And He even knows that we still be anxious, so when we are, He has given us prayer and praise which ushers in peace that we cannot understand.  And that peace acts as a guardian to our very hearts.

Praying this guarding, calming. and heavenly peace for all of you who wait.   Praying that the reality of Christ’s constant presence changes your faith, your mind, and your soul this Christmas.

Waiting in hope,


Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

Happy first day of Fall!  I’m so excited it’s finally here!    I’m dreaming of boots, all things pumpkin, cozy sweaters, hot drinks, and fireside chats in our backyard. Not to mention the fact that my baby bump is thrilled for cooler temps.  In honor of Fall’s reappearance, I made pumpkin muffins / cupcakes today.  Here’s the super easy and healthful recipe…

Ingredients and Preparation:

1 3/4 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour

2/3 Cup Brown Sugar or Coconut Sugar

1 T. Baking Powder

1/2 t. Salt

1 1/2 t. Cinnamon

1/2 t. Ginger

1/2 t. Nutmeg (freshly grated is extra yummy)

1 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree

1/2 cup Milk

1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce

1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line or grease 12 muffin tins. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl, making sure to fully incorporate the egg.  Then pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir together.  Using a small ice cream scoop, fill the muffin cups to the top with batter. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  These are wonderful by themselves (more hearty than sweet) but if you really want to take them over the edge, add the cream cheese icing. Mmm-mmm.


Icing Ingredients and Preparation:

8 oz. softened Cream Cheese

4 T. softened Butter

2 heaping cups of Powdered Sugar

1 t. Vanilla

Cream together the softened cream cheese and butter. Add in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition.  Cream in the vanilla extract and beat on high for about another minute to get the icing nice and fluffy.  Spread on cooled (or slightly warm) muffins.

Recipe Alternatives:

For a more decadent treat, replace the white whole wheat flour with all-purpose flour.  Use 1 full cup of brown or white sugar.  Replace the applesauce with oil or melted butter.  I have not tried this yet but I’m sure it would take the taste from a muffin to a cupcake.


Surprise Baby

There is just nothing like walking with Lord.  His plans so often surprise, stretch, interrupt, and change me in the best of ways.  Here is His latest surprise to us – our family is expecting our 4th child!  We are very excited and have already felt our hearts expand in ways we could have never imagined.  The story of this little one is so amazing to us that I just have to share it here.  (Warning – it does contain some girly details, so men, you may want to have your lady summarize for you!)

Baby #4 at 13 weeks.

Baby #4 at 13 weeks.

After much conversation, Andrew and I decided about a year ago that we were done having kids, feeling very thankful for the 3 we’ve been given.  We gave away pretty much all of our baby stuff and began planning our future as a family of 5.  After my concussion last Fall, we were told I could not have more kids because my female cycle was severely disrupted from the injury.  And if future kids were a desire, it would definitely not happen for a while.  He said it was not abnormal for this to happen since hormones are controlled by the brain. It would just take time for things to hopefully return to normal.  Andrew and I discussed how devastating that news would have been if we didn’t have our 3 kiddos already and praised God for His timing of my injury.

At 6 month post-concussion, things in this area were still far from normal.  On a Monday in March, I returned to my Doctor for a check-up.  Without going into too much detail, he concluded through my check-up that I had not ovulated since my injury.  He put me on one month of birth control to see how my body would respond.  Now those who know me, know that I’m kind of anti-medicine.  I talked about this with my Doctor and it seemed to us that this was almost a necessary, last-ditch effort.  So from Monday until Thursday, I agonized about taking the medicine.  I did not want to do it but I also was tired of feeling the symptoms of super messed up hormones.  So on Thursday night, I took the first pill and went to bed.

That night was one of the most fitful nights of my life.  I slept horribly.  I had terrible nightmares.  I woke repeatedly with a feeling that something wasn’t right.  In the morning, I finally got out of bed, praying for the Lord to help me interpret and recover from the night.  Still with the strong message that something wasn’t right, I decided to take a pregnancy test.  I knew there was no possible way I could be pregnant but it was something I needed to check off my list just to ease my mind.  Surprisingly, I already had one at home, took it, and even more surprisingly – it was positive!  In disbelief, I went to tell Andrew and he totally thought I was losing my mind.  In his normal, gentle way, he assured me that there was no way I could be pregnant and the test was probably a weird result of all that my body had been through over the past months.

So I called the Doctor that Friday morning, and they asked me to come in (for what would make the 2nd time that week).  At my appointment, the result was confirmed that I was indeed expecting again!  My Doctor, who knew my history well, even asked in wonder, “How did this happen?”  A quick ultrasound gave us an estimated due date (December 2015).  From the first second of knowing about this child, he or she was both welcome and wanted.  It just took us a little bit to adjust to the shock.  We look back at ourselves and laugh at how we were for those first few days.  Andrew kept sending me texts that he was nauseous and couldn’t focus and I was pretty much in the same boat.  I’m kind of laughing at us even as I type this!

So, this is our concussion baby… a child who probably wouldn’t have come without this giant disruption in my body’s cycle, a child given to us against all odds.  We pray that this baby is healthy and that the pregnancy continues uncomplicated.  As we pray, we also know that God is in control with His giant, baffling (to my human mind) plan and beg for the grace to rest and trust in Him.

It’s funny how some of life’s hardest things can result in some of life’s most beautiful things.  Only God could do that.