This Beautiful Inheritance

Friday, October 17, 2014

When Motherhood Doesn't Feel Sanctifying

I'm on the downhill slide of a solo 48-hour shift. For two days I've spent time with no one but a tomato-launching two-year-old and a banana-peel-skating five-year-old.

I always get like this when I parent alone for a couple of days. Bored. Grouchy. So irritable. If I have to break up one more sister fight or sweep the kitchen one more time, so help me...



A little while ago my oldest asked me to sit down and play doll house with her. I did it, begrudgingly, but my attitude wasn't the best and my heart was in the shower, where I really wanted to be, not down on the rug taking a Fisher Price family to the "Wonder Place."

Then I remembered how spiritual I was this morning. Was that really today? Yes, this morning when I had just woken up, enjoyed two cups of coffee and cracked open 1 Peter for my She Reads Truth devotional. I was so spiritual then. I prayed for my husband. I prayed for my kids. I committed to yield to others.

But then the day happened.

It's so easy to be "spiritual" when the day's just gotten started and nothing's ruffled your feathers yet. Or when the kids are at Mother's Day Out and the house is quiet and clean. Or when you're sitting in church listening to an inspiring sermon and the kids are far away in children's church. It's so easy to be spiritual then.

I know motherhood is supposed to be a sanctifying experience. There's no doubt it brings out my sin nature like WHOA. But isn't part of sanctification supposed to be that we overcome that nature and become more like Christ? Sometimes I get so frustrated with myself because I don't see this mothering thing turning me into the patient, loving, yielding-to-others person I long to be. Sometimes it feels like just the opposite.

My only hope is that sanctification and becoming like Christ is more than what I can see up close. That even though I look in the mirror now and see a hot mess (emphasis on the mess), if I were to back far, far away, from a Heavenly distance, I might see glimmers of progress.

Lord, please make it be so.
 
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely just as God now knows me completely. 1 Cor. 13:12

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Eden's Fifth Birthday Letter {From Her Daddy}

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Tommy Nelson Mommies for Thomas Nelson, Inc. As a member of this group, I receive products for my use and to review at no charge to me. I receive no monetary compensation for my participation. All opinions are my own.

My Dearest Eden,

Eden, you are five years old today. I wanted to try and express, in words, what words cannot seem to express and that is my love for you. I have yet to find a word in the English language that defines how beautiful and cherished you are. As I think of you on this day, I am immensely grateful for the past five years that I have gotten to be your daddy. Eden, you are such a blessing. Oh, how you stir my heart and warm my spirit. I never thought I could possibly be blessed with something as precious and radiant as you. I still get butterflies when I get home and get to see your smiling face.


As I watch you grow, you teach me so much. When my mind is clouded by stress and the state of our present world, you are an example to me to just be happy and love others. You are always so happy and excited about life. You love your family and others with such abandon. You continuously show empathy to those around you and to all living things. Eden, you love people like Jesus did. I realize I'm supposed to be teaching you, and I know I do, but many times you influence me in more than one way.
 

As I think about you growing up, I think about things like who you will become, what men will try and pursue you, what tough decisions you will have to make throughout your life, and a whole host of other things. When I think of what a precious gift you are from our Creator, I'm reminded that as deep as my love for you is, your God's love for you is so much greater and that He is with you. I pray you stand firm in your convictions and that you are faithful and steadfast in your pursuits. So as we celebrate your fifth year of life, I am eternally grateful for you and the joy you bring. Your Daddy adores you and will cherish you for eternity!

With all my love,

Daddy


To go along with today's post, written by my husband and my girls' daddy, I'm giving away a copy of the book Man Stuff written by country music star Josh Turner. I always had a hunch by listening to his music that Turner was a believer, so I was excited to get this book that confirms his strong Christian faith. In this compilation, Josh shares fun and meaningful thoughts and personal stories—ranging from his childhood years to today—and weaves in spiritual insight for men who want to be better dads, husbands, and men of God. He covers a variety of topics such as living and working with integrity, facing your fears, surrounding yourself with good company, trusting God’s plans, standing up for the least of these—topics every man can relate to and draw from to grow in his spiritual and personal journeys.

To enter to win, leave a comment telling why you or the man in your life needs this book! Then enter via Rafflecopter below.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Whatever Girls What If Prayer Challenge

Today I'm joining with women across the country in a movement called the #WhateverGirlsWhatIfPrayerChallenge. The Whatever Girls is a ministry based out of Spokane, Washington for intentional moms and intentional daughters. This prayer challenge is challenging moms everywhere to pray for their daughters daily this school year.

Yesterday my girls were at Mother's Day Out, as they always are on Tuesdays, and during the day I found myself missing them. So I prayed for them. I prayed for their interactions with friends. I prayed that they would obey their teachers. At lunch time, I prayed they would eat their food! And I found that praying for my girls is a great way to be involved in their days, even when I'm not there.

So here you go, moms. If you hit play on this video, consider yourself challenged!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Spend a Day Welcoming Fall

This post contains sponsored content.

I designated Saturday at our house as Get Ready for Fall Day. I promised the girls we would spend the day decorating the house and porch and baking some kind of pumpkin treat. (yum!)

Despite it being much warmer outside than I anticipated, we had a great afternoon digging out d├ęcor from the shed, sweating, and walking around the yard in our bare feet. Eden REALLY got into the decorating and wanted to have a hand in every single thing.


I love how excited she gets about little things. She was as thrilled as me to officially be welcoming fall.


Selah loved helping playing with the hammer too.



We finally got it done, and I felt like -- for someone without much decorating skill -- it turned out pretty ok.



We also added a few decorations inside, as well as some fall scented smell good items from the air care aisle in Walmart.


Your house can be a dusty, cluttered mess, but light a Glade candle or pumpkin wax melts, and it smells clean and cozy!

Then, as promised, we baked a huge, delicious batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and I may or may not have eaten four six.

And to round out our glorious fall Saturday, we put on our gear and watched the Hogs. Duh.


WPS and Happy Fall Y'all!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Prayer Brownies: An EASY Way to Bless Your Neighbor

Last week a neighbor of ours brought home a new baby boy, and I wanted a simple way to bless their family and let them know we were thinking of them. So I did something really easy that turned out not only to bless them but to teach my girls about service and love.

I loaded the girls up in the car, went to the dollar store, and told them we were picking up a box of brownies for our neighbors/friends. I also explained they could help me make the brownies which they LOVED, being the baking fanatics that they are. (I mean, licking a bowl of chocolate is involved, so who wouldn't get excited?)

We went home, pre-heated the oven, and got to mixing. I let the girls help me stir, as they always do, but as we stirred I asked the girls to pray for the new baby and his family. I was pleasantly surprised that they both immediately agreed and prayed out loud. (This is a rare occurrence for Eden, but apparently praying over brownies is quite enticing.) They prayed the sweetest, most genuine prayers for the baby, and it turned out to be a really special moment.



(Please excuse Selah's Princess Jasmine headpiece and 1989 dance costume. #girlslife y'all)

I joined in praying too, then we popped the brownies in the oven, licked the bowl and spoon clean, and were done.

After the brownies were done and cooled, I printed off a simple note, taped it to toothpicks, and voila, "Prayer Brownies."



When the aroma of freshly baked brownies filled our house, the girls were pretty whiny about not getting one. But I think it was a good lesson on blessing others and putting them above ourselves! We then loaded up and carried the brownies over to the neighbors' house. The girls insisted on going to the door with me to make the delivery, which of course turned into a full-blown play date with the baby's older sisters. I didn't mind because it was good fellowship and a chance to build community.

So there you have it. Prayer brownies are an EASY way to bless someone with a new baby, or who's sick, or who's going through a difficult time. Go bless someone today. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Meeting Up With Friends From Pine Cove Family Camp

Over Labor Day weekend, we had the privilege of meeting up with a family we met this summer at Pine Cove family camp. We traveled four hours north to Branson (is there anywhere else to vacation?) and they trucked up from Texas, and the nine of us picked up where we left off.

We've only known them a few months, but this family is so special to me. God isn't some label they wear or a front they put on. He is their fuel, their force, their motivation. Their love for each other is deep and forgiving and grace-filled. And they have a heart for serving others. I'm challenged when I'm around them.

Not to mention, they have three of the most beautiful children I've ever met who mine absolutely ADORE.



We introduced our friends to the Greatest Place on Earth. What, you thought it was in Orlando?



We shared kettle corn and meaningful conversation and took turns pushing the stroller. With my hoodlums, the trip was rather stressful like always. But it was so worth it to enjoy real fellowship with these friends. It was good for my kids and it was good for us parents to spend time with folks who are doing it right. I'm thankful to God and Pine Cove for putting us together and looking forward to when we can all meet up again.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thankful Rocks: Simple Reminders to Be Thankful

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Tommy Nelson Mommies for Thomas Nelson, Inc. As a member of this group, I receive products for my use and to review at no charge to me. I receive no monetary compensation for my participation. All opinions are my own.

There's a story I always tell about Eden from a year or so ago that still makes me smile. While she was gone one afternoon, I decorated the wall above her bed with some plastic butterflies I picked up at Target. It was nothing fancy, just a little something to adorn a blank wall. Well, when Eden saw what I had done, she could not CONTAIN the thank yous coming out of her mouth. For at least 30 minutes, she stared at those butterflies and said, "Thank you, Mama! Thank you! Thank you for my butterflies! Thank you!" You'd have thought I'd just walked her into the Magic Kingdom. It was so funny I couldn't help but laugh. But it was also really sweet that she would be so appreciative of something so small.

For the most part, my kids are pretty thankful, and that's something I'm proud of. But they also have their moments -- like all kids -- when they act entitled, jealous and ungrateful. Who am I kidding? Us adults act that way too. Probably even more so.

Appreciating what we have instead of focusing on what we don't is an ongoing struggle throughout our lives, I think. But it's such an important one, which God wants us to overcome.

 
Though I still struggle at times, thankfulness is something my parents instilled in me from an early age. And they are still two of the most thankful people I know. It's a trait I very much want to pass on to my kids.
 
So I loved one of my resources from Tommy Nelson this month, which was another faith-inspired Little Critter book called Being Thankful.
 
In the book Little Critter struggles with appreciating what he has. Everyone else seems to have things so much better! But during an overnight trip to his grandparents' house, he begins to realize he's actually pretty blessed. His grandma gives him a "thankful rock" to remind him, every time he sees it, to be thankful for what he has.
 
My girls and I decided we needed our own "thankful rocks" as little reminders around our home. So the girls went out to the driveway, picked out a rock for each member of our family, and painted them pretty colors.
 
 
Now, each time we see a thankful rock, we pick it up and say something we're thankful for. I love hearing some of the things the girls say. "I'm thankful for my nose." "I'm thankful for the whole world." "I'm thankful for my blessings." No matter how silly some of their answers may be, I love helping cultivate little spirits of gratitude.
 
So today I'm giving away one hardback copy of Little Critter: Being Thankful AND a hardback copy of Little Critter: We All Need Forgiveness, in which Little Critter learns another valuable faith lesson.
 

To enter, just leave a comment about teaching your kids the importance of being thankful and/or forgiving others. Then enter via Rafflecopter below. 

  


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The winner of my God's Word For Me Bible Storybook giveaway is Kristin Taylor. Kristin, I'll email you about claiming your prize.
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