Hi, my name is “Ridiculous” and sometimes it’s “Crazy,” and I am a P.O.T. (Parent of Teen). My support group is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and other mothers. My only escape is prayer.
So I prayed, “God, give me children lest I die!” and He gave us children. Then, sometimes I want to die. And we parents do die, right? Every. Single. Day. For-the-rest-of-our-lives.
Yeah, this is where I live and I can’t move out because it’s a lifetime lease. How about you fellow P.O.T.s? (And yes, you MOPs and MOAs and ones in between those too.) Do you ever tell God, “Hey God, this was Your idea! You told me to be fruitful and multiply. So God, You have to help me! Help me help them—in Jesus’ name, amen. Please.”
I don’t drink, I don’t swear, and I don’t believe in happy pills, but there’ve been times I wished I did. I used to swear a lot, especially right before I became a Born Again Christian. But then I gave my heart to Jesus and I had no inkling to swear again—until my firstborn turned fifteen. Then I found myself going, “mmmmm…help me Jesus!” And there are three more after her!
What have I done? I helped create four eternal beings with an agenda of their own. What an enormous responsibility. I was talking to a friend the other day, and he gave the perfect illustration of parenting. He said, “Yeah, it’s like taking a piece of your heart and giving it to this little individual, and then they run off with it. And you’re saying, ‘Wait! Stop! Come back. No, I don’t want to go there!”
We do the same thing with God’s heart. God, the perfect parent, with perfect love, and nothing but pure intentions for us. Sorry Lord. Forgive me.
Sometimes, looking at our children is like looking in a mirror. They are the ultimate object lesson God uses to teach us about ourselves. Don’t you just hate/ love it when God says, “You do that to me.” Or when He says, “Maybe if you showed them how by example?” Ever look at your kid and say, “Where’d you get that attitude from?” Then you feel God looking at you and saying, “I wonder?” Often, it’s the change in us that God uses to change others.
So kids, how about you give us a break? Parents are human—we mess up, we fall short, just like you. We’re under God’s construction, too. Being a parent is hard, but you’re worth it.
But other times it’s not like looking in a mirror, because our children are unique individuals with a God-given free will. And yeah, I tell God all the time that free will is overrated.
“Mooomm! You’re such a mom,” they say. Yeah, guilty as charged.
Dear kids, we know you must make your own decisions, but we’ve been down a few wrong roads and want you to know you really don’t have to take the detours. Don’t you know we hurt when you hurt, and when you’re victorious, we’re victorious? And when we encourage you, it’s because we don’t just see the seed—we see the tree you can become. We are trying to nourish your growth, as is God. We’re on your side; we are not the enemy. And God never shortchanges, so don’t settle for anything less than all He has for you.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Actually, I think this is a setup. God made it this way, just in case we thought we could make it on our own. It’s as if He says, “Here you go! Ha-ha! Have a couple kids. You’ll come talk to me then!” He knows how to make us desperate. Just know this—God inclines His ear to a mother’s prayer. He loves our children even more than we do. And love never fails.
Lord, please help us as parents to live in such a way so our children see You in us. Draw them to choose You for themselves. Help our children to see and know how much we love them and guide them in Your truth, righteousness, love, and grace, in Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Hey, Ariel, Anna, Abby, and Andrew, Guess How Much I Love You? I Love You the Purplest! I Love You Forever, and No Matter What, even when you are The Runaway Bunny. And you will always have a piece of my heart.
And happy birthday to my beloved Ariel! (My firstborn.)
For the Prodigal's Mom Mama, Don’t you know Jesus loves your children Even more than you? Pound the gates of Heaven, Mama Pray without ceasing Know the God of Heaven inclines to your cry He shares your passion for restoration of the prodigal child So, go ahead and cry Mama But make every tear a prayer An offering of hope and heart Your prayers are the rain On the soil of your prodigal’s heart Your prayers are the rain On the soil of your prodigal’s heart Your prayers are the rain On the soil of your prodigal’s heart…
Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him. Psalms 126: 5-6 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)
A must read for all! One of the most powerful essays I’ve ever read: Porch Swing Mother’s Day by adoptive parent, Becky Antkowiak on Focus on the Family’s website. (Congratulations, Becky! <3)
A NEW RELEASE FOR LADIES! Faith-Pump: A 40-Day Devotional Seven award-winning authors offer a dose of real sure to elicit belly laughs, tears, and some soul searching, while sharing their lives lived out in light of God's Word. Infused with scripture throughout, each chapter of this devotional includes engaging stories and lessons learned, followed by thought provoking questions and calls to action to encourage a closer walk with Jesus and bolster faith in God's love and faithful ever present help in the day-to-day.
So excited to be a contributor and to share the cover reveal of this upcoming release tomorrow on my social media! [*Updated here with new graphic bearing title 5/10/22.]
*I’ve recently updated my RESOURCES PAGE and am continuing to add a variety of inspiring resources to it. It includes books and other resources on faith, family, and more. Hope you’ll check it out!
Today (5/5/22) is the last day of #TeacherAppreciationWeek: From Focus on the Family: Celebrate National Teacher’s Day Every Day
Adventures in Odssey Audio Dramas: “An award-winning Christian audio drama series that bring biblical principles to life, through a balance of fun, faith and imagination. Created for ages 8-12 and enjoyed by the whole family.
Focus on the Family Radio Theatre - "Focus on the Family Radio Theatre is more than storytelling – and much more than a mere audiobook. It’s a cast of internationally acclaimed actors, performing award-winning audio dramas that are produced and mixed in dynamic cinema-quality sound design. Movies that play on the biggest screen of all… your imagination!" Classics Historical Biographies Original Stories
Jam packed with a treasure trove of fun and engaging activities, award-winning author Julie Lavender's book, 365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments Into Lasting Memories, is sure to help families connect as they learn and grow closer to their children, impart wisdom, and create life-long cherished memories with their families. Check out other encouraging videos like this one on Julie's Facebook page.
A must read for all! One of the most powerful essays I’ve ever read. Share it with your church, at work, with your family: Porch Swing Mother’s Day by adoptive parent, Becky Antkowiak on Focus on the Family’s website. (Congratulations, Becky! <3)
Looking for answers in these turbulent times? Wondering what in the world is going on? I pulled these scriptures together last year for my post Peace in Pandemic and Pandemonium. Their truth cries ever louder. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD MY FREE COMPILATION OF BIBLE VERSES TO ENCOURAGE AND EQUIP (INCLUDES SCRIPTURES ON THE LAST DAYS).
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