Tag Archives: children

in her Momma’s arms

sleeping AB

I sit quietly in awe. Quietly watching this precious little one nestled snugly in her momma’s arms.  Their breathing is in harmonic motion, in and out . . . in and out . . .a quiet, a peaceful rhythm.

Her momma gently whispers words of love over her as she has her tucked safely close. In her mother’s arms she is safe, protected, nurtured.  Momma’s arms hold her close to her beating heart, that heart that was the familiar sound this little one heard day in and day out while her mother carried her for nine months.   And now out in this world, this world that is so filled with chaos, her momma continues to hold her close, to cover her with mother wings.  A stronghold of love.

I sit watching, pondering in awe. Pondering meditatively.

As I see my very own little girl embrace her own little girl, my heart is full.  My heart is full of love for this new little one who has been  remarkably and wonderfully made.  My heart is full of love for the one who was remarkably and wonderfully knitted together inside my own body.

But most of all, my heart is full of reminders of the One who covers me in His arms, who holds me close in the midst of the chaos.

I am reminded of the times my life has been crumbling to pieces around me, troubles were crashing into me right and left, life seem to be imploding.  I was alone, or at least that is what the enemy wanted me to believe.

Clinging to Psalm 46, He pulls me in to cover me with His Love, to be my stronghold against all that is clamoring to tear me apart.  He is always there to whisper His words of Love into my heart.  Pulling me close, the chaos turns into peace.

I can hear His heartbeat because He created me to be His.

God is my refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore I will not fear,
Though the earth should give way,
And though the mountains fall into the heart
of the sea.
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
Psalm 46:1-3

So as things of this world are vying to pull me away, to create disharmony, when I have to hold it together, even when I don’t feel like it . . . it is here, here with my God, my Creator, that I find solace, my stronghold.  It is here, I can let it go.  I cling to His arms and hear His tender heart calling me close.  It’s here in the magnificent, or the insignificant, in the joyous moments, or the disappointing times, the uplifting, or the casting down, the contentment, or the perplexities and uncertainties that I rest secure. Resting secure in the harmonic motion of His peace and His grace.

Rest in His arms, just like that precious little one in her Momma’s arms.  Rest no matter what the world throws your way. Find His peace in the chaos.

how to let go of regret [reblog]

The Kids

I love how God sends me words of encouragement exactly when He knows I need it!  Today is the birthday of one of my three and as any Mama would do, I was mulling over some things in my heart and head today, reflecting on some precious memories and the word REGRET was trying its level best to take over.  So when I was reading through some emails and posts . . . the word REGRET jumped right off the screen.
Call it coincidence . . . I don’t!

So thankful to Robin Dance for sharing some links today . . .

How to Let Go of Regret [reblogged from Life on the Wild Side ~ Shelly Wildman]

I see you, mama. The one with Regret written all over your face and on your sagging shoulders and in your sad eyes. The one whose hopes and dreams consist of words you wish you had said, deeds you wish you had done, or those you wish you could undo.

“If only” has become your mantra.

I see you and I know you because I am you.

Seems, sometimes, like Regret is a mother’s best friend.

We walk with it, chew on it, and let it weigh us down. None of us are immune.

I’ve certainly had my share of regrets over the years—things I wish I had done; things I wish I had said. More often, though, things I wish I had not said. The words, they do poison.

In the past few weeks I have spoken to two friends—both amazing mothers—who are filled with regret over children who are not currently living in the way these parents have raised them. One child has rejected the faith with which they were raised; the other is on the brink of making some important decisions about how to live.

In both conversations, I noticed that both of my friends expressed serious regret about their parenting.

Maybe you’ve felt this, too.

Here’s the thing, mamas: we are not made to regret. And I think our regrets come from our forgetfulness about three important things.

  1. We forget that we are ultimately not in control.

In other words, we give ourselves way too much blame (or credit!) for the way our kids turn out. As much as we’d like to make the way easy for our kids, we have to remember that some kids very simply will not learn from our mistakes. They may not even learn from their own. We can give our children the tools (whether that be an education, a faith heritage, a stable family—whatever it is) that can make paving the way a bit easier, but it’s up to them to use them.

Don’t blame yourself if your child rejects the tools you have given him or her. Just be faithful every day.

  1. We forget that we are forgiven, just as much as our children are.

Forgiveness is a powerful arsenal in our parenting strategy, and we must remember to also practice it on ourselves.

I recently read the most beautiful definition of grace: “Grace says, ‘There you are, I’ve been waiting for you and you’re welcome here. All of you. You are beloved.’”

Mama, you are beloved—all of you—whether or not you’ve messed up. Or your kid has. Or your husband has. It doesn’t matter. Grace is here, waiting for you.

Mama, forgive yourself because God already has. Don’t let the regret that you’re feeling limit you from the power of forgiveness and grace in your life, which will move you ahead to do the next right thing.

  1. We forget that the story isn’t finished yet.

I’ve known parents of some seriously messed up kids. Some have let regrets stop them from doing what they should be doing—whether that is acting with tough love or gently loving them back home. But some parents I’ve known have simply said, “My son’s (or daughter’s) story is not yet finished. God has not given up on this child, and neither will I.” They have prayed continuously for their child. They have opened the door to their home. They have shown, in very practical terms, what the love of Jesus means.

Mama, your story is not yet finished—thank goodness for that, right?!—and neither is your child’s. Our stories continue to grow and to change and to mold us into the people we are today, and that’s true for our kids as well. If you have regrets, remember that your child’s story is still being written and that the way he or she is living today is not the end of the story.

Even more important, remember that God has not walked away from your child, He still loves them, and He will never give up fighting for them.

So mama? For the sake of your family (and your sanity) will you give up your regrets? Don’t dwell on those things that are over and done. Realize that, ultimately, you are not in control. Move ahead with grace and forgiveness.

And thank God that the story is not finished yet.

Thanking God for allowing me the precious opportunity and blessing of being a mama . . . and yes, thanking Him that He is not finished with our story yet!

never alone

Wide as the Sky.001

A few nights ago my sweet man was working on some video stuff and downloading music.  When I heard this new song, Wide as the Sky, by Matt Redman, my memory took me back a number of years ago . . . to a time that I had buried deep in my heart.  

. . . There was something holding me back from opening up myself to worship . . .  I mean . . .  Real Worship.

I’ve always loved singing [in and out of church], but I would watch vicariously as others would open themselves up to unashamed real worship.  And then one day, it happened.  It was a rare occurrence, the three of us – my middle son, my daughter and me – sitting all together at the late worship service.  Admittedly, I was in the throes of walking through a dark season in my life.

Life was falling apart.

As the 11:11 worship band was playing [sadly I can’t remember what the song was], my eyes were fixed straight ahead.  But to each side of me, I saw the hands of a son and daughter raising up. It was in that moment, I no longer felt the constraints holding me back.

Life was falling apart.  And my hands were reaching up, so my heart could begin to open up.

I did not know where this battle in the dark season would take me.  As alone as I may have felt, I knew I was not walking it alone.

Looking back over the last 10 plus years since that day, I know . .  . Never once did I walk alone.


not an orphan anymore

Big Top at OBT

Big Top at OBT

[Click to hear “Orphan” – Ronnie Freeman Band]

You think so much of me
You take delight in me
You paid the price for me
Then you adopted me

I’m not an orphan anymore, I’m yours
I stand before you now adored, I’m yours
Your cross has set me free
New life belongs to me
I’m not an orphan anymore, I’m yours

You took my guilt and shame
Gave me a brand new name
You call me your beloved
I call you Abba Father.

I’m not an orphan anymore, I’m yours
I stand before you now adored, I’m yours
Your cross has set me free
New life belongs to me
I’m not an orphan anymore, I’m yours

Now I feast at the table of the King

And His love is the banner over me
His Love the banner over me!

I’m not an orphan anymore, I’m yours
I lost the fight, but won the war, I’m yours.
Your cross has set me free
Victory has set me free

I’m not an orphan anymore,

I’m Yours.


The first time I heard Ronnie Freeman and his band play this song, we were sitting in a big tent, “The Big Top” at Outback Texas during a time called “Abiding, Gratitude, Sharing.”   It was an absolutely beautiful November weekend just outside Brenham, Texas.  Ministering to, praying for couples ~husbands and wives, parents and teens ~  as each began peeling back the layers, earnestly spending time restoring, building, strengthening their relationships with one another, experiencing the Glory of their Abba Father.  Then hearing this song . . . the words so simply stated. . .  tears began streaming down my cheeks.

Let’s go back to the beginning.  Being blessed to be born into a loving, Christian family who lived out Christ daily, I knew I was loved not just by my earthly daddy, but most importantly by my Father.  As a young girl I began my personal heart and life journey of grace, mercy, forgiveness, perseverance, patience, and courage with my Abba Father.  

Most times, the journey was easy, especially in those early years living at home.  Once out on my own, the journey began to take some difficult paths that I wasn’t familiar with.  I’d find myself diverted off His path, I’d come back, only later to walk a little bit off the path again. These side-trips were never of huge proportion.  Oh,but looking back each one deprived me of precious time, of precious Joy, of untold blessings.  As difficult, and as dark as some of those times would prove to be over the years – even a season of feeling totally abandoned here on earth –  I know .  .  . I know I was never abandoned by my Abba Father.

Those paths were of my own choosing, no doubt.

So what was it that made those tears stream down my face?  A multitude of things.

Gratitude.  Gratitude for having had the foundation of my life in Him laid down at such an early age. That even in my disobedience, He continued to pursue me, calling me back.  Gratitude for as broken as my life had been, it was no longer that way because of His Grace and His Mercy. 

Brokenness and Forgiveness.  I am finally able to begin to truly and honestly lay aside those things which have caused hurt and pain.  I am able to begin to forgive.  Most of all – forgive myself.  I know in Him there is no condemnation. 

A sense of sadness. Sadness because I was reminded of how I had spent so much time sitting underneath His table, eating just the crumbs that happen to fall, when I could have been enjoying His Feast.  Sadness for the fellowship, the close communion I had allowed myself to miss over the years. Sadness also because the words of the song reminded me of my Prodigal and how his choices are depriving him of the close relationship with the one he would call Abba Father as he would pray.

Peace. Peace because the victory is His.

Joy.  Joy because He gives me Hope.  Joy because I’m not an orphan anymore. I am His.

not a random thing

Glassing for elk

Remember . . . he was Mine before he was yours, and I love him more than you do.

Those were the words whispered to me in the dark, early morning hour.  Something woke me up and looking at the clock on our iPad the background picture was that of our prodigal.  What has become my habit through the years, whenever the face or name of those dear to me seem to come randomly,  I lift them to our Father because I know He knows them and He is the only who can bring peace.

I know the One I have believed in and am persuaded that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.
2 Timothy 1: 12

When God calls you to pray for someone . . . be it one of your own, or someone else . . . it is not a random thing.  It is not something to be put on the “to-do list later”.  It might be that very hour, that very moment, in which that one is struggling or dealing with an all-important issue or maybe it’s in that very moment they are staggering under the load of choices they’ve made.  And standing in the gap at that moment may be God’s special provision and help to lead them to the road of deliverance . . . in that very moment.

Then later this morning while taking my mom and dad into town to do a few errands, we stopped in at their local favorite donut shop to have some coffee and a muffin.  While enjoying their Saturday morning ritual, I noticed I had gotten a text from my sweet man who’s deep in the mountains, several states away.  Cell service is pretty erratic, but he always sends a little something “sweet,” and always encouraging before he heads out.  His text read …”Growing Young” by Rich Mullins . . . listen to and pray . . . ” God had put our prodigal on my husband’s heart too.

Again . . . when God calls you to pray for someone – it is not a random thing.

So . . . we are obedient  . . . we pray . . . we relinquish into His hands . . .

The Lord will perfect that which concerns me
Psalm 138:3

“Growing Young” – Rich Mullins

I’ve gone so far from my home
I’ve seen the world and I have known
So many secrets
I wish now I did not know
‘Cause they have crept into my heart
They have left it cold and dark
And bleeding,
Bleeding and falling apart

And everybody used to tell me big boys don’t cry
Well I’ve been around enough to know that that was the lie
That held back the tears in the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons
Well we are children no more, we have sinned and grown old
And our Father still waits and He watches down the road
To see the crying boys come running back to His arms
And be growing young
Growing young

I’ve seen silver turn to dross
Seen the very best there ever was
And I’ll tell you, it ain’t worth what it costs
And I remember my father’s house
What I wouldn’t give right now
Just to see him and hear him tell me that he loves me so much

And everybody used to tell me big boys don’t cry
Well I’ve been around enough to know that that was the lie
That held back the tears in the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons
Well we are children no more, we have sinned and grown old
And our Father still waits and He watches down the road
To see the crying boys come running back to His arms

And when I thought that I was all alone
It was your voice I heard calling me back home
And I wonder now Lord
What it was that made me wait so long
And what kept You waiting for me all that time
Was Your love stronger than my foolish pride
Will You take me back now, take me back and let me be Your child

‘Cause I’ve been broken now, I’ve been saved 
I’ve learned to cry, and I’ve learned how to pray 
And I’m learning, I’m learning even I can be changed

And everybody used to tell me big boys don’t cry
Well I’ve been around enough to know that that was the lie
That held back the tears in the eyes of a thousand prodigal sons

Well we are children no more, we have sinned and grown old 
And our Father still waits and He watches down the road 
To see the crying boys come running back to His arms 
And be growing young
Growing young
Growing young

for chains to fall

Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 1.46.21 PM

He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away the chains.
Psalm 107:14

I’m learning much about silence in prayer during this season.  But even in the silence I can find the comfort, the peace this mother’s heart needs, I find it daily in His Word.  The wordless responses are met with His Promises.

For all the children . . .

I pray for Grace to be made real in their lives.

I pray for the sweet calling of the Holy Spirit to be met with openness.

I pray for the look in the mirror to be met with fearless honesty with the Creator, the one they’ve called Abba Father.

I pray even when they feel lost to themselves, even when they question, that they are never lost to Him who died for them. 


I pray for chains to fall as . . .

 one of them is struggling, coming to terms with the hard parts of his story.

You’ve broken the chains of many, Lord.

My son has chains too.  Not chains made of iron but from the sins he forged on his own free will, thinking this is a freedom, an identity, maybe an escape.  But these chains are entangling, not liberating, because they have taken him away from You.

The Word says, “The Lord sets the prisoners free.

How we want so much to hear the sounds of the chains falling, never to be picked up and put on again.

How much we so want to hear him say how You have done great things for him and set his heart free.

How much we want him to recognize his conforming to the world is the worst kind of slavery.

We don’t know the reasons Lord.  We don’t fully know the challenges he faces, only in part.  But we do know that You know all of them.  We ask that the chains be broken link by link by link, so he can turn again to You.  And the things that have captivated him will lose their lure and he will understand they are the tools, the schemes of the enemy.

You’ve broken the chains of many.  Break his.

I believe

photo copy 2

We live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7

This bumper sticker was on my July son’s guitar case for many years.  While helping clean out the garage up at my folks’ place, we came across his guitar case and Sweet Man thought it would be a great idea to put the sticker up on the wall.   So for anyone who walks into the house this bumper sticker declares to all Who is the Foundation of the family in this home and the legacy their hearts and prayers desire for their heirs.  But what makes this bumper sticker even more special, it serves as a reminder of the one who put it on the guitar case in the first place . . . the boy, the young man I now call Prodigal.

I believe, Father.
I believe that you want me to pray for my child because my prayers will make a profound difference for good in his life.
I believe that you gave him to me for a reason that has more to do with Your vision for his eternity than my wishes for him on this earth.
I believe that you want me to be wrestling in prayer for him so that through prayer, things will change for the better.
No matter what the situation looks like now or what other people may say,
no matter what conventional, earthly wisdom may forecast for his future, I will believe in You.

I will seek You above all others because You have the words of eternal life.

I will live by faith, not by sight and always hold on to hope.

Hope does not disappoint us because You have poured out Your love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom you have given us.
Like Jacob wrestling, “I will not let You go unless You bless me,”
and I praise You that You will never let me go,
You have said,
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
I will persevere for my son with prayer after prayer until he realizes how much You love him.
I want my son to love you, Lord and I believe that one day he will —
fully, freely, joyfully.

I believe, Lord, because your Word tells me that without faith it is impossible to please You,
because anyone who comes to You must believe that You exist and that You reward those who earnestly seek You.

I believe You hear the prayers of this mother as I seek You with all my heart,
and I believe You will bless my son as he turns and returns to You.
I believe that the future You have planned for him is beautiful, filled with grace and peace.
I believe because in your great Mercy You have give me new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Because You are the hope of glory Jesus, and You are in me,
my hope will live always: today, tomorrow, and forevermore!

taken from Prayers for Prodigals

back to flame


a bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out
Isaiah 42:3

{he} had more faith once, Father.  Remember?
It was beautiful to see: the simple, heartfelt faith of a child.
{he} loved You, and the little candle of his faith burned brightly for all to see.
but then the winds came.
even though I tried to shield the flame of his faith from the world’s incessant blowing, my hands could only do so much.
that’s why I’m placing him in your hands again today, Lord Jesus.
I can’t imagine anything more fragile than a ‘smoldering wick.’

I thank You that you will not ‘snuff out this candle,’ which is my {son’s} faith.
protect and nurture it, Father, so that it will glow brightly once again.
I ask for You to surround him and shield his faith from the world.
rebuke the world’s wind and storms the way You did long ago: ‘Quiet! Be still!’
then {he} will look on You with awe, just like the disciples did.
I pray that You will protect his fragile faith in every way so that he can {once again} stand against the devil’s schemes.
Father, I pray that You will send someone he can trust to tell him ‘the good news about Jesus’ again.
I ask that his heart will be open, and that through your loving Spirit, he will receive the good news ‘with deep conviction.’
I pray that faith will permeate his life in a fresh and bold new way, and that he will once {again} live it out consistently.
help him to see that ‘the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.’
I pray he ‘may have power, together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is’ your love that he may be ‘filled to the measure’ of all your fullness.
then let him ‘fan the flame’ every gift You’ve given him so that the candle of his faith will burn brightly once again.
let him shine so brightly that others ‘can see the Light’ and come to You!
I praise you, Lord, that in your hands even a smoldering wick can come to life again.

I pray in your name that his faith will burn brightly again. 

from Prayers  for Prodigals

sadness and madness {re-blog from LPM}

i found this posting from Beth Moore {LPM} to be right on . . .  her words expressed the hurt, the anger, the frustration, the bewilderment a parent feels when one of their own hurts and faces struggles with life’s pains.

to read more . . .

Sadness and Madness.

because You’ve been there

luke 19.41.003

Palm Sunday . . . we have much to rejoice about!   Jesus spoke these words as He was making his entry into Jerusalem for the celebration of Passover – Holy Week.

Today, when I turned the page in Prayers for Prodigals the prayer took on a deep sense of hope.  What a reminder for me to know He understands my prayers, He understands my heart, He understands my tears.

Because He has been there, too.

You’ve been there, haven’t you Lord, Jesus?
You’ve known what it’s like to look with longing on those you love,
hoping and praying that they will turn their hearts to the Father.
You wept over Jerusalem more than once didn’t you?
On another day you looked over the city and said, “I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.
You ‘reared’ children and brought them up,
but they have rebelled against you.
I long for him to {once again} see you as you are,
and to {once again} know your joy deep in his heart.
I long for him to find the peace that only you can give.
But just like Jerusalem, at that moment, “it is hidden from” his eyes.
If I only have such longing for my own
I can only imagine how you felt about an entire city!
You understand completely what it is like to have a prodigal child.
Some people can not understand because they haven’t {gone through such an experience}.
I have felt the condemnation of their glances and the weight of the words they do not say.
Thank you, Father, that you are not that way.
You know what it is like to have a world full of prodigal children,
and only one child who did what was right – Your Son, our Savior!
You love us so much, you “gave Him up for us all.”
I praise you that you did not send your “Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
Thank you for not looking on my prodigal with condemnation, but with love.
You long for him to come to you just as you longed for the people of Jerusalem.
You long for him to come to you with a depth I cannot begin to fathom.
I pray that he will, Lord, for your sake and his.
I pray he will understand “now is the time” of your favor, “now is the day of salvation”
and return his heart to you fully and freely. 

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