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inthewrightdirection inthewrightdirection – Page 3 – In The Wright Direction

Author: inthewrightdirection (page 3 of 4)

8 fun and frugal ways to bond as a family this summer

I wrote the following for a guest post for Birmingham Bargain Mom.  I was excited for the opportunity and hope you will check her out at http://blog.al.com/bargain-mom/index.html
If you’re like us, the school year is a blur of games, lessons and homework. Sure, we spend a lot of time together as a family but it’s way too structured for my taste and leaves me longing for the laid back, easy-going days of summer.
Now that summer has finally graced us with her presence, I want to make sure my family has fun and makes memories we’ll never forget. I’ve put together a list of our favorite family bonding activities and hope you will share yours with me as well.

1. Eat dinner together with pizzazz! – Eat outside on the porch, have an indoor picnic, eat hotdogs on fine china in the dining room by candlelight, eat with chopsticks, have theme nights (think Chimichangas and refried beans with salsa music and printed tidbits about Mexico), let the kids choose their favorites to prepare.

2. Family Fun Night – unplug, no TV or video games, gasp! Get outside and play 4-Square (we are hooked! Check out www.squarefour.org/rules), hide-and-seek, badminton, catch lightning bugs, go for a walk, have a water gun battle or play in the water hose.

3. No Whining Wednesday – I thought this would be a tough one for the kids but I think it’s actually harder for me. First of all, no one is allowed to be negative or complain. Secondly, if you say something unkind to someone, you have to say 5 nice things about them. Lastly, I don’t get onto the kids unless absolutely necessary. I’ll stop them from punching each other but will try to look the other way as they chew with their mouths open, forget to say “thank you” or make a mess. Believe me, it’s hard at times but so worth it! I didn’t realize how often I gripe about the little things until I decided not to.

4. Get in the kitchen together – No need to spend hours over a hot stove on a hot summer day. No one will complain about getting to build their own pizzas (try individual pizzas on tortillas), subs, nachos, or smoothies. Have bowls of toppings and let the fun and creativity begin.

5. Science experiment or art project day – I love Pinterest! I have an entire board set aside for experiments and projects I think my kiddos will enjoy. Sometimes on grocery buying day, I let them peruse the board and pick out something they want to do together. We make a list of the supplies we’ll need and out the door we go. They never complain about having to go to the store when they know we are buying project supplies along with our weekly groceries.  (Bargain Mom note – here’s a story I did about water experiments with the kids that kept them busy for hours)

6. Start a hobby together – My son and I are currently working on our second model airplane!

7. Do something for someone else – bake homemade cookies and deliver them to your local fire department, visit someone in a nursing home, mow a neighbor’s yard, etc. You’ll have a day you can be proud of and raise kids to be proud of too. (Bargain Mom note, here’s the recipe for the cookies featured in the gallery)

8. And because you don’t want your home condemned by the time school rolls around,Set the oven timer and get to cleaning – This is my most genius mom idea ever! Set the timer for 15 or 20 minutes. Have everyone start in their own area and then expand, cleaning and straightening as fast as possible until the timer sounds. No one wants to clean but knowing you don’t have to do it for long makes it seem less daunting and even fun. Sometimes we look around in amazement at what all we were able to accomplish in such a short time. Then, back to building a sheet tent in the den!

5 tips for finding your perfect parenting style

The following post first appeared as a guest blog I wrote for Birmingham Bargain Mom.  I hope you will check out her website at http://blog.al.com/bargain-mom/index.html.
Like any good Type A mom, I started preparing for my first born before he was even conceived.  I began eating healthier, quit drinking caffeine and started prenatal vitamins. During pregnancy I avoided household cleaners, refused Tylenol and Tums and even covered my nose and mouth while pumping gas to avoid fume inhalation (cute, huh?).
My desire to be the perfect parent was even further magnified when I held my precious son for the first time. He was new and untarnished and I was determined to keep him that way.
The problem was, I had no idea how to do so! I say we skip Algebra class altogether (never tell my kids or any math teachers I said that!) and take a course on what to do when your child won’t eat anything green and you just know they will develop rickets or how to respond when your toddler throws a tantrum the size of Texas right in front of your mother-in-law! Now there’s a class we could all benefit from and there’s not a calculator in the world that can short-cut the minefield of parenting.
Anyway, I frantically began reading parenting book after parenting book searching for the “perfect parenting method” for raising our children. Like a fad diet, I would excitedly latch onto one method, follow it to the letter and then feel like a complete failure when I couldn’t make it work.

What kind of parent am I?

Next, I began copying a dear friend who seemed to have it all together. Her kids were well-mannered, well-behaved and always well-groomed. Hard as I tried to mimic her every move, that didn’t last either. I felt doomed to be a bad mom with kids who dreamed of running away to find a better mom: a mom who wore aprons while baking perfectly moist cupcakes and spoke in a soothing tone at all times.
Finally, I did what I should have done all along…I prayed for God to help me find my “perfect parenting style.”
This is what He has shown me:
1. There isn’t one. Nope!
2. Kids and life refuse to follow a pattern to be mastered. Each moment, each stage and each child you have will differ from the last so there can never be a “one size fits all” method.
3. Prepare but know you won’t always be prepared. I discuss what I expect with my children, let them know what will happen if they don’t behave and then follow through with my preplanned punishment if needed. That being said, there are times when nothing could prepare me for what the day brings. So, we have to learn to pray without ceasing, follow what we know in our hearts about our children and handle each situation as it comes our way.
4. Don’t be afraid to be yourself as a parent. We are going to be raising children for years to come so that’s way too long to try to force yourself into a parenting style that isn’t you. And that brings me to my favorite thing I’ve learned….
5. If God wanted your child to be raised like “so and so” is raising their children, He would have given your child to “so and so.” Take that in for a second!

Chosen by God

God chose you to parent your child for a reason. You are the best equipped person to raise them into who He wants them to be. That means that with Him you can do it and do it well.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t read parenting books or try to improve. Raising children is the toughest most important job we can ever have. It’s a huge responsibility that warrants us putting forth our best efforts, but it is okay to make mistakes. We are going to mess up from time to time and so are our kids.
I think the most important thing to remember is to keep the lines of communication with our kids open and keep praying.

A Blog about a Frog!

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  John 10:10

Today was like
many other summer days; we spent the morning on a project (cleaning out closets)
and the afternoon rewarding ourselves with a swim at my parent’s house. I
highly recommend having a friend or relative with a pool close by. Anyway,
before swimming the kids always check the pool strainer for frogs to be
rescued. I’m not sure if it’s the chemicals or just not having solid ground for
a little r&r, but frogs don’t last long in the strainer. 

Gracie encountered a stubborn little frog that just refused to be helped. As
soon as she would lift him from the pool and place him in the safety of the
grass, he’d jump right back into the pool again. Knowing the fate of so many
other pool frogs before him, Gracie was devastated. She kept saying, “I’m
trying to save you, frog. I’m trying to help you.”  

her concern, I thought of the one who saved me. How hurt He must be when, after
being saved, we return to the life He died to rescue us from. That life may
feel as familiar as cold water to a frog but God has something better for us. 

this frog couldn’t see is that my parents have a beautiful lake just a few
jumps away. He was settling for the toxic, man-made pool that was never
intended for him when, all the while, there was something better. 

John 10:10, God says He came not just to give us life but an abundant life.
But, we’ll never see that abundant life if we jump back into a life that’s
toxic for us. It may be scary to take a leap of faith when the lake is nowhere
in view, but it’s worth it. Let’s quit settling for the pool and follow God to
the lake!

P.S. – Just as we
were about to leave for the afternoon, our little froggy friend swam straight
to Gracie (seriously) and allowed her to scoop him up and place him in the
grass.  He looked determined to stay out
of the pool this time.  J

The Beauty of Our Scars

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”  Psalm 147:3
I recently watched an IMAX film about Great White
Sharks.  Seeing such mighty predators
glide gracefully through the water was mesmerizing.  What I quickly noticed was that each shark was
covered in scars from tooth to tail…and yet they were absolutely stunning in
their beauty.
The narrator mentioned how these markings, which varied from
individual to individual, told what all the shark had experienced and
survived.  I began thinking about my own
scars and the stories they had to tell. 
The 3″ gash on the back of my left calf tells of a run-in with a
bull at 8 years old, the road rash mark on the inside of my right wrist tells
of a daring downhill adventure on a skateboard at 13 (this was back in the day
when Christian Slater was “Gleaming the Cube” and hanging on my
wall).  Yes, there are times that I’m all
dressed up for a special night out with my hubby when I glance the
tell-tell signs of a tomboy past and wish I had taken better care of
myself.  But most of the time, the scars
make me laugh.  Each one comes with a
memory and a lesson learned along the way. 
They are proof that I have experienced life and survived.
If only it were as easy to see my emotional scars with that
same grace.  Sometimes, when God heals us
from painful circumstances, a scar remains. 
I have often prayed for God to remove all evidence of past hurts and
mistakes but I’m starting to understand that even scars have their
purpose.  Just like my skateboarding scar
has served as a reminder to weigh the probability of survival before launching
down a hill, there’s a scar on my heart reminding me to let God provide the
friendships He desires to bless me with rather than launching into
relationships He never intended.  The
freckles and sunspots from hours in the great outdoors remind me to cover
myself in sunscreen while the spots on my heart remind me to cover myself in
the protection that comes with obedience to God’s Word. 
Let’s try together to start viewing our emotional scars as
beautiful testimonies of what we have experienced and survived instead of
shameful reminders of mistakes gone by. 
Each one a tale to tell and hope of healing to others we meet along the
P.S. – I can’t wait to see Jesus’ beautiful nail scarred hands.
 Now there’s scars that tell an amazing story
worth sharing!

8 Things You and I have in Common

“I praise you because I am
fearfully and wonderfully made: your works are wonderful, I know that full
well.”  Psalm 139:14
One unexpected blessing I’ve benefited from as a result of
blogging is the heart-sharing emails and Facebook messages I’ve received.  I cherish and save each one!  Time and time again, I’m struck with a common
thought….we are all so much more alike than we realize.  As women, we have the same worries,
insecurities, doubts, fears and struggles. 
I often want to pass along the wisdom shared with me through these
messages so we can all benefit.  While I
would never betray the trust of those who have opened their lives to me, I have
compiled a list of what I have learned. 
I wish I could write these in the hearts of every woman (including
myself) because I think life would be so much easier if we all lived like we
knew them.  And honestly, I think we know
them somewhere in the back of our minds, but often that knowledge gets buried
beneath the rubble of lies the enemy bombards us with on a daily basis.
Here goes:
#1 The prettiest, skinniest, most well-dressed,
silky-haired, perfectly made-up woman in your town has insecurities about her
#2  None of us married
a perfect Prince Charming.  I hope and
pray that we never make a habit of talking negatively about our husbands but remember:
 just because people choose to focus on the
romantic, thoughtful and good daddy moments doesn’t mean their husbands don’t
do things worthy of a good thump to the ear every once in a while.  Even Prince Charming started out as a frog,
mind you!
#3 The most well-organized, calendar yielding woman in the
universe has forgotten a piano lesson, lunch date or school snack…and the
world kept spinning! 
#4 The strongest, most devoted Christian woman you can think
of still struggles, still has issues she’s yet to overcome and still fights
doubt and fear daily.  A couple of years
ago, I was able to attend a Beth Moore conference with a wonderful group of
women from our church.  Of all the truths
shared that weekend, what has stuck with me most is the fact that beautiful,
well-loved, famous, deep in the Word, Beth Moore shared that she struggles with
insecurities so deep that if she wasn’t able to turn them over to God in prayer,
it would be impossible for her to even walk out on stage. 
#5 Every good mama feels like a horrible mama
sometimes.  Maybe your 3 year old pitched
an Oscar-worthy fit in front of a gawking crowd at Publix (again), your
precious little girl was “mean” to a friend at recess and of course
you got a phone call, or your teenager made a horrible choice you somehow
blame yourself for.  Or maybe in a moment
of weakness, you say (or shout) something you’re sure your children will never
get over.  Believe me, it happens to all
of us.
#6  Even Martha
Stewart has a cobweb behind her bed and if she had little ones, you’d better
believe there would be a random french-fry or nugget under the seat of her
mini-van. Your kids will never remember you once went three weeks without dusting
but they will never forget all the time you spent playing with them instead of
#7  Everyone is
disliked by someone.  I am not good at
being disliked and have made myself near crazy trying to earn the approval of
someone that I didn’t even like to begin with. 
Shhhh, don’t tell anyone I said that!

#8 It will all be okay! 
Maybe not today, but it will be. 
God says so!
I’m thankful for each of you, my beautiful sisters!

Pearls for Pain

“To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of
beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead
of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD
has planted for his own glory.”
Isaiah 61:3

There’s just something special about a strand of pearls;
their iridescent shimmer, the smooth way they feel against your skin, how they
can magically make even the simplest of outfits look pulled together.  For our 1 year anniversary, my husband gave me
my very first set of pearls (real ones!). 
I was so surprised, I bounced back and forth between giggling like a 10
year old at a slumber party and crying like a baby.  I’m not sure what made him think to buy them
for me but nothing could have been more perfect.  I felt so feminine, classy and grown up like
a Queen or Jackie O!  I still feel that
way each and every time I wear them.
Recently, I was praying for a friend who’s going through
some difficult and life-changing circumstances. 
During one of our recent conversations, she said something that haunted
me for several days afterward.  She said
that she used to pray for God to not let anything bad happen to her.  I guess it affected me so deeply because I
have prayed that same prayer many times before…and yet something bad and
undeserving did happen to my sister in Christ. 
But as I was praying, God brought to mind my precious pearls and I began
to research how they are made.  I was
amazed by what I discovered!
A pearl is formed when an irritant like a grain of sand or
parasite enters an oyster’s protective shell and is unable to be expelled.  To protect itself from the ongoing cuts and
pain brought by the irritant, the oyster slowly begins to coat it with layer
after layer of a lustrous material called nacre.  It’s these layers that give pearls their iridescent
shimmer.  It takes 6-8 years to form a
single pearl so it’s no wonder they are so valued.  And would you have ever imagined that at the
heart of something so beautiful is something that caused pain?
Honestly, I would never want to experience what my sweet
friend is going through but as an outsider, I am able to see the beautiful
pearl God is creating as she allows Him to gradually coat her pain with layer
after layer of His healing love and guidance. 
Each time I see her she is shimmering more and more with the radiance
that only comes from spending time with the Lord.  He truly is giving her beauty for ashes.
I don’t know what hurts you have experienced in your life or
what might be threatening to break through your protective shell at any moment,
but I do know who can take that pain and turn it into something beautiful if
you’ll let Him.  It may not happen
overnight, but it will happen.

And a special thanks to my friend who is not only triumphantly
walking through this with God but also sharing the pearls of wisdom she’s
gaining as she goes along.

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Ironing Out the Wrinkles of Childhood

“Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.” Proverbs 29:17 
We have two children, both with very different personalities
and learning styles.  If you have more
than one, I can almost guarantee yours are just as different (I’m convinced
it’s life’s little joke on us as parents). 
I remember as a new mom, reading parenting book after parenting book and
trying different methods until I locked-in on exactly what worked with my
firstborn.  I thought I had this
parenting thing all figured out until my second child arrived and my surefire
parenting strategies didn’t seem to work…AT ALL!  I tried and tried to make her fit into the
parenting style I was used to but it just left us both frustrated. I struggled
with the belief that I needed to treat and raise both of my children exactly
the same to be fair.  There’s just one problem
with that theory…my children aren’t the same and it is actually more unfair
to treat them like they are!  I ended up
having to re-buy all the parenting books I had given away back when I knew
everything and start all over again.
Here’s an overview of my two blessings ( I won’t use names
but if you know us, it probably won’t take you long to figure out which child
is which):
Child One
  • A rule
    follower so they rarely do anything to warrant punishment
  • Loves
    to please so again, they rarely get into trouble
  • Tender-hearted
    to the point that a disapproving glance can bring on the tears so lower
    levels of discipline are usually all that’s needed to correct a behavior
  • Has a
    heavy conscience and will often confess before you even know they’ve done
    anything wrong
  • Safety
    first so that saves them from a lot of trouble
Child Two
  • Rules?  What rules?
  • Very
    intelligent and may often use that intelligence to find trouble where
    others may not and also to avoid discovery of said trouble.  If a tree falls in a forest and no one
    is there to hear it, did I really do anything wrong in the first place?
  • Happy
    in all circumstances so punishments don’t seem that bad.  Seriously, you put this child in
    time-out and they will put on a puppet show with their socks! 
  • Happy-go-lucky
    attitude means punishments and lessons are quickly forgotten which leads
    to repeat offenses and tougher punishments
  • Not
    afraid of anything
One of my children is a lot like me which makes parenting
much easier.  I usually know how they
think, how they feel, how best to explain new concepts, etc.  Teaching the other child requires more effort
on my part but is also very rewarding because I’m learning and growing right
along with them instead of staying in my little box.  Anyway, I want to parent both children the
best way possible and so that leads to a lot of praying.  One day as I was praying and ironing, God
used that ironing to show me that not only is it okay to parent my children
differently, it’s often necessary.
When I first started ironing my own clothes I thought it was
absolutely ridiculous that there were so many settings.  I ironed everything the same.  My motto was, “turn that puppy on high
and let’s get the show on the road.” 
It didn’t take too many melty, shiny spots on my favorite outfits to
develop an appreciation for all those ridiculous settings.  Not enough heat on cotton and you are wasting
your time…the wrinkles will remain.  Too
much heat on silk and you will hurt the fabric. 
Parenting kids with different personalities can be similar.  If your child is more like cotton (think my
kid #2) and you don’t use enough heat (punishment), you may fail to “iron
out” their wrinkles.  If your child
is more delicate like silk, it can be easy to use too much heat and hurt the
very fabric you are trying to improve. 
It’s tough to know just how much discipline and correction
is right for each child and each situation, but with patience and God’s
direction, I know we’ll get it Wright.

Handle with care!

See You at the Sandbar!

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and
through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you…”  Isaiah 43:2
I’ve always been intrigued with the ocean…at what treasures
lay hidden in her depths, at what might be swimming just below the surface and
what all she has witnessed as ships have traveled her distance and storms have
raged from one coast to another.  One
thing that never ceases to amaze me is the constant changing of the tide.  Within hours, I’ve seen the waves change from
almost nonexistent, to grab your boogie-board and come on in to downright
scary.  Through the years, I’ve come to
realize that life can be just as unpredictable and the tides of life can change
just as quickly. 
John 16:33 tells us that “in this world you will have
trouble,” and as much as we may like for things to stay the same, they rarely
do for long.  So, what are we going to do
when the waves start to crash around us or the tides begin to turn in a
direction that leaves us off balance? 
The way I see it, we have three options: 
turn and run, freeze right where we are or keep swimming.
Who likes to be uncomfortable?  Who likes to fight the current?  Nope, not this girl!  I’ll take the easy-going, float through life
days or the adventurous, ride the waves all the way to shore days any time.  But when the going gets tough or the
slightest bit uncomfortable, I’ve been known to turn and run.  It makes sense.  It’s instinctive to just get out of the
situation as soon as possible. The problem is, you rarely get anywhere in life
if this is your go-to method of handling things.  Like the Israelites in the desert, we long
for the comfort of what we know, even if what we know is keeping us in bondage.  The Israelites were all for venturing to the
Promised Land until they missed the food and shelter provided by their Egyptian
slave owners.  Change can be scary and
uncertain but if we don’t brave it, we are certain to miss out.  Often something amazing is just around the
corner from pain, confusion and discomfort so when we turn and run, we miss out
on all that God has planned for us.  We
miss the lessons in faith that come with trusting Him through the ups and
downs.  We miss the opportunity to gain
strength or conquer new territory.  We
miss the adventure.  God wants to do a new
thing in our lives (Isaiah 43:18-19) but it may take being brave and a little
bit uncomfortable.  Do you believe it’s
worth it?
Although I have implemented the Turn and Run in seasons
past, I have an even greater tendency to freeze like a deer in headlights.  Freezing sounds simple…you simply don’t do
anything!  But in reality, being stuck is exhausting!  Often in life,
you feel like you are barely back on your feet from the knock-down of one wave
before another one comes crashing down. 
It can be hard to catch your breath let alone keep swimming but
sometimes that is exactly what God wants us to do.  Keep going, keep trusting, and keep digging
in those hinds’ feet one step at a time knowing He is going before you.  The Israelites were promised the “Promised
Land,” but if it had been up to some of them, they would have stopped just
short of victory because they were afraid of the giants that were surely
waiting for them on the other side. 
Maybe today, the waves around you are giant and it’s hard to see past
them to the promises God has for you. 
It’s scary when we can’t see what lies beyond the waves of our current
circumstances but there is someone who can. 
I’m reminded of one of my son’s earliest encounters with the
ocean.  I begged him to join me in taking
our float to the calm waters of the sand bar but he was too afraid to venture
past the break.  I assured him that while
the waves might be crashing where he stood, if he could just be brave and trust
me by taking a few more steps, he would be beyond the waves and the rest would
be smooth sailing.  He wanted to believe
me but he was too scared.  That’s when
his amazing Daddy came in to save the day. 
He lifted our little boy to his hip and carried him past the scary
part.  God can do the same for you.  He’s big enough to see past your current
circumstances and loving enough to walk you through them.  Do you trust Him? 

John 16:33 seems pretty bleak when we only concentrate on
the portion that says, “In this world you will have trouble,” but the rest says
that in Him we can have peace and to take heart because He has overcome the
world.  Don’t turn back!  Don’t freeze! 
Keep swimming…it’s worth it!  

Son Worshiper

“And we, who with
unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his
likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord who is the
.”     2
Corinthians 2:18
While many people in the Heart of Dixie welcome Fall with open
arms, happy to see the end of another hot and muggy summer, I actually feel sad
to see it come to an end.  Each leaf
falling is a wave of good-bye from a dearly loved friend I know I’ll miss. For
months, I’ve started my day with coffee and the Lord on my front porch watching
the sun rise, afternoons on the back porch with a good book watching it set,
and time in between watching kids swim, play and explore in it’s warmth.
And though I care nothing about getting a tan, my hours in
the sun are evident by my darker skin, lighter hair (I always promise my
hairdresser I’ll wear a hat to protect her work but somehow never end up doing
so), freckled face, sun spots and even wrinkles! Yikes!  You’d think the wrinkles alone would be
enough to keep me indoors but I just can’t stay away from the sun I love.  Perhaps it’s the endorphins it produces or
the Vitamin B it provides but problems seem less problematic and life seems
sunnier in general after a little time in the sun. 
And can’t the same be said for time with the Son? 
Recently, one of my dearest friend’s son, Zach Dimmock, was asked to
join Christian rapper DPB on stage for an impromptu rap.  Can you imagine?  Now, if it had been me, I probably would have
fainted at the thought of performing in front of an audience.  Or at the very least asked if I could join
him back on stage in a month after having adequate time to type something up,
over analyze every word, practice hours on end and put together a stage-worthy
outfit. But at 15 years old, Zack has a boldness for Christ like few I’ve ever
seen.  He takes advantage of every
opportunity the Lord provides and uses his talents as a song writer and rapper
to reach others in a way that a sermon, blog or book may not.  He sure reached me as one particular lyric
has played over and over in my heart.  “Man, I’m always with the Son, you’d
think I’d have a tan.”  See, isn’t
that cool?
Just like my time in the sun is apparent to others around me
by my physical appearance, our time with the Son (or lack thereof) is just as
obvious. Have you ever been around a Christian who lights up the room or feels
like a breath of fresh air came in with them? 
Joy shows all over their face and their countenance is robed in peace
and contentment.  There’s no other way to
describe it other than to say it is obvious they have spent time with the
I want that, don’t you? 
Exodus 34:29 says, “When Moses came down from Mount
Sinai with the two tablets of Testimony in his hands, he was not
aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken to the Lord.”  Psalm 34:5 tells us that “Those who look
to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” That same
radiance is available for each of us when we make spending time with the Lord a
priority.  Just as the moon produces no
light of it’s own but merely reflects the sun’s rays, we as Christians are
incapable of producing light and must reflect God’s glory to those around
us.  The only way for that to happen is
with direct Son exposure.  We need daily
breaks from Sonblocks like TV, work, friends, busyness and worries in order to
spend time in God’s Word and time in prayer and praise. It won’t take long
before others start to notice the effects of us being Son Worshipers.      

Let’s Get Glowing Challenge: 
Commit to spending 45 min a day with God and God alone for the next
week.  See what a difference a little
time with the Son can make.

When Your “Daily Bread” isn’t Bread

My husband and I have been blessed with two children who
have taught us more than we could ever teach them.  Our son, Jackson, was born to us 11 years ago
and our daughter, Gracie, came to us through the foster care system 7 years
ago.  At some point, I would love to
share more about our adoption process but today it’s on my heart to share a
lesson I learned in the waiting.  There’s
always so much to be learned in the waiting, isn’t there?
When God called us to be foster parents, I knew it would be
difficult but I never imagined the mix of emotions that would pour over me from
day to day as I held the precious girl God had put in our hearts years
earlier.  You see, when you agree to
foster a child in your home, you often don’t know if you will have them for
days, months, years or like in our case, be able to adopt them into your family
at some point down the road.  From the
first time I held Gracie in my arms, there was an undercurrent of peace in my
heart that she would always be a member of our family, but often what rose to
the surface were waves of fear; fear that I might be misunderstanding God or
inserting my own desires to keep her, fear that I would love her with all I had
only to have her leave, taking my heart with her as she went.
It was during one of these fearful moments when I was on my
front porch literally crying out loud to God that I learned a definition of
“daily bread” I’d never considered before.  I had been telling the Lord I didn’t think I
could love this child with abandon like I’d planned because it would simply
hurt too bad if she was unable to stay with us. 
I desired to do something life-changing for someone else, but in these
moments, all I could think about was myself. 
As I cried, I heard Him tell me that she deserved to be loved
wholeheartedly and unconditionally because we might be the only ones who would
ever give her such love.  Every child
deserves to be loved so deeply.  It’s a
vital step towards being able to accept God’s perfect love.  He also reminded me that Jackson wasn’t mine any more than Gracie and that
both their futures were in His hands.  He
showed me that if Gracie left, I would still have a husband and a child who
loved me.  I would still have a roof over
my head and a relationship with Him, but Gracie might not have any of those
things.  In that moment, I committed to
love her with all I had while I had her but I also knew I wasn’t capable of
doing so on my own. 

From that day forward, I met Jesus on my porch each and
every morning while my babies still slept. 
Each day, I arrived fearful and spent but left hopeful and filled.  I had always taken the “daily
bread” portion of the Lord’s Prayer for granted because I had no real
understanding of what it meant to trust God for my next meal.  But what happened in that year and a half of
waiting changed how I saw “daily bread” forever.  I now feel it can be anything you are
completely reliant on Christ for (which shouldn’t that be everything?).  For me, it was “Lord, give me this day
my daily portion of unconditional love for Gracie.” Your “daily
bread” may be strength to care for a loved one, money to keep your
business open another day, patience with a child who is testing you, love for
someone who isn’t acting very lovely, etc. 
We often just want the problem to go away or have so much excess that we
don’t have to worry, but there is something so special about relying on the
Lord for that daily portion.  I’m
reminded of the Israelites in the wilderness. 
God could easily have chosen to grant them food that would never spoil
and warehouses stockpiled with whatever they could need, but He chose to supply
them with one days worth of manna at a time so they would learn to trust and
rely on Him.  I can’t promise you mammoth
amounts of manna but I can promise you that God will supply all your needs day
by day.  He will be your portion and He
will never fail to equip you for what He’s called you to do.       
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