tiny detours, empowerment & a blessing

IM000068I am blessed to have the below post as a guest post on my wonderful friend Allison’s blog, she is an amazing woman of God who loves the Lord and loves serving her family! check out her blog at www.afterhissmile.com

I don’t know about you but between the constant barrage of tears, tantrums, discipline, questions, hormones, and the lack of adult interaction and sleep I find myself swirrling in a tornado of emotions and feelings that are so strong I can barely keep my footings.

In any given day I can experience emotions of highened joy and laughter and 5 minutes later sadness and doubt about my calling as a mother. So how does one live their life according to their emotions?? THEY DON’T!!

As Christian mothers we have a calling to live our everyday lives by the truth found in the word of God and our faith in Him. You can look at our emotions as tiny detours trying to take us off course. We cannot rely on them, we need to embrace them, feel them, but not allow them distact our responses to our children or to the Lord. (This is easier said than done)

I have found that as I begin to practice this everyday, it becomes easier. Relying on the grace of God, which is His supernatural empowerment, I can do ALL things through Christ. I now look at my emotional struggles as blessings because through them I am being santified to become more like the Lord and the mother I was created to be. My little ones daily witness my constant surrender to the Father as I ask for His forgiveness and theirs:) We are not called to be PERFECT mother we are called to be mothers who are perfected through the grace and mercy of our Lord.

May you be blessed today, may you recieve a fresh impartation of grace and mercy. May the peace and rest be your today as your press against the current of your emotions. And May the joy of the Lord be your strength!!

Little Living Legacies

088 Portrait in the park

I have always had a deep desire in my heart to leave a “mark” on the world. To do something noble and helpful for humanity. I thought, for many years, that this “mark” would be accomplished through a career or a selfless call to overseas missions. However, I have realized that, in my case, and in the case of many other woman, this “mark” is a simple and disguised blessing that comes through motherhood! The very call on my life, to be a mother, satisfies that heart desire impact the world! The legacy that I will one day leave will be through my children. They are my little living legacies!!

These precious little ones are my inheritance or my “mark” on the world! I love them so much and I know that when I am one day gone I will live on in them. Everything I teach them will become part of who they are; this is why imparting a knowledge of the Lord, godly character, integrity and honor are so important. This makes my job as a mother so much more fulfilling. This is why I am passionate about family, about marriage, about children, about homemaking, and about homeschooling…because I know that each and every moment that I invest in my “legacies” I am investing in my destiny and the Kingdom of God.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deut 6:4-9

Bless you and your living legacies today, let them know how much you love them. And remember a great investment will reap a great return!

Grace Prayers!

IMG_2017[1]

Today I have been crying out to God to give me grace in raising my children. Most days offering up grace prayers is the best thing I can do for the kids and myself.

I attending a wonderful weeking of inner healing and teaching about the power of our words and actions with our children. I learned that as a mother I am God agent sent to give birth to and nurture my children. I have the ability to bless or curse them with every interaction we have, verbal or non-verbal. I want so much to bless my little ones to empower them to prosper emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I have decided that praying specifically for each of them throughout the day is very effective!

Here are some of the grace prayer from today: (I have started journaling them to watch God work in them over time)

Lord, help me to remember that washing Mercy’s sheets AGAIN in the middle of the night because she peed the bed AGAIN is not that big of a deal. Help me to remember that I am just tired that is why it seems so tedious. God thank you that I can serve my daughter in this way, I’m glad she will learn that she can always trust you to provide for her basic needs. Help me to give her an extra dose of love today as I know she feels bad for having an accident. Show me how to bless her soul so she knows that I love her for who she is NOT what she does!

Lord, give me grace to deal with Judah who wants to complain about everything I ask him to do. Help me to remember that he is testing my character, and ultimately Lord, you are testing my character. He is testing to see if I am consistent, truthful, loyal to my words, he is trying to determine whether he can trust my leadership and he is building a foundation for boundaries in his own life. God help me to remain strong, help me not to give into anger or the desires of my flesh. Remind me to bless Judah, to offer him choices rather than punishment. I want to our relationship to be my first priority. I know there is something more important than being right Lord, its being free!

God I need your GRACE with Atirah today. Lord I bless her eager, busy, adventurous spirit, that is fearless. Lord I ask for extra patience, kindness, gentless, actually I need ALL the fruits of the Spirit with her. Lord I still an unclear as to your destiny for her life as she is just starting to develop her personality, but I know one thing…she has a determination and strength that will carry her through every obstacle she might face. Thank you God. Thank you for her boldness, her humour, and her life. God give me the supernatural empowerment to care for her, train her and guide her through this life. Lord when I get frustrated and tired, bring peace and rest to my soul. Remind me to cry out for you to help me and not to try to deal with her on my own, she is a gift, thank you for her!

Lord empower me to mother, to nurture and to care. Let me give freely of myself as you gave freely of yourself for me. Let my children always know deep inside that NO one loves them like I do. I pray that they will see this in everything I do and say for them.

May you experience the freedom that comes from complete surrender and obedience in the small things!! May God grant you an extra dose of grace today!!!!

Proverbs 31: Preparation or Perfection?

If you are a woman, a wife and especially a mother I am sure you have heard this verse in the Bible numberous times; Proverbs 31:10-31. It is a verse that I have heard many people debate over. I have heard some woman joke about how impossible this is to attain and I have heard others who make it their life mission to be a Proverbs 31 woman.

So what does it mean? Is it literal? Am I supposed to spin by own wool, purchase land and sell it for a profit? How does one learn from this verse and apply it to her life?

Here is my understanding…

I believe that the Word of God is written on purpose and is intentional. I know that God allows everything in the Bible to be put there for a reason and I believe that there is much that we can glean as woman from this passage. In my opinion is was not put there to make woman feel badly about themselves nor do I think that it should cause us to strive for perfection in our lives, or make our outward apperance look perfect in the eyes of men but rather it should inspire us to trust God in everything. I believe that we NEED to focus on the many character traits of this “Proverbs 31 woman” and apply those traists to our lives.

The first trait I recognize is that she is a woman who is intentional. Everything she does is done on purpose. She plans ahead and organizes her life so that her family is taken care of and have what they need. That may look different for different woman depending on your personality, ability and life skills. But whatever you do make sure that you do it on purpose! (usually this involves planning and forethought, but not always:)

Secondly, she is a woman of wisdom. She knows the times and seasons in which she lives and chooses to plan her life accordingly. Because of this wisdom she profits from her various tasks, she isnt’t prideful about it, she is providing for her family.

Thirdly she is family-focused. Everything that she does centers around her husband and her children. They are her priority and the reason behind all of her labour. Obviously our relationship with the Lord needs to be our first priority but after that our family comes first. Are the decisions you make and the time you spend being invested in your family?

Forthyl, she is a strong woman. I believe this is emotional, spiritual and physical. Because of her faith in the Lord and her willingness to serve her family she can bear the weight of her work. She can handle their complaints, she can physically meet their demands and she can guide them spiritually to their Savior. Remember joy = strength. To be a woman who is strong you must be joyful. The enemy is always trying to steal my joy as a mother. The meanial things that happen or small accidents that take my joy off of mothering my little ones to the clean up agenda. I need to continually remember that if the enemy steals my joy he also steals my strength and I am left weak and powerless. I sometimes wonder if this is why so many mothers are so weak and defenseless in battle, we have lost our joy in the Lord. GOOD NEWS: choose to get the joy back and it’s yours!!! Joy is not an emotion it is a choice. Simply remembering who you were before you made God the leader of your life compared to who you are now should send joy shivers down your spine:)

Finally, a Proverbs 31 woman is led by vision! She has a vision for her family and it guides her life. Having vision gives us a road map to navigate our lives. It enables us to get from point A to point B easily and effectively.

Reading this passage of Scripture is not about; kniting our children’s clothing,  stayed up all night, purchasing a vineyard, made our kids bedding, and feeding the poor? NO!! It is so much more, however if you want to do the above go for it!! We need to glean what we can from her character and apply that to our lives. I believe that this woman is a picture of what is mean to completely rely on God in every area of her life and as a result profit greatly. (not just monetarly. We need to realize that we are called to be women, wives and mothers who are strong and intentional, who are wise and family-focused, who are vision-led followes of Christ whose mission is to raise our families to follow Him. It is not a standard of perfection it is a call for preparation! I believe it helps us to plan and prepared to be all God has called us to be.

Ask God what His vision is for your family and be intentional about seeing it through till the end.

I bless you to possess all the character traits of a Proverbs 31 woman. I bless you to listen to the Lord and obeys His leading, as a result, natually, your children WILL arise and call you BLESSED and your husband also and your life and theirs will be a testimony of God’s greatness on the earth!!!

Proverbs 31:10-31

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Tiny Tithes!

This past week I taught my children the principle of tithing. We gathered our piggy banks, a Bible and some coin rolling papers. We started off with the notion that everything that we have belongs to God and that he askes us to give back to him 10% of what we have. He is giver of every good and perfect gift, it is a joy to give back to Him. I taught them about the principle of tithing (giving a tenth) from a Biblical perspective, in kids terms of course:) God says if we test Him in this He will bless us for our obedience. (Malachi 3)

We used fishy crackers to demonstrated how 10% actually isn’t really that much and how God could have asked us for 90%:) We counted all their money in their piggy banks and they decided that it was time to give God back the tithe. It was surprising to hear Judah say, “a tenth isn’t actually that much mommy, I still get to keep all of this?”!

Fishy crackers were a great teaching tool!

It was a such a joy to teach them this principle, something that they will impact them for the rest of their lives and that will bring blessing and opportunity to give even more. I look forward to all of the other money principles that we will talk about; “the love of money being the root of all evil”, “being good stewards of our money:,” the joy of giving”, “God’s plan for us as believers to mobilize the gospel”…there is so much that I can’t wait to impart into them! I cannot wait to see our children, Judah and Mercy, bringing their tithe to our church and giving it back to the Lord!

Have you take the time to impart important principles into your little ones? It’s never too late:)

What are some other principles that you think are important to teach?

One thing I have learned about family and children is that we need to be intentional about what we do! Be sure to mark it down when God gives you ideas of what to teach them. I believe He tells us specific things at certain times because these are windows of opportunity. Take advantage of these windows.

May you be blessed today, May you have the grace you need to be all that he has called you to be!!!

From our family to yours:)

Simple is Beautiful!

Atirah enjoying some summer sun:)

I have been finding more and more that keeping things simple can be the most enjoyable for our family in this season in life. There are days when I try to overcomplicate and overplan activities. I believe the lie that a full timetable equals fun for my kids. Time and time again I see the negative outcome that this has on my kids and my ability to lovingly mother them. When I try to create lots of activity I find myself tense and stressed out, I am tired and really unable to spend quality time with the family – NOT WORTH IT IN THE END! Lately we have been trying to do activities that are close to home and have little preparation and clean up. We go for short walks, meet friends at the park, water the gardens, have a snack picnic, read books together outside, run in the sprinkler and work on puzzles. It has been refreashing for me and for the kids to give up my “busyness mentality” and embrace a more simplictic outlook on life. I find I am able to enjoy my children and their cute-little-selves when I am relaxed. We speak kindly to one another and I sense a deep joy that wells in their hearts for eachother.

May you be encouraged in knowing that striving and accomplishing tasks for your kids does not increase your value as a mother. I would liken it to this example; many times I try to get my kids to eat more nutricious food. Judah will tell me that we wants a hummus wrap but I feel the need to add veggies. So I will cup up lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, make a side dish of carrot sticks and offer it to him as a more complete meal. While it definitely fills up the plate, I he will still end up only eating the hummus and the wrap, leaving all my hard work behind. I feel frustrated and disappointed when all the while he only asked for hummus and a wrap, I am the one who tried to complicate things! Your children want YOU not all the activities. Yes, adding does enrich their lives and there are times for that but remember the most important thing you can do as a mother is be present in their lives:)

May you embrace the simplicity that each day bring. May you take in the sweet moments of beauty! This season is so short lived, enjoy every minute!!!

 

A Passion for Family!

I am so excited to finally be writing a blog! It seems like ages since I have been able to have enough time to gather my thoughts and express them through the keyboard on this computer. Life with 3 little ones can, at times, be a blurr. Someone is always needing mommy and I have felt the need to take some time away from the blog in order to refocus and realign myself with the purpose behind it. I am currently working on switching over this wordpress blog to a website called Passion for Family. Let me explain:)

Photo Credit: Expression Photography

Our Children – the fruit of our labour!

The Lord has been really impressing on my heart the importance of having vision and purpose for everything I do. Initially, I had started this blog to honor mothers as they pursue the important calling of motherhood/homemaking. Over the past year I have felt God nudging me to make it more about family. I felt like he has been showing me that the family is the fabric of society. Because there is such a breakdown of family in our culture we are loosing touch with God’s orignial intent for the family unit. As a result we are seeing a breakdown in society. I desire to help bring clarity and refreashing to families through these words.

Photo Credit: Expressions Photography

Our Family – the greatest gift on earth!

Through much prayer, I have decided to change the name of the blog to PASSION FOR FAMILY. This is my heart for the site. PASSION is defined as the object of an intense desire, affection or enthusiasm, a powerful or compelling emotion, strong affection or enthusiams towards a concept. I AM PASSIONATE about families!! I feel like there is so much that has been stolen from the family and I believe that it is God’s heart to see families healed and restored!

After being married for the past 8 years and having 3 children I now realize that the family is the training ground of everything in life. As I raise and nurture my children in our family I am instilling in them all of the skills that they will need for their lives as adults. I desire to bless and encourage families across the world. Whether you are single or married, dreaming of having a family or already have a large family, whether you homeschool or not, whether you work or stay home, this blog is desired to enrouage you.