the fire I hope my daughter catches and keeps burning

Posted in kids

I pray every day she will come to see God as her greatest decision and lifelong pursuit but the decision is hers, not mine.

Confession. As a helper and fixer, I will probably wrestle often before God that I can’t control my daughter’s choices or that I have limits. She’ll fail, make mistakes, excel and learn different things in different ways from me. She will grow up with her own heart, mind, desires, fears and weaknesses. And I must trust God with her. I can’t force her to love God or His Word. Salvation is the Lord’s to give, not mine.

But what IS in my control is what she sees in me.

That’s both weighty and wonderful. Her unique soul was born into our family to disciple, raise, love, teach and care for. A match-up born in the heart of God. The responsibility and the gift of it all! Heavens.

In the past 11 humbling months of preparing for and becoming a mom, a few hopes have risen above the rest.

(Let’s be real though, it’s more like, God, this is what I want for myself, but also the life I want my daughter to glimpse, the fire I hope she catches and keeps burning.)

  • I want her to see a woman fully and joyfully alive in her faith.
  • I want her to see a woman who takes God at His Word.
  • I want her to see a woman practicing holiness and grace.
  • I want her to see a woman pursuing deep connection when her introvertism screams to do what’s easier.
  • I want her to see a woman always open before her Father, talking and listening, dependent on His Spirit.
  • I want her to see a woman content and free in Christ, brave enough not to compare or compete with others.
  • And I want her to see a woman leaving a legacy of Spiritual fruit, not simply impressive achievements or popularity in the eyes of others.

Following Jesus will be her choice, not mine. But I believe it’s my job and joy to show her He is worth it, and the greatest adventure, help and love of her life.

Holy Spirit, help us.

Two Months With Anna

Posted in family

Height + Weight: She is currently weighing in at 10 pounds and 11 ounces and 22 inches long! In Doc’s words, “She’s lean but growing at the perfect rate!”

Clothes: We have finally moved into 0-3 months clothes! This might surprise some people, especially those who enjoy clothes, but I haven’t put her in anything but onesies yet. Mostly because they are simple and easy and we’re not going anywhere fancy.

Sleeping: We are getting much longer stretches of sleep at night, 4-5 hours at a time. Also, even though tonight is bound to surprise us, we have settled into a one ‘middle of the night’ (after 10 and before 5) feeding. Thankful!

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when the day is tough — Netflix or God’s Presence?

Posted in faith

When days are challenging, when moments are overwhelming, God asks me to hide in Him, not escape in lesser things.

Like a little child He asks me not to venture away from Him, out of His sight, but to stay close.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4

My avenues of escape include things like Netflix, food, Instagram or my own efforts (a.k.a control). These are places in which I’m tempted to hide from difficult things. These are paths I choose to run away from discouraging or confusing circumstances. These things sometimes feel easier to turn to when shame or doubt creep in. (Why does it seem to take more effort to believe God’s words for us instead of our own?)

He asks me to hide in Him, not from Him. Especially when I make a mistake or struggle or have a wrong attitude or sin.

He asks me to be still and meditate on how He’s God and I am not.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble… He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:1, 10 NIV

He asks me to tell Him everything. (Yes. All. The. Things.)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6 NLT

He asks me to surrender where I feel weak.

Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God. 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 NASB

He asks me to remember how much He loves me.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins…. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. 1 John 4:10, 15-16 NIV

He asks me to believe and obey.

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-16 NIV

He asks me to stay with Him.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2 NIV

He asks me not to hide in the pit of Netflix or self-sufficiency or social media. He asks me not to turn away from Him. He asks me not to doubt His nature. He asks me not to shrink back into my idols but to stand (shaky or not) on the Rock who can bear all of me.

He says, Child, hang close to Me when things are challenging. Let my Light remove all the shadows. Be yourself with Me. Come and be filled (John 6). Don’t retreat to that which harms instead of helps.

A survival technique has surfaced in these first two months of motherhood: abiding in Christ, openly and honestly, is essential to any kind of flourishing.

I can’t speak for you, but no matter how often I venture out from underneath His wings, Jesus will always be my home. I’ll never choose perfectly, but there’s grace for that. So here is to the practice of not hiding but standing in His light and on His love.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NASB