Today I looked at my five year-old with undisguised admiration. I’d taught him the rules of an “Ages 8 and up” game called Monopoly Empire, and he was quickly picking up its nuances and strategy. In fact, he’d just beaten me fair and square.
Every mom’s spirit gets cluttered with chores sometimes.
We love taking care of our families, but we can hit our limit. We face yet another lunch to pack, or bed to make, or pet to feed, and something inside us rebels—can’t someone else do this, just this once? After all, part of our mommy job is to teach our kids to take care of themselves and their belongings, right? Absolutely. And as Christian Moms, we want to challenge our kids to help us out before our spirits get cluttered and overwhelmed!
One summer, I challenged my “big” kids (then 5 and 9 years old) to learn some new life skills by presenting them with Chore Passports. I explained the process to the kids and they were raring to go. Suddenly, they were excited it was Laundry Day—they couldn’t wait to put away their clothes and fold the towels!
Spiritual clutter is usually a bad thing, but sometimes persistent, nagging thoughts are actually useful.
Thoughts like We haven’t gotten together with them in agesor I’d really like to get to know her bettercan remind us to reach out to the people in our lives. They could even be Holy Spirit Nudges, urging you to minister to others and deepen your relationships through hosting.
We can accomplish the Lord’s work and further the Kingdom of Heaven through the gift of our homes. Romans 12:12-13 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
It’s been raining in Ohio for weeks. If you live here, you know. If you don’t, well, I’ll just say that I’m not sure if there was more than one day in June that it didn’t rain and July has been almost as bad.
Being an “inside girl,” I really don’t mind rain…but things are getting pretty soggy, even for me. And my fellow Ohioans have been getting a little fussy about it. My positive rejoinder, “Well, at least we’re really using our bowling pass!” is starting to wear thin.
Last week there was a day with absolutely no chance of rain in the forecast. I’d been avoiding errands, so I hopped in my car and headed straight to Michaels (my favorite store—crafts!). I pulled into a parking spot, gathered up my coupons, and then spotted the umbrella that had taken up permanent residency in my purse. As I happily removed it, I prayed, “Thank you, God, for this beautiful sunny day!”
Immediately my heart swelled with a larger-than-life word, a sudden understanding:
My sister, her husband, and their three daughters had an eventful trip home from vacation last week. The baby had a fever, their GPS took them down a rabbit trail, they had to make many, many stops… and then they hit Alabama.
Alabama is a tall state. When you’re driving north from Florida to Ohio, Alabama seems to go on forever.
When they finally hit the Tennessee border, the five of them celebrated with honking and shouting. Hooray for the short state of Tennessee! My brother-in-law even shouted, “Tennessee Milkshakes for everyone!” (Yes, he knows Tennessee Milkshakes aren’t a thing—that just goes to show how excited they were.)
In my “Don’t Wimp Out on Jesus!” post, I told a story about attempting to witness to a medical technician during a long procedure. At the end of the post, I vowed to write her a note and invite her to church. Well…
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.
Think it through
I’m a Pinterest lover.
Though I have some “Organizing” boards on Pinterest, only a few of my boards are ministry-specific. It’s a personal account and my boards reflect my heart. I try to pin only the things I think I’d actually do or things that bring me joy… things that inspire me, and that I hope will inspire others.
Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so.
Think it through
Boaz was such a fantastic, up-and-up man. Not only does he approach the next man in line for a prize he would like to claim for himself, he does it in the presence of ten witnesses. These men bore witness to the offer, the refusal, the passing of the sandal (another little weird-ism in this story that I love!), and Boaz’s legal redemption of Ruth.
I wrote this story for parents like me who want to share the fun of Santa while making Christmas completely about Jesus. As I’ve said to my own children time and again,
“I don’t know much about Santa; all I know is that he loves Jesus so much that he wants to give presents to kids on His birthday.”
(Please note that this isn’t meant to be historically accurate; it’s just a story.
But there’s plenty of truth in it for me.)
In the weeks following Christ’s birth, the news about the baby King began to spread. The shepherds told everyone they knew, and so others began to visit the newborn babe. They added their own stories to the story of the shepherds, telling all of their neighbors, friends, and acquaintances.
Soon the Good News had spread far and wide and even up into the North Country, where it met the ears of a kind man named Nicholas. Nicholas went home to his wife and told her of the baby who had his own star.
“Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak.”
Think it through
I like to think of myself as an encourager. Whenever I take a “Spiritual Gift Test,” the gift of encouragement pops up as my secondary gift (the gift of teaching always comes in first!). I’m great at complimenting cute outfits and verbally admiring personal traits… but sometimes I find myself feeling too shy to give the real encouragement that Paul and Barnabus shared so boldly.