When forgetfulness is dangerous

In my teary eyes and aching heart, I made Him too small.

Our oldest is off to first grade, as you read in my prayer last week.

Her preschool years were spent at a Christian school with Jesus-following teachers who prayed over and for her.  She spent kindergarten with me for a teacher; and, this year she is off to an (excellent) public charter school.  And, as I’ve been jotting lists of lunchbox menus, pinning recipes of morning muffin snacks, and picturing her there (away from me) surrounded by people who may or may not know her Jesus, I have allowed fear.

“Fear in the believer is a function of forgetfulness.  To the degree that you forget who God is, who you are as his child, and what you have been given by his grace, fear is is your default emotion.” (Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies)

My fear is evidence of my forgetfulness.

It shows I have forgotten who God is —mighty, all-powerful, all-knowing, unfailingly kind, rich in love, & intimately acquainted with sending His child into an unbelieving world.

I’ve forgotten who I am & who she is, as his children–covered by Jesus’ blood, encamped around by angels, treasured, bought with a price, equipped for all tasks in Christ, set apart, & victorious.

I’ve forgotten what I have been given–wisdom and discernment to choose this school back in the spring; peace that passes all understanding even with an aching momma-heart;  a promise that the same God who created her in my womb will keep her. 

So, momma, I don’t know how you’ve been forgetful today.  Maybe you’re feeling the same ache I am.  Maybe you have allowed fear about finances, health, or relationships to keep you awake when your family is sleeping.

Whatever you face today–let me remind you of who God is, who you are {His treasured child}, and what you have been given by His grace.  I am praying for you today.

Backpacks, pencils, & prayer

Despite my deep love for office supplies passed down from my Father (anyone else with me on this one?), I have dragged my feet; but, today we did it.

We bought pencils, erasers, 8-count crayons, highlighters, and glue sticks.

11 sleeps left until she begins first grade, so get ready for a few posts as I prepare my heart to send baby girl to school.

Today, it’s simple–I’m going to share with you what I am praying for her; let it encourage you in your prayers for your little backpack-clad kiddos.

Father God,

Thank you that you have gone before my girl and prepared a way.  

Lord, I offer to you Audrey’s hands.  Give her strength and tenacity as she writes and works with them.  Use her hands to care for new friends–let them feel you through her hugs, handed-over pencils, and playground tag-taps.

Abba, I ask you to cover her head with your blood.  I know your blood speaks better things than what the world speaks. Protect her innocence, Lord–keep her from icky jokes & language that doesn’t refresh and build up. Anoint her head to learn the mountains of new information, and give her time to escape into day dreams and her world of imagination.

Oh, Father, her heart.  It is tender like her momma’s and so sensitive to others.  Guard her heart.  Stir up in her heart your Word and your peace that passes all understanding.  Grow her heart; give her a deep love for her peers. Keep her heart tender, and let her follow the Holy Spirit when that tender heart leads her to someone who is hurting. 

Most of all, thank you that Your love for my daughter is much deeper than my love for her.

What are you praying for your babies as they head off? 

What Would Vacation-Mom Do?

Because I liked her a lot better

As I shuffled through piles of laundry from our trip and unpacked the cooler while trying to scrape together a lunch from the leftovers we had brought home, I began to miss vacation-mom.

The lake a few steps from our front door, bedtime books by the campfire, pretending I’m slipping off my raft for endless rounds of girly giggles that bounce around on the water, handmade sand pies and cakes, watching my kids soak up day after day of daddy-time, and morning snuggles with Grandpa & Nana–family vacation.

But as I reflect on what was most refreshing about the time away from home, it has little to do with the lake and sand, the sunshine, or even all the extra help, it was refreshing to be the mom I want to be.

The mom who lets kids be kids.  The mom who joins the giggle fight instead of breaking it up.  The mom who reads just one more story.  The mom who doesn’t say, “just a minute,” or “after I finish…,” but says, “YES!”

I understand that vacation cannot last forever–at some point we have to return to jobs, not wearing the same tank top three days in a row, emptying the dishes from the drainer, and going to bed on time.  But, I think some parts of vacation-mom can live on even as we return to our obligations and schedules.

I also know most of us don’t need one more post telling us, our kids are only little once, or soak up every minute.  We are here, laundry to our knees, peanut butter and jelly smeared on our sleeve (and on the counters, and refrigerator handle), trying to answer all the questions of our curious one, while meeting the needs of the littlest, working our hardest to soak up the minutes (though, sometimes, at the day’s end, we’re not sure where exactly those minutes run off to).

But, maybe you want to join me in taking a few tips from vacation-mom even when mom is no longer on vacation.

1. Practice saying YES!  Sometimes in our weariness we default to no, or not now, or that’s enough when it’s not really necessary.

2. Practice asking yourself a quick question before breaking up the pillow-hopping, or giggle-fighting, or bare-buns-shaking.  Does this hurt anyone or anything? If the answer is no, let those silly kids be silly kids.  I was so good at this on vacation, and not so great at home.

3. Practice giving yourself a break.  Responding to that e-mail or chopping those veggies cannot wait forever, but it can probably wait fifteen minutes. Take those minutes, laugh and play with your kids, and then finish up your work.

So, who is in?  Who wants to start asking What Would Vacation-Mom Do?  How do you say, YES, and let your kids be silly kids at home? Share with me!