Your Mood Can Kill Your News

Have you ever been given a wonderful teaching moment with one of your children, but your attitude leading up to that moment was so grumpy you aren’t even sure you have earned the right to speak into your child’s life at that moment?

Oh, right…me neither.  I love my children deeply & I recognize they are gifts for me to steward, so naturally I am never in a bad mood.

“You can’t share the good news in a bad mood” our pastor said this morning during his sermon about outreach to your world.  Right now, the people who God is giving me the most opportunities to share His good news with are my people. And even though my children are in a stable home with Bibles on most bookshelves they still desperately need to hear the good news.

And, Pastor Sam is right, I cannot share the good news with my people in a bad mood.  Mommas, our little people need to hear the good news again, and again, and again (just like we do).  They need to hear that we all fall short, and as we confess (over & over) our sins, He is faithful to credit us with Jesus’ righteousness.

I asked the Lord to help me see what I can do to equip myself with a good mood, so I am capable of authentically sharing the good news.

Worship: allowing praise & worship music to fill our home, changes my attitude. Audibly worshipping God as I notice His creation and His faithfulness in the mundane fosters an attitude of gratitude.

Word: prioritizing time in the Word daily is a the game changer for my attitude. God tells us His word will not return to Him without accomplishing its purposes, so time in the Word is never wasted.

Work: with the understanding that my service is for the Lord.  My family does not deserve the servant-hearted work, but my love for God leaves me no choice but to serve my people for His sake.  Recognizing who I am really serving changes my attitude.

War in prayer & find comrades. Oatmeal slopped onto your slippers, a teething toddler,  lunches to pack–the enemy will use anything to get you focused on the temporal and mindless of the spiritual. Have friends you can call or text when those moments (hours, days) hit you who will laugh with you at the mess & then intercede on your behalf as you seek to share the good news with your people in the middle of messy days.

So, happy Monday morning, mommas — let’s go out into our kitchens & minivans and share the good news.

Summer & Jesus

A Plan to Enter Fall More in Love with Jesus

I’d like my children to have more than skinned knees, tan lines, and campfire memories when fall creeps in this year.  I want my girls to know Jesus better by the end of the summer–I want them to be more in love with Him, His people, and bringing outsiders in.

Summer is in full swing here, swimsuit bottoms can be found lying around the house, flip flops and crocs litter the sandbox. Our pool is open (despite my husband’s annual offer to fill it in with dirt and plant grass on top of it) and soon our deck will be setting for barbeques and pool parties.

I love summer—I love heat, love being outside as many seconds as possible each day, love the relaxed schedule with my littles, and the way summer lends itself to more family get-togethers and get-aways.

It would be natural for me to invest all my energy into making fun memories as a family and filling our minutes with all the glorious sun and sand of West Michigan summers (while attempting to keep Baby Boy from eating wood chips).

But, I want my girls to know Jesus and their need for Him better when September (and school) roll around. (I want to know Him better too).  I want their hearts to open to those who need Jesus and don’t have Him yet.  So, I’m doing what any firstborn would do, I’m making a plan, instead of wishing!

My husband has taught me a lot about wishes vs. goals – wishes are hopes and aspirations with no action plan or end in site; goals are specific, measurable, and attainable.

 So, rather than overdoing it with a huge list of goals, I am starting with two, and have listed my first step in accomplishing each of the goals, in hopes that they may inspire or encourage you.

1. My girls and I will re-read the Jesus Storybook Bible by the end of the summer

Step 1:  Before going to bed, set the Jesus Storybook Bible at my breakfast spot

2. Our family will serve our community in at least two different servant evangelism events through our church.

Step 1: Sign up online for servant evangelism events.

What goals do you have for this summer?  How will you lead your littles closer to Jesus this summer? Share with me.

Keeping a Lousy Day from Ending Lousy

“Here’s the real question: if all it takes to turn a lousy day into a great one is a little dinner party and a phone call, why would you ever choose to have a lousy day? Even better, why would you let someone else have a lousy one?” (Seth Godin)

In his book, What to Do When It’s Your Turn, Godin describes a lousy day and the entitlement to a lousy mood in response.  However, at the end of this hypothetical lousy day, a friend calls you just to tell you how special you are; and, when you arrive home, your roommate has organized a surprise dinner party with six of your closest friends.  Your day is no longer considered a lousy one.

So, he asks, if these egestures have the ability to turn around a lousy day, why choose to have a lousy day every again, but more importantly, why allow someone else to have one?

I remember when I was pregnant with Beckett, before we knew he was a he, some days I would grit my teeth and proclaim (silently) to the Lord, that I was pretty convinced our home couldn’t hold anymore drama.  Audrey and Charlotte have days that they seem to have been tossed off the wrong side of the bed—their emotions are closer to the surface, drama dials are set to high, and all their grumpiness just hangs right out in the open.

But, if all it would take to turn Audrey’s lousy mood into a good one is 20 minutes playing Animal Sequence together while we sip peach tea, why am I not doing that?  If allowing Charlotte to feel needed and important as she helps me prepare breakfast (even though it may take twice as long) is all it takes to get the grumps out, why wouldn’t I?  Because I’ve lost sight of my call to serve.

I easily get focused bulldozing through my day, focused on my tasks more than my people, so I toss their tumultuous emotions to the side. Even if there’s no good reason (I can decipher) for a grumpy morning, if I have the power to be a mood-changer in my home, why would I let one of my children start and end a day feeling lousy?  This is the latest challenge the Lord has presented me as I continue to grow as a servant-leader in my home.

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