For the girls…

It’s true. I got behind in our family’s Bible reading plan almost immediately.

Jeremy and the boys are soaring through Mark and I’m fiddling around with chapter 15.

So I sat down yesterday to dive in. To catch up.

“There were also women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. When he was in Galilee, they followed him and ministered to him, and there were also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.” (Mark 15:40,41)

If the Bible’s Facebook, these ladies just got tagged.

And I hear Martina McBride’s “This one’s for the girls” playing in the background of Mark’s Instastory.

These women had been with Jesus. They’d walked that long (LONG) journey from Galilee to Jerusalem. They’d ministered to him as He ministered.

They were the last at the cross. The first at the tomb.

They were Moms. They were followers. They were His.

Ladies…”This one’s for the girls.”

You. Your little girls. Your grown ones. The little girls you dream of raising.

God has a place for each of us.

At home. At work. At church. At school.

In our neighborhoods. Grocery stories. Living rooms.

Wherever He is leading you, be all there. Wherever He is leading them, trust His plan.

Cross grace offers future grace for all of us.

Monthly “goal questions” for kids

Any goal-setters out there? If so, you’re in good company.

I’m huge on setting goals, breaking them down, and documenting movement.

Last year I filled my Christmas list with books like Atomic Habits and Smarter, Faster, Better.

Using these resources, we’ve created a list of “goal questions” we ask our 3 older boys each month.

Here goes…

  • What will I do to learn more about God?
  • How will I share the Gospel with others?
  • How will I grow more into the man God is shaping me into?
  • What will I get better at?
  • What will I do less of?
  • What new thing will I try?
  • How will I exercise?
  • How many books will I read?
  • What will I do to help out around the house?
  • What is my big, crazy goal for this month and how will I get there?

At the top of the sheet we use is this verse…

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Because ultimately, no matter how much we plan. No matter how many goals we set. Our kids’ futures rest securely on His shoulders.

And because of everything the cross tells me about God’s love, I find freedom not fear in this letting go.

Set goals. Savor.

2021 is the year I’m finding grace in the set goals and the failed ones.

So many boys…

2021…We are glad to see you!

When my eyes see these 5 things my heart is full…

…Our kids playing outside…

…Rose coming at me completely out of control…

…Sweets (especially from Disney)…

…Jeremy being silly with our kids (14 year olds are the easiest to embarrass)…

…Fresh cut flowers from the front yard…

And today I woke up ready to see 2021!

Ready to savor it.

That’s my 2021 word…Savor.

“To enjoy completely. To delight in.”

The kids are getting bigger. Stephen’s 3 years from graduating. I don’t want to miss a moment.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

Our Father doesn’t change.

Families change. Jobs change. Lives change.

Our whole world changed last year.

But He doesn’t. And no matter what 2021 may hold, we are choosing to savor it.

Because our Savior never changes.

Happy New Year friends!

Homeschool, Private, or Public?

Friends, homeschool isn’t the only way. It’s not the best way. It’s a way.

Private school Moms, I’m cheering for you!

Public school Moms, I’m cheering for you!

Homeschool Moms, I’m cheering for you!

We can get so tightly wound in our circles that our vision blurs. We begin to look around with judgment.

Do you know what God has called you to do?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

Do you know what he’s called your kids to do?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

I have wept this year over school decisions. Jeremy and I have talked. And prayed. And sought counsel.

And while this year we’ve committed to homeschool, we are by no means laying our stake in this privilege for eternity.

Because it’s just that. A privilege.

Our heart’s desire is to raise 5 kids who love the Lord. To love Him with all of themselves. To love Him big enough to do hard things. To go to far places. To glorify Him in every decision they make.

And today we’ll set that example.

By loving the Lord enough to say, “I trust You.”

These kids are not mine. They’re His. Arrows to be sent out into a broken world. Arrows wrapped in love carrying a message of hope.

So this school year, friends, don’t look around. Don’t compare. Don’t compete.

Trust.

We are a privileged people. 

And every choice we get to make…that’s grace.

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When the person you love changes…

We met when we were 18 years old. 5 days after college arrival. So young. So wide-eyed.

Within a month I was planning our wedding.

Our future dreams included having a couple kids and living in a fancy house overlooking the golf course Jeremy managed.

Then we turned 19. And God said He had plans. Plans that changed college degrees and took us away from the golf green. Plans involving the scary word “ministry.”

At 21 we got married. Began ministry with students we loved (LOVED). Had 2 kids.

At 27 we moved. Began ministry with kids. Welcomed 3 more kids.

At 34 we moved. Began ministry with families. Watched our kids go from littles to bigs.

And now we’re here. And there are 5 kids and 2 dogs. And a great house without a golf course. And still that sometimes scary word “ministry.”

Jeremy and I have had our highs and lows. We’ve laughed. And cried. And had marriage counseling. And faithful friends.

I look at him and realize how much we’ve changed. Both of us. From 18 till now. And there are still (God-willing) so many years of changing ahead.

But the constant has been grace. God has been faithful. Every step of the way. Through the low of almost losing everything in 2007. Through the high of bringing Esther Grace home in 2014.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written. But today felt necessary. To remind you that God really is faithful. When your calm day ends up hectic. When your dreams become impossible.

Breath deeply, my friend. He is not surprised. You are worth Jesus to God. He sees you and loves you through every change.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’.” (Psalm 91:1)

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