Monday, July 25, 2016

Back to School Gift

It is that time of year.

Store aisles are filled with folders, paper, crayons, and pencils.  Our mail contains the best sales for school supplies.  Although they've done hours of Pinterest PD, texting, and emailing, teachers are officially meeting to prepare for classrooms full of kids.

Yes, it is back to school time!

As parents, we usually get our child's teachers a gift for Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Teacher Appreciation Day.  But what about a Back to School Gift?

As a teacher, the best (and I think only) back to school gift I have gotten was a note from a parent. It let me know that she had been praying for me and our school year. I taped it to the pullout on my desk and read it several times throughout the year.

I cherished that note.

Teachers have a wonderfully stressful job.

We love our students. We call them "our kids" - forever. We see these students in ways their parents will never see them.  We laugh with them. We cry with them.  We hug them when they celebrate and when their worlds are falling apart.

Teachers do more than teach. And to know that a parent was praying for me, praying for our school year.....that meant so much to me.

Parents, we do need your prayers.  Your children need your prayers. It is a crazy awful world we live in.  So many uncertainties. So much evil.  For some of these children the school is their safe place. The school is their guaranteed meal. The school is where they are loved and cherished.

I've come to realize in my many years of teaching that some of these students that I call "my kids" need me to teach them reading and writing.  Others need me to teach them love, compassion, and responsibility. And others, those children need to be loved and cherished and told they are indeed someone special, someone who is fearfully and wonderfully made.

So, parents, pray for us.  Pray for us to be what these precious children need us to be.  Pray for us to see them as more than a test score. Pray for us to show patience, love, and understanding while we stretch their minds and push them to succeed. Pray for us to protect them from bullies and self harm. Pray for us to see them as God our Father sees us.   Please, pray for us.

And then, I ask you this....Would you please show us grace and mercy?  We teachers are human. We mess up. We jump to conclusions. We get tired and frustrated. Life happens to us as it does to everyone. So, please, show us grace.

And then if you want to....send coffee.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Help

I saw a thing on Facebook this morning that says, "Be careful who you vent to. Only a few people care and others are just curious."

Venting sometimes helps.  It makes us feel better to "get it out."  But sometimes it can make things worse.

We do a lot of things that we think will help us, but many times, those things make whatever "it" is worse.

If there is one thing I know, I know this......God is my helper.

Scripture says, "Where does my help come from? My help comes from the the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." And for those of you who are musically inclined, I sing that every time I read it or write it!

God always makes things better.

When He helps me, he doesn't always fix it the way I want him too.  Sometimes he leaves the problem alone, but he changes my heart.

God knows what's best for me, and things always work out for the best when I go to him first.  It sounds cliche, but its true: God will provide.

We just have to get out of the mindset that God will provide and help us the way we want and expect him too.  His way is so much better than mine.

Happy Friday to you!

If you are staying in today to beat the heat, head over to to read more about the word HELP and join in the Five Minute Friday Fun.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Jesus Loves You

We are a hurting world.  We are a sad world. We are a sinful world.

We want peace. We want our politicians to be the hero and make everything ok.

There is only one who can bring peace to our nation.

The One True God.

Do you know Him?

God wants a relationship with each of us.  He wants us to be fully devoted to Him.

He doesn't give us a list of rules and regulations. He wants us to admit our need for Him due to our sinful nature.  He wants us to believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. He wants us to confess our faith in Him.  He wants us to place Him at the center of our lives and live for Him in each and everything we do.

And yes, that may mean giving up some things.  That may mean a lifestyle change. That may mean the loss of relationships.

But you know what?  God gave His Son for us.  He loves us and He wants us to love Him.

Our world will never know true peace unless every single person on this earth knows and loves and serves Jesus Christ.

Our world will never know true peace until every knee bows and prays to the One True God.

A life lived for Christ is so much more glorious than a life lived for anything else.  We are not promised tomorrow. We are not able to take our possessions with us when we pass from this earth....and we will pass from this earth.  Our bodies are tents for our souls. One day our tents will serve us no more. Our souls will move from our bodies to eternity......either heaven or hell......eternal peace or eternal turmoil.

Jesus loves you so much that He gave his life so that we can spend eternity in heaven, eternity in peace.  Why would we not accept that gift?  If you were starving would you deny the food and water placed before you?  If your house was burning, would you deny the hoses that would extinguish it? Then why would you deny Christ who offers you more than this world ever could?

In June of 2004, 12 years ago, I made a life changing decision. I chose to live my life for Jesus.  I admitted my need for him. I was a sinner. I still am, but now I'm forgiven. I chose to believe that Jesus is God's son, that he died for my sins and rose from the grave so that I would not have to face eternal death in hell.  I confessed my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior in Lord. I told of my salvation, I stood before the church, I followed Jesus in baptism.

Every day I am growing, changing, and learning.  I am not perfect. I am a sinner and won't be perfect until I reach my heavenly home.  But Christ lives within me.  He is my one desire.

Yes, I love my husband. Yes, I love my children.  But I can NOT be the wife and mother they need me to be without putting Christ first in my life.  Jesus loves me and I love Him.

And He loves you too.

Oh, I pray that each of you who read these words would know and love Jesus the way that I do.....

If we all, each of us that walk this earth, if we all knew and loved and shared, what a different world we would live in.

Do you know Jesus? Do you love Him?

Jesus loves you!

If you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior,  and you are feeling Him tug on your heart, you've pushed him to the side long enough......don't deny him any longer. Open your heart to Him now!

If you do know Jesus, share Him with others.  God commands us to do so.  We aren't meant to keep Him to ourselves.  When something good happens to us, don't we share it?  Don't we rush to Facebook and Instagram and post away?  Well, why not flood social media with the greatest news of all??? Can you imagine logging on to Facebook and seeing nothing but the love of Jesus instead of the hatred and trickery of Satan????

Y'all, this world scares me.  I think of how it has changed since I was a kid and what my children are witnessing and what they will experience in their lifetime.  But this world will not change unless Christians stand up and share Christ.  We must pray without ceasing instead of praying when disaster strikes. Imagine a world where we are united in Christ.  Right now we've let Satan divide us through gender, race, sexuality, politics, and religion. We need to be united in Christ.  We must be united in Christ.

Jesus loves you. What are you going to do about it?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Outside the Box

Tonight, this mama's heart is full.

Our church has an amazing children's ministry called Camp Creative.  During this two day camp, children learn Bible stories and take part in creative ways to praise and worship God.  Activities this year included storytelling, art, hands and feet (blacklight mime/signing and interpretive dance), woodworking, puppetry, Legos, and cake decorating.

As a mom of three very different boys, I am so appreciative of this ministry.  I have two sons that are eager to take part in most activities our children do at church.  My middle child is sometimes a little reluctant and has been known to stand on stage during performances....just standing there.

But this excites him.  Sunday night he was ready for bed because he knew Camp Creative would come bright and early Monday morning. When we got home from day 1, he talked about his favorite activities of the day. And I'll be honest, I cried when I saw him participate in the blacklight mime/signing practice session.  Today, he has talked nonstop.  He's repeatedly told me his favorite parts of his classes and the four parts he has in the blacklight show.

Ya'll, this is it.

The Bible says Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

This camp shows kids there isn't a single right way to praise and worship God. We teach them about the One True God, about Jesus Christ our Savior.  But we show them ways to serve, honor, and glorify Him that don't fit in a box. These children are learning and worshipping and praising and serving in so many ways.  And they are excited.  They are excited about Jesus.

And this mama's heart is happy, it's full. I'm an emotional wreck because my quiet kid, my kid that is rarely excited about anything is excited.

I am thankful for our church that supports ministries like this.  I'm thankful for those that organize and teach and herd children around. I'm thankful. Tomorrow night as the children take part in their "Praisentation," I'll be praising God for this amazing ministry and how it affects my children.