Sep 142015
 

I am now confident that in no way can I prepare myself for the conversations which will occur after my kids get home from school.  I can only expect that there will be many more of these unexpected moments with my children in the future.  My unanticipated conversation yesterday with my daughter was not a difficult one.  Thankfully.  It was not one which tested my mothering wisdom or skills.  It was simply hilarious.

So my youngest daughter’s first day of Kindergarten seemed to have been a success.  The only frustration seemed to be not being able to ride the bus home.  We covered a series of questions about learning, her teacher, her table mates, recess, snack, and friends.  But the friend comment was the one which made me chuckle from within.  I asked her, “Did you make any new friends?”  She said, “Yes”.  I replied, “What is their name?”  She didn’t miss a beat with, “I just call him Samuel.”  I questioned her with, “Now that is an interesting thing to say, is that his name or isn’t it?  Did you just decide to call him Samuel or what?”  She said, “When he told me his name it went right out of my brain and so I just call him Samuel now because I don’t know and can’t remember his name.”  (We talked about maybe it would be a good idea tomorrow to ask him his name again and then call him by that name.  :))

Some of us are gifted at remembering people’s names and some of us find this to be quite challenging.  How about with our God?  What are we currently calling Him and is it really His true name?  Or maybe have we forgotten it or really don’t know it?  Are we, like my daughter, just calling Him “Samuel”-using some sudo/false name?  I wonder if one of the below untrue names I have used before are on your heart and mind in your current relationship with God-

“I just call Him Samuel”/false names I have called God

  • I just call Him”Condemner”- because I believe I am a bad person (failed too many times), and God cannot use me or forgive me of my sin.  God’s True Name is “Savior”-For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  John 3:17
  • I just call Him “Stealer of my joy/fun”- because It seems all I am being compelled to do is get rid of every food, drink, activity which I love and other unbeliever’s are “living the high life”.  God’s True Name is “Life”-The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  John 10:10
  • I just call Him “Unable and Uncaring”-because the trial I am in is causing pain/suffering and I feel hopeless and helpless.  God’s True Name is “Redeemer, Peace, Love”.  I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33/ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28/Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.  1 Peter 5:7
  • I just call Him “Liar”-because He hasn’t answered my prayer in my way or timing.  God’s True Name is “The Way, Trustworthy, Gift giver”.  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6/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

May we get rid of all the “I just call Him Samuel” names we are subconsciously or verbally outright saying about our good God.  May we today ask Him for forgiveness for calling Him by the wrong name.  And may we step forward in all our troubles, fears, with Him as He is our friend who’s Name is, “THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE” (John 14:6)

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Aug 172015
 

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.  Romans 5:3-5

Of course the 1 Corinthians 13 scripture, “love is not easily angered” was all I could think about.  That is, as I was currently in the midst of fighting off being easily angered.  This seems to be how the conviction of the Holy Spirit plays out in my life on a regular basis.  And I wish I could tell you my anger was the “righteous anger” type, over something of spiritual significance or logical sense.  But I cannot.

The struggle of my anger was birthed in trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole.  Not literally.  But figuratively, as it relates to an activity we all know and love-a birthday party.  Let me explain.

It was my daughter’s 5th birthday and I couldn’t seem to make her “dream theme” work out.  She wanted a “Queen squirrel” party.  My husband commented in response to her theme request, “You sure can tell our kids have grown up in the “Netflix/DVR/no commercials” society because you don’t see any stores marketing “Queen Squirrels”-no barbie party for her- this is her very own creation.”  Hense my frustration.

How was I to win any Mother of the Year awards when I couldn’t come through for my daughter on her birthday?  (I do not actually seek this award, but I recognize I place unrealistic/unnecessary pressures on myself to “be all and do all” for my children.  So Lord, forgive me of this pride which all around never bodes well.)  My internal temperature was rising as I was shot down by all my “go to’s” of Amazon, Target, Fred Meyer, Kohls and Pintrest for ANY sort of “queen squirrel” party decor.

After hours of mental anger (okay, and some outward snips at my husband and children who were not wise to be asking anything of me in this state), I came to a place where I could breathe more easily.  I resolved to the obvious conclusion. Queen squirrels do not co-exist/make sense for the majority of Americans.  So I stopped trying to look for them out in the world and decided to bring pieces of each of these things together to create my daughter’s imaginary world.   I was at ease in letting go of trying to make “queen squirrels” become a “thing”/suddenly appear in our nearby Target store.  And became excited about the creating and entering into the joy of my daughter’s world.  This looked something like a hodge podge array of decor-queen plates, mixed with a squirrel holding acorn cupcakes;  A song sung and book read about squirrels with a princess/queen movie immediately following.  Two seemingly unrelated/unable to be combined entites from the world’s standard-queens and squirrels-were joined together.  And a different world, my daughter’s world, was brought to life at her party.

I am thankful we as believer’s in Jesus live in belong to a different world as well.  A Kingdom world.  A world which is not so unlike my daughter’s party in which “queen’s and squirrel’s” coexist.  Where suffering and glory don’t co-exist.  And even go hand in hand.  Crazily, we can “glory in our sufferings”, as it says in the Romans passage above.  Knowing whatever struggle it is we are currently facing, if we hold onto Jesus, will result in perseverance, then character, and finally, hope.

So we stand on solid hope today.  In the midst of the shaky hard we are facing.  Even when the earthly people around us tell us “queens and squirrels” or our suffering and hope cannot co exist.  Even when other’s do not understand our unlikely, unrelated attitude of strength, peace, and joy in our trialing circumstance.  Because we will overcome in Jesus.  Knowing this world is not our true home.   And we will never feel truly at home until we get to heaven.  In which “Queen Squirrel parties” will be oh so commonplace.

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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May 082013
 

Perhaps I was an odd child! 🙂

I grew up on an acre of land I often would go to the furthest point of the property and sit. Sit and think. Sit and daydream. Or I would open my bedroom window, lay on my bed, look at the field and think.

I can clearly remember spending hours daydreaming about my future. What I wanted to be when I grew up, when I would get married or where I would like to travel someday.

Back then anything seemed possible. I did not think in terms of IF I get married or IF I travel.  Instead it was WHEN. I truly believed my dreams would come true.

Even as time passed I continued to dream well into adulthood. I was convinced that with hard work and determination, my dreams could and often would come true.

But one day, I stopped dreaming.

I think I can pinpoint the day. When the economy crashed, my world was turned upset down. Over the next two years, a series of events happened that I had no control over.

The stark reality, that there are circumstances in life I could not plan for or could not control, was devastating to me.

It no longer seemed safe to dream because there was no guarantee for tomorrow or what tomorrow would look like.

Years later I still have trouble daydreaming. And these days I’ve been missing the Sarah that daydreams.

I’ve been reflecting on my past ability to dream and have been wondering why I no longer do.

The answer is simple: I am afraid to dream. The pain and disappointment of a dream unrealized is difficult. In a way it feels safer not to dream. 

Yet I have come to realize, by my not dreaming, I lack hope for the future.

Life without hope is…well…sad.

A lack of hope for the future significantly impacts the present.

If I have no hope for the future my outlook on the present is rather dim.

If each daydream is quickly ended before it starts with a negative thought of “Ya, right, like that will happen”, or “if I’m lucky I might get to do that”, it weighs down my perspective on the gift of the present.

I miss the Sarah that had hope.

I want to daydream again and, quit honestly, think happy thoughts about the future. 🙂

To do so I must learn to push past my fears and dream, all while handing my dreams over to the Lord, for He knows best.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Do you daydream? Do you have hope for the future?

 

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Apr 292013
 

I HAD A LOWER BACK INJURY FOR THE PAST COUPLE WEEKS.  IT DEFINITELY PUT A CRAMP IN MY RUNNING STYLE.  When I started having intense pain, everyone said I must stop the regular routine of being a “do-er” for it to heal.

It was only after the injury I realized how much improper bending and lifting filled my day.  How my street running could be taking a toll on my body.  How bath time, cleaning up time, park time, grocery shopping time all strongly rely upon using my back.

I had to humble myself to ask for help.  Over and over again.  To lift a tiny basket of laundry.  To put my girls in the swing.  To bring in the groceries.  To take out the garbage.  To carry a bag up the stairs.

I hated saying multiple no’s to lifting up my girls for a snuggle.  I wouldn’t dare say it aloud.  But I was thinking it:  I am not getting old!

It was a challenge to know when to start running again.   I was desperate to have it back in my schedule, because running “fills me up” to be a better mom, wife and joy filled woman.  My back wasn’t hurting for a day.  I thought I was ready for the run.

I didn’t want to tell my husband of my plans to begin running again because I could see the future.  He would say it was too soon.  Unfortunately he put two and two together when he saw me.  In my running gear.

My Husband:  You aren’t planning on going running today are you?

Me:  Oh.  Well.  Yea I was.

My Husband:  You know you could injure your back permanently or make it much worse if you don’t take time to let it heal completely.

Me: Uh huh.

My Husband:  You can do what you want, but I don’t think it is wise for you to go for a run.

Me:  Uh huh.  (Looking down.  Sad face.)

I was frustrated with my husband.  I was tired of living with this hurt.  Someone was to blame.

As time passed, I calmed down from my disappointment and recognized it wasn’t that my husband was enjoying depriving me of something I loved.  My injury was not his fault.  And his saying “no” was actually a reflection of his immense love and care for me.

Just like my husband was looking out for my best interest, so our God is looking out for our good.  But just like I didn’t like to hear “no” from my husband, I don’t like to hear “no” from God either.

Me:  Why aren’t you taking away this struggle Lord?  You know the desires of my heart, why am I still unsatisfied?  Why can’t things go back to normal?  My patience is all used up.
God:  Remember my unfailing love for you.  Remember I am here beside you to comfort and help you.  It pains me to see you hurt.  I know it is difficult when I answer “no”.  When you don’t understand why this is happening.  When you can’t see the future.  Trust me.  My plan for you is good.  Nothing in your life will be wasted.

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future.”  Jer 29:11

Are you a friend that tells another friend if they are doing something that is detrimental to their overall health?  Are you willing to hear a “no” from the Lord and trust He has your best interest at heart?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Apr 252013
 

In this photo from garden above, there are three plants. It’s hard to see at this stage but I can tell you that two are weeds and one is a beautiful flower. If you leave the weeds, you will still get the flower. But if you try to pull out the weeds, the root systems are so close that you will most likely take the beautiful flower as well.

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away.

When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.  “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”- Matthew 13:24-30

See it?

For me, mothering often feels like a field riddled with weeds. I try to tame my easy irritation and impatience, my strong will, my please-go-away self-centeredness, but just when I think I’m having a good day, something pops (usually around 4:30pm after school pick-up) and I lose my footing. In that moment, I feel hopeless.

In my heart, I know that there are beautiful flowers mixed in – my quirky sense of humor that brings laughter to me and my children, my affectionate nature, the way that I can see each of my children for who they are and not as I expect them to be. But these flowers seem scattered and smothered by the weeds.

And yet….The Gardener looks at the field of my mothering and knows the beauty won’t be lost even if the field looks overrun. He knows that the chaos of the weeds is just the enemy’s trick. It looks messy but the plants will survive and be gathered in. God is patient. He doesn’t take any chances when it comes to disturbing the good growth within us. Our fruitfulness and beauty are worth the wait – especially when it comes to our children.

Trust the harvest and weeding to The Gardner. Ignore the mess.

What are the weeds and wheat in your mothering? How can you focus on and be patient for the good growth even in the midst of the weeds?

 

  Heather Fosth is her husband’s best friend, a mother of two dynamic, wildly different children(ages 10 and 6) and a sometime spiritual director. If given the choice, she would always be in her garden.

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Apr 162013
 

This past weekend, I was more thankful than normal for our family get together.  It’s a blessing when all of us can physically be together on such an important anniversary.

It’s been eight years since we lost our brother, since my parents lost their oldest son, since so many lost their friend.  Eight years.  Yet I am amazed how loss is a continual process of learning, growth and healing.

Counter to what I thought eight years ago, when it comes to loss, there’s never really this “arrival” to a permanent place of acceptance and peace.  Every year something slightly different strikes you sad, brings you hope, comes to memory.  It’s fluid, raw, heartbreaking and beautiful, all in the same breath.  Yet the one constant we rest upon is the promise and hope we have in Jesus.  We will see my brother again.

My learning, growth and healing continue to show up in new ways.  And it happens when I am least expecting it.  But I’m forever grateful for how my brother’s loss has changed me, shaped me and continues to impact me deeply.  The things which have impacted me may look vastly different from your own experience with loss.  I want to share a few pieces of my healing process.

  • I Don’t Have to Explain or Understand Everything.  My brother’s life story is a complicated one.  One that resembles a Prodigal Son story from the Bible (Luke 15:11-32).  There were a lot of painful and hard to accept moments in his life.  Many that left us wondering and questioning.  My brother’s story had a beautiful redemption in that he came back to his faith in Jesus before he passed.  Through the years, I’ve come to rest in this fact: it’s ok to not be able to explain it all.  I can trust what I know and understand: my brother had a beautiful heart and he is with Jesus.
  • My Process is My Own.  How we respond to loss in our life is as unique as we are.  There is no “one” way or even “right” way.  Some may want privacy, but I found I wanted an army of friends to rally around me.  Some may deal with the emotions of loss quickly, but I have processed these emotions slowly over time.  I’ve seen a vast array of responses even within our own little family.  Between us, we’ve done it all: lit candles, shared memories around a fire or table, written letters to him, looked through pictures together, sat at his graveside and talked to him, cooked his favorite meals.  I came to realize, whatever the process of remembering and healing looks like: It’s ok. It’s my own.
  • It Will Come.  At various points since our loss, I’ve experienced moments of enormous pressure and guilt over not being able to adequately remember and share my brother’s life and legacy.  My husband and kids will never know him.  And I long to be able to do my brother justice in how I relate and share who he was.  After crying many frustrated, hot tears over this and praying about it, I received peace.  Jesus simply reminded me it will come.  The memories of my brother, qualities of his heart and impact he had on me will come out over time. I don’t have to force it all at once, I don’t have to be the most eloquent and I don’t have to carry the burden of passing on his legacy perfectly.  Our love and experiences together were real, as is our loss. The story and impact of his life will come out in time.
  • Loss Makes People Uncomfortable.  This was one of the biggest surprises to me through our experience.  Of course, so many responded beautifully to our family.  But many people stayed away or did not fully acknowledge our loss.  Some gave unwanted opinions or advice.  It taught me alot about grace in this simple fact.  It’s wasn’t because they didn’t care.  They simply did not know what to do.  I’m not entirely sure I know what to do either.  But eight years ago I learned a couple gems: it’s important to show up, listen and be willing to sit in the loss with others, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

This year, I learned that my mom has clung to a verse through the years.  A verse I’ve not known well and it’s beautiful.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his godly ones.” Psalm 116:15

Have you experienced loss in your life?  How have you changed or what have you learned through it?

Admin

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jan 282013
 

I HAVEN’T BOUGHT NEW UNDERWEAR IN PROBABLY 11 YEARS.  BEFORE YOU BECOME COMPLETELY DISGUSTED, YOU MUST UNDERSTAND I HAVE RECEIVED SOME NEW PAIRS IN MY STOCKINGS AT CHRISTMAS AND SOME NEW TO ME PAIRS ON INFINITE LOAN FROM MY MOTHER.  So it’s not as if I ONLY wear my oldie but goodie’s.  But here is the truth:  my oldies are worn.  Worn out.

I knew it was time to buy some new undies when my husband said, “Wow, those are some nice underwear.  I think it’s time for those to go in the trash.”  He had been dropping some hints about them over the last 5 years, but for some reason it wasn’t until this comment that I was ready to take action.

You would be proud of me.  I used half of my JC Penny gift card to purchase brand spankin’ new undies last week.  And I threw away my oldies.  My family can rest easy now.  No worries of seeing me in the tattered and torn underwear I purchased 11 years ago for my wedding.  I have to admit it felt good to be out with the old and in with the new.

Last week I had multiple days where I felt worn out like my oldie undies.  But one day stands out in particular.

My Day of Worn

  1. I woke up to my girls were screaming at each other. I ran to tackle the issue at hand.  Completely undressed, Lucy and Sadie had poured cups of water, ALL the toys, and hundreds of stickers all over the room.  The cream of the crop: Lucy had peed the bed.  They were tugging back and forth over one sticker.  Worn.
  2. I sent both girls to time outs and began cleaning the huge mess.  Worn.
  3. I began the regular routine of breakfast, coffee, and cleaning up the kitchen, while taking extra vitamin C to fight off a sore throat.  Worn.
  4. I wasn’t able to go to Bible Study to be filled up spiritually and emotionally due to my girls being sick.  I hadn’t been out of the house in a couple days.  Worn.
  5. I was on my period.  I was grouchy.  My motivation to be the positive, patient mom was more than gone.  Worn.
  6. We were out of lunch meat, milk, and laundry hadn’t happened due to sickness.  Worn.
  7. I hadn’t had time over the past week to write, read my Bible, run, or spend time with friends.  Worn.
  8. Both girls had been up in the middle of the night=no restful sleep for me.  Worn.
  9. I broke down and cried.  Worn.

Through my tears, God comforted me through His Word.  Come to me, all you who are burdened and I will give you rest.  Mt.  11:28

I don’t replay my Day of Worn in order for you to feel bad for me.  Reality is: I know you could tell me a similar but unique to you Day of Worn you had once, twice or many times this month.  I write about my worn to say I am with you, sister.

The Day of Worn is when we must cry out to Jesus.  Because it is in the worn that we can so easily draw into ourselves and forget to even ask for help.  But I have found He meets me so deeply in the worn.  He provides exactly what I need to continue on.  To get beyond me.  To praise Him in it. 

Just like I got rid of my worn out undies to bring in the new ones, we also can say goodbye to our worn self to embrace the new.  Our situation won’t necessarily change, but when we fix our eyes on Jesus we bring Him into our worn.  And through the power of His Holy Spirit we can find rest, help, strength, hope, joy and peace.  Jesus makes ALL things new.

“Joy is not the absence of suffering, but the presence of God.”  Author unknown.

Ps.  42:5  “Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

If you are experiencing a Day of Worn allow this song “Worn”  to minister to you.

What was one part of your Day(s) of Worn?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jan 172013
 

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let downthe nets for

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Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such

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a large number of fish that their nets began to break.

“ ~ Luke 5:4-6

This scripture kept me company 5 years ago when we were considering the purchase of our first house—an old farmhouse in Oregon I had been dreaming of for 4 years. Despite the seeming impossibilities, I felt a strong challenge to believe that God would give it to us. Something this abundant required more faith than I’d ever had to muster before.

It is a vulnerable thing to open ourselves and wait, nets hanging there, for the thing we really want. Letting down our nets requires letting down our guard.

This is especially true when we’ve been working the same stretch of water for a while. At the time we bought the house, I sensed I would need this kind of vulnerable and tenacious faith not just for the move, but for the next season of life.

Fifteen years into marriage and ten years into parenting, sometimes it’s hard to keep expecting a fresh experience of the goodness of God. In addition to my own challenges, I have been buffeted recently by waves of pain in other people’s lives—broken relationships, mental illness, substance abuse, cancer. This stage of life feels like deep water, and it’s no quick easy jaunt to the shore. The stakes are high and evil is real. Sometimes we are sputtering and taking in too much water. Other times we are treading water in the dark…weary, not sure

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what we can count on.

Sometimes when we aren’t experiencing the “catch of fish” we hope for with our kids or our spouse or other situations, it’s tempting to get anxious and controlling—we rev our motors and push for what we think needs to happen.

Or we can have the opposite response: life wears us down and we are tempted to settle for what we can see—we drift to a place of resignation.

But faith, faith is the narrow way between prideful pushing and resentful resignation.

In the deep water, where we feel disoriented and vulnerable, God doesn’t ask us to motor or to drift.

He asks us to let down our nets.

I have candles on the windowsill above my kitchen sink, and sometimes when I don’t really have words anymore for a worn-out issue, I light a candle. I let my prayer just burn there for a bit while I do dishes or other chores. I hold out to God whatever the tangle is, along with my own heart in its vulnerability. Lately I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what comes of it…

What are some worn out issues in your life? How could you tread the vulnerable path of faith?

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© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jan 152013
 

My sweet girl,

Today you turn four.  Four.  Your body is still so tiny, but your spirit is larger than life.  Reflecting an unhindered version we adults have mostly lost touch with.

Yesterday, your Mimi handed me a button that said, “Bearly 4 today!”  It’s the very button my daddy gave to me on my fourth birthday.  I wore the button on the lace collar of my floral, navy blue dress.  He took me to lunch, just the two of us, and I got to play on the playground while he looked on.  I felt so special.  Loved.  Adored.  To be on that date with just my dad.

Four is the first birthday I can vividly remember.  Four was the year our family moved into the house I most remember from my childhood.  Four was the year I became friends with Jesus.  Four was when I started a few important childhood friendships.

Four is a big deal my girl.

As if I didn’t believe it before: Every memory holds impact.  Every interaction shapes your character.  Every little thing that pours into you will eventually come out.

It is my prayer, on the harder days… the days when your faith falters, when your heart breaks, when you wonder your worth… you’ll remember your mama’s prayers for you.  That you’ll remember Jesus holds you close.

  • I pray your spirit will never be dampened.  That you will never allow others to smother the radiant light God has put inside of you.  That your joy, which makes your eyes sparkle, your dimple on your cheek to appear, your laughter to light up the darkest moment… will never be erased.  “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”. Matthew 5:16
  • I pray you will hold onto hope, keep it high as the heavens.  That you will believe life is worth living with everything you have.  No matter how faint your heart feels from circumstances, new beginnings are always possible.  Put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption”.  Psalm 130:7
  • I pray the Lord protects your beautiful, beautiful heart.  Keep it soft towards growth.  Keep it open to love.  It is the most vulnerable, most real part of who you are.  Others will tell you it’s about your beauty, your face, your body… that’s not true my girl.  “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
  • I pray you will overflow with love for others.  Love for anyone God puts near you.  Love for the hurting, the weak, the lonely, the invisible people.  A love that transcends differences.  Don’t overlook the importance to love yourself as well; to be kind to yourself.  “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love”.  1 Corinthians 13:13
  • I pray your eyes will look to Jesus.  In this life, you will have to navigate successes and failures, weather storms, carry burdens.  Jesus can make these moments so much lighter, if you let Him.  People will come into your life who you will think are special.  But remember they are not perfect.  Jesus is the only one who cannot disappoint.  “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…” Hebrews 12:2
  • I pray no fear, no shame, no insecurity could ever make you feel unlovable.  Nothing could cause your dad and I to close our hearts, eyes, or arms to you.  Better yet, Jesus has loving kindness for you, always.  “But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your loving kindness in the morning, for You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress.” Psalm 59:16
  • I pray if someday you feel stuck in life or find yourself bound to a hurtful habit…  that you’ll remember true freedom is within grasp.  Jesus can break any bondage you may find yourself within.  “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
  • I pray you find the beauty and meaning in the very hardest, perhaps impossible, things to understand.  This has been hard for me.  But this will be the bravest, most real and meaningful path you could tread.  “…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…” Isaiah 61:3

These are just a glimpse into your mama’s prayers for you, Harper.  Keep these things close to your heart.  I love you forever, my sweet baby girl.

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