A Mama’s Heart on Fire: Sharing your Faith with your Kids

 A Mama's Heart on Fire Easter

 

Happy Easter! This week brought an amazing surprise which my mama heart was not expecting.

I had one of those parenting moments which brings tears to your eyes, stops you in your tracks and grabs your heart, and it caught me completely off guard.

My girls and I have been talking daily for the last few weeks about Easter, and we spent extra time last night (Easter eve) retelling the Easter story so they would know exactly what the holiday was about.

While we were eating dinner, my husband and I told the girls once again that we’d be celebrating such a happy day tomorrow because we’d be celebrating how much Jesus loves us.

We told them all about how he came to earth because he loved us all so much, how he was brave enough to die for us, how he came back and will save all who believe in him. I finished up by telling them how amazing heaven will be: how everyone is happy, how we’ll all be together, no one will cry and there won’t be any more “owies.”

Y’all.

Those few simple sentences, broken down into toddler-friendly language, and thinking about how much our Lord loves our sweet babies just completely overwhelmed me.

I have always known and believed the Easter story, but telling it to my girls and realizing how much it defines our lives here on earth, how much it matters to us and how thankful I am to be able to tell it…that was amazing.

It seems like God takes our mama hearts through the fire and refines us just a little bit more through our children. He deepens our faith and our stretches the boundaries of our hearts through these tiny people he gives us to look after.

As silly as this sounds, I feel like I own the Easter story even more after sharing it for these past few weeks with my girls. It didn’t change any; I still know it is just as true as I did before, but I seem to grasp the importance of it even more so as I see it through the eyes of a parent.

Have you noticed your faith changing through sharing it with your children? May you have a blessed and happy Easter weekend!

 

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Finding Perfect Peace in an Imperfect Season: A Mama’s Heart on Fire

When the girls start preschool, I’ll be so much happier.
When we decide to have another baby and the count down to going back to work starts, I’ll be so much happier.
When we have a bigger backyard, I’ll be so much happier.
When I finally make some money on my writing, I’ll be so much happier.
When I’m more organized and my junk drawer will finally close, I’ll be so much happier.
When I figure out how to be on time everywhere, I’ll be so much happier.
When I can go to the gym five days a week, I’ll be so much happier.
When I finally have a freezer full of Pinterest-inspired crock pot meals, I’ll be so much happier.
When my girls are fully potty-trained, I’ll be so much happier. (This one turned out to be semi-true! Ha!)

These are just a sampling of my thoughts which seem to always linger in the back of my mind. However, a week or so after my prayer for God to change my attitude (see A Mama’s Heart on Fire and The Best Day Ever), I realized how much I have been waiting for a non-existent, ideal world for my happiness instead of celebrating and finding peace in the season God has given me today.

Is my life perfect now? A few months ago I would have laughed hysterically at that question and answered with a big NO, but now I can see that while it’s not perfect by any worldly standards, it’s the perfect place which God has chosen for me to be right now. Today, in this messy and chaotic season of my life, is exactly where I’m supposed to be. It’s absolutely perfect by God’s standard, and that is the only standard that matters.

I am sad for the time I have lost in adjusting to and wishing away this season; however, I’m not going to lose any more time by hanging on to regrets. I’m ready to be content and even joyful in this exact season of my life instead of always waiting for something to change, an I believe it’s a huge step in living a joyful, heart-on-fire-for-God life.

Psalms 118: 24

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I wish I had a list next for 10 Ways to Find Joy Today, but I’m only on the beginning of my journey and have so much to learn. I will say, though, that earnest prayer for God to show you how to change your attitude is an amazing way to start. He just needs an invitation from a willing heart!

Do you find yourself waiting on the future to be happy? Do you have any wisdom to share on finding joy in the current season of your life? I love hearing from you–it reminds me I’m not alone in the deep end!

A Mama’s Heart on Fire: Making Today the Best Day Ever

The cold seemed never ending.  Sub-zero temps for days on end, and too much snow on the ground to go to the park even when the temperatures started to creep back up toward freezing.

Then my sweet girls both caught some kind of little cold.  Nothing serious, but enough snot and germy-ness to warrant cancelling our play dates and keeping us inside the house for a week.

It was a recipe for major crankiness and tension, and it made me question very seriously why in the world I wanted to be a stay-at-home mama.  Everything, from dishes to laundry to diapers to vacuuming, seemed to make me angry.

In the midst of a bitter moment, I thought, “Who wants to live this way? No one wants to be grouchy for the next 50 (hopefully longer!) years, and no one wants to be around someone who is always in a terrible mood.”

I prayed with a heavy heart for some way to help with my attitude, for me to find a way to make peace with every day life.

God was listening. The first moment of clarity came only 12 hours after my prayer for a change of heart.

The next morning, we pulled up to the grocery store, and I was dreading the trip.  I was cranky (imagine that?!) and resenting the fact that I had to take both kids to shop again because I wasn’t organized enough to go alone this past weekend.

“Look, Mama, isn’t the grocery store beautiful?” one of my munchkins piped up from the backseat.  “The grocery store is SO beautiful!”

Silence.

Her words gripped my heart as I smiled and agreed with her and fought back tears.  Of course the grocery store was beautiful–why couldn’t I see it? Isn’t everything around us, no matter how bland and boring, truly beautiful simply because we are alive to see it?

I felt the sunshine immediately start to break through the angry clouds in my mind as her childlike joy rubbed off on me.  My bitterness started to melt as I realized how it’s all about perspective and choosing to see life’s chores and drudgeries with a joyful heart.  We are SURROUNDED by beauty, breath-taking, awe-inspiring beauty, every day, but we have to look for it with a genuine heart on fire to see what God has put in our lives.

“Thank you, Lord,” I thought as we walked into the store.

Then He did it AGAIN.

“This is the best day EVER!” my sweet munchkin yelled out in the grocery cart as we went down the first aisle.  She was beaming, smiling from ear to ear, and she yelled it out again.  This time her twin sister joined her.

“This is the best day EVER!” they squealed with giggles and smiles.

This time, I choked back the tears and watched with amazement at the sight of God answering my prayers through my two precious babies.

“You’re right, girls.  This is the best day ever!”  I said with a smile, and I’ll tell you, those words are impossible to say without wanting to skip, laugh and dance around.  A grocery store trip with my girls which started as a chore turned into a truly joyful moment with my kids.

It’s all about perspective and choice. If we choose to find beauty and true joy every day by looking at life with a pure, fire-filled heart, God is putting it out there for us.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence

or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation

and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalms 51:10-19

This is going on a post-it in my kitchen where I can see it every evening when I do the last of the picking up and dishes for the day, the time when I am most vulnerable to bitterness and anger.

So here’s to being given another day, no matter what ups and downs it brings. Embrace it, look for the beauty God has placed before you, and make it the best day ever.

A Mama’s Heart on Fire

The past few weeks I have been struggling immensely with finding peace, finding joy and finding my purpose.

Staying home with my girls is what I know I’m supposed to do and what I know is best for our family, and ninety percent of the time it’s where my heart is, too.

It’s on those other 10 percent of the days when I struggle, though, and it seems like I had a long string of those tough days thanks to sick babies and bitterly cold weather which left us all cooped up and on top of one another with a little too much togetherness.

Lots of prayers, tears and listening to God has given me an amazing clarity about it all, and this is the first of a series of blog posts about having a heart on fire for God even when you’re drowning in the deep end with taking care of your family and yourself.  (I hope all moms, stay at home and working, can find some encouragement because I think we are all in the deep end with our every day lives.)

Let me share this with you first, though.  I have never seen myself as someone who should share her spiritual journey.  Although I am passionate about serving my Lord, I feel like my journey isn’t one which will be the basis for a book on how to be close to God.  It is so hard for me to make time to read my Bible or complete a Bible study or do all of those “things” I feel like define a strong relationship with our God, and I don’t feel worthy to share anything about my spiritual life with others because I feel like I have so much growing left to do.

I am just an average mom who hates housework, isn’t very crafty, and has no shame about skipping a shower to snuggle a sick baby for a day or two.  But I love God and my family with all of my heart, and I want to find a way to be on fire for my God every single day.

Through my feelings of inadequacy and struggles, God has been whispering to me to try, to listen, to share my journey and my struggles and sit back and see what He can do.  So that’s what this new series, A Heart on Fire, will be about.

I’d love to have you join me on this journey.  We all need a little more hope and joy each day!