One Source for Powerful Parenting

Get This 1 Thing Right and Everything Changes

My Instagram feed splashes images of quick quotes and inspirational verses intended to remind me of living for Jesus. But this week they seemed to skim my soul rather than refresh it. There is something deeper needed for powerful living than quick tips— the same thing is needed for powerful parenting.

What do we need for powerful parenting?

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How to Find Strength When You’re Weary

Reflection from Isaiah 40

We all grow weary in life—when the days seem blended together in a stale soup. We read our Bibles but the words taste bland and watered down.

Where’s the power?

We are just tired. Very tired. Sometimes even depressed.

When we feel like we are wandering the wilderness with an unknown end, fighting against laundry piles of bitterness, fear, anger, or depression how can we find strength?

Isaiah 40 reminds us of a simple way to find strength when we are weary.

Strength When You're Weary

Photo by Meiying Ng on Unsplash

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This week I really messed up and starting sinking in my sin. I acted selfishly and allowed fear to control my thoughts and how I treated my family. When the conviction came, I drowned in shame and guilt.

I wanted to swim away from the Lord—how to face the God I love with my sin-stained failures? Yet as I twisted through the waves of accusation, He pulled the current toward Himself.

Do you ever feel a conviction about your less-than-lovely thoughts or actions? 

God’s love is ready to help you up when your sinking in sin.


To READ this week’s post, click here.

Helping The World’s Needs When There Are a World of Needs at Your Feet

How can we help when we can't go or give the way we want?

I open my news scroll to grab highlights as I sip my morning coffee. Flooding. Fires. Earthquakes. Wars. Political shambles. So, is Jesus coming back yet, or what?

My heart stirs with the desire to help—to jump in our mini van and go! Sort donated diapers, serve hot soup, pray with people, share the gospel with the hopeless—something.

Yet here I am—placed by Jesus to be present where I am—training hearts of my two boys and tending to the needs of my baby girl. Sometimes life just seems off kilter. When there is urgent need for serious help, here I am teaching boys how to negotiate with one another over sharing a hot wheel.

When we want to help, but are out of reach, what can we do?

Helping the World

photo thanks to cnn.com

1) Pray.

Prayer is the go-to, the first-response, the on-the-scene help. The supernatural power of prayer is more than we even comprehend. And the amazing thing? We can pray thousands of miles away and the outcome of our prayers physically touch people where our hands can never reach.

And if you don’t know what to pray, just start with honesty. “God, I want to pray for all those hurting right now, but I don’t even know what to pray. Spirit, please help me have ideas of how to pray.”

Then wait. Listen. Then pray what comes to mind. There is no wrong way to pray as long as we are sharing our hearts with the Father.

2) Research.

Who is helping in hands-on ways? What churches or organizations are meeting needs you wish you could meet yourself? Is there any way they can use your help? As you research, pray for each person or organization you learn about. Remember, prayer is powerful and effective.

3) Ask God,

“Is there something you want me to do?” The needs in the world are more than any one of us can tend to, but God is the Great Shepherd. He is at work in the world in more ways than we can ever comprehend and he has something we can all do to serve beyond ourselves. We may not be able to help everyone, but we can do our part.

4) Obey.

What is it that you think God wants you to do to help? Is there anyone you need to talk to before you act (like a spouse or other family members)?

Then do your part. It may be small or large, but it is whatever part God has for you.

Sometimes obeying God makes us look responsible more than heroic. But it is glorifying to God just the same.

Instead of me abandoning my responsibilities, I’m praying. And our family is giving our best where we believe God is leading us.

Recap

So, we may not be able to scrap going to work and the kids’ school to help strip homes muddied from flooding, but we can:

1) Pray.

2) Research.

3) Ask God.

4) Obey.

May the Father be glorified by our willingness to serve Him in the way He leads.

PRAY

God, there is so much going on right now in our world. The needs seem to topple us over even before we reach out to help. Please, oh God, be merciful and protect people in the fires and storms. Please, oh God, settle my heart and lead me in how to pray and how to help. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

RESPOND

Question:Do you know of anyone we can pray for affected by the fires and storms and floods? Please share their names. To leave a comment, just click here.

One Main Ingredient For Soul Nourishment

When your emotional pantry needs stocked

Mom was not known for her domestic prowess, but with all the Martha Stewart she could mimic, she mixed the ingredients according to the handwritten note—slid the bread pan into the oven—and we played cards.

She checked the bread. Hmm… the bread’s not puffing up. Well, maybe it needs just a little more time to cookmaybe more…or more?

She finally pulled out the bread pan to reveal a burnt unidentifiable mass.

We threw out the bread—and the pan.

Turns out, Grandma’s list was missing flour—’cause she knew how much she started with when baking a loaf.

Sometimes one simple ingredient can change the whole loaf.

Same is true in life. But what ingredient are we missing?

Ingredient of praise

Photo courtesy of unsplash.

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How to Follow Jesus When Critics Are Loud and the Way Ahead Is Unsure

Sometimes Jesus-Following Isn't So Simple

Sometimes Jesus-following looks crazy—like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute kind of crazy. Our loved ones shout, “Don’t do it!” or “Come this way for safety,” but you think Jesus is telling you to jump in obedience towards a new job, ministry, location or relationship—or is He?

When following Jesus looks crazy, but the road seems unsure, who do we listen to? How can we know for sure which way to go? Jump off? Climb down? Or not leave the comfort of the solid-footing at all?

This week’s video encouragement from Mark Chapter 3 explores making cumbersome decisions in following Jesus when we have competing voices telling us what to do—sometimes competing voices even within ourselves.

God bless you mamas. I pray you have a non-cumbersome week following Jesus in motherhood and beyond.

-Seana

 

 

 

How to Have Strength for the Clamor of Needs in Our World

When it seems too much to process or handle

Mamas, this week is a heart-burdened week. I am burdened for our nation, for our children who are growing up in a time of hatred and violence—with wars and rumors of wars—with moral decay being celebrated. Just with it all. My heart is burdened with all the news filling my feed and the needs of those at my feet.

How about you?

Do you have more than you feel you can process or handle? A heart and mind filled with random thoughts of packing school lunches and senseless deaths of people in Charlottesville and Spain—and ISIS and…? — All before you have had time to finish your first cup of coffee?

This week’s video encouragement is for us. Jesus teaches us something necessary for our souls in this crazy time of life from Mark Chapter 1.

Listen closely and drink in some spiritual espresso for your week.

Praying for you, Mama.

Seana

 

Today I almost lost it—I wanted to yell, wanted to spew hurtful words at an obstinate child. I drove to church to worship Jesus while my wonderful “Gift from the Lord” picked at my self-control resolve like woodpecker. Peck. Peck. Peck.

But the Spirit yelled within my soul: Be still. Strengthen yourself for love.

So instead of cracking, I cracked down—on self-control, loving words, and firm consequences.

WHEW! THAT WAS HARD.

Sometimes I feel like this parenting job is more like a dodgeball-throw-everything-at-mom game. And I end up crying through the bruises once the kids hit the bedtime sideline. Some days I throw back a ball (or two), but today—today—God gave me the strength for Holy Spirit resolve.

That is why I love the prayer from Paul to the Philippians. It is a wise field strategy packed in an empowering prayer pronouncement that suits us up for the ability—through Christ Jesus—to be blameless in the field of motherhood. No matter how many tantrum, name-calling, or rule-breaking balls slap against our legs.

Prayer is powerful. May this prayer from Paul to the church in Philipi be ours this week so that we can parent for the glory of God.

Prayer From Paul

 

 

 

I’ve been there. Hiding in my room during nap-time wishing I could just take the rest of the day off from motherhood—or snapping at the kids while they wrestle and giggle (they’re just being kids). I’ve sat on the floor in my closet crying and thinking, “I can’t do this mommy thing” and then cried some more for even thinking it.

BURN OUT.

But each time I fizzle out of patience, vision, and fortitude, I’ve learned to ask myself two questions:

  1. When did I read the Word last?
  2. How is my prayer life?

100% of the time I feel burned-out, I have been disconnected in my thought life with the Lord.

This week, let’s fill our mind with truth. Let’s cast our cares on God because He cares for us. Let’s take one step closer so we are one step further away from burn out.

For me, I am putting my Bible open on my bed stand, so when I roll over in the morning—instead of grabbing my cell and checking Facebook—I am going to take a moment and put my face in the Good Book.

‘Cause when mom burns out, everyone suffers.

God bless you, mamas and have a great week!

-Seana

THIS WEEK: Choose one simple, no stress way, you can get your mind in God’s Word consistently to nourish your heart—’cause you are worth it!

This week I trudged through mental woods with lying brambles and negative poison oak—as I wait for him to answer prayers for sick loved ones, hurting friends, and an unclear future for our family.

Last night I tossed and turned, seeping tears. And God’s word shinned through the dense emotional foliage to remind me how to thrive in my thought life.

I came out the other side, clear and refreshed.

May my reminder encourage you this week.