Families


You are Blessed

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)

I Am So Blessed to Have Found You. Yvonne Coomber

I Am So Blessed to Have Found You. Yvonne Coomber

We all know if we sat down to really think about it, we would say that we appreciate what our spouses do each day.

Life is busy and hectic. Just remember, you’re blessed to have food to clean up when it spills, you’re blessed to have your hampers runneth over, you’re blessed to have customers or a boss to please. And you’re blessed to have each other. 

Edited from Lisa LaFortune: Families! Change the World.


Thank You for Dirty Dishes

I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)

My mind was just blown…once again… while reading Secrets of the Proverbs 31 Woman by Rae Simons.

Many times the work of keeping up the house and family—the cooking, cleaning, putting away, cooking, cleaning, putting away…repeat…but also some giggles and joyful play with little ones—can feel menial.

WAIT! Menial?

Do you know what that word means? It’s earliest translation means “to remain, to dwell”.  Yes ladies (and gentlemen) that’s the Latin root for menial.

Don’t we take comfort in having a place to dwell and stay? Isn’t that the stability we all need deep down? Shouldn’t we take pride in creating a dwelling, a stable place for our most cherished people? Our family? To me these words bring up feelings of comfort and safety. I want to bring that into my children’s lives and my husband’s. So, why do we let our culture make it feel so minimized? So inferior?

Consider Psalm 123:2.

As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.

“This verse,” say Ms. Simons, “puts God in the role of the housewife…God provides nourishment for us, clothes us, and opens loving arms to us. God watches over our affairs and is intimately involved in the physical details of our lives. So why do we find ourselves (sometimes or often) resenting the same sort of work we do for our families?”

Well, I don’t know! Perhaps we all just need a good nap! 😜

So in doing the redundant, but very necessary things that keep our lives in order and our families grounded and stable, let’s keep in mind that we were made in His image and have a big job to do and a very important job to do. Without which our most loved would be shaken and severely let down.

***

I almost ended here, until I remembered a question I was thinking about today. After a week of all 5 of us sick (ALL 5!!!) I was walking around putting the house back together and thinking why doesn’t anyone thank me? Where are the thankful hearts? HA! I feel like a fool.

So in closing, thank YOU, Lord, for your provisions, your constant care of me and my loved ones. Thank you for the dirty dishes because it means we ate well, for the dirty clothes and blankets because it means we were warm and cozy, and for the games and toys and just things to put away that we use to make memories and have laughs together.

Thank you God I AM grateful. 💜

Edited from Lisa LaFortune: Families! Change the World blog.

 

Warm Sweet Junes

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.  (Proverbs 31:10)

Cougar Adult Groomin beautiful amazing

Cougar Adult Groomin beautiful amazing

I’m reading Secrets of the Proverbs 31 Woman by Rae Simons. One chapter tells a great story picture about marriage that I thought I’d share. It’s about gaining perspective over time. About how marriage is in part about the art of reconciliation. Being able to reconcile differences and trusting each other with our intentions and our shortcomings.

This woman is totally faithful to her husband. He can have confidence in her, because she will not let him down….

He does not maintain jealous guard over her or keep his valuables locked up so that she cannot access them. (Proverbs 31:11)

Your husband needs to be able to count on your ability to love him no matter what and even give him a pass if he’s a little more self-consumed or preoccupied one day.

And husbands, giving your wife the benefit of the doubt when she’s just not herself, and building up a trust where she knows it won’t be held against her is crucial. This trust in one another is the bridge between you.

It is the only way to keep walls from going up. Walls that could block the sun when seasons change…

The author says, “Like the seasons, married love has cycles. Sometimes our marriages may seem cold and dead as January, but if we wait, if we’re patient, spring always comes once more… It would be easier to run away the first time November’s chilly gray skies settle over our marriages. But just think of all the warm, sweet June’s we would miss if we did!”

The author talks about the greater perspective after going through these ups and downs… and back ups. The marriage ceremony doesn’t “cancel out our selfish nature”. Instead it’s a continued understanding that things will get hard now and then, but it’s the dedication to reconciling differences for a lifetime that gets you through.

Waaaarm sweeeet Juuuuunes. ☀️🍡

Edited from Lisa LaFortune: Families! Change the World blog.

 

 


You’re Getting There, One Brave Day at a Time

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Brave mamas and papas. I used to think the “brave” referred to facing the long days, the tired babies, the relentless needs of our precious children. Teaching them and letting them go as they grow up. Braving the hard that comes with parenting and marriage.

I was wrong.

Brave mamas and papas you are brave because you’re staring Satan in the eyes each day and telling him he can not have your family. You’re standing up to the brokenness that surround your young ones. In the world and in your home. The competing themes that pull in you and your Godly intentions for your babies. We wake up every morning, and sometimes during the night, and we brave the chance that our reaction will be impatient, selfish, unloving, unkind. Whether you feel it each evening as you start the nighttime routine, or if you haven’t felt it in awhile, the opportunity for an impatient and tired response is there. But that’s not what God intended.

The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you. (2 Timothy 4:22)

It could be the subtle message you send your kids when you’re more concerned with updating your status on FB. The message that tells them they don’t come before others, or they’re not interesting enough.

It could be the way you treat your spouse when you’re tired and rushing to get out the door. When you ignore the moment it takes to kiss goodbye, or spend the moment being short with each other, instead of saying “I love you.” I’m guilty of this too.

It’s all disguised as a small, don’t-give-it-a-second-thought reaction to the hustle and bustle of the day.

Don’t be fooled.

This is Satan at work, slowly and systematically breaking down the safety net in your kids world. Playing with the subconscious of your spouse as they wonder why that moment wasn’t worth a friendly loving goodbye.

If we remember, God asked us to multiply, to have a family and be stewards to our little ones and to hold each other up as husband and wife. Satan would like nothing more than to tear our family down. If you suffer in your marriage, spend time reconnecting. Don’t let Satan have a clear shot at your children through a broken connection with your spouse. Pray for each other. Find time to spend together.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)

If you can’t find the energy to marvel at your children no matter the age, get away for a morning and recharge your batteries. Then go back to them and stare at them closely as they tell you something about their day. It will come back to you. The wonder and amazement they bring to your heart. Think past the difficult season you might be in to where you want your family to be in the future. You’re getting there, one brave day at a time

 

Edited from Lisa LaFortune: Families! Change the World blog.


Precious Memories are Framed by Patient Parents

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. (Psalm 127:3)

Sienna LaFortune

Sienna LaFortune

Ahhhhh. Life after a new baby, our third baby ☺️, leaves my thoughts jumbled.

I was thinking lately about how we grown-ups have a tendency to want to start and then finish things quickly, especially with kids. Do you ever forget to enjoy the process of things?

Even when we don’t have a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. else to do in our day, we tend to rush the little ones or feel anxious over the messes they make. When that happens I ask myself, “Is my love patient and kind?”

Paul reminds us that patience and kindness are two of the nine attributes of a Christian life.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22:23)

Young children certainly like to pause on things for longer than we might like. But rushing them just ruins the fun of it and detracts from their learning. Our model for these times is found in Psalms.

But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15)

I know part of my experience with this is because I’m always aware of how much longer the baby will nap, or how much time I have before the next nursing session. So, I want to make sure the boys and I complete what we are doing. But is this ruining the learning and fun? Wouldn’t it be better to take just a short break?

The blessing of our children having precious memories is framed by us as patient parents. It’s the blessing to teach them something that might shape their future selves. It’s the blessing of a full and joyous relationship. It’s the blessing of them trusting us when they make a mistake.

So, I hope we make the effort to do lots of things with our families, even though sometimes it’s hard and messy. Most of all, I hope we remember to take our time with each other, one mess at a time, one spill at a time, and one memory at a time.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)

Edited from Lisa LaFortune: Families! Change the World blog


Waiting to Go Home

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:13-14)

As I sit here watching my mom sleep so peacefully,

she is waiting to go home to live with Jesus.

 

She had seen her daughter in heaven, who said,

“Not yet momma, but soon.”

 

She was reaching for Jesus’ hand as she saw him, but he said,

“Not yet, Marilyn.”

 

She saw her grandmother,

but her grandma didn’t speak to her.

 

My mom is at peace with herself and dying.

She can’t wait to join Jesus and her family.

 

She is not in any pain.

She is just waiting to go home.

 

My mom, Marilyn Speed, is 91 years old and was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.

Robin McIntosh

 

 


What Makes Mom Happy?

Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice.(Proverbs 23:25)

Two of a Kind. Donald Zolan

Two of a Kind. Donald Zolan

A great way to learn what your children are thinking is to ask them questions without any prompting.

Here are some questions about mom that I asked the boys.
Grant is 5-years-old and Vince is 3-years-old.

1. What is something mom always says to you?
G: I love you
V: Thank you

2. What makes mom happy?
G: A hug
V: A hug

3. What makes mom sad?
G: When I’m angry
V: Punch

4. How does mom make you laugh?
G: Tickling
V: Funny dancing

5. How old is mom?
G: 25 billion years old
V: I don’t know

6. What is mom’s favorite thing to do?
G: Play with us
V: Competition and balloon catch

7. What does mom do when you’re not here?
G: Sit around
V: Be sad

8. What is mom not very good at?
G: Running when pregnant
V: Sitting on not comfy couches

9. What does mom do for a job?
G: Taking care of us
V: Clean your room

10. What do you enjoy doing with mom?
G: Snuggling you
V: Doing a contest with me

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).

I loved this!!!!!

Thanks to Lisa LaFortune.


If Abortion Is About Women’s Rights, Then What Were Mine?

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. (Psalm 8:2)

Here are three heroes in the fight against infanticide (abortion). Gianna Jessen lives in Tennessee and Ms. Melissa Ohden in Missouri. Gianna loves music and has cerebral palsy. Melissa has a master’s degree in social work and is a wife and mother.

Gianna Jessen, left, Melissa Ohden, right, testify before the House Judiciary Committee, Sept. 9, 2015 in Washington.

Gianna Jessen, left, Melissa Ohden, right, testify before the House Judiciary Committee, Sept. 9, 2015 in Washington.

Both survived attempted saline abortions in 1977.

The third hero is Julie Roys, a reporter who explores and documents important issues facing Christians today. Her story is here.

On September 9th, Ms. Jessen and Ms. Ohden testified before the House Judiciary Committee investigating Planned Parenthood’s practice of harvesting and selling the body parts of aborted babies — even from those that may have been born alive.

“If abortion is about women’s rights, then what were mine?” Ms, Jessen asked the Committee.  “I was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which was caused by a lack of oxygen to my brain while surviving the abortion.”

Born after soaking five days in a toxic saline solution, Ms. Ohden miraculously survived her mother’s abortion. But, as she testified, “(I)f my birthmother’s abortion would have taken place at a Planned Parenthood, I would not be here today. Completing over 300,000 abortions a year provides them with the experience to make sure that ‘failures’ like me don’t happen.”

Pray for the babies.

The Book of Hebrews exhorts all Christians to hold fast their commitment. We must not lose heart. As Paul told the Galatians…

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

You can read the entire report from the House Judiciary Committee meeting here. Extensive coverage of the abortion issue can be found on Ms. Roys’ website. Caution, the images of babies on some of these links are heart wrenching.

Julie Roys

Julie Roys

 

 

 


Rest in this Blessed Mess

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. (Matthew 5:5)

PB&J

PB&J

I read something recently about the chaos and relentlessness of having young children. How there are days when you find yourself surrounded by shrieking maniac children and messes all around you. How you just want to sit down in peace and quiet with a cup of tea, but instead you have to put loads of dishes away before emptying the sink into the dishwasher AGAIN.

Rest in it. Be comforted in it.

There will come a day, in the not too distant future, where my little ones will be teenagers. We’ll turn around, and those little tornadoes will be out with friends, dating, doing more on their own trying to manage the freedom that comes with growing up.

I’ll have plenty of time to sit on the couch and put my feet up with a cup of tea. EXCEPT, I won’t be relaxing. I’ll probably be a ball of knots praying for my kids. Wondering if their safe, if they’re doing the right things, standing up to pressures that will undoubtedly surround them. Not just pressures from our world, but the war for their hearts as they face challenges and temptations on their own.

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. (Matthew 5:3)

After reading that a few days ago I find it easier to rest in the mess. Rest in the busyness and chaos. Be grateful that this is the challenge right now. Our little ones are mostly in our care with His guidance. There is still time before we feel like we’re drowning in worry. Before our little hearts are walking around outside our body, outside our nest. We are so fortunate to have this time with them. As crazy as it can be. This time is so short and the challenges ahead as parents are many.

You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. (Matthew 5:13)

You won’t realize when the last lullaby is sung, the final bubble bath is given. Or when the last “boo-boo” needs a kiss. You won’t realize when the last time will be that you’re able to pick up and rock your child to sleep, until their too heavy, too tough, or “too old for that”. It will just all of a sudden be that way.

Rest in this blessed mess.http://icons.iconarchive.com/icons/rokey/the-blacy/128/red-heart-icon.png

 

Thanks to Lisa LaFortune at “Families! Change the World” blog.


The Unseen Work of a Parent

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:11)

The sunglasses ARE on correctly, mom.

The sunglasses ARE on kor-ec-ly, mom.

Much of the service of parenting goes unnoticed, unrecognized, unseen. I think that was one of the hardest things for me at the beginning of this parenting journey. I have always been competitive, a hard worker, a studious student. I loved receiving acknowledgment for good grades and bonuses at work.

Yet, this part of me never hindered my NEED to stop “working” and be a stay-at-home mom. But it has been an adjustment that continues today. In talking with friends over the weekend I think we all agreed with this on some level. Even if you’re all-in and committed to spending your days raising your children, participating in your kids classroom, or homeschooling; it’s still a different kind of work. It’s ongoing, relentless at times, unscheduled, 24/7, in-an-instant type of work.

One thing brought up in conversation was the reminder of who we do this work for? It is not for approval by others, not even for our own approval. It is a calling by God and a service we do for Him — a stewardship, a mission of the hardest kind. He has lent us these children to love, raise, and guide for a short time before we must let them go into the world.

Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him. (Psalm 127:3-5)

Sometimes I think being a mom is a total assault on all my senses. LOL! Am I alone here? Lord, I hope not. 😉  Really, it’s not always stressful. Sometimes the joy and pride I’m filled with is remarkable and BURSTING! However, it’s often the hardest aspects of parenting that go unseen; and that’s difficult at times. Sometimes even unseen to me. Have you ever noticed how you could be going along day by day with your little ones (and older ones I’m sure) and the gains, or developments seem nonexistent or slow to happen?

BUT THEN, out of nowhere your angel does something or shows you something that is incredible. And you think…it clicked! Amazing! They’re growing, learning, and becoming who they are meant to be!!!!! THANK GOD!

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. (1 Samuel 1:27)

There’s really nothing better, but the world of parenting is very different from the working world. There your accomplishments were seen often and acknowledged by many. Yet, how important were those accomplishments and awards in the total scheme of things? Looking back, probably not that much.

The thing to try to focus on is God cheering us on. He has our back wherever and whenever we do this work. Whether it’s in the middle of the night when your comforting your child back to sleep, or when we are encouraging our kids to do something they’re a little shy about. When nobody is watching, except Him, that should be reward enough.

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

There’s no better mission. No service we could ever do means more than when we do it for His eyes first.

Try to revel in those little, magical moments that happen in secret, behind the scenes, that even your children might not understand. It’s something special for you and Him to share. Even when it’s difficult or exhausting, everything you do for your family matters and will have a lasting effect.http://icons.iconarchive.com/icons/rokey/the-blacy/128/red-heart-icon.png

Thanks to Lisa LaFortune at “Families! Change the World” blog.


Don’t let You’re Testimony for God Suffer

Charles Spurgeon once said, “The more you know about Christ, the less you will be satisfied with superficial views of him.”

You’ve been there. Some people make you want to to cry out, “Stop it! You are an annoying and pitiful boor!”

But before you do, Pastor Ben Reed, of the Saddleback Community Church, reminds us that responding in this way just makes the boor dislike you, and you’re testimony for our God suffers. Just ask a scribes and Pharisees who’s actions provoked Jesus to his wits end!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.… (Matthew 23:27)

Dead man’s bones? Hmm. It seems that even Jesus got frustrated at times.

For us, it’s important to stay composed. Don’t let your emotions become a barrier to the ability of others to experience Christ’s love. Here are some reminders that will facilitate the ability of your friends to experience the joy of Christ through you.

Be…

Be a listener. Get started, not by doing, but by listening. It’s not necessary to speak first. It’s more important to be listened to last.

Be there. Make the effort to connect. Share a well-timed, targeted, and relevant truth in the moment.

Be real. Your friends want reassurance that the person you appear to be is really you. Be open and honest about your struggles and victories.

Be consistent. Once you make a commitment, show up whether or not you feel like it. Consistency builds trust. Trust opens the door for Christ.

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, (Titus 2:78)

Give…

Give more than expected. Go beyond the minimum effort. Engage, support, and enjoy your friends.

Give grace. When everybody expects you to go 100% for truth, go all the way with grace.

in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Remember…

Remember names. It shows you care. If you can’t remember a person’s name, examine your motives.

Remember the little things. Facebook makes it easy to remember birthdays, anniversaries, and special events. Or, go old school, and use a calendar.

Remember His wonderful deeds, which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth, (1 Chronicles 16:12)

Share…

Share your story. It’s a gift to share your life in a way that focuses on the love and grace of God.

Share resources. What you have is really only yours on loan. Share things, knowledge, and time.

Share love. Care enough to make a connection. Give support during challenging times.

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16)

And always…

Be yourself. Be all that God created you to be. Are you funny, contemplative, patient, gregarious, intellectual? These are God’s gifts to you. Use them to further the plan Jesus has for you.

For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)


Are We Thermostats or Thermometers?

Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation, and in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places; (Isaiah 32:18)

Lisa LaFortune and the boys, Vince and Grant

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “some people are like thermostats and some are like thermometers.” The former regulates the temperature of the home. On the flip side, the latter reacts to the temperature around it.

There’s a BIG difference.

Moms know that the feelings in our home respond to OUR mood, sometimes unfortunately so. As the saying goes, “If mom is not happy, no one is happy.” So, ask yourself, are you managing the spirit of your home in a way that promotes creativity, cooperation, and a feeling of wanting to be at home?

I know that I try to be aware of what this place we call home is like. I hope our home offers my sons a respite — a calm from the storm of trying to figure out the world around them. Importantly, is it a place they want to be or want to bring their friends? When they get older, will it be a place they bring their girlfriends — a place where they feel like their best selves?

Several years ago, when Grant was a baby, I read about a mom who was very picky and rigid about cleaning and picking up around the house. She realized (luckily early on) that her kids were on edge a lot and stressed if they even asked to just take out a puzzle. She wanted their home to be a place where they felt at ease. So, though difficult, she worked to change her attitude about how their house operated. Not so much to compromise her needs but to consider their needs as well. She found the balance between being a thermostat and a thermometer.

In thinking about our role as managers of the house, are we thermometers or thermostats? I have days of being both. It’s a work in progress for sure.

I hope I’m making our home a place that brings relief from the stresses in my kid’s’ lives. It’s especially important in the world they are growing up in today.http://icons.iconarchive.com/icons/rokey/the-blacy/128/red-heart-icon.png

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24:3-4)

Thanks to Lisa LaFortune at “Families! Change the World” blog.


The Hardest Times are the Best Times for Teaching

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation. (Psalm 42:5)

On your hardest days do you sometimes lose it with your family? Of course, we’re human. More importantly, during that time are you doing things that compromise your integrity as parents, compromise your relationship with your precious angels, embarrass yourself in front of The Lord? It’s easy to pretend no one is watching when we behave less than desirably, but He is always watching and so are the children.

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)

A mom I know had “one of those days” when everything was difficult and going “wrong”. She said, “I told my eldest child who was carefully observing my simmering emotions, ‘Some days are going to be like this, where you feel like everything is going wrong, but I want you to watch me CHOOSE to have a good attitude right now.'”

…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:2-5)

THAT is so awesome! From now on I’m going to put myself in the spotlight when I’m feeling like a volcano about to erupt. I’m going to turn a hard time into a teachable moment for my family. That’s so much better than the alternative, which of course is to explode and act less than desirable and then feel like a failure later.

Have a wonderful day sweet families. http://icons.iconarchive.com/icons/rokey/the-blacy/128/red-heart-icon.png

This post was taken from the Families! Change the World blog, written by Lisa LaFortune.