Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Prayer For My Children From Matthew 24

My heart is heavy, Jesus, with what I know is coming. Please hear my prayer.

I ask that my children would not be led astray. Many are going to come in your name, saying that they are the Christ. Many will be led astray; please put a hedge of protection around my children. Surround them. Do not let the enemy penetrate the barrier that you will put up. I ask that they would not be led astray.

God, I pray that when they hear of wars and rumors of wars, that they are not alarmed, because this must take place.

Many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another, but I ask that this would not be the case for my children. I pray that they would be faithful and true and love as you have loved. Please, protect them from falling into what will become the norm. Protect their hearts.

Your Word says that false prophets will arise and lead many astray. God, please,would you give my children spiritual eyes to see when false prophets have risen up? Please, don't let them be led astray. Let them be in your Word and may they hear your Spirit speak to them. God, I pray that you would give them discernment and wisdom.

Lawlessness will increase, even more than now. Because of this, many will grow cold. Please, not my children, Father. May their love be a burning flame for you. May they proclaim the Gospel throughout the whole earth, and may their hearts never grow cold!

If they should have to flea, God, I pray that you would give them strength, courage, and wisdom. Please, would you protect their health during this time? Would you supernaturally help them during this time? I believe that you are the same God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; please speak to my children! Show them that they do not have to be afraid. I ask, God, that they would continually keep their eyes fixed upon you. I thank you that those days have been cut short for the sake of the elect. Thank you for your mercy and for your grace.

Oh, Father, if anyone should say to them that they have seen the Christ in the wilderness or in the inner rooms, do not let believe it for even a moment. Increase their faith. Help them to hold fast to your promises and to your Word. Help them remember what you have said if they no longer are able to physically open a copy of your Word.

Heaven and Earth will pass away, but your Words never will. Give them a love and a zeal for your Words! Please, oh, God, I ask that they would love your Words!

Nobody knows the days when you are coming back. I know the temptations to drink and eat and forget the reality of what is coming; I pray that they would be ready for you. I pray that they would not grow weary in waiting like I have. Forgive me, Father. Would you give them more love for you than I have? Would you give them more faith in you than I have? God, I ask that they would share the Gospel more than I have. Please, ready their hearts, and may their eyes be forever upward, looking and waiting for your return. Help me to teach them and show them more than what I have. Help us to live with eternity in mind.

God, please, save my children. May they know you, each in the right time that you have for them. Save them from hell. I ask for repentance and following you by faith.

I trust you. I leave this in your hands. I trust you with my children. I ask that you answer everything that I have asked of you. I know that You hear me. I know that you, and only you, are good!

In the precious name of Jesus,


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Sometimes Serving Joyfully Means You'll Just Pee Your Pants.

And I mean that in all seriousness.

The other day, I heard shrieks from the bathroom. It was number two screaming about "poop all over!" from number five. I rushed frantically into the bathroom to assess the situation. And, to my horror, there WAS poop. Everywhere. On my daughter Lily's pants, on her hands, and on the floor, and she sat on the white linoleum on her bottom, wide-eyed, with her legs and arms in the air, as to not touch anything with her diarrhea covered extremities.

I looked at Lily, our eight-year-old, and made a horrified mom face.

I looked at my diaper-less Evelynn, who is two, and my horrified mom face got even uglier and more contorted.

But then things took a turn for grosser. Evelynn looked at me and threw up all over the diarrhea covered floor. She was screaming, and obviously horrified at what was taking place.

And then, to add to the chaos, one of my daughters is terrified of throwing up. She can't stand the sound of another person throwing up, and the thought of her getting sick and throwing up sends her into a panic. We're working on that. But, for some reason, she came into the commotion to see what was going on, and now.... she was crying.

There was poop. There was throw up. There was screaming. There was crying. I felt like I had stepped out of my body and was watching a reality TV show or something.

And there I was. Hunched over in my yoga pants and hoodie, holding onto Evie, coaxing her through her vomit fest, reassuring her everything was A-okay, when I realized, (as I have many times in horrifying mommy moments such as this), that I had to make a choice. A choice to either start freaking out on my kids because of my own stress level, or laugh. Because the Proverb is true: A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries that bones.

I chose laughter. As I released the first bought of giggling, it quickly turned into a stomach muscle workout as my giggles evolved into a full-fledged belly laugh.

Lily was in weird yoga position covered in poop.

Evie had no diaper, and was covered in puke and diarrhea.

The floor was so colorfully decorated with shades of not-so-solid poo and vomit.

And there was vomit on my socks.

And I realized the hilariousness of my situation.

I laughed so hard, until I started shrieking.

Shrieking the words, "I peed my pants!"

I had personally just made the situation much, much worse.

Lily was begging me to help her, and Evie was so. mad.

I eventually regained my composure and put Evie into the bathtub where she would be confined for a moment so I could help her poo-covered, older sister.

I helped Lily, bathed Evie, mopped my floor, and all was well in the muthah-hood.

Just like that, things could have either gone very, very bad, or very, very good. And I've chosen the bad too many times to count. A child throws up, or makes a mess... because they're children... and I lose it because things aren't going my way. And now they've given me MORE work to do. Because I didn't already have enough already?! And I blame them for inconveniencing me.

And then I remember.

I remember that my Savior held nothing back when He loved me.

He held nothing back.

I choose to withhold my love from my children in the times that it would most impact their lives, because why? Of course they know that I love them when they are good and things are easy-breezey, but what about the times when things are smelly and ugly and messy?

He held nothing back, and he joyfully served mankind. He served mankind when we were smelly and ugly and messy.

This time, in this very messy and disgusting moment, God pulled me through it because I let Him. He was always willing, but I was insubordinate and stubborn. This time, I trusted Him with the outcome and obeyed. I joyfully served my children who needed their mama. Joyfully. It wasn't just because I had to clean up their mess and I did it without complaining and without a smile. The Lord changed my heart and I served my children with joy.

Not in my flesh, but in the power of His Spirit.

See, He's still joyfully serving and helping us.

I hope that one day, my daughters will remember their mama laughing over their messes, so they'll be able to laugh as they remember their childhood. Their childhood of learning how to joyfully serve each other by watching their parents.

Joyfully serving means that you may just pee your pants.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

God Multiplied the Enchiladas

Yes. God multiplied the enchiladas.

So my friend came over, and I knew she wasn't doing well. I didn't know details. I didn't ask. But when she entered my house, I knew that she was bringing baggage and was hurting. We sat at my kitchen table and drank cold water from jars. It was the fall, so she brought me apples.

And we talked.

I wanted to help, but if she didn't want to share, I didn't want to ask. But she opened up to me, and began telling me of her pain and her husband and her dreams and her uncertain future that was ahead of her.

And I stared. Wide-eyed. Mouth open. I didn't even know what to say. I hurt for her. I loved this girl. I loved her family. And she couldn't go home in the state she was in. She had to stay in my home and I needed to love on her.

So I blurted out the first thing that came to my mind.

"You have to stay for dinner. You can't leave. You're staying."

Knowing full well that I had one pan of enchiladas that a sweet friend had made for our family.

Now, this beautiful, pained woman has five children; two of them being growing, teenage boys. And I, myself, had five children and was pregnant with my sixth.

And I had one pan of enchiladas.

But I just knew she couldn't leave. She was going to stay for dinner, and I just knew that God was going to take care of everything.

I put the enchiladas in the oven and prayed. I put the beans and rice on the stove and prayed. I dumped the cheese in the bowl and prayed. We set the table and I prayed.

We got all ten children seated around our little table in the kitchen and filled their plates. And we filled our plates. And I set aside some for my husband who was on his way home.

Everyone ate to their belly's content. Everyone was satisfied. And slowly, slowly everyone got up from the table and went on to their own activities.

My friend and I chatted a bit longer, and then I got up to start cleaning up the aftermath of ten children eating dinner together. I looked into the pan of the enchiladas, and there was about one whole enchilada left. I gently scooped out the leftovers out of the pan with a spoon. I placed them into a plastic container, sealed the lid, and set them on the shelf in our refrigerator.

I remember being so excited, because I was quite certain that I just had just relived the miracle of the fish and the loaves of bread in the Bible!

Okay.... so I know it wasn't quite the same thing, but, on some level, it was the same thing for me. Had I thought with this human brain of mine, it wouldn't have made sense. If I had analyzed, it wouldn't have worked. I felt like God was saying, "Just trust me on this. I got it. I can do way bigger things than this. You know that one time when I created the world and everything? Yeah... just trust Me." And He is so faithful. Oh, so very faithful.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Beauty From These Ashes

There are days... actually... a LOT of days, when I say in this little head of mine, "I'm not qualified for this, God!" I look around at all of these lives that my husband and I have created, and I wonder if we are just being irresponsible... crazy... or just plane insane! But nothing really questioned me being qualified as a mother as much as the day that I tried to take my girls to see the ballet, The Nutcracker. Ugh... shudder. The Nutcracker used to remind me of Christmas and happy childhood memories: I couldn't wait to share those feeling with my daughters! Now, when I think of the ballet, I think of my own stupidity, and metal scraping on metal. (I will explain.)

Now, if I don't feel qualified to have six children, then there may be a slight possibility that I also feel that I may not be qualified to be the driver of a fifteen passenger van. I'm not sure if I would sell a huge passenger van to a sleep-deprived, lactating mother. But, regardless of those reservations, it's true: I drive a bus; an ice blue bus. Full of lots of loud small people. And on the day of The Nutcracker, we all dressed our best, piled into our huge blue van, and made our way to the city. And that's where the fun started. Lots of one way streets.... and parking garages. One does not even begin to understand the fun of driving a passenger van through a parking garage until one has experienced it. And I, my friends, have experienced it.

As I turned into the garage, there was a big yellow log of a sign dangling from the ceiling from two chains that read 6 FOOT CLEARANCE. And I proceeded to run directly into it. It smacked against the top of my windshield, and rolled all the way down the fourty-seven feet of my vehicle. My eyes were huge... like... BULGING out of my head. My mouth was open, making a gigantic, huge opening in my face so big that you could have shoved a football into. And I let out a loud, "HOLY CRAP!" (Don't judge.) AND......I kept driving, folks. I thought that sign was probably just to really warn ya. You know... give a good scare. And I proceeded to creep into the garage to find a parking spot. I made it about three feet and pulled up to a big metal beam hanging from the ceiling and stopped. I stared at it, just inches from my windshield. I dropped my pulsing head onto the steering wheel and just sat there for a minute. I was in trouble. Big trouble.

I put my van in park, got out of it, and went up to the car behind me to tell her that I was an idiot and that I thought I was stuck. She asked me if she should back up. I just shrugged my shoulders and threw my hands in the air and got back into my bus. I didn't care what SHE did! Duh! This was not about HER! I was STUCK! I got back into my van and realized that there was only on way out, and that was forward. And I began to panic. What kind of mother takes her six children out at eight in the morning and gets them all stuck in a parking garage!? MY type!!! I started to get a little weepy, then I put my big girl panties on, kept calm, and drove on.

I crept a few inches forward, and the antenna hit first. It bent backward, then snapped back into position. Okay, good. I made a it a few inches and only the antenna suffered. Maybe I'm clear. Yeah, no. As I proceeded forward, I heard the insanely loud scraping of metal all the way down the top of my van. And I wanted to die. I'm pretty sure I yelled out something... I don't remember what.... but I yelled. Then we cleared THAT beam. Common sense would tell one to take the first exit out of that place at the first opportunity. But I had to park. So we drove on. For three floors. Hitting every. single. beam. By the second floor, I knew I was just going to keep hitting the beams, and the slow, painful sound of metal scraping on the top of my van was getting unbearable, so I gunned it. It was like ripping off a bandaid: just get it over with. So instead of slowly, slowly creeping under the metal beams and hearing the painful scraping noise drag on and on, I was now speeding under them and hearing the noise go by much quicker.

I finally found a spot on the THIRD floor, parked, and got out with tears welling up in my eyes. (And I actually had makeup on that day. Go figure.) A woman who had been behind me parked in the spot beside me. I told her that I thought I had wrecked my van. She proceeded to tell me that She thought I lost some paint with that last beam because stuff was flying off the top of my vehicle. I covered my face in my hands and shook my head. This is very bad I thought.

I climbed up on the step so I could peek at the roof. And I couldn't believe what I saw. Covering the back two-thirds of my van was a thick layer of ice... and I saw NO damage. I wanted to drop to the floor on my knees and start singing the Hallelujah Chorus, but I resisted. I felt such relief.

But I still had to get out of there. Whatever I thought. I'll deal with that later. I dragged my kids and baby in a carrier through the city to the theater and sat through the ballet, which I could hardly focus on. Mainly because I had to come up with some crazy creative way to get my vehicle out of that tin can of a garage, and my four week old baby pooped through all of his clothes while I was nursing him.

My friends and I were brain storming and trying to think of some way to get out of there. Then, it hit me: I had to SHRINK my van! I had to let air our of the tires! A sweet friend and her daughter who were also there watching the ballet stayed with me and coached me with advice from her husband, and I released enough air out of the tires to hopefully get us out of there without a scratch. After my friend directed me as I back up out of my spot, she and her daughter hopped in the van to try to add extra weight to bring the van down even more. I was laughing nervously, and praying as we approached the first beam. We cleared it! And we cleared every beam on the way out except for one small scrape on the very back of my van on one beam. (This whole time, my seven year old was crouched down in a ball on the floor covering her ears. She was so nervous from the first time around...) I couldn't believe it. I was thrilled! Relieved! Rejoicing! Thank you, LORD!

My friend hopped out of the van, I drove on, and laughed all the way home. Never in my life did I ever dream I would have six children... own a fifteen passenger van... and get that van stuck in a parking garage.

My children will either talk about all of my stupid mommy moments one day and we'll all laugh, OR they'll talk about it therapy. I hope it's the first one.

I got home, took a long nap, then had to tell my husband what I did. He stared at me, then he said, "What else could you have done? I would have done the same thing." I love that man. I know that I am responsible for some of the gray hair on his head, but I know he loves me regardless of how much I stress him out. God knew what I needed when He put us together.

So, moms, if you ever look at yourself in the mirror and tell God, "I'm not qualified. I can't do this. Really, God." And you keep looking at yourself and wonder when the last time you had makeup on, or took a shower, or got dressed because you've been nursing a newborn baby all. night. long. and you're just not functioning like you're supposed to. He knows you're not qualified. Because He made you. He knows that you aren't qualified.... unless you do this in HIS strength.

He makes all things beautiful. And this mess that I am right now, I am certain He is bringing beauty from these ashes.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Sanctification Babies

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

I am impatient. I'm unkind. I don't put up with chaos and noise in my home too well. I'm a slob, and I drive too fast.

So God decided to give me a husband and six kids.

He saw my sin before I did. He knew my hate, bitterness, weaknesses, impatience, selfishness, and unlovable soul before I knew any of it existed. Yup, I knew I was a sinner... don't we all sin? But I really had no clue how absolutely ugly I was... what a horrible wretch of a person I was... until I was married with children. And, every time I held another sweet babe... perfect and all soft and warm... another ugly piece of my heart was brought up to the surface.

But I don't think that I would have seen it had I not had children. You know... the hate and all. It's like all those sleepless nights and kids bickering and me spread so thin was too much.

And out of my mouth spewed the grime that had been brewing deep deep in my heart. Because out of my mouth was just the overflow of my heart.

So one wasn't enough. I was way too messed up for just one. By two, my anger and need for complete control was revealed.

"What is wrong with me?!" I used to think.

But then I managed, and it really wasn't that hard.

But God wasn't done.

So he gave me another.

And another.

And another.

And soon, another.

With each perfect, sweet life that has been birthed from my body, it has taken more of me. The sin issues that have been brought to the surface had to be dealt with... because all of a sudden, they're there. Right in front of my face. And I'm looking in a mirror and I don't like what I'm seeing. There's me, looking nothing like my Jesus.

And then there is grace.

And I lay at his feet and pour out worship like perfume on Him and weep because I know what a wretch I am and how beautiful and perfect and sweet and amazing and holy HE is... but He is gracious enough not to leave me the same, and merciful enough not to blow me to bits! So He started a work. And that work, it's called sanctification. And that work that He started... He's faithfully going to complete it. And one day, I will worship Him with no baggage and no shame for the mess I know that I really am. But right now, as my Jesus is transforming me, He uses people. Little ones. Little ones with tiny fingers and toes that cry and need me and are really depending on me for their very existence.

My sanctification babies.

With baby number six on the way, I read through my writings and my journals and see the junk in my past. I finger through the pages where there were tears with the pen in my hand, and the grief that I felt for the horrible mistakes I made as a parent. And then I see the pages where there was worship bubbling from my soul... I couldn't write fast enough... I felt God moving.

But I see change. Through the pages, I read and thank God for dealing with me so graciously. And I read more and see how I'm still dealing with that same old thing, and I'm thankful that God isn't exhausted with me.

His love is relentless.

He is still pursuing me.

And I am humbled.

I can't say that we wanted more kids, because really, life would be easier if we just would have stopped. But God is using our sweet babes for His will and His purposes. Because it's not about us anyway, is it? God knows my tendencies to be selfish, messy, and totally undisciplined. He knows my need for control... and how the mess from lots of kids totally freaks me out. With each baby, I've had to choose to let it go. Not by myself, but with the Holy Spirit inside of me. Because it's not by my might... or by my power, but by His spirit.

In sharing all of my mess, I don't want anyone to assume that I don't enjoy my children. Because that just isn't true. I love them with a deep and passionate love. I want them to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it will transform the every day. I want good things for my kids. I want to be a good mom for my kids. But in order to be the mom that God wants me to be for the sweet daughters and son on the way that He has entrusted me with, I have to face the sin that He reveals. And I have to let Him heal so the bitter doesn't keep growing. I know God is using my children to transform me... to grow in Christ-likeness... and I am moved because God is using the least of these to change one of His daughters that He loves so much.

He loves me too much to leave me the way that I am.

So He chose sanctification babies to change my heart.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


I recently heard a very serious message being preached about revival in our lives.... coming back to the Lord.... getting back to that... honeymoon phase.

And I had to laugh.

Out loud.

Because, my honeymoon was not something that many people would like to get back to.....

And it went a little somethin' like this-

Off we drove in our Olds Eighty-Eight. Nineteen years old and only a month being married, we were on our way north toward the top part of "the mitten". Young, dumb, completely enamored with each other, we had this great idea to stay in a few bed and breakfasts in the Traverse City, Michigan area, and make our way back down the coast, camping as we went.
Our first mistake was trying to go anywhere married at the young age of nineteen. We were asked for parental supervision when we tried to rent jet skies, and needed a wedding certificate upon request to stay at any hotel or bed and breakfast because of our age. That was humbling in itself, and I continued to be humbled as our trip went on.
We did find one thing we could do that didn't need a parent to hold our hand! Parasailing! Brilliant. Neither one of us had every gone, and the idea seemed perfect. It was a little crazy, and it was my twentieth birthday. Who gets to say they sailed in the air over the beautiful Lake Michigan on their 20th birthday on the Fourth of July on their honeymoon?! Me! That's who! So... ladies first. I got myself self all strapped up, and off we went! Except.... I wasn't a big fan of that... rocking-in-the-the-wind feeling, or the bouncing and jerking... I pretty much wasn't a fan of it at all. When my turn was over, I was reeled back in, and was informed that my young groom couldn't go up unless I went back up with him because of the wind. I loved this man and would do anything for him, so I agreed to go up again with my husband fastened up behind me. We got up in the air and there was more of the jerking and rocking and up and down and.... then I puked. But, it wasn't just a puke that goes down with gravity because, remember all that wind and stuff? It carried my vomit back, streaked it across my face and hair, and had me making all sorts of wretched noises. But, not only did I puke all over my own face, I threw up all over my husband's feet. Yes, he had puke-feet thanks to Yours Truly. When he felt liquid between his toes, he couldn't figure out how he had gotten splashed all the way up there in the air. Until I turned toward him, making ugly Chewbacca noises, and he saw my puke-streaked face. He instantly started doing everything in his power to try to get us down. He was waving his arms all over the place, yelling and shouting, all the while I'm moaning and staring at his hairy toes with my puke on them. I had such dreams of being a trophy wife.... someone Seth would love and cherish.... He was just enjoying the gorgeous view of the majestic Lake Michigan, and he got barfed on. So much for trophy wife, because, last time I heard, trophy wives don't throw up on their husband's feet on their honeymoon. And to make it worse, being the young thing I was, I had a strange obsession with Easy Cheese. So that was all I had eaten that morning for breakfast: Easy Cheese and crackers. You can imagine what that urp was like. We eventually made it down to the boat pulling us, where I then scraped the half dried throw up off of my face, and Seth got to rinse his defiled feet off in the lake. He was not happy with the driver of the boat because he had not brought us back to safety in a timely fashion after Seth had been thrashing about and yelling to get us out of the air. The driver calmly said, "I just thought you were pretending to be a bird up there..."
And it got even...stranger. After we spent our time in Northern Michigan, we traveled back down the coast and camped at a few different campsites. We pitched our tent and spent some time on the beach, but on one of those first nights, there was a pretty bad rain storm. And, of course, I have to use the bathroom in the middle of it. Not wanting to squat in the rain, I jumped in our car and went to find the community bathrooms... leaving my glasses behind. So, as I drove off in the pouring rain, lightning, and thunder, searching for bathrooms, I couldn't see a thing. There were no lights guiding my way, and, as I quickly found out, I was not on any sort of road or path. I'm not sure where I actually got off course, but the next thing I knew, there was a bang and an abrupt stop. I had driven off the road and ended up driving through the camp site, where I then ran head on and full speed ahead into a picnic table in front of someone's camper. Heart in my throat,I quickly threw my car in reverse and did my best to make it back on the road. To this day, I'm so thankful that the table was in front of the camper.... and not the other way around. I made it to the bathroom safely, got back to our campsite, snuggled back in the air mattress next to my new husband, and laid there awake for a while, thinking about trouble I almost got myself into.

Those are just a few of the "appropriate" things. I don't want to have to go into hiding after writing this, you know.

Our honeymoon did have many good things, too. We decided on that trip that, whenever we traveled together, we would buy a new album to listen to on the way back. What was the album my sweet husband let me buy? Destiny's Child, Survivor. "Nasty Girl" will always remind me of my honeymoon. Don't judge.(We tried to order nonstop hip hop off of one of those music commercials before we left, but we didn't get it on time.)

I hear people talk about their glorious honeymoons to Hawaii or Florida, or the Virgin Islands, and I just laugh. Not for us! But we can laugh hysterically at the ridiculousness of our week away. And we can hold each other a little closer and smile because, we may not have had the most exotic vacation but we're making it, and we're making it well. With the Lord in the lead, we can love each other twelve years later the way we do. Some day, I want to revisit some of the places that we made all of those memories at.

(Blasting "Survivor" all the way, of course.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I've been having issues with one of my children, and on most days, I feel like I want to sit down in the middle of my kitchen floor and start weeping because I am so tired of playing child therapist. Seriously, there's a lot of drama in this house filled with five daughters and a hormonal mama! But there's something about this child that just screams "Eeyore"! God showed my early on that this child was going to be different; that she was going to need special care and attention.

Over the years, though, I have forgotten that word that I received from the Lord. My daughter's name is 'Lily'. I didn't want to name her that. She was supposed to be 'Riley'. But, my husband loved the name Lily, and I didn't want to name her something he wasn't totally on board with. So, Lily it was.

God had a sweet story woven into her name.

She was a colicky baby, and she grew into a very stubborn and angry two year old. Lily was one of those babies that had to have the fold of her socks a certain way, and the texture and fit of a shirt exactly how she wanted it, and if it wasn't exactly how she wanted it, she would make sure I knew how unhappy she was. Lily was my sweet girl who almost died on me after drinking lamp oil. She was the girl who spent 3 nights in the hospital with pneumonia.

But she is the girl with intense and almost painful compassion. She feels things. Her beauty is captivating and breathtaking.

I was crying out to God one day,(I'm sure after a meltdown and fit of some sort), and I really felt like He was telling me to research the care of a lily. In my searching, God met me and showed me that my girl was different and her needs could not be changed or looked over. In my research, I learned that, with proper care, a lily will grow into a beautiful flower that keeps coming back year after year.

First in care for a lily is planting it where it will receive full sunshine, knowing it will thrive best there. That is a reminder to me that, first off, Lily needs to be "planted" in a place where she is going to be able to bask in and know the love of her Savior. She's been "planted" in our home which means that Seth and I need to be the vessel for bringing Jesus,the light of the world, into our home by way of Scripture, music, and living out in example. Just like the sun is the light source for the earth that helps the lilies grow, Jesus needs to be the light source in our home. My girl's gotta know Jesus and have His light shining on her to help her grow. Knowing her Savior loves her and died for her to make a way to the Father is going to make all the difference in her "Eeyore" tendencies.

Next, a lily needs a layer of mulch to protect it from the frost in the spring. I feel like that says to me that Lily needs protection from the elements so that she can flourish. She needs her mom and dad to cover her and love her so that she feels safe. That way, when there is an unexpected "frost" in her life, she has a layer of protection that will keep her spirit "alive" and well.

Then comes fertilizer. A lily needs food to keep going and to grow like it needs to. My Lily also needs her little love tank fed so that she can keep going. Her love language is time, so my Lily's fertilizer is time with her parents so that she can flourish. I can't always just sit on the couch with her because I have four other children, but interacting with her on purpose is huge for Lily. Maybe one day we could fold the laundry together and just talk while we do it. I've found that when Lily just spends in my presence, she's full of love; enough to give out to others. I can't be mad at her for needing that; Isn't that just how we are with God? We've gotta sit at His feet and let Him fill us up so that we can give to others?

After fertilizer is water. Not a heavy watering, but one that is consistent. Lily doesn't need a once a month date with her dad to help her grow, she needs consistent time on a regular basis to meet her special needs. A lily needs ALL of these things; not just one or two of them. Without all of them together, the growth of a lily isn't going to be what it could be, and it could die. Isn't that just like my Lily? Without one of those elements in her growth, her spirit will be crushed, and she will not be able to flourish.

I have forgotten some time ago what God spoke to me. My Lily has been frustrated, discouraged, sad, and mad. But all the elements to her growth haven't been there. (And I have just wanted to throw my hands up in the air and eat a box of Hoho's!) God brought me back into focus this morning. He reminded me of what He told me almost five years ago.

This one's different. She's needs more of you.

I can't care for my Lily the way she needs all by myself. I need the Master Gardener to walk by my side and gently remind me of what my garden needs, because I forget sometimes. I have to meet with Him every day, or my garden of flowers is going to suffer.