How the Word Breathes Life into My Mothering

God Breathes into our Mothering

Oh, sweet mommas – this post is especially for the mommas out there – and you don’t have to have toddlers to understand this post.  Maybe all of your kids are teenagers, or are married and raising babies of their own – or maybe you have a few younger than mine and are still living in sleepless nights because of newborns or sleep regression.

Just as the very word of God spoke all of creation into being, and the word of God is written down for us so we may be changed into His image, the word of God also breathes life into the every day of my mothering – right now which is a highly emotional 3 year old we are seeking to potty train and a speedy 2 year old who loves to jump off everything he can climb.

Two examples for you from the last 24 hours.  It was a long afternoon as I fought for my 2 year old to take a nap. I knew he was tired and just didn’t want to miss out on anything.  Finally 90 minutes after scheduled nap time, he finally went down for 90 minutes.  Then, by the time my husband walked in the door at 635 from his job, I was so done.  He immediately took over, gave them a bath, put them to bed (which was a 2.5 hour struggle with one of them), and told me to go do something, anything, other than being with the kids.  I went in and took a long hot shower which is one of my favorite things to do in the winter (I know I’m not helping the water conservation society).  As I was standing there praying, confessing my anger and entitlement, I was reminded of a verse in James that my husband spent a whole year on our first year of marriage: James 4:1-4 which basically says the reason you are arguing and upset is because you are fighting to get what you want because you are idolizing something and not keeping God God in your life and heart.  Yup.  I was struggling all day because I didn’t get what I wanted from my sons.  I wanted quiet – I didn’t get much of that all day. I wanted obedience – but my sons are sinners and not prone to obey so I shouldn’t expect them to do it.  I was crying in the shower, even as the hot water ran down my cheeks and increased my need for an aging-skin moisturizer – God was restoring my soul with the work of the Word.

The second example is from this morning: it was a long morning.  I sat in the sanctuary during the sunday school hour, listening to my husband prep for CEve service, scanning through social media, getting encouraged from friends, and the tears were there all morning.  Before the service, my husband sat down beside me, and just whispered in my ear the gospel: the God has a plan, Jesus is enough even when its hard, that His grace is sufficient.  My tears were dripping on his new gray pants.  I didn’t care.  I hope they didn’t stain.  The gospel is found in the Word.  We must know the Word.  We must have the Word spoken to us – to our souls – to our hurt and weary souls.

I got a book set in the mail this week from Tommy Nelson that helps adults and kids know key Scriptures in the Bible.  How to know them, memorize them, live them out – so that the Word may be life-changing in whatever situation we find ourselves in.  The Joshua Code and I Can Learn the Bible would be a great set for you to work through with your children in the new year.  If you would like please just leave a post about anything – anything at all.

Happy Mothering.

A Momma’s Prayer to Her Two-Year Old

posted in: parenting, Shepherding Children | 0

Little Turns Two

My little little turned 2 today – at 830 this morning. He is full on with all of life – from his runs and hugs and drinking his juice to his temper tantrums.A Prayer for My LittleSo, I did a praynames for him a few weeks ago.  Here is what is surrounding that given name of his:


we take great delight in the wonderful son you gave us in young Sebastian.

We cling to the truth that you have made him in your image for your great glory.

As we watch him grow and jump and lead and love – I pray that you will take and use them to

bring glory to your great name in all the world.

We desire above all else for you to receive forever glory from his life.

I trust you that you will save him and give him a new heart of flesh – one that beats for you and you alone.

He desires closeness and companionship.  I pray that he would grow in his friendship with you

through the Word, worship, and prayer.

I pray that he would develop close friendships with others who delight in you.

Yes Lord, I trust that you will develop his natural abilities and leadership into traits

that are used to shine Jesus in all the world.

And that one day he would be an exemplary husband and daddy

who shows the grace of Christ to his wife, his littles, his neighbors, and the world

for your great name!


Little S – I love you.  I’m glad you are ours.  I pray that God would grip your heart little man.  Happy 2nd!


A Prayer to Our Son on His Third Birthday

A Momma's Prayer

Our sweet boy turns three today.  There is so much to be said about the joys and challenged of being his momma, a momma to a preschooler, but this post isn’t about that.

This post contains a prayer that I did some #praynames art for last night.  I love doing pray names art for birth gits or wedding gifts – to pray over the person I’m doing it for – and to get Scripture in their homes.  But, I had never done ones for our boys.  So, last night, before the balloons and the wrapping paper, the pancakes, and the cupcakes, I sat down and prayed this for him:

You are a faithful God who delights to give us good gifts.

Elijah is definitely a good gift! 

We thank you for giving him to us for such a short time.

I pray that you would capture his heart and his mind early.

That you would use his creativity and imagination for the glory of your great name.

Take his compassion for others – for the hurting – and use it to bring peace and healing in the world.

Use his words and his sweet touch to be strength and comfort to those in need.

May he grow to be a man of God who is captured by all of your beauty.

May he never lose his desire to dance when no one is looking.

I pray that you would break his little heart for things that cause you to weep.

May he one day be a husband who leads his wife faithfully

and a daddy to littles who will look to him to show them Christ.

Most of all, I pray that he would love you more dearly than anything else in the world.

You are good.


Praying for our children

kcreatives newborn: baby c

kcreatives newborn: baby c

Little toes. Little noses.  Little fingers.  Lots of laughs and pokes and sweet, tender moments from older siblings. Lots of wonder and amazement from tired but grateful parents.

Newborn shoots are a really sweet time to spend with a new family – maybe been a family for a while – but with the addition of each child, each special creation, a new family emerges.

I got to spend an evening with a sweet family in our church.  Baby was quite awake even with a full belly.  Perfect lighting outside and eager siblings made it for a fun, eventful evening.
















Thankful to be able to capture such moments.  Never to be had again.

“Something worth remembering” – all photos property of kcreatives photography.

If you’d like to “schedule” a newborn shoot, or talk about other services, please contact


Read This: Christ in the Chaos (Kimm Crandall)

posted in: Books, mothering, parenting | 0

Christ in the Chaos

Sometimes it may take me a while to get to a book, but God knows why he had me pick it up at that moment.  I’ve had this book for a while, and just really picked it up in earnest this weekend. As you can see by this review – I’m done with it and it has many underlines and !!! sections!

Kimm Crandall is a mommy of four – and a funny one at that – and one who knows her weaknesses and is steeped in the Gospel.  And even though she has written a helpful and gracious book, she would probably tell you herself that she needs to practice and rehearse the gospel every day (even after she wrote the chapter on rehearsing the gospel).

I liked this book because she shared stories I could relate to – even though her kids are definitely older than mine.  She pointed me not to my mistakes and where I fail every day as a Mom, but instead she pointed me to Jesus – who is perfect in every way and intercedes for me as my Great High Priest.

I liked it because it was short and practical – two things I need as a Mom to two active toddler boys.

I liked it because she encouraged women to be honest with other women – and to use wisdom in sharing – but not to hold on to this idea of perfection that we seem to do so well in many of our churches.

I would recommend this book to any mom but especially ones who are :

1.  Like me, in the throws of teaching two boys what it means for mommy and daddy to have authority and how they won’t get everything they want just because they throw a temper tantrum.

2.  Like me, who loves their to do lists and hates it when everything isn’t marked off by the end of the day.

3.  Like me, who knows the Gospel but still needs help in accepting it every day and also passing along that acceptance to their husbands and children.  Oh, ladies – how I struggle with that.  Teaching my boys to obey and listen and accept authority – and doing it with the love of Christ in my actions, words, and tone of voice.

Here are some of my favorites from the book:

“God’s faithfulness is not measured by tangible blessings.  It’s measured by his character and his promises to us.” (22)

“God’s grace leaves us with nothing of ourselves but all of Jesus.” (32)

“Grace is a mystery so disturbing I can’t bring myself to look away.” (44)

“When you know you are being pursued by a merciful admirer, the lure of sins’ crude pleasure loses it’s sparkle.” (51)

“Take off the strong mother mask and embrace your weakness.  Stop hiding the very inadequacy God wants to use to display the Gospel.” (61)

“Everything in Scripture points, not to our obligations, but to our Redeemer,” (67)

When you live in light of the Gospel – you are set free from your incessant need for approval.” (93)

Live in light of these truths – grounded in the Word and the Gospel.

(Thanks Kimm for providing me with a copy of this to read.  All comments and thoughts are my own.)


Let There Be Kisses

Let There Be Kisses

I will be the first to admit of multitasking while my boys are awake.  If they are playing, I am on my phone, cooking dinner, cleaning, reading a book, etc.  And I’m not hear to lay blame on anyone else who does that.  Rest in grace, friend.  Walk in grace.  Live in grace. That’s what my husband tells me.

Here’s what I am learning: let there be kisses.  and tickling.  and book reading.

My older son who just turned two is just now loving to bring me a book (usually the Wheels on the Bus) and pat my legs which is asking me to put him on my lap so I can read to him.  I first told him no, then immediately was so convicted by the Spirit that I’ve not told him no since.  It devastated my heart that I would tell my sons no to something as fun as reading a book to them just because I wanted to do something else.  So, even today, as he finished lunch, he ran and got a book, and we read and sang and played with cars at the table while his little brother tried to hold his sippy cup and ended up getting more milk on him than in his tummy. That’s life.

Much of this denial that I give my sons is based on two things:

1.  I think what I have my schedule is more important.  Blogging.  Writing.  Cleaning.  Being entertained with social media.  It all comes down to pride.  I don’t want our family’s schedule to be dominated by the boys – but I do want there to be much more book reading, hand holding, tickle fests than instagram feed reading.  What do I want to communicate: verbally and non-verbally to my boys?  That they are important and time with them is something I cherish – or that things and strangers are more important?  What you communicate in your actions also gives you the door to speak the Gospel into their lives every day.

2.  I try to fill our days with too many things.  We love to be out and about during the days that Daddy is working.  We’ll either go to the park, the mall, the zoo, Bible study at church, the gym, the river, etc.  Atlanta is full of fun activities for families – so we take advantage of many of them.  But, then when we are home I have so much to get done.  I’m not thinking about stopping going so much – I just will have to limit what I think has to be done.  I’m reading Challies’ series on getting things done and it helps me to realize that I’m not God and won’t accomplish everything.  And everything doesn’t have to be accomplished.  Energy is a commodity too.

My boys won’t be little long.  The days are sometimes long and I look forward to having breaks with friends or solo times for being in the word or just running errands.  But, I love their laughs and hand-holding.  My Mister said last night that we better relish the times that they are excited to see us when we pick them up – because that always won’t be the case.  I know it won’t be forever and my boys will stop wanting to sit on my lap for reading sessions, or stop laughing when I tickle them, or they won’t want me to kiss them goodnight.

Until then, let there be kisses.  Everything else will wait!

Glory and Grace: Lamentations 3

posted in: Bible, glory and grace, mothering | 1

Hope for the Weary Mom

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
    his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
    How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
    He’s all I’ve got left. God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,

    to the woman who diligently seeks.

It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
    quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
    to stick it out through the hard times

Lamentations 3 – The Message

I know several friends, many of whom are new mommies, that struggle with the day to day like I sometimes do.  Our kids are small, our husbands work long hours, sometimes other jobs are also on our agenda for today.

My one piece of advice that I was given that I also share the most with these friends is this:

You only need to get through today.

God gives grace enough for today – and tomorrow, you know what, HE is faithful to give more grace and show us his radically new mercies that enable us to fight the enemy:







His mercies are better.

Glory and Grace

The One Thing I Can’t Do as a Mom

posted in: Bible, mothering, parenting | 2

A Mommy Failure

Failure.  Usually a bad word in our family.  My husband has often told me to remove it from my vocabulary.  But, I think even my husband would agree with this.

I often find myself reading “mommy” blogs or parenting blogs or asking friends how to discipline or instruct their toddlers.  I know families that have all boys in them (or mostly boys) and I would love to go on vacation with them just to see their family in action for a week or so.  I know every family is different and every parents parents differently.

But, there is one area that I am a complete failure in – and I thought I’d be open and honest and share it with you.

I can’t turn my child’s heart toward God.  There.  I said it.

And you know what…neither can you.

Now, please hear me out.

I can teach my boys Bible verses, read them Bible stories, tell them about the gospel and how Jesus wants us to obey him and make wise decisions.  I can hug on my boys and give them lots of kisses and show them affection: before, during, and after they need to be disciplined.  I can love my husband and help them to have see a marriage that is striving to have the Gospel at the center.

I can put people in their lives that will help influence them to be more like God.  I can tell them how to share and be kind and not push and shove and don’t through your cereal on the floor and don’t kick your brother and don’t bite.  I can tell them not to run in the parking lot and hold my hand and all of it.

But, what I can’t do is change their heart.  I can’t make them love Jesus.

Only the Holy Spirit at the will of the Father through the sacrifice of Jesus can do that.

The Bible is clear that God is the Master of Salvation. The Bible is clear that Jesus died on the cross to save sinners.  It is clear that the Holy Spirit works in the lives of believers.  It is clear that everyone is a sinner (even cute little blond hair boys).

Ephesians 1:3-14:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

It is also clear that we as parents have responsibilities to lead them to Jesus.  To show them the gospel (by word and deed).  To pray for them.  To discipline them.  To be Jesus with skin on to them.

Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child. It doesn’t say change their hearts for them.  It says POINT THEM TO JESUS

And oh, how I need the help of the Holy Spirit to pour life into me, to help it flow out of me – so that my children will be pointed to God.  And we will pray that God has saved them by His wonderful, amazing grace.

This post is to encourage you.  You can’t change your child’s heart –  but you can pray and show them a God who loves!

Motherhood is Not Just About Dying to Self

posted in: mothering, parenting | 3

Motherhood & Dying to Self

Motherhood, a joy, a calling, and a privilege – is also TOUGH!  And I’m in the midst of it.  New area (with relatively new friends), two under two – both boys, and a husband who works long hours – but is such a trooper at home and to take my many frustrated phone calls and texts and pray and encourage me throughout the day.

My boys are the most cutest (superlatives, I know) boys in the whole world.  Their blond hair, big blue eyes, super long eyelashes – and their laughs, and smiles, and hugs, and giggles.  Doesn’t that make all the disciplining, nights where there are 3 feedings, and saying no 100 times a day, worth it?  Hmmm – of course, but it doesn’t make those days easier.

I was enjoying some hours of quiet courtesy of sleeping boys and a gracious husband and I wrote these next words.  When I went to read it to my Mister I was hesitant too – not because I thought he would laugh at me, but because I don’t live this out – and he, more than anyone, knows it.  But, it is the cry of my heart.  And I need the Gospel every day and pushed harder and harder in on my life and my parenting  – to look more like Christ in front of these littles that I call Lijah Bean and Bubba.  I hope the next words are encouraging to you. Pray for the Moms you know.  It’s a tough job.

The point of motherhood is not death to self.

If it was, we could be justified in our mopey days, our impatient attitudes, our temper tantrums.  We could justify our need to be everywhere and do everything so we could earn the title of Super Mom.

It’s not about finding your life in your children.  If so, we could warrant involving our children in everything so they could be good at what we weren’t.  If so, we could boast in our children’s smiles, vocabulary, batting average, or report card.

It’s not about finding your life in all the things you multitask in – or the things you don’t.  We could brag about our recipes, our photographs, or our pre-baby jeans.  We could post pictures of our well-designed Anthro house that never looks like children live there.

It’s not about never doing anything you want to.  We don’t have to live a slain and mopey woe-is-me life.

Instead, something I need to be daily pray for myself is that I would boast in the Gospel and die to sin so that I might life in and for and through Christ.  On the days when I burn dinner, or feed my children all chocolate and junk food  – I need Jesus.  The days our son bites other kids in the gym child care – Jesus still died for me and loves me.  On the day when I feel fat and don’t want to work out, but longingly look at the woman three treadmills away – desiring to look like her – Jesus still wants my heart.

I’ve read so many posts about you just have to die to self as a Mommy.  In a way that is true – but not in its morbid-sounding worldly outlook.  You can still ask for time for yourself – to feed your soul, to grab a cup of coffee, to grocery shop without toddlers eating the bananas before you pay for them, to take a walk, to exercise – to do things that refresh you – even if it is just to take a bath or have a date with your husband.  These aren’t bad things.

If Motherhood isn’t just about dying to self – it must have a better end.  We don’t die to self just for the sake of dying to self.  We die to self and sin and flesh to live to Christ.  Paul, in his letters, constantly wrote about not being the man he was but constantly fighting that battle and waging war with his flesh, but pressing on in Christ.

Motherhood – living to Christ – looks like:

Admitting when you are failing at motherhood and seeking help from other moms who have been there and done that.  Not trying to put on an act like you have it all together and your kids are the poster children for all church kids.

Admitting when you need some “time off”.  My Mister knows that some time off during the week does me a world of good.  Writing, reading, praying, journaling, doing errands by myself, drinking unsweet tea, eating a macaron – whatever it is – as the saying goes “If momma ain’t happy”.  He knows that me being refreshed is good for the whole family!

Crying out to God instead of yelling at your children.  Even though I hate raised voices and I hate being yelled at myself – I find myself raising my voice at my boys – as if that’s going to do any good.  I need instead to breath, pause, pray, and then speak in a manner to my boys that will glorify God.

Read the Bible in light of Motherhood.  How does the Bible address teaching your children, being anxious or prideful in your spirit?  The Bible has the final word on everything you could be struggling with.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  By his wounds you have been healed – 1 Peter 2.24 (This verse was suggested by my Mister for this blog – and so fitting.  If we try to do motherhood, or dying to ourselves, in our own strength – that is sin and it is futile.  We will fail.  It we seek the Gospel and the strength of Him who died for our weak, selfish selves – than He has promised He will ever be close to us in every moment of every tempter tantrum and birthday party and first date and bicycle riding lesson.

Motherhood in light of the Gospel – is still the toughest job, the best job, the most demanding job – and only with the strength of Christ will we survive.

Raising Godly Sons: Future Daddy Dates

posted in: mothering, parenting | 0

Future Daddy Dates

Father’s Day is a beautiful tradition.  In our world today, most fathers (especially the ones we see on the news and television and movies) are portrayed as worthless, deadbeats, sarcastic, drunk, mean to their wives, lazy, jobless, etc.  That is not the type of Dad I want to show my sons.  I’m glad I was blessed with an amazing husband who shows them what being a great dad is!

But, as a Mom to two boys – what can I do to really help them grasp on to what a Dad, a godly Dad, should be like?  My parents were in town and opted to keep our younger and I took the Eli buddy along with me to run errands.  I took this opportunity to start a tradition I will call Future Daddy Dates.

Here is what I did: I took my Buddy to McD’s and we sat and had a conversation about Daddies.  Really simple.  Not expensive.  And being that he is only 21 months, not a long time.  But one word it definitely was: Intentional.

1.  Talk about who God has called him as a Daddy to be.  Of course, I don’t know if Little e will ever be a daddy.  He may never get married or have biological or adoptive children, but that is our prayer.  So, I went through three basic characteristics of what a Daddy/Husband should be: protector, provider, and leader.  He should protect his children as best he can from the harm of the world and teach him how to love his protective care – while also teaching his children to protect themselves.  He should provide for his children.  This means working a job, whatever it takes to provide for their needs.  He should also lead his children.  This means teaching them about God, leading in humility and service, and leading their home.  The way I taught Little e about these things at McD’s was to give him examples of what his daddy does.  Like hold his hand when crossing the street.  Like working every day so we have food on the table.  Like praying before meals and orchestrating Family Worship time and taking us to church.

2.  I pointed out good daddy qualities I already see in him (even though he’s not even 2 yet).  For Little e, I told him how wonderful it is that he is joyful, funny, and hospitable.  These three traits are important for Daddies to have.  He is joyful – most of the time with a smile on his face – a smile that is contagious.  Funny – oh this life is hard and needs to have laughter in it.  Hospitable – he makes other people feel welcome and shares toys.  These base traits are great to have and will come in handy as he grows up.

3.  I told him about his Heavenly Father.  Little e is cute and funny – but he is a sinner.  He was born a sinner – in need of a Savior.  And He has a Father of Lights – giver of good gifts – who doesn’t change but sent Jesus to pay the price for his sins.  He is a God who will listen to his prayers and protect him at all times.

How are you raising your sons to be godly men?  Invest intentionally in their little lives.  You have an important role in their lives as their mother.  Use it for the sake of the gospel.