Anya Seeking God On Her Own..

I make it a point that Anya knows she can always come to me, no matter what the issue is, but more importantly I’ve tried to instill in her that she should always turn to God. I When she is in trouble or is troubled she can always come to mom, but the Lord is her refuge. Sometimes I think she understands what I’m trying to teach and other times I think she is seven and can’t really understand quite what I’m saying. Well, last week any doubts I had about Anya understanding what I was telling her about seeking God were put to rest.

I put her to bed and shortly afterward I heard these pitter patter of feet. There she was standing their looking a little pitiful poor thing. I asked her what was wrong and she said she kept having bad thoughts and couldn’t sleep. I asked what it was she was thinking about, but she didn’t want to share. I started to think she may just have wanted to stay up. So, I told her to lie down and soon she would be sleeping. So, she grabbed the bible that was on the table and left. I walked around the corner and there she was lying on the floor in the hallway reading the bible. How can I be mad at that!

I told her she could read her bible in bed and she crawled up in bed and opened her bible to where she left off. At that point I knew something really was bothering her and I contemplated going in and talking with her, but I knew this was a moment where I had to just let her be in the word of God. This was a step in her own spiritual growth that I couldn’t interfere with. I thanked God that she was seeking him out and he was in her heart.

When I went back in the room this is what I saw…

This is becoming a habit of hers (smile). Every night since then she has read the bible on her own and when she went to her dad’s house this week she took her bible along with her. Interesting enough that week we had a doozy of a time. Her behavior was off and I have to admit I was getting increasingly frustrated. Then when I saw her taking the initiative to read the bible when she was having a difficult time, it was like God refreshed my own heart and gave me hope that what I’m trying to teach Anya is starting to bear fruit. All of the spiritual things we do together is starting to get her rooted in her own relationship with God. She is taking ownership of her relationship with him and that gives me so much joy!

It is so vital that our children develop an intimate relationship with God. In this world they are going to face more temptation than we can imagine and they need to be secure in knowing that they can turn to God, not just at night in prayer, but anytime. They need to realize that the Lord will sustain them and fill them up so they won’t look for unhealthy ways to be satisfied. If they learn that the bible is their blueprint for life they are less likely to follow the world’s pattern and if they do eventually I believe they will come back if they have that relationship with God.

I’ve said so many times that the legacy I want to leave is a spiritual legacy. When I leave this earth as long as I give her the best spiritual foundation I can, if I can train her, and teach her to seek God for refuge and peace in times of trouble and joy than I’ll know I did my job as a parent.

Never cease praying for your children mommas!

Get Planted and Rooted in the Church!

My little clown

Enjoying a night of fellowship

Moms one of my prayers for all of you and is that you get planted and rooted in the church. I’m not saying in a ritualistic way but in a meaningful  way that allows you to develop relationships with your brothers and sisters in Christ. There is an inner joy that comes with worshiping The Lord with the body of Christ so please don’t deny yourself! Last week was Vacation Bible School at our church and it was a wonderful week from serving, to watching Anya’s face light up as she explained the lessons they learned and the fun she had, to playing Bible Gestures, it was lovely. I loved that at 9pm after being at church for close to 5 hours she said she wanted to go back to church!

When you plant your children in a loving church you give them a precious gift. You surround them with love, support and mentors! As single moms we need all of these things in our life and our family’s life.  When we provide our kids with a church family we’re contributing to their spiritual growth while giving them an alternative to our current culture that doesn’t revere the importance of a relationship with God. Church teaches them that being obedient and loving God is cool while society tells them the opposite.

Your church family can be an extremely powerful force in your family’s life if you are open to developing and nurturing those relationships.  One of the best investments you can make in your family’s life is to be vested in the Church of God. I promise your return will be great!If you don’t belong to a church I encourage you to do some research and find a good bible based church to visit. Take time to attend the services, learn about the ministries they have, look at the children’s programs, and bible studies they offer. Talk to the congregation and make sure your kids enjoy it as well. If you’re shy ask a friend to go with you so you can both be blessed! It me took some time to find my current church because I waited to be led by God. I have no doubt that God led me there and answered my prayer. So pray! Pray that you are led to your church family and God will guide you!

Don’t miss out on the joy of togetherness and fellowship that you and your family can experience by being rooted and planted in church. When you give your kids deep roots it is harder for them to be
yanked out of their spiritual foundation. Church is a gift and can be life changing for you and your kids.

A Practical Way To Teach Our Kids About Following Jesus

I try to find practical ways to teach Anya about Jesus. Yesterday, we went to one of our favorite Christian bookstores. She wanted to go to the kids section, so I asked her to lead me there by my hand. As she led me there I didn’t say a word, I just followed her lead even through some of the twists and turns. When we got there I explained to her that this was how we should follow Jesus. I told Anya I trusted her completely and would willing follow her lead just like we should willing follow Jesus’ lead.

I explained that Jesus takes our hand and we are to follow him, even through the twists and turns even if we feel like we are getting lost we need to hold tightly to Jesus’ hand and let him lead us safely to where he wants us to be. I told her it is when we let go of Jesus’ hand that we get lost, even if we may feel lost while we are holding his hand we can rest assure that he has us safely on the path and purpose he has laid out for us. I brought to her attention that I didn’t question her I just followed her lead. When we start to question Jesus and begin doubting than he can’t lead us to where we need to be or it will be a hard road getting there.

Finding small practical ways to teach our children about Jesus and how to follow him helps start them on their spiritual journey. What are some ways you teach your kids about Jesus in every day life?

Devotional for the Day- All Scripture is God Breathed.. Are You Inhaling?

2 Timothy 3:16-17

“All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
You know what is awesome? It is so awesome that the scriptures were God-breathed, not from man although written down by man. These men didn’t just write what they thought were some good ideas, they wrote through the inspiration of God and the Holy spirit. God breathed the scripture into man. “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”(2 Peter 1:21). Since scripture originates from God then we can be 100% certain that it is the truth, that it is good, and it is our blueprint for life. 
When I look at this verse I’m reminded that when those difficult time arise as I raise my daughter there is one place I can always go that will give me the answers I need and that is the scriptures. It isn’t because wise men wrote them (although they were wise) it is because they are God breathed. Don’t you love how that sounds? It was breathed from God and is intended to be inhaled into our own life. Are you inhaling? This scripture is so vital in the life of a Christian as we grow in our walk with Christ and  especially as a parent! As a parent a big part of our job is teaching our children how to live a life that is godly, good, and honorable. Some of us may not come from a family that necessarily taught us a way of living that we want to pass on to our children. If this is your scenario you can lay your worries and insecurities aside and depend on the bible to guide you as you raise your children and to strengthen your own walk with the Lord.  Let’s look at how we can use this scripture as parents.
Through the scriptures we gain instruction on how to teach our children about God, obedience, and how the Lord desires them to live. The Lord wants his children to live in a way that is completely contradictory to how society says we should live. Our children are bombarded with messages on how to live in the world, but through scripture we can teach them to live in a manner that honors God. We can give them sound advice that is based off of God’s own words. We also use the scriptures to rebuke, correct and train our children. When we discipline our children we can go back to the verses that explain the need for correction and why a behavior should be rebuked. We can show our children that our correction is not because we want to pick on them, but because  there is scriptural foundation in our chastisement. Children need to understand why they are being disciplined in the context of scriptures so they get the bigger picture. When we train our children through biblical teaching we are training them in God’s truth, not even our own truth, but God’s truth. We are laying down a foundation that is built on God breathed instruction. 
When we allow ourselves to absorb and apply the scriptures to our lives and if we teach our children to do the same then we are equipping ourselves and our children to fulfill our purpose for God’s kingdom and his will for our lives. If we are serious and intentional about our walk with God and teaching our children to walk with God then the scriptures do need to be inhaled into our spirit, written on our hearts and exhaled into our homes. 

Prayer Journals..A Way To Draw Closer to God and Strengthen Your Faith


A prayer journal is an incredible way to document your walk with God. When David was going into battle with Goliath he had incredible faith. Part of that confidence in his faith was the mental journal he had in his head of all that God had done for him and made possible. Do you ever sit down and reflect upon all that God has done for you? If you do I’m sure it is enough to make you fall to your knees and praise God for all his good blessings and grace. Life is tough! It can seem like every time you’re making progress Satan is just waiting to attack and well frankly sometimes it is us who stops our own progress. But, if you take the time to examine your heart, your life, your intentions, your faith, and your spiritual life your walk with God is enriched and deepened. Isn’t it Plato that said an unexamined life is not a life worth living? A journal allows you to do the intense examination that is required to live a life that can glorify God!

I advise everyone to start a prayer journal. As I was looking back over the prayers that I wrote in my journal last year this New Year’s Eve I was taken aback by the prayers that God directly answered. It strengthened my faith and reminded me of how God is always listening. Now, of course there were prayers that weren’t answered, but looking back I know why they weren’t because they weren’t in God’s will for me. Actually, one of those prayers were answered and although I knew that God was telling me no, I still did it. I still took the job because it was everything I was asking for, but when it was first offered I turned it down because deep within me there was this voice saying, “No Chere, not this one.” Then an offer was given my flesh couldn’t refuse and now I’m in the chastisement season. There was another prayer where I specifically asked God to open up an avenue for me to write and have a publisher look at my work. Well, the lovely Diane Elliott, who wrote the Global Orphan Crisis asked me to write a section in her book that was being published by Moody Publishers. Her editor liked my work and wanted to see my book proposal!! IS THAT NOT GOD OPENING DOORS!
When you write your prayers read them out loud, pray about them and listen for the Holy Spirit. Read over them and you will be amazed how God works in your life. A prayer journal is a living testimony of your life and walk with Christ. This is a wonderful way to get intimate with God. Also if you struggle with prayer writing in your journal will help you with creating alone time with God. Let’s fast forward to how these journals will become a beautiful spiritual legacy and keepsake for your children. Your testimony in words can encourage future generations! And don’t our children and the future generations need encouragement? God wants us to pass on our testimony, to show his good works and what better way than the ability for your children and grandchildren to read about your relationship with God in your own handwriting and words. Let’s make having a prayer journal a priority in 2013!

Give Your Children The Gift of Grace-Declare a Grace Day!

I was reading Donna Otto’s book and she mentioned when her daughter was growing up she would have a day that she would declare ‘Grace Day.” On this day her daughter was given the gift of not having to do chores, etc.  What a wonderful way to teach your kids about God’ grace to us. As human beings we sin,  it may not be intentional, but we do and I for one am so relieved and happy that God gives us grace. It made me think about how I can give grace to my own daughter. I want her to understand the grace God gives to us that we are totally undeserving of and how we should do the same unto our family and friends. Recently, I had the opportunity to have a Grace Day.

We had my friend and her daughter over for dinner and afterwards the girls went upstairs to play in Anya’s room. Well, 7:30 pm came and her friend had to get going. Anya was sad to see her friend go, but also sad because she said she needed help cleaning up what they left behind in her room. Normally, I don’t think she would have cared, but I have been extra diligent about her cleaning up her room and putting things back where they belong after it had gotten completely out of control a few weeks back. I had explained to her that her room is her responsibility and regardless if her friends come over and played in her room that she is still responsible for cleaning up afterward. I told her one way to avoid a big clean up was to put things back after playing with them and to tell her friends to do the same. I told her not to blame a messy room on her friends and to take responsibility and ask them to help her clean up.  Since then she has been cleaning her room on a daily basis so it stays  neat and there aren’t consequences. I also explained how order would it make is easier to have fun in her room.

When I saw her face fall as she thought about the clean up she had to do and knowing our sweet friends had to leave due to parking limitations I declared a Grace Day. I explained to Anya that I was going to give her the gift of not having to clean up that evening. Later, I went into her room which by the way wasn’t that messy at all and cleaned up for her. When she walked in and saw what I had done she was surprised and thrilled! She said, “thank you so much momma!” I explained that this is what God does for us all the time, he gives us grace by compassion and kindness and this is what we should do for one another. She was so happy I really thought she was going to cry.

This morning as I was making breakfast she came downstairs completely ready for school, got her book bag in order and said, “I hope this helps make your morning better, I am prepared for school and you don’t have to do anything except enjoy your coffee.” It was her way of giving grace back. We all need grace and our children really need it. This is their formative years, a time for learning, making mistakes, and knowing  that grace is available to them through God and through mom.

It is important that our children have discipline, structure and consequences and as moms we are responsible for implementing those things in our home. But, equally important is the kindness, mercy, love and compassion we show our children as they hit the stumbling blocks along the road to maturity. So moms declare a Grace Day and give your kids the gift of grace that God so freely and generously gives us!

Anya’s Devotional Journal! Don’t You Love This Girl?

Recently, I wrote a blog about teaching and encouraging kids to have their own devotional time. This is just some time set aside in the day for them to read their bible. If you’re kids enjoy doing this why not give them a Devotional Journal to write their thoughts, draw pictures, or write bible verses in. I bought Anya this sweet little journal and she loves it! She has been reading her bible and writing in her journal almost every night. Although her journal is private she gave me permission to share a page out of it with you lovely readers in hope to encourage your kids to get a journal also. Hope you enjoy!

A Fun Faith Game To Play With Kids

Okay this is a quick post. I just did this with Anya because we were talking about faith. So I told her to stand up, I stood behind her and I told her to just fall backwards and I caught her. I tol her this is what God does he catches you. You may not see him but know that he is right there behind you catching you. She loved it. Try it with your kids, make sure you catch them!! LOL. It is a fun way to show illustrate to them how they can trust in God to always have their back!

Encourage Your Children to Have Their Own Personal Devotion Time

Morning Devotional

A few days ago I was writing about how blah I feel when I don’t get in my Jesus time. I really appreciate that special time alone with God and my bible. I was thinking about how I want my daughter to incorporate personal devotion time in her own life. I bought her a bible last year for Christmas, and we’ve read out of it together, but I thought why not let her read it herself and teach her how to carve out time in her day for personal spiritual devotion. So last night I suggested she have her own devotional time. She was really excited about it. She opened her bible to some scriptures for kids to review that were about basic biblical principals so she started reading them along with the ten commandments. I explained to her that this was her special time with God and she could read  for as long or as little as she wanted. Before she started reading we said a prayer together that God would open her heart and mind and let her understand the words she was reading. She read for about 10-15 minutes and said she wants to do it every day! She is home from school today because of the storm and started doing her devotions without me even mentioning it. She also asked me to turn off the television so she could concentrate. She even said a prayer by herself in the middle of her devotion, asking God to always stay in her mind and protect it from bad thoughts. Did I tell you how much I love my sweet girl?

I’m a firm believer that it is never to early to build the foundation for your children to build a relationship with God. Try having your child set aside 5-10 minutes a day to read the bible on their own (if they are able to read). On the first day you  may need to guide them, but I suggest letting them develop their own devotional style. This is a great path for them to build their own relationship with God and to learn how to study the bible daily. You may want to discuss it with them afterward or just let them know you are available to discuss what they read.  When we encourage them to set aside time for God we are teaching them a lifetime spiritual lesson that will enrich their relationship with God. We want to give them spiritual autonomy so when they leave our home they don’t stop going to church, praying and building their faith. Here are some tips for starting out:

  • Purchase them their own bible to read.
  • Help them schedule time in their day to read the bible. You may want to  put it on the calendar for them.
  • Young children may only want to do it for 5-10 minutes and that is fine! Let them do their devotionals at their own pace. 
  • Create a little space for them to read. It could be a little nook in their room, or anywhere they are comfortable.
  • Once they start doing the ir devotional for awhile let them pick a personal journal to wrtie notes in.
  • Pray with them beforehand to ask God to give them understanding.