A Minute for Moms

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The Highlighting Miracle

The Highlighting Miracle

When my daughter was in grade 12, she visited a home for orphans in Kenya. She was chatting with them about school in North America and when she took out her books to keep caught up with her schooling, they were fascinated with her Highlighters.

“What an idea” they thought. “Sure must help with studying”.

The following year I made the trip as well.

Since Highlighters were such a hit – I went to our office supply store and bought every Highlighter package the store had and stuffed them in my bag.

Once there, I mentioned to the teacher I brought Highlighters for the grade 12 students. I assumed I would just give him the bag and he would distribute them. However, this was a considered a “gift” so they had me sit at a table under the mango tree and the students file in front of me. I was to give them a Highlighter and they were to thank me personally.

“Dear Lord” I quietly said to myself, “I hope I have enough. I never counted the Highlighters or the students!” I semi-panicked … hum … fully-panicked is a better word.

The students kept filing by me and I kept reaching in the bag, smiling and praying loudly in my mind, “Dear Jesus, HELP ME!”

And He did.

Would you believe, 68 students walked before me and I had exactly 68 Highlighters.

Now what are the chances of that happening?

Only God knew the number I needed a month before and about 13,000 km away.

We serve a great God. He cares about every detail of our lives; and those our lives touch everyday.

I am always humbled by the goodness and personal attention of a truly remarkable God.

“You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do…
You go before me and follow me…such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand”. Psalm 139:3-6

“Even the very hairs on your head are all numbered”. Matthew10:30

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you”. 1 Peter 5:7

Today’s Prayer:

 Dear Heavenly Father, truly you are amazing. Thank you for constantly showing us your care and inviting us to believe that you care! Forgive us for not trusting you more – You are a good good Father!

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Sweet Mom,

Avoid the pitfall of comparing for no two journeys are the same. If you have been thinking that someone’s life looks easier than yours, do not be deceived; there are always things you know nothing about. Settle into God’s will for your life and be content. Comparing how we look, our family, our homes … is just not wise. A thankful heart, makes a cheerful countenance, and changes everything.

“We do not dare …  compare ourselves… when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise”.  2 Corinthians 10:12 

As a young child, whenever my parents were hit with a calamity, they went to God’s word and asked Him, “Lord, what are You saying about this situation? because, they knew, the Bible had an answer for everything. This practice was so successful in their lives, that I have carried this custom over into my own.

The calamity in our global world right now is the coronavirus.

So, how can we as believers in Jesus stay strong and positive throughout this crisis? What does God’s word say?

 In the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.  (Psalm 57:1)

So, do not fear, for I am with you. (Isaiah 41:10)

 If the daily count of this virus is upsetting you and causing fear, I would encourage you to listen to whatever the experts are suggesting, which is only common sense, and then, count up the people in your family, and pray God’s word over them all.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. (Psalm 91:9,10)

 My loving parents have made this their daily practice for longer than probably any of you have been alive, throughout all the viruses and other world calamities in their 80+ years – and Jesus has brought them through everything. Remember our enemy heaps on a spirit of fear, but again, God’s word says: that He (Jesus) will give us power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Talk to God today, as my parents do every day. Stand on God’s truth and when you do, be assured, your foundation will not shift or move. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. (Deuteronomy 33:27)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you are discouraged today? Perhaps a dream has been shattered? Maybe your future looked bright, but all of a sudden uncertainty loomed like an angry sea.  Being ‘discouraged’ simply means you have lost your ‘courage’. From  time to time we all lose courage, because… from time to time life is hard. Talk to the Lord today about everything, and your heart will be encouraged. God cares and He sees you.

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7, NKJV)

Glaciers are magnificent giants standing like statues against a backdrop of the sea. As we inched our way towards this seemingly unmovable mountain, with just a little wind and a warm day – even these unyielding glaciers are no match for the heat of the sun. Perhaps you have a problem in your life that appears as gigantic as this glacier. Try as you might, you have no solution on how to solve your difficulty. Dear reader, with a little prayer, even a heartfelt whimper – God can shift anything. 

Call to me and I will answer you.  (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV)  

 

NOT PROMISED TOMORROW

 I will never forget one day in Grade 10. We were sitting at our desks, half asleep, usual for a Monday morning, listening to the hum of the announcements.

Really no one was paying attention until …

The principle came over the loud speaker and with his voice cracking, relayed to 1800 of us, the names of four students involved in a head on crash over the weekend.

No one survived.

I remember hearing his words but they seemed jumbled. We were 16 years old. We looked at each another and quietly replied, “What did he say?”

As the hours ticked by, the reality of what happened settled in over our school. A blanket of sadness fell and decades later I still remember …

No one is promised tomorrow.

Whether you’re young, middle or a seasoned age, eternity is for real. The Bible says life is like a vapour. You see it for a time and then it vanishes away.

Life well today and tomorrow will take care of itself.

Stay right with God.

Listen when He speaks.

Eternity is forever.

The Bible says to remember your Creator in the days of your youth. We are not promised tomorrow. (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. John 3:16

 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. 1 John 1:9

 Today’s Prayer:

 “Dear Heavenly Father, help me to live with eternity in mind. Forgive me for my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness, mainly pleasing myself. Give me the courage to make some changes in my life and focus on one thing, my relationship with you”.

 

 

 

 

 

It had been a busy day and I kept moving from morning to night, actually, with a new baby in the house, I was moving in the middle of the night as well.

 It was bedtime for my other two and I had just tucked them in. Completely exhausted with my third child now asleep in my arms, I sat down to catch my breath.

When I revived enough to make it up the stairs, I tucked my enfant son in his crib and tiptoed down the hall to check on my two little girls. They were breathing softly in sleep.

 “Good” I thought, “I’ll scoot to bed now.”

However, as I lingered at the girl’s door watching them in their beds, the weight of raising them hit me. The responsibility of their lives overwhelmed me. Did I have what it takes to raise them?

 Up to this point, God had entrusted me with three eternal human beings. Three people that would spend eternity somewhere, and I was their mother. Their teacher. Their nurturer. At this age, I was everything to them.

I slid down the wall in the hallway and sat on the floor and cried, “Oh God, help me to be a good mother to these children. Teach me how to raise them to serve you”.

 I understood I couldn’t do it on my own.

 I knew I needed God in a big way.

When no one notices the sacrifices you make, the love you give or the patience you display day after day – God sees you.

God did help me to raise these three to adulthood, plus two more. He’s such a Faithful Father. You can trust Him to help you too.

He’s a Faithful Father.

I encourage you to memorize these verses. Write them out and carry them close. God will help you.

 “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him”. Psalm 127:3

 “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young”. Isaiah 40:11

 “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me”. Psalm 16:8

 “Dear Heavenly Father, I too am overwhelmed at my responsibility. I’m pulled in all different directions and feel like I’m about to fall apart. Please help me. Let me see the children you have placed in my care as gifts, rewards from you. Give me everything I need to be a godly mother. My trust is in you. Please help me.” 

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Dear Mom,

This year is almost in the history books and what’s done is done. The good news is: you can start fresh tomorrow and to ensure change, commit to forgetting the past – both good and bad. The good has a tenacity to make us proud, and the bad, well, that can keep us miserable. Commit to letting last year go and looking ahead to tomorrow. I pray for an extraordinary, victorious, successful, surprised-with-God’s-goodness, kind of year! “Lord, let it be so! Amen.”

But I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. (Philippians 3:13, NLT)

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The Night Everything Changed

As darkness fell, nothing was out-of-the-ordinary. The shepherds were in the fields with their sheep, possibly reclining with their back against a rock (uncomfortable!) – watching, like every other night.

Can you imagine their surprise, when right before their slumbering eyes an angel appeared? And I wonder why to them? During the last week, there were lots of important people milling around Bethlehem. The king had decreed a worldwide census; which meant, everyone had to make the trek back to the town of their birth to be counted. Can you imagine the chaos across the country with everyone on the move?

No doubt the shepherds were content to simply be in the fields away from the hustle and bustle in town.

And “suddenly” the angel revealed to lowly shepherds …

the greatest birth announcement ever!

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord”. Luke 2:11

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”. Luke 2:13

Literally, the sky burst forth in angelic chorus with a “multitude” singing – announcing the birth of the Christ child.

No one expected anything to change on the –

“night everything changed”.

I wished I could have been there.

I love it when God brings about a “suddenly!”

Do you need a “suddenly” this Christmas? An answer to prayer that “suddenly” bursts out of nowhere?

Allow me to encourage you today – trust in God with all your heart and don’t try to figure everything out, be anxious for nothing, pray about everything – and watch for God’s “suddenly”.

The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “nothing is impossible with God” and indeed, a short while later the scripture was fulfilled, “and she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger …” (Luke 2:7)

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Be encouraged this Christmas. Immanuel, “God is with us”, He sees you, cares for you and came for you!

Today’s Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I am watching for my “suddenly”. You can do more than I can think or even imagine and I trust in you today … nothing is impossible with you”.

 

 I have many favourite verses, and this is one of them: “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”.

Can you imagine all the things Mary had to ponder? All the things she had to think about and mull over and couldn’t tell anyone? From the moment of this unprecedented conception, until Jesus, her son’s, resurrection – her heart must have overflowed with questions, queries, misunderstandings, wonderings, unexplainable happenings, so many day-to-day’s that she didn’t understand – and all she could do was – ponder.

How do I explain to the other children that Jesus’ father is really God?

Will my other kids accept the fact that Jesus is divine?

Do I treat the ‘Son of God’ different than my other children?

How do I raise this child? This promised child. God’s Son?

Why did God choose me, I wonder?

Am I up for the task?

Remember, Mary had no idea what was in store for this Son of hers. She didn’t receive the whole picture. When the angel asked her to take part in this unprecedented plan, she simply said – yes, without knowing, one day her heart would be crushed to pieces.

Mary just lived, ordinarily. Doing day to day stuff. Just like you and me.

But, she pondered. The Bible says, she ‘pondered and treasured’ all these things in her heart.

So how can we apply that scripture?

Pondering gives you time to speak respectively and intelligently… rather than, well you know… losing it and letting useless words flow like a river. Therefore, pondering is a virtue! An asset worth striving for!

And ‘treasuring’, I love that phrase. That means, all those beautiful life moments, the ‘treasure filled ones’ – we simply tuck them away in our heart for sweet reflection.

Mary. She’s in heaven right now, sweet Mary. She’s worshipping the very Child she bore on that Christmas morn. And, soon, those of us who acknowledge Jesus as the Saviour of the world, we will be worshipping Him too.

He’s coming again! Soon!

Merry Christmas!