Write It On A Rock

Faith and Family

Archive for the ‘Our Family’ Category

March 28th, 2013 by Sarah

Making Traditions and Three Ways We Can Help Our Kids Get to Know Christ

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Happy Easter week!  Jason and I are trying to make more traditions surrounding this whole week.  I am not very creative with kids crafts and sometimes I look at other blogs with their creative crafts for Advent or Easter and it makes me feel a little inadequate. I am learning not to place those expectations on myself, and I hope I don’t on you.  I wrote a few suggestions for Easter at the bottom.

I think developing family traditions and ways to teach our kids about God should be fun, not filled with pressure.  So make traditions the way you and your family do them best.  Don’t put pressure on yourself to make your traditions look like everyone elses’, rather do things that bring you joy when you think of doing them for your family.

No need to be overly formal if you aren’t already.  It doesn’t matter if you do something elaborate or use paper plates, just think of what you’re family has the most fun doing and start a tradiion of it.  Music, food, stories, dancing, art?

There are great resources to help us, BUT if we don’t buy any of them, the Bible is all we need. I don’t know that parents were doing kids crafts in 200 BC and obviously they weren’t watching kids Bible movies, but they were able to pass on the most important thing we will ever teach our kids.  A relationship with God.

Decorating Easter eggs from the box kit is about as creative as I get. I do like to cook though, so this week I decided that I would make a passover dinner to teach our kids how God led His people out of slavery in Egypt, but I also wanted to tie it into Jesus and how He has led us out of slavery from sin and death.

Well, it was pretty much a fail.  But that’s OK, I will try again next year.  I made crepes instead of the unleavened bread that accompanies a traditional Seder dinner, and our kids get a little excited about crepes.  They weren’t listening to a word we said.  Next year I think we’ll do the teaching apart from the dinner table.

It can be difficult to start new traditions because it takes planning and effort that a lot of us don’t have.  Here are a few ways we can joyfully and freely teach our kids about God and create traditions in our homes.

1. The first is obvious, but so important.  Pray for your kids and ask God for wisdom on how to teach each child at the phase he/she is at.  I fail in many ways to show my kids God’s love, grace and patience.   I need the Holy Spirit’s help every day.  Sometimes an idea comes to me on how to teach a spiritual truth and I know it is not from myself but from the Holy Spirit.  God knows the hearts and personalities of each of our kids.  Praying for each one of them is one of the greatest gifts we can give them

2. Teach your kids what you’re learning from the Bible. If you have found a devotional book that you like that’s great, but my kids haven’t gotten into the ones that I have read to them.  It’s discouraging when teaching our kids about Jesus is competing with all of the “kid things’ they want to do and we can’t seem to get them engaged.

Here is what I have found to be the best way to engage my kids as I teach them about Christ.  I usually do this during our book time before bed, but sometimes I will teach a short Bible verse or story while my son’s waiting in our house for the bus to come.

I read my Bible daily and then I will either read them the same story or tell it to them in my own words.  I am not doing any separate planning, merely teaching them what God’s teaching me.

Show them how glorious God is.  Children love to hear what a big God we serve.  They love to hear that He’s faster, and more powerful than any superhero.  It glorifies God when we tell them that God is so brilliant that “He knit them together in their mother’s womb,”  Psalm 139:13.  Our kids are comforted to know that God protect us. “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.”  (Psalm 34:7).

There are a lot of Bible stories missing from children’s Bibles, but if the story I’m teaching is in our children’s Bible that works well for the pictures.

A couple of my favorite Children’s Bibles are “The Jesus Storybook Bible.” and for my boys, “The Action Story Bible.”  Tonight my boys loved hearing the story about Jacob wrestling all night with God from Genesis, and I shared what I learned from that story in my own Bible study.

I love being in a Bible study where I am learning, and when I teach it to my kids I learn it to a greater length!

3. Make sure you kids have a place like church or a youth group where they can learn from other mentors besides you.  I think parents have the greatest potential for influence, but especially in the teen years, our kids will need to hear Biblical truth from other people as well.

There are many more ways we can help our children grow spiritually like introducing them to great Christian literature and helping them to memorize Bible verses that will help them through life.  I’ll write more about that later.  For now…

Here are some ideas of ways to center around Christ for Easter, so they know it’s about more than the Easter Bunny.  Not all of them in one day :).

Watch this awesome four-minute “My King” youtube video and talk about the difference Christ has made in your life this year. Read the story of Jesus’ resurrection out of the Bible, or watch part of the Jesus film.  You could tell a story about a time God has been faithful to you.  Explain how eggs represent new life, and how we can have new life in Jesus.

We do an Easter Egg hunt with Resurrection Eggs, which is nice for little kids.  They tell the story of Easter using symbols in twelve eggs.  You can buy them here or make your own using your own symbols around your house (again don’t stress yourself out).  We bought the eggs :).

One more.  These empty tomb cookies.  You start them the night before Easter.  One year they didn’t work for me and I don’t know why, but when they worked they were really fun.

Sometimes our ideas turn out disastrous, but other times they just stick.  So don’t get discouraged if your efforts go awry.

I hope you all have a blessed Easter no matter how you’re celebrating.   Jesus says in John 14:23, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”  I love that.  God is closer to us than our own breath.  No matter where we are God goes with us because Jesus defeated death, and that is the best news of all.  He has risen!

February 28th, 2013 by Sarah

Asking God for Success

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Eaglebrook Christmas 2012 (Lino Lakes)-0021


Hi everyone, spring is on the horizon and that makes me happy.  This will be a long post as it’s been awhile.  The last couple months have been full of cooking, cleaning, basketball for Micah, soccer for Isabelle and Hudson, instructing/disciplining Isabelle, lots of family time (3 of our kids birthdays in one month), and then cooking and cleaning some more.

I’ve also been reading a lot.  I should do a post reviewing the books I’ve been reading, but I”m not so sure I would be good at book reviews.  The last two months I have had the opportunity to speak a few times as well.

It has been hard to balance everything that was on our plate the last two months and made me so very grateful to be able to focus on just being a mom.  It is so easy to think the grass is greener on the other side.  I don’t complain about being a SAHM. It’s a privilege and a choice.  I sometimes miss doing ministry and, though I know being a mom is a ministry, sometimes I feel like I should be doing more.

But, to experience trying to write a message while Isabelle asks me thirty-five times if she can have a candy cane was a good realization that no one can “do it all” and do it well.

I am grateful for the season that I am in thankful that God showed me to be content where He has me.  There are seasons for everything.  I may do a little ministry outside the home here and there, but for now love being home with our kids.

I also got to step into Jason’s shoes when I spoke with him, which was great.  How often do we get to experience our spouses life so we can empathise with them?  Not many of us do, and now I wish Jason could completely experience a day in my life :).  I so appreciate what Jason does, and know that we are each where we are supposed to be.

Jason and I spoke at our church’s marriage event on six things we’ve learned in our marriage.   It was fun to teach, together, what God has taught us.  At the bottom of this post I linked a guest blog with a shortened version of one of my points.

I have not done any speaking since Micah was a baby, and I was really nervous, but knew God prepared me for this. He had all of the speaking engagements land right in a row within almost a month of each other… with the biggest audience last.  I could not have planned it better.

I kept telling myself that I felt like God called me to do this and He will equip me… I was not putting my hope in my own abilities, but in the fact that He prepares and equips us by His Spirit when He calls us to something.

Right before we went out to face over a thousand faces, I told Jason that I was applying something I learned from a story in Genesis 24 where Abraham’s servant travels to find a wife for his son Isaac.  You can read the story here if you’d like.  I love this story for many reasons.

First, I love it because it shows God’s work in our lives when we trust in His plan. Second, I love how the servant so boldly and specifically prays for God’s favor as it seemed like a needle in a haystack to find the right wife for Isaac.

In verse 12 the servant prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.”

Then in verse 26 Abraham’s servant immediately, praises God and gives Him the glory when God does so obviously give him success.  Verse 26 says,  “Then the man bowed down and worshiped the Lord, saying, “Praise be to the Lord,the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the Lord has led me on the journey to the house of my master’s relatives.”

When we pray we can have confidence that God hears us.  We’re not demanding anything of God.  We’re asking, but we can know that when we ask God He hears us, even if it may not always seem like it.  When God answers us we should take the example of the servant and praise Him right away.

I have had some fears that are somewhat irrational, yet real to me.  After taking this passage of Scripture to heart I have found myself praying more specifically about my fears and able to leave them at God’s feet knowing He hears me and His answer will be perfect.

For example, my best friend has lyme disease and because they did not find out for a long time it has turned into a two year battle with autoimmune symptoms and sometimes debilitating illness.  I have known several people who got lyme disease this last summer, a few of them were kids.  Thankfully each person, including my father-in-law, found out early enough that the antibiotics worked right away.

One of my fears has been that one of my kids will get lyme and I won’t know or see symptoms right away.  I think talking to my friend weekly about what she’s going through keeps this fear at the forefront of my mind.  So my specific prayers is, “Lord, please protect us from this disease and if our kids contract lyme will you show us right away.”

I have felt such a great peace.  God has shown me specific answers to prayer over and over again. He has shown me that even through hardships He is faithful and has a plan for the hardships.

So, I pray boldly and in anticipation.  If I struggle to let a particular fear go I will ask friends to pray with me.  How I love the peace that comes when we trust the God who gave up His only Son because He loves us that much.

So back to the other night when we spoke.  I prayed many specific prayers one I copied from Abraham’s servant, that God would give me success.  Right when we got out there I felt such peace wash over me.  I felt calm and wanted God to work through me, as opposed to caring what people thought about me.  Right afterward I thanked God and gave Him the glory, knowing that peace and calm came from Him.

I am constantly grateful that I can draw on the Holy Spirit throughout my day.  I have way too many weaknesses to count, so the fact that God doesn’t get annoyed with me asking for help (He wants me to)  is absolutely amazing.

I am asking God for success that I can live for Him, that I will parent my kids well, use our time and money well, and to be a godly wife.  I know I can’t do it on my own, which is good, because I will more readily remember to praise Him when I have success.

If you’ve made it this far :), and you still want to read my guest blog for the EBC Marriage and Family Blog, “Six Ways to Fight Better in our Marriages.”  You can read that here if you’re interested.

Blessings to you all, and thanks for reading the random things that go on in my brain :).

December 2nd, 2012 by Sarah

Just Go With It

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I share in my last post that I am working on dealing with stress in a healthier way.  In light of that, I wrote this post for the EBC Marriage and Family Blog, but wanted to share with you as well.

A few months ago I could not find my iPod anywhere.  I use it mainly to listen to the Bible or sermons when I am getting things done around the house or falling asleep at night.  I felt semi lost without it.

In the meantime I had been, and still am, working on trusting God in all areas of my life including little annoyances.    Sometimes the finest details of my life, the silliest little things are the things that throw me over the edge and cause arguments.

I for some reason always have an opinion on what route Jason should take to get to our designation when I’m in the passenger seat.  Yes I’m one of those.  And, if he takes the wrong way and we get stuck in traffic I find myself really irritated, as if the five extra minutes would have drastically changed my life.

I think at the heart of the issue is that I want to control my little world.  I want my day to go as I have planned.  And that plan does not ever include unexpected traffic, honey spilt all over the floor, or a temper tantrum given by my two-year-old when I am trying to get out the door.

How much better would our family life be if we gave each other grace and did not get uptight with one another on small and large matters?

I want to have patience with my family and with the frustrations that come about during my day, but it’s difficult.

Hebrews 11:6 is one of my favorite verses.  It says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”  Think about that for a second.

What pleases God?  Out of so many things we could do to please Him it is faith.

Faith is proved in our actions on a daily basis.  As silly as it sounds I have been internally reminding myself to trust God with the phrase, “just go with it.”   If I’m running late, “just go with it.”  Kids have another cold virus, “just go with it.”  I am not going to be able to control every area of my life so I might as well just get over it.

If I really believe that God will bring good out of all things, then I can trust Him with every single detail of my day and life.

So, the iPod.  One of my sons has a habit of getting out of the bath or shower and then running around without drying himself off, leaving puddles to follow wherever he goes.  On a recent occasion I sat down in our baby’s light blue glider and felt water seep into my pants.  My son had went right from the bath to the chair hoping the chair would dry him off.

In my head I thought, “just go with it,” then I politely asked my son to dry himself with a towel next time he gets out of the bath.  He apologized.  I normally may have spoken in an annoyed tone of voice, but this time I used a soft tone, flipped over the seat cushion and there under the cushion lay the iPod that I had just asked God to help me find.  Hidden under a small annoyance lay an answer to prayer.

What are some details of your life that you find yourself trying to control and how would you and your family and benefit if you trusted God with every day living?


November 4th, 2012 by Sarah

Dropping the Ball.

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A friend told me recently that she was glad to see I hadn’t written on here because she was wondering how I got a blog done with four little kids.  I told her that I drop the ball in more areas than I care to admit.
We all have twenty-four hours in a day, but I too wonder sometimes about other moms,”how does she do all of that?”
I have certainly dropped the ball with writing on here.  There is so much in my head I want to write about. I just need to take the time to get it from brain to blog.
In the mean time, this is what our family’s been up to…
Trout Lake Family Camp at the end of August.

We had a blast and best of all I did not have to cook one meal, or sweep, or do one dish.  When Isabelle spilt her milk, it was on their floor, not mine.  It was a nice break :).

Then Micah started first grade.  He’s really liking it.
Hudson started preschool.  He loves it too.
Isabelle is by my side all day long :).
And I stare at these blue eyes as much as I can, trying to savor the last few months of this baby stage.
We’re finding some family time, though we still don’t have any good family pictures with all six of us, so I’ll add Jasper and I below :).
Marine on St. Croix

Thanks for reading, and more later… I almost promise.

August 28th, 2012 by Sarah

Family Change One at a TIme

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Two months ago a friend from my woman’s small group went to be with Jesus after a battle with cancer.  She was an amazing wife, friend, and mother to three little boys.  She was admired by many as a godly woman.

At her funeral I was inspired by her life, and the legacy I want to live.  I left wanting to know more Scripture, show hospitality, and encourage others right away when I think something positive about them.  I left wanting to be a better mother and wife and to use my time wisely.

Days after the funeral I found my motivation dwindling like a New Years resolution gone bad.  The things I wanted to do differently were drowned out by old habits.

Isn’t that so common?  We are inspired to change something in our life and it falls by the wayside.  I think for me it was because I had ten things on my  mind that I wanted to change.  I didn’t make realistic goals.  Overwhelming.

Psalm 39:4 says, “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered— how fleeting my life is.”  My friends funeral reminded me of this yet again.  Our days here are short.

That week I realized that I may not be able to change everything at once, but when I realized that I had neglected my whole list, I decided to start with just one.

Pick one realistic goal, ask yourself what’s holding you back and make a plan on how it’s going to happen.  That goal will become a habit and then it’s time to move onto goal number two.

This is how it looked for me.

  1. My first goal was to memorize Scripture WHILE teaching it to my kids.  Two goals in one, how’s that for goal setting.
  2. What was holding me back?  I felt like I needed some really creative set up.  I am not artsy, my handwriting is horrible, and I was always losing the memory verse I wrote out.  I have friends who type out and laminate their verse of the week.  This is not me.  It paralyzed me.
  3. I made an easier plan.  Simple… during our bed time routine I take my Bible that’s already in our children’s room and read one passage twice.  That’s it.  Just read it every night twice.  After a week my kids had memorized the Psalm.  A week after they got it I had it down too:).
  4. Tell someone.  If you’re daring, publicly mention it.  It might just hold you accountable.

What is your goal?  Maybe it’s sending a text to your spouse daily letting them know what you admire about them?  Maybe reading the Bible or journaling your prayers.  Maybe you want to make it a goal to thank God for something about your spouse when you find yourself getting critical of them.

Lest I overwhelm you, pick just one that you want to change, and it may just change your whole family.


August 18th, 2012 by Sarah

Ideas For a Cozy Weekend

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It feels like falls coming doesn’t it.  Why does summer always seem to go faster than lightning?  Hope you get to enjoy the cooler nights with the windows open or have a bonfire this weekend.  Here are some weekend ideas.

Get your favorite snack or drink after the kids go to bed and have a little at home date night.  Ask some of these great questions for fun conversation starters.

Get some good rest.  I read this article today, Why Parents Need More Sleep and How to Get It .  Though I know I need to get to bed a bit earlier, I needed a slight kick in the rear end.  I am often up with Jasper in the middle of the night but still struggle with wanting to stay up late.  She gave some helpful tips for that.

Are you sick of nagging your kids?  I know I am.  Download this free e-book Smooth and Easy Days by Sonya Shafer.  If you don’t have time to read all of it, read chapter 3, fascinating how our brain works.

It has completely changed the way I help my children develop habits, and it’s working.  It could help us adults with our habits as well :).

Have a great weekend!





June 30th, 2012 by Sarah

Flourless Chocolate Cake and Pear/Cranberry Poppy-seed Salad

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This week we had my mother-in-law over for her birthday dinner.  She is such a special person.  We appreciate her so much, and always love to honor her.

We made salmon and chicken, grilled vegetables (which didn’t turn out the best), pear/apple poppy-seed salad, watermelon and this flourless chocolate cake for her dinner.



If you are a chocolate fanatic like my mother in law, you will love this cake.  It has a rich dark chocolate flavor.  AND it only has FIVE ingredients not including the water :).  I like that.  We put raspberries around the cake with a strawberry in the center, and then served it with whipped cream.

My mother-in-law asked for the recipe of both the cake and salad, so I thought I would share it on here as well.  Here is the salad recipe.  This recipe was given to me by someone who brought us this salad after Jasper was born, and it is a nice refreshing salad for summer. Cashews are my new favorite on salad.  This has been all I want to eat on hot days this week.

Pear/Cranberry poppy-seed Salad


  1. 1/2 c. Sugar
  2. 1/2 t. Salt
  3. 1 T. Poppy-seed
  4. 1/3 c. Lemon juice
  5. 2/3 c. Canola oil
  6. 1 t. Dijon mustard

Store dressing in the refrigerator.  The dressing lasts me quite a few salads, so you can cut in half if you only want a little.


Your favorite greens (romaine, or spring mix), one pear sliced, one apple sliced, craisins (dried cranberries), cashews, and parmesan cheese.

Drizzle with a bit of dressing and toss.

This recipe is versatile, if you don’t like pears, just use apples.  Fuji apples are great in this salad, but use what you like.

Hope you are keeping cool on this hot weekend!

June 26th, 2012 by Sarah

My First Love

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Sorry that it’s been so long since I posted on here, and thank you for putting up with me learning about this blog thing.  I am technologically illiterate and all the while a bit of a perfectionist.   I know, I need to get over that if I am going to post what I write.

I mentioned in my last post that Jason and I were able to get away for our anniversary.  It was a beautiful and refreshing getaway.  Jason and I have not had a two night getaway without the kids since Micah was born seven years ago!

And… we still were not totally without kids this time.  Jasper came, while our other three were with Grandma and Grandpa.  Jasper is a peaceful baby though and one child is much more peaceful than four, so for us it was still a nice getaway.    We did not get one picture of Jason and I.  It’s always one of us and then Jasper ;).



We went to a lodge on a tiny island in Wisconsin called Stout Island Lodge.  The lodge was built in the early 1900’s so it was full of character.  The lake surrounded the lodge, as well as beautiful gardens, lawns and trees.  We enjoyed peaceful dinners, and hikes around the island.





Jason gave me the most thoughtful gift he’s ever given me.  My love languages are words of encouragement and quality time.  I also love tea.  He doesn’t.  So, he gave me the gift of one night a week after the kids go to bed having tea with me to specifically encourage me and give me that quality time with him that I love.  This is on top of our weekly date night, so he is a pretty super husband.  When basketball season comes around he may be wanting to rethink this gift :).

I was reading Revelations the other day.  In the second chapter Jesus writes to one of the churches and praises them for their morals, their hard work, and their ability to recognize false teaching.  But then He says this to them, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” Revelations 2:4.

In other words, similar to how marriages can often go through the motions, Jesus is saying, you do lots of good things, but have forgotten to love me like you did at first.  I can relate to that because sometimes I go through the motions.  I have set into place habits of reading my Bible, prayer and church, which are all good things, but sometimes I am doing it because I know it’s a good discipline, rather than really wanting to get to know God and have Him speak to me.  My mind can be elsewhere.  Can you relate?

What does this have to do with our getaway?   When Jason and I got home things were different.  We looked at each other longer, felt closer, gave each other more affection, and had more grace with each other.

I can honestly say that there are times where I still feel butterflies when Jason holds my hands, and it is usually a result of some acts of intentionality, forgiveness, encouragement, and time spent with each other.  I know it’s not realistic to have that in love “feeling” constantly in a marriage, but we also need to be intentional about doing things we did when we first loved each other, and our love grows even deeper.

I think it’s the same with God.  Do you remember when you first learned of Jesus’ love for you, that He died on the cross to pay for your sin?  Do remember when you believed that God heard your prayers, or when you opened up your Bible and read with anticipation that He would speak to you through it?

I am guilty of getting busy and not entering in with my relationship with God.  When I notice myself lacking in zeal, I usually repent of that and thank God that He’s waiting for me, willing to forgive.  Then I spend that time seeking Him through prayer and His Word.

I am so thankful for the unfailing, never giving up love that Jesus has for me, as well as the commitment that Jason and I have for each other.

Do you have any tips on how you keep up your love life with your spouse or God?





June 7th, 2012 by Sarah

Celebrating Milestones

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Today is our 10 year wedding anniversary, Jasper turned 4 months old, and Micah graduated from Kindergarten.  What a day!  Jason and I already celebrated our 10-year last weekend, which was amazing.  More on that later.
Even though everyday represents some sort of change I think it’s good to celebrate the markers in our lives, small or large.
We made a big deal of Micah’s graduation today.  At dinner Jason listed off some of the ways that Micah has grown since he started school this last September.
Micah has learned to write, read, and count numbers on and on and on. He has lost four teeth, made many new friends, learned to resolve conflict, stay in a straight line and obey teachers.
How seldom I take the time to reflect, and big days like today can help us do that.
Whether these milestones seem insignificant or big I am thankful.  Thankful for ten years of marriage, of being faithful to each other.  Ten years of learning to choose to work on our marriage, to work on loving each other through the good, bad and mundane.
Every time I take the time to write a card to Jason I am reminded of every reason I married him plus all of the wonderful things I didn’t know I was getting when I married him.
I don’t know about you but I too easily focus on stupid little roommate annoyances or chore battles, and forget that Jason is the most amazing husband I could ever ask for. Or that Micah is such a special, enthusiastic, and lovable little boy.
If I wrote more cards maybe I would tend to see truly how amazing the people are in my life.  Maybe I would have more patience with the little annoyances if I stopped to think about all the wonderful attributes each one of my loved one’s possesses.
The toys need to get cleaned up and the chore battles will happen, but I for one am thankful for excuses to write cards, remember and to celebrate.


May 13th, 2012 by Sarah

The Way I Want to be Remembered as Mom to my Kids

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I have been reflecting today, Mother’s Day, on my own mom and how much I love her.

As I’ve mentioned before, my mom raised us as a single mom, and she struggled with mental health issues most of my childhood.  We did not have the cleanest house on the block.  She didn’t bake, decorate, or garden, and she didn’t cook gourmet food.

I also know my mom made mistakes, but that’s not what I remember about her.

What I do remember is my mom sitting on my bed rubbing my back when I cried as a hormonal teenager.  I remember her packing embarrassingly gigantic lunches when I went on field trips because she was afraid I would get hungry.  And, I remember her compassionate responses when I was sick or struggling with something.

My mom really loved us.  1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

That verse gives me much comfort.  I know I will make mistakes as a mom, and I will sin.  I am lacking in a variety of areas.  I have bad crabby days, but I love my kids deeply.

I hope that my kids remember my love for them and forget my mistakes :).

As I think back to the ways my mom showed her love to me, times that stick out to me vividly, these are a few of the things I want to emulate.

  • My mom showed compassion and mercy when I was hurting, even if it was just a small sickness.
  • She encouraged us often.
  • She took the time to have a “special one on one time” with my brother, sister and I.  Since she often didn’t have babysitters she would take us out of school once in a while for a lunch date.  We cherished that time.
  • She gave us consequences for our behavior, something I loathed at the time but have become thankful for.
  • She was humble enough to apologize.

I remember a time right before I got married.  I was praying and thinking about the possibly near future of being a mom.  Something inside me felt scared and inadequate.  The sense of responsibility washed over me.  I wondered, well I still do wonder sometimes, am I going to mess my children up?

In hindsight I was scared because I thought I had to be perfect, and the picture I had of the “perfect mom” didn’t fit me.

I will never forget the mental image I saw in my head as I confessed my fear to God.  I pictured a little boy laying in his bed, and I was kneeling beside him apologizing.  It was as if the Lord was comforting me by saying, “you won’t be perfect, but you will be forgiven.”

That did bring me comfort, and I have apologized to my children many times since God spoke that to my heart ten years ago.  Just yesterday I turned down the radio in our car and said, “sorry I was crabby today.  I have had a bad attitude, will you guys forgive me?”

They accepted my apology, as they always do.  Sometimes we as parents think it’s unnecessary to apologize, but doing so models a repentant heart, brings reconciliation and shows our kids that we aren’t perfect just because we are the parents.

Thank you Mom for modeling deep love for me.  Thank you for your humility, and your empathy.  It’s why I still call you almost daily.  You listen, you understand, and when I am struggling you pray with me.

I pray for a healthy and godly relationship with my children and that I can model for them the deep, deep love of Christ.


May 1st, 2012 by Sarah

From Weary to Strengthened

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Last fall, while I was pregnant with Jasper, our fourth baby, I was having one of those long difficult days where everything seemed to go wrong, and I was exhausted from the pregnancy.

I made it to the afternoon and as I rocked my daughter by her crib before nap time I realized it was the first quiet moment I had had all day.  It was like I forgot that I could call on God and had been scurrying around aimlessly all day.

I whispered a quick prayer for Isabelle in her ear and then one for myself as well.  I prayed, “Lord, I am so weary, please give me your strength.”

I laid Isabelle down in her crib and ran downstairs to round up my two boys.  It was not a minute after I whispered my plea to God that I stepped outside, and up in the sky an eagle came soaring over our heads.

“An eagle!”  Micah and I both yelled.  We ran through the grass watching it until it perched on a branch in front of us.  I had never seen an eagle in the wild before and it was beautiful.  Right when I saw it my prayer came to the forefront of my mind and I remembered a verse about eagles.

It says, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;  but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:30-31.

I have carried that verse with me throughout these last months, but still I forget often.

We are in the midst of a trial at the moment.  Only five days in and I am weary.  I have taken my stress out on my husband at certain times, and I have worried when I should have prayed.  I was reminded of that last night of how faithful God is, and that He will bring good out of this.

God wants us to trust Him, and how quickly we forget in our current trial that He was faithful in our last.  I went to bed last night reminding myself of God’s faithfulness and He showed Himself so evident today.  It wasn’t free of hardship, but wow was He evident.

In fact, this morning I opened up a letter from one of the children we sponsor through Compassion International and the verse our child wrote at the end of the letter was Isaiah 40:30-31.  I needed that reminder.  Hope in the Lord Sarah and your strength will be renewed.

Then I read this quote by  J.I. Packer.  “The weaker we feel, the harder we lean. The harder we lean, the stronger we grow spiritually, even while our bodies waste away.”

It is not bad to feel weak, and it is inevitable to go through trials.  God doesn’t tell us the outcome of our situation because when He doesn’t we wait on Him.  We long to hear His voice.

God knows what He’s doing and we can trust Him in the midst of hardship, asking Him for help and strength.  I am constantly growing in this, but I want to lean hard on Him.  I want to hope in God’s promises and in so doing experience the strength that only He can give.

“So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 11 All power to him forever! Amen.”  1 Peter 5:10