A Mother’s Prayer

A few weeks ago, I was talking with a friend of mine about praying for our kids. She shared a prayer list* that she’s kept in her Bible for many years, although she memorized the words long ago. I thought it was a beautiful reminder of the blessings we as moms want for our children. 

Each day, remember to pray for…

Physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

An abiding sense of safety and security.

Courage to face the problems of each day.

A calm spirit to hear the voice of the Lord.

A willingness to obey.

A clear mind, both to learn and to recall.

A generous spirit toward family and friends.

Wise teachers, mentors, and counselors.

Unshakeable self worth and personal dignity.

Eternal salvation and a home in heaven one day.

As I read through her list, I realized that I have a prayer list of my own, but I’ve never written it down in such an organized way. I’ve kept a prayer journal for some time, so I can look back and see God’s hand at work. If you look through my journal, there are some things I pray for consistently… so often that I’ve developed a kind of shorthand.

That their hearts, minds, and bodies would remain pure, and that they would grow to understand what a precious gift they have been given.

That God’s voice will be louder than any of the other voices that compete for their attention each day.

That He would bring Christian friends into their lives who they can truly rely on and learn with.

That they would be unashamed of the Gospel, and that they will have the opportunity, desire, and strength to share their faith with others.

That the Lord would reveal their weaknesses and help them become strengths.

That they would make an authentic connection with their Savior. That He would be real to them, and that they would be able to talk with Him like they would to a friend.

What is on your prayer list? Please share your thoughts in the comments!

*I’ve looked for the original source, but so far, I haven’t been able to uncover it, so if this is familiar to you, please let me know!


6 Things Before ’12

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next week. I know it’s cliche, but this year has really surprised me in how swiftly it has passed. I had some great plans for what I wanted to accomplish this year, and there are some things that I abandoned (and with good reason) and others that I really should have stayed committed to.

So, in an effort to hold myself accountable, here is my personal goal list for the rest of the year. We have about 6 weeks left, so here are my 6 things to do before 2012. Most are already in progress, some will take a couple of hours of sit-down organizing time and others will take longer, but I need to buckle down and finish what I’ve started.


NaBloPoMo 2011

1. Successfully complete NaBloPoMo. I’m halfway done! That means I’m committed to posting every day for the month of November, so someone please hold me accountable. I’d love to have a “blog buddy” if anyone is interested.


 2. Develop a mission statement for our family (with the family). I read Tsh Oxenreider’s Organized Simplicity almost a year ago, and I was really inspired and motivated to implement some of her ideas in our family. But I got sidetracked and my home organization binder is still just sitting here. I’d like to start the new year off right by getting the family together to set some goals and define who we want to be.

3. Develop and implement a daily household routine. It needs to be flexible, but with only one parent home most of the time, we definitely need some organization around here. Like, when am I going to make it to the gym (after saying “I’ll go tomorrow” for three weeks)? What do we do about nap time on days when we have church or story time?

4. Develop and implement a weekly chore chart/schedule for the family. For all of us, with assigned chores for the week. In this house, we’re all motivated by checking things off a list.

5. Make the kitchen chalkboard wall. It will be a place to display our weekly menu and chore chart. I already have a list for the hardware store, but I haven’t buckled down to buy the stuff yet. I really want to get it done before the kids are home for winter break, though, so I need to get working on it.


6. Finish the books on my Goodreads “Currently Reading” list. I’ve all but abandoned some that I really need to read, and I’d like to have them finished before the new year.

One Year

One year ago today, my husband and I waited in a hospital triage room to find out if we were really in labor or if we would be sent home.

One year ago today, we were a family of six, waiting on a seventh.

One year ago today, we prayed for a safe and healthy delivery, as we worried over the monitor readout.

One year ago today, I became a mommy again. It seems like yesterday, and at the same time, a lifetime ago. I can’t remember what life was like without this little guy.

We had such a scary pregnancy with this one. I have always had complications, including problems with placental attachment with my last pregnancy. But this time, I had a serious subchorionic bleed that kept me on bed rest for weeks at a time, more than once.

At ten weeks, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling a little wet and saw so much blood that we thought we had lost him. I remember sitting in the emergency room with my husband and the littles, trying not to cry while we waited for an ultrasound. Worrying about whether or not we should take the littles in with us and how we would explain it to all of the kids, because they were so excited about the baby. And the joy of seeing that precious heartbeat and knowing that he was still okay, combined with the fear of what was causing the bleed. God used this time to teach us faith and patience, as we learned to trust that we were all in His hands, and that whatever happened was beyond our control.

Later in the pregnancy, I had blood pressure issues that caused me to pass out without warning — a scary thing when your job is to be up on your feet in a classroom full of high school students all day. We were so thankful and relieved when he was finally born. He was preterm, but healthy and perfect, and we rejoiced and praised God that He had given us this little one.

I can’t believe it’s been a year. I can’t believe that the tiny baby we hoped and prayed for is now a big, friendly baby giant. Thank you Lord for letting him be a part of our family. We love you so much, birthday boy.

Signature Scent

Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains. ~Diane Ackerman

Scent can be a powerful memory trigger.

My great-grandmother always smelled like Estee’ Lauder’s “Youth Dew.” The scent lingered in her home even after she was gone. To this day, I will pass older women in the store and think “it smells like my Mamaw was here.”

My grandmother always wore Yves St. Laurent’s “Rive Gauche.” I remember playing beauty shop in her bathroom, patting my face with her powder puff while the blue and black and silver cylinder sat elegantly on the countertop.

My mother always wore a very difficult to find perfume called Teatro Alla Scalla. My father will spend a ridiculous amount of money every year to find a new bottle, just in case she runs out. It drives my mom nuts, frugal woman that she is. She’s tried to change scents more than once, just because it bothers her to spend that much money on a bottle of perfume. But my dad doesn’t want her to change. “You won’t smell like you anymore,” he claims. Even she admits that it would make her sad to wear something else, because this scent has represented her for so many years. My sisters and brothers and I agree with her.  It would be sad. When I hug my mom, that scent takes me back to my childhood and makes me feel like I’m home.

My signature scent has changed a little over time. I am not a floral kind of woman, and tend to prefer spicy/woodsy orientals that aren’t too heavy. If you’ve ever looked for a new scent, you may understand how difficult that combination is to find. I wore Fendi for many years, until they stopped making it. I wore Chanel’s “Coco” for awhile, too, but as I got older, I felt it was too heavy for every day wear, and because of a difficult marriage and divorce I had some bad memories associated with it. For the past several years, though, I’ve worn Hermes “Eau de Merveilles” and I love it. It’s spicy, slightly herbal but not at all floral, and just light enough to wear every day. And I love that my daughter can wrap one of my scarves around her neck while she plays dress up, and say, “oh, mommy, this smells like you.”

What about you? Do you have a signature scent?