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!

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Raising a Reader

Blessings {Thankful Tuesday, on Wednesday}

Surprise! I actually meant to post this list yesterday but was distracted by the baby’s birthday — although it was certainly a welcome distraction. We’ve had a very busy day today. First, we ate two Thanksgiving Lunches at the kids elementary school. In between the lunches, we came home so Caleb could eat his own lunch. After we were home from the school, I had to set up some technology and do some housework while the baby took a short nap, and then once the kids were home we had to go get haircuts and pick up dinner because it’s Awana night. Both kids finished their starter books so they’re moving on to the “real” program, and both are very proud of themselves.

In other news, the new blog design is on schedule. I’m still working on the organization end of things, but I hope to have it fully launched by December 1.

I am thankful for so many things this week. Here are just a few blessings that I’m thanking God for today:

— Both of our families were able to get together over the weekend to celebrate the baby’s birthday.
— All of the kids are healthy.
— I have two children who are excited about learning the Word of God, and are happily spending time at church (no fussing about it!).
— God has put new friends in our lives lately who have similar family situations (one has a husband who is away for work and kids the same ages and another is a mom to a large blended homeschooling family). I’m so thankful that God is helping us build a support system.
— We’ve had some cool fall weather. It might have been in the 80s today, but I still relish the slight snap to the air after sunset. This is my favorite season and I so love those windy cold-front days.
— And thank you, Lord, for yesterday’s rain! We need it so desperately here.

Kitchen Inspiration

I’m staring at my pile of recipe clippings, attempting to make my Thanksgiving dinner grocery list. Yes, I do use pinterest, but I still subscribe to several cooking magazines. Each month I tear out the “that looks like it might be good” recipes and put them in a binder, which sounds way more organized that it is in reality. I have the binder, and intended to use tabs and clear sheet protectors to organize all those magazine sheets.  So far, though, I just tear the pages out and stuff them in the binder. Yes, I’m that kind of planner.

I also love to read cooking blogs, but until my thoughtful husband (who always wants me to cook more) gave me an iPad I really didn’t like using online recipes to cook. I’d find things that looked great, bookmark them, and then think ugh… I really don’t want to drag the laptop into the kitchen or try to read off a tiny phone screen to use this. But now, it’s easy to just prop the iPad up on the counter and follow along.

So here are my must-read cooking blogs, in no particular order:

This Lunch Rox Yes, Jamie’s adorable and yummy-looking food creations are inspiring, but I really love the philosophy behind her meals. She’s helped inspire me to make sure my own kid’s school lunches are healthier, and really gives a lot of useful information and links in her posts if you want to learn more. Plus, her food photography (like her people photography) is really good.

101 Cookbooks Speaking of great food photography, I love browsing Heidi’s site. Her vegetarian recipes have really helped us with our Meatless Monday challenges. Most importantly, reading her blog and looking at her photographs really inspires me to want to eat healthier.

Simple Bites Again with the healthy. Aimee’s blog is another source of daily culinary inspiration. Not only have I gotten some great recipes and encouragement from her posts, but I also get a lot from her articles on things like organizing your kitchen for the holidays.

Whole Foods Market Last, but not least, the Whole Foods blog is one of my go-to sources, not only for recipes but for whole living information and inspiration. I check it out at least once a week, usually when I’m planning my next trip to the store.

Now to find a great app to help me organize these online recipes. Anyone know of one for iPad that will be better than my magazine sheet binder method?

#whyIwrite : Because I must.

Today is the National Day on Writing, an opportunity for writers all over the world to share why they write.  And today is also the first day I’ve missed my morning writing time in weeks. Now that I’m home, our schedule is completely messed up… I’ve let myself sleep 30 minutes later, thinking it will make a difference, and it has. But not a positive one. I find I’m a little behind all day, trying to catch up on the baby’s schedule and still get us to wherever we need to be.  How did I do all this when I worked 60 hours a week? I know that this week will be an adjustment, and that next will be better because we will have settled into a routine. But I also look at this as a time to make sure that routine really works for both of our needs and worry that if we get too far off track this week, we’ll be starting a pattern that will cause problems later.

So back to the theme of the day. Why do I write?

I write because I must.

It’s a form of therapy. One that doesn’t cost money, although it is not cheap.  Writing costs time, and as a very busy mom, time is a luxury that is always scarce. However, I find that if I start my day with some quiet time — time to just write and work through whatever is on my mind — I am much more focused and relaxed throughout the day. If I miss my writing time, I tend to feel frazzled and stretched too thin.

But to me writing is more than just a therapeutic tool. It’s a compulsion. It’s a record of my life — of who I am. I could no more stop writing than stop breathing. If you look in my storage boxes in the attic, you’ll find they’re full of notebooks, index cards, church bulletins filled with notes, scraps of paper with poems and scribbles… my collected bits of writing from the past 25 years.

And ultimately, I write because it’s a legacy to leave for my children. Not just the notebooks filled with thoughts and dreams — the actual practice itself. Both of my children have been writers since they were very young, and both consider writing a possible future career choice. If I pass on one habit to my kids, I hope it’s a lifetime of daily writing. That alone is worth giving up that extra half hour of sleep in the mornings.

What about you?  Why do you write?