In a throw away world, it’s not common that you hear of someone going after something they’ve lost when they have it in abundance. We put our heads down and keep moving forward in a world where losing the one thing compared to the other ninety-nine is acceptable. We have so much that we value that in reality, we value very little. If you had $100 would you really miss $1 of that if it were lost? It’s just 1%, right? No big deal. When we have fewer of something, we tend to value it more. If you have 3 cars and one is wrecked or out of commission you notice. It probably bothers you or upsets your daily plans. What if one of those things you were missing was one of your children?
Recently, my sixteen-year-old son walked proudly out of the local DMV holding up his new driver’s license. He passed with flying colors; I knew he would. He’s a very responsible young man. He worked hard to pay for the car he drives and deserves a taste of freedom. I try to remember that in the past, young men his age, worked full time jobs and some even had families to support. Is the world ready for him? Is he ready for the world? As his Momma, it has been my job from the moment he was conceived to make sure he was nurtured and brought up to be a good person who contributes well to society and it has been my job to introduce him to Jesus. I feel like I’m keeping my end of the bargain. The Lord gave me my heart’s desire as a Momma and I have leaned on Him to get me through the rest. However, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. My husband and I got a taste of what it’s like to have our heart out in the world and not know where he is.
It seemed a little silly at first to keep watching my clock. It as a school night, he hadn’t had his license a week yet. Still, it was dark outside, and he wasn’t answering his phone. My oldest son had told me his plans and they were very reasonable. He wanted to watch his friends in their band concert at school. Only one problem, it was getting late and he wasn’t answering. My husband was watching the clock too. He attempted to call, and I sent a text to see if it would be read. Were we over reacting? It felt like it for a few minutes. We were staying so calm, neither of us knew how much the other was starting to be concerned. After a few more tries to reach him, I slipped on my shoes, grabbed my car keys and turned to quickly tell my husband I was going to look for our boy.
I was calm, I wasn’t mad, I was telling myself I wasn’t worried. I was just concerned. I couldn’t tell when a car passed me on the road if it was him, so I called and told my husband to call me if he walked in. I watched for cars on the side of the road just in case he had a flat or his car had broken down. My heart cried, "oh why Lord won't he answer or respond?" I turned into the high school parking lot and it appeared that the concert had just let out, so I started scanning for his vehicle. I spotted it. To my relief he was getting in his car, I pulled up and rolled down the window and let him know I had been looking for him and that he needed to get home. We needed to talk.
The entire drive back home I stayed behind him and prayed for the right words. Obviously, we needed to figure out what had gone wrong and why the communication ball was dropped. We need to establish some ground rules that were a little tighter for our comfort. We needed a school night curfew, a weekend curfew, rules on communication and to let him know why we needed all of this in place. Out of complete love for him, we need to know he is safe. If we don’t know, we will go after him.
What we thought was going to be a conversation about communication, how to communicate when a cell phone dies, and respect for how we feel as parents turned into something different. We realized that this boy, whose love language is words of affirmation, need affirming. He felt like we thought he was irresponsible, stupid, and we had no respect for him as the person he is. All of this is untrue of course and I immediately saw these lies he was believing for what they were…lies. The devil is a liar. We were shocked that he felt so strongly, so very strongly, but quickly reminded him that he is still ours, we do the best we can, we seek God’s face daily for guidance, and we make mistakes too.
In the end, everything that needed saying, I hope, was said. There seems to be an understanding now that we didn’t obviously have before. He is to communicate with us, call, and keep his phone charged well. Also, I took away something major and I thank God for opening my eyes to it. My children, all of them, need affirming in who they are, Whose they are, and that their purpose in this life’s journey is bigger than our parenting mistakes and theirs.
I had been praying for a way to communicate to my children. As a writer and lover of reading, I believe that when a writer writes, she is communicating with the future reader. When I journal, I’m writing to my future self. When I write letters, I’m writing to the future recipient. It is a conversation that can have an ebb and flow. A week or so after having to go after my son physically, I was given the answer to go after him spiritually. Letters, words, writing; a friend posted about writing to her children with conversation journals. I had tried it all before but this time, I decided to adapt it a bit. For a while, the conversation will be one sided. It will just be me, writing in little notebooks as often I can to my children. When I feel they need to read the words I wrote about them, it will be at my finger tips to give them or read to them.
I also drew a little picture on the front that will remind each one of God’s promises to them. They each have one that stands out above all the rest. I started the little journals with an explanation of each drawing to help them better understand how I believe they are seen by our Father. Having 5 children, I chose small field note books so that I can carry them with me if needed.
Since the night I went looking for my son, the parable of the lost sheep has played in my head over and over.
Luke 15:3-7 is my favorite version.
…Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? -Luke 15:4
Not only will I go after one of my children if necessary, I am so thankful that my God Father will leave the ninety-nine and go after them too. I’m so very thankful He came after me. He does the same for you.
In 2015, I was in a real spiritual battle. My husband and I were embarking on something that the Lord had called us to do and within that the Devil knew that God was placing us into the battle for a purpose. We remain victorious as long as we are in His Will. Let me take you back to a journal entry.
The Devil tells me daily...
Aimee, you are a terrible wife. You will never be good enough spiritually. Nothing you ever do will change how your husband feels, he always thinks you are tearing him down. It will be and always has been a battle. No words you express will be considered uplifting. He will think there is always a hidden agenda. You have tried, you went a great deal of time before doing it all right, and yet a slip and you're back to square one. Aimee, aren't you tired of trying? Isn't it easier to just let it go, what good is it to pray everyday? Where does it get you? Are you happy? No! You are crying! Is it worth it? Your husband doesn't pray for you, but you pray every single day for him. Where does it get you? You don't have real friend either. He is really all you have and look how that's working out for you? Not looking too good for you, huh?
The Devil told me these lies every single day in some form or another. Daily, I battled him over my marriage and self image. I called him off. I called on Angels. And daily he found his way in my head. Daily, I felt worthless. I spent days trying until I was tired and word down. He is such a liar.
My husband says "Stop listening to the Devil." However, the Devil was attacking me all the time.
Here's the good news!
I wanted to yield, but didn't know how.
I wanted to shake the Devil, but he had a stronghold.
I wanted the Spirit to move in, but I couldn't move myself out.
I wanted the world to see God, but I was in the way.
Just now, today, I stood in my kitchen talking to my husband. Now, it's been over 3 years since I wrote the above lies in my journal. I see him differently. Sure, we have the same battles. It took an act of God and complete submission on my part, with my heart, to see my husband the way God saw Him, and in turn, how they both saw me.
"Your husband is a great man of God."
Those words were spoken over me in prayer over a year ago and when they were said they caught me. I wasn't expecting them at all. Nope, I thought the prayers were going to be about the battle we were facing within the foster care system. Instead, the prayers spoken over me turned into something more beautiful. Something that grounded my faith in ways that I can't explain.
I left that prayer meeting changed. I had never experienced anything like it. I am forever changed.
My drive home was silent and full of reflection. My husband is a good man. He works hard. He has deep faith. He is a man. He makes mistakes and doesn't always know how to approach me, even after 25 years of loving each other. He loves me! We both make mistakes. What I do know, is that it took a word from someone else for me to see my husband the way that God saw him.
Obey God and not man, for it was man that murdered Jesus and God who raised him. -Acts 5:29-30
Far to often, I have approached my marriage from a worldly perspective. I have taken bad advice and I have acted on what others saw fit for my marriage.
My husband is a great man of God. I never saw it before like I needed to see it that day. Today, we stood in the kitchen and talked. We shared some hopes and dreams and hard realities. Marriage isn't always just about the love between to people, sometimes it's just about having a vision of where you're going together. We know it's going to be hard but we want the rewards that come with working things out and learning to understand each other. We are willing to pray and submit to God's plan for us.
All of those things the Devil constantly said to me... LIES
None of it is or was true.
Don't let him do the same to you.
You were created to be your husband's wife. Hold onto that truth.
To learn more about the hope and resurrection that God can do in your marriage through your devotion and His Word, join us this Fall with the release of the completed collection of devotionals by Aimee. 40 Days of Bible focused, prayer focused devotionals written to help you become a wife of prayer, influence, and strength.
This morning I woke up around 2:30. I was uncomfortable and wide awake. I wanted so badly to go back to sleep but instead I prayed silently. "Lord, if you need me to spend time with You I will." My spirit felt a prompting to go ahead and get up. I slid out of bed and tip toed downstairs carrying my daughters laundry. Knowing I had finished writing my Bible study on marriage I knew that this time I didn't have an agenda in my "prayer closet" (aka laundry room). I started a load of laundry because the sound of the washer and dryer in my laundry room/office space is quite comforting. I sat in the darkness just praying and asking that God share with me what He needed me to know. After a time I pulled out my pen and note pad and wrote out all the things that were currently weighing on me and needed prayer.
Can God really depend on me to do all of these thing?
As I was praying over this list, His whisper to my soul was that I had these all in the wrong order. First, I needed to work on my priorities and go back to the prayer list again, putting them in order.
Again, that whisper. The Lord pressed on my spirit the word: Expectation
"Don't try to be what the world needs. I, your God, am what the world needs. Stay focused on Me & I will show you where to go, I will teach you what you need to know."
Then I opened my Bible. If you've read my devotionals you may know that I'm a believer in that there's a message where your Bible opens.
Because you are a (daughter), God sent the Spirit of his Son into your heart, the Spirit who calls out "Abba, Father." So you are not longer a slave, but a (daughter), God has made you an heir. -Galatians 4:6-7 (emphasis added)
When I read this verse and replaced the "son" with "daughter" it became very clear what God was saying. My priorities have to begin with a prayer perspective, a posture approaching the throne of Heaven, that I am a child of God and belong there. I go to my Heavenly Father knowing that I am a daughter to a King, and boy does that change everything. I took another look at my list. If you know me, you also know I don't believe in coincidence. My first prayer begins with recognizing that I am the daughter of the King of Kings, an heir.
I love to follow the scripture footnotes and attached scriptures, they always take me on a journey of better understanding. Let me take you on the same journey.
Go Deeper | Roman 8:17
Now if we are children, then we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Go Deeper | Galatians 3:29
If you belong to Christ, then you are Abrahams seed, and hear according to the promise.
Go Deeper | Titus 3:17
so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having hope of eternal life.
Go Deeper | Hebrews 1:!4
Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation.
Go Deeper | Hebrews 6:17
Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.
Go Deeper | Hebrews 11:9
By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in the foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac & Jacob.
Go Deeper One More Time | Romans 11:29
For God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.
God calls us to a higher purpose than our own, He provides His angels to minister to us and help us see that purpose through. As heirs, we have a duty to ask Him what that purpose might be and to help us keep our priorities in order.
What I came to realize was that as I approach the Father in the Heavenly Place through prayer, I am to straighten my crown and carry with me a spirit of expectation that He will cascade His blessings down on the things I do in this life that serve His purpose. My life, dreams, and desires, when they align with His, create miracles and blessings and bring forth favor. We aren't promised it will be easy and painless; remember, Jesus himself suffered. We have a greater promise as children, adopted into the Kingdom.
You are unique and perfect in every way that I made you. Care for your body that your soul resides in, it is a temple that I reside with you. Remember, even the flesh fades but the things you do, that no one sees, are for Me. You desire to be significant, don't you see you already are when you are serving Me. Come into My throne room as My daughter.
-A Father's Whisper
I encourage you to make a quick list of things you've had on your heart that need prayer. You've been meaning to pray on these things but time is short. Write them all out. Then get ready to write them again. The second time, at the top write, Being a Daughter of a King, because we all need a lesson on this daily. Our crowns are always crooked it seems. Then list the rest of the items as if you are seeing them through the eyes of Jesus. Maybe start with the things closest to you, family, loved ones, personal needs. Then, look out a bit further. Maybe the next ones are concerning your neighbors, friends, loved ones, etc. Then look a little further into your work place, community needs and keep doing this until you feel that they are in a true order of importance. It doesn't really matter your method of sorting.
Now, as you pray, lock your arms with Jesus and step into the throne room. You are His child. He desires to spend this time with you and hear about your concerns. Ask Him about His will for your life and the purpose He has. Askfor direction and guidance on the matters you are concerned with. He is concerned too. Believe that you are about to receive the blessings and answers you need like a cascading waterfall. You'll find some things are truly left in His hands and others you must see to by your own.
It's all in your approach, it's all in how you wear your crown.
Releasing in February of 2018; Brave Moms, Brave Kids is a much needed addition to the world of Christian readers. It is groundbreaking in this day and age, and, while many of us can relate to the fear of the world that drives our decisions as moms, this book will serve as the gold standard for how to trust our Heavenly Father through motherhood. Perhaps, though, you have never actually considered yourself brave. Or, perhaps you have to be brave in the face of circumstances but you feel weak and scared.
The first part is of Lee's book addresses how tired we are of being afraid. It's centered around how to build your faith in what God can do in a world that seems to be after our children's innocence, to help you grow (intellectually and spiritually) by seeing circumstances from a Biblical view, and to help make good decisions about why we so desperately need to hand it all over to the One who knows best. The second part of book is becoming a hero for your children. She walks you through her experiences that led her to begin to release fear and pick up the weapons God has given us. She shows us that we too can have the power to let go of fear and be brave. The third part of her book is how to teach our children to be brave. The lessons, through out, are truly timeless and universal
Lee gives practical tips and scriptural references that encourage you to walk outside of fear. She spends time discussing how to cultivate a family that is centered around God's promises while the world around us seems hopeless. Such as, lessons on prayer and relationships provide guidance that is essential. Lessons on serving and self-control that are often misunderstood or left out. The final lesson asks us to cast vision: Do you cast vision for your children and your family? Many of us moms are so deep in the day to day that we forget that vision is what makes us flourish and move forward. The lessons are the important part. Thanks to the author, for not forgetting that we need help teaching our children to find their identity in Christ.
I daresay there is no other book that I have read as a Christian mother that I could relate to more. It’s the book that, from chapter one, had my heart pounding: I could relate to nearly every story she shared, on some level, our stories are the same. We can thank Lee after reading her book because our vision will be broader, yes, but she has given us permission to share with our children and others what is possible with God.
I received a copy of Brave Moms, Brave Kids for free in exchange for my honest review and participation.
I am so thankful I recorded this memory for my boys. In April of 2011 we took a little journey across a field....
The boys and I took a walk and ended up at my Granny's house a field over from ours. We were out looking for an idea for a ladder for Coopers bunk bed redo or something that we could salvage and use. No luck but we knew Granny (their great grandmother) would have ice cream and probably cones to go with it so we stopped for a visit.
After the eating of all the ice cream. Granny told Cooper that he left his "Flip" the last time he was there and he had NO idea what she was talking about. She told him where it was and he came back into the kitchen, held it out in front of him and said..."THIS?" Yep, that was what she meant. Cooper looked at it and then said, "It's called a Slingshot."
"When I was a little girl it was called a Flip." Granny informed him.
She said that the last time he was there she was watching him try to use it and he couldn't get the rocks through the slot. She said come on, I'll show you how. So, my 83 year old grandmother and oldest son walked outside and started hunting rocks, looking for the right size. She found a few, set them in the Flip, pulled back and nailed the garbage can. I ALMOST DIED I tell you. 20 years ago I wouldn't have been a bit surprised but to see that lady pull a slingshot back and let it rip was AWESOME!
So, Cooper and I started looking for the right sized rocks while, Jake and Evan were jumping up and down screaming," let me try, let me try". We all gave it a try until we saw my husband drive by in the truck. We decided we'd better head home and on the walk back, I had to give Cooper a SERIOUS lecture about what not to aim at like small birds, dogs, cats, windows, cars, brothers....
My son no longer has a child's toy, Granny taught him well and now he has a weapon!
What was even sweeter was that she made it a point to tell the kids "that's how David killed the giant." Cooper said, "You mean Goliath?" She said, "Yeah I think he used a different kind of sling and smooth stones."
What a sweet moment we have shared with my Granny. We hugged and kissed her and left her enjoying the cool afternoon sitting on a porch step.
Fast forward to January 5, 2018. Our sweet Granny is playing in heaven and we will too when we get there. I read this story today with tears. I miss her and even though that moment was so real then, now it's a memory. I don't remember the temperature that day or even what my babies looked liked at that moment but in my mind, it was a perfect evening, like a scene out of a movie. I can almost see my husbands old truck rolling past her house. I almost hear my babies voices. Time is much, much too fleeting and it's these moments we should be recording and remembering. They may not mean much to the masses that read a blog in a corner of the internet but they mean the absolute world to me and my children.
Write so you won't forget.
I don't know about you but the adult me has struggled. It makes me sad to know that my adult life, up until a few years ago, was miserable. My battle with my weight led to a cycle of being miserable, unhappy, and depressed for so long. I am so thankful that I finally found a way to break that cycle...
I have been mothering boys for a long time. The one thing I always share concerning raising boys, is raising boys whose future wives won't hate me. They know how to help out and pitch in. They may not always do it willingly or in a timely manner but they know how to get it done. Here is a simple chore chart if you need to help keep your little ones (or big ones) on track.
Christmas with too much stuff is exhausting and I'm hearing the cries of Momma's and Daddy's everywhere that they are sick of stuff. It seems like this season has taken a turn like I've never seen before.
Blueberries are one of my very favorite fruits. They grow wild around here. I have a friend that made me blueberry jam recently and I ration it's deliciousness.
I don't know why I write. I feel like most of the time they are just ramblings in my head and I just need to get them out. Occasionally, I receive a kind email or comment thanking me for sharing but for the most part this is just an empty space for me to pour out.
As my husband and I are moving closer, day by day, towards the adoption of our foster babies God has been opening up scripture and circumstances He needs us to be aware of.
This morning on my way to church my 15 year old son was sitting next to me with earphones in, mad. James , my husband, had to work today to be off Friday, a VERY important day for our family.
Foster Care | Savings, paying off debt, making room, filling out paper work, training, classes, home inspections...so many things to do to prepare, to feel prepared.
I can rattle off to you every aspect of my life that feels like it falls short of glorious and lack of consistency is what keeps it from being so. Maybe because it's not meant to be so
God has been all over me to dig in His Word today. As I sit down to do some reading I decide it's probably a good idea to start with the book He keeps pushing towards me today...Exodus. So I open up to Exodus and my eyes fall on a section called "Bricks Without Straw" and this part of a scripture...
And it shall come to pass, while my glory passes by, that I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with my hand while I pass by: exodus 33:22
I used to be fascinated with the spiritual world in that I didn't understand hauntings and things that were unexplained. A few years ago, I picked up a book by a local pastor to Chattanooga, Ron Phillips. He's also pastor to several friends.
While the Bigs were all getting ready for school I told my husband The Toddler was laying in his bed, awake, ready to pounce on the day. The first sign of life and he is up. I was right.
Those times when it is 2 o'clock in the morning and you are wide awake and can't sleep and you're fighting your own thoughts and your responsibilities as a mom weigh heavy, that's when Jesus is calling you.
In my circle of friends I have a girl friend that is expecting her first baby...well, babies. She is expecting twins. They are little miracles who we have waited for and waited for.
Psalm 91 is the key to winning the spiritual battles going on around you. It's the key to winning your day. As a foster mom, I see first hand the spiritual battle going on.
I am a momma to 5 beautiful souls, birth mom to my 3 boys, adoptive mom to 2 sweet babies, wife to my high school sweet heart, and daughter to my King. I love to write. I am no scholar but I love my Lord and He helps me.