Lessons from a bicycle…

I’ve probably got a similar “learning to ride a bike” story to almost everyone else’s in this country, and probably even some of other countries.  As a little girl, I loved my little pink bike with the streamers and chunky banana seat.  Then, I hit the point of decision to want the training wheels off, after deciding that I had grown too cool and mature for them.  So, my dad took me outside to our front driveway, took off the training wheels and stood right beside me as I climbed on.  Talk about a scary moment of potential independence for a child.  I got off to a pretty rocky start, complete with tears and cries to stop, but inwardly not wanting to quit until I got the hang of it.  Persistence is thankfully something that’s always been part of my personality.  I’ve never believed that anyone could get anywhere by just giving up.  So, I did not… and my dad, in turn, did not leave my side.  He encouraged me and affirmed my abilities to do it if I would just keep trying.  He helped me take off down our driveway, and helped catch me when I fell after a burst of a little too much confidence in my new abilities.  Finally, I was able to pedal my little self to the next neighbor’s driveway… then back again.  The next time I took off, I traveled two houses down, and back again.  Before I knew it, I was off – without my father’s help – but with his constant cheering and on looking.  Come to think of it, I don’t remember my dad ever letting me go out to ride my bike without him standing in the driveway watching, to be sure I was safe.  Some freedom… with a lot of loving protection.
Now, when I look back on it, the similarity of my bike riding growth, to my walk with my Heavenly Father, is amazing.   As a little girl, I also chose to make that first step of faith in choosing to follow Jesus and to walk in His ways.   I had no idea what I was doing or what it would require of me, but I knew down deep with childlike faith that I wanted to follow with persistence – whatever that would mean.  As I began to grow in my faith, and grow older, I also faced challenges – and I have screwed up plenty along the way in the way I’ve handled some things.  I have cried plenty, and whined quite a bit to Him as well that this is just too hard.  I have struggled with confidence and the belief that I can do this thing called my journey and ride of faith. 
And yet, my Father has never ever left me.   He has listened to my cries, whispered gently through His Word when I needed to hear that still small voice speaking through the noise and chaos of life, and cheered loudly through His body speaking truth into my soul right when I need it most.  And as I’ve grown in my walk with Him, He’s stretched me with greater challenges, equipping me in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
Now, as I continue to face what literally has been the hardest season of my life, I know for sure every single day, that it is in His strength alone that I can do this.  I’m more convinced than ever before that He is with me and will never leave.  Without His presence, I would fall right off this bike of life, flat on my derriere.  And you better believe that I still do, so to speak, when I try to pedal it all alone.  But with Him right there beside me, where He’s promised to remain, I can do this.  And whatever it is that you are facing, you can do too. 
You need to know that today, so I’ll say it again.  You can do this.  But just don’t try to do it alone.  You’ll fall down every time.  Believe me – I know. 
“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
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New must read book… Praying for Boys

I don’t mind admitting it. I was quite nervous when I first heard that I was going to give birth to a baby boy. We had a cute little one year old girl who was keeping us on our toes, but I’m well acquainted with the girl world. I know all of its drama, joys and tears. I know it was a scary journey ahead, but felt better equipped due to by own past of girl drama.  But boys? A whole new scary world for me. And then God, in His gracious manner of teaching me to rely on Him, decided to bless me with yet another boy, right as I was trying to figure the first one out.

From the time my boys were babies, I’ve sensed the enormous need to bathe them deeply in prayer. They are these sweet, affectionate, energetic little men who have tender hearts inside these strong competitive boyish bodies. I want them to stay sweet and kind, but grow up with bold courage and strength to face the culture around them and become the spiritual leaders that I believe God has called them to be. There just seems to be SO much to pray for, and I often don’t even know where to begin.

That’s why I was so grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of Brooke McLaughlin’s Praying for Boys launch team and share the word about this fabulous new resource. This brand new book, Praying for Boys, comes with the honest approach to prayer from a mom of boys who wants the very things for her sons that I do. She breaks down the areas of greatest need when praying for our sons, such as integrity, pride, obedience, and the fruit of the Spirit. She offers encouragement to us as moms of boys, and gives example prayers to guide us as we pray. There are even questions available for deeper study and/or discussion groups.

This book was a breath of fresh air to me as I strive to not only parent my boys well, but pray for my boys well. I want to be like Susanna Wesley, who is known for her ability to pray in the midst of mothering many children. Apparently she would put her apron over her head so her children knew that it was no time to bother mama – she was in communion with her Savior. I don’t know about the apron, but I do hope that my children know their mom is their biggest prayer warrior… and that real victory comes when we are willing to get down on our knees.

So don’t miss it!  Get your copy here.
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My word for 2014.

Every year, I pick a theme word for the year that helps me focus. Forget all the New Year’s resolutions, because I can’t keep up with them all. Instead, a theme word envelopes it all, and this little blog, written mostly for myself so that I can remember my documented thoughts and moments, serves as a reminder of the word. Last year, it was embrace. When I prayed over it all at the start of … {…Read More}