What it Means to Fit Your Dream in When You Can

So. I was sitting in Starbucks with a fellow blogger. How fun is that!? Enjoying a delicious iced (‘cause it’s Florida) upside-down hazelnut macchiato with a pump of mocha. A bit over-the-top, I know. But try it. It’s like Nutella in a cup. Bliss. Pinkie-swear.

Starbucks Nutella

I’d been staring at my screen, watching the cursor blink. blink. blink. My mind drifted back and forth to things I will one day write about. One day when I’m brave enough. But this day? Nothingness. And I hadn’t written in a while. I’ve missed you.

Panic was setting in. Until.

Until a tiny notification flickered on my WordPress site. “Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!” It’s been two years since I began this journey to write the words my Jesus put on my heart.

While my first post didn’t take place until July, today will mark post 99, and I’m in awe. I’m in awe there are so many of you willing to journey with me through broken, shadowed places of my soul, as well as the joy-filled, light-bright place I’ve discovered. I’m in awe you would take the time to read letters I squeeze together to make words.

I’m in awe.

It’s hard for me to believe, for two years, I’ve been living my dream. At least for a few hours a week.

As a young elementary-age girl, I remember sitting outside, spiral notebook in hand, on concrete steps leading to our backyard gate. I was writing. I can still see my little-girl-self, filled with insecurities, hunched over, scribbling words on a page. I knew that day if I could write forever, I’d be happy.

But almost within that same moment, I felt the sadness of believing it would never happen. I was no Judy Blume, and I was in the middle of my own Are You There God It’s Me Margaret tween years. Who was I to think I could write well?

And honestly, many teachers agreed with my summations.

College reenergized my love for the craft, moving me to major in English writing. (But not without a minor in Communications because Momma and Daddy said I needed a job when I graduated—they were right.)

I spent the next 14 or so years writing for others. For the Governor’s office. For church. For my Masters. For my students. For mission organizations. Each time I wrote for someone else, I learned. I soaked in all I could. I’m so grateful.

But writing never got to be my job. My career. The dream I had always envisioned I’d have. It still isn’t. In recent months I’ve had to grapple with a question. A question that haunts me and frees me all in the same breath.

What happens when following your dream means fitting it in with the rest of your life?

I wonder if you’ve ever grappled with the same thing. When there’s a portion of your life that fulfills every piece and part of you, but it can’t be the whole of your existence. When you have a dream that sits on your inside soul-shelf. You pick it up, dust it off, and have to place it back. To wait.

Or maybe you get to carry it around awhile. Feeling its glory.

Or maybe, like me, your dream gets a little bit of your time here and there.

I don’t have it all figured out. But here is what I know. God creates in each of us a desire for purpose. For a reason to exist. He also gifts us with talents—special abilities. And most often those mesh together to create our dream. It’s why we are each different, yet glorious creations.

Maybe we’ve gotten our dreams mixed up with this fairy tale ideal that it should be our full-time career, or our all-the-time reality. Yet our dream is always coupled with the reality of life. With the beauty of relationships and loved ones. With responsibilities and obligations.

The reality is our dream will always be part-time.

I’ve spent too many years teaching as if it was only my part-time gig. As if one day soon I would get to quit and write full-time. But what if I’ve missed the point? What if this is the way God always meant for it to be?

I think I’m ready to dig in and bloom.  Ready to stop forcing my life in the direction I want it to go. Ready to allow God to shape my days and my existence with His artistic hands.

Ultimately? I’m ready to trust this life I’ve been given. Ready to trust Him.

And then if I take a step back, take stock, savor my husband, drink in my children, relish in my students, and recognize everything I’ve been given in this beautiful life? Well, I may just be living the dream after all.

Posted in Beautiful Life, Joy | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

When Cracked Souls Need an Empty Tomb

The truth is, sometimes we’re broken, and we don’t even know it. Sometimes we’re broken, and walking one more step is too hard to bear. Or the world ignores our pain. Or we wonder if we can make it just one. more. day. Or we don’t believe our splintered souls can be pieced back together…

Humbled to be writing about this sacred Easter for LifeWay today. Please click on over to read why my soul craves the empty tomb.

Posted in Beautiful Life, Relationship with God, Struggles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

He Will Never Leave You

Oh, friends. Can you feel the heavy deep breath? Do you sometimes turn around and weeks have gone by? Lately, I feel time slipping through my fingertips. It’s a busy, chaotic life. A life I love. But it’s still crazy and treading water in the deep end drains the energy from every piece and part of me.

But in the midst of the last few weeks, there have been profound moments. Moments I felt as if God lifted me in His arms and whispered directly in my ear.

And really? I couldn’t wait for a polished blog to tell you about one beautiful moment.

It didn’t begin beautifully. The Court Jester has been testing his boundaries. More than usual. Potty talk has infiltrated our lives with gorgeous phrases like, “poop on your face.”

Sigh…really? Who comes up with this stuff?

Caleb is also learning the very hard lesson that funny should never come at the expense of a person’s feelings. Has anyone else tried teaching this to a four year old successfully? I’m all ears.

Caleb's Four!DSC_0532DSC_0521Held

We were headed to the grocery story after a long day of work for me, preschool for him. He was mean and nasty the whole way there. The whole way. We pulled into the space and I finally said, “If you can’t speak nice to mommy, I’m leaving you in the car.” Because I’m that mom.

And because I’m that mom, I got out of the car and walked about 10 steps away. Far enough he should have been scared. (Okay. I know. Not my best moment, but I’ve already lost the Mom of the Year trophy. In my defense, I wasn’t actually going to leave him.)

I turned around to see my boy, my funny, sweet little boy with a huge grin on his face laughing. Really? This kid. How could I not smile at him? I walked back to the car and opened the door.

As I unbuckled his car seat, he giggled out the words, “You would never leave me.”

I scooped him up in my arm laughing, “You’re right. I would never leave you.”

That’s when I knew.

While I stood holding Caleb with his soft arms around my neck, I knew.

I knew my Jesus would never leave me.

And He won’t. He won’t leave you either.

Whether it’s potty talk from the back seat or leaving your kid in the car as you walk off or something far worse in your mind, our Savior is steadfast and true—even when we aren’t. Once your heart belongs to the Creator of Heaven and Earth, He’s always there. Always.

Peace resides in knowing this Truth—I won’t leave my children. God won’t leave His.

And I couldn’t leave today alone without whispering that wonderful news in your ear.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

Posted in Beautiful Life, Joy, Relationship with God, Struggles | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Learning to Love My Neighbor

I have a friend named Candiss. Let me tell you—this southern gal is gorgeous. I mean, Miss America ain’t got nothin’ on her. Right now she’s dying as she’s reading this. (Sorry, friend. Well, kind of…)

You want to know what I really love about my gorgeous friend? Her gorgeous heart. It sparkles.

She spends Wednesday nights and Sundays making sure kids from the shady parts of town have a way to get to church. I sometimes imagine her black hair flying out the window with her Mississippi drawl belting out VBS songs as the bus bounces through the streets of her town.

If she’s not taking inner city kids to church, Candiss is hosting every neighborhood kid in her front yard or at her dinner table. She does this all the time.

I often wonder how she loves that wildly—doors flung open and arms stretched across broken children ready to bring them close. Ready to show them Jesus-love. I wonder how she does it because I seem to shrink back from those opportunities.

Last night was no exception.

We have this neighbor—this sweet little boy living across the street. He wears his desperation for attention like skin. You know children like him. Not abused. Not neglected. But not loved with the same passion your own flesh and blood are loved.

Let’s just say his home isn’t always a sanctuary. Not that mine is, but I think you understand.

He’s attached himself to my two kids and is their constant shadow when the weather begs for the shouts of young voices and bikes. Weekends ring with the sound of our doorbell and our neighbor’s hopes of playmates.

He’s greedy for love. Needs it like air—never being quite filled up with it like the rest of us.

There he stood at my door yesterday evening, wondering if Ella and Caleb were home. They weren’t. I told him even when they got home we would be eating dinner and getting ready for bed.

And that’s when he asked, “Can I eat dinner with y’all?”

His black eyes lifted in hope.

The question pressed at me, squeezed me. Yet, I said, “Not tonight.”

What? Even as the words escaped my lips I couldn’t believe I was saying them. I mean—Prince Charming was picking up pizza on the way home. Seriously? How could I say no?

But I did, and I shut the door. I wish I could say I opened it back up and yelled, “Come on in!”

I didn’t. To my complete shame and regret.

Instead, I went to my sink full of dirt and grease. Washing cups clean with the hot water running, I felt the weight of my little neighbor boy’s crushed spirit bare down. I knew I made a mistake. Missed an opportunity.

Love your neighbor.

Words whispered in my heart again and again as I stood with suds breaking through grime.

Love your neighbor.

Over and over my Creator God, the Holy One, reminded me what love looks like. What walking out ministry requires. What bringing Jesus to the world demands.

Acts of selflessness.

Ignoring the exhaustion at day’s end. Realizing there are more important things in life than a peaceful evening. Knowing what really matters is living out my faith in the daily.

But family time’s important you might say. I might say too. Yet? What could be more beautiful than teaching my children the sacrifice love often asks of us? Teaching my own darlings a true picture of what it means to love their neighbor.

Because it can be easy to write a check. Donate clothes. Take groceries to the food bank. Compose a blog. But it can be down right demanding to love the face standing at your door. His face asks for a commitment. For an investment. For time.

I left the water running and went to the window. Hoping. Wishing I would see my neighbor playing in his yard. I wanted to be able to yell, “Absolutely you can come have dinner!”

Loving My Neighbor

He wasn’t there. I missed my chance to act out love last night.

But I’m praying hard now. Praying I don’t miss it next time.

Praying I learn all it means to love my neighbor.

Posted in Love | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Mom of the Year

Pink cheeks stared at me across our notched and dented kitchen table. Okay. I confess. The cheeks were fire-engine red and not the blush and bashful described by Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias.

My Court Jester was sunburned.

He gets his pale skin from his momma. I have nightmares of a 16 year old Caleb headed to the beach with his pals for the day while I’m stuck in the ER with him that evening with his sunburned and blistered back.

Because what teenage boy puts on sunscreen if his momma’s not there to tell him to?

But then, he could be almost four with sunburned cheeks because his momma didn’t do her job. So there’s that. But to give myself some credit, it was only 63 degrees at the theme park yesterday. And maybe there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but our day did begin with fleece jackets.

It’s winter in the rest of the country, right?

I was on the phone with my momma as I sat at the kitchen table staring at the pink, I mean red, cheeks. I heard myself telling her about how the Court Jester had also thrown-up on the way home from our all-day excursion. Don’t worry. I caught it all in a magically procured plastic baggie—gross, I know.

You know what she said? Without a shred of condemnation, my retired-nurse momma said, “Well, he was probably dehydrated.”

I began to think back on the day and how I may or may not have monitored his water intake. If I’m honest, we’d be lucky if he drank more than a single grape juice pouch. (In my defense, it was organic, which doubles its nutritional value. Doesn’t it?)

My momma was right. No wonder I had a miserable kid last night…

Those red cheeks.

Deep sigh.

As I began to apply massive amounts of aloe to his face, I saw my chances for Mom of the Year fly out of my finger-printy-dog-slobbery-dirty sliding glass door. My chances were never really that strong in the first place. If I’m honest, I think I lost the trophy around January 5th. But who’s counting?

As I went through the morning with the sunburned boy and his sister, I had many mom fails, like the fact I never actually “played” with them. Even though I spent an hour with them doing Easter crafts, Caleb said I was only “helping” him and not really “playing.”

How did I get a mom success paired so easily with a mom fail? Isn’t that irony? Or something? Maybe that’s an award all on its own?

It hit me. Mom of the Year is an illusion. It is an illusion because perfection is unattainable. We all know this, but few of us ever really internalize it.

Just when I think I’m okay without being Pinterest Perfect, I catch a glimpse of some momma who seems to do it better than me. And there’s the eternal rub of social media. We splash our best two-minute momma moments out there for the world to see, while the rest of our days stay hidden.

Our expectations of the mothers we should be are based on a few snapshots of those we respect. Or even those we don’t. But what if we took a few moments to also bare our imperfections? Those moments of, “Yep. That’s my kid who walked on a broken foot for five days before we took her to the doctor.” True story…

Maybe we’d be a little more forgiving of ourselves if we were reminded we’re not alone.

Because here’s what I think—We’re each Mom of the Year for our own children. There’s not a better momma out there for my Caleb or my Ella than me. Failures and all.

How do I know?

Because God chose them for me.

Whether our children are adopted or ours through birth, they’ve been designed by the Creator to be ours. We are enough for them.

And let me share another tidbit. If I had played with Caleb this morning instead of folding four loads of clothes (because sometimes things just have to get done) I would not have witnessed the unfolding of this beautiful conversation:

Caleb: “Ella, will you play with me?”

Ella: “Of course I will. What do you want to play?”

DSC_0456DSC_0440DSC_0430

Be still this momma-heart.

At the end of the day, my kids love me. I love them. They may need therapy as adults, but then again, who doesn’t, really?

And that’s Mom of the Year enough for me.

Posted in Motherhood, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Remembering Your God-Sized Dreams

There once was a little girl. She had a Jesus-love down deep to her knobby knees. She couldn’t get enough of singing “This Little Light of Mine” and reading Exodus for fun.

When she was 10 and away at camp, God asked her to help change the world. And she beamed with Light. Visions of Africa danced in her head.

Then life happened. Somewhere between little girl dreams and big girl realities, she lost herself.

Because wiping crumbs off tables and snot off noses buried her. The jolt of the morning alarm and the crusty dishes from last night were just the way the story went. The endless car pools and dust-lined shelves made her forget.

She forgot who she was. She forgot her God-sized dreams. She forgot herself…

Thrilled to be sharing over at LifeWay today. I’d love for you to read more, so please click on over there. Have a beautiful day, my friends!

March LifeWay Blog

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I’ll Walk With You

Today my friend, Katelyn, will marry her Prince Andrew. She asked me last summer to write something for their wedding. Their story is like so many of ours–boy meets girl. And yet? So very different. Because it’s their story. This is my heart’s prayer for them on this, their wedding day. It’s my prayer for your marriage too.

The musical cadence floats through the sparkling air.
Sunlight dances onto the altar.
Doors open.

Our walk begins.

My heart stills. I breathe, feeling your heart beat with each step forward.
The people fade
I see just one.
I see you.
I see the one—

The one I will walk with.

For better or for worse.
For richer or for poorer.
In sickness and in health.
I choose to walk with you.

A walk through mountains and valleys.
Joy and pain.
Heart-piercing sadness and soul-healing light.

A walk I choose.

When the Christmas tree remains up through June and our definitions of clean clash, I’ll walk with you.

When life is perfect and we live in a world of narwhales and unicorns, I’ll walk with you.

When students take you away from me, and our differences glare across the room, I’ll walk with you.

When I never have to measure up and my authentic self is accepted, I’ll walk with you.

When tears fall for reasons unknown and you catch the drops in cupped hands without question, I’ll walk with you.

When I want to know answers, answers that hold my life in the balance, and you don’t have them, I’ll walk with you.

When love for the game takes over and compulsions are your burden, I’ll walk with you.

I choose this walk.

Because there will be days of laughter, giddiness welling up within. Problems will seem distant and our merry will go round as we delight in the presence of one another. The beauty we share will bring light to our corner of this world.

I choose this walk.

Because there will be times when the scraps left on the table top will be more than the scraps of ourselves we have to give at day’s end.  There’ll be angry words. Moments of agony, ripping the tissue of our souls.

Yet with each step, I’ll choose to hold your hand, secure, fitted together. And I will find you in the night, my feet searching for yours, our arms wrapped against cold—an anchor.

Because this walk is love acted out—lived out—breathed out. It is a dare to choose love when love is hard.

It’s a selfless walk, this walking beside love.
Not ahead. Not behind. Beside.
My shoulder against yours.
Matching pace.
Asking—
How can I help you put one foot in front of the other?
Because true love is never about me. Rather always about you.
Oh, the beauty unfolding when we both live selfless for the other.

And this marriage walk? It’s not just you. It’s not just me. It’s recognizing another pair of footprints in our sand. Those Jesus-love footprints never leaving, never forsaking. Refusing to allow us this walk alone.

Ours won’t always be steady. But the Giver of Love will make it sure.

And life walked step-by-step, side-by-side is a life of joy.
So I’ll walk with you.
Because this walk is a choice. And I choose you.

I’ll always choose you.

I'll Walk With You

Posted in Beautiful Life, Love, Marriage | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

More Than You Imagine

You are more than you imagine yourself to be.

She breathed these words over me as the prayer finished during a conference I attended. “That’s a word from God. He told me to tell you that.”

Warmth flooded my being, but I must say—I was a bit skeptical. Skeptical with my God-in-a-box faith wondering if He really thought those words about me.

Until.

Until another man, three hours later, during a conference session, spoke of an unrelated topic. I was only half-hearing, checking Facebook. Twitter. Email. And then I heard the same words…

More than you imagine yourself to be.

Now I’m listening. Because, God, you know I have my doubts.

Broken ShellsImagineMore than you imagineImagine

Do you ever wonder if anyone really sees you? I mean really sees? Do you wonder if you’re more than the number on a scale? The job you have? Your bank account? The children you’re raising? The children you don’t have? The mistakes you’ve made?

I was in my classroom late one day when a custodian walked through my door. He let me know the one who regularly cleans my room wasn’t there. We introduced ourselves. His name? Dennis.

Dennis began to speak of Shakespeare. The Bronte sisters. Keats. Yates. His British accent flooded the room. In that still space my heart suddenly became silent with the weight of his words. He had been a teacher in his home country of Guyana.

What made you come here, I asked quietly?

He leaned against a desk. “Ah. Americans. You don’t realize how many citizens of third world countries are dying to get here. But it’s hard. I had been a teacher in Guyana. Now, I’m just a custodian.”

Just a custodian.

I shuddered, looked inward, hung my head. Shame fills me, even now.

Had I seen him as just a custodian? Did his worth suddenly rise now I knew he was educated? What kind of person am I? If I really believed the Jesus-love I preach, why do I still struggle to see every. single. person. as priceless?

But the fog is lifting.

I wonder if sometimes we fail to see our own value because we fail to really see the value of others? Do I miss the beauty of my own soul when I fail to see beauty in every person?

I think so. Because when I can fling wide-open my arms and embrace humanity, its mistakes and flaws, I can more willingly accept my own imperfections.

To love my neighbor as myself is to accept my neighbor as I want to be accepted. To love as I want to be loved. To see my neighbor as more than she imagines herself to be.

Because you are. You are more than you imagine yourself to be.

You are more than a number on a scale. You are more than your job. You are more than your bank account. You are more than the children you raise. Or the children you don’t have. You are more than your mistakes. You are more.

You are a treasure.

You are enough.

You are valued.

You are priceless art.

You are beautiful.

You are amazing.

You are wonderfully made.

How do I know? Because God chose you. He named you. He counts the number of hairs on your head. He became a beaten-down, bloody mess for you. He died for you.

So, yeah…When we see each other through these God-eyes, we will truly see ourselves. When we see humanity through real Jesus-love, we will be able to love ourselves. And when we see every person as more, we will know.

We will know we’re more than we imagine ourselves to be.

Posted in Beautiful Life, Relationship with God, Struggles | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

I Need You to Fight for My Students

I sat in the corner of the coffee shop swirling my raspberry mocha, waiting for it to cool. Looking up, I was greeted by a familiar face. A former student who held a piece of my heart.

He had graduated the year before and the story he told me shook loose the tears.

“Mrs. Iseminger. Graduation was the worst day of my life. My mom didn’t even stay long enough to hear my name called. I think she left in the H’s. I haven’t seen her since. I don’t even know where my parents are.

He went on to talk about how he was getting by in the great big world with his great big high school diploma. And I wanted to heave a great big sob.

In recent months, two students have shown up at my classroom door with tears in their eyes, kicked out of their houses. Shuffling between homes of friends while just trying to graduate. No longer living with mothers-gone-wild-breaking-their-children. But what now, Mrs. Iseminger?

DSC_0255DSC_0284DSC_0236It's a Start

Students in our schools are broken. They’re broken pieces from broken backgrounds. Eyes hollow, wondering how to glue and stitch themselves back together realizing Elmer’s can’t fix their problems.

Ask teachers who love their students. Our hearts ache to touch the ripped places in their souls. To help them understand they’re a treasure. To show them they matter. But we don’t always have the tape and the glue and the patch-kits they need.

Sometimes they need you. We need you.

Our schools need you to fight for our students. Not with policies and procedures, rules and regulation. No. We need you to fight with love.

Because have you ever tried to learn with your stomach empty?

Did you ever try to comprehend grammar when all you think about is how you put your alcoholic mother to bed the night before?

What about understanding algebra when your dad invited you to get high with him just yesterday?

Can the history of the world be important to you when you’re wondering how to find a winter coat for your younger brother?

Is biology really as vital as working 30 hours a week to help your parents make rent?

Common Core. Parcc. NCLB. CLAST. Race to the Top. SAT. ACT. End of Course Exams. Teacher Evaluations. Standards. C2Ready?

Not a single one of these policies or tests or acronyms begin to touch the deepest needs of our schools today because our schools have fragmented students who continue to attempt learning in the midst of destitution and dysfunction.

Our students are in a fight and they need you to fight with them. Fight for them.

It’s not a fight to elevate standards. It’s not a fight to send every American boy and girl to college. It’s not a fight to raise internationally competitive test scores.

No.

It’s a fight against poverty. Against abuse. Against neglect. Against brokenness.

It’s a fight we cannot lose.

Because we can’t meet the educational needs of these children without meeting their physical and emotional needs first. Because investing in the lives of our nation’s students is not an option.  Because our students are America too.

I need you to fight. I need you to fight for the care and keeping of our country’s children and teenagers. But how? How can you help my students? How can you help ease the sadness in their eyes?

I don’t know.

Oh, how my heart aches to give you a paltry answer. But I just don’t know. I don’t know how to solve their problems with a law or a policy or even with volunteering.

Yet, I do know my students need you. And then I think, maybe this—Love?

Maybe it can begin with love. Not a John-Lennon-Beatles-All-You-Need-Is-Love answer. But then again, maybe so.

Ask any teacher. She will tell you. Struggling students never really learn in a space without love. When my students know I care, they begin to try. They try because love casts a glimmer of hope into their darkness. A flame of light

When last did you love on a child not your own? I know your own are your priority.

But…

When last did you hit your knees praying for the pain and suffering of our children?

Because the fight begins in your heart. Because when your heart breaks over the condition of broken children–it will haunt you. And I need you to be haunted. Because taking the hand of just one, looking in his eyes and showing him he matters, well…that’s a start.

So please, start fighting.

I think I’m begging.

Because teachers, youth pastors, social workers—we can’t do this alone.

We need you.

Our children need you.

They need you to fight.

Posted in Love, Teaching | Tagged , , | 99 Comments

The Mistake of Dreaming for Our Children

I choked back the words. Gulped them down and swallowed—hard. They were bitter, disappointing, careless. Words that would have only torn down. Words meant to bolster my ego.

Though they never made it past my lips, I heard them. And my daughter almost did too.

My girl is reserved. She saves her words. Not one to begin a conversation, she struggles when meeting new people. She was attending a meeting with me, and I was leaving her at a table with some of my friends she didn’t know while I took care of a few things.

Bending down, I began do whisper, “Don’t…”

Don’t be so shy were the words I almost said. The words by-God’s-Holy-grace I managed to stuff down. I recovered and voiced instead, “Make sure you look people in the eye and speak to them when they speak to you.”

I may have said the right thing, but I walked away broken and defeated. My daughter is shy. Quiet. Contemplative. And I had just tried to change her. I tried to mold her into the human I wanted her to be. I forgot God’s hand in her creation.

Too often we envision the little humans hosting our DNA with the expectation that they will be just like us. They’re not. And if we expect our children to live up to our dreams for them, they will fail.

It will be our fault.

It will be our fault because our dreams for our children aren’t necessarily God’s design for His children. Because they are each a beautiful gift. All created to reflect God in their own unique way.

When I try to stuff my children into a mold they weren’t designed for, they are distorted, squeezed, misshapen. By failing to be satisfied with their talents and personalities, I am dooming them to a life of unmet expectations, dark comparisons, and defeated self-esteems.

But.

When I allow my mothering heart to be guided by the still small voice of the One who created my children, I begin to see them for who they are meant to be.

When I choose to recognize their strengths without comparing them to my friends’ children or to my expectations, I allow them to breathe. And in breathing we find the growing. The maturing.

My daughter may be shy, but who defined this as a negative trait? I did. God did not. She is also slow to speak. Her perceptiveness about the world is uncanny for a girl of ten. She’s the kind of kid you listen to when she has something to say because it’s often thought provoking.

These are all beautiful facets of her personality. Facets I need to help her foster instead of telling her to hid them. If I don’t try to stifle His design, God will use these gifts in amazing ways as my girl grows.

God-sized dreams are always far greater than my own.

What if my daughter fails to see her God-sized dream because she was trying to fit the mold I held out for her? My heart withers at the thought.

Lord, may it never be so…

Our role as parents is to guide our children toward our Jesus. If we allow Him to mold them their hearts and direct their dreams, how can we be disappointed?

God-sized Dreams

Posted in Motherhood, Relationship with God | Tagged , , | 4 Comments