When We Encourage Our Child

img_0042My children never said, “Mom, I need you to encourage me.” In fact, there were times when I did encourage a child, and he would say, “You’re just saying that because you’re my mom.” Well, I was saying it because I’m his mom. And I meant every word.

“I have sent him to you for this very purpose . . .  that he may encourage your hearts.” (Colossians 4.8) The apostle Paul sent messengers to believers in various towns to encourage them to press on in their walk with Jesus.

Encouragement during a challenging circumstance—or an ordinary day—builds a hope-filled perspective. Encouragement sticks. We remember encouragement, even when we struggle to receive it when it’s given.

When someone speaks or even writes encouragement to me, it’s as though fresh air rushes into my lungs. Some days I yearn for encouragement. Other days it’s not until I receive it that I realize how deeply I needed it. This is true for our children—Some days they yearn for encouragement, concerning the many things we are teaching them. When   such words meet their ears, God’s love touches a place in their needy heart. What a sweet privilege God gives us.

img_0043God intends for us to be a significant vessel of encouragement to our child—to speak words of life and hope. When we encourage a child, we help her. We give her courage and inspiration to consider, to try, to persevere.

God, show me / teach me how to encourage my child. God knows our strengths and weaknesses. When we humbly depend on him, he meets our weakness with his strength. His love is our source of encouragement. When we seek his love and lived loved by him, authentic words of encouragement will flow from our heart.

Your picture is so cool! .
I love the way you came inside the first time I called you!
You studied so hard. I’m proud of your effort.
I’m so glad you decided not to go, just because everyone was going.
I admire you for . . .

dsc01369The hardest time to encourage our child is when tension exists between us. Too often in times like these, our words reflect our heart’s struggle—hurt, fear, disappointment, discouragement, or anger. It’s especially in these seasons that words of encouragement are so important. A child knows when he disappoints us. He needs to know he is loved, just as we know that no matter what God loves us.

Dear God,
Thank you for the privilege to be your vessel of encouragement to my child. Help me speak words of life, hope, courage, and inspiration every day. Amen.

You Make A Difference

IMG_0999“Mommy, what’s that?” Our 6-year-old son watched as someone carved a roast on a TV commercial. He hadn’t been introduced to this meat yet. I smiled, There’s so much he hasn’t seen yet in his young life.

Years later, my husband and I were planting a new church. A young woman in her twenties attended regularly and I wanted to know her better. Over coffee she shared, “I never knew it could be like this. I love it.” She’d grown up in the church, yet she’d never experienced worship or community like this. Her relationship with the Lord blossomed, and she connected so many young people to our church.

Often in life, we don’t know what we don’t know.

We haven’t been introduced or exposed. Or, we have been; only, our experience is limited. We have no idea that there’s more.

IMG_1029“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.” (Isaiah 58.10)

Often people don’t know they’re hungry until they taste the food. Like my young friend, once she was introduced to “more”, her perspective changed. So did her life. Then her life affected so many other lives.

The most frequent comment that moms share with me after a parenting class is, “I never thought about praying so much about the every day stuff of parenting.”

As moms, we’re busy and often isolated. Don’t assume that the moms around you have parenting figured out. All of us LIVE on a learning curve! We need each other. If you ask a mom with older children for advice, you will bless her. She’ll be glad to pass on what she learned in the trenches, and she’ll likely have a positive view because she’s through that season. If you have the older children, look for moms with younger ones to share a smile or word of encouragement.

IMG_1030I’ve added an Audio tab to the website where “The Will” teachings are now available in MP3. Check it out! And by now you know what I’m going to say – Please share this with your friends. We don’t know how hungry we are – until we taste God’s food.

We’re halfway through the videos. I’m not posting a new one this week, so you can watch any you haven’t seen yet. I want you to be built up as a mom. You’re important.

I appreciate you. Thank you for taking time to read my blog and to watch the videos.

Dear God,
I lift my blog friends to you and ask that this day, you will encourage them. Help us to see ourselves the way that you see us, as your Beloved. Deepen our passion for you. Help us to embrace your grace. Thank you for your faithfulness. Amen.