Where I Really Fall Short

Can I admit something to you on this cold fall day? It’s not pretty. It’s not something I’m proud of. And it’s certainly not something I want highlighted about my life.

But, I must share just in case it might help you.

I struggle at times trusting God with my kids.

There’s just something so hard about this for me. Though I say with my mouth and I posture my attitude to give off the appearance of complete trust, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of fully living like I trust God with my kids, I fall short.

I worry.

I get incredibly anxious.

I make lots of suggestions to God on their behalf.

I try to keep things in their world calm, free of hurt, and on track toward some “best plan” I’ve imagined for them.

It’s like I gather up my people in my arms and tell God, “See? I’ve got it all worked out. Now, if You’ll just bless all this. Don’t mess with it, just bless it. And life will be good.”

I suspect I’m not the only mom who feels this way. So if you can relate, join me over at (in)courage today for the rest of this post by clicking here.


Remember Who You Are

There were so many things I wanted to say in this big moment for my daughter. Shouldn’t I have a speech? Or a famous person’s quote? Or a highly engaging devotion all planned out?

She was heading to her first day of high school. And I knew she would soon face choices that carried more weight than ever before in her life. We make our choices and then our choices make us.

I swallowed hard and blinked back the tears. And suddenly I knew exactly what to say: “Remember who you are.”

This was the perfect statement. Not because it’s incredibly profound to the rest of the world. But it is to my kids. It’s our family motto.

We’ve spent years teaching our kids character lessons and highlighting people who model solid integrity. We’ve tied these lessons to be defining marks on what we want our name to stand for when people think of us.

But, we wanted a way to encapsulate all those lessons into one quick statement that could be said every time our kids head out into the world.

And, it had to be a statement that made sense to all of our kids, whether it was one of our teens heading out on a Friday night with friends, or a younger child going over to a friend’s house for an afternoon playdate.

So, we came up with the simple statement, “Remember who you are.” In other words, you are a child of the Almighty God. Live that truth today.

This is our family signature. This would be that quick reminder of the spiritual vision of our family.

All those life lessons …
– upholding purity in our thoughts and actions
– honoring God with the words we say and choose not to say
– keeping a good attitude whether we win or lose
– extending grace to others as God has extended grace to us

… boiled down into one easy-to-remember and easy-to-repeat statement: Remember who you are.

And this isn’t just a reminder to hold our family name in high regard. No, even more importantly, it’s a reminder to hold the fact that we are part of God’s family in high regard. Our name is worth something.

The Bible says in Proverbs 22:1, “A good name is more desirable than great riches.” Calling ourselves Christians is a huge responsibility. Christ’s name is part of our identity.

Yes, “Remember who you are,” was the perfect thing to say on this day of new beginnings, opportunities and choices.

Does all this mean we have kids who never mess up or let us down? Nope. It doesn’t even mean that I never mess up or let others down. It’s tough having a sold-out-to-Jesus soul stuck in a flesh-filled body.

It means we’ve defined what we’re shooting for, and hopefully we’re all in the process of getting closer and closer to hitting the mark.

I’m so excited to announce that today is the release day of my new children’s book, Win or Lose, I Love You! With this book, you’ll be equipped to help your child:

• Replace the selfish characteristics of competition with an understanding of how to treat others fairly.
• Overcome the tendency to display poor sportsmanship by using Biblical truths to develop a Christ-like attitude.
• Reject the labels of winning and losing and embrace that they are loved no matter how they perform.

Get it now for a special release day price of only $10.99! Purchase your copy here.


When It Feels Better to Blame Someone Else

You want to know one of the hardest three-word statements to make? “I am wrong.”

It’s so easy to point out wrong in others. It’s so easy to want it to be someone else’s fault. It’s so easy to get critical and cynical and caught up in our limited perspectives.

But boy is it hard to see our own flaws. Where we went wrong. What we need to own.

I’ve been challenging myself on this. I recently had to correct one of my children for trying to blame someone else for something my child needed to own themselves.

I could clearly see the pride, the insecurity, and the fear all wrapped around her blaming words. And why could I see it so clearly?

Because it’s always easier to spot in other people. But when I see pride in others, that’s the exact moment where I must challenge myself to examine my own heart.

In most conflicts I have two ways I can choose to travel:

The Path of Pride: I can blame the other person, focus only on their flaws and refuse to own my part of it. That response will increase my pride and decrease the Lord’s blessing in my life.

The Humble Way: I can honestly assess what I’m contributing to this conflict, admit where I went wrong and ask for forgiveness. That response will lead to humility and increase the Lord’s blessing in my life.

I see this principle woven throughout the Bible:

James 4:6b, “That is why Scripture says: God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (NIV)

Proverbs 29:23, “Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.” (NIV)

Matthew 23:12, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (NIV)

I know this. I believe this. So, why do I still find it hard to implement sometimes?

Well, here’s where my head wants to go when I start examining certain conflicts: But what if it really isn’t my fault? It’s not fair to assign the blame with me when this person did this and this and this.

But that’s the wrong direction to go. Don’t try to assign the blame. Just own the part you brought into the conflict. When I approach conflict with a heart of humility, I’ve yet to see where I haven’t added something to the issue.

And if the other person doesn’t own their issues — the Lord will deal with them. (See the verses above.)

There are gifts hidden in the tough stuff of conflict. There is grace and honor to be gained. But I’ll only see those gifts if I stop blaming others and start examining myself.

Help your child develop humility with “10 Biblical Truths for Your Child Whether They Win or Lose.”

It’s the perfect resource every mom needs as we point our kids toward God’s Word this school year.

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