Wednesday, January 15

10 Prayers For Your Son

Last week I wrote about prayers for your marriage. There was such a response, I decided this week to have my friend Brooke McGlothlin write a guest post on 10 prayers for your son. (On Friday I’ll be posting 10 prayers for your daughter.)

Here’s my friend, Brooke…

He looks at me with a “heels dug in” kind of glare. I know if I said, “the sky is blue on a sunny day” he would try to prove me wrong.

Sometimes, I don’t feel like we’re on the same team anymore, my son and I, and it breaks my heart.

On days like today, when he’s arguing with everything I say and trying his eight-year-old best to do things his way, it seems I’m fighting against him—like there’s a war going on in my house between me and my son, and a distance between us I want to bridge no matter the cost.

I know from my education that this process of differentiation is pretty normal. Boys ache for independence from mama, and feel ready to “boldly go where no man has gone before.” They want to be strong, assert their opinions, and explore their own ideas. Unfortunately, at the McGlothlin Home for Boys, we’re living in the in-between season— where ideas abound before they are mature enough to handle the responsibilities that go along with those ideas.

And so we butt heads.

Sometimes, I’m tempted to let our circumstances tell me my son is the enemy—he’s the one I’m fighting. But then I remember…

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 ESV

When the days of mothering grow long, and make a girl weary, and when what you really want to do is lock your son up in his room and throw away the key, it’s good to remember this:

He’s not your enemy. But there is an enemy.

That’s right, our sons have a real enemy—one that wants to kill, steal and destroy them (John 10:10)—but that enemy, according to the Word of God, has an opponent himself that’s a force to be reckoned with.

You.

Me. Any mother who’s willing to get on her knees and cry out for the heart of her son.

James 5:16 says, “the prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with” (The Message).

The best way a mom can enter the battle for the heart of her son is on her knees, so let’s start fighting for him right now.

10 Prayers For Your Son

10 Powerful Prayers to Help You Fight for the Heart of Your Son

1. Create in my son a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within him (Psalm 51:10).

2. May my son walk after You, God, and fear You and keep Your commandments and obey Your voice. May he serve You and hold fast to You (Deuteronomy 13:4).

3. May my son be strong and courageous and not fear or be in dread, for it is You, Lord, our God, who goes with him. You will never leave him or forsake him (Deuteronomy 31:6).

4. May my son walk before You, God, as King David walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that You have commanded him and keeping Your statutes and rules (1 Kings 9:4).

5. Like Timothy, may my son be an example to believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12).

6. May my son listen to the way of wisdom and be led in the paths of uprightness (Proverbs 
4:11).

7. Lord, be with my son in trouble; rescue him and honor him (Psalm 91:5).

8. May my son honor his father and mother… (Ephesians 6:2).

9. May my son have love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5).

10. May my son think on whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is commendable; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, may he think about these things (Philippians 4:8).

———————-

Thank you, Brooke, for this beautiful list of Scriptural prayers!

Praying for Boys

Brooke McGlothlin has a new book called Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most. It’s an insightful and much needed book for all moms of boys. Click here for more details.

And today, Brooke is giving away 5 copies of Praying for Boys! To win, leave a comment below telling us what prayer you are praying for your son(s).

Wednesday, December 4

No More Perfect Moms

My sweet friend, Jill Savage, is rounding out the 4-week series I’m doing to answer a question so many moms are asking…am I messing up my kids? (If you missed any previous posts, simply click the link: week 1, week 2, week 3.) I’m excited to share with you all that God has placed on her heart about the pressure of perfection we sometimes feel as moms. Here’s Jill…

The phone rang in the chaos of the “after school…almost dinner-time” hour. I was making a dinner salad (translated: I poured a bag of lettuce into a pretty glass bowl and threw some cherry tomatoes on for color!), helping two kids with their homework, and trying to keep my 4-year-old busy enough to not whine for dinner.

I grabbed the phone and shoved it between my ear and my shoulder answering with a quick, “Hello, this is Jill!” The voice on the other end of the line was obviously emotional. “Moooooom, this is Erica. Did you forget me?”

I quickly did a head count…one, two, three…four…oh my. Erica’s not here…I thought all my chicks were in the nest, but there was one at basketball practice and it completely slipped my mind that she wasn’t home and I needed to pick her up!

I couldn’t lie. “Erica, I am so sorry!” I apologized. “I completely forgot to pick you up. I will be right there!”

The sniffling on the other end of the phone made my guilt run deeper. How could I forget my own child? What kind of mom does something like that? How will she ever forgive me?

If we’re honest with one another, we all have stories like that to share. There are no perfect moms.

Like most moms, I entered the motherhood scene wanting to be the perfect mom. I read. I prepared. I planned. I dreamed. I determined to be intentional about everything I did from choosing the right kind of laundry detergent that would be best for their skin to choosing the right school that would be best for their education. I was going to be supermom. I would do it all and do it all well. Then life happened.

Someone once said, “Hindsight is 20/20.” Looking back on that scene now, 11 years later, I have a valuable perspective that I didn’t have then. My now 22-year-old daughter isn’t emotionally scarred because I forgot her at basketball practice. She’s a well-adjusted young adult—a mom herself, who has a great story to tell especially when she wants to get a little sympathy or a good laugh at family gatherings.

You know what? My pursuit of being the “perfect mom” set me up for failure from day one. There are no perfect moms; just imperfect women who will fall off the pedestal of their own expectations more often than they care to admit. We’re all subject to what I’ve dubbed the “Perfection Infection.”

A good friend once told me, “Jill, never compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.” She shared that wisdom when she heard me unconsciously compare myself to another mom after one of my many failures. That powerful statement still sticks with me. I now realize that most moms play the comparison game dozens of times every day.

We constantly look to see how we measure up to those around us. For most of us…we don’t measure up. But how can we? We compare ourselves to something that doesn’t exist. We compare our messy insides—our struggles, our failures, our less-than-perfect lives– to other women’s carefully cleaned up, perfect-looking outsides at church, on Facebook, at the library, at work, and just about anywhere we run into another mom. It’s a game we play that we’ll never ever win.

I believe it’s time to stop. Stop the mommy wars. Stop comparing our insides to other moms’ outsides. Stop trying to be perfect. Stop thinking that others are better or better off than we are. We tell our kids to knock it off when their behavior has crossed a line and I believe it’s time that we moms knock it off, too!

God’s Truth confirms this in Galatians 5:26. I personally love how it reads in The Message,

“That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.”

I’m driving a stake in the ground and saying “No more!” Want to join me? You can take a first step by signing the Knock It Off Commitment.

I’m also offering some fun giveaways today! Five commenters will be chosen to win a copy of my book, No More Perfect Moms, and one commenter will be chosen to win two registrations for the Hearts at Home Conference – one for you and one for a friend. (If you don’t happen to live in the conference area, you’ll still receive a Conference-To-Go which includes all aspects of the conference in a CD or MP3 format!)

Together, we can tackle the Perfection Infection and stop making unfair judgments and comparisons that don’t do any of us any good. Think about it: you and I can begin to change the world for our sons and daughters starting today. I’m ready. Are you?

Wednesday, November 27

Thank God for Smelly Shoes

Hi friends! I’m so glad you’ve joined me for week 3 of the 4-week series I’m doing to speak to fragile mama hearts everywhere. (Click here if you missed week 1 or click here if you missed week 2.)

In my motherhood journey, how many shoes will I pick up and put back, only to pick them up and put them back again…and again…and again?

One day, when my children were younger, I remember counting more than 14 pairs of shoes that were just within eyesight of where I was sitting. I was frustrated that these shoes weren’t where they were supposed to be. Visions of chore charts and consequences for leaving things out started dancing about in my mind.

I even went so far as to think that this was yet more evidence that my kids are not as thankful as they should be. Kids who were truly thankful for their shoes would care enough to tuck them into their closet shoe racks.

But as I mentally chided my children for their ungratefulness, I felt God gently give me a piece of my own reprimand.

Was I modeling thankfulness in this moment?

Scattered shoes are a normal, everyday thing with a hidden treasure about them. It’s all in how I choose to look at these shoes that will determine whether I feel drained and frustrated or filled up and thankful.

I stopped and thanked God for this evidence of life. Some had grass and dirt on them as proof that our kids were healthy and strong enough to run and play. Some had scuffmarks from one too many dances on the concrete outside. Some had teeth marks from our beloved dog, Champ, whose favorite pastime is chasing kids, balls, and stray shoes. One had paint on it from a school project. But all were well worn, broken in, and definitely used.

These shoes tell stories of life, if only I make the choice to listen.

Maybe you’ve felt a little frustrated with the shoes scattered about your home as well. But the next time you pick them up, instead of letting frustration whisk you away, listen carefully to the story they tell. Listen carefully and thank God for each and every precious soul who wears those shoes.

Today… let’s look at it all through the lens of thanksgiving. Instead of seeing a mess and frowning, let’s see rich evidence of life and smile.

I want to see it all through the lens of thanksgiving...

One commenter will win 4 signed copies of my book, Am I Messing Up My Kids? – one copy to keep and 3 to give away to other mamas in need! Leave a comment below telling me who you would give the 3 copies away to, and why.