Archives For Extraordinary Family

The request came at a point in my day when I was exhausted.  “Mom, will you come outside and watch for meteors with us?”  The request materialized a couple of hours ago at 10 PM.  One of the nights of the Perseid Meteor Shower.  Not only was I physically drained but I still needed to make a grocery list and write a blog post.

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“Mom, over here!”  On a beautiful and cool night we had been invited to a friend’s house for a party.  I had just filled my plate with food and was heading to sit by the pool with some friends when I heard my son call to me.  I noticed he was sitting alone and my heart evoked the pain of having nobody to talk to when everyone else is having a great time visiting with each other.  So I quickly diverted my path from the table filled with friends laughing and having fun to sit with my little boy.

“Mom, will you play volleyball with me in the yard?”  Although, my body was tired from already doing a hard workout and looking at a daunting to-do list, my daughter’s request could not be ignored.  She was working hard to expand her skills in the sport she loved most.  I mustered the little bit of energy I had left and used it to bump the ball, run after serves, and dive for kills.

With three kids, the requests for Mom seem unending.  Unfortunately, my task list and schedule also seem endless.

When my kids asked if I would join them on the deck for the meteor shower, I was tempted to say, “Not tonight.”  But then I thought back to the days when they were smaller and the many bedtime stories I would read to them.  Scheming against going to sleep, there was always, “Just one more, Mom.”

Now I searched my memory for when the very last request for a bedtime story came.  I could not remember that night and I was left to question, did I end with a, “Not tonight,” or a “You bet we can read one more.”

Our kids only grow up once.  Someone wise once said in describing raising kids, “The days are long but the years are short.”  The long days often tempt us with a “no” answer.  There is always something else competing for our time on a daily basis.

But as our kids grow, it’s important to remember there will be a last time for certain requests.

  • “Mom, will you hold me?”
  • “Mom, will you play a game with me?”
  • “Mom, will you read me a book?”
  • “Mom, can I make cookies with you?”
  • “Mom, can we do something special together today?”

The thought of not knowing when the last request will come encourages me to say, “yes” more than I say, “no.”

After considering my children’s fleeting requests, I donned a sweatshirt and sweatpants and headed outside with my two excited children to watch for meteors.

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Without computers, phones, video games, iPods, and other distracting influences, we began a lovely and focused conversation.

  • We contemplated if bugs sleep.
  • We questioned God’s choice of sound for certain animals upon hearing an owl hooting.
  • I answered questions about the bible.
  • We discussed the upcoming school year and all the fear and excitement it’s generating.
  • We oohed and awed over each meteor we saw and took a tally of how many each saw.
  • We saw a bat.  A BAT???  Okay, I’ll admit the bat sighting made me ponder if my love for my children really needed to supersede my grocery list.  But I planted myself in my seat and proceeded to fling my arms in a frenzy when a moth would pass by fearing it was the bat.  I soon became the entertaining headliner eclipsing the meteor shower

Although my grocery list sits blank on the kitchen counter and I’m working on this blog post at midnight, I feel good about my decision.

Grocery lists will await me the rest of my life.  The opportunity to write will most likely continue long after my kids have grown and moved on with their own lives.  However, the time I have with my children at home is fading fast.  I want to make the most of it while I have the opportunity.

Are you in the midst of busy days while raising kids?  Are you inundated with your kid’s requests?  Which ones will you miss most someday?  Will you begin to say, “yes” more than, “no”?

You may also like:

I am the Worst Mom Ever!

Can I Get a Witness?

My Kid Doesn’t Meet My Expectations

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

 

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Tis true, I’m the worst mom ever!

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Last week while traveling through South Dakota, we stopped at an Alpine Slide.  If you’re unfamiliar with alpine slides, it is a long chute built in the side of a mountain or large hill.  A wheeled sled is used to navigate the slide which is controlled by a hand brake between the rider’s legs.

Three years ago, we went on an alpine slide for the first time in TN.  I followed my daughter, Cauriana, who was 10 years old at the time.  She was timid and used her brake much of the time, therefore, I ended up catching up with her and was forced to ride slowly the rest of the way.  It took away some of the excitement.

Once again, I found myself following Cauriana, now 13 years old, down the slide in SD.  As Cauriana, my husband, and I rode the chairlift to the top of the hill, we were able to see riders on the alpine slide below.  Many were inching along the track.  I laughed and said I hoped I didn’t get behind anyone slow.  My daughter quietly said, “I’m sorry.”  She felt the sting of my words even though they were not meant to hurt.

Even though I knew she was remembering the adventure down the slide and feeling as if she ruined my ride, I still asked, “Are you going to go fast?”  A bit hurt, she said, “yes.”  Again, she felt my words as if it was a shot to her heart.

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I really don’t know why but as she was getting ready to take off down the slide, I asked her again if she was going to go fast.  She said, “Yes,” and took off like a bullet from a gun.  No brake was used this time since she had something to prove to her selfish mom.  She sped around the first curve and as I awaited my turn to follow, I saw her fly around the second curve.

It was on the second curve that I felt the weight of my words.  I watched in horror as she lost control of the sled.  The sled sped to the top of the curve throwing her off.  She continued to slide on the concrete on her bare skin that was only covered in shorts and a tank top.  She disappeared out of my line of sight leaving me to wonder her fate.

I began screaming as only a mom can when her child is in danger.  My mind was racing wondering if she was tumbling head over heels down the rest of the concrete slide or if the sled ran over her causing a severe head injury.

Immediately my words, “I hope I don’t get behind anybody slow,” and “Are you going to go fast,” haunted me.

I did this!  I caused my daughter to crash and get hurt.

I jumped off my sled and ran to the overlook.

Cauriana had stopped shortly after I lost sight of her.  She was just stepping off the slide and assessing her injuries.  Her shoulder, elbow, knee, and ankle were all burned from rubbing the slide at such a high rate of speed.  It was akin to road rash.  She was in tears.  So was I.  I truly deserved the title, “Worst mom ever!”

The workers doctored her wounds and got her a drink of water.  She was okay but I wasn’t.  The mental beat-down had only just begun.

I spent a very restless and sleepless night as I replayed my thoughtless words over and over in my mind.  The guilt was overwhelming.

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Are you a “Worst Mom”?  Take heart in the following:

You’re in good company.  Although I felt as though I was the worst mom in the world, there were probably 100 other moms in the same hotel that night feeling the same way.  Thousands of moms go to bed each night recounting their mistakes from that day and deeming themselves “worst moms.”  The fact is we are human and we will make mistakes.

Kids are forgiving.  Cauriana honestly could not understand why I felt so guilty.  She forgave me immediately.  Many times recounting what we should have said or done extends our feelings of guilt while our kids have already forgiven and moved on.  We need to learn from our mistakes but there is no need to prolong the situation by continuing to beat ourselves up.

The good outweighs the bad.  If we really think through our days and weeks with our kids, more than likely our good mom moments outweigh the bad mom moments.  But our good feelings seem to be squashed by guilt no matter how small.  We will have bad days and even bad weeks but over the course of a year, the good outshines the bad.

Feel like a bad mom?  You’re not alone!  Let’s turn in our worn out crowns and tattered sashes saying we are the “worst moms ever”?  Let’s focus on loving our kids and doing our best each and every day.  Let’s forgive ourselves our mistakes and focus on the good.  And let’s believe our kids when they proclaim us the “best mom ever!”

Disclaimer:  There may be times when family counseling is in order.  If we find ourselves being verbally or physically abusive, then we need to seek help from a professional.  If our child is out of our control, we may need help in getting that control back.  Addictions need support and guidance.  Know that getting help when needed is being a good mom.

This blog post is featured in Sophie Woman’s Magazine October 2013 issue.

You may also like:

My Kid Doesn’t Meet My Expectations

Can I Get a Witness 

10 Ideas to Show Love to Your Kids Daily

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

Calan and I

After coming through the gate for our local High School’s football game on a clear and cool Friday evening, people from our small town began asking my husband and me if we had seen our daughter, Calan, yet.

Being 15 years old, Calan had asked to go to a friend’s house after school.  From there, she went straight to the game.  Therefore, I had not seen her since that morning.  So the repeated question made me wonder what she had done.

As we made our way to our seats, many friends smiled and simply shook their heads.  Whatever Calan had done was obviously entertaining.  My interest and curiosity mounted.

Suddenly our attention turned toward the field as our team scored a touchdown.  The cheerleaders began to cheer loudly and the band struck up a triumphant tune.  It was then I spotted her.

Running down the sideline carrying a gigantic school flag was Calan.  Her entire face was painted red and white and she wore red pants with vertical black stripes.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.

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My kid!

MY kid?!

A face-painting, wacky-dressing, super fan?!

This was not what I expected.  I wasn’t sure how to feel.  What would her peers think?  What would my friends think?  What would the teachers and administrators think?

A friend sitting nearby read the emotions on my face and said, “She’s a great girl who is very well liked.  She hangs out with a great group of girls and she is her own person unafraid of what others think.  Other parents would love to be in your shoes.”

Wisdom just when I needed it most.

I thought of my daily prayers for her.  Each day of her life I’ve asked God to give her confidence and boldness.  I’ve prayed for her to be well liked and not to lose her self-assurance when someone dislikes her.

However, my expectations in those prayers included her standing up for her convictions when challenged, wearing modest clothes rather than racy styles, liking what she sees in the mirror, and being thankful for the person God made her to be.  Not this display of super fan craziness in front of me.

As I sat there contemplating, I realized she is confident and not only stands up for her convictions but does it respectfully.  Sweatpants and t-shirts are her preferable clothing rather than anything revealing.  She doesn’t feel the need to wear makeup to increase her likability and embraces the personality qualities God gave her.

My eyes wandered back to the girl running up and down the field looking like a lunatic.  My heart swelled with the love I felt for her.

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I couldn’t deny the fun Calan was having while being confident and bold.  Cheerleaders and football players were giving her high fives as she ran past.  Students were cheering her on as well as the parents.  Teachers and parents alike were laughing and complimenting her courage.  Everyone was having fun!

When my daughter does not live up to my expectations I have to stop and reflect.  Many times, I come to the realization it isn’t my daughter who needs to change but my own desires.

When I truly consider the person God created, Calan far exceeds any of my own expectations.

This post is part of Jill Savage’s Third Thursday Blog Hop.  To read more about today’s topic, “No More Perfect Kids,” click here

If you’ve liked what you’ve read here, please follow me by clicking the “Follow” button on the left.  You can also follow me on Facebook, TwitterLinkedIn, or by RSS feed.

UPDATE: This post is featured in Jill Savage’s book, No More Perfect Moms. Order your copy here

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An Imperfect Home is One of Life’s Greatest Gifts

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©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

Can I Get a Witness?

July 9, 2013 — 3 Comments

Today, I’m excited to welcome my guest writer, Valerie Welsh.  A great mom many of us can relate to in following the strong parental instincts to keep her children safe at all costs.  She agreed to share her inspiring story of overcoming fear and stepping out in faith.

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The scene was sad and getting even sadder by the minute.  Our 17-year-old daughter, Sami, was sitting before us at the dining room table with reasons she should be allowed to join her youth group on their mission trip in just a few short months.

Sami had neatly outlined on paper the ways she had already served the Lord in her own neighborhood, her own peer group and her own country. This was a last-ditch effort on her part. This trip was so important to Sami that my husband Andy and I promised her that we would pray for two weeks about a decision whether or not to let her go. The final decision had been made. The deadline was that day, and she wouldn’t like our answer.

Here Sami was, making the case to serve in Ecuador and giving us evidence of the ways her faith had grown from the time she had given her life to Christ at age 7. I was distracted, thinking that she might make a good lawyer one day and felt both a twinge of pride at her maturity and a touch of shame that I knew our answer would be “no”.

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My husband and I purposely let the date for the informational meeting come and go. Mission trips were for other families, and they were certainly not for teenagers with severe asthma and allergies. Our reasons for not allowing her to go had everything to do with comfort – both hers and ours – and fear, which was a feeling I owned completely.

Sami took our answer with some maturity and lots of tears as she got ready for church that day. Andy and I reassured each other with slightly ashamed half smiles as she sobbed quietly in the back seat on the drive to church. All that mattered to me was that she would be staying right here at home, in my arms and totally safe from all the ways I could see her being ill or uncomfortable in Ecuador and out of my reach.

Sami sat at the end of the row next to her two siblings, head in her hands and praying deeply as the sermon began. We had been attending another church recently, different from the church we had attended for all of her life and in which Sami still remained active in youth group.

As our pastor began the sermon, I could hardly believe my ears! The title of the sermon that day was plastered on the front screen in front of the church:

“CAN I GET A WITNESS?  Acts 1:8 – ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.’”

He explained how we should be ready witnesses for Christ in the comfort of our own home as well as to the ends of the earth.

Andy and I continued to exchange surprised glances throughout the sermon as Sami continued to pray silently at the end of the row. God’s voice was so clear to me during that sermon. It was convicting and gentle and saying, “Do you have faith enough to trust me to lead My own daughter?”

God changed our minds that very day. I was ashamed that I had called myself a follower of Jesus Christ, and yet couldn’t trust Him to know what was best for His children. I was basing my decisions on fear and comfort and not on His will. My fears had drowned out His voice as I prayed for guidance. I already “knew” the answer to be “no” and had really been praying for my own agenda.

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Sami seemed introspective for days after her return from a successful trip, and she soon sat us both down to tell us her heart. I wasn’t surprised at all as she explained how she felt a calling to become a missionary during her time in Ecuador.

When she asked what I thought of her praying and researching this path for her life, I quieted my heart for just a minute before I answered. Doubts and fears came in again, but they soon were drowned out by the gentle voice of the Lord, reminding me that He would have Sami in the palm of His hand for all of her days.

Every morning while I pray, I remind myself that my three teenagers are all His and always have been. In my mind, I am letting go as a parent just a little more each day as they grow older.

I don’t know if God will lead Sami to the mission field again. I do know that everywhere we look, we can find a mission field in which to serve. It may be in our own homes and not across the globe, but listening for God’s voice is the first step.

I pray that we will have faith enough to hear and to obey, whatever we are called to do.

You may also like:

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©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

 

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  1. Prayer is essential to keeping God in the middle of our marriage.
  2. My breath still catches in my throat when I see him across a crowded room.
  3. We truly are growing old together.  But he becomes more handsome with each passing year.
  4. He can still make me laugh until I snort.
  5. He still treats me like a Princess.
  6. We’ve learned there will be times we argue but we do not “punish” each other by making the other guess our thoughts, bringing up past arguments, or by withholding intimacy.
  7. Sometimes (*gasp*)…….he’s right.  OW, that one hurt!!
  8. We’ve learned to love, respect, and be thankful for our differences.  This is vital since we are opposite in every way except for religious and moral views.
  9. It is NEVER a good time to discuss trivial matters or anything serious during UK basketball, Cardinal baseball, or Bronco football games.
  10. We have both mastered the art of shaking our head giving the illusion we are listening to the other when we really are not.  See number 9!
  11. It may take us a few minutes but we can always tell when the other is not listening.  See number 9!
  12. We never bash each other to our friends, family, or kids.
  13. I may have carried our children for 9 months and gone through labor but he is just as important to the kids as I am.
  14. No matter how long we are married, it will always be important to have strict boundaries with the opposite sex.
  15. Sometimes a listening ear and a hug is all that is needed.
  16. Love is a verb.  Although we have a settled upon division of duties, we “love” by helping the other at times.
  17. He never tells me “no.”  There is no other word that will get my dander up faster.  He’s become highly skilled at saying no without using the actual word, “no.”  For that I’m thankful!  However, an intense conversation usually follows any words he chooses to use that convey, “no.”
  18. I bend to his “want to know everything beforehand so there’s no surprises” nature by planning every detail of our vacations and researching every large purchase.  He bends toward my “sometimes I just want to live life and not answer a bunch of questions in advance” nature by not making me answer 1000 questions when going on my own trips for speaking, work, or missions.  He’s also learned not to ask about my Kohl’s purchases.
  19. We talk through all decisions and although one of us may need to concede a few points, we come to a mutual agreement before moving forward.
  20. There truly is “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.”  But we live it together and still cherish each other just as we promised.
  21. We started as best friends and we are still best friends.
  22. The kids may live on cereal and pizza when I’m away but he’s still a great dad!
  23. There are times we do go to bed angry.  But we always work it out in the morning.
  24. A sincere, “I’m sorry,” holds a lot of power.

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life, Craig.  I love you more now than when I walked down the aisle 24 years ago.

You may also like:

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©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

Sexting, vibrator commercials, male enhancement ads, billboards with women in seductive lingerie, inappropriate pictures on cell phones, shopping bags displaying half-naked men, Facebook friends sharing steamy sections of erotic books or pornography.  Our kids our inundated with sex.  All the time.  Everywhere.  Culture is all too willing to educate where we parents may fear to tread.

161728014Our kids have questions.  They have feelings they may not quite understand when presented with the above scenarios.  They may be confused about what it means for them and if there are any lines drawn in the sand when it comes to sex.

My husband and I decided to begin having in-depth conversations about this subject when our kids turned 11 or 12 years of age, depending on their maturity level.  However, our determination didn’t smother our fear.  We knew we needed help in this area.

Our desires included explaining God’s design for sex, helping our children set their own boundaries, and making escape plans when those boundaries are pushed.

Fortunately, before it was time to talk to our first-born daughter, I heard about “Passport2Purity.”  A kit with CD’s, parent guide, and journal for the child, it aids the parent in explaining these difficult subjects and guides discussions between parent and child.

A weekend alone is set aside where time can be spent away from home for just mom and daughter or father and son.  We pack snacks, supplies for the projects that go along with the lessons on the CD’s, and plan some fun down time.  Although our children have an idea of what the weekend is about, they look forward to that one-on-one time with Mom or Dad.

stk131580rkeThe program is very easy to follow.  We listened to the first part of the CD on the way to our destination introducing what the weekend is about.  Once we check-in to the hotel and have a leisurely dinner, we finish the first lesson and project concerning challenges, traps, and choices she will be facing now and in the coming years.  I appreciate the conversation guide as it opens the door for honest, heartfelt, and safe discussions.

After a short break, we begin lesson 2 regarding friendships and peer pressure.  These conversations help in understanding the challenges she faces with her friends and enemies.  She is challenged to consider the influence her peers are having on her and the influence she is having in return.

These conversations are lively and prove to be exhausting so sleep comes easy.

The next morning, it’s time for lesson 3 on the physical changes she will be seeing in herself and in boys her age (there is one specific CD for girls and one for boys).   The importance of modesty is discussed along with the BIG talk which is sex.  Although she is a bit disgusted thinking about the mechanics of sex and coming to the realization her own parents do something so scandalous, she has a lot of questions and wants to discuss it further.

Horrified looks are pure entertainment during this particular discussion.

Pardon the ExpressionA much-needed break is taken following this talk but then it’s soon time for lesson 4 regarding setting boundaries and deciding just how far she plans to go.  Discussion enables me to set the boundary I would like to see her place but allows her time to set her own.  We then discuss escape plans for when those boundaries are tested.

After 4 lessons we’ve earned some down time.  Each of my children has their own idea of fun so we make sure to do something they enjoy.  A few hours are spent just enjoying time together.

Upon returning, we do our last lesson of the weekend about dating.  Agreements are made about the proper time to begin dating and what that will look like.  We added an element of our own in making a list of non-negotiables their man must have in order for him to even be considered to date.

86524740Then it’s time for a celebration dinner.  I present her with her own passport that she signs agreeing to stay pure for her husband.  And then I present her with a gift.  A necklace with a heart and key.  Something she will wear to remind her of her commitment to guard her heart and purity just for her husband.  This can then be presented to her husband on their wedding night.

Will this one weekend keep my children from bad decisions?  Maybe not.  That requires constant conversation, teaching, discussion, questions, answers, and a lot of prayer!  It’s tough to maintain sexual purity in today’s culture.  However, I feel much better sending them out into the world knowing they have set their own boundaries through their own convictions and are armed with escape plans, if needed.

I highly recommend “Passport2Purity” if you are looking for a guide in speaking to your kids about the biblical view of sex.  Although, it’s a bit hokey at times and their (Family Life) convictions are a bit stronger than mine, it opened the door for laughter and conversation.

I will continue to pray for my own children as well as for the children of those who like or comment on this blog.  I’ll be praying for the strength and courage to maintain their sexual purity until marriage and for safe, open conversations between children and parents.

You may also like:

Perfect Mom?  Hardly!

A Marriage Beyond Hope

10 Ideas to Show Love to Your Kids Daily

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

A Marriage Beyond Hope

February 14, 2013 — 10 Comments

137930475The first three years of marriage to my husband were extremely difficult.  We didn’t know how to be married and the honeymoon ended within the first week.  Both of us were in a power struggle and failed to take each others needs into consideration as we fought for our own wants.  Work and school filled our schedules.  We rarely saw each other.  When we were together, we fought.  My best friend slowly became my worst enemy.  After three years, we hit rock-bottom and contemplated divorce.  Although our marriage seemed beyond hope, divorce was not something either of us wanted.

We decided to make some drastic changes to give our marriage every chance to survive.  I changed jobs since my current position was causing much unneeded stress in our marriage.  We cut back on school and even adjusted our schedules so we could take some classes together.  This allowed more time to spend together.  We learned to communicate and not hold grudges from one fight to another.  Punishing each other for mistakes or disagreements was now off-limits.  All of these things were wonderful and made a difference.  However, there was one thing and one thing only that truly saved our marriage.  Prayer.

My husband insisted we begin praying together each and every night.  He would always go first and pray for me.  He thanked God for me and would shower me with compliments in the process.  He expressed gratitude for making me his wife and would tell God all the reasons he loved me.  He acknowledged all the things I had done that day to take care of the house and him.  Much healing took place during those times of prayer.  However, the biggest impact for me was in what was not said.

My husband never pointed across the bed and asked God to change me.  He only asked God to make him a better husband.  He asked God to help him do all the things I nagged him about during the day.  I had no idea he was even listening to me but his prayers proved otherwise and communicated his hope to become the husband I desired.

After he would finish, it was my turn and I felt the pressure.  Although there were times I was tempted to pray for all the changes I wanted God to make in my husband, I just couldn’t.  Instead, I followed my husband’s lead and would thank God for him, acknowledge his hard work, and pray for the changes I knew God needed to make in my own life so I could become the wife my husband desired.

In the following months, an amazing thing began to happen.  God began changing us as individuals and helped us grow together with Him at the center.  I’ve now been married to the love of my life for almost 24 years.  There have been tough times in those 24 years but God has always been faithful to restore us as long as we keep Him and prayer a priority.

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My husband, Craig and me.

The following are suggested ways to begin praying for your spouse and marriage:

Lord, I lift up my husband to You today:

  • Give him strength and wisdom throughout today.
  • Provide him with opportunities and the desire to spend quality time with our family.  Help him to manage his time wisely.
  • Give him wisdom with our finances and help us to remember that everything is Yours, entrusted to us for Your purposes.  Give him peace, assuring him that You will provide.  I pray he will love You with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength.
  • Help him to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
  • Protect him physically, mentally, and spiritually.
  • Help him to be a godly example to our children.
  • Make the path clear You want him to follow.
  • Give him peace and keep him free from worry.
  • Give him wisdom in all decisions he must make today.
  • Give him the desire and time to spend with You reading the Bible and in prayer.
  • Bring godly men into his life who will keep him accountable. 
  • Help him to be content at work, remembering to work with all his heart as if working for You and not for men.
  • Help him to deal with the frustrations at work in a godly manner.
  • Help his relationship with his boss be one of integrity.
  • Help him to overcome temptation that may come his way today.  Give him strength during those times and give him a clear escape.
  • Lord, help me to support my husband and be his companion, encourager, and friend.  Give me wisdom to know how and when to come alongside him and help him.
  • I pray that our home will be a peaceful, restful, safe haven for him. 
  • Help me to be someone he is proud to say is his wife.  Help me to release my husband from the burden of fulfilling me in areas that I should be lifting up to You.  Help me to accept him and not try to change him.  You made him the special man that he is and I thank you. 
  • I realize that neither of us is perfect and never will be.  Strengthen our marriage and help us to love one another even through our imperfections.  Only You, Lord, are perfect, and I look to You to perfect us. 

More suggestions on prayer are being shared on this blog each Thursday in February.

If you like what you’ve read, I invite you to follow this blog through email (by clicking “follow” in the left sidebar), Facebook, Twitter, or through your RSS feed.

Thanks for visiting!  Come again!

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©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

I have always loved everything about my grandma’s house.  She lived on acres and acres of land that made the perfect playground for my cousin and me.  The tree-house my Grandpa built in the backyard always waited with new adventures.  A pond with a paddle boat entertained us until our legs hurt.  We tromped through the woods for hours.  We swam, climbed trees, and threw rocks down the well.  Grandma’s house spelled F-U-N.

92682757As much as I loved all the many forms of entertainment available at Grandma’s, none could vie for my favorite reason to visit.  What I loved most was my Grandma’s greeting upon my arrival.  Each and every time I walked through the door of her house, Grandma would meet me in the kitchen beaming with a wide smile.  Always waiting with a big, sloppy, Grandma kiss and a giddy, “How are you, honey?”

I always felt special walking through Grandma’s door because her face would light up with excitement.  She was genuinely thrilled to see me.  Every single time.  Although a greeting may be considered ordinary, when sincere and filled with love, it becomes extraordinary.

Reflecting on those special Grandma greetings one day, I had to wonder how my kids feel when walking through our door.  Sadly, I had to admit they probably don’t feel special.  Even though I always say an enthusiastic “hi,” and ask about their day, I don’t beam.  I don’t light up.  No kiss or hug awaits them.  Many times I keep working at my computer or in the kitchen.  My greetings are simply ordinary.  I suddenly realized I was missing out on the many fleeting opportunities to convey how special they are to me.

That day, I opened the door to my kids, lit up upon seeing them, gave hugs and kisses, and asked about their days while looking them in the eyes.  It was distressing to see their shocked faces.  To see them look at me as if I was one fry short of a Happy Meal.  It was obvious serious changes were in order.

I now attempt to greet my kids with sincerity and love.  It doesn’t happen every day but it happens more than before.  My prayer is they will fondly remember their mom conveying genuine love even in the midst of an ordinary greeting.  And just like my grandma, my legacy will be built one greeting at a time.

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©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

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  1. Greet him excitedly!
  2. Hug her.
  3. Say, “I love you.”
  4. Make eye contact when he speaks.  Turn away from all other distractions.
  5. Share a specific way in which you are proud of her.
  6. Leave a chocolate or another treat on his pillow.
  7. Hide an encouraging note in her lunch, sports bag, or car.
  8. Provide time when he wants or needs to talk.
  9. Kiss her goodnight.
  10. Pray for and with each of them.

What are some ways you show love to your kids daily?

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If You’re Not Praying for Your Child, Who Is?

©2013 Connie Davis Johnson

 

 

As parents, we desire the best for our children.  We make sure they are educated, teach them social skills, train them in finances and other important life lessons, offer wisdom when needed, and lavish them with love.  All of these are necessary to ensure our kids live the best life possible.  However, the most crucial thing we can do for our children is pray for them.  God created our kids and loves them even more than we do.  He has a plan for their lives.

86510939When our children hear us thanking God for them and praying for their needs, it provides a sense of security.  They feel loved.  They learn how important God is to us and how important He should be to them.  They grasp the power of prayer.  I want to leave a legacy for my kids as I’m sure you do as well.  Please know there is no greater legacy than one of prayer.

The following are suggestions to begin praying daily for our kids.

Lord, I lift up each of my children to you:

  • Thank You for my children being valuable in Your eyes.  Help me to see them through Your eyes.
  • Help me not to fear loving myself and having self-confidence, so that I can inspire my children to love and respect themselves.
  • Help me to properly communicate the value I see in my children to them and to the world.
  • Help me to take the kind of joy in being a parent to my children that You take in Yours.
  • Help my children to have the courage to stand up for what they believe.  Help each of them to have a strong, personal relationship with You.
  • Lead, guide, and direct their footsteps; help them to avoid the pitfalls of life and overcome obstacles, big and small.
  • Help their dad and I to have a close relationship with each of our children and help all of us to be a close, tight-knit family always.
  • Help each of our children to feel comfortable talking to us about anything.
  • Help them to know we love them unconditionally.
  •  Protect them physically, mentally, and spiritually.
  • Help them to always walk with Christ and experience His peace and joy.
  • Help them desire to know and love You, serve You wholeheartedly, and make a difference in this life.
  • Help them to discern and avoid any negative cycles they see in their father and me.
  • Give them a strong desire, strength, and courage to protect their purity.
  • Give them confidence, love, and respect for themselves.
  • I pray all these things for their future spouses.  We don’t know who they are, but we have confidence knowing that You do.  I pray that they are growing up knowing You, loving You, and seeking You in all things.  Help these future spouses and my children to have strong self-control and strong convictions.  Help them to run from temptation.  I also pray that my children’s father and I will enjoy a close relationship with their future spouses.  Bless their marriages and hold them together. 
  • I pray that my children’s children will be godly.

Please come back each Thursday in February as this series on prayer continues with suggestions on praying for spouse, self, church leaders, co-workers, and friends.

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©2013 Connie Davis Johnson