This beautiful chalk lettering art print is by Breezy Tulip. You can find this on Etsy at:
The last few months I’ve been very focused on teaching our 3 year old how to pray. There is the sweet singing prayer that he has learned at our church that he proudly and loudly shares with us before his meal when it is his turn to lead prayer. So insistent and never, ever forgetful that on occasion when we are out at a restaurant and our food comes, he will scream to the top of his lungs — “Pray! Pray! Praaaaaaayyyyyyyy!” with such excitement that the whole restaurant goes quiet. But for some reason at bedtime he has been much more hesitant to pray. So one night when he questioned what to pray to God about, I told him to just think of things that he is grateful for and tell God these things. Of course I offered some suggestions: “Dear God, Thank you for my loving family and friends, thank you for our wonderful church, thank you for my sweet puppy… when out of nowhere I was proudly interrupted (in the sweetest, most intentional and loving voice ever!) by “THANK YOU GOD FOR UNDERWEAR!” Now if there’s anything I’ve taught our children about praying, it is to have intent and purpose behind what they are saying, because after all, they are talking to God. Of course, it took everything in me to hold back the laughter, but he prayed those words with such confidence and meaning there was nothing to do but praise him and kiss him goodnight… and anxiously look forward to bedtime tomorrow!
I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father,
would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened
so you may know what is the hope of His calling,
what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints,
and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe,
according to the working of His vast strength.
So heavy on my heart every day is the question “How do I keep my children willfully following God’s word?” It seems easy now while they are so young — I hear their sweet voices singing songs of praise, their pride in reciting bible verses, their love of challenging me with questions… But I realize as every day passes, as they grow older and busier, and become more susceptible to negative influences in the world…. how do I keep God in the forefront of their minds and in the deepest depths of their hearts?
I’ve been reading and reflecting a lot on this question and I think this is a good start on what we, as parents have a great responsibility to do …
- Inspire them. Be the message + set the example. Live our lives as a reflection of God’s word, inspiring them to live life biblically and authentically. Make it a daily conscious commitment to fulfill God’s will for our lives and to glorify him. Encourage them. If they don’t experience it first hand they will never see it’s importance. Our actions usually speak much louder than our words.
- Pray for them. Every single day. Every. Single. Day.
- Surround them with God’s love through others who live in his word. Surround them with God centered people who love them. Let them experience first-hand all of the good and beauty in the world.
- Enrich their lives through prayer, reading + conversation — show them the importance of daily time in God’s word and be an instrument of his blessing. Give them a strong foundation of prayer and thanks and keep the lines of conversation open and ever-flowing.
- Build your home with love. Home should reflect praise and be a nurturing environment in which they learn and grow. God designed the family. We must continue to bring meaning and continuity to the life and relationship of our family.
- Have a vision – Make the commitment every single day. Show them direction on how to live a full and beautifully fulfilled life. Build a strong foundation that will live on with them forever. Inspire them to live with intent and purpose in God’s grace through serving others.
- Live in love. Let love be your greatest aim. It should be your top priority. Show them that every incident in their lives can be an opportunity to show love.
Ministering to our children is one of the most important purposes of our life. I hope if you have any thoughts or personal insights of your own that you will reply with them — it would be greatly appreciated!!
“The fundamental mission of motherhood now is the same as it has always was: to nurture, protect, and instruct children, to create a home environment that enables them to learn and grow, to help them develop a heart for God and his purposes, and to send them out into the world prepared to live both fully and meaningfully. It’s up to us to embrace that mission as our own, trusting God to walk us through the details and to use our willing mothers’ hands as instruments of his blessing.”
~Sally Clarkson, The Mission of Motherhood
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I’m sharing this beautiful prayer by Marianne Williamson with the hope that it might resonate in the heart of every parent who reads it…
There are no words for the depth of my love for this child.
I pray for her care and her protection.
I surrender her into Your hands.
Please, dear God, send Your angels to bless and surround her always.
May she be protected from the darkness of our times.
May she always see You at the center of her life.
May her heart grow strong,
To love You and serve You.
I surrender, dear God, my parenthood to You.
Make me the parent You want me to be.
Show me how to love most patiently, to be there for her most fully,
To understand profoundly who she is and what she needs.
May this family be a blessing unto her now and forever.
May she learn here values and principles of love and righteousness.
May she learn from me kindness.
May she learn from me strength.
May she learn from me lessons of power:
That she has it and
Must surrender it to You, to be used for Your purposes throughout her life
For thus You shall be gladdened,
And thus shall she be free,
To live most fully and love most deeply.
That is my wish.
That is my prayer for her and for me forever.
– Williamson, Marianne
Illuminata: A Return to Prayer
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