Rain rain don’t go away

“Stay with me as I run around and get all wet.”

Remember those days when you did not care if your hair got soaking wet? IMG_5415

Today, Tatum could not get enough of the teardrops from the sky watering down on her little head. We had to wait outside of a friend’s office, and while we did, I allowed her to “escape” the awning and experience the beauty of the rain.
When we got home, as we walked Coti, there it was. A RAINBOW! Coincidentally, we were reading a board book about Noah’s Ark yesterday, and now she could put the picture to the real thing. I also had the opportunity to explain that this was a visual of God’s Promise to us to never flood the earth (and more importantly that HE KEEPS ALL OF HIS PROMISES!) That secures her knowing that HE LOVES HER no matter what and FOREVER. IMG_5421We can stand on that truth!

The Heart and Soul

“Yesus…Yesus??” These words came out of Tatum’s mouth today as she requested two of her Jesus books during her “nap time.” Wow. How can I help her fall in love with Jesus? Show His love to her and be the Jesus she’s getting to know. Be kind, graceful, gentle, patient, loyal, trustworthy, yet, courageous and strong.

IMG_5350When she sees Jesus, she sees the Father. Her Father. My Father.  He will never leave her nor forsake her. He will be the true North of her life as he is mine.

The anchor for the soul…and the answer

The number one question I have had as a mom is, how do I get my child to mind me and listen? Example: If we are sitting in church and she is fussing and whining, how can I get her to sit quietly until the music is over? Answer? I can’t. She has to make that choice. Sure, I can hold her down and let her squirm and scream, but what does that get us? More squirming and more screaming. (for Tatum, me, and the rest of the surrounding world)

“Because I said so,” are those four letters which get overused by parental units, and I don’t want to go there every time I’m stuck for why she must ______. It may sound crazy, but Jesus should be the reason. Not to get all preachy and bibley, but the love I have for Jesus makes me mind my P’s and Q’s. It also is the reason I do what I do every day. From our thoughts and our beliefs flow our actions. If my belief is that Jesus sacrificed and died for me and loves me enough to take on all of my follies, foibles, and falls, then my love for him knows no bounds. Why would I want to live a life that is displeasing to him? Why would I want to be selfish, or prideful, or rude, or impatient? He put others ahead of Himself and loved others with compassion and mercy. In fact, HOPE in Jesus is “the anchor for the soul,” as Pastor Terry preached.

Therefore, this is what I tell Tatum when I pull her out of the service or the place where she is not being so lovely: “You know, honey, Jesus loves you so very much. We need to show him respect AND the people around us respect by being polite and quiet. The ________ (teacher, pastor…) is speaking, and our focus should be on him. Your time to play will come after it is over.”

If this can be something that sinks in for her, she will have internal motivation to do what is right in the right setting (even when I am not with her). I never want her to do what is right because I said so or because she is afraid she will get in trouble (although this is very effective). Obviously if she is running into traffic, I’m not going to stop and tell her this bit of advice; I’ll definitely enforce the “because I said so” until she understands what is dangerous for her own safety sake.

She soon will learn that Jesus will carry her burdens and lighten her load. All in time…all in time with much prayer and of course with my beliefs modeled to her. (I cannot force it and don’t want to)

IMG_5338 IMG_5332Hope. Hope in Him…The anchor for our souls.

 

His child

Holding Tatum in my arms today during the singing at church, I couldn’t help but weep. The Spirit of God overcame me as my body filled with goose bumps and my eyes flooded with tears. Tatum heard me sing out to the Lord and as I did, I held her closer. She is my gift…my precious present that I lift up to HIM daily.

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She got it this morning, as she actually comforted me as I held her. She could sense His Spirit moving me. As my dear friend Dick said, children really do sense God; Jesus even tells us to have that childlike faith. I sense she has that even at 21 months. How does she know to be silent every night as we pray before bed? So many little clues of her precious faith; the kind Jesus wants us all to have.

The rest of the service reminded me of how blessed I feel to know the women of City of Grace. Elizabeth is one of them, and it is no coincidence that she used to work with my mom. We have playdates with her adorable little 2-year old, and we both think they’d be a tremendous couple in 30 years when I allow her to start dating. Good thing I have her husband picked out, so she won’t even need to date! 🙂

When we arrived home, the doggie couldn’t wait to throw the ball and play.

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Then as we went upstairs, I realized I needed to go back down and talk to my mom. As I did this, Tatum took it upon herself to go into her room, grab three books off her shelf and go into my room and read. Again…”coincidentally” she picked the ONLY three bible books she has. Weird. Just crazy amazing.

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 Tomorrow is Labor Day, and I shall celebrate this LABOR OF LOVE that God has bestowed upon me.

An answer to prayer 21 months later

A community

A bible study.

All answered in one day.

Thank you, MOTC. (Mom’s of the City).

This amazing group of women (all mommies) meet twice a month on Tuesday mornings. They provide child care, food, fellowship, and so much encouragement. Now that I get to be home with Tatum, this provides something ALL MOMS need. When working, you just have no time for anything like this. If you did attend a group, it takes away from “quality time” and that cannot happen when you need every minute together.

Then, to my utter surprise, on the alternate Tuesdays, there is a women’s bible study WITH child care as well.

I get fed.

The ladies in the child care center were in awe of Tatum; they said she was like no other child. She is AWARE and so mature. I just know I’m blessed beyond belief to have her and ….

now to have a community to encourage and be encouraged by.

Thank you, Father!!

Band-aids aid

Who would have thought that a bunch of band-aids could aid in keeping Tatum entertained and occupied during Pastor Terry’s sermon today?

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As she carefully placed each one into my empty coffee cup, she shook them out and watched them fly. Then, it was pick-up band-aids one by one back in the cup. After that, I needed another idea, so I tore up the sticker pad into mini-confetti pieces and placed it in a plastic soap container.

IMG_5242This became another pouring activity. Anything Tatum can pour or place, she is gleeful.

Pastor Terry spoke about stewardship today, and how everything… I mean EVERYTHING we have been given is a gift and should be shared to the glory of God. This puts a whole new perspective on our “things.” Also, I can completely give my daughter over to Him, trusting that He is in control. I pour my heart and soul into her as a devotion to Him. This way, when it feels like work, I can be reminded she is a gift I hold dear and preciously take care.

At the end, we even committed to a promise that:
“Today I choose to embrace my position as manager over everything God has entrusted to my care; I will trust. I will obey. I will obey. I will steward all of the resources of my life to the glory of God.”

Simple. (but not easy)

But, with Tatum and the Holy Spirit present in my heart, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Those band-aids kept her happy, and they also aided in helping her mommy hear the message loud and clear.

Daily, I praise His NAME

Thank you, dearest Jocelyn. She encouraged me to read this everyday as I stay home with Tatum. I bolded what resonates with my soul.

 Psalm 145:

I will extol you, my God and King,

and bless your name forever and ever.

2  Every day I will bless you

and praise your name forever and ever.

3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,

and his greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall commend your works to another,

and shall declare your mighty acts.

5  On the glorious splendor of your majesty,

and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.

6  They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,

and I will declare your greatness. 

7  They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness

and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

8  The Lord is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

9  The Lord is good to all,

and his mercy is over all that he has made.

10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,

and all your saints shall bless you!

11  They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom

and tell of your power,

12  to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds,

and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

[The Lord is faithful in all his words

and kind in all his works.]

14  The Lord upholds all who are falling

and raises up all who are bowed down.

15  The eyes of all look to you,

and you give them their food in due season.

16  You open your hand;

you satisfy the desire of every living thing.

17  The Lord is righteous in all his ways

and kind in all his works.

18  The Lord is near to all who call on him,

to all who call on him in truth.

19  He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;

he also hears their cry and saves them.

20  The Lord preserves all who love him,

but all the wicked he will destroy.

21  My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,

and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.