Fully Known, Freely Forgiven, Forever Loved

Have you ever sat in a room filled with people and felt completely alone? Or have you looked over at a family member or friend you have known for years and wondered if you really know each other at all? In this busy season of motherhood, we are almost never actually by ourselves. Yet ironically, “mom life” can get pretty lonely. We wear so many hats and play so many different roles, it is easy to wonder if anyone really knows the true person inside of us.

Everyone that we share life with gets to know us a little differently. Your parents know more about what you were like as a child than anyone else. Your husband knows you as his wife and companion. Your kids know you as their mom. Especially when they are little, it starts to seem like you just exist to meet their needs. Your sister, or best girlfriend might know you in a completely different way. There are colleagues at work, or ladies at church that meet another version of you. Does anyone know who you really are??

What if I told you that there is someone out there who knows you better than anyone else, even better than you know yourself? He has always known you, and He always will. He knows every weakness and every strength. He has seen every victory and failure. He has watched your heart overflow in joyful moments, and seen it break during pain and loss. There is nothing you can hide from Him, not even your deepest thoughts. He hasn’t missed a moment of your life. And He has loved you the entire time.

There is only one who could ever know us that intimately and completely. Let’s explore what God says in His Word about how He knows and loves His children.

God knew us before we were born

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Psalms 139: 13-16

In Psalm 139, the Bible says that God already knew you as He was designing you in your mother’s womb. He “knit” you together taking care to weave every wonderful detail into just the person He wanted you to be. He did the same thing making each one of your precious children.

This beautiful Psalm also tells us that God knows every day of our lives before any of them even happen. That hard day you had with your toddler, when you felt like a total mom failure, He knew about that. The happiest day of your life, maybe your wedding, or the birth of your children, He was there too. An unexpected job loss, or a death in the family come as a surprise to us. But God isn’t surprised by any circumstance in our lives.

If God knows what every day of our lives will look like, that means He knows the same details about our children. We can trust Him with our kids every day. No matter what circumstances they may face, the Lord sees them coming. He is never caught off guard, and He isn’t worried. He is in control of it all. It is so comforting to know that God sees the big picture, when we only get a small glimpse.

God know everything about us

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.”

Psalms 139: 1-4

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”

1 Samuel 16:7

The Lord knows what is truly inside of us. Everyone else looks at our outward appearance. They see how we look, how we act, what kind of mood we are in. They know us, and we know them, by those outward expressions. We sometimes hide our real selves for fear that someone might not love us as we are.

But God looks straight into the depths our hearts. We never have to hide from Him, and we couldn’t even if we wanted to! He sees our secrets and sins, the pure and the ugly. He even knows our thoughts. And He loves us anyway. That is something to rejoice about! Let’s be honest, if other people could read our minds, how many of them would still love us??

God knows the thoughts and minds of our spouses, our children, our family and friends. He understands the hearts of our loved ones, even when we don’t.

Despite knowing everything about us that He does, God still chose to send His Son to save us from our own sin. He offered up His life on the cross, in exchange for ours, even though we are undeserving sinners. God sees us just as we are, and He offers the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”


‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:9-10‬ ‭

God knows what we will be

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

Philippians 3:20-21

One day those who have placed their trust for salvation in Jesus Christ will live with Him in glory, and have a brand-new body. We can only imagine what that will be like! I, for one, am excited. No matter how healthy we eat or how many hours we spend in the gym, this body we live in is going to break down. Every one of us has an expiration date. And only God knows what that it is. But what a hope to know that someday we will have an eternal body that will be glorious! We cannot even fathom what God is preparing for us for eternity. But He already knows.

Conclusion

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

John 10: 14-15

We may feel like there is no one on earth who knows who we really are. Sometimes we don’t even know ourselves. What a comfort to know there is a God who knew us before we were born, who knows everything about us, and who will know us for all of eternity! He knows you, do you know him? If not, you are always invited to read more about His love and His goodness in the Bible. There is nothing better in life, than to know the Lord who has made us fully known, freely forgiven, and forever loved.

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
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John‬ ‭17:3‬ ‭

Go Take A Hike

The glory of God’s creation is all around us. All we have to do is stop and open our eyes to take it in. One of my favorite ways to introduce my kids to concepts about God and His character is simply to look around at the amazing world He has made for us. There is so much wonder right where we live to teach us about our creator.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
Psalms‬ ‭19:1‬ ‭

Going on a ordinary walk or bike ride with your kids can become an exploration of God’s handiwork. Children are especially good at appreciating the awesome wonder of creation. It refreshes my soul as as mom to see my children’s excitement as they discover new things. It makes me stop and appreciate just how incredible our world really is!

Evidence of God’s attributes are all over creation. Four things I like to observe with my kids are God’s creative power, His artistry, the gifts and talents He gives, and His provision for all of His creatures.

God’s Creative Power

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
Romans‬ ‭1:20‬ ‭

I often wonder why it is that nature moves us and touches our hearts so much more than man-made things. Why do I stand on the seashore, or look at a mountain scene and feel so humbled, and in awe? Why do people love to be outside? And why are we overwhelmed by the breath-taking beauty of it all?

The answer I think, is that we are so impressed by God’s creation, because we know in our hearts that He is the only one capable of creating it. God has made us an amazing world so that we can see evidence of His eternal power and divine nature.

It’s like the words of the children’s Bible song… “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do. He made the trees, He made the seas, He made the elephants too. My God is so big, so strong and so mighty there’s nothing my God cannot do.” That’s actually a pretty good description of God’s creative power. Put simply for little ones to understand…He made it all and there is nothing He can’t do.

God’s Artistry

Our earth is the most beautiful masterpiece ever created. And God is the greatest artist there ever was or will be. From the highest mountain peak, to the tiniest insect that crawls on the ground, from the colorful fish at the bottom of the ocean, to the shining feathers of a bird in flight; God has made every detail perfect.

We could talk all day about the artistic details of creation, and we would never even begin to describe the unrivaled workmanship of our God. The colors of the different seasons are enough to leave us speechless.

No matter the season, or where we live, we can marvel at God’s creativity. Take a minute to stop and smell the flowers that our feet pass by every day. Look closely at their tiny details that so often go unnoticed.

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.”
Matthew‬ ‭6:28-29‬ ‭

To see some of God’s most beautiful work, just look up at the sky. It stretches out like a brand new canvas every day, ready for the master painter to leave His strokes of brilliant color.

God-Given Gifts and Talents

“There are four things which are little on the earth, But they are exceedingly wise: The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer; The rock badgers are a feeble folk, Yet they make their homes in the crags; The locusts have no king, Yet they all advance in ranks; The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, And it is in kings’ palaces.”
Proverbs‬ ‭30:24-28‬ ‭

Little boys love to look at ant hills. We find them everywhere. They are such amazing creatures. So tiny, and yet so strong and determined. Even the Bible gives mention to them. If their hill gets knocked down, they immediately scurry to rebuild. Such a lesson in hard work and determination.

Many people are afraid of spiders, but I think they are beautiful! Every time I see one, it reminds me of the careful detail of God’s design. Why did God give such a tiny creature such a unique talent to spin webs, so delicate and perfect in symmetry? How does the spider know which way to spin and turn next? If God gave such a gift to a little spider, how much greater are the gifts and talents He gives to His children?

We can choose any of God’s creatures to study with our kids and we will discover special gifts and talents. Bees that make honey, caterpillars that change into butterflies and then fly thousands of miles, geese that fly in a perfect “V”, and lizards that change color to camouflage, are just a few examples of animals we can see every day that show us how God carefully equips all of us with unique gifts.

God’s Provision

“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” Luke‬ ‭12:24‬ ‭

Our neighborhood is full of friends who can teach us about God’s provision. We see the birds and the ducks finding their food on the ground. We talk about how they never worry because God feeds them every day. So we should have the same peace that He will give us our daily bread provide for all of our needs.

Our favorite friends to greet on our hikes are the squirrels, and we see them everywhere! We notice the acorns that have fallen, ready for them to collect. We see them scamper by and zip up the trees. They always look so carefree, like they are playing a game of tag. My sons wonder at how they can run and climb so fast. They remind us how God has made every creature so precisely, and how He takes care of everyone He has made, especially His people!

“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew‬ ‭10:29-31‬ ‭

Sometimes we happen to see a creature who has sadly met his end. But even in that, there is a lesson about God’s goodness. This sweet verse from the gospel of Matthew tells us that not a single living thing leaves this world without God’s notice. We never have to fear because He sees us and He is in complete control.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” Job‬ ‭12:7-10‬ ‭

Going Further

If you want to expand the lessons of exploring the outdoors with your kids, there are tons of fun activities you can do!

Find a free printable of a scavenger hunt to take along on your outing. Kids love hunting to find things! You could bring paper and crayons or markers and let your children draw what they see. For older kids, maybe use paint and a canvas and let them paint a sky scene.

My boys especially love mazes. Here is a fun bug maze I got from education.com. They have worksheets on just about every topic and age level. I found lots of choices that relate to the outdoors like counting with baby ducks, and spider web addition.

https://www.education.com/games/math/

Let’s use our fine motor skills to make our way through this fun maze! Please visit Education.com for more critic thinking skills and activities!

Conclusion

God’s handiwork is everywhere! His fingerprints are all over His glorious creation! If you want to teach your children more about God’s power, artistry, gifts, and provision, while making great memories…just go take a hike!

Working the Night Shift

Once you become a mother your life will never be the same. If you’ve been a mom for more than a few minutes, than you know that one of the biggest changes and challenges is what happens to your sleep…or rather lack of sleep! It’s starts as soon as you bring that precious bundle home.

My sons were never good sleepers… whatever that means. When they were infants, they might sleep two hours at a time before the next feeding. I hated when people would ask the question everyone seems to ask… “Are they sleeping through the night yet?” Seriously!? Is this a real thing? Do babies even do that?! I had heard of this mythical phenomenon. To me it just sounded more like a cruel joke people say to the mom who hasn’t slept “through the night” in what feels like years, or actually has been years!?

There are so many emotions during those first months and years when babies and toddlers are so needy during the night. One minute I would be staring at their little faces completely in love thinking “Who needs sleep? I could just watch them all night.” Ten minutes later I would feel like crying out of pure exhaustion thinking “Why do these babies hate sleep?!” It’s kind of funny now, but for moms in the middle of the night shift, the struggle is real!

After almost five years I’m pretty used to someone calling, “Mommy!” pulling me out of sleep. “Night shift” I chuckle to myself as I roll out of bed to see what they need. Of course, as moms we also work the day shift, basically the 24/7-365 days a year shift. We are always on the clock, at least it feels that way, especially when our children are little. But every time I think about my job as a mother and how much time, energy and care it takes, I am reminded of someone else who never stops working, not even for a minute!

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭121:1-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This Psalm is short and sweet, and yet so profound. Where does our help come from? The Lord. Our little ones know that when they call out in the night, help is coming. Although I am tired and my body might rather sleep in those moments, my spirit is joyful and fulfilled to be the one they are calling. I can’t even imagine how much more God must feel, the maker of heaven and earth, as His many children are calling out to Him.

The next line that talks about not letting our foot slip always brings to my mind the image of a little child climbing a ladder or slide on the playground. Mom stands there right behind, letting them try, but making sure if her child’s foot misses the step and he or she starts to fall, she is right there to catch them in safe arms. What a tender picture of God’s love for us. He is right there if your children are slipping, or if your own foot feels unsteady trying to climb through the challenges of this life. He’s there with His arms out, ready to catch you before you fall.

Then there is the most amazing part of the Psalm; God never sleeps! He never stops caring for His children, not for one single second! I know as moms sometimes it may feel like we never sleep. But our limited, human bodies require rest to be able to live and function. God, however, is unlimited in His ability to care for His children day and night, without ceasing, the Psalm says “both now and forevermore.” Wow!

As I think back over the time I spent with my sons in the wee hours of the night, I am thankful for every minute. I treasure all of the extra time that I got to hold them and love them when they were babies. And I reflect on the ways God taught me, and still teaches me, more about Himself and His love through the night shift. Sitting in the quiet darkness, nursing, rocking, singing, snuggling, and praying are moments I honestly wouldn’t trade for any amount of extra sleep.

Now my boys are getting ready to turn 3 and 5 years old. They each have their own “big boy bed,” in the room that they share. Sleep is getting better! I tell them as I tuck them into bed that mommy has to sleep, but God never does. He watches them all night and keeps them safe. They can call to Him anytime. I know that one day they won’t need to call for me anymore. My prayer for them is that they will never forget their need to call to the Lord no matter how old they are.

Most nights they still wake up a time or two. It doesn’t bother me. They call me and I come. Those quiet nighttime moments are precious to me. My big boy usually just wants to be tucked in and kissed goodnight one more time. My little boy wants me to lay next to him while he falls back to sleep. They just want to know that I am there, and they are safe. Isn’t that the same thing we want to know about God? We need to be reassured that He is there and we are safe in His care. Psalm 121 gives us that assurance. Have you called to Him lately?

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.” Psalms‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

This is another one of my favorite verses about sleep. I love to pray it over my children. But I think we as moms need to remember to pray it for ourselves just as much. With all the thinking and planning and worrying and caring we do for our families, wouldn’t it be nice to just lie down and sleep in peace for a little while? We can, because God is there, He is in control, and we are safe in His care. We can be thankful that someone so much greater than us is always working the night shift.

When There’s Nothing Else to Say

This is one my favorite times of year. School has started; mom’s groups and Bible studies are all getting ready to kick off. It is a new beginning, a fresh start to set goals and do things better. It is a time to meet new friends, and learn new things. I was ready to share my best blog yet, full of truth and mommy wisdom. And yet there I was, unable to think of a single thing to say.

I sat there, staring at the blank screen and the blinking cursor. How could it be that I couldn’t think of anything to write about??

I have a whole list of topics and Bible verses that relate to this journey of motherhood that I want to share…and it’s good stuff! But going down that list none of it seemed like the right thing to say this week. So I just kept thinking and praying.

Then I began scrolling through social media and I became even more discouraged. There are so many things in the world to worry about…politics, social issues, environmental problems, injustice at every turn.

What is the answer to all of these problems? Is there anything worth saying in the midst of so much noise that is already surrounding us? Everyone seems to have a different answer. We are all “selling” something. What can I say that will really matter to anyone or make a difference?

As I wracked my brain day after day wondering what I should write about, I kept feeling like all there is to say is “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” This passage from 1 Corinthians kept coming to my mind.

“And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

1 Corinthians 2: 1-5 NIV

I love this passage so much where Paul is speaking to the church in Corinth. I feel like I could be saying the same thing to you today. On my own I am certainly not wise, definitely not eloquent, and so often weak. I am just a regular mom trying to figure it out from day to day. In fact, most days I feel pretty unqualified to give anyone advice about life or being a mom or a follower of Jesus. That’s when I am thankful to open up my Bible and read that God has a pattern of using people who are unqualified. That way, the credit can go directly where it belongs, to the Holy Spirit of God and His power.

During this season of new beginnings, and new goals, I am reflecting on going back to the basics of faith in Christ and what that means. What is the one thing we have as Christians that can make any difference to a hurting world? Jesus Christ and Him crucified!

When I scroll through the seemingly endless debates and disagreements on social media I think, “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

When I think about the mom who feels lonely, or overwhelmed by it all I think, “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

When I think about the only hope we have for this life and for eternity…I think, “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

We can give all the advice, and share all the human wisdom we can figure out. And nothing will be as powerful as those few words.

When I read my Bible, I see that every person who came in contact with Jesus was forever changed. Knowing Christ is what transforms lives. So maybe the best thing I can do in this life is just to try and introduce others to Him, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

If you haven’t heard the gospel, or maybe you just need a reminder, here are a few great verses that tell us what this Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about.

“God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 1:2-4 NLT

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Phil. 2: 6-11 NIV

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“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Roman 5: 6-8 NIV

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:12 NIV

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26 NIV

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16 NIV

There is a song that has been in my head all week long by the group 7eventh Time Down, called “Just Say Jesus.” I love the words to the chorus that say:

When you don’t know what to say
Just say Jesus
There is power in the name
The name of Jesus
If the words won’t come
Cause you’re to afraid to pray
Just say Jesus

The best words I have to share with you today are Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Know Him, love Him, read about Him in His Word and pray. Tell others what He’s done for you. Just say Jesus…to your friends, to your kids, to your husband, to yourself, to that mom you meet in the park that needs hope and a friend…when there’s nothing else to say.

Ducklings in a Row

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭127:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God uses funny things sometimes to teach us. The past couple of years I have found myself reflecting on life, and motherhood, whenever I see ducks. I know, a little weird right? I mean, ducks are nice animals I guess. I never gave them a whole lot of thought before. I am a dog person, and a horse lover. Their qualities are obvious: strength, beauty, loyalty, friendship. But God can use whatever He wants to teach us, even ducks. And they are pretty cute!

I first started noticing them about a year and a half ago when we moved into our house. Where we live there are so many quaint neighborhoods, all filled with pretty little lakes. It’s beautiful scenery. And in those lakes, of course, there are ducks. They became familiar faces, even before we knew anyone else in the neighborhood. We would see them on our bike rides and trips to the park. I still pass them on my morning runs and say “good morning, ducks”. They just look at me, but I think they appreciate the gesture.

My favorite is when the babies are born and my sons and I get to see the mother ducks with their little ducklings waddling along behind them. It’s adorable! In our area, all throughout the spring and summer there are new ducklings hatching. I love to point out to my boys how well the little ducks follow their mommy and stay right in line, what good listeners! And the mommy duck takes such good care guiding and protecting her young.

One particular day as the boys and I were out exploring by the lake, we saw one mother duck with 19 ducklings running alongside her. That’s a lot of babies! My first thought was how cool it must be to have that many ducklings! But I have to admit, she looked a little frazzled trying to keep them all together. I wondered if they were all from her own eggs, or if she had “adopted” some of them, or was babysitting for some other duck mommy…whatever the case, all 19 were obviously following her closely and energetically!

A moment later I looked over at the lake and saw a different mother duck with just one little duckling. They were swimming and eating together at the edge of the water. When I first saw them, I immediately felt a little sad. Why did one duck get 19 babies, and this momma only get one? But as I thought more about it, I realized maybe it wasn’t something to be sad about, maybe it was a sweet gift. The mother with 19 definitely wouldn’t be able to give each of her ducklings the individual attention that this baby was getting. It was so sweet to watch the two of them together, peacefully going about their business.

I am anthropomorphizing here a bit, putting my human thoughts and emotions onto these animals. I know that the mother ducks were not thinking deeply about their lives as I was at that moment, or comparing the number of babies they had. They were probably just following their instincts to look for food for themselves and their ducklings. But for me, the experience was much more profound.

In my mind, those momma ducks represent all of us who are caring for our little ones. We are trying to keep them safe from harm, teach them, and help them follow our lead. Whether you have 19 children…(you probably don’t have 19, but if you do…God bless you!), or 1 child, you have an important job to do. And it is important to do that job with all your heart!

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:23-24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God gave each us the amount of children he wanted us to have. Every one of them is a unique gift. Sometimes we get distracted when we look around and start comparing. I am fairly certain that the mother duck with one baby wasn’t looking jealously at the duck with 19 and feeling cheated, or like less of a mom. She was putting all of her energy into feeding and caring for the baby that was given to her. I am also pretty confident that the mom with 19 wasn’t jealous of the duck who had one. I don’t think she was focused on how overwhelmed she felt with the big job she was given, or wondering how will she ever take care of all of those ducklings?! Let’s be honest, she wouldn’t have time to think anyway, chasing 19 ducks! She was focused on the job at hand.

Watching these two duck mommies and their babies made me realize that whatever number of children we have, there are challenges and gifts that go along with those circumstances. The important thing is to be thankful for the gifts, and prayerfully rely on God and His strength through the challenges.

I told you that long story really just to say something very simple…be thankful for your job as a mother and do it with all of your heart and soul. Know that you are working for the Lord, even if no one else might notice the way you give so much to care for you little ones; He sees it all. No matter how many children you have, whether you have boys, or girls, or some of each, they are yours for a special purpose. Never forget that God chose you to be your children’s mother, not someone else. And He created your little ones for you. He knew what he was doing when he placed those little souls into your care, and he never makes mistakes. Whether you have one child, or four, or ten, or any number in between…you are the right woman for the job! I hope next time you see a duck you will remember this story and it might make you smile and think about what a special gift your children are to you. What matters is the attitude of your heart, and your commitment to being the best mom you can be for your kids, and for the Lord, not whether you have all of your ducklings in a row.

The 10 Best Things about Being a Mom

I love being a mom! I love it so much that I started this blog to encourage other moms in this wonderful, yet challenging journey. Most of my posts are based on things God has been teaching me along the way through my children and our life together.

For this post, I thought it would be fun to share with you my top 10 best things about being a mom. I hope that you will be blessed by this list. Maybe you will want to make one of your own, specific to your children. I hope it will remind you what a blessing it is to be the one they call “mommy.”

1. Every day is full of wonder, imagination and adventure.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” Job‬ ‭12:7-10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Sometimes as we grow up we forget the joys of childhood. We tend to lose our sense of wonder and imagination. Having little ones brings all of that magic back. Everything is brand new and exciting! Each day is a grand adventure. The possibilities are as endless as a child’s imagination. Whether they are climbing trees, riding horses, catching lizards, fishing, finding giant sticks, collecting rocks, visiting baby ducklings, playing in the rain, riding bikes, or watching animals, the world is a gift from God. And my boys are brave explorers ready to discover the awesome wonder all around them!

2. Endless Hugs, Kisses and Snuggles

My boys are so affectionate, and they love snuggles! I can’t even count the number of hugs and kisses I am blessed with in a day. Little bodies can give BIG hugs, filled with the best medicine to heal any sadness, and put joy in your heart. It is an incredible feeling to be loved by a child. While I admit, being a mom does not afford much “personal space,” the trade off is knowing how much you are loved in the sweetest, purest way possible. Hugs are good for the heart and soul!

3. Living with Super Heroes 

Little boys dressing up like super heroes…do I even need to say any more?! My sons wake up ready to rid the world of “bad guys.” They put on their capes and uniforms and start putting out fires and rescuing everyone from harm. I pray that my boys will always want to use the strength God has given them to be defenders of the weak and in need. They are already super heroes in my heart!

“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Psalm‬ ‭82:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬ 

4. The Laughter, Joy and Singing

“This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalms‬ ‭118:24‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Our days are filled with so much silly fun! Children can turn anything into a reason to laugh and sing. They love to be chased and tickled. They know what it means to truly be care-free, before the stresses of adulthood and the “to-do” list try to steal away our laughter. There is always time for a little more play, and deep belly laughs that make us fall on the floor. Children can also turn anything into a song. Their joyful music and silly giggles are a sweet sound, and a gift!

5. Hearing the Words “Mommy, I love you”

I waited a long time to be called “mommy.” I remember wanting to hear those words more than anything, and now I do…sometimes it seems like a million times a day! Hearing my sons call me mommy is music to my ears, even when it is “mommy, mommy, MOMMY!!!” over and over again. But there is no sweeter sound in all the world to my ears and my heart than when they look at me and say “Mommy, I love you.”

6. Watching Children Learn

Children really are like little sponges, they soak up everything! I love seeing their excitement as my sons learn something new. One of our favorite things to do is read together, books about anything and everything! My kids also love to learn skills like: riding a bike, swimming, playing sports, coloring and writing their names, playing board games…and too many others to mention! Every day I am amazed at how smart they are and how they seem to learn with such natural ease. Of all the wonderful things they learn each day, my favorite is seeing my sons learn about God, His Word, and His great love for us! What a gift and a privilege it is to be the first one to teach them the gospel and the love of Christ!

“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

Luke‬ ‭2:52‬ ‭NIV‬‬

7. Watching Children Sleep

“I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there.”

1 Samuel‬ ‭1:27-28‬ ‭NLT‬‬

There is something so beautiful and precious about watching a child sleep. I absolutely love it! I love when I get to see the moment they drift off into sweet dreams. And then I watch them a little longer, and all I can feel is gratitude. I look at their sweet faces night after night, and I am still in awe that God in His goodness would give me the gift of these two boys! I can never thank the Lord enough for my sons. As I watch them sleep peacefully I pray for them. But mostly all I can say is God thank you…thank you for my babies!

8. Seeing Their Unique Personalities

One of my favorite things about watching my sons grow bigger, is seeing their personalities develop. I love getting to know them as little individuals and seeing the things that make them who they are come to the surface. I realize that each one of them is different in his own way. They have their own favorite colors, foods, cartoons, and special toys. My sons are alike in so many ways, and yet different in so many others. We talk about how God made every person in the world unique. No one is exactly the same. We all have gifts and talents, likes and dislikes, that are all our own. God already knows my sons inside and out; He designed them. Now I get to enjoy knowing them too!

“But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”

1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:18-20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

9. The Relationship Between Siblings

I love watching my sons build a relationship with each other. One of things we repeat often in our daily life is “brothers are a team.” They have their arguments, but most of the time, they love each other dearly. They are best friends who protect and care for one another. They always have someone to play and laugh with. My prayer is that my boys will always be a team, and be best friends for life. Most of all, I pray they will encourage each other to seek the Lord all of their days.

“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭17:17‬ ‭

10. Knowing One Day They Will Grow Up

“And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.” Luke 2:40 NIV

This is the best thing, and the worst thing about being a mom. One day my sweet, precious little boys are going to grow up and leave home, and me! I get choked up thinking about it even now and they are only 4 and 2 years old! But I know that day is coming. I dread it. But I also look forward to it. I know my job as a mother is to prepare them for life on their own.

Life will be very different one day than it is now. That’s the way God designed it. I want my boys to stay little, but I also want them to grow. I am so excited to see what strong, wonderful men they will become. Yet I know in my heart, I will always look at them and see my little boys no matter how big they get.

So for now I am going to savor every day while they are still little, while they are still mine. When I think about the future I know that “one day” will get here soon enough…but not today. For now they are still my little boys. Today I still have hugs and kisses, snuggles and stories, laughter and playtime and songs. I get to be the one they pick flowers for and the one that hears them say “I love you.” Today I will store up another memory in my heart. Today I will love them with everything I have. I am thankful for today!

Living Water

My kids and I love summer…long days of sunshine, vacations, bike rides, eating ice cream and popsicles…but of all the things we love about summer, one thing stands out above the rest. Summer is about the water!

Where we live it gets very HOT in the summer, and we love going to the pool as much as possible! A couple of weeks ago we were on a mini vacation enjoying the pool at our hotel. It was so much fun to see the boys splashing and playing together. There was even a little slide they were both big enough to go down. As I watched them, the thought quickly passed through my head that water is what makes so much of our lives so wonderful. We are drawn to it. Water is essential to our very existence on this planet. We simply can’t live without it. And we love it! Where do people usually go on vacation? To the water! Whether it is the beach, a river, or a crystal clear pool, there is something amazing about swimming in, drinking in, and seeing the beauty of water that we can’t seem to get enough of.

In the very next thought it hit me…water! How many times in the Bible does God talk about water, and describe the gift of the water of life?

I am always amazed at how we can be doing the most ordinary things, and God uses our surroundings to remind us of Himself. I shouldn’t be surprised though. In the Bible it says:

“since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans‬ ‭1:19-20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The whole earth, and all of creation was made to praise the Lord and display His goodness and wonder!

“Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for at his command they were created, and he established them for ever and ever— he issued a decree that will never pass away. Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and women, old men and children.” Psalm‬ ‭148:3-12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The more I thought about water, I remembered the many times in the Bible where I had heard it referred to or used to illustrate something about God. I thought it would be fun to look up and share with you some of what it says. I hope you will be refreshed by God’s Word.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Genesis‬ ‭1:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Water is mentioned in the first two of verses of the Bible. Before there was light or the earth was formed, God’s spirit was hovering over the waters. No wonder we look at water and are overwhelmed by its power and beauty!

Here are a few more references to water from the book of Psalms.

“The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.” Psalm‬ ‭29:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Psalms‬ ‭23:1-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” Psalm‬ ‭42:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“The seas have lifted up, Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea— the Lord on high is mighty.” Psalm‬ ‭93:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

There are so many more passages in the Old Testament that speak of water. I encourage you to read some of them on your own.

Now here are a few more verses from the New Testament for you to examine.

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”” John‬ ‭7:37-38‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”” John‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”” John‬ ‭4:13-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

When I searched the word “water” on my Bible app, over a thousand verses were listed. There are amazing stories in the Old Testament like the flood and God saving Noah and his family, the parting of the Red Sea for the Israelites, and God’s provision giving them water in the dessert.

The New Testament as well is full of stories involving water such as: Jesus’ Baptism by John at the beginning of his ministry, many miracles including water (turning water into wine, walking on water, calming the storm), Jesus washing the feet of His disciples before His crucifixion, and the great commission to go and preach the gospel to every nation and baptize believers.

The Bible has so much to say about water! These verses have only scratched the surface. The goal of my blog is always to prompt you to dig deeper into God’s Word yourself. A passing thought I had in the pool inspired me to spend time in the Bible, learning more about who God is, and what He has revealed to us in His Word. Thinking about this topic has reminded me that God is in charge of everything, He made it all, and creation is all about displaying His glory. It also makes me reflect that just like water is essential for life, so is my relationship with God. His love refreshes my soul like cold water on a hot day. I need water every day to stay alive. Without it, I would die. But even more, I need God every day to live, both on earth and for eternity.

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:4-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I need the cleansing, purifying, life-giving, thirst-quenching water my soul can only find in Him.

“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” Romans‬ ‭6:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I want to share with you two final verses about water. We started with the first chapter of the first book, Genesis. We will end with verses from the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, Revelation. I think that is pretty cool!

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Revelation‬ ‭22:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Can you even imagine a more breathtaking waterfront view than of a river flowing from the very throne of God?!

“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” Revelation‬ ‭22:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Are you thirsty? Come to the living water!!