Can you recall a moment when you have walked through something so hard that during the crying out to God a bold prayer is birthed and a war cry prayer is spoken? I have had this happen more times than I can count. Today is about one of those times a war cry was birthed and I was determined to take back what the devil was trying to steal from me….. my children.
I am posting at Adoption Strong today! Read the rest here.....
I am happy to announce that we launched an adoption and foster care website called Adoption Strong: Finding strength together. We understand and know that choosing the path of adoption or foster care can be exciting and fearful at the same time. We know sometimes you can feel lonely on these paths. We also know that when you choose to adopt or foster a child, something is birthed in you and a passion ignites and compels you to make a difference in the lives of the fatherless in this world. I believe you will be so encouraged if you are a family that is praying or has chosen to take the journey of adoption or foster care. www.adoptionstrong.com
It's a new year and I love the week leading up to the first of the year. It is a week of anticipating how I can do things better, dream about what I would like to accomplish, and intentionally get excited about all that God has planned for my family and me for 2017. I use the first 21 days of January starting January 6 to fast and pray and get Godly direction for the new year. During this time, God will usually amplify a word or two and highlight a specific scripture that I know I will be coming back to again and again in the coming year.
Several years ago I started sitting our children down at the family table and making our children a New Year's Resolution template. I want them involved in new year goals. I want them to see the new year as a way to step back, look at their accomplishments in the past year or areas they need to focus on improving and pray and work towards those goals in the new year. Their growth spiritually, mentally, and physically not only benefits them but our family as well.
Feel free to download our simple New Year's Resolution Template to use at your home with your children. You can modify for adults too :) I would love to hear if you are downloading the template and using them with your children. Comment below and let me know! Also, please feel free to share using the facebook and tweet button below for others to download as well.
May God bless you and your family in abundance in 2017.
As a Mom to eight children, six who are adopted and two who are birthed, I learned early on that children love to hear stories especially their birth story! Telling our children stories has been one amazing tool to reach the heart of our children that we adopted and birthed. My husband and I parent with the goal of striving to reach the heart of our children. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” As stated in Strong’s Concordance, our heart denotes the center of all physical and spiritual life; our soul and our mind. Our heart is the fountain and seat of our thoughts, passions, desires, affections, purposes and endeavors. It is where our will and character begin. It is the very place in which we store up our treasures; where good and precious things are collected, and kept.
One of the first stories our children heard from us while growing up is their birth story. Children love to hear their birth story; the way we cried tears of joy when we first saw them, the joy we felt when we held them close to us; however, in our situation with adopting some of our children at different ages, 2, 9, 13, and 15 years old, not all our children’s “birth” stories we tell start when they were born. Some of our children came from hard places. Some of our children’s original birth story is one of rejection, abuse and abandonment. They came to us insecure and with hardened hearts. As parents who adopt children from hard places, we cannot change what others have done to them, however, we can draw from God’s word that He takes what the enemy meant for bad and turns it to good. Adoption is one way God turns bad into good. In Ephesians 1:5, His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family through Jesus Christ and it goes on to say that it gave Him great pleasure. Adoption was created by God. It is a way that God takes a child out of a bad or hard situation and places them in the arms of a loving family with the intention of nurturing and loving that child the way He nurtures and loves us.
For our children that came from hard places, their “birth” story is about how we prayed for them, the first time we met them and how we felt. One of our children got sick from a bag of candy we gave him the first time we met him in an orphanage in Peru when he was 8 years old. He loves to hear this story. We may not have experienced the first time he talked or walked but we did experience the first time he ate ice, the first time he rode on an escalator, and the first time he went ice skating when we went to Peru to adopt him. This is his “birth” story. Every time we tell our son his story he smiles real big. This story reaches his heart. It is a story of love and how we, his Mom and Dad, pursued him and wanted him. Our children that were older when we adopted them love to hear their “birth” story as much as our children we received at birth love to hear their actual birth story.
When we reach the heart of our children with their “birth” story, we begin the attachment and bonding process our children need. We provide a way for our children to feel secure and develop intimacy. Positive life-giving stories reach the heart of our children.
Aimee and her husband, Tommy, have eight children God blessed by adoption and birth. She and her husband lead His Heart for Orphans adoption ministry at Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Aimee is the Director and Coordinator of a statewide initiative Louisiana Heart Gallery where she advocates for children in the foster care system that are available for adoption. You can read more of their adoption and birth story here.
Romans 12:2 - Renewing the Mind. Are you or someone you know feeling hopeless, of no value, feeling less than, sad, and possibly depressed? Renewing our mind should be something we do daily. There are so many different opinions of how we should live life but as Christians we need to make sure we are not falling into thinking the way the world thinks or believing lies the enemy is telling us but rather believing and living by what God says in His word.
Join me today and let's come together based on Matthew 18:19-20 and pray for a renewing of our mind Romans 12:2. If this blesses you please consider sharing it with your family and friends who can be blessed by this prayer as well.
By faith, we come together to pray and believe God's word for our family and friends. Today I will pray directly from Luke 2:52. I would love for you to join me in prayer!
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Introducing By Faith Prayer! This is an invitation to come together by faith to pray and believe God's word for our family and friends. I would love for you to join me in prayer :)
We have all been there… the battle of the wills in parenting a child; whether it’s coming face to face with a child who decides to be completely disobedient or encountering a highly demanding or stubborn child. Like most Moms, you too may be at your wits end, stuck in this parenting role with no more solutions to get your child to change their behavior or their bad choices.
I want to be a Mom who parents with a gentle, tender, and calm spirit but I find when my child exhibits the same negative traits such as laziness, stubbornness, manipulation, and dishonesty for the 100th time (and the list could surely go on), I parent out of frustration and complete astonishment that we are revisiting the same behavior I have been correcting this child on for some time. And before I know it, my voice is raised and we both end up with defensive attitudes and the dialogue that happens becomes more about arguing and who will get the last word rather than resolving the situation.
During these moments, I can feel a wall rise up and take a strong position between us resulting with my child and I divided against each other instead of the two of us coming together and communicating with love, grace and mercy. This is not the Mom I want to be so I have to ask myself who really needs to change…. my child or me? The answer to that question is we both need to change but the truth is I, as the parent, need to change first before I expect my child to make changes. Instead of drawing from the principles and practices demonstrated in the bible on how to parent, we immediately unleash our feelings of anger and frustration which results in raising our voices, putting our foot down, demanding our children stop the behavior or else, and silencing their voices from being part of the conversation.
I truly believe our children do not personally seek to insult, disobey and disrespect us just as we don’t personally seek to parent out of anger and frustration. They, just like us, are battling their sinful nature even though they may not realize what is happening. This is why God’s perfect will is for children to have parents. We have the amazing role to love and nurture them and gently take hold of their hands to guide and teach them in the ways they should go so when they are older they will not depart from it. “God’s plan is for us to parent as He, our Father in heaven, parents us.” Without applying biblical truth to our parenting and letting Him guide us, our emotions will always take precedence creating a tug of war between what we want to do rather than what we know we should do.
I am still learning but I do know no amount of lecturing, raised voices, demanding attitudes towards our children or harsh punishments for them will result in long term changes to our children’s behavior if we don’t learn how to do the following three things:
First, model the behavior we want our children to have. Psalm 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” I cannot expect my child to exhibit Godly traits if I am not demonstrating the very traits I want my child to have.
Second, reach the heart of our children. Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Sometimes I can get so preoccupied with the negative behavior that I miss reaching the heart of my child and the reason for the negative behavior. I must make a connection between the behavior and their heart. I can do this by involving them in the conversation, helping them see the sin in the bad behavior, and see God’s truth in the right behavior.
Last, Pray. I need to pray that God will give me wisdom and continue to guide me in my parenting, teaching me to model Godly traits to my child and softening their hearts to receive biblical instruction and Godly truths. Deuteronomy 6: 1 “These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all His decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life.”
Keep going, my parenting friend! It’s never too late to start modeling the behavior you want your children to have, to reach their hearts by connecting biblical truths to behavior and to pray for God’s wisdom to lead and guide you! Don’t get disheartened. I have a feeling you are doing better than you think. You are not alone in this parenting journey! Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Hello and Welcome!
Wife, Mother, Adoption Advocate, Writer
Who am I? Galatians 2:20 does a great job of summing up who I am. My life is His, the One who loves me and gave Himself for me . In return, I want to be all He wants me to be and do all He wants me to do on this side of Heaven.
Recipient of the Angels in Adoption Award 2016. A program of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in Washington D.C.
Adoption and Foster Care Support
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