FATHERS DAY PRAYER BLITZ: Legacy

Every man, every father leaves a legacy of some kind. What if we prayed for the men in our lives to realize this, and live every moment to build a godly legacy for their children?

legacy

Each day this week, we will post specific scripture references pertaining to fathers/fatherhood/heavenly Father for us to intentionally focus on in prayer. Let’s HONOR the fathers (biological, step, adoptive, spiritual)  in our lives by standing in the gap for each of them.   If you missed the preblitz prayerhusband prayerparenting prayerheart prayer, or abandoned children prayer, be sure to go back and read/pray them!

Today we focus on the legacy as fathers the men in our lives pass on to their children.

Day Five Scripture Focus: Legacy

He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done. ~2 Chronicles 26:4 (NIV)

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)

Day Five Prayer Focus: Legacy

  • Pray that fathers will embrace the desire to pass along a Godly legacy to their children by training them up to love and serve God.
  • Pray (wives) that your husband/children's father will remember and embrace the Godly wisdom and healthy behaviors his father taught them.
  • Pray your children will accept and embrace the Godly wisdom passed on to them from their father and not depart from it.

Repentance & Forgiveness Pray and ask God to show you times you have disregarded your father's godly and wise instruction and ways and repent for it. Repent for times you have disregarded your Heavenly Father's wisdom and plan for your life. Fathers: Repent if you have neglected your God given responsibility to train up your own children in the fear of the Lord.

Forgive your own father/father-in-law for times they have not embraced Godly fatherhood, disappointed you, led you along the wrong path or turned away from God's plan for their life. Pray and ask God to show you how to be a Godly father if you have not had a good example in your own life. Pray for a humble heart to follow God's instructions for fatherhood from His word and a desire to pass along a Godly legacy and example to your own children.

Pray a blessing, (even if in faith) over the fathers (your own/children's father,/father-in-law) in your life and praise God for their divine wisdom, desire to lead their children along the way they should go so that they will not depart from it. Praise God for His perfect example of Fatherhood and unconditional love and acceptance. Declare that you are loved, wanted and accepted in the beloved. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT ART OF MARRIAGES! Join us September 5-6 at Faith Fellowship in Kinston! 

AOM

Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us! 

christian cruise

Enjoy Al Mohler, Crawford & Karen Loritts, Dennis Rainey, Chris August, Andrew Peterson, Shaunti Feldhahn, Ron Deal, David Nasar, Jimmy McNeal, Kerri Pomarolli and Ron McGehee...and Intentionally Yours' Scott & Sherry Jennings at I Still Do, a one day marriage event that will strengthen your marriage and rekindle the romance!

ISD-I-Still-Do-Fall-2014

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Father's Day Prayer Blitz: Abandoned Chidren

Children get their first glimpse of God and form their first ideas about God from what they see in their fathers. In this crazy world where so many children grow up without fathers in their lives, we're raising a generation of children who don't know what to think about God. abandoned

Each day this week, we will post specific scripture references pertaining to fathers/fatherhood/heavenly Father for us to intentionally focus on in prayer. Let’s HONOR the fathers (biological, step, adoptive, spiritual)  in our lives by standing in the gap for each of them.  If you missed the preblitz prayerhusband prayerparenting prayerheart prayer, or the legacy prayer be sure to go back and read/pray them!

Today we focus on the children who are or feel abandoned by their fathers- maybe that is you? Or your husband?

Day Four Scripture Focus: Abandoned Children

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families... ~Psalm 68:5, 6a

Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me. ~Psalm 27:10 

I will proclaim the LORD’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father." ~Psalm 2:7 

Day Four Prayer Focus: Abandoned Children

  • Pray for fatherless children to receive and be comforted by their Heavenly Father.
  • Pray for the fatherless to understand and accept their God given identity as children of God.
  • Pray for abandoned children to be placed in stable, intact homes.
  • Pray for fathers and children who have felt abandoned by their earthly fathers, to realize the love of their Heavenly Father, and the security that He has not nor will He ever abandon or forsake them.

Repentance/Forgiveness

Repent for any unforgiveness or resentment you have held toward your own father, if you were or ever felt abandoned in any form.

Repent if you are a father that has abandoned your own children or behaved in any manner that caused them to feel abandoned. Ask God to restore, heal and bless your relationship with your children and even future grandchildren.

Forgive your father if you have ever felt abandoned, alone, unprotected, unloved or unworthy of your father's love and affection.

Wives/mothers: Pray for your husband, if he was fatherless or felt abandoned, that he would be surrounded by Godly father figures and that he would seek God's will and instruction on how to be a loving and involved father to his own children. Pray that he will release any bitterness or unforgiveness and embrace the freedom that God-inspired forgiveness can bring.

Pray for your children to have a heart of forgiveness toward their own father if they have ever felt abandoned or rejected by him. Pray they would truly know their identity in Christ as a child of God, loved and accepted by their Heavenly Father.

Husbands/fathers: Pray and ask God to surround you with Godly, fatherly figures and mentors. Pray to release any unforgiveness or resentment and embrace the freedom that God-inspired forgiveness brings. Pray for healing of any father-inflicted wounds upon your heart, rooted in rejection and abandonment. Pray to know God's love and acceptance for you, deeply, as the perfect Father He is.

Prayer Declarations

Thank you God that my father chose to give me life. I praise you Heavenly Father that I am your child and you call me your son/daughter. I praise you for choosing to be my Father and always being there for me. I pray blessings upon my own father and that he may know your perfect Fatherly love. I pray my own children will feel loved, protected and cared for. I pray restoration of all the father-child relationships I am associated with. Thank you God for the family I have and am a part of. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

Father's Day Prayer Blitz: The Heart

When God asked King Solomon what he wanted, King Solomon replied he wanted a heart. What if we prayed for the men in our lives to have that same kind of heart Solomon asked God to give him? Here’s what I want: Give me a God-listening heart so I can lead your people well, discerning the difference between good and evil. For who on their own is capable of leading your glorious people? ~1 Kings 3:9 MSG

Each day this week, we will post specific scripture references pertaining to fathers/fatherhood/heavenly Father for us to intentionally focus on in prayer. Let’s HONOR the fathers (biological, step, adoptive, spiritual)  in our lives by standing in the gap for each of them.If you missed the preblitz prayer, husband prayer or parenting prayer, be sure to go back and read/pray them!

hearts

Today we focus on the heart of the father for the men in our lives.

Day Three Scripture Focus: The Heart

And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction. ~Malachi 4:6

Day Three Prayer Focus: The Heart

  • Pray for your self/husband to have a heart for your/his children.
  • Pray for your own father/father-in-law to have a heart for his children, regardless of age.
  • Pray for your children to have a heart for you/their father.

Repent/Forgive

Fathers/husbands: Repent for moments that you may have neglected your child or not attended to their needs in an appropriate manner. Pray for God to give you divine parenting wisdom, restore divine order in your family and relationship with your children. Repent for times you may not have heeded your earthly or heavenly father's attempts at having a relationship with you.

Mothers/wives: Repent for any way you may have stood between or hindered your children's relationship with their father or your husband's relationship with his/your children. Pray for God to restore relationships and divine order in your family. Repent for any ways you have rejected your earthy or heavenly Father's attempts at relationship with you. Forgive your father for any ways you felt rejected or not cared for.

Forgive your own father for moments he may not have attended to your needs or you felt like he neglected you, in any way.

Pray and declare in faith:

As a son or daughter: Thank you God that my father's heart is turned toward me and my heart is turned toward him. I pray my own father will feel loved, cherished and cared for not only by his earthly father but by our Heavenly Father as well.

As a father: Thank you that my heart is turned toward my children and their heart is turned toward me. May I love and provide for them. May I have the divine wisdom to understand them and be attentive and understanding to their individual needs. May I enjoy my children whole heartedly. May my children feel loved, cherished and cared for by me.

As a mother/wife: Thank you that my children's hearts are turned toward their father and his heart is turned toward them. May I do nothing to stand in the way of my children's relationship with their father. May my children feel loved, cherished and cared for by their father.

Lord Jesus, give the men in my life eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts that are engaged in You and the battle around them, that they will know who they are, where they are, and the good You are up to in their lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT ART OF MARRIAGES! Join us August 15-16 at Living Waters in Pikeville or September 5-6 at Faith Fellowship in Kinston! 

AOM

Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us! 

christian cruise

Enjoy Al Mohler, Crawford & Karen Loritts, Dennis Rainey, Chris August, Andrew Peterson, Shaunti Feldhahn, Ron Deal, David Nasar, Jimmy McNeal, Kerri Pomarolli and Ron McGehee...and Intentionally Yours' Scott & Sherry Jennings at I Still Do, a one day marriage event that will strengthen your marriage and rekindle the romance!

ISD-I-Still-Do-Fall-2014

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Father's Day Prayer Blitz: Parenting

Every dad is the family role model, whether or not he wants the job. ~Dennis Rainey

Welcome to Day Two of the Father’s Day Prayer Blitz! Be sure to go back and read the preblitz prayer and day one.

parenting

Each day this week, we will post specific scripture references pertaining to fathers/fatherhood/heavenly Father for us to intentionally focus on in prayer. Let’s HONOR the fathers (biological, step, adoptive, spiritual)  in our lives by standing in the gap for each of them. Today we focus on the role of father for the men in our lives.

Day Two Scripture Focus: Parenting

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord. ~Ephesians 6:4

Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged.  ~Colossians 3:21 

Day Two Prayer Focus: Parenting

For Your Father/Father-In-Law: Pray that your father/father-in-law will demonstrate love and patience toward your/your husband even as an adult and be a Godly and encouraging influence on your/your husband's life.

For Yourself/your wife: Pray that you/your wife will respect and honor your husband's/your way of encouraging, instructing and disciplining your children and that you and your wife/you and your husband will be in Godly agreement on how to encourage, instruct and discipline your children.

For Yourself/your husband: Pray that you/your husband will demonstrate love and patience toward your children, regardless of their age and will be a Godly and encouraging influence on their lives.

Repentance/forgiveness: Fathers: repent for times you have been impatient and/or discouraging to your children. Ask God for divine parenting wisdom and love to respond to your children appropriately.

For your father/father-in-law: Pray forgiveness for times your father/father-in-law did not demonstrate patience and encouragement for you as their child.

Using the scriptures above, pray a declaration and blessing over yourself, your father/father-in-law and children:

Heavenly Father, thank you that my father is patient with me, and that I can go to him for Godly wisdom, instruction and encouragement. Thank you Heavenly Father for standing in the gap and being the perfect father and showing me/my husband how to be a Godly example to my/our children. In Jesus name, Amen.

Yes, you can pray these words in faith even if you have not experienced this in your own fatherly relationships yet! LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT ART OF MARRIAGES! Join us August 15-16 at Living Waters in Pikeville or September 5-6 at Faith Fellowship in Kinston! 

AOM

Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us! 

christian cruise

Enjoy Al Mohler, Crawford & Karen Loritts, Dennis Rainey, Chris August, Andrew Peterson, Shaunti Feldhahn, Ron Deal, David Nasar, Jimmy McNeal, Kerri Pomarolli and Ron McGehee...and Intentionally Yours' Scott & Sherry Jennings at I Still Do, a one day marriage event that will strengthen your marriage and rekindle the romance!

ISD-I-Still-Do-Fall-2014

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Father's Day Prayer Blitz Day One: Husband

Welcome to Day One of the Father's Day Prayer Blitz! Did you miss the pre-blitz prayer? Read it here!

Each day this week, we will post specific scripture references pertaining to fathers/fatherhood/heavenly Father for us to intentionally focus on in prayer. Let’s HONOR the fathers (biological, step, adoptive, spiritual)  in our lives by standing in the gap for each of them.

DCF 1.0

Day One Scripture Focus: Husband

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. ~Genesis 2:24

Day One Prayer Focus: Husband

Appropriate Biblical Order:
  • Pray for fathers {grandfathers} to release their sons from obligations to family of origin that go above and beyond his obligation to his wife and children.
  • Pray for husband/father to cleave to his wife as God intended.
  • Pray for husbands to leave the ways of his family of origin and embrace new ways of doing things, new traditions, new ways of relating to his wife as God intended.
  • Pray for husbands/fathers to leave behind the unhealthy patterns of behavior inherited or learned from his family of origin and embrace and model healthy behaviors for his children.
  • Pray for children to respect their father and mother's relationship.
  • Pray for ONENESS between father & mother (husband and wife--including previous generations/grands)--and that the father/husband would *desire* oneness with his wife.
  • Pray for fathers to recognize themselves also as husbands and to desire to be a good example of a husband to their children.

Lord Jesus, thank You for showing us Your design for men, husbands and fathers. You are a God of ORDER, not chaos! You ordained the priorities in their lives to become the men You created them to be first and foremost, which leads them to become the husbands you intend them to be as they cling to You and their wives, which prepares them to be the fathers You created them to be. May You be the primarily model of man, husband, and father to the men in our lives. May they pursue You like never before, draw them to You! In Your precious name we pray, AMEN!

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT ART OF MARRIAGES! Join us August 15-16 at Living Waters in Pikeville or September 5-6 at Faith Fellowship in Kinston! 

AOM

Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us! 

christian cruise

Enjoy Al Mohler, Crawford & Karen Loritts, Dennis Rainey, Chris August, Andrew Peterson, Shaunti Feldhahn, Ron Deal, David Nasar, Jimmy McNeal, Kerri Pomarolli and Ron McGehee...and Intentionally Yours' Scott & Sherry Jennings at I Still Do, a one day marriage event that will strengthen your marriage and rekindle the romance!

ISD-I-Still-Do-Fall-2014

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Father's Day Prayer Blitz Pre-Prayer

FATHER'S DAY!?!

It's just days away. I feel strongly to do a prayer blitz SPECIFICALLY for FATHERS! Biological fathers, stepfathers, adoptive fathers, foster fathers, spiritual fathers...

Who wants to join me?

blitz

Father's Day Prayer Blitz Points

We'll focus on three major relational prayer points:

  • your children's father
  • your husband as a father (if you are a wife)
  • your own & our spouse's father

And the most important other one--relationship with HEAVENLY FATHER.

These relationships are important in each direction. Even if a father has passed away, there may still be healing that needs to occur. I bet many wives would agree, you recognize similar behaviors in relationship between your husband and his father and the relationship between your husband and your children.

You've also got to pray about your own relationship with your own father and that influence in our lives.

I encourage you to fast in some form this week. Never fasted before? You choose your own way and *thing* to fast as the Lord leads. Don't complicate it. 

Each day this week, we will post specific scripture references pertaining to fathers/fatherhood/heavenly Father for us to intentionally focus on in prayer. Let's HONOR the fathers in our lives by standing in the gap for each of them.

Start with YOURSELF.

Meditate on this verse:

Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. ~Exodus 20:12

Go before the Lord in humility. Ask Him to reveal to you anything you need to confess or repent from, that may have involved:

  • Dishonoring your own father/father-in-law.
  • Dishonoring your husband (wives) as a father/dishonoring yourself (husbands) and believing lies of the enemy as a father.
  • Dishonoring your husband's role as father to or in front of your children/husbands-dishonoring/relinquishing your role as a father to your children
  • Dishonoring God as your heavenly Father.

Declare your forgiveness through the shedding of Christ's blood that has cleansed you.

  • Confess and forgive any wounds perpetrated against you by your own father/father-in-law or the father figure (such as your own husband) in your life.
  • Forgive any wounds (for husbands) of being dishonored that have been perpetrated against you as a father (by anyone, your wife, own children or father).
  • Declare their forgiveness, as you have been forgiven through the cleansing of the shed blood of Christ.
  • Ask God for divine healing and softening of your own heart for any issue you are struggling with.

You can stand in the gap on behalf of your spouse for any of these prayer points. Pray and ask God to close any and all doors of offense between you and your spouse, father and/or father-in-law, or you and your children.

Pray a blessing of honor and thankfulness over each father figure in your life and the relationship you have with them.

Make a declaration using the verse above over/on behalf of yourself, your spouse, your children:

I thank you God that I honor my father and mother, therefore I will live long in the land my heavenly Father has given me.

 

Mother's Day: Thanks, Mom...I Am Grateful

Mother's Day. It's been rolling around every year since 1908. Well before I entered this world. But in my 40+ years of being a Son, 20+ years of being a Husband, and now 15 years of being a Dad, I'm not sure I've ever gotten it right. On May 6th, 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant did a great job of honoring his Mom on an international platform.

I'd have to say, if anyone ever did, he got it right! I just posted a short clip, but the full speech brought me to tears. In addition to taking some humorous "pot shots" at some of the people/organizations who said he'd never amount to much, Durant just poured his heart out in thanks for the selfless sacrifice that his Mom made through the years. SO powerful!

But Mother's Day is always a mixed bag for me.

mother

It's not Wife's Day, it's Mother's Day

I want to honor my wife. She IS a great Mother to our kids, but of course she's not *my* Mom, so I've never felt a great need to make a big deal about her on Mother's Day. I believe I've even told her in the past, "It's not Wife's Day, it's Mother's Day." Yeah...not good. So, as you can imagine, I've really botched it up for my wife on more than one occasion. Thank God for forgiveness and second chances, right? Of course, I do see the need to model honoring her well to my kids. This is something I endeavor to do every day. And I will keep trying to get it right on Mother's Day. But I'll be the first to say that I've probably got a long way to go.

I do have my reasons. Or maybe I should just say, there are reasons for why I am so conflicted.

 

Losing My Mother

My birth Mother died when I was 9 months old, largely because she chose not to abort me. There's a longer story but that's the nut shell. This brings both gratitude and regret. I am incredibly grateful for the sacrifice my Mother gave so that I could live. As John 15:13 states so clearly, there really is no greater love. And it's not as though she knew how I would turn out. I was a total unknown quantity, and yet she gave her life for me. She is, and will always be, my hero. But I'm not so sure her choice was even about me, really. On her tombstone is Philippians 1:21 "For me to live is Christ, to die is gain." She gave her life to Christ just a few years earlier, and when she did, everything changed - including my life. To give up her chance at continuing to live was just being obedient, just following Christ's example. In truth, all of us have someone who has given up his life so that we may live. She recognized that, and followed in His footsteps. I am grateful.

Another Mother

But there's more reason for my source of conflict around Mother's Day. From the time I was 6, I was raised by a wonderful woman I call "Mom", really my step-Mom, and I appreciate greatly and love her much. I wasn't an easy kid to raise. I was full of energy, extremely curious, very naive, and not just a little head strong. Just picture a real-life Dennis the Menace. That was me. Only, my "Mr. Wilson" would be my Mom. So, needless to say, we didn't always get along very well. There were humorous moments, but a lot of tension as well. It was a really good thing when I finally reached adulthood and began to grow up a little. My Mom and I get along really well now - I'd say we even enjoy one another. But again, I've not always done a very good job of honoring this woman whom God has given me as Mom.

The tension for me, even now, is that I have this fierce sense of loyalty to my bio Mom - my first Mom. It's like I don't want to give too much honor to my second Mom as it might diminish my love for my first Mom. But I keep working on it. Because I am grateful.

Uniquely Prepared for the Foster Parent Journey

You may be reading this and feeling just a bit sorry for me. Please don't. Romans 8:28 says that all things work together for good, for those who love and are called of God. And I'm seeing how that has happened (is happening) in my life. You see, I'm a foster parent. This is a new journey for our family, sort of. My wife and I were foster parents before we had kids of our own, and just recently we've taken up that mantle once again. We've been hosting a young man in our home as part of a respite (temporary) situation, and I see in his life a tension that I recognize very clearly. In fact, it's a tension that I am uniquely equipped to not only recognize but to empathize - because of my life's journey. I see how he holds his birth family (as messed up as they may be) in high esteem, and how that has brought conflict between him and his adoptive family. I see how that shapes many of the decisions he makes, sometimes almost incapacitating him. And I get it. I've experienced some of the same feelings, the automatic protective mechanisms, the first-nature responses to life.

And I know, God can use me - and all of my life experiences - for the good of this young man, as well as others who will come through our home. Not in spite of who I am or my life experiences, but because of them. And I am grateful.

 

 

IT'S ART OF MARRIAGE TIME!! We've got two events in May, will you join us in Pikeville, North Carolina or Poquoson, Virginia to work on the masterpiece of your marriage? 

AOM

FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember gave us God's blueprint for marriage and continues to strengthen and transform it, it can change yours, too!

weekend to remember

Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us! 

christian cruise

Enjoy Al Mohler, Crawford & Karen Loritts, Dennis Rainey, Chris August, Andrew Peterson, Shaunti Feldhahn, Ron Deal, David Nasar, Jimmy McNeal, Kerri Pomarolli and Ron McGehee...and Intentionally Yours' Scott & Sherry Jennings at I Still Do, a one day marriage event that will strengthen your marriage and rekindle the romance!

ISD-I-Still-Do-Fall-2014

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2E7-A0d-cM?rel=0]

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

SHAKE IT OFF! Parenting Through Separation

First, I apologize for calling the time spent with a 'non-custodial parent' a 'visitation'. It really devalues what should be known as 'parenting.' Period. However, for the sake of what is commonly known as the time when your children are with their other parent, I will stick to the commonly used word. parenting

Parenting When Separated

When my husband and I first separated and my kids spent time with us separately, I noticed an attitude shift every time they returned. I can't blame anyone. It was what it was. All of us were reeling and even if the kids couldn't fully articulate what was happening in their spirit, they could feel something was not right.

Almost immediately, as they walked in the door, the atmosphere changed into agitation. They would begin bickering or one would smart off to the other--or to me, unprovoked. If I let it go, pretty soon all sense of order would be replaced by unexplained emotional chaos.

They would literally walk up the porch steps smiling and happy, give dad hugs and kisses goodbye, step over the threshold into our home and BAM! Baditude time!

I'm not going to get into all the psychological drama that may have been occurring in their hearts and minds. I only want to share what has worked for us in handling the immediate transition of the children being transferred from one parent to the other.

Shake It Off

I started a ritual we call: 'Shake It Off'. After they say their goodbyes to dad and he has driven away, we all walk back out onto the porch. They are instructed to 'shake it off.' We all physically shake our bodies vigorously. The way we used to do as kids at the end of the Hokey Pokey song. Remember that? "You put your whole body in. You put your whole body out. You put your whole body in and you shake it all about. You do the hokey pokey and you turn it all around, that's what it's all about!"

While they are physically shaking; hands, arms, ankles, legs, etc., I say a prayer or positive statement aloud, that anything that has occurred or been experienced prior to this moment, will be shaken off and left outside. I continue with something positive indicating that once we step  into the home, we will have a good evening of peace and love. This works well as a prayer, rebuking anything that is not of God, to leave and not be allowed to enter your home. We end the shake off with a deep breath as we reenter our home together.

This also gave my children key words we recognize and use to indicate they  desire an attitude shift even if they can't explain it or have no desire to talk about it. I will ask, "Do you need to shake if off?" And they know they can step outside, shake it and come back in and start over. They are free to ask me this too--and they do! It's not offensive, non-threatening and a great way to redirect and do a self-check.

It gives us a safe way to talk about issues with out having to feel embarrassed or awkward. By altering just a couple words, "Do you need to shake anything off?" they know they can talk, if anything is bothering them. It lets them know the door is open, figuratively, if they are ready to talk, with out it having to feel awkward by me asking directly, "Do you want to talk?"

This is one empowering exercise that can be used to help your children navigate these confusing and sometimes heart wrenching seasons. Emotions can be out of control and often children aren't even aware of what or why they are feeling the way they are.

Children don't have control over their parent's marital relationship. They rarely have control over where they will live or whose home they will be sleeping in that night. However, they can be taught skills to give back some self-control when they are subjected to situations out of their control. As parents, we are not only responsible for teaching our children how to control their emotions but to teach them tools to manage them as well.

 

How do stepfamilies handle stress? How do you choose between spouse and child? Learn powerful, practical tools to build YOUR successful stepfamily from world renown expert Ron Deal!

Stepfamily 2013 fb

FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember gave us God's blueprint for marriage and continues to strengthen and transform it, it can change yours, too!

weekend to remember

Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us! 

christian cruise

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

There's no STEP about it! (how I speak blended)

Ever After, the 1998 Cinderella story and the evil stepmother is classic! One of my favorite lines is when the stepmother, Angelica Houston, dismisses the old man that Cinderella just rescued from jail, saying  “Go, catch a chicken!” For some reason it makes me laugh, but it is sad that this stepmother doesn’t care that Cinderella is thrilled to have him home; she doesn’t care about anyone other than herself. step

This has been my favorite movie for years, but I absolutely abhor the thought that stepmoms are characterized this way.  When my husband and I first got married almost 12 years ago, I was determined that we would NEVER use the word “step” to describe our family's relationship with each other.  I hate the idea that this image of a selfish, cruel parent comes to my mind for my role, and I didn’t want my son to ever call me stepmom!

So my husband and I made a conscious decision that we would always refer to our boys as our boys.  When people ask us about our kids, we tell them we have three boys!  It has been a priority for us to use this language because we never wanted the step children to feel they didn’t belong, or were less important to either of us.

Step into reality

Recently, a simple conversation, at the end of the school day, turned into a moment that snapped me back to reality where all this is concerned.  When I asked Lucas to tell me about his day, he told me about a form he had to fill out in class listing his family members, and our relationship to him.  It was like a slap in the face when he told me that he checked the stepmom box for me!!

This truly is a silly thing to get upset about, but it hit me hard!  My first reaction was hurt; then I was scrambling to think of a way to get the school to change that crazy form!  I mean, how dare they not recognize that they were going against our family beliefs!? 

THEN, somehow, I was able to produce a normal, calm response, and said, “oh, that’s the best answer I guess.”  His simple response was “yeah.”  That was the end of the conversation, but my feelings were SO hurt, and he had no clue!  It isn’t a conversation that I’ve ever had with him, but he will never realize how awful I feel if I catch myself explaining to other people that he’s my stepson.  I want him to feel as much mine as my other 2 boys, and saying step just implies the opposite to me…

...children and adults often find themselves disagreeing because of contrasting viewpoints. For example, adults sometimes object to labels like “stepfamily” or “stepparent” because they make them feel second-class or evil. However, kids use these exact terms quite freely to describe what seems obvious to them. ~ Ron Deal, A Matter of Perspective

When you are in the middle of raising kids, there are so many battles to fight, but I don't think one of them should be for the school to fix that form!  When you mix in the step factor into parenting, you are often times facing obstacles that literally, only Jesus can overcome!

Blended families don’t blend just because you want them to; rather, they clearly start out as “stepfamilies” and cook very slowly until a blending of relationships, identities, traditions, purposes, and hearts occurs. ~Ron Deal, Talking Blended

In my world, there is no step about it.  Sometimes it’s necessary to use these terms to define our family dynamics to help people understand us a little deeper.  I hope one day he will appreciate all this, and realize that I tried my best!  I am far from a perfect mom/stepmom, but with the strength of Jesus behind me, I can love this boy that is both mine and not mine!

But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all your works good. ~Psalm 73:28 

How do stepfamilies handle stress? How do you choose between spouse and child? Learn powerful, practical tools to build YOUR successful stepfamily from world renown expert Ron Deal!

Stepfamily 2013 fb

FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember gave us God's blueprint for marriage and continues to strengthen and transform it, it can change yours, too!

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Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us! 

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We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Hope Flooding In

This mom has good days, but the last few haven’t been my favorite.  I don’t know what it is, but it’s a general feeling of heaviness, the weight of worry, insecurity, and lack of accomplishment.  I’m sitting in between the busyness of toddler care, being ignored by my pre-teen, and wondering what’s next. hope

I’m feeling lost, unsure, and immobilized by the fear of failing.  I’m irritable, rarely satisfied with the everyday things happening around me, and am so quick to beat myself down with horrible self-criticism, especially when I mess up, or completely space out and forget important details.   I know I’m good at taking care of my kids, but have been out of the adult world for so long that it seems like a world with many obstacles to overcome.  I’m not even sure I want to go there!

Where is this coming from? Just as I’m starting to feel like I’m getting a handle on these feelings, and turning the corner, I’m right back where I started… I have days where I’m so low, I literally feel like I’m walking in molasses.  My thoughts are scattered and I’m scrambling to figure out a purpose and direction.  Not for my life, I'm just trying to figure it out for the day, because figuring out my purpose on low days leads me right back down the path of feeling defeated again. This has to be an attack from the enemy; it can’t be from anywhere else!

Hope

Once I realize I’m in the middle of one of these attacks, I can feel hope flooding in, because I know the only way to defeat the enemy is with the strength of Jesus behind me!

On my good days, I can conquer anything!  I am sure of my abilities, and I feel harmony with my purpose of being a full time mom in a blended family.  I can look past my insecurities with my stepson, and see that we are making progress.  I don’t find every single thing he says or does to be a bother, and I definitely have more patience with my own sense of urgency to create a deeper bond with him.  Now that he’s almost 13, I’m acutely aware I only have a short time to influence him in a positive way, and I don’t want our daily interactions to be clouded with my personal struggles!  I owe it to each of my boys to conquer the enemy during these attacks.

It is such a relief to know that God loves me for who I am, just the way I am, and is proud to call me His beloved.  I can be as low, and ugly as I am on these days, and He’ll still embrace me!  I don’t know why I go through low points like this, but I know that I have been relying much more on God’s promises these past few days.  By sharing this, my prayer is that you will also be filled with HOPE if you are struggling with these same feelings.  Yes, I can relate, but HE will embrace you with grace and love and fill you with the strength to face these tough days!

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. ~Exodus 14:14   

 

How do stepfamilies handle stress? How do you choose between spouse and child? Learn powerful, practical tools to build YOUR successful stepfamily from world renown expert Ron Deal!

Stepfamily 2013 fb

FamilyLife's Weekend to Remember gave us God's blueprint for marriage and continues to strengthen and transform it, it can change yours, too!

weekend to remember

Want to unplug on FamilyLife's Fifth Annual Love Like You Mean It Cruise 2015? Book with our group and sail away with us! 

christian cruise

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Book Review: Why You do The Things You Do

Why You Do the Things You Do: The Secret to Healthy Relationships

Why You Do The Things You Do

By Dr. Time Clinton & Dr. Gary Sibcy

I've had this book for a few years now...isn't that always the case? About a week or so ago, it was just sitting there on my bedside table, where it's been for months and I couldn't ignore it any longer. I read most of it right then and there. I even needed to grab a pencil and start underlining so much of the wise goodness it contained!

It's about relationships in general, not just marriage but how we operate in our friendships and our parenting. The authors break relationship styles into four basic categories (and corresponding chapters for each), starting with what the healthy one looks like:

The Secure Relationship Style The Avoidant Relationship Style The Ambivalent Relationship Style The Disorganized Relationship Style

The book is filled with great examples and testimonials of individuals operating from each style. It explains them well and gives a very clear picture of each. I found the information easy to understand and painfully relatable.

The authors also do a very good job of breaking the styles down in how we parent our children. The book gives practical advice on how to raise emotionally healthy children that can actually manage both their positive and negative emotions.

I have read many relationship books that felt like they simply reiterated the same tired basic communication skills. Not this one! It is Biblically centered and challenges the reader to explore, acknowledge and analyze their individual woundedness, in order to move forward along the path of healing and healthy relationships. The last chapter was one that left me feeling equipped and filled with hope.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I finished this book a few days ago and I have already noticed changes in how I respond to others. I am excited to start implementing what I have learned, in my role as a parent.

Whether you are married or single, someone's child or a parent, or even a friend, this book will have a positive impact on every relationship you have. I can not recommend it enough.

New year, new you, new marriage!

Now it a great time to tune up your marriage at The Art of Marriage! We've got events at Sandy Plain OFWB in Pink Hill January 10-11 and 902 Church in Kinston January 17-18. Register for one of them today!

AOM

 

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We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

God Knew I Needed to be His Mom

Mom, do you know God gave you the children you have for a reason? mom

I’ve said many times that I think God gave them to me to make me a better mom. Isn’t it true that the way you act and behave in your worst moments in reaction to their behaviors put a spotlight on your weaknesses and vulnerabilities?

It’s certainly true for me, and gives me clear direction for what I need to work on! My behavior in response to my children seems to be a beacon from every direction, and I am so quick to be critical and beat myself up over not being the perfect mom, how I do everything wrong, and how much my kids must be disappointed in me.

A little girl, when asked where her home was, replied, “Where mother is.” ~Keith L Brooks

About 3 years ago, I rededicated my life to Christ and have been redeveloping my relationship with Him. I hadn’t been going to church for more than 10 years, had married, become a mom, divorced, remarried and became a stepmom, lived in Europe, travelled many places, became a mom again, but just couldn’t figure out my life! I found myself looking at my marriage from a very low place, when I decided to let God take back control and truly committed to growing in Him, becoming the prayer warrior for our home. Lots of good things happened, however, my critical nature didn’t improve, and my relationship with my middle son (aka my stepson…in real life, we don’t call anyone step-anything) sparked lots of confrontation and emotional reactions from everyone. I felt alone about my struggles, and started reading a book that changed my perspective on my abilities and purpose as a mom to my son.

Am I Messing Up My Kids?

When I started reading Lysa TerKeurst’s book “Am I Messing Up My Kids?....and Other Questions Every Mom Asks,” I felt many “AHA!” moments! The biggest moment I remember was taking a few moments to consider the fact that I am the mom that God knew my children needed! Yes, even stepchildren! I think many stepmoms feel happy about having an instant family, but there is still that underlying tension of that child really being someone else’s. I often felt he just put up with me, biding his time until I left and he could have his dad all to himself. I took it personally (and still do) when he disagrees with me, or doesn’t hold my opinion in the highest regard. I'm a work in progress!

God Created Me to be His Mom

I had never considered that God planned for me to be in HIS life! I had never taken the time to look at it from the perspective that this small boy needed ME! I had no idea what to do at first, and still struggle with feeling completely connected with him, but keeping this thought in mind that God KNEW I needed to be his mom, and he needed me makes me feel special, have a purpose and opened the door even wider to accept grace and forgiveness for my crazy mom moments!

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. ~Psalm 55:22

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. ~James 1:5-6

 

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

New year, new you, new marriage! Now it a great time to tune up your marriage at The Art of Marriage! We've got events at Sandy Plain OFWB in Pink Hill January 10-11 and 902 Church in Kinston January 17-18. Register for one of them today!

AOM

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

Jesus' Family Tree

The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah - Jesus' family tree

family

The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram. Ram was the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon. Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king.

David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon was the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asa.Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah was the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

After the deportation to Babylon: Jeconiah became the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor. Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud. Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob. Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah.

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.

Conception and Birth of Jesus

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly.  But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”  Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.” And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. ~Matthew 1

We love the tradition of reading Matthew 1:1-25 leading up to Christmas. It's amazing to read through Jesus' family tree...it gives us hope as we realize that no matter how crazy our families are, there's a place for us in Jesus' family.

Are you in a step family? I love how Ron Deal shares the stepfamily relationships in Jesus' family tree!

 

Dove recording artist Sarah Groves, Beverly Weeks and I will share from own personal struggles and how you can be set free from your bondage in the name of JESUS! That's not all! We will have over 50 vendors on site with shopping, a concert and a TONS of PRIZES!!!! Tickets are on sale at www.bridgechurch.cc Bring your church groups! Bus and van parking is available!

IWM 2013 cc

We're linking up with some AMAZING bloggers…check out the links at the bottom right of the page.

Intentionally Yours is a 501(c)3 organization committed to sharing God's truth, hope and vision for marriage until every home is a godly home. Will you partner with us in this mission? Thank you for your support!

The Blended Holiday

The Blended Holiday

This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it. ~Psalms 118:24 (NLT) I thought I'd start out with a verse of encouragement, mostly for myself, because thinking back to the first time I had to plan a holiday without my children brings back so many memories, and reminds me that I will have to prepare myself for this same situation again this year.

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