Fierce Faith Friday: One simple prayer for the kiddos

My kids have really been shocking me lately with their awesomeness.

I guess that sounds kind of bad. I’m their mom, I shouldn’t be shocked by how awesome they are right?

Right.

But I am. Their level of awesome has risen so much in the two weeks they’ve been out of school. Those two weeks, by the way, have been quite the tumultuous time for their father and I. Examples:

  • Melanie playing with her sister all day, no electronics. Playing. With minimal fights!
  • Zach doing the dishes and trash without being asked.
  • Both offering to help when they see it’s needed.
  • Melanie reading to her sister, without being asked, so she can pick a prize out at the library.
  • They brought in and put all the groceries away yesterday.
  • They’ve been working out with me without complaining.
  • Zach worked out with his CrossFit instructor uncle who said he “was very easy to coach” and a “really good runner.”
  • Melanie picked and ate raw green beans at the farm this week.
  • Ayla helping more with chores and not whining as much.
  • Zach opening doors. And reading the bible when he could’ve been on his iPad.

I mean, the list goes on and on. Consider me shocked. It’s like they’ve grown so much overnight. I know I’ve tried to be more intentional about my momming lately. So, that helps.

Earlier this year, I wrote about choosing bible verses for my kiddos.  I chose a scripture for each of them. I also mentioned in that post that I wanted to pray the verses over them.

The way that looks each day is I pray two lines for each kid each day. And I’ve just realized that that is the reason I’ve been shocked at how awesome they’re being.

I have that weird only child over achiever complex. I’m always trying to achieve, I rarely stop long enough to note when I have. And honestly, my faith is another manifestation of this. I do many things I know I should, and I honestly believe in them, I believe in God, I see him show up daily in my life. I am Jesus-powered.

And yet.

I am still shocked when my prayers are answered gradually. Right? Like most of the time it seems like prayers are answered obviously or when we’re looking back with hindsight. It’s like when you lose weight slowly. You might not see it daily, but if you look at a photo from six months ago it’s obvious!

And that’s how it has been with my kiddos. I woke up and realized these prayers are working! WAY more than I would’ve expected! (Gosh! What could God do in my life if I DID expect more?)

Without further ado, here is the simple prayer I say for each kiddo:

  • Common sense and success belong to Zach. Insight and strength are his. Father, help me to be the mom he needs today.
  • Help Melanie to guard her heart above all else and know it determines the course of her life. Help me to be the mom she needs today.
  • Jesus you are with Ayla, she will not fall. You will help her at the break of day. Help me the mom she needs today.
  • Show me the little moments I can be the mom they need today.

That’s it! My prayer time does take a few minutes, but a bit of that is me getting distracted and refocussing. These simple prayers have been a huge gamer changer! You can see why, right?

Because they’re focussed on what I can control: Asking God to intervene on their behalf and asking Him to help ME see and BE the mom they uniquely need.

By focussing on what I can control and allowing God to lead the way, I have a recipe for success. Apparently. I’m still reeling from Zach doing the dishes without being told.

Happy Fierce Faith Friday! Comment below, how do you pray for your kids? Do you think you could start with one simple line today?

  • “Help me be the mom/dad my child needs today.”

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Applying the bible to your kiddos

TWO years ago one of my awesome tribe members recommended an awesome book to me. When doing so, she summarized some of the key takeaways for me (how nice of her).

One thing she impressed upon me was selecting a life verse for my kiddos. It was a quite a revelation to me. I’m always looking for ways to dig a little deeper spiritually. But I’m not into lip service, gimmicks or legalistic stuff so that can be hard to come by.

When she suggested this to me I’d just come off a year of beginning to discover who my children were as individuals. In the whirlwind of three kids, it started out as a matter of keeping them alive. Once that was handled, and the other areas of my life improved and therefore offered more clarity…I was able to really take note of these little people I was raising. They are very different, yet you can tell they are children of mine. And my husbands. Woowee, kids make exceptional little mirrors don’t they?

Fast forward a YEAR AND A HALF. God has dropped ENOUGH hints that I need to read The Circle Maker. Yes, it took me a year and a half. And soon I will write the amazing, ONLY GOD story that came from reading and putting that book into practice. It’s really…incredible. #spoileralert. In fact, I’ve now committed to giving that book away once a year for the rest of my life. That’s not MUCH, but it is a small return to the author and for God to work in other people’s lives.

In this book, Circle Maker, Mark Batterson teaches us a powerful way to pray. One of the main ideas is that scriptures are PROMISES. He also identifies the need to circle around, be consistent, be persistent these prayers.

The idea, for me, the imperfect, making-it-up-as-I-go-along Mom I am was to find a scripture in the bible that I wanted to pray over each kid separately (I have one for the family as a whole). I wanted it to be specific for what I see in them as their mother. This in and of itself is kind of a gut check. I don’t often see myself as an authority on my children. No really, I have these mixed emotions of being TOO CLOSE to see along with having that self-doubt WE ALL share. I feel that God wants me to step more confidently in my motherhood. To OWN it, not just try hard. To TRUST in my discernment, in my wisdom, that of course I’m looking to him for.

So, for me to say, THUSLY CHILD I HAVE CHOSETH A SCRIPTURE FORETH THOU was a big deal for me. I’m not a life-long church goer. I have no idea. I’m not a lifelong mom or knower-of-children. And yet. I felt this was something I really wanted to do.

I felt it SO MUCH, I waited two years to do it. HAH!

This past weekend, God gave us a cool, crisp, sunny morning where I was somehow able to sit on the porch, uninterrupted, AFTER A NICE RUN, to read through my Bible, research, pray and think.

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This concept goes along with the idea I advocate that you don’t build a house without a blueprint and you certainly don’t want to build up children that way. You want something for your kids as a whole, don’t you? And you see individual things in each of them, don’t you?

If you ADD the POWER of prayer using the POWER of God’s word to that…I just don’t know. It’s kind of mindblowing. And at the very least, it sounds like a good idea.

So, without further ado (was there any ado?)…here we have it.

Zachary is my special little guy. He is REALLY smart. His brain moves faster than he really knows how to handle. I know God is going to use that in awesome ways.

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I know he is going to be successful. He’s a first born, he LIKES school, he is so loving and sweet. He’s also an incredible smarty pants. What I want for him is wisdom. I want WISDOM to go along with that intellect and quick wit. I want strength to balance it out as well. Look at this amazing promise God has for my little guy.

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The plan is to pray this over him every day. I am also having him say it as an affirmation. I believe in the power of both, especially when it comes from God’s word.

Then there is my little Melanie. Melanie has a HUGE heart. HUGE. She is 100% eager to help anyone, anytime. She is also a people pleaser. She has a bit of that middle child syndrome. She wants people to like her and I see her adjusting what she wants to do or what she likes in order to appease others…so that they will like her. It makes me catch my breath because she really is a remarkable little lady. She has so much energy, she makes me laugh, she is super competitive, she loves learning, she is always up for anything…she has SUCH A UNIQUE IDENTITY.

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That’s her heart, that’s who she is. I don’t want her changing or conforming to appease others. At one point she asked me if (name has been removed to protect identity of a cute little 5 year old-boys are boys y’all) was going to be her husband. I said, “Is _____ nice to you?” She said no. It broke my heart. HONEY! You will have your choice of amazing men if you focus on being an amazing you. You certainly don’t have to marry someone or be friends with someone who isn’t nice to you!

I want her to guard her heart, be who she is, KNOW who she is and everything else will flow from that.

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It’s a lifelong lesson I can see I’m set up for teaching her. If I can do a good job, I can’t even imagine the things she’ll accomplish. If I can truly teach her her own worth and that she’s awesome the way God made her, then I will be happy.

Then there’s my little Ayla bean. When I read hers, I caught my breath. I knew instantly it was her verse!

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Ayla won’t need a lot of help. I’m not saying that to be mean. I’m saying that because she’s number 3. She was the last of the great Shana-as-mom experiences and I think I did pretty well this time around. Plus, #3s are pretty much known to be firecrackers. She is still developing into who she’s gonna be but as for now I know she is unstoppable, she commands love and attention and she LOVES to entertain others.

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She has been praying since she could talk and she loves to tell me, “It’s okay Mom, Jesus is amazing.” What else I know about her is she’s a Sunshine State kid born at 12:08 am. She has had an issue falling her entire young life and had to wear braces on her feet because she wouldn’t want “flat footed.” When I saw her verse, I knew it was a promise I wanted to circle for her, but one I have already seen come to fruition in her short life.

Those are all AMAZING promises for my kiddos right? Why WOULDN’T I want to speak them over them every day? I 100% believe in the power of positive speech. Add some Jesus to it and whoa!

I was a little insecure about Melanie’s though. I wasn’t sure if it was…good enough?

You know what? The day after I did this exercise, the MAIN scripture for the sermon at church was Melanie’s life verse. The entire sermon was the exact intention I had for it for her. It was a nice little God nudge confirming what I needed confirmed. It was incredible. Thank you Jesus.

Then, two days after, I wanted to DO something with these scripture. I’ve made notes, highlighted them. But I want to see them everyday other than my journal. But, WHAT TO DO? I was listening to a podcast with an amazing business woman. She mentioned post it notes. Ding ding ding! Because, First I searched for other images folks have created. Then I considered designing my own. Then I considered getting prints made. I found myself finding all of these ways to prolong the power of these words visually each day.

That’s not what I want! So, we went with post it notes for now. We will begin. Beginning is how you start, then you can make it better!

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So now they will stick right there when they grab their bags for the day. (Right below my main #momgoals sign). It’s not fancy, but it’s something.

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I’m excited to be adding this to my list. No really. Yes it’s a long list, but MOST of my development, honestly, can be in the mom area. I default to efficient, skill-making and other tasks as a Mom TBH. Getting in the meat like this is something that I have to WORK at. But I have seen the power of adding prayer and scripture to other areas of my life and I feel this is part of my duty as their mama.

What about you? Do you have a life verse? Have you thought about doing this for your children? Have you read Circle Maker? Do you think I’m crazy? Do you want to be crazy too? Do you love those scriptures?