January 9, 2015
The following is a devotional I wrote for my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group.
If you’ve been around church for a while, you’ve probably heard someone say that it’s good to start your day with Bible study and prayer. I’ve heard it a lot. My husband used to be in the military, so we’ve moved around, and we’ve been in many churches. I think that when you hear something like that repeated so much, you begin to think you’re doing something wrong if you can’t make it happen. And mothers of young children would have a hard time making that happen.
A few years ago, I was making my way through a book on devotionals. At the time, I had a three year old and a baby. In the book, the author wrote an entire chapter on the importance of meeting with God first thing in the morning. She had Scripture to support it, and she emphasized that it was crucial to spend time in Bible study and prayer before speaking with anyone. As I read the book, my heart started beating faster, I could feel my face getting hot, and the book nearly went through my window. The author – a well-known Christian writer – was insistent, and left no room for exceptions. The author is a woman, she doesn’t have any children, and it is also quite possible that she’s never left her house.
So a few weeks ago I was reading in the book of Isaiah and came across a verse in chapter 40 that stood out to me. In the Bible, God is referred to as our Shepherd, and we are his sheep, as it is here in verse 11. It says,
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
And carries them close to his heart;
He gently leads those that have young. (NIV)
It was the first time I remember reading those words, and they touched my heart. It told me that the God of the Bible is not a god who looks at the clock when we sit down to meet with him. He wants to be first in our lives, but for a mom, first cannot always be the first thing when we wake up. Whether it is during morning naptime or if it is the last thing we do before we lay down for bed, God wants to meet with us.
At the time I was reading the devotional book, I was still getting up with my little one in the night, and my three year old was up around 6 each morning. But there was a sweet spot in the afternoon when both kids were down. It was in that quiet time that I made an effort to sit down, read God’s word, and pray.
It is tough to be consistent with devotions when you have young children. It is tough to be consistent with going to church. However, when we choose to meet with him – no matter what time of day – God honors us. And He uses His word in our lives.
January 23, 2013
Aunt Shelly was here for a visit recently and we took the boys for a walk on the Monticello Trail, a 2-mile path that has a gentle grade leading up the mountain to Thomas Jefferson’s estate. It was a cool foggy day but the the low clouds made for some nice photos.
November 23, 2012
My baby is one! Born on November 19th, 2011…we love you Knox.
November 13, 2012
For Clayton’s birthday, my sister Jenny flew in for a long weekend. She loves the outdoors and wanted to take Clayton out of the city and into a national park. So one afternoon the three of us drove west to the Shenandoah Mountains, hiked a trail and stopped a few times to admire the scenery.
When Sandy blew through Virginia, she dropped some snow on the mountains, and that was one of the first things we saw on the trail.
Here plant, have some snow.
Clayton and Jenny on the trail.
Reach for the clouds!
Next we found a hill of large rocks and somehow I convinced Clayton to climb them with us. I’m still surprised he agreed to it — he is not the fearless type! But he did really well and gained some confidence as we scrambled up and down the rocks, even if he did have a meltdown at the peak. Way to go, Clayton!
They bonded through the experience.
3,000 feet on the Appalachain Trail.
A few spectacular views.
It was so beautiful and still up there — I could have stayed all day! Thanks for getting me out of the house, Jenny!
November 10, 2012
Clayton is four years old today, and we threw him a little party at a local park. Clayton is very excited to be four, and he’ll tell you that “after that I’ll be five!”
November 5, 2012
Halloween was a fun time for our family this year. Clayton had a little better grasp of what it was and Knox had lots of people admiring the cuteness of his beaver costume.
October 25, 2012
We met some friends at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello this morning. We took a walk and enjoyed the beautiful fall colors and then played in their kids’ Discovery Center for a while.
October 24, 2012
We went apple picking with Clayton’s preschool
Spent a lot of time at our neighborhood park (photo by Clayton)
Enjoyed a visit from Aunt Shelly (and spent some more time at the neighborhood park)
Bought a pumpkin
And set some records for getting into mischief and eating cabinet paint, leaves, plastic grocery bags and stickers.
“This sweet face?” you ask. “Cause trouble?” Mmm-hmm.
Knox is 11 months old, a speedy crawler and cruising along furniture and walls. He says “dada” and makes a few animal sounds, including “cack, cack” (quack), “baa” and “ooo, ooo” (moo) when we read his Noisy Farm book. His appetite continues to grow, although he’s still mostly on purees and cereals due to his genetic gag reflex.
Clayton loves his preschool, going to parks, playing with his neighborhood pals, wrestling with Daddy and Knox, doing puzzles, watching Caillou, cooking with Mommy, walking on railroad tracks, and building airport control towers with Legos.