Genny

Be joyful… always?

“Be joyful always.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16

It was early in the morning, right after I woke up, and I heard my kids laughing down the hall.

I tip-toed toward their rooms, wondering what was so funny.

Halfway there, I stopped.

(I didn’t want to interrupt because I didn’t want their laughter to end.)

A smile spread across my face as I stood there, hiding, listening. I lingered, soaking in the moment.

Hearing my kids laugh made me laugh.

I was filled with joy at their joy.

(I found out later they were laughing at their pet fish.)

But I’m the first to admit, my attitude isn’t always like that… filled with joy from being a mom.

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Lost and Found

A baby bird wobbles across the grass in our backyard.

It has fallen out of its nest under the eaves of our roof.

The bird flaps its tiny wings, trying to fly, but it doesn’t get more than a foot off the ground.

I look out the window, watching, worried… wondering how it will survive.

I get a piece of bread, break it into crumbs and tiptoe out into the backyard. Slowly, quietly, I sneak up behind the bird and drop some crumbs on the ground hoping it will eat. But it runs away, scared.

Then the most amazing thing happens.

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A New Year’s Question: What do you put your faith in?

I was at the grocery store the other day standing in line when I happened to see a young mom by the lottery ticket machine. She was small with wispy blond hair and she looked about eight months pregnant. She was darling.

One hand rested on her belly as the other hand pushed the buttons on the machine.

As I finished in line and passed her on my way out, I was struck by the hope I saw in her eyes as she bought those tickets. And I could just picture what she was thinking…

I hope I win… It would mean better times for me and my baby.

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Beginnings to Celebrate

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” Zechariah 4:10 NLT

As someone who likes to see things get done quickly, I’m not always the most patient person. And I have to admit; I don’t always appreciate the start of something, no matter how great it turns out in the end. Sometimes, when I set out to reach a goal, I forget that the journey and the steps it takes to get there are just as important, and that beginnings truly are worth celebrating. Like watching my kids reach milestones as they’ve gotten older…

When my son and daughter started walking, I didn’t wait until they could make it from one end of the room to the other to get excited.

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Daily Peace (and how to find it)

I pray sometimes when I workout.

I know I must look funny, sitting there at the gym on the exercise bike with my eyes closed, but that time—with my body moving and my mind turning to God—is my lifeline some days. It’s my 60-minute-recharge.

As a busy mom, it’s hard to carve out time every day to pray–to talk to God and to listen to His voice. Some days, I get up and hit the floor running… making breakfast, packing lunches, helping everyone get ready, and then rushing (late) out the door to carpool kids to school. On those days especially, taking time to pray is exactly what I need.

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A Worrying Mom (and how not to be one)

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6:27 NIV 

For the fifth time in an hour, I leaned over my newborn daughter’s bassinet and checked to make sure she was okay. Thoughts of SIDS and fears of her getting tangled in her blanket filled my head. I held my breath and watched her tiny chest rise and fall. Only after I was sure she was okay did I lie back down and try to get some sleep.

Those first few nights of motherhood—months, actually—were like that. When my daughter didn’t wake me up because she was hungry, I woke myself up to make sure she was okay.

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The answer to parenting…

I tiptoe into my daughter’s room to check if she’s asleep. It’s been a long week and she’s had a lot on her plate. Twelve years old can be a tough age, I’m learning. There are new experiences, new decisions, new situations.

Quietly, I stand next to her bed and look at her–my little girl, asleep, her head resting sideways on her pillow.

My little girl who is not so little anymore.

I sigh, thinking about the high expectations she has of herself and how she tends to worry. I know I was the same way growing up–I still am sometimes.

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Rejoicing in small beginnings

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” – Zechariah 4:10 NLT

I walked down the hall into my daughter’s room only to find her entire toy box and dollhouse emptied onto the floor. She looked up and smiled.

She’d just gotten to the age where I could let her play in her room by herself while I grabbed a few minutes to get things done around the house.

So why was I groaning about the mess instead of being glad at how she’d occupied herself having fun?

As a mom, the new phases our kids grow into can sometimes mean things getting harder–not easier–for a while.

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