Tag Archives: God

Should My Son Choose the Military

Son military

To my precious boy—

I look at you now, playing on the floor, surrounded by trains and cars and millions and millions of Legos and tiny green soldiers, and my heart wants to burst as I watch you.

Can I freeze this moment? Can I keep you little forever?

You still think I’m one of the smartest people you’ve ever met. Your little mind is still innocent—you don’t quite grasp the horrors that mankind is known to inflict. Your world is tiny and you giggle at silly things like cartoons and mud and bugs.

You are little.

But one day you will be a man.

When that day comes, I’m certain I’ll think back to these moments—the ones we are living now, and I’ll wonder how they went by so quickly.

And if you should tell me that you want to serve our country in the military, I know for certain that my heart will move in a thousand different directions in a single second.

Will I be proud of you for your choice, my son?

Absolutely. I will be proud that you’ve chosen to continue a family tradition of military service. I will be proud that the patriotism I pray we are instilling in you now has led you to make a decision to want to protect the great freedoms this country allows for its inhabitants. I will be enormously proud that you understand that military service is something to be respected and honored, and that you want to be counted among the many who have served in honor of the tenets on which this nation was founded.

toy soliderI will be proud that you’ve chosen the practical applications of military service—funding for your education and skills that will benefit you should you choose a career in the private sector later on or a career in the military–skills like leadership and self-discipline.

I will be proud that you are educated enough to understand the state of the world. Although I can only imagine what the world will be like by the time your tiny feet are able to fill man-sized combat boots, I pray that between now and then you will live outside of the American Bubble and develop an understanding of world affairs—enough to know that serving the USA often means helping and serving those across the world.

Will my heart burn with fear?

Most certainly. While you may never understand the reasons, I’ve prayed over you since before you were you were born. I’ve prayed for your future, and although I do not know what it holds, I know that my God does. And so I will struggle with the fear of knowing that you might be in danger because of the path you’ve chosen, and I will have to cling to the belief that my God knows you and loves you even more than I do. He will protect you, he will sustain you, and should I ever have to face a dreadful day when you might not be with me anymore, although I can’t imagine it, He will sustain me, too.

I will love you, my son, for your courageous choice. I will love you, respect you, and appreciate you for your willingness to put your life on the line for our country.

I will love you because you’ve chosen the military, even if for a short time, as your mission field. For I pray, my son, that your life will be a reflection of Christ, and your willingness to serve will come from the Ultimate Sacrifice given by Christ our Savior.

And so I pray now, while you are little, for your future. You must know that I will be proud of any future choice you make for your life, so I pray that you will seek the direction of God and that you will remember that you can do anything through Christ who gives you strength. 

To my precious boy who will one day be a man—no matter what your future holds, know that should you tell me you’ve chosen military service, you’ll have the respect, honor and love of not just your mama, but many grateful hearts around the world.

 

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Whether You Have A Valentine or Not

celebrate valentine

I love love.

It’s the basis of the stories I write. There’s nothing I adore more than a swoon-worthy story about a man and woman falling in love.

So, you’d think I’d love Valentine’s Day, right?

Truth is, I don’t. I think it’s a semi-ridiculous holiday that’s commercialized and doesn’t really celebrate anything except spending money. It can be fun, sure, but it seems rather silly to me to feel obligated to celebrate something on one day that should be celebrated every single day.

And another truth is that not everyone has a Valentine.

There are those who are single because they are still waiting for Mister or Miss Right.

There are those who are single because they’ve chosen to be.

There are those who are in relationships that are anything but loving.

Not everyone has someone who loves them the way that God intended love to be.

Yet, we can still focus on love and let it warm our hearts and our souls.

If we’re supposed to celebrate love today, let’s celebrate LOVE. The kind that breaks down barriers and goes beyond cards and teddy bears and chocolates. Let’s celebrate the love that binds people. And let’s celebrate the ultimate Love.

Let’s celebrate the love that allows a man to escort his niece to a father-daughter dance because her father can’t attend.

Let’s celebrate the love that has a little boy deliver flowers to his favorite aunt at work.

Let’s celebrate the love of a woman being there for a friend who is going through a tough time.

Let’s celebrate the love of a solider putting his life on the line to save the life of a fallen comrade.

Let’s celebrate the love of an adult caring for his aging parents.

Let’s celebrate the love of a teacher who goes above and beyond for her students.

Let’s celebrate the love of a grown son who is helping his own father turn his life around.

Let’s celebrate the love of those who are willing to open their homes to children in need of a safe place to sleep.

Let’s celebrate the love of families serving overseas to save lives and bring the Gospel to the lost and hurting.

Let’s celebrate love.

(The above examples all came from people I know.)

Let’s celebrate the ultimate love– the love of God for all of humanity. He loves us so much that he was willing to send his son to die on a cross for our salvation.

hands reachingYou might be in a place where you, too, think Valentine’s Day is ridiculous.

Perhaps you’re waiting for your forever Valentine. This season of waiting can be very challenging and some of you may even question whether or not you’ll ever find someone to love you unconditionally.

Whether or not your true love will ever come in human form, the blessing of your life is that today, right now, you can celebrate a True Love in a form that is greater than can ever be demonstrated by humankind. God’s love for us is overwhelming. It’s unconditional and it’s real. It is a reason to celebrate!

My prayer for all of you, friends, is that you will celebrate today, even on this silly, commercialized holiday, whether you have a Valentine or not. Celebrate demonstrations of love all over the world–celebrate the Ultimate Demonstration of Love.

Celebrate how love changes the world, one life at a time.

Share with me: What act of love have you seen demonstrated lately that really touched your heart?

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1st Resolution of 2015: Be A Failure

 

dream reality

I envy the people who fail with grace.

They try. They fail. They look at their failure with a “better luck next time” sort of attitude, and let it roll off them like it’s no big thing.

That’s so not me. I’m no good at failure.

I’m a type-A, 4.0 GPA, “if you want the job done better do it yourself” kind of girl, so failure and I don’t exactly get along.

But not in 2015.

I’m not really down with making resolutions, mostly because, as mentioned above, I believe in action more than intention. So while resolutions might not be my thing, I really like making goals and even more making a plan, then working the plan to achieve the goal.

So you might be surprised to find out that my first goal of 2015 is to be a failure.

2014 brought changes to my life. The biggest change was that I went back to work full time, which was both a blessing and a challenge. Even though I work from home, my job is pretty demanding, so while I’m “here,” I’m not always “here,” if you know what I mean. 90% of the time my brain is on work-mode, and the time-suck of that has been a real challenge.

Mostly because my plate was pretty full when the job came along. Suddenly: overflowing plate. Like overflowing-and-making-a-mess-on-the-floor plate. Suddenly I found myself wondering how I could balance it all.

First I looked at it as a challenge that I could overcome by making a plan. Making a schedule. Working toward a goal, like I tend to do. So I set out to do just that.

Plan for 2014: 

Be a devoted follower of Jesus by spending regular, quality time with Him.

Try to be a great mom. Have plenty of quality time with my boys.

Try to be a great wife. Have plenty of quality time with my husband.

Keep the house clean and orderly, and do all the cutesy Pinterest stuff that shows the world I’m cutesy and Pinterest-y.

Exercise regularly.

Write. Write write write write write. Spit out at least 2 more books during the year.

Try to be an awesome teacher and leader. Work hard at my job, achieve career goals. Plan brilliant lessons for my students that show them that history is awesome, develop great plans that help my team achieve and becoming stronger teachers for their students and the school.

Grow the women’s ministry at church. Be a focused leader with plans, goals, and show progress toward growing the ministry. Plan and execute women’s ministry events.

Teach Sunday school. Lead Bible study. Use my gift of teaching for the good of the church and the community to glorify Him.

Continue to be active member of music ministry at church.

Get boys to and from all of their activities. Be involved mom in all of their activities so that they can be more well-rounded.

Be involved at boys’ schools. Room mom. Cutesy Pinterest stuff again.

failed

Whew. Just reading that list makes me tired. It makes me sad. And it makes me embarrassed because there are several things on that list that just didn’t happen in 2014.

So my first goal of 2015: Be okay with being a failure.

Sometimes when our plates are too full we have to let something go and learn to say no. We (I) have to take a hard look at our priorities and figure out what’s really most important.

The difficult thing for me is that all of the stuff on my list for 2014 is pretty important (okay, not the Pinterest stuff so much).

So when I look at the list of responsibilities I have and realize that I have to let something go, all I see is a giant red F.

F for failure.

I haven’t been able to balance it all. I haven’t been able to pull it all off. I’m not “woman who can do it all.”

And I wonder, will the world judge me? Will they think I’m weak, or lazy, or disorganized, or heaven forbid, not good enough? Just because I can’t do it all?

Stupid, right? I know.

I know. And yet I feel like a failure because I have to realize that in order to do the most important things in my life, I’ve got to let some of the other stuff go.

And I have to be okay with that.

So I pray, I prioritize, and I decide that my first goal of 2015 is to be okay with looking someone in the eye and saying, “I can’t.” I’m going to be comfortable saying, “I’m doing my best and I can’t take on anything else.” I will say, “I tried and I failed. I’m sorry.”

I will remember that God has never asked for me to be perfect. He’s never asked me to do it all. He’s never expected me to be SuperWoman or SuperMom or SuperWife. In fact, he’s provided mercy and grace through the perfection of his son so that when I do fail, I know that I’m still loved by the One who matters.

Who cares what the world thinks? I’m loved even when I fail.

It’s beautifully liberating to know that God loves me no matter what, even when I don’t live up to my own standards. It’s stress-releasing and hope-giving and smile-producing.

So let something go in 2015. Be okay with looking back at 2014 and saying, “I tried and I failed.” Be okay with prioritizing, learning to say no, and trying again.

God’s mercies are new every morning. His strength is renewing, and his hope is unending.

2015 is going to be a beautiful year. My plan for this year is to revel in that beauty. Instead of focusing on trying to do it all, I’m going to focus on doing it all to the glory of the One who loves me. 

Share with me: What are your goals for 2015?

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