Protected

On Tuesday the kids got home from school and hurried to jump into the pool. This happens every afternoon and I think it is great. Helps them burn off the energy that has been contained in a desk all day. The kids had been in for less that a minute, when movement caught my husbands eye. He quickly got the kids out of the pool because a copperhead snake was extremely close to our 8 year old! He killed the snake by cutting its head right off and then threw it in the trash outside. We were all shaken up and to play the “what if” game in my head was not going to happen. I sincerely hope your Tuesday was much calmer.

IMG_9244This whole event got me to thinking. I stayed teary eyed over it the next morning. Made putting on my eye makeup pretty difficult and I finally gave up. You see, my husband is an incredible protector of our family. Not only does he look out for the physical things that could harm us, he pays careful attention to the spiritual things too. You will find him up early in the morning reading scripture and praying for our family. He speaks words of truth to us all because he has spent time in God’s word and therefore knows truth. He loves our kids well and invests time with each one. He takes me out on dates and we laugh a lot. We have learned so much in the past almost 19 years of marriage and it has not always been easy. When you bring pride and selfishness in like I did, well circumstances and conviction come to work that out. Not easy.

So today I encourage you to always be mindful of the “snakes” of this world that slitter around and want to harm your family. Take time to eat together often and listen to each other. Encourage each other and let each one know they matter. Give your kids, especially the older ones, plenty of hugs. Do thoughtful things that do not have strings attached. Say “just because” more often as the reason not based on performance. Be a place of help and someone they can trust when the world seems against them. And when the snakes come close, do not let them linger. Deal with the words or actions quickly, so they do not bite and spread poison to hearts. If the bite has already happened, take healing steps today to remove the poison. I am convinced that the longer it stays, the more life it removes. Need help doing that? Go straight to your Bible and spend time praying. Ask God to help forgive and heal. Repent and ask God to give you courage, if you have been the cause of the poison, to ask someone for forgiveness. I do not know what the outcome will be, but I do know true repentance brings life.

May your eyes be opened this week to “snakes” and your hearts and minds be guarded with truth!

 

 

You Know Me

I read words today that very much spoke to my heart. It was the answer to a question asked, “Anything else you would like me to know about you?” The response was, “You know me.” Three simple words to an easy question. How many of us can say these words now, but remember years of wanting to be known? Do middle school flashbacks quickly come to mind? Maybe it has been a lifetime struggle. For me, it has been an on and off battle. It is very hard to let someone know you when you do not know yourself. Thankfully, I now know who I am because I have heard God through the Bible tell me who I am. What a difference truth makes!

IMG_8962A parenting conviction of mine is to continually remind the kids of who God says they are too. I will not put them in a box of my own making. Oh, make no mistake about it, I tried when the older two were little. A nice, very matching and well behaved box. This was a bit sustainable with two children, but the more we added, the harder it was to pull off. For this I am so thankful! Another way God has used my children to remove that which does not belong.

How about you? Do you know who you are and can others say they know you? Do you reach out and try to get to know others or do you stay in closed off circles, refusing to let anyone new in? Because we moved a lot growing up and as a married couple, there have been plenty of times that I have been the new girl. This has given me a very sensitive heart to new people, if I am not focused on myself. When someone opens up the circle and invites you in, everything changes. As the one doing the welcoming, you get to meet someone new. Maybe they are a sister in Christ. That means you have now met another family member! If you are the new girl, your fears are relieved and you can relax a bit and enjoy getting to know others.

How about we start this week looking for ways to be known and to get to know others? May each of us be able to say, “You know me” to more new people in the years ahead.

 

 

Everyday Lessons

I know that I am being taught something each and everyday by God. What He teaches me in His word each morning is incredible. It is life to me! Then all throughout the day, so much can be used as a teaching tool if I have my eyes and heart open. You know, that is a big part of how we parent here. We bring the kids along to whatever it is we are doing and invite them to be apart. They do the same with us. They learn to count at the grocery store, as we put fruit and vegetables in a bag. They learn colors by helping me sort and fold laundry. They learn about Jesus by the daily reading of His word, praying, watching and listening to those of us at home that already love Him. The list could go on.

IMG_9107This past week has held many lessons. Our youngest started preschool and it is the first time in almost 17 years that a child has not been home during the day. It is the quietest sound I have ever heard, but good. Her outfit had been picked out since meet the teacher day and was carefully laid out. She was adamant that I get the papers filled out as soon as we got them. And she forgot to shower one night because she was too busy smiling in anticipation. She had a great day at school and loved every minute! I am learning to enjoying the sound of quiet more throughout the day. I only get one day because that is all she goes to school:).

An older daughter taught a good lesson. My hair needed a trim and since it is straight and I am cheap, I usually get Anna Kate to cut it. Well, she was not awake yet, so another beauty volunteered. I asked for half an inch trim, but was given at least a three inch bonus. A choice had to be made – freak out or own my mistake. I am the one that asked a precious 10 year old to do something most go to school for and receive training. If I lost it with letting words of condemnation fly, I would communicate to her that my outward appearance matters more to me than her feelings for starters. I would drive home that the risk of trying something new is not worth trying because you might make a mistake. Making a mistake is not acceptable and she did not meet my high expectations, would be a seed planted in her heart. Guess what happens when you train a child up this way? They stop trying because they will never be granted approval. It might have cost me months of letting my hair grow, but her heart is in tact. Lesson learned.

Another lesson was that being asked and genuinely wanting to know the response of, “How are you?” is a big deal. This question was asked several times this past week and I gave honest answers because the ones asking cared. A simple fine or quick answer was not what they were looking for. I wonder how many other people are just waiting to be asked this question and really heard? This needs to be asked more and given time to be answered. So simple, but forgotten in our busy days.

I read this line on Instagram today from Bob Goff. He says, “When I say I don’t have time, what I really lack is compassion. People own watches; love owns time.” Isn’t that good?! The lesson to be learned is we make time for what we love. Take a look at what you spend your time on and you will probably see what you love most. I will be taking a careful look over my paper calendar and making sure my time is spent on love. My hair might be a bit shorter than I would like and I might have a smiling, non showered girl, but we love and learn well in our home. I pray all that enter our home leave feeling loved and they are worth every minute of our time.

 

 

 

New Wine

Sometimes we sing a new song at church and I feel like I have finally been given the words my heart could not find. This happened a few weeks ago when we had New Wine, by Hillsong, sung over us. We have sung it since and it has been on constant play here. The words are powerful and real. If I had confidence in my waterproof mascara that day, I would have let myself weep. That would come early the next morning.

IMG_9015The song begins describing the season we seem to have been in since early December. “In the crushing, in the pressing, You are making new wine out of me. In the soil I now surrender. You are breaking new ground.” It describes pain, but the promise of something new. I am pretty certain none of us would sign up for anything that would press and crush us, but it happens whether we enroll or not. However, keep reading and in the surrender, new ground and wine are the result. The key is surrender.

What comes next has been the words that describe my hearts response in this season. “So I yield to You and to Your careful hand. When I trust You, I don’t need to understand.” This part I learned in the last time of “wine making”. The theme song for the last time was, “Thy Will” by Hillary Scott. The line I clung to was, “Remember You are God and I am not”. Over and over I repeated that in my head and heart. It seemed to be the only way. In the yielding, trust grew because I knew whose hands I was placing my heart in again.

Keep going and hear my prayer. “Make me Your vessel. Make me an offering. Make me whatever You want me to be. I came here with nothing, but all You have given me. Jesus bring new wine out of me.” I really do not want any of my old self in this new vessel. If you have tasted even a sip of bitterness, selfishness, anger and pride you can understand. Also, all we have belongs to God. Trying to control and hoard what He has given us, tastes like spoiled wine when withheld from others. What a waste of good grapes. Just think what could have been enjoyed…

“Where there is new wine, there is new power. There is new freedom. The Kingdom is here. I lay down my old flames to carry Your new fire today.” So, if we have surrendered in the pressing and crushing, then new power, freedom and His Kingdom is what is available. And if that were not enough, our small flames we have clung to can be ungraded to a new fire! The picture of the light from a tiny match compared to a beautiful fire pit comes to mind. Now, gathered around that and a good glass of wine sounds pretty inviting.

I do not know where each of you are today, but I have given you a glimpse of where I am. Knowing this, think how fun it was to go into my favorite store, Simple Things, and see a beautiful display of grapevines bearing grapes! The owner told me he found them across the street, wrapped around a telephone pole. I took it as the Lord communicating to me that He does see me. In seeing me, I am reminded of His love for me. He is trustworthy and a good God, especially in this season of making new wine.

 

The Longest Day

I am in the midst of the longest day of the year. The time between dropping the kids off on their first day of school and the hours until pick up, seem to go so slow. The minutes tick by, as I wait to see their faces right out of the school doors. It is that first expression that tells me everything. All the details will follow and I love to listen. Some of the kids give more than others, but I know them well and can hear what is not said. Who did they sit by at lunch? Did they actually get a locker this year? Did you find a good parking place? How was athletics? Did you make new friends? These questions and a million more are just waiting to be asked.

IMG_8975My heart and head have a difficult time trusting the Lord completely today. Yes, they are completely His and He has all their days planned, even today. I just have not read all these plans and my heart and head are being asked to trust Him. So the question that I ask Him today is, “Are you trustworthy”? Another one that comes to mind is, “Do you really love my children as much as I do”? Guess what I get as the answer? Right away my mind flashes a picture of Jesus dying on the cross. Words do not need to be spoken here, I know Him well. This picture is very familiar to me. Because when I catch a glimpse of the cross, I see just how much He loves me and my children.

Days may not go as planned or they might exceed my dreams, but with each one I know He is trustworthy. Today I will repeat Psalm 56:4 that says, “In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” The teacher that is difficult or the kid that seems to have it out for one of my kids is not to be feared. Our trust will be placed in God today. And as Eli reminded me the other day, “we need to have shields of confidence and confidence is trust”. That kid had his shield firmly in place as he walked into kindergarten today! I will keep mine in place too and go do some laundry to pass the time.

*The picture is Vivian making Eli’s lunch for him:)

 

The Door

The most unexpected thing happened today. Our oldest daughter has been practicing to tryout for the high school worship team at church. She loves music and singing is one way she gives her worship to our Lord. Oh, I wish you could have been in our home last IMG_8949night during her last practice time! My husband is gifted in music and so are many of our kids. Our kitchen became filled with praise and voices were acoustically mixed together. The sound was beautiful! At one point, Maggie and I had to just stop because trying to sing or in my case chop up a salad, is near impossible when your eyes are filled with tears of joy. This moment served as yet another reminder that worship is so much apart of our everyday life, especially in our home. How can we live any other way? How can we not respond to the love of our God?

This morning I offered to drive her to the audition and Vivian tagged along. She claimed it was her day, but Maggie could come too. I had not planned on going inside, but we saw a dear friend in the parking lot so in we went. A young worship leader spotted Maggie waiting and came out to visit. Such simple encouragement was spoken, but it hit me big time. He said, “At some point you just have to decide not to be nervous.” What? Could it really be that simple? So, you just decide to not let fear control you and you step out and try? And here I thought it was Maggie’s audition and I was just along for the ride.

If that would have been the end of the conversation, enough would have been said and I would have walked away blessed. However, my stomach was in a knot and my nerves were a mess. Watching Maggie walk through the door to go tryout sent me back to when I was about 10 years old. I spent hours practicing and singing along with Amy Grant to audition for a musical at my church. My dad worked with me and I felt ready. My mom drove me to the audition and I was extremely nervous. I hopped out of the car, walked into church and right up to the closed door. All I had to do was open the door and sing for a chance at a part in the musical. I walked up to the door, but chose not to open it. I  turned and walked away – defeated.

Fast forward thirty three years later and I watched my daughter open the door. Yes, she was still nervous and afraid of messing up, but she did not let fear stop her from trying. (Ironically, one of the songs she sang today is by Hillsong called “Who You Say I Am” and you need to listen to it.)While I could turn this back on me and wonder what would have happened if I had walked through my audition door, I choose not too. Instead, what I celebrate is fear not having the final word. Not today and not any other day.

We read in 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” My daughter does not let fear rule her and it is because she knows she is loved. She is loved by us, but more importantly by her Heavenly Father. I have said it before and I will say it again, knowing and believing you are loved, makes all the difference. Only His love is perfect and has the power to cast out all fear.

Home is where our children hear and are shown that they are loved by God. It might be around our table or standing in the kitchen, but our home will be a place where love is lived out daily. We make lots of mistakes and forget that we are loved. In the forgetting, we say hurtful things and act selfishly. In the forgetting, we let fear rule our hearts and we live accordingly. I say not in this home. Love is deeply rooted and lived as a response to God’s abundant love for us here.

Doors will continue to stand before each of my children. Some doors will open and some will not. As their mom, one of my prayers for them is that they will trust their loving God in the walking through the door or onto the next one. I pray they remain fearless and brave because they know they are loved. His love is perfect, so walk in it kids and never let fear tell you otherwise.

*The picture is Vivian watching Maggie audition today.

 

Summers End

I really do not like this time of year, when summer is coming to an end and the school year begins. Yes, there is nothing like freshly sharpened new pencils and granted some of the kids are excited, but some are not. What I will miss is all of us being together more than we are apart. With so many waking hours being spent at school, I miss them. The times around the table happen only at dinner and this is something we feel strongly about. We intentionally do not pack our schedules because this time is counted as highly valuable. Believe me it is not because I am that great of a cook, but what happens around the table matters.

We had a rough day yesterday and words seemed to be spoken to hurt. Not really sure why, other than we decided to give into sin and threw self-control out the window. So, to get our hearts back in line with Jesus, we tried something normally done only on birthdays. We had the kids speak kind words about each other. Around and around we went and it was good. It made them laugh and was a bit uncomfortable at times, but the more we practice speaking words of love, the easier it gets. This will no longer be saved for birthdays, but will become common. The memory made was a beginning.

Before we take off into a new school year, more memories need to be packed in. I am taking time with each kid one at a time and doing something special. Anna Kate and I visited her favorite museum, had lunch and shopped for her first day outfit. I love hearing her insight on works of art and sharing in her excitement in finding her unique style. We talk about the little things and the big things. She will be starting middle school and that is a pretty big deal. She is a bit shy and not one to demand attention, which makes her go unnoticed at times. She needs to be reminded that this is a good thing and how God made her. She does not need to change to fit in.

Jackson and I spent the day looking for deals on back to school clothes. He grows so fast that it is hard to keep up with his ever changing height. We tried a new restaurant and laughed a lot. He is witty, kind and fun when he relaxes. He is quite a gentlemen and that makes me smile. He worries about the small things and what other people think. I know this all too well. Thankfully, having been there it is very easy to lead him out of this pit with the light of truth. Makes the years of my own struggle worth it to be able to use it all as we parent this boy.

The others have their days planned out and I look forward to each one. However, I will tell you what I have noticed about these two kids. They were more willing to share their hearts, help out and were physically present more after our outings. Time is important. Pretty simple, but often lost in our busy school days. We catch up over dinner, before bed and on weekends, but I see the years moving all to quickly. Being mindful of what we give our time to really matters.

The memories made now will make play a part in the years to come. I want them to never doubt that they are loved, heard and will always hear the truth from me. Makes me think about a line in a song I recently heard that said, “Mom is just another word for home”. Sometimes learning to be home has not been easy, but God keeps teaching me daily to rely on Him. He has become my home and that is what I want my kids to see in me.  When my words and actions do not reflect Him, my kids probably do not feel at home. In fact, just this morning I spent quite a bit of time repenting for such sin. Self-righteousness had taken root and needed to be removed. So like a weeks worth of garbage, it was taken out. Our home feels much better now and so does my heart.

It is time to rest up for tomorrows adventure!

 

Tears

Twice this past week, while talking to two different moms, their eyes have filled with tears. My first reaction is a bit of fear because it might be that my honest words have caused pain, but the other part of me is thankful for a glimpse into their tender hearts. One sweet mom I met at the park in my dads soon to be neighborhood. Almost immediately she started sharing with me how anxious she is about the upcoming school year. Last year was a bit of a nightmare, with one of her children being bullied and one newly diagnosed with dyslexia. Oh, how I have been there! The times we have experienced bullying was so hard. Then the early years of navigating school with a child who has been created with dyslexia is not easy. You hear all kinds of opinions and pour out money right and left just to get answers. Our hope in doing this was to get answers in order to get help. For us, it was not until we took our kids out of private school and into public that we got answers and help. In the midst of this moms rapid fire fear filled words, I did the only think I knew to do – speak truth. I told her that God had given her these unique children not by accident. She was chosen to be their mom, not anyone else. She has a choice to be anxious or calm each and everyday. Why not choose calm? I shared how I start my day with God because I can not do this mission of motherhood on my own. I have tried this approach and it was a disaster! How many other mom’s feel this way?

IMG_8536The next beautiful encounter was during lunch with some of my dearest friends. We sat visiting and catching up, but my eyes kept noticing a precious mom with two super cute young boys. They sat on the same side of the bench, eating their lunch, content as can be. Lunch was followed by cookies and I just could not sit still any longer. At the risk of appearing weird, I approached this mama. I asked if she wanted me to take a picture of her and the boys with her phone. She immediately started telling me how terrible she looked, why she was just in a t-shirt and more words to “excuse” her appearance. That was not enough and comparison to me soon followed. Oh, the lies satan loves to whisper in our ears and how familiar they were to me. However, I now recognize them as lies and not truth most of the time. Again, truth needed to be spoken. Reminders of how the kids are growing up fast and that hard days come. To have a picture to look back and remember a fun time, while the boys are 3 and 7, is priceless. I am pretty sure her children could care less that she had on a t-shirt and a top knot. No, they will remember their mom sitting close and laughing over lunch and cookies. They will know a mom who chooses to spend time with them and one who believes in dessert! As they left the restaurant, they stopped for a few more words and the 7 year old thanked me for taking their picture! I was thankful I took a small risk to capture a memory and to remind her of the truth.

I am just so tired of satan whispering lies to moms! Because pretty soon, he no longer has to whisper, it has become recorded and played often. The playlist of “you are not enough”, “your appearance is far from perfect”, “everybody else is way more together than you” and the ever popular “it is all up to me”,  are the lies I had lived with for far too long. Have you heard them too?

The only way I have found to combat lies is with truth, but you have to know what is true. The world will shout one thing, but God’s word waits patiently for you to open it and find out for yourself. Wouldn’t it be nice to start a new school year differently? What if we read more truth and believed it? It will make all the difference. This I know to be true. Not reading our Bibles just does not make sense. The God who made you, me and our children, spoke through men He created to reveal Himself. I see His heart every time I open it.

One of the most incredible things my husband has done for me was covering my bathroom mirror with pink post-it notes, penned with words of affirmation on each one. If you saw how big my mirror was you would know this was not a quick project. This act shifted something in my mind and then in my heart. I could not see my reflection, only words of love. What if we got into our Bibles and covered our hearts and minds with post-it notes of who God is and how great His love is for each one of us? What if we let Him tell us how we are to raise our children instead of this world? What if our eyes saw other moms as uniquely created in the image of God and not someone we need to compare ourselves too? Tell me this would not make for a much better school year.

So, to the mom at the park and the mom at Bluebonnet Bakery with eyes full of tears, I see you as made and very much loved by God. If I could fill every mom’s bathroom mirror with words of truth and capture pictures of fleeting moments everyday, believe me I would. Your kids need you to know the truth and live it before their eyes in well worn t-shirts and top knots or whatever is comfortable for you.

I’ll leave you with a quote by Mr. Rogers that I recently read. “The greatest thing we can do is to help somebody know they’re loved.” Yes, this right here is my theme going into the upcoming school year!

Walking Stories

There is this phrase stenciled on the wall in what has been the kids nursery. It is now empty of a baby, but the phrase remains. It says, “Every child is a story yet to be told”. I feel blessed to be apart of my children’s stories each day. However, I know from scripture that our days are already planned and our stories known by God our Creator. “Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.” (Psalms 139:16). It is quite exciting to see these plans unfold each day. These words bring me comfort that not only are each of my children’s days planned, but so are mine and so are yours.

IMG_0874Do you ever think that before the day begins God knows each and every detail? He knows the choices we will make, to bring Him glory or glory to ourselves. He knows the joy we will bring to others or the selfish pain we will cause. He knows the work we will do that will go unseen or maybe recognized. He knows the conversations that will happen around the table and he sees the empty table where you sit alone. He knows who you will run into while running errands and who you will sit by at church. All of it. He knows.

Earlier in that passage it says, “Where can I go to escape your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol , you are there. If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, even there your hand will hold on to me.” (Psalms 139:7-9). He is unescapable and I am so thankful. He is ever present in our unfolding stories. He is with my children, when I am not. This was especially comforting while our oldest was out of the country. He knew and was with her when she got up each morning and went to bed tired each night. I think of Him smiling as she poured her days out to the people in El Salvador. She went there confident in sharing the gospel, but gained a new fire for making disciples. I am watching this play out now that she is home. All of this, God already knew and wrote down.

Somedays I would like to peak ahead or ask why certain events happened in our story, but I trust the one who has it all planned and written down. I respond with trust because I know he loves me. I did not say it was always easy, but I chose to trust him. We can get stuck in the joy of days gone by or we can drown in our recent sorrows. Maybe even become paralyzed in the fears of what is to come. In each of these places, “even there your hand will lead me; your right hand will hold on to me.” (Psalms 139:9). The one who holds your hand makes all the difference. I love these words, “You have encircled me; you have placed your hand on me.” (Psalms 139:5). If he has ahold of our hand by his right hand and it sounds like the other is on us, why should we be worried or fearful? Plus, he has encircled us! Oh, the comfort and a sense of protection this brings for me and our children.

On the flip side, if our hearts are bent towards self and the sin of this world, our thoughts might take comfort in the next verses, but only for a minute. “If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light around me will be night’ – even the darkness is not dark to you. The night shines like the day; darkness and light are alike to you.” (Psalms 139:11-12). I will admit there were and are still sometimes in my life that I hope the darkness would hide my sin. If I was not caught or if I just did not do that particular sin again, maybe it would stay in the dark. This is impossible with God. It is something I pray for my kids, that they will be caught in their sin. I pray that for myself as well. I can not ask something of them and not expect it for myself. That kinda levels the playing field. In our family, I am just one sinner, coming alongside 8 other sinners, daily depending on the One who holds my hand. (Side note: The book, Parenting, by Paul David Tripp, really helped me understand this part of raising kids.)

One good prayer to pray is found later on in this chapter. “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalms139:23-24). I have a dear friend, who when her head rests on her pillow at night, she asks the Lord to bring to mind any unconfessed sin. She then confesses, repents and drifts off to peaceful, forgiven sleep. What a picture of the grace God so willingly gives!

Another comforting part of this chapter says,  “God, how precious your thoughts are to me; how vast their sum is! If I counted them, they would outnumber the grains of the sand; when I wake up, I am still with you.” (Psalms 139:17-18). God’s thoughts are written out in the Bible that is so easily available to us in the United States. We can not forsake teaching our children God’s thoughts and ways found in the Bible. These thoughts should be precious to us. This is something I am convinced would help turn this nation around. However, I will save that for another day.

Dinner is waiting to be cooked, so I will close with this. Guess who wrote Psalms 139? Remember that kid, who was just running lunch to his brothers, who ended up confronting Goliath because he defied the Living God? Who came at the champion with only a sling shot and 5 smooth stones? Yes, the same David who killed the giant wrote these words. He knew the God who defeats giants and he knew who had written this part of his story. And like David, we are all walking stories written by the Living God.

A Giant Falls

I left off last time with the battle story found in 1 Samuel. The Philistines, along with their champion Goliath, are on one side of the valley and the Israelites are on the other. David has shown up on the scene and has heard Goliath taunting the children of Israel. He is taken to King Saul and says, “Don’t let anyone be discouraged by him; your servant will go and fight this Philistine!” (1 Samuel 17:32). I love David’s courage! Can we all follow his lead, see what satan is attempting to steal and be willing to enter the fight?

Saul’s reaction is normal. “You can’t go fight this Philistine. You’re just a youth, and he’s been a warrior since he was young.” (1 Samuel 17:33). David could have agreed and taken the empty lunch pail and returned safely to his father’s house. We can too you know. This giant is just too big and we are too small. Besides the fashion, cosmetic, advertising, magazine, book, internet, movie industry, pornography, sex trafficking, abortion, same-sex marriage and the list could go on that promote sin, generate too much money to be held accountable and stopped for defying the Living God. Add on top of that, it isn’t popular or culturally acceptable to live by the truth found only in the word of God.

Back to the battle. “David answered Saul: ‘Your servant has been tending his father’s sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear came and carried off a lamb from the flock, I went after it, struck it down, and rescued the lamb from its mouth. If it reared up against me, I would grab it by its fur, strike it down, and kill it. Your servant has killed lions and bears; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, for he has defiled the armies of the living God’. Then David said, ‘The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:34-37). David had been unknowingly training, preparing for this very day. I am not sure if he saw something like this coming, but that seems to be the way with us all when looking back over our life. He went after what the enemy carried off and rescued the lamb. Aren’t our children much more valuable than a farm animal? The other piece I love here is that David had full confidence in the Lord. Is there any other way to go into a battle?

“Saul said to David, ‘Go, and may the Lord be with you.” (1Samuel 17:37). Saul tries to protect David by having him outfitted in his military armor. However, if you remember Saul stood head and shoulders above everyone. “I can’t walk in these’, David said to Saul, ‘I’m not used to them.’ So David took them off. Instead, he took his staff in hand and chose five smooth stones from the wadi and put them in the pouch, in his shepherd’s bag. Then, with his sling in hand, he approached the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:39-40). I don’t see myself continuing on in this battle to “protect my house” with violence and slinging stones, but I do see myself continuing to stand for the truth. Also, David did not leave home without his shepherd’s bag, sling shot or staff. He came prepared. Are we prepared with the truth, only found in God’s word, to do battle when the occasion arises? David was only on an errand run after all.

“The Philistine came closer and closer to David, with the shield-bearer in front of him. When the Philistine looked and saw David, he despised him because he was just a youth, healthy and handsome. He said to David, ‘Am I a dog that you come against me sticks?’ Then he cursed David by his gods.” (1 Samuel 17:41-43). Yes, it looks like a champion Goliath is coming against families, children, marriages, innocence and purity. Yes, we may look unpopular and small in comparison. Yes, we make look unprepared. Like me. I am “just a mom” so what can I possibly do to fight back? Because to stand on the rock of truth is not being tolerant and therefore unloving. Nothing could be further from the truth! We love people so much, that to think of anyone spending eternity in hell compels us to stand. That is what is at stake here. And if people are already believers, that salvation can not be lost, but being held in the captivity of sin cripples ones life.

“David said to the Philistine: ‘You come against me with a sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord of Armies, the God of the ranks of Israel – you defiled him. Today, the Lord will hand you over to me.” (1 Samuel 17:45-46). The enemy has come against us too, created in the very image of God (see Genesis 1:25) for much to long. The twisting of truth, hate and depravity are only growing in intensity. It is time we remind him who he is up against – “the Lord of Armies, the God of the ranks of Israel.” That is whose army we are apart of if we are followers of Christ. You have to pick a side. I ask my kids all the time, “Who are you going to let win? God or satan?” It is a choice to be made day in and day out.

“When the Philistine started forward to attack him, David ran quickly to the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand in the bag, took out a stone, slung it, and it hit the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown to the ground. David overpowered the Philistine and killed him without having a sword.” (1 Samuel 17:48-50). Scripture doesn’t mention what happened to the shield-bearer in front of Goliath. It doesn’t really matter, God won the battle and used a small, youthful shepherd to take down the defiant champion.

As for the rest of the army,  “When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they fled. The men of Judah rallied, shouting their battle cry, and chased the Philistines to the entrance of the valley and to the gates of Ekron.” (1 Samuel 17:51-52). I would have loved to have seen them retreat and I would love to see our enemy flee now. Can you only imagine the children of God rallying together, shouting a battle cry and chasing after the thief who “comes only to kill, steal and destroy..” (John 10:10). Saying “Enough! You can not have my family!”  We are on the side of the one who has “..come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10). It is time to stand up, pick the side of truth and fight! Our children now and those to come after us are counting on us!