Let God Shine!

Children’s ministry is so fun!!!! It’s more then fun though. It’s rewarding. Watching little hearts find Jesus and know they are just as capable of sharing His love with the world as adults is awesome. If I’m being real I would tell you kids ministry is a struggle too. It’s a struggle when you find yourself comparing your ministry to another Kids Ministry out there. Do you ever find yourself comparing your ministry with another? I find myself doing just this. I compare our Kids Life to a ministry much larger with more kids and more resources. Guess what?!?! Every ministry regardless of its size has the same amount of Jesus. You were not called to look like the kids ministry at the church down the street. That’s why you are not there. You are in your ministry because God knows you have what is needed to help shape the ministry the way He has designed it to be. Be true to what God has called you to do. Sure! Share resources. Call on friends in the same type of ministry. I’m only saying shape your ministry around the heart of God and not the heart of others. What is He calling your specific ministry to look like? What do the people in your ministry need? God hasn’t called us to be the same for a reason. Let God shine in your ministry the way He wants and cheer other ministries on as they too are letting Him shine.

2 Chronicles 29:11

My sons, do not neglect your duties any longer! The Lord has chosen you to stand in his presence, to minister to him, and to lead the people in worship and present offerings to him.”

A Clean Heart!

In preschool we talked about forgiveness. God forgives us and we can forgive others. We read the story of The Prodigal Son while we drew pictures on a laminated heart. At the end of the story we took a baby wipe and cleaned our hearts. When God forgives us He washes our sins away. Noah spoke up and shared…

“When my friend Ellie pushed me down the stairs she told me she was sorry and when I was done being mad I forgave her!”

😂😂😂

Noah shared a perfect illustration of forgiveness. Thankful for all our preschoolers are learning about the Love of Jesus. ❤️

The Jump!

The jump!

Today Ellie braved the jump! It only took 20 minutes but she did it! 😂😂😂

Sometimes jumping in is the hardest part. Not just into the water either.

It was time to get Kids Life open after the big covid shut down. I just had to make it happen. Even with limited volunteers I knew it was time. I was terrified. I didn’t just want to open so that we had childcare available. Kids life is more then childcare. I wanted to open so kids could have a place to learn about the love of Jesus on their level with kids their age. But how could I make this happen with a limited list of volunteers? I wrestled with God. I made so many excuses and threw a fit when I thought it was not possible and then I decided to jump. He made it happen. It was never on me!!! No! We still don’t have enough volunteers. Don’t get me wrong. We may only have a few volunteers at the moment but let me tell you we have the best. All of them serve multiple times each month. They come ready to give God their best. They love on the kids, pray for the kids, have fun with the kids and most importantly each week they point the kids to Jesus. We jumped in and watching God move has been constant and so worth the jump. He has not failed us once in kids life sense reopening or EVER for that matter. There have been Saturday nights when I didn’t know how we would make it work that Sunday. Then I get a text early Sunday morning, or have a volunteer ready to serve again but NEVER have we had to say we do not have enough volunteers for Kids Life that day. We jumped in and God caught us and He still has us.

I want to pause for a moment and say this is not a guilt trip. This is only me conveying the message that when you jump in for God He takes care of the rest. I know there will be a day when we have 100% of our volunteers back. I know those who are not serving yet have a reason and I respect their choice. Our current volunteers serving and our volunteers who we can’t wait to serve with again hold the same value in kids life. They ALL love Jesus and they ALL want our kids to love Him too.

Jumping in is scary!

Jumping into healing

Jumping into a new opportunity.

Jumping into a new mindset.

Jumping into a new Friendship.

Jumping into a relationship with Jesus.

Jumping back into life after covid is probably the most scary jump for some right now.

Jumping in for Jesus is scary. Jumping takes courage. Jumping means you set your eyes on Jesus trusting that He will catch you. Jumping has pushed me into completely knowing that what we do each weekend in kids life is because of Him and Him alone. It has nothing to do with me and EVERYTHING to do with Jesus.

In whatever way you are jumping in for Jesus (figuratively speaking) and no matter how overwhelming the jump might feel, just jump. Jesus is there waiting to catch you.

“You keep him in perfect peace

whose mind is stayed on you,

because he trusts in you.

Trust in the LORD forever,

for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.”

-Isaiah 26:3-4

❤️

7 Years! 🎉🎉🎉

Happy anniversary to this stud Muffin with his sexy calves and all. They say marriage is not 50/50 but 100/100. Both husband and wife need to give 100% to the marriage. This past year Jessie gave more then 100% at times. He stepped up when I could not! He never shamed me for needing the extra help and he never complained either. Even when I wanted Sonic cheese sticks and

Chick-fil-A everyday of my pregnancy (honestly after too) he would drive me there at a moments notice. Throughout this year he often pointed out all the things that make me great when I wasn’t feeling my greatest. He has always been my number one fan on earth. Each year in marriage is a different kind of season but I’m so thankful and blessed to share every season with Jessie. Jessie, thanks for all the foot rubs, pep talks, secret ice cream trips when both kids fall asleep in the back seat, walks around the neighborhood, being my personal body guard when I’m scared to be in the church alone working at night, an ear to listen when I drink too much Baja blast and can’t stop talking and mostly thanks for all the laughs. Thanks for all the jokes that I always pretend to annoy me. You keep life funny and we all need more funny in our world. I love you Jessie and no matter what the years bring you will always be the one I look for in a crowd. Like seriously! Even if The Rock was in the crowd I would still look for you!

Happy 7th Anniversary!

Ecclesiastes 4:9: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”

An Army at your heels!

I absolutely love putting together the Kids Life curriculum. It’s fun to take the lesson each week and make it come to life with fun crafts, object lessons and other activities. I’m always on Pinterest looking for the most fun and engaging activities that relate to each week’s lesson. There is so much I want to do better when it comes to building a curriculum that helps grow kids who know and love Jesus for life. Ellie helped me design this sensory bin for our preschool lesson on Moses. The kids were given the opportunity to retell the part of the story when God told Moses to raise his staff to part the Red Sea. They used the balloons on the sides to pull up and part the sea. I found our little Moses character at Goodwill. While putting the Moses lessons together I learned something I missed out on all these years. When the Israelites were standing in front of the Red Sea before it was parted, there was an army behind them getting closer. They couldn’t get away because there seemed to be no way out. The Israelites were scared but Moses told them “God will make a way for us to escape!” He did. Just then the clouds moved behind the Israelites to block them from the army coming after them. The Red Sea parted and the Israelites were free. God always makes a way. We can sometimes be like the Israelites scared because we hear the army getting closer. We have no idea how God might be blocking that army from us while He makes a way out. Even if the army is right at your heels don’t stop trusting that God will part the Sea in front of you.

“I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea.” Isaiah 43:16

Read: Isaiah 43:16-21

YOUnique Mom!

YOUnique Mom!

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’”

– Proverbs 31:28-31

Do you ever feel like every mom around you is being awarded the good mom medal except you? Maybe you feel like a bad mom because you are not like the other moms? Guess what?!?! The other moms are not like you. There are moms at home right now eating a tub of ice cream as they scroll through your Social media profile and feel guilty that they are not the mom you are. I want all my fellow moms to STOP Playing the comparison game.

You were uniquely created to be the mom God designed YOU to be.

Psalm 139:13-14: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Do you really believe that you are a wonderful mom in the eyes of God? He loves you so much and has equipped you to be the mom your child needs. You already have all you need within you to be the mother that God has created you to be. You only need to reach out and take it.

This does not mean that there are no areas we can trust God to help us work on as mother’s. There is not a perfect mom in this world. Shocker! Right?! I only want us to choose to STOP living in the shadow of our mom friends.

I have no sympathy bone. I always joke that Jesus switched my sympathy bone for a crafty bone. Need a crafty mom? Here I am. Need a hug cause you fell down after I told you THREE TIMES not to stand on the back of the couch, sorry I’m out of hugs.

We all have our WOW mom moments and we all have those not so WOW moments. I guess I would have to agree that my lack of a sympathy bone is a weakness for me.

The other morning we were on the porch taking pictures. I was so frustrated because I felt like Ellie was trying to make it difficult. (She wasn’t!!!!) In a moment of weakness I yelled “YOU ARE GOING TO SMILE AND YOU WILL ENJOY IT!!!” She cried saying “ I am smiling. This is my new smile!” I felt awful and I’m sure the entire neighborhood saw my crazy mom moment. I honestly just needed Jesus to remind me that my kids don’t have to be looking in the same direction in every picture. The truth is, the mom next door to you needs Jesus just as much as you.

When I was pregnant with Jay I felt like the worst mom in the world. Not only did Ellie have to hold my hair back as I hurled into her tub of animal crackers but one day we laid in the bed from the moment we woke up till 4 pm. Then we just moved to the couch. She played on her iPad the entire day and many days after that. Why? I was too sick to function and my pride held me back from asking for help. I look back and wonder, why didn’t we fly Jessie’s mother down? Why didn’t I reach out to my personal mom friends? Why did I feel like I had to do it all on my own? We all have seasons as moms when we need help and that is ok. We need to let go of our motherly pride so that we can receive that help.

Be willing to let go of your pride and ask for help. You don’t have to do this mom thing alone. It’s hard. It’s rewarding but so challenging too. Also, be willing to return the help to the next mom next door. Moms need moms!!!!

We were not created to do life alone.

The other day Kayla and I were working at the church. I couldn’t find my hot glue guns anywhere. I have 100 but could not locate one. In my head I started going through the motions of packing my kids up (I only have two but it seemed like a marathon) and hauling them to theDollar Tree. For a 20 minute event I knew that I was going to spend an hour because one kid was going to have a blowout and the other was going to want me to look at EVERYTHING!! Without hesitation, Kayla said…

“Just go. I’ll watch your kids.” Let me tell you how fast I ran out of that building. I was driving down the road to the FURTHEST Dollar Tree, singing at the top of my lungs to Ellie’s favorite Kids Bop CD, sipping my Diet Coke, bopping my head and feeling like a fly mom. I love my kids but can we just please normalize taking a break from our kids. Moms need a break. It’s ok to take that break. There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself so that you can be a better mom.

#Normalizemombreaks!!!

We also need to Let go of unrealistic mom expectations! Until we let go of our unrealistic mom expectations we will never be able to reach our full mom potential that we were created to be. The only expectation you should have as a mom is to raise your kids to love and serve the Lord.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” – 3 John 1:4

We should want our joy as mother’s to be in the fact that we are raising our kids to love and serve God, not in how we can be more like the mommy Suzy Jane down the street who knows how to cook healthy meals and do cute hairstyles. That’s good and all but having the perfectly symmetrical pig tails is not what will bring our children joy, peace and purpose. Only Jesus can give them that.

Each and EVERY mom has something that only they can give their children. No one (except Jesus) can love your kids better than you. You have all you need to be the mom God has shaped you to be. God has already birthed that gift in you. You just need to reach out and take it. We are not the same. We are not called to be the same mom. We are all different as moms and that’s ok. We are all loved by the same God. We are not bad moms but we are uniquely created to be the mom God gifted us to be. You are just who your child needs. You are called, chosen, loved, you are a unique mom!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Jesus always provides!

Jesus performed 7 types of miracles. He fed many people, cast out evil spirits, healed the blind, deaf sick and injured, turned water to wine, controlled the elements of nature, allowed Peter and his fishermen to catch a lot of fish, and lastly raised many from the dead including himself. This past weekend in Kids Life we focused on the miracle of Jesus feeding 5000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread. To illustrate how much Jesus provided we covered the floor in cotton balls to represent the fish and bread. When they were told to go the kids used their “baskets” to collect as much bread and fish as possible. When the bell rang they stopped collecting.

“Wow! Jesus did an amazing miracle! After He fed 5,000 people with only five loaves and two fish, there were still all these baskets of bread leftover!”

Our kids were able to visually see that even after all the people were fed there was still so much more left. Jesus always provides.

Smelly Disobedience!

We really wanted the kids to get a sense of what it was like to be in the belly of a fish for three days. So we decided to bring the story to life. As they set in a circle to hear the story we had Joann spray water in the air just enough for it to land on each of them as she talked about the storm. Jonah found himself in a storm while hiding on a boat. He knew the storm was because of his disobedience so he had the men throw him into the water. As she told the part of the story where Jonah gets swallowed by a big fish she hurried the kids under the blue tarp. It was dark and lonely for Jonah. In his loneliness Jonah reached out to God. He prayed! To finish, we passed around a can of tuna for the kids to sniff. With one quick sniff they got the point. Being in a belly of a fish was lonely, dark, gross and smelly. Jonah chose to run from God. However, he learned that you can never run so far that God can’t find you. Jonah repented from inside the fish and then was vomited on to dry land. Eww gross!!! God forgave Jonah and sent him on his way to Nineveh. Jonah obeyed this time. We might not be physically running from God but sometimes our hearts can be running. We grow distant when we stop talking to Him, reading His word and spending time with other believers. When we grow distant we stop listening to where He is trying to lead us. Just like Jonah. Sometime we hear Him speaking or nudging our hearts but like Jonah we don’t obey. Don’t allow yourself to get on the wrong boat, be thrown into the ocean, swallowed by a big fish and to top it off vomited on to dry land. Just listen to God the first time. Most importantly, know that you have not messed up too much to be forgiven and still used by God. He wants to use you. Where ever you are right now, reach out to God in prayer. You are not too hidden for God to hear you.

“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish. He said, “I cried out to the Lord in my great trouble, and he answered me. I called to you from the land of the dead, and Lord, you heard me!” Jonah 2:1 NLT

One day!

I have found myself thinking of my dad a lot lately. He spent my entire life broken over the loss of his son, my brother Brook. I can’t begin to understand the grief his passing caused my parents. My brothers death puts my entire childhood in perspective. When going through my dads things he had a box with Jays name written on it. I opened it to find a bunch of toy cars. They were cars my brother played with almost 39 years ago. My dad wants to give them to Jay. For obvious reasons, I offered them to my mom who in return encouraged me to keep them because she knows I would do something sentimental with them. For now they sit in this tall vase. I’ve been spending a lot of time dreaming up ways to display these cars. I know I’ll come up with the perfect display. Brook is the brother I never met. Brook is the brother who left this world all too soon. He’s the brother I’ll meet for the first time in heaven one day. He’s the brother I oddly find myself missing. Brook was the first child born 5 years before me. Brook passed away 1 week before he should have turned 1. Almost 39 years later my dad still cries when he talks about him. There is hope for my dad knowing he will hold is son again in heaven when the time comes. I can only imagine how beautiful their reuniting will be. One day my dad will be with Jesus, he will be with Brook and he will finally be free.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:4 NLT

Hide!

You can run from God but you can’t hide. Let’s be real, Jonah tried to hide from God by sailing away on a ship. However, running from God only caused him to be thrown over the boat, swallowed by a big fish and vomited on to dry land. In the end, Jonah listened to God and went to Nineveh to tell the people about Him. In preschool this week the kids told the story of Jonah using our water table. We filled the water table with a boat, Jonah and lots of little fish. Our preschoolers used our “big fish” to catch little fish and ultimately Jonah. They also threw Jonah over the boat and used the “big fish” to spit Jonah on to dry land. My favorite part was hearing the kids have Jonah cry out to God from inside the big fish. ❤️

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God…” Jonah 2:1