Lessons From a 10-Year-Old

Lessons From a 10-Year-Old

Daily Notes Encouragement

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefor I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. ~2 Corinthians 12:9-10

another example of something I didn't think would work, but my husband was like, "Sure! Give it a try!"
another example of something I didn’t think would work, but my husband was like, “Sure! Give it a try!”

It’s Thanksgiving, so let me tell you what I am thankful for- I am thankful that we serve and trust in a God who is still speaking to us if we just take the time to notice.

A few weeks ago we were visiting family, and my beautiful ten-year-old niece took my two littles into the kitchen and made cookies with them. It was a totally new experience for my children. NOT because they’ve never ‘made cookies’ before, but because they had never made cookies before. When I make cookies with my kids I tend to take over. It’s easier if I crack the eggs. It’s less mess if I measure the flour. When they make cookies with me, they are basically waiting for the chocolate chips to come out so they can sneak a few. Otherwise they are just observers. And here is my niece, letting them measure. Letting them each have their own whisk to mix with, because sharing is hard. There was a mess, and there were extra dishes- but my children actually made the cookies.

I observed this and felt a small nudge. There was something for me to learn here…

Then a week later my husband was making eggs and my daughter said she wanted to make eggs too. And again, I watched someone else let her do the things I would not have allowed- only because I didn’t want the extra hassle, the extra mess. Not that I thought that way. My thought was simply it’s just easier if I do it. But my husband took the time to explain how to crack an egg, and then he handed it to her and stepped back. And crazy thing happened- she made eggs!

Again that small nudge. And now my wheels are turning, and I’m thinking about how I need to let my kids try new things…

So then I pick up my devotional and it talks about the importance of letting our kids fail. Because that is real life. In life they are going to fail! And how are we hindering them, and even hurting them, when we have never allowed them to fail in a safe and loving environment!

And I put my devotional down and just laughed. How can you not laugh when God repeatedly underlines a topic for you? Because I had just read a quote on social media that if you fail at something it means you’re trying. And my eldest son had asked me about a quote from a famous inventor who said, “Well now I know 49 ways that doesn’t work.” And he wanted clarification about what that might mean. There had been a theme in my life, and as the topic of the flip side of failure was repeatedly highlighted for me, I heard that quiet voice speaking gentle correction to my heart.

We have our own hens, and this happens sometimes...
We have our own hens, and this happens sometimes…

Failure is important! It teaches us to get up and try again- perseverance people!! I’m sure I could go on and on about the flip side of failure, about how we can teach our children through it. But I need to go make some peanut butter bars for Turkey Day. Correction! My daughter needs to make some peanut butter bars!

Thank you, Lord, that you speak through Children. That you are still speaking to us today. That you have your eye on us, and you are mindful of us. I love that You continue to teach us and bring us from glory to glory! Help us to notice the things you are saying. Help us to open our hearts to really hear Your Voice. And protect us Lord from going astray. I ask especially that you would open our eyes to where we might think we are doing the ‘right’ thing, but we in fact are missing the mark. Thank you for always being good and gentle with us. In Jesus name, Amen!


Ha ha!

Ha ha!

Children Encouragement From the Authors

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~Philippians 4:8

mom-downloaded-oct-10-174october-10-124When my eldest was only two he started saying, “Ha ha!” in response to adults giving him direction. Not laughing, but in a snarky kind of sing-song voice, “Ha ha!”

I would say, “Time to go to bed.” And he would turn to look at me and say, “Ha ha!”

“Do not throw that toy!” And he may or may not have thrown the toy, but he would look at me, and with more sass than an entire class of middle school girls, he would say, “Ha ha!”

It got to be too much! I was just dumbfounded- where or where did he learn such language? Who taught him to be such a stinker!? I think I bemoaned the situation for a good week. My husband heard all about it. My mother heard all about it. Anyone within a five mile radius of me heard all about my poor baby and this new ‘trick’ he’d learned that was surely going to be the death of me. Two-year-olds should not have that much sass. They just shouldn’t! Dimples, rolly thighs, waddling runs, giggles, and lisps- yes! Those they can have, and in abundance! But sassiness? Absolutely not!

It was a few days into this whole production, when I was driving with my mom. My dad, driving in another car, calls to inform us of his ETA. I realize we are going to beat him to the destination and in a sing-song-snarky-kind-of voice I said, “Ha ha!” And I froze. And my mom’s head slowly turned until she was looking directly at me and she said, “It was YOU! You taught him to say it!!”

And I realized it was me. I taught that precious little rolly polly toddler to say “Ha ha!” in a super sassy voice. I had bemoaned the loss of his innocence, but it had been me leading the way!

And how true that remains to this day! I say things without thinking, things that seem fine for a grown adult to say. And then those same words pop out of their little mouths and I am just horrified! They are like little mirrors that reflect back to us the wrongness of what we have said or done! They tattle on us to strangers! Telling the clerk at the grocery store how many cups of coffee we have had today, or if we maybe were speeding a little bit on the way to get milk!

And these are just the little things!

Thankfully I had the “ha ha” experience with my first child when he was only two. My husband and I reflected a lot on that lesson over the years. We realized that our children listened to us. Whether we really thought they were paying any attention or not. And our words affect how they perceive the world around them. If we are negative in talking about something or someone, they would simply follow our lead. Their perception of the world, our neighbors, or even a friend could be drastically affected by things that my husband and I said.

I quote the verse at the top of this page a lot to my children; especially when we get stuck in complaining or worrying. Or I tell them “Worrying is like running around during a flood with a fire extinguisher. It keeps you busy, but doesn’t help much.” *

All this to say- one of the best ways to protect your child’s innocence is to monitor the words of your mouth. And oh that mouth! We have been warned about it. (James 3) And even more, this is an issue of our hearts. Our hearts should be turned towards God, and filled with God. Because then we will really be speaking wonders into our children’s lives, and into their hearts.

For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. ~Luke 6:45

Lord God, thank you that you came down to us. Thank you that you sent your Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts. Forgive us for being sassy, snarky, grumpy, worrisome, or down right cross. Turn our hearts again towards You, help us to search out your Word and your Truth. Fill our hearts up to overflowing with your love and peace, and please bless us to pour out that love and peace into our children’s lives! In Jesus Name, Amen!


*I was told this was a C.S. Lewis quote? I can’t find the reference, but you can validate it on google if you really want.



This Moment

This Moment


While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” ~Luke 8:49

Simg_20161011_160202o I recently read this story from Luke 8 to my kids. The story is in the midst of a very busy chapter. In Luke 8, Jesus tells the parable of the sower, and the lamp on the stand. Then he gets a visit from his mother and brothers, after that he calms the storm on the lake (no big deal), and heals a demon-possessed man. And still Luke 8 is NOT finished yet.

Do you begin to get the sense of what Jesus’ ministry was like at this point in the story?

When I read the last story in Luke 8, I had to pause. It’s the story of a father, desperate to save his daughter. I’m a mother; I can sympathize with those feelings. So this father runs to get Jesus, and they are trying to hurry back to his house before it is too late. And meanwhile the crowds are crushing Jesus. They want some of this Jesus too. I’m sure if I was that father, I would be shoving back and (probably) yelling for people to get out of the way. I can almost feel his anxiety, his desire to hurry- hurry!

And then Jesus stops and is like, “Someone touched me.” And all the disciples (and I’m sure this father too) are like, “Of course someone touched you! You’re in a huge crowd of people and they are pressing up against you!”

Now at this point in the story, I have always focused on the woman who believed that if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’ robe, she would be healed. The woman who was not supposed to be in the midst of that crowd- if she was bleeding (for 12 years) she had been “unclean” for twelve years. Unable to attend church, to be in society, to be touched… Yet she risks all just to touch Jesus.

That’s a great story of faith.

However, this time while I read the story, I remembered the father. Standing there, probably fidgeting with anxiety and worry. I hate to say it, but if my child was next to death’s door, I would not have cared at all about some random woman in the street. I would have probably thrown Jesus over my shoulder at this point and started running.

But in all the anxiety and worry, in the business and the crowd, Jesus is not anxious. Jesus is not rushed, or panicked. Instead Jesus makes time for the moment he is in. He probably got up extra early that morning and had spent time with God. And more than anything, during his time with God, he had probably been filled up with all those good things that come from God- peace, joy, love, and (dare I say it) PATIENCE! Jesus did not need to rush to the next thing, he did not have to rush to the rescue- because he fully trusted in God, and God’s timing, and God’s plan.

For the first time, as I read this story, I heard the words in Luke 8:49, and felt my heart break along with that father’s heart. “Your daughter is dead. Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” What hopelessness the world can bring us. What utter defeat. What heartbreak.

And what is Jesus’ response to these words that must have shattered that father’s heart?

“Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

If I were the father in this story, I wonder how I would have reacted? Would I have been angry at the crowd? At the sick woman? At Jesus for not hurrying, for not meeting my time table? Or would those words have caused those shattered pieces of my heart to start to join together again? Would the look in Jesus’ eyes have filled me anew with hope?

This story hit me because of the business. I confess- I’ve been sucked in yet again! We are told to run, run, run! Strive harder, do better, be more! Almost daily I feel the old lie creeping in: You aren’t enough! And I become afraid that those words are true. That I am not enough, that I am unworthy. And so I run around trying to prove myself worth. I worry, and I work, and I worry, and I become so busy…

And Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid; just believe”

img_20161022_133800And, of course, since this is Jesus we’re talking about- that little girl lives. She lives! He raises the dead to life! And I think this story might be hard for parents with sick children. But I hope you can let Jesus’ words raise your heart back to life. There is no fear in Christ. There is love, hope, joy, and peace! And yes, His answers to our prayers don’t always look like what we think is best. But we do not need to believe the lies, we do not need to be afraid, and we do not need to run on ahead in our own strength- striving to prove we are able or worthy.

I want to be more like Jesus in about a million and two ways, but this story highlights for me the need to be in this moment. This moment. It will not come again. I have this day with my children as they are. They are growing and changing. The world around us is always changing, but we have one constant hope that we can hold on to. One rock that we can cling to. One life preserving raft that will not sink or fail.

We can believe in Jesus. And then we can be brave.*

Lord, sorry for believing the lies of this world. Sorry that I have not trusted in your love, in your ability to see me. Help me to turn my eyes again back to You. Increase my faith, like the woman who was willing to risk all just to touch your robe. Bless me to be the kind of parent who enjoys this moment I have with my children. And bless and protect our family, point our feet towards you and help us to walk forward bravely and in faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!


*when I looked up an antonym for afraid, I was given the word brave. So if the opposite of being afraid, is being brave- if, when we believe in Jesus, we were to become brave– what would that look like?