Welcome to Day #7 of the Intentional Mothering Series!
First of all, I am pleased to announce that our winner from Day #5 is…. Britt! Britt, private message me your mailing address on facebook and Zoann will send you the beautiful necklace; may it serve as a loving reminder to keep mothering intentionally.
Pictured on the collage above (on the left) is my dear friend Angela and her daughter. They are the poster children for this series; aren’t they lovely?! I could go on and on about how wonderful Angela and her family are; we met through a music program our daughters were in, and started talking about adoption…the rest is history (and the present and the future for that matter). I had the privilege of taking their family photos last fall to include in their dossier. It is amazing how God has linked our stories and provided our #4’s through adoption (we are both already looking forward to how God might add #5’s to our families)! I wish you could go have coffee with Angela and let her speak this post directly to you…with her lovely, subtle, southern drawl and the twinkle in her eye. You are in for a real treat…
Praying on Purpose
I am not a visualizer. I look at paint samples and cannot see anything past that one-inch square. In geometry class, a line that went on forever really stopped in my math book. Back in the early ’90s, my mother took me to a hairdresser who took a picture of me with some-sort of computer contraption. She then changed my hair on the screen so I could see what I would look like with very short, curly hair. It was a good thing I saw the picture, because the outcome was not pretty and I avoided some middle-school trauma!
When my children were born, though, I tried to visualize. What would their future hold? What were my hopes for them? How could I make their dreams come true? My husband and I sought the Lord many times for our babies, even before they were born, even before they were conceived.
Although we are far from perfect, interceding for our children is a priority for us. Our hopes and dreams for them are nothing compared to what the Lord has planned for their lives. So, we have sought Him to guide us in praying over them.
When our first son was born, I remember leaving him for the first time. While still in the hospital, I went to take a shower (hey, when it is your first, that is a BIG deal!). I came out to his daddy sweetly hunched over him reading out of the book of 1 Timothy, which is where he got his first name. Listening to his daddy’s voice quietly speaking calmed him down from his fussing.
Some verses from chapter 6 leaped out at me, and the Lord gave us TC’s verses:
“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in His own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To Him be honor and might forever. Amen” (1 Timothy 6:11-16).
It is amazing to watch God work in TC’s life to refine some of these qualities. I was so excited when my youngest received his first Lego set; I thought I would sit down and put it together with him. Oh, no, TC took over. With such gentleness, he led his brother through each step and got excited with him when it was finished. I have seen him befriending children with special needs, encouraging them to persevere or gently reminding them of responsibilities. The Lord touched TC’s heart and he has made a “good confession” that Jesus is Lord, with no prompting on our parts. We pray he will continue to seek the Lord.
When we found out our second baby was a girl, we immediately began thinking about her innocence, her purity, and of course, her beauty! Lord, how could we protect her? I was drawn to verses I had memorized in college:
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing” (Philippians 2:14-16).
Although we did not pick it for that reason, her name even means “pure.” But, the Lord led me to these verses for a different reason. As a second-born child and a girl, this child can be stubborn! Sometimes, she complains and argues (don’t we all?). At the same time, she is compassionate, creative, and generous. She held a donation-only lemonade stand and raised an amazing amount of money…then gave it all away. The Lord has used her verses to remind me that He is at work in her life. He has designed her personality. When used for His glory, this tenacity will help her stand strong in a crooked and depraved generation. That perseverance will help her hold out the word of life that she has accepted. Oh, with such joy, I get to call her “my little star” and not build her up with false notions, because she is His.
When our youngest was born, people quickly commented on how strong he was. “He’s already holding his head up! Look how steady!” This little one, though, had a slow start to growing and one worried mama!
“I always thank God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in Him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful” (I Corinthians 1:4-9).
By seven months of age, he was doing great; he even had a little chub. The Lord sustained us and made him strong. Since he was very young, on days I work, he and his daddy make home and hospital visits to people in our church. What a joy his speech brings those hurting and sick people. He has spoken the words of Jesus to me, encouraging me and reminding me to have faith. We are in the process of adoption, and this four-year-old is the one who told me that God knows her name. He’s the one who pointed out that she doesn’t know Jesus and he will tell her; after all, he is the “big bwuder!”
I pray these particular verses several times throughout the year, but I specifically pray these over them on their birthdays. Like the mom in Love You Forever, I sneak into their rooms, crawl across their floors, and read over them while they sleep. Occasionally they will wake up, give a sleepy grin, and go back to sleep knowing their God and their mom are fighting for them.
I invite you, and plead with you, to pray on purpose for your children. You will never regret it! God brings great peace and hope to your heart as you speak His promises over the lives of these precious ones.
don’t get me wrong. I am not saying to pray the verses about Solomon
being the richest and wisest guy around over your child. God does not
respond to orders, I don’t think. The often-quoted verse in Psalms 37 about God giving us the desires of our heart offers insight to this.
When we “delight” in the Lord, He changes us to be more like His Son.
When we become more like Jesus, our desires change to be more like
God’s. As I ponder my children’s verses, I know that God is using them
to shape and change me, too. He is giving me a glimpse into their
character and who He wants them to be. He is helping me accept how He
has made them and encourages me to press on in raising these little
blessings. Oh, how I need His desires for them!
With Grace and Joy,
Angela calls herself an amateur blogger with about 20 posts under her belt. She in fact is a wonderful blogger; her posts will stretch your faith and call you to joy-filled action. Join their family’s adoption journey to adopt a sweet baby girl from China at Praise and Fireworks. You can be a small, but significant part of their adoption, by ordering through their amazon link on the right side of their blog. Just click on their amazon link and order as usual; a percentage of your order will go to their adoption. Thank you!
1. What does your child need prayer for today? How about your spouse?
2. If it is too overwhelming to find “THE VERSE” for your child, you can pray 31 Biblical Virtues for your child. Also, Compassion International has a great 52-week prayer guide for children in their sponsored programs, but you can use those verses for your children, too.
3. How can we pray for you today? We are lifting you up today and asking God to strengthen and guide you as you seek Him and rely on His wisdom to raise the child(ren) that He has blessed you with.