At Home With God

Written by: Angela Mercer

“Mom, you’ve never taught me to pray”. This was the statement that rolled off the tongue of my 12 year old. I tried to hold my facial expressions back a moment. For a child whose parents are both pastors, how could MY child say this.

Over the years we have been a very open family. Meeting together to discuss goals and our family vision have been something that is very common in our household. Family devotions are not uncommon and we have talked and prayed about many things and our kids have prayed too.

What I would learn through conversation was that my daughter was asked to pray out loud with other adults at a meeting for our children’s program and her nerves got the best of her. She was afraid of what might come out of her mouth and wasn’t sure if what she was about to pray would be good enough or even acceptable.

What a great conversation that was able to take place. How often do many of us make prayer about way more then it actually is. I don’t care about how my children approach me in conversation. I don’t worry about the words they use and if it is perfect grammar and spoken with great eloquence. No! I just want to be with my kids.

That, my friends, is the heart of our Heavenly Father. He just wants to be with us.

One of my favourite scriptures is the vine and the branches and Eugene Peterson in the Message talks about our being in God’s presence as “home”. I love that imagery so much as home is supposed to be the most comfortable place. When you get home you take your shoes off and put your track pants on (or is that just me ;)). You pour a cup of coffee or tea and you snuggle with a blanket in your favourite chair. There is no pretense at home. There is no fussing. When you are together as family you let your guard down. You are safe.

“But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon.” John 15

I love home décor but my rule is that it still has to look comfortable and lived in. I want people to relax and feel at home. But there are those houses that look like a magazine and everything is absolutely perfect. The pillows are puffed and perfectly placed and you’re not really sure where to sit. So you sit propped up on the edge of the couch, you feel nervous, a little, as you aren’t sure what to do. They offer you a drink and instead of saying “yeah that’d be great” you say “Yes, that would be wonderful. Thank you”. You don’t dare sit back or even worse put your feet up on the coffee table.

But I believe God wants you to do just that. Put your feet up. Snuggle in close. Throw off the days demands and expectations and just be with him. Don’t think about your “list” of things you need to pray for. Don’t hurry through to the next thing. Be with Him. Just sit and pause for a minute or two.

I love the heart of my little girl. She and Jesus actually have such a sweet friendship and she really hears from Him. She doesn’t overthink it. It’s just a natural outflow of her faith. There are many times when she inspires me the way she hears God speak to her.

I encourage you today, wherever you are in your relationship to God, to make yourself at home in God. Do whatever you need to do to create a space where you can just relax and be yourself. Pick a chair or the couch, I like to light a candle and snuggle in a blanket. If you like to journal, buy a new one and write down your thoughts or prayers. There are so many great devotionals out there to get to the conversation going. But take the time to get to know God. He has so much to say to you and wants to overwhelm you with His love if you will just stop and lean in. Over time, I pray your moments with God will become like those characteristics of home.

Smudgy Memories

Faith

MandyWritten By: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Motherhood is one of those privileges that offers a mixed bag of emotions. I was thinking about this recently as I recalled an experience I had a couple of years ago.

I watched the excitement on my two-year-old son’s face as he smeared his adorable little handprint…..all over my freshly Windex’d window. How quickly we lose sight of the many reasons we have to give thanks— when something doesn’t go as perfectly as we had envisioned!!

Nooooo!” I said as I watched my efforts fade away into a smudged mess. As quickly as I said it, he turned and walked toward me offering me a tender hug of apology. Afterward he returned to his fresh canvas and continued to make the window ‘his own’.

As I watched Spencer completely discount the work I put into making my window sparkle….I couldn’t help but sit back and thank God for his precious life and his incredibly adorable smile! As I observed from my spot on the couch, I realized just how proud he was of this ‘mess’ he was making! He was bursting with pride as he’d look from the window to me, summoning my approval! I walked over and sat beside him and played along filling his little heart to the brim. “Mommmmmy” he’d say, pointing to our works of art.

Sisters, when those fingerprints start to fade away, I don’t want to look back and regret wasting so much time trying to wash them away! I want to embrace each moment, each smudge, each smile and tuck them all away in my heart.

My daughter brought home a Christmas ornament from school a few years ago with this beautifully fitting poem tucked inside:

Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small,
And always leave my fingerprints
On furniture and walls.
But everyday I am growing,
-I’ll be grown up someday,
And all these tiny handprints
Will simply fade away.
So here’s a little handprint
Just so you can recall,
Exactly how my fingers looked
When I was very small.

Yes, motherhood is a mixed bag of emotions! Some days that bag is overflowing 🙂 But, even on the hardest of days, I want to be found thanking and praising my God for every single moment.

Thank You, Jesus, for the the precious lives that You have aligned with mine. Thank You for every smile, every finger smudge, every tender hug. I pray that we will always give thanks; in all of our circumstances. I am overwhelmed by Your love and the many blessings You have given to me— thanks doesn’t even begin to cut it! I love you so much, Jesus, amen!

Always Beginning Again

IMG_0015Written by: Marisa Aud

Hello Beautiful! Welcome to another bright & bushy Monday, because that’s just what it typically is; painfully bright and awkwardly bushy. This isn’t your first Monday of course, but it’s your first Monday with me and I’m excited for the journey we are about take.

One of my favorite things in life is getting pumped-up with people on their journey towards love, health, motherhood, and new adventures of all kinds. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not all glitter and sunshine; I can get down with the baddest of blues, but if something good is happening for you lady, you best be believin’ that I am gonna high five you all the way to the top!

Sometimes, I forget to live in the moment and celebrate the precious, beautiful, barely-there miracles – so I’m sure-as-heck not gonna let you do the same.

Cheering people on is what I love to do and here’s why; on my saddest, loneliest, crumbs-in-every-corner Monday, I would’ve loved for someone to cheer me on and tell me that I was normal, that my mothering was brilliant, and that the fight for peace was well-worth it. Also, it would not have hurt if someone would’ve reminded me that exercising does indeed make a difference and that there is, in fact, life beyond Kraft Dinner and cold chicken nuggets. Can I get an AMEN?! So why are Mondays so tough for us? Well here’s my take on it…

For those of us crawling back into office on Monday, you know that leftover-to-do list from last week is waiting for you, not to mention the myriad of emergencies that happened over the weekend.

For SAHMs (Stay at Home Mommies), Monday is the day when everything goes deafeningly silent, the laundry piles are taller than our offspring and the kids are shockingly cranky.

For those in ministry, Mondays are the day you mentally drag yourself back through your time at church; how many people did I give hugs to, who did I miss, did I pray for enough people and did my breath stink whilst doing so?
Monday is universally a difficult day.

So, what does a lady who wants to stay motivated do in the throws of the Monday doldrums?

We decide together, here and now, that Mondays from hence-forth are our opportunity to consciously and prayerfully cheer a sister on towards her weekend, her to-do list, her scary new hair cut, health plan or difficult conversation. True, we are exhausted mentally, physically, spiritually, romantically, metaphorically, aaaaand figuratively, but that just means that we are gonna require some powerful resurrection sauce; dang straight we are.

In Matthew 28, Luke 24 and John 20 we read the account of the Mary who went to visit Jesus’ tomb on the first day of week. When she arrived at the tomb there was no earthly explanation for what she saw; the stone had been rolled away! And her Savior appeared to her, but at first she didn’t even recognize Him. Mary assumed He was the Cemetery Gardener. But once Mary’s eye were opened she unofficially became the first Evangelist of the Christian Church.

How undeniably awesome is that?

If you were Mary and you found an empty tomb on Sunday wouldn’t Monday be the most exciting day of your week? The day you just couldn’t wait to get started on?

Mondays were never meant to be a burial day, friend, but a day of celebrating resurrection; you and I get a chance to begin again and spread some excitement! How awesome is that?

As His Daughters, we get to be carriers of His presence to so many who have lost sight or simply never known this mighty Resurrection power. I’m excited to challenge you every week to remember what Mondays really mean.

I want you to begin to believe with me again; that the very same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead is the same power that dwells within you. Through the power of the promised Holy Spirit you are able to tear down strongholds, vain expectations, and the nagging fear of never being enough. God has good things in store for you sister.

Will you let me cheer you on as you begin your week again?
xo Maud

How Does An Online Book Study Work?

I have received multiple inquiries this week as we approach the start of our Online Summer Book Study on how a book study like this actually works.

I hope these FAQ’s will help with your questions 🙂

Q: Do I need to commit to certain times?
A: No. Our study is crafted in a way that leaves room for flexibility. We understand that not everyone is available at the same time of the day and we also recognize that most people have a certain time of day that works best for them when working on their spiritual growth (…and maybe even a special place in which to do it in.) We want to encourage you to read the book, participate in discussions and journal any thoughts or revelations that you may have at a time that works best for you.

Q: What do I need in order to participate?
A: You will need the book God Is Able by Priscilla Shirer, the internet and a device to acquire our daily online study material (found on our website: weareHisdaughters.com), paper & a pen (for note taking) and a heart that desires spiritual growth.

Q: What are the fees for the Online Book Study?
We are happy to offer you participation in our study at no cost. FREE.

Q: It seems like a lot? What if I fall behind?
A: One of the beautiful things about a study like this is that you can choose to participate in whatever you wish. There will be discussion questions for you to participate in every day right on the website— you can join in whenever you wish, or not at all. There will be some extra fun things in our study group (on Facebook) during the week and we encourage you to join in and make some new friends and get to know the other ladies doing the study— but it is not required. And we have divided the book up into six sections to make studying more manageable for time.

Q: So…how exactly does it work?
A: Every Monday morning at weareHisdaughters.com (our website) there will be a teaching post from our Director of Online Book Studies; Doretta Zinck. It is here that Doretta will highlight the week’s reading schedule as well as key points to remember from the chapter(s) being covered. Doretta will also have a few discussion questions at the end of her post to start some dialog within our online community of ladies. Tuesday-Sunday, our regular writers will also be sharing thoughts on that week’s readings and will pose an additional question for contemplation and discussion at the end of their post. In addition to our weekly readings we have a private Facebook study group (https://www.facebook.com/Summeronlinebookstudy/?fref=ts) where we will socialize and nurture friendships by means of icebreakers, discussion questions, worshipping together and praying together, to name a few.

I hope that this email helps you better understand what our summer together will look like! If you haven’t signed up for our study yet, I encourage you to do so!

Much love,
Mandy Lawrence-Hill
for Team WAHD

 

**CLICK IMAGE TO REGISTER**

{Ministry Mom} Worth More Than Diamonds

MandyWritten by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

….worth far more than diamonds. (Proverbs 31:10 MSG)

The definition of worth is: “the level at which someone or something deserves to be valued or rated.

Our culture is insistent that we find our ‘worth’ in various ways. Where do you find your worth?

Do you find worth in your education? Perhaps you have a degree or two from a prominent university, framed and boldly centered on your office wall. Do you find your worth in your job? Maybe you’ve climbed the ladder and have worked REALLY hard to earn the position you possess today. Do you find your worth in a growing platform? Maybe you have double the number of fans on Facebook or Twitter as your competitors. Do you find your worth in your family? I’ll bet you are pretty proud of the hard-working husband and beautiful children you call your own. What about a car? A boat? Your hair? Your home? Your passion? Your talent? Your ministry? (Ouch)

Now, what if the very thing in which you found your worth was stripped away. Would you still be worthy?

What if you have none of these things? Does that make you worthless?

1 Peter 1: 3-7 says this: God has something stored up for you in heaven, where it will never decay or be ruined or disappear. You have faith in God, whose power will protect you until the last day. Then he will save you, just as he has always planned to do. On that day you will be glad, even if you have to go through many hard trials for a while. Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns. (CEV)

Worth has nothing to do with anything you can possess or obtain in the physical sense. Nothing you can buy, earn or create on this earth will increase or decrease your worth. The value you feel in any of the things I mentioned above, or anything else other than God Himself will soon fade away.

It is only when you put your hope and faith in God, without reservation, without holding back, that your worth is far greater than diamonds, my friend.

Don’t settle for anything less.

{Father’s Day Event} 525,600 Minutes

Mandy

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

A tribute to my husband, Nathan Hill, the amazing Daddy of our four treasures.

During the long, agonizing years we spent trying to conquer fertility issues, I often wondered what my husband would be like as a Daddy. I daydreamed about being pregnant and how he would be during the labor and delivery processes. Most of all, I wondered what he would do— how he would react, when the doctor placed a brand new baby into his arms for the very first time— our baby.

525,600 is the number of minutes that are in one year. As I mentioned above we had difficulty conceiving. It turns out our patience was tested and over two million minutes passed between the moment my hubby and I decided to start a family— and the moment that we held our firstborn in our arms. That is a lot of time when you are passionately waiting for something to happen.

I remember the day our son Ben entered the world, so vividly. Watching the nurse hand my husband our first little one, this little man that was a piece of each of us, was maybe the very best moment of my whole life.

Most certainly worth the long wait.

IMG_8613

About five million minutes have passed since we began this journey called parenthood, and I can say without reservation that my husband has proven to be one of the best dads that I know. Not only does he care immeasurably for our four children, he loves them fiercely, and he extends more patience than most people are capable of.

My husband, my kids Daddy, embraces every moment he has with our children and makes every effort to be intentional with his time with them. Time is fleeting and is often the very thing we take most for granted.

A few years ago my husband purposed we set aside every Tuesday (for date night) and every Friday (for family night). Aside from the fact that he prioritized these weekly events in our budget, the greatest gift my husband has ever given myself or his children is the gift of his time. We never wonder about the next time we will get to spend with him because he is consistent and devoted to each one of us.

While so many of us are wishing time away in anticipation for something great to arrive or an event to take place, or while others are griping away that time stands still, I hope that you’ll be inspired by my husbands intentionality and simply enjoy every single minute that you have with your children. With your loved ones.

Time is truly an invaluable gift.

525,600 is the number of minutes that are in one year. How will you spend your minutes?

Mandy

Mandy is the founder of the ministry blog We are His daughters and thoroughly enjoys writing and providing leadership to this ministry. Mandy is an imperfect work in progress! She loves the Lord with her whole heart and counts it her biggest privilege to serve Him in ministry however He leads. Born and raised in Nova Scotia, she now resides in southern Ontario with her family. She has been married to her handsome husband Nathan for 11 years and together they have served in ministry for the entirety of their marriage. Nathan & Mandy have four beautiful children; Benjamin, Sophia; Spencer & Grayson. Mandy is passionate about singing, worship leading and music. She loves reading, writing, taking pictures, studying the bible and sipping salted caramel mocha’s at Starbucks while chatting with a friend! She strives to be tidier, more organized (yes, she is a little compulsive!), a little more Martha Stewart-esque, and a little less ‘unglued’. Most of all she seeks to be holier and to love God through serving her family and her community.

 

{Father’s Day Event} A Tribute to Bill Lawrence

MG_7236Written by: Suzanne Lawrence

“Why My Husband Bill is the Best Dad!”

Dear Bill,

You are an incredible, Dad. You are honest, loving, kind, tender-hearted, protective, gentle, intelligent, witty, responsible and respectful to name a few. You have given so much to our girls, but there are four gifts that really stand out amongst the rest.

Gift Number One: A Godly Example
You have lived a life completely devoted to God in front of your children. You have prayed with them, taught them about God and ensured they were in church each Sunday. You have not only talked the talk, but you have also walked the walk. Thank you for being such a Godly example to our girls.

Proverbs 22:6Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it.

Gift Number Two: Unconditional Love
You have shown so much love to our girls — unconditional love! Your love has always been consistent. You have disciplined them when needed, but they always knew your decision to discipline them was simply because you loved them dearly. You have always listened and never judged, but when asked for help have spoken Godly direction into their lives. Thank you for your unconditional love for our girls.

Gift Number Three: Time
You have given so much of your time, freely and willingly, over and over again — even when you have been in so much pain, you still give. I remember when the girls were younger— how every Saturday you would rotate taking them out on a date for a drink of chocolate milk or ice cream. Those were some very special times between you and your daughters. I know that our girls will always hold those times with you close to their hearts. “Time spent with family is worth every second!” Thank you for all the time you have given so freely and willingly to our family.

Gift Number Four: Respect
You have shown so much respect for me, their mother. You have honoured me on many occasions and I appreciate that so much. I am personally so very thankful for this gift. So many husbands disrespect their wives in front of their children. But, not you. You have shown our girls a true example of a Godly husband and for that, I thank you.

You are an amazing father. As one of your granddaughters recently drew in a piece of artwork for you “Papa, you are worth more than a pot of gold!” You truly are worth more to all of us than a pot of gold. Thank you for being one of the best Dad’s ever. I love you and I am very proud to call you my husband.

Love you,
Suzanne

MG_7236

Suzanne Lawrence , lives in Hubley, N.S., with Bill; her best friend and husband, of 33 ½ years. She has 2 beautiful daughters who are married to great guys and together in total have 8 amazing grandchildren. She enjoys her work at a salon, in an assisted living complex in Bedford, N.S. She ejoys encouraging people by cards or phone calls. She loves to cook, bake, clean and do laundry. She loves to serve her family in any way possible, because charity starts at home. She attends Full gospel Church in Kearney Lake and has served God since the age of 12.

{Ministry Mom} Mom, Put Your Oxygen Mask On First

AshleyWritten by: Ashley Sigrest

One of the easiest ways the enemy wears down a mom is to plague her with guilt. As moms we feel guilty for things we haven’t even done. Just thinking about doing something for ourselves can engulf us into feelings of doubt and worry.

We think about having a girls’ night with our friends and before we can get too excited we immediately think about all the ways our husbands won’t do things our way and shut the idea down. We desire to be healthier, but somehow rationalize that one hour at the gym childcare will cause abandonment issues for our kids.

Moms, mommas, mommies, STOP! This guilt is not from God. Especially fictional guilt. Mom guilt can be a heavy burden to carry, but Jesus said His burden is light. What you’re feeling is not from Him. Channel your inner-Elsa and LET IT GO!

I was reminded the other day that flight attendants tell us that in case of emergency, one should put on their oxygen mask first before helping others. This reason is simple. If you can’t breathe you can’t help others. Most moms have this natural nurturer inside that seeks to serve and care for others. We have somehow misconstrued the idea to mean we have to put our needs last …or never. We get so busy with serving our families and other ministries that we get overwhelmed, depressed, and covered in feelings of anxiety.

Take a deep breath sweet sister and put on your oxygen mask. Grab a coffee with a friend, take a long bubble bath, or plan that getaway with your husband. Making yourself a priority once in a while isn’t a sin. It’ll help you be a better mom!

If we allow ourselves to be burdened with mom-guilt all the time then we will never be the moms God called us to be. Our anxieties and frustrations will eventually leak over to our children. We will start losing our tempers more often, our patience will cease to exist, and exhaustion will take over in every area of our lives. We will get to a point that we are of no good to anyone because we can’t breathe. We start suffocating.

Put your oxygen mask on first.

In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Being a mom doesn’t change this. Your identity isn’t found in your kids or how good of a mom you think you are. Your identity is in Christ. He wants us to live satisfied and abundant lives. To enjoy the precious blessings He has gifted us with. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy as a mom and give you a false sense of self and a false reality.

When you take time to properly care for yourself, you will be refreshed and revived to properly care for your kids. About five years ago we had to have our foundation repaired and we had to move into a small room for six weeks. My boys were 4 months, almost 3 years old, and my oldest had just turned 5. Being in that tiny room with three small kids began to suffocate me. There were days I would drop them off at my gym’s childcare for an hour or so just so I could sit outside alone and breathe.

Having that time to myself allowed me to let go of the stress I was in long enough to get back and be there for my kids during that transition. There’s a difference in putting your wants before your kids needs, but making time for yourself isn’t in that category. When you hear the enemy condemning you for taking care of yourself, tell him to leave in Jesus Name and put on your oxygen mask and breathe.

{Ministry Mom} Pray for their Teachers.

Written by: Mandy Hill

Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭6-7‬)

My school aged children are now kindergarten and grade one graduates. How in the world did my babies grow up enough to be heading to grade one and two in the fall? I can’t believe it- the saying proves to be true: “time flies when you’re having fun!

I think back to the days leading up to their first day’s of junior kindergarten. My heart was restless with fears of the unknown. Will they make friends with the other children? Will they be liked? Will their teacher value them like we do, or will they get lost in the mix? Will my children remember their manners and will they be respectful? Will their teacher be friendly and kind? Will they be passionate learners or will they be uninterested in learning?

In hindsight, these are all really silly worries. What was I accomplishing by worrying, anyway?

When my daughter started junior kindergarten, my worries didn’t lessen, they doubled. Now I have two children going to school under the authority of people I barely knew, yet, felt obligated to trust. I spent a lot of time ‘hoping’ my children would fall under the care of reputable educators; men or women who cared enough to see to it that my precious children would strive to reach the very potential God created them for.

In the days that led up to my daughter’s first day of kindergarten and my son’s first day if senior kindergarten, I prayed for peace in sending my children to school. I felt The Lord place it upon my heart to pray for their teachers. Daily I incorporated these women into my prayer time and peace began to fill the places where worry once lived.

As often as they came to my mind, I uttered a prayer for them. God has really blessed the last two years especially. My children have had simply fantastic teachers. These women more than go to work every day to collect an earning, but truly live out a passion for seeing their students grow into their potential; encouraging and supporting them at every success and also at times where more effort is needed to attain a successful outcome.

As I sit here just a few days away from another year’s end, I have been reminiscing over those first few days and am truly in awe of God’s faithfulness to continually supply me with peace as I daily release my children into their teacher’s care.

image

My daughter in particular simply adores her kindergarten teacher and I believe she was placed into the hands of the best of the best when she walked into Mrs. Doyle’s classroom. What a privilege it has been for me to pray for Mrs. Doyle for the past two years. As an anxious mama, she has been an absolute answer to my prayers.

Friends, PRAY for your children’s teachers. Whether you have a little one who will be starting school in the fall, older children wrapping up their years of grade school, a young adult embarking on a university education….or somewhere in between; PRAY for their educators. Bring them to the throne of grace by name; and God will be faithful.

Jesus, thank You for Your peace. Thank You for Your comfort. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Please bless my children’s teachers and grant them a season of rest during the summer break, bringing them back refreshed and ready to begin again in the fall. In Jesus name, amen.

{"Keeping it Personal" Radio Interview!}

Good afternoon We are His daughters, friends!

About a week ago now Keeping it Personal Radio personality, Teri Johnson, approached our president, Mandy Hill about being a guest on her Thursday afternoon radio show!

With excitement, Mandy agreed to share a bit about her faith journey and touch on some of the unexpected circumstances that she has faced in her life so far.

image

We would be so honoured if you would join Mandy and Teri at KIPRadio!

www.kipradio.com

Have a wonderful day, friends!

image