Wednesday, August 9, 2023

talking to Jesus about all the things


Happy Tuesday, friends! Last week I promised a post where I'd talk about how I pray over my family and friends using Scripture. I shared a post about prayer a couple of weeks ago, and my friend Debbie said something in the comments that was a wonderful reminder that I needed to hear. As always, I figure that if I need to hear it, someone may need to hear it as well. Debbie just reminded us that God is not at all legalistic; prayer and worship are things that are personal, so what it might look like for me would look vastly different than what it looks like for you. I loved her words of wisdom and wanted to share them here before I forgot. I always appreciate wisdom and insight from readers like her, like you! If you ever have feedback or questions/concerns, please don't hesitate to say something. I love hearing from you! Now, onto the idea of today's post. 


I'll start with this Scripture that I prayed for my friend and her husband last week.




Last Thursday morning I was sitting in the quiet and praying, and the Lord brought this verse above to my mind. It's Ephesians 1:17, and it's one I've known for a long time, because I love to pray it before I start studying Scripture. I was thanking God for wisdom and insight that He gives, and before I realized it, He brought to mind a friend of mine who I'd learned was going through a hard time. Her father-in-law is close to dying, and she and her husband have a big decision to make about a trip they're supposed to leave for soon. I just started praying this over my friend, and here's exactly what I said using the one verse I have highlighted in pink:


"Lord, thank You for giving wisdom and revelation (insight) in the knowledge of You. Will You give wisdom and insight to my friend and her husband? They need You to guide them, Lord. Please comfort them both and bring them peace as they wait on their dad to join You in heaven. Thank You that I can ask You anything, Lord. Amen."


I don't know that I've ever written out a prayer like that before on my blog, but so many people think that prayer is hard. I understand that thinking, and maybe even someone wondering how to get started. It doesn't have to be complicated! There's a verse in Matthew 18 that talks about becoming like a child, or having faith like a child that this reminds me of—sometimes just simply talking to Jesus as if He is sitting with you at the kitchen table is the best and the easiest. That's what I do, I just talk to Him as if He is my friend (which I am called His friend the Bible). Sometimes I keep things short and simple, while sometimes I pray the entire 30 minutes it takes me to drive to Mom's and Bill's house. 


Another day last week, I read in Isaiah 61 and Psalm 1, and it led me to this:






I literally took those passages that I mentioned in Isaiah and Psalm, and I turned them into my prayer for my sons and their future families. I read the Scripture out loud as I read it that morning, and after I've done that a couple of times at least, I read it once more as a prayer and say this: "Lord, I pray that Graham, Drew, Jonah, Noah, Alex, and Sylvain (and their future families) would become like righteous trees You planted to glorify You. I pray that You would also help them to bear fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.


I have to say here that I ask the Lord for big things in their lives. One thing I've always asked the Lord to do was to show them their sin quickly and to let them be repentant when they mess things up. Regarding girlfriends, I always ask the Lord to stop a relationship in its tracks before it gets too far down the road, if she is not who He has in mind for one of them. I ask the Lord to help my sons protect their own hearts and the hearts of the girls they date. I pray that based on Proverbs 4:23, which says this:




Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life (Proverbs 4:23, CSB).


Here is one of my favorite passages to pray from the book of Numbers. This is the blessing that Moses gave to Aaron and his sons, which is also referred to as the priestly blessing; it's still used even today in Judaism, according to what I read from Got Questions




From these verses, I would pray: "Lord, bless and protect my sons and their future wives and children; make Your face shine on them and be gracious to them; may You look on them with favor and give them peace."

Lastly, I am sharing some songs that I love, because music is something the Lord uses in my life to greatly bless me each and every day. These aren't just songs—they are songs that pack a punch with the great messages they contain straight out of Scripture. A lot of them are upbeat, but I also love praise and worship and have included some of those as well, like what you see below in songs like Shall Not Want by Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music. I love all of them and hope you like them too! I may do a whole separate post on the music I keep playing in our home, and how I have playlists for different times of day and in differing seasons. For now, you can see the songs I'm talking about in the pictures above and below. 




Being a wife and mom is the greatest blessing and source of joy in my life, other than Jesus Himself. He has given me the privilege of being able to stay at home with them, and I have loved raising these four boys into fine young men who, prayerfully, will someday be husbands and dads. Todd and I did a lot of things wrong in the almost 27 years we've been married, but these are four things we did right. He is not only an excellent husband, he is and has been the best dad to Graham, Drew, Jonah, Noah, Alex, and all of our other bonus sons. While I definitely did my part in loving, caring for, and nurturing them, I give him a lot of the credit in how our sons have turned out and the young men they are today. They are kind, respectful, excellent communicators, almost always joyful and smiling, and not only do they treat me like a queen, they know how to treat a lady. 


I get so tired of the man bashing that takes place in Hollywood that we see in the shows and movies that we watch. They make men out to be dumb, fascist, and abusive physically, verbally, and sexually. That is just not the case, and I get pretty riled up when it comes to how we treat our men, and how they're portrayed in idiotic movies like Barbie that just came out this summer. And yes, I did see the movie and am still so ticked off at myself for wasting money on a movie that I not only hated, but that was literally the dumbest movie I have ever seen. While I love watching shows and movies, I have to be careful about what I watch. I don't want to support movies like the one I mentioned, and I don't even need to watch the shows that I love that treat men the same—shows like Gilmore Girls, Friends, and a bunch of other ones that I enjoy watching. I realize that what I'm saying here is super controversial, so I hope that we can still be friends after you read this. 😉


My point is that as wives and moms, we need to pray for our husbands and kids, no matter their age. I know for a fact that our parents pray for us today, and I love knowing that. It's important for us to pray and to teach them in the way they should go, "the way" meaning that we need to show them what it looks like to follow Jesus. If you're a believer like me, that's our  goal as moms. Nothing else matters more than that one thing: and my most uttered prayer is that our sons and their future families would love the Lord their God with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength. Remember the little heart tattoo on my wrist?




That prayer I just mentioned is the inspiration for it, and while I know the heart symbol and the heart organ are incomparable, it's a great reminder for me to pray for them. I'm sharing some pictures of them below, because I want you to know what they looked like starting out and how they look today. Left to right in this first picture is Drew, Jonah, Noah, and Graham.





Drew is top left, then Graham, Jonah is in front of Graham and Noah is under Drew. This was taken when we surprised them with tickets to see the Fab Five at the FedEx Forum in downtown Memphis. Jonah was in love with McKayla Maroney. 




This was my birthday in 2019: left to right is Graham, Noah, me, Drew, Jonah.




This was Easter of this year.




And finally, Mother's day of this year.




To say that I love them with everything within me would be the understatement of a lifetime. Because I love them so much, I pray for them fervently. I also take comfort in knowing that as much as I love them, Jesus loves them even more; after all, He did create all of us in His image. I hope you're encouraged today as you've read this; if you have any questions or want to talk more about any of this, feel free to email me at allboys@gmail.com. As always, thank you for reading my blog, friends. Love to all! 💙 


P.S. Also, now you see why I love hearts so much and use them in emojis, and by wearing earrings that are shaped like them. I also have a necklace they bought me one year for Christmas with a gold heart that I love and wear often. It's not just a frivolous little shape to me; it actually means something to me. 

8 comments:

  1. I find that I am really intentional about not man bashing/male bashing in the classroom. I have also stopped saying things that are stereotypical of one gender because it just doesn't apply. I no longer say, "I need two strong boys to carry something". I also make it clear that I love teaching all genders/everyone in my wonderful public school. We have a lot of single sex schools in my city. That message in Barbie bothered, me, too, but Tom said that was all a spoof but I don't think it was. We should not be fighting with each other, but working together.
    I have always loved having male friends. I wish I had more at work. I mean that in the most sincere and not creepy way - I am happily married! Ha!
    I love how you write your prayers and I have not done much of that. I agree that they don't have to be fancy and I like how you demonstrated a sample prayer.
    I pray that you have a good week and that you feel at home in your new chapter.

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  2. My girls liked the Barbie movie. My feelings on it are exactly as yours are. One thing thing that I'm proud of regarding my girls is that they are not feminists (as used in the modern sense of the word). They don't dislike men and masculinity. They like traditional roles. And Abby is halfway through college and neither her politics (not in line with the intelligentsia at her school) nor her traditional views have changed. I view that as a better success than her 3.9 GPA, LOL! Regarding prayer, thank you for the reminder to pray specifically and to use Bible verses as a means to prayer. I do the latter sometimes when I'm reading Scripture- especially the Psalms but I don't do that when I'm praying and a Bible is not in front of me. Have a great Wednesday, friend!

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  3. Amy, I think it's so good that you are the way you are in your classroom. Teenagers need all the great examples and good behavior modeled to them that they can get. I feel like so many other things/people are teaching them the opposite, whether our own sons and daughters, or students in school. Again, I say to you, great job on teaching! Your students are so fortunate to have you as a teacher, and I know how much you love them.

    Thanks, friend! I hope you're surviving your week as well. I know you'll be glad to see your students today!

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  4. Maria, I know so many people who loved the movie! I feel like it's more the moms who disliked it so much...then again, maybe not. That is awesome about your girls at school, and how they've not been changed by influence. I agree with you about that being more important to you than a perfect GPA! I would feel the same. Thanks for the encouraging words, my friend! I always feel like if I need the reminder, chances are someone else could use it as well. We're all here for each other to encourage and cheer each other on, and I'm thankful for this community. I hope you have a great Wednesday!

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  5. Thank you, my friend, for getting inspiration from my words :) I'm so glad the Lord used them for good. I really love this post and love seeing the way you pray through scripture. I would also be very interested in a post about the music you love and how you use it in your day and home.

    About men - Hollywood, the MeToo movement, feminism - all evil. Just putting it out there. My husband worked in an office full of evil women, who did nothing but bash men, complain, gossip and ultimately helped in getting him fired, so they could replace him with a woman who has never had experience in that field. Women can be evil.

    I hate the way sitcoms and even commercials now, portray men. I hate when women (even in Christian circles) sit around and talk bad about their husbands. But I've learned that the more power you feed a group, the more evil they will use it for. Racism, feminism, and I could go on, but have probably overstepped already.

    Your sons are precious and thank you for raising young men who respect women. My husband and my sons still open doors, pull out chairs and always put their wives on a pedestal. Not because they see them as weak, but because that's what godly gentlemen do.

    Ok, you got me started today :) As always, feel free to delete if you need to! :)

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  6. Debbie, I always appreciate and value godly wisdom, especially when it's from someone who is in a phase of life ahead of me, like you with your grown and married sons, their wives, and your grands. I really mean it when I say thank you for that. I always hold words like that near in my heart.

    I agree with everything you've said about sitcoms, movies, commercials, and women in general, even the ones in church. I had a situation like that pop up in my Bible study small group once a few years ago- I had to stop her in her tracks before she got too out of hand and just started talking loudly over her to get her to stop so that we could carry on with our discussion. I am careful in who I am friends with for this very reason, because bad company corrupts good morals, and I never want a wrong attitude or behavior to rub off on me.

    Thank you for the sweet words about our sons! I know yours are every bit as sweet. Have a wonderful day, my friend!

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  7. Great post, and you are a great prayer warrior for your family and friends. As for the man-bashing going on, it is happening way too much. God did set men and women apart. Men are physically stronger than women (for the most part) and that's how God created them to be. I think to ask for a strong man to help carry something over a woman is great! I think asking a woman to help serve the men in the home is great! It all sounds foreign to the world, but we are to stand-out. God has created roles for men and women and the world is trying to reverse them. Okay, enough of that, lol!

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  8. Thank you, Bri! God gave me a passion for prayer many years ago, and He used godly women to teach me the importance. If we don't pray for our kids, who will? I agree with everything you said here! We are definitely supposed to be set apart and should look the polar opposite of this world! Thanks for sharing here, friend! 💜

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