Mentoring Mondays

Mentoring Monday Developing a Vision that Comprises a Whole Life to Complete!

Vision for Building Godly Generations

Today, I will be sending Sarah off to Oxford where she and Joy will both be studying this year. Joy is in a semester program from Biola University, and had to achieve a high grade point to attend there. It was through lots and lots of hard work that she was able to make it. Sarah will be in a longer program and she had to procure admission as a full time student through a very complicated application process. Both girls learned to work hard as a part of our normal family life and this and God's grace has forwarded their opportunities.

As a young mama, I never dreamed my girls would be able to get into Oxford, let alone have the academic excellence to flourish there. But I see over and over again how God took my fish and loaves and made it enough--He was faithful beyond my expectations to answer prayer and to work beyond my own capability.His strength perfected in my weakness.

But, I have to say, that having sweet, grown adult children who are my best friends, who are standing on my shoulders in life and accomplishment, is a very sweet and worthwhile fruit that tastes so very sweet to my heart and soul.

I never finished all of the educational goals I had with my children, not even one year. We had too many ear infections, moves, break down of washing machines, you know the story! I wasn't as patient as I thought I should be, and I was tempted so many times to give up ideals. But then would have one more quiet time, and pray one more day and God would whisper in my ear, "Keep going, Keep trusting, keep building one day, one brick at a time. This is holy work that will have eternal results." Most of the great or wonderful results we eventually see in the lives of our children, as they embrace God's call on their lives, were built in thousands of mundane moments--pick up your dish, you may not talk to your brother that way--how do you say that more kindly? Go back to bed and mama will tuck you in! Sure, I will stay up and listen to you one more time! Let's read our Bible story today and talk about it."

I was sooo very sincere and devoted and kept going, one day after another as well as I knew how. Many days were weary ones and at all stages along the way, I found challenges. But I felt that the Holy Spirit would fill in the cracks and that if I obeyed His call, He would make my work more than the sum of all of my efforts, because I had trusted Him to raise my children through me.

Yet, what had captivated my imagination to be able to commit myself to this work, was that God has placed precious human beings into my hands with the call to shape their souls with the values of Jesus and His kingdom, to be a steward of their minds and expose them to the best writers, artists, musicians and classical stories, and to train them to love, serve and relate the love of God to those He brought into their lives.

When the imagination of a woman is captured by the thought that God has called her to build  a whole, spiritually and emotionally healthy family, a history, a legacy of believers who will have an impact for godliness in the world, she will have a work to pursue, a vision to inspire her soul, that will last for a lifetime. If you say you are a committed Christian, then you have to obey God in His design and call on your life as a mama. It is not a choice, it is a stewardship.

But when you follow God and seek to live out your story in faithfulness to His vision, you can trust Him to complete your work and rest in His ability to give grace. He gave me grace upon grace, little by little-and He is the one who faithfully provides the strength for each day.

A wise woman knows that to build a house for God that will last generations, she must have a detailed plan. Proverbs tells us that the foolish woman does not build, but tears down her home.When a woman does not understand or have a long range idea of what she is supposed to build, there is no  opportunity to build foundations that will hold the souls and lives of her children for generations to come--and so there is very little of a long term heritage or home that will be built.

A woman can build a large, long lasting legacy of a home--that is, generations beyond her that will understand the message of loving and serving God, building moral character, learning a work ethic, learning to love well, etc.  The grand estate of influence, will obviously take much more work and planning, many more years to accomplish, but will accommodate literally thousands of people for generations. It just depends on the scope of her vision.

This house building will require hours and hours of blood sweat and tears. To be built well, it requires a detailed and artistic plan, and the plan will need to be reworked and adjusted and corrected along the way. Simply put, the building of  grand estate of righteousness will require her whole life and diligence and sacrifice for all of her days. And yet, so many just want it to be simple or over because they never knew or understood the scope and requirements.

Consequently, the foolish woman tears down her own home, not intentionally, but often, because she is not building, shaping the hearts and lives of her children--and so culture will naturally step in and shape the hearts, minds and souls of her children because she was absent or passive, but not intentional. Most women do not mean to leave a legacy of broken children with scars of anger, lack of training and purpose. But I meet adults all the time who carry scars and wounds from their childhood into adulthood because their parents never planned to leave a legacy of health and strength. But they never knew how to build and were not willing to do what it took to build, because they were side swiped by the storm of it all. And honestly many children grow into broken adults because their parents were passive and gave their children over to the voices and temptations of culture.

But, let us understand, the foolish women tears down her opportunity to build, and will be held accountable by God, for what she built as he entrusted precious, eternal human beings into her hands, to shape for His kingdom and to learn His love and ways.

The problem with motherhood and the need for women to build godly estates of godly leaders in their homes, through multiple children that a woman will invest her life into, is that most women had no training, preparation or education of what it would take or how much it would cost them. Most just got married with the hope that someone would love them and take care of them and provide security and affirmation, and then babies came, and overwhelmed them.  They had never been trained for the job, never seen it modeled when they grew up,  never had a vision for how powerful a house (family) for God could be or how much work it would take.

So, life came along and so did the babies,  and overwhelmed and sweet women who have never had the opportunity to build a vision with a plan, find themselves up to their eyeballs in details and duties and the caring of babies without the support or input, accountability or help from experienced women who have built godly legacies. The greatest job in the world, that will indeed influence what our nation becomes, as the children of now become the legacy of adults for the next generation--and yet, no time or effort has been invested to educate or prepare these precious and significant leaders, moms, how to do it. And our churches ignore this important, Biblical call, and it just fades into nothingness in the priority the focus of woman's ministries in our generation. Satan would love nothing more than for us to minimize the importance of deeply investing our time and lives into the minds, hearts, souls and training of our children, because he knows they are essential to bringing the kingdom of God to bear in their generation.

For most moms, it is like facing a tornado and storms of life  or a battlefield for souls,  with no skills, preparation or resources or protection or help--the tornado of the present demands and the battles just takes over.

I have also observed that sweet mamas want an immediate fix for this moment right now, the present emergencies of life, instead of understanding that this is a very long term project and much care must be given to the broad range of building.

Planning must not be based on the emergency and immediate need, in the midst of a crisis, but on the long term building and work and endurance until the project is completed.

Planning is the key to what will be built and planning requires thought and time.

Today, this week, step aside from life and check what you are building.

Simplify your plan,

create the essentials, the rhythms that need to be established to get the work done,

cut out the unnecessary expenditures of time and energy and money that are not necessary to the overall building and

be sure to plan in rest and refreshment every week along the way.

If you understand and embrace the idea that God has created each mom to leave a legacy of righteousness, that each mama has been given her children as a work of her faith and worship, and that the training and discipline of children will shape her life and heart more into the image of Christ, then she will have the supernatural stamina and strength to keep going, as she keeps her vision and plan fresh and as the grid through which she sees life.

Take some time this week to sit alone and breathe. Write down what your long term vision is for your family. What do you want the end results to be? How are you building character? What do you need to do to get training or help? What would help you endure longer? Plan it into your days in a very specific way.

May God bless your planning and vision, for without a plan, nothing great can be built.

Study Your Child to Reach Their Heart--Mentoring Monday on Tuesday!

This is Joy, spontaneously  jumping in for a picture at an elite shopping mall in Boston, a few years ago, sharing the stage with a manikin. She has made me smile so much in my life and is an angel gift from God.

After being away from home for 10 days, I jumped back into real life because Nathan had joined Clay and Joel for a boys week while we were away. I requested that Nathan stay an extra day so that I could spend the whole day with him before he went back home. Going out for a 3 hour meal was the place where dreams were shared, struggles defined, antics and stories of life were told. I learned many years ago about the importance of really focussing deeply on my children so that we could become best, heart-close friends. Nathan likes to talk, alone, focussed and about everything. He likes to be heard and understood. And so today, we honored our friendship that had been built from hundreds of hours of doing this together in his young life.

But I have had to learn to study each child--figure out what they were created to do with their lives, how God made them, what inspired them, what irritated them, what caused them to listen to my teachings about God. In figuring out their hearts, I could fill in their felt needs and be a source of influence in their lives.

Most mamas are taught formulas: treat all children the same, give them the rules, expect them to fit. But God did not make them to fit in conveniently to our expectations of what a person should be.


After 3 children, 3 miscarriages and selling all of my maternity stuff as almost 42, God gave me an angel gift. Her name is providentially, Joy. She is an out of the box, lovely, hysterical, spiritual, extravert, great actress, singer-songwriter and confident from the get go.

What a fun way to end my mothering career of the time in which my children will be at home. I am cherishing this time with Joy and enjoying her being a teenager and a young woman all at once.

I remembered a Sunday morning that was to be one of my best memories. Joy and I, in our jammies and crazy bed hair, sat close on Sarah's bed, (we miss her so sometimes we sit in her room.) sipping Mochas I had made, with candles lit and she and I just talked and giggled and shared our thoughts and ideas for almost an hour. She got my computer and played several songs for me that meant something to her, that she had listened to at midnight the night before.  I have learned to love Joy's songs and listen to them on my own computer and download them, because they are very dear to her. My 61 year old self has learned to love the songs my teens and 20's are listening to--it has given me a window to their hearts.

I do not expect them to conform to me--I let them be who they are at this season of life and I have adjusted my own age expectations to enjoy and really delight in who they are at every stage. It has brought me much pleasure.

But I had to give up a little of my selfish self to enter their world. And so did God, and became Jesus.

As with all of my children, though, Joy does not respond to the same kind of mothering as the others did. I had to study her and observe her to find out what was in her heart--her personality, what spoke love to her and how to fill her heart's cup so that I could reach her heart with a love for Jesus.

Discipleship is always an issue of relationship. It is not about curriculum, church attendance, rules, indoctrination, but always about reaching the heart.

I look back and see how different it was with all the kids.

I remember when Nathan was a little boy, and often challenging the boundaries, I had to study him. He was a little of a mystery as my other two had been more compliant and I thought that it was because I was such a great mother. Then God gave me Nathan and I realized I needed a different way of mothering.

One night when Clay had taken the older two to church and left Nathan home with me because he had a cold, I sat wearily in an overstuffed chair and said, "Hey, you want to climb into the chair with me?'

I remember he snuggled in and then began to talk. He talked for 45 minutes without stopping, as long as I said, "Really?" or "Oh!" or how funny!" After he had talked for almost an hour, he said, "I love you, mom!" And then he jumped out of the chair and went to play. He was 5 years old.

I was pondering this event--him sitting still for this long and talking and talking and talking, and suddenly it dawned on me--"He is an extravert and he needs people, activity and wants to talk and be heard."

So, I learned the way to Nathan's heart was spending time alone with him, listening to him--his dreams, his thoughts, his ideas, his feelings. As long as I made alone time with him, he would listen to me and try to obey.

Same with Joy. If she felt lost in the crowd, she would get louder, perform, call attention to herself. And then if I went to her room or sat on the porch and sipped lemonade or made a special tea time in my room just for her, she would talk and talk and talk. And then her heart would be open.

Now, Joel would just withdraw and be grumpy or get irritated.  He was not a "mis-behaver"! But if I made personal time with him away from the group, he would bubble over with talking to me--he was an introvert, just like Sarah. Neither of them would compete openly with the others for heart time, but I had to assume they needed it and then carve a planned time in the midst of my busy schedule and make it happen. This opened the window of their heart to develop a great, strong, deep friendship.

Each child responded differently and I had to figure out what they liked and what communicated personal love to them, and then I saw their little and big hearts opened. And as it happens, I found that Clay did not want to compete with the kids and I had to learn to get time with just us, so I could hear him and know what was going on. If I did not create the time for us, it would never happen.

Because life is so overwhelmingly busy with our family, it was not easy to carve out this time. I did not have this time every season. But when I observed Jesus's influence on his disciples and saw how he spent time personally with them, away from the crowds, and affirmed them uniquely for their personality--(John, the disciple Jesus loved; Peter, the rock; Thomas, a man in whom there is no guile.") I began to realize that each of us wants to be defined by God's unique personality that he created, and to be validated for who we really are in a personal way.

But when I would plan my week, because my sweet ones were a priority, and I believed that this was the way to win their hearts for the Lord,  I would plan in "little dates". I looked for it in the busy moments and tucked them in here and there. When they were little we were always a gang together, but I would look for ways to snuggle them in my room all by themselves. (Yes, my children shared rooms and that kept them from being lonely, but still they needed mama, sympathy time.)

I kept cookie dough balls or fruit, nuts and cheese chunks available all the time and when my radar told me that someone was not doing well or was angry or having problems, I would have a private, 15 mintue "Tea time" with them, just to talk and take emotional temperature.

I found when they were teenagers, because I had invested "me"--alone time with them, I was always the "go to" person for them when they had secrets, fears, problems. And Clay and I would have times in our bedroom, behind closed doors when we would counsel and talk. As teens, I would take my boys out, by themselves, for breakfast every week or two, just to keep the channels of conversations going. For Sarah, it was a Saturday morning walk and coffee at a French cafe,  for almost 9 years, and for Joy, it was breakfast alone in her room or mine at least once a week, away from all the teens.

Must off to bed. But, just remember, your children are like you--they long for personal love, listening--not always advising, and a heart that delights in them, enjoys their choices whether it be legos or rocking out with music. But it doesn't just happen, it must be planned, it must be a choice, and it must be celebrated one day at a time.

Choosing Courage in Fearful Times (Mentoring Mondays coming back!)





Fear has been a threat to people over all of history. This week as Joy is preparing for her semester at Oxford, several people have sent her articles about ISIS and the increased danger of terrorism in England. We have had to talk through the issues and reality of living in a fallen world. We all have to make decisions for our lives based on wisdom and discretion. Yet, God has opened amazing doors for Joy to study in Oxford. He has ordained this path for her to take. She feels called to the studies she has been led to pursue, and so she is taking firm steps of faith to prepare herself spiritually, emotionally and mentally to go to England this week, and to cultivate a heart of trust in her companion God.

All of us have choices of how we will face our circumstances--the days in which God ordained that we would live. Our only choice as believers, is to hold His hand to believe in His reality and to walk our days by faith, and to seek to choose courage.

And so we are arming Joy with courage, faith, strength and wisdom as she prepares to walk the road God has set before her. None of us have control over all of the circumstances of our lives, but we do have the choice to hold God's hand and allow Him to companion us well through the days of our lives.


"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
Moms have the unique opportunity in this time, to model to their children what faith looks like in the face of fear. We show by the way we live what it looks like to seize this moment that God has ordained for us to live in, to praise Him, trust Him as the one who holds control over the universe, and the one who will reign forever.

Today is the day for courage.

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you have tribulation, but TAKE COURAGE! I have overcome the world!


Five Things to do to help you and your family.

1. Write out Joshua 1: 9 on a small poster board or white board and memorize this verse this week as a family.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

2. Don't watch the news with your children in the room. Images create fear and are difficult to take away from the brain.

3. Stop looking at the feed on facebook that has articles that are fear oriented. Whatever you water will grow. If you feed your mind on images, newscasts, terrible happenings in the world, the natural consequence is that you will grow more fearful. I quit watching and listening to the world news, (except for the exceptional times when it involved my family directly.) about 20 years ago. I rarely watch images of violence, war, cruelty, as I know that for me to be a steward of my mind is to stay away from things that bring about false fears.

4. Read hero tales and stories of people who served others in difficult times. Define on character trait of each person you read and make a list of the character traits, with definitions, that you want your children to understand and the ones you want your family to exhibit. (Daniel--courage in the midst of lions; Mother Theresa--compassion for those who needed comfort; etc.)

5. Read through the heroes in Hebrews 11, one person at a time in the weeks ahead, and talk together with your family about how you will live the circumstances of your lives, the days of your own history, by faith--to bring His light, goodness and hope to a world that needs to know the hope of Christ. Talk of how your family might be a picture and words of hope and comfort during this time and use the difficulties that opens peoples hearts as a place of ministry and comfort to others.

Today, sweet friends, Jesus admonished  us to choose to take hold of courage, to face fear with His light, to choose to be strong, giving, redeeming in a time that needs to see His reality. May He give you peace of mind and the courage to live well during each day He has granted you.

Modeling Every Day what you want your children to become! Mentoring Monday


My lovely, beautiful of heart, gentle and very powerful, Sarah--first born.


Modeling: One serving as an example to be imitated or compared, an ideal to be copied

"A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher."

Luke 6:40

 Scripture tells us the the disciple becomes like his teacher. So, the teacher must be and live out what he wants his pupil to know and be. What you are in your home is what you are.

Often times when people hear that Clay and I were grace-based in our discipline philosophy, they automatically assume that we didn't require much from our children.

Yet, just the opposite was true. We are both idealists and hold the highest of standards. We wrote the 24 Family Ways because we wanted our children to have a pattern of excellence, a foundation of what was true, truths to pattern their lives after.

Even as a piano student must practice scales in order to begin the process of becoming a concert pianist, so a child must practice and memorize truth and obeying truth in life before the child is ready to move into leadership on a big scale.

I wanted my children to understand that loving God was grounded in loving His word, listening to His voice, thanking and acknowledging Him daily, obeying His standards, being  holy--set apart for Him, required that I lived this out to the best of my ability every day, all the time.

I wanted to pass on a model of a holy life, one dedicated truly to God's standards and values for me, one set aside for His purposes.

Immorality is ramant in this world and is destroying children, families, heritages and potential of vibrant, holy, righteous adults.

If we want our children to obey us and to choose to be disciplined and excellent, then we cannot practice compromise, laziness in work or spiritual issues and expect them to obey.

But ,this life is not passed on my giving the right rules or having them memorize the right verses.

The life of God in a person is lived out each moment, by watching a company of adults and family and friends live a holy, excellent, disciplined life before them. It is also given in the oxygen of love breathed and sprinkled at each turn, worship modeled by noticing a sunset or song admired when a child performs it, a servant's heart evident through a mama through the beauty cultivated by a meal well-cooked, a rose in a vase, a warm blanky wrapped around a tiny cold body, --all of this work, diligently pursued, work daily wrought for the glory of the creator.

Authentic, devoted, purposeful relationship is the conduit through which faith is passed on to another.

Modeling is not something that can be passed on by keeping a rule or memorizing scripture. Modeling and influencing another in godliness is only effective if it is authentic, real and lived out in the teacher who is in authority.

But I had a model who helped me know just how to be authentic--Jesus.

Pondering Him, copying Him, loving Him, living His ways gave me the confidence to know that what I followed would bring blessing in the lives of my children, because modeling myself after the best teacher was what I passed on to my own precious ones.

I could not be perfect, but I could be passionate about my love for Him, and grow in maturity, righteousness and character in front of my children, showing them how to discipline their own lives for finding maturity and growth.

It was deeply fulfilling for me to be with Sarah Mae and to hear her own evaluation of my sweet first born daughter and what she now observed in her soul, after watching her speak at the Dallas conference.

"Sarah is such a great speaker. She speaks with such eloquence and depth. She is so poised and lovely. She is such a model for what I would love to be."

How fun that the two Sarah's in my life should admire each other. They have built relationship by being together several times, so now they are getting to understand each other as friends.

But seeing Sarah Clarkson, was like seeing the philosophy I lived out in my home. Sarah Clarkson was now the book of m life that Sarah Mae was reading.

How to do this?

I loved God in front of my children every day, with all of my heart. I may have waffled in other areas, but I wanted this to be the best thing about me--to love engaging in His word, to depend on Him, seeking to obey Him, to talk about His truth, to hear His voice, to choose to believe, and to live in that faith.--

because I knew that it was what my children most needed--a model of what it really looked like to know and love and serve Him.

So, today, I give you my sweet Sarah, and I know your life and soul will be greatly encouraged by her own words--her own life now of loving God, and letting Him speak truth and beauty and reality in her life.

PLEASE KEEP READING. THIS POST WILL ENLARGE AND VALIDATE YOUR OWN LIFE AND YOU WILL BE SO GLAD YOU TOOK THE TIME--and even encourage you to find where strength and wisdom can be found!

Favored by Sarah Clarkson



Last week, on a dim, freezing morning with snow in a billow out the window, I read Mary’s Magnificat.

I’ve spoken about Mary lately in the talk I give at the conferences – the way she entered into becoming chosen because of the way she perceived and entered into the story of God. The Magnificat is her own lyrical commentary on that story and I’ve studied it before; when I wrote on Mary for my book, I became aware that her song is woven of Psalm, prophecy, and history. Every line in it alludes to another portion of Scripture, a story already told, a Psalm already sung. In order to have made such a song, Mary must have spent her young lifetime immersed in the words and story of Yahweh. She must have listened long and pondered deeply, for when she opened her mouth in praise she consciously joined herself to an ongoing chorus that had its beginning centuries before. The Magnificat is remarkable for its display of Mary’s spiritual knowledge and insight.

But as I read her mighty song on my cold morning, I was startled to realize that it is also remarkable for its individuality. It is a surprisingly personal song, framed in personal pronouns. Mary is singing the story of the world’s salvation, but she doesn’t see herself as subsumed in the plot. She still says “me.”  She doesn’t sing merely of the general blessedness of God’s people, she sings of the honor that God’s choice brings her personally. All generations will call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for meOver and above God’s plan to redeem, she knows she has been personally honored, hand-chosen and in addition to being saved from her sins, she will be famous for her blessedness throughout the ages.

My heart thumped an extra beat as I finished. Something in me that fears presumption found Mary’s proclamations bold. Is personal triumph allowed to bondservants? Isn’t that a bit impertinent?

I went about my day, my questions unresolved. Soon, in fact, I forgot them. I wrestled my car through snow and slush on countless day-before-conference errands and pulled into the last parking lot of the day exhausted, just as my phone rang. The call was one answering my inquiry into a possibility for my future that had greatly excited me the week before. There were some obstacles to be ironed out before the way was clear, but I had every hope and indication that the person on the other end of that phone could help. Until we actually spoke.

My ear was filled for the next thirty minutes with a calm voice that informed me in terms of technical accuracy and tones of professional cordiality that there was absolutely no possibility for me. I could try, I was informed, but the ceaseless, steady waterfall of information poured into my ear seemed designed to convince me that the effort would be wasted and I would be a fool to begin.

I held my own until I hung up the phone. Then I sat in the cold, colorless silence of my car and felt myself shrinking, reduced to the size of the viewpoint of the person with whom I had just talked. I was chilled. And strangely, almost afraid, reminded as I have been many times in the past years, that in a world that measures worth in money, power, and signed papers, I have very little pull. The bleakness of it seemed to make me smaller in my seat as my hope, temporarily, failed.

But not two minutes had passed before Mary and her bold song reached into my memory from the morning. For He has regard for the humble state of his bondslave… The Mighty One has done great things for me, holy is his name!… All generations will call me blessed… Sitting there, I realized, in a keen way that I never have before, that I am the humble and the lowly. I am the hungry and powerless. I’m not rich or mighty, I do not sit on a throne and in the world’s eyes, I have nothing.

But I am also the blessed. For I, like Mary, am the bondslave of the living God. Imperfect, yes. Frail, oh yes. But wholly given to the call and identity of one whose story is in God’s keeping and part of his cosmic telling of redemption. I forgot it for that first moment after the call. I listened to a voice whose narration told away my confidence and hope. But the hope came back with the memory that as God’s servant I live, not in my own power, not by my own wits and credentials, but by the love, and grace, and very personal favor of God. And the Mighty One can do great things for me as I live out his story.

As I shivered in my car seat with a snow day sunset glooming on the horizon, I realized that those who choose the identity and work of a bondservant to God can claim and request the acts of God in a very personal way. God’s chosen ones are not faceless nonentities who work as holy robots to fulfill his plans. They are living, breathing, deeply emotional human souls in needy bodies who offer the whole of their selfhood to God. Mary knew this, so she also knew that when God tells the big story of salvation forward, the smaller tale of individual human hearts goes forward too. We are known. Our needs are known. And somehow, as God rights the broken story of the world, he makes our own tiny story a blessed one too.

When the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, redemption began with the baby Jesus, yes. Big story. But part of that meant that Mary was honored for all time. Smaller story, but for her, the triumph of a lifetime. Jesus’ coming was the world’s salvation. And God’s choice of Mary to be the vessel was the honor of a young girl’s diligent engagement with the story of God. God so loved the world, but Mary loved God in the small way she knew, and he honored that love even as he brought redemption to the earth. To triumph in the mighty acts of God, to find a personal favor tucked within the great gifts he offers the world is what it means to be a bondservant to a God whose knit us together in our mother’s wombs.

So I will not fear. I am the servant of the Lord and the Mighty One will do great things for me. I don’t yet know what that means. I don’t know if the opporunity I was hoping for will open up or not. But God’s story is my story and mine is God’s, and he tells the both of them well. My one humble, hoping little human heart will not be lost in the crush of a greater tale. For he has regard for the humble. And one day, with Mary, I will be able to tell just how he lifted the world up, and me along with it. Favor indeed.

My Sarah, it has been a great honor to be your teacher and to now be mentored by you! Mama


So, what are you modeling in front of your children? How are they becoming like you, their teacher?

And don't miss Kat Lee's wonderful article at MomHeart Online, as she talks about the Power of Purposeful Motherhood!

Mentoring Monday 4 Grace in the midst of Interruptions and Unexpecteds

Ella, my new friend

No make-up, wrinkled clothes, unwashed and a little wild hair, and exhaustion from 6 days on the road and 3 mights of 4 hours of sleep, left me ripe for "an attitude."

Arising at 4:30 a.m., I slipped into a taxi with my dear friend in order to be sure we made our plane with no hitches. I am a little neurotic about being at airlines early, especially when I cannot wait to get home.

Overflowing with adrenalin-filled days, hundreds of faces and tears and hearts shared and speaking had left me quite drained. Now, with cheered heart, I was secure knowing that a pot of hot tea, warm fresh meal-(not hotel fare) and the comfort of my home was awaiting with my most beloved ones, who had "prepared a place for me," as was custom with the Clarkson clan whenever anyone returned to the beloved haven called home.

Fast Forward and we found airport in Harrisburg was abuzz with people hoping to get out to their own homes before the storm erupted on the east coast where connections to cities and travel back home would stop travel.

"Well, at least I am secure. I made an early flight home just to be sure I got out."

Too many details to write, now finds me in Detroit, now Monday monday morning, not home and hoping to make my flight.

The agent had spoken the words, "There is no connection to any city where you can find a flight home to Denver today, and you may not get out until Wednesday."

My heart sank, anger was knocking at my heart, the thoughts of, "But Lord, I have been spending my life all week for others, and staying up with them and praying and helping......if you loved me........"

And then the check of spirit...Not my will but yours be done. Look how hard this sweet young woman is working with hundreds of disgruntled customers--and she alone is not responsible for the storm.

And so, my focus shifted to her. "I bet this job is so hard when people expect you to do the impossible."

She began to pour out her heart as her fingers flew over the computer to find just one--just one airplane going to Denver with one seat where she could put my name on it.

Seems this sweet woman had two children, a sense of humor, a servant heart and a desire to help--if she was given the chance. Our stories were shared, and a way was found through another angel friend standing waiting.

If I could get to Detroit--rent a car, drive for 9 hours through rain and fog and also beautiful scenery, rent a hotel room, then I could catch a plane home Monday morning.

Interruptions--a constant of life. Changing my plans, interrupting my expectations--daily, momently--the proverbial glass of spilled milk, the illness the machine that stops working (dishwasher, car, computer, ....), illness, fusses and fighting--

an opportunity for grace and friendship and love and gentleness, (my current focus)

or a wasted moment of anger spilled, feelings erupting and peace lost.

It is a choice that starts in our hearts, our minds--to yield this moment to God--and ask for perspective and strength--

or to waste the opportunity to worship, by faith and to be patient and see His hand and fingerprints all over the moments.

As for me,

We picked up another unknown, stranded Allume friend, traveled the 9+hours and giggled, talked, shared convictions and enjoyed each other's friendship amidst the most beautiful colors of leaves shouting out the glory of God.

And now, once again, I am off to another airport, just hoping that this time, it will lead me to home.

Mentoring Monday Train Up a Child

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

Many questions I receive every week have to do with the discipline of children.  And I will answer some as we go along. However, training is the base for children learning to behave and to obey the will of their parents. Training is important to the character development of children. The children who are the most intelligent and most content and least problematic are the ones who have been held the most and had the most personal input from their parents at an early age and whose needs have been attended to. So training starts with the heart attitude of the parents and their willingness to play their loving and cherishing role in a mature and attending way.

There is so much to talk about, and I can't possibly cover everything in one short video, but I hope this will encourage you and give you some ideas for your children.

Let me know what you think!