A Lesser Vessel

A Lesser Vessel

God took this lesser vessel filled with cracks and holes.
Carefully restored me with precious burning coals.
He seared the inmost places restoring what was broken.
Then gently brought forth beauty giving more than just a token.
A lesser vessel am I; yet, His glory overflows.
For He took all my sin and His blood, He interposed!
Oh praise the Lord! His family grows larger every day.
He makes something beautiful of each piece of clay.
My Jesus loves completely, restores each broken part.
Within the fire of affliction brought His peace to my heart.
Oh praise the Lord, all nations, who seek to win the prize.
One day that same Jesus will look into our eyes!

“All the glory of His family will hang on Him: its offspring and offshoots–all its lesser vessels, from the bowls to all the jars.”  Isaiah 22:24

Written by Holly Smith, January 18, 2002

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Mommy Moment: Peace


Mr. Webster defines peace as “the state of tranquility”.

Moms to young ones might describe it like this:

It’s evening. Your newborn sleeps with a heavy head on your shoulder as tiny breaths warm the skin of your neck. Peace.

It’s the middle of the night. Your colic-ridden infant has finally “given it up” and your ears – that have heard nothing but screaming for the last hour – can bask in the silence you’ve prayed for. Peace.

It’s early morning. You’ve had the first night of truly restful sleep in weeks. The children didn’t wake you up, the alarm has not buzzed, you just open your eyes and see sunlight sneaking in the window as birds greet one another outside. Peace.

It’s lunchtime. You and your little ones sit down to enjoy yet another PB& J. Everyone eats happily (for the moment) and you realize how rich you are to have such beautiful children. Peace.

It’s afternoon. You walk by the kids’ room and notice them playing and laughing together. Never mind that within a few minutes, you’ll be bombarded by tattle-tales, false accusations, and high-pitched squeals of injustice. For now, they enjoy their agreement and so do you. Peace.

It’s evening. You’ve done a full day’s work. You pass your husband’s recliner, kiss his forehead, then smile as you send him the toddler who carries a stack of bedtime books. You lock yourself in the bathroom. Bubble bath or no bubble bath … here, you have once again found …Peace.

May you be encouraged today to seek out and recognize those rare but precious moments of peace!

Cari winter2012

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Brotherly Love – A Sister’s Perspective

Photo Credit: Katy Roberts Photography

I remember the day my dad was shopping with me for a special dress. We had moved to a new town ahead of the rest of the family, so in a mutual state of neediness in Mom’s absence, I was his escort to a fancy dinner, and he was my shopping buddy.

Standing in the busy department store, I slid the hangers along the metal pole. I would hold one up and check for his initial response. A squinchy nose meant: “don’t even bother”, while raised eyebrows and flattened frown indicated:”perhaps, perhaps!”

I have two distinct memories of that day. The first was what Dad said when I walked out of a dressing room with a colorful tea-length dress on. “Oh, you wear that one well!” My father was always very careful with words. I knew he purposely chose NOT to say what most might, “That dress looks good on you.” He chose to make it about me. “I” wore it well. He complimented me, not the dress.

The second memory is of the conversation that followed. I tried to make a comparison of men to dresses. Some men garnered a “don’t even bother” first impression. While others seemed nice enough at first glance: “Perhaps, perhaps.” And eventually one will be just right for me in that my loveliness is enhanced by the relationship.

Instead of extending the metaphor like usual, Dad offered a bit of a rebuke.

“You just seem to be going about this ‘boy’ business all wrong. Statistically, every male on this planet will ultimately be your friend – a brother of sorts. One special man will be your husband. I see you combating the odds. You treat every guy like he might be your husband, and very few like brothers.”


He was right. How many last names had I paired with my first – scripted in cursive on spirals over the years? How often had I allowed my emotions to run rampant and race the relationship across the threshold of healthy friendship?

I thanked Dad for his honesty, but chided him a bit for not offering this age-old advice just a decade or so earlier.

Though I had not yet learned the discipline of treasuring platonic friendships, I had spent my whole life enthusiastically enjoying the company of my three younger brothers. My brothers had always provided the purest source of camaraderie. They would poke fun at me relentlessly, be brutally honest, and then unconditionally committed. They told me they love me… and their kind words, quality time and acts of service lead me to believe them.

Today, 20 years into my relationship with my husband, I see even more clearly the wisdom my Dad shared that day. He was right. Only one man has my heart, but several have my back, so to speak. I thank God for the brothers in my family. And I thank Him for brothers in the faith – these men who are friends of my husband, husbands of my friends, partners in ministry, and worthy opponents in the occasional bout of “Words with Friends”.

How rich an existence with access to such provision and protection!

My husband, Philip, is a loving brother to many. He is a good listener and “king of the side hug”. He has rescued stranded motorists, fixed cars in parking lots … he even removed a snake from a mini-van once! He treats others like he wants to be treated.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.  James 1:27

I am not a widow or an orphan, but my dad has been in heaven for 18 years and my husband is sometimes called away to work for weeks at a time. Dads cannot be replaced, but the void of their affection and care can be lessened by a sensitive word or a kind gesture from a Godly man.

I had a pastor, once, who spurred me on and encouraged me just like my dad had always done. “You have a great sense of comedic timing … you should definitely write more.”

One Father’s Day, I sang a solo in church, and an older, portly gentleman, put his arm snugly around my shoulders and tearfully shared what a blessing my song had been and surmised how much my father would have enjoyed it.

Once, while Philip was away, we had a storm blow through that ripped a hole in part of our roof. Philip’s best friend was over at our house immediately, climbing onto the roof and patching it the best he could in the rainy darkness.

Another time my boys – who were preschoolers at the time- were missing their nightly rough-housing with their dad. They had become so rowdy, I could hardly stand it. I took them to the church playground to let off some steam. Our pastor and his family were there also. He purposefully and repetitively threw my boys into piles of leaves and wrestled with them against a mountain of gravel until they were squealing and panting – good and worn. In total relief, I whispered to his wife, “I just can’t rough-house like a Dad can.”

There is an older man in our church who often stops me to look me in the eye and say, “I sure love who you are.” as though he were delivering a message straight from my dad.

My dad appreciated me – no matter the dress I wore or the boy I liked. And he left me a legacy of love and a powerful truth – flowing straight from the Heavenly Father’s will: brotherly kindness.

I want my sons – like so many other Godly men in my life – to be highly skilled at brotherhood. Statistically, every girl on the planet will need them to be her brother. Only one will ultimately be his wife. Godly brotherhood – “unstained by the world” – is a life skill and a relational calling. Men should prepare to serve and protect; and learn how to step in and provide. This is true religion and pure love.

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.  1 Peter 1:22

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‘Twas the Saturday before Thanksgiving

…and all through the house, all the creatures went shopping, except for this mouse.

So I sat and I listened to sounds of quiet cheer, and thanked God again for joy soon here.

I’m supposed to be cleaning, but before I begin–I wanted to write this thankful note for both kith and kin.

Those near and those far, I never forget–each face, through my memory, some I have never met.

I stop for a moment and bend my knee, giving thanks for they’ve given so abundantly to me.

A smile, a kind word or prayer and a gift–letting the dross of my much-ness be all a-sift.

I thank God and intercede for all left unsaid…and remember those feelings which hold weighty tread.

Then I pause and give thanks for my enemies, too–a tool in God’s hand, shaping the much and the few

of my faults and my pride and the things that must go, so I walk boldly by faith and see wisdom grow.

The years laid down carried many such tools, to resent such pressure is the making of fools.

I grasp now in my heart thankfulness for all, the easy and hard, the big and the small.

For I know to my marrow such unmerited grace. And I look ’round overwhelmed, by the hope of Christ’s face.

To you, my brother, and you, my sister–the stranger, the miser, the resentful mister…

Be blessed this Thanksgiving and forget not a one–give thanks to the Father in the light of the Son.

With joyful love from our home to yours!

Happy Thanksgiving

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The Love is What They Will Remember

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.  But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

These verses were read at my wedding and I’ve reviewed them many times over the nearly 30 years of being with my husband.  Yet, they are more than words on how to have a successful marriage; they teach me how to love my children and how to teach my children to love each other.  For if love does not first appear in the closest relationships we have (between husband & wife, parent & child, sisters & brothers), how can we expect it to appear in relationships in the professional world, on the playing fields, in the school rooms, in the board room, or even on the highways.

As parents, we must teach our children patience.  Sometimes that means telling them no, even during the mist of a temper tantrum, allowing them to be angry at us instead of giving into their every wish.  We must teach them to be kind at home first, to their brothers and sisters and that kindness can overflow in how they treat neighbors and strangers.

Our love as parents protects our children from wrong decisions, false teachings, bad friends, and dangerous situations.  A parent’s love stands up for their children, giving hope when all seems hopeless and encouraging dreams when it seems dreams are lost.

At the end of our days, our children will not remember the party we didn’t let them go to or the toy we didn’t let them have.  They might even laugh fondly at the restrictions and groundings they were forced to suffer.  More importantly, our children will remember our love for them and how we, as parents, demonstrated to them the love of our Abba Father.

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Time Capsule

Time Capsule

Flickr by Gary Dunaier

This evening I began thinking about time capsules and future generations.  What would I place in my time capsule from March 1, 2012 to be opened in 50 years by my grandchildren and great grandchildren? What valuable treasures, words of wisdom, reflection of who I am and who my family is, dreams and photos would I place inside?

So on a very small scale (internet-sized), here is what I would enclose in my time capsule this day:

  • Letters — While picking up in my son’s room the other day, I found a Christmas letter from my Chris’ mom.  It contained wishes, joy and dreams.  It contained a good idea/invention that Chris’ 84 year old dad is carrying out.  It reminded me that letter writing is a lost art. Yet, how valuable to have her heart on the page in her hand for us to read and re-read. We, as a generation, have taken recycling to the level of sharing life.  It is read and marked as read and left for a timeline post somewhere, never to be read again.  I believe we have lost the art of “treasuring it up” and sharing valuable information with those we love the most. Too often our treasures of words are pearls to swine or even more-so perhaps we have made the art of sharing our hearts too common.  Why should we expect it to be treated as valuable, when we throw it out there like so much rubbish? We need to invest time again in letter writing–not only for the sake of sharing, but also for the practice in telling a good, long story worth reading.  In 140 characters, we are losing the beauty of a reflected-life worth reading.


  • Waking Up–Most of us live like we have fallen asleep.  We try to satiate the aching holes in our soul by feeding on mindless things.  I am guilty of this for sure. To relax, I want to watch something that will not make me think–maybe laugh–but thinking is something that I try to turn off. I want to accomplish the things I have to, while doing something I like that somehow entertains me.  Now remember I do not multi-task well. But if I have to exercise, I must have music! We rely on empty entertainment. And silence is a lost art.  Recently my Chris traveled out of the country for the week with work.  I have found that silence is as needed as breathing.  During that time, I made myself be silent rather than turning on the tv, radio or calling somebody.  In the silences, I found a refuge and healing of my spirit. I would be on the cusp of tears, as I missed my Chris so much.  But also, I realized that some of our usual daily habits (staying up too late, falling into a mindless routine) were not happening. Perhaps as a couple–as a family even–we need to mix it up a little.  We need to wake up!


  • Rise Up–Along those same lines, our family has been feeling challenged in many venues to rise up, to reach out to those in need, to open our arms and hearts to others, to see their pain and to be like Jesus to them.  We are all walking with eyes wide open to see and to do and to reach.  We are giving from our plenty (even if it is just $32 in the bank–comparatively that is rich!) to help their want. We are praying for them and thinking about them.  If you would like to join us in seeing, then check out our friend Scott’s website, Live58 and join the global impact tour. As a family, we feel called to be kingdom builders and to pour out our resources now–not to hoard them for selfish needs.  So I guess you could say, we are in the process of waking up.


  • Provision and Wise Investment–We are 17 days away from the end of bankruptcy!  This journey the past six and a half years has been hard, humbling and horrendous.  YET, we have seen the unbelievable. We have had abundance in the form of vehicles given to us, gift cards for fine restaurants, our mortgage paid 6 times, grocery cards, groceries delivered, forgiven late fees, Christmas gifts for our children and PRAYER–an ever-rising, overflowing, mound of prayer on our behalf. It is beautiful. About six months ago, I clearly heard the Lord tell me to stop living like I was under the oppression of bankruptcy anymore…not to be crazy in my spending, but to TRUST that He had indeed ushered in a new day–even when I could not see a sign of that new day!  Remember that $32?  That was just a few days ago! But God.  He is still at work.  He is still providing.  He is making a way from this desert. We are walking it well and investing in God’s kingdom, as we go. We are living on a tight budget, but it is a budget…and we have not wanted for one thing we need.  Unlike these…so we SEE them.  And we invest in them.  We value the care of others in need right now over saving for the future.  For God?  He’s already in our future.  He knows how and what and when.  He will provide, our Jehovah Jirah.


  • Joy in the Journey–We love to laugh, to play games, to read, and to romp. As a family, we try not only to share, but to listen and to care for one another. We sit at the family dinner table and share daily about our days. We often read books aloud and do puzzles–make cookies and play games.  Part of what makes us, US, is that we like to spend time as a family.  We like to travel in the car, hike trails and share time camping.  We like to do life together.  Perhaps that will change, as our oldest is 14.  But so far, I am not seeing that. I am seeing a close-knit family that God has forged through every single hardship over the past six years. I am seeing the fruit of my prayers at work.  God is everything to us. We trust in Him.  We love Him.  And we love others. Perfectly?  By no means!  But it is a blessing to live and love as we do.  I don’t take it for granted.  Not for one second…

What might you place in your time capsule this day?  What matters to you that people, your people, should know in 50 years?  Take time and share here or write it down.  Then live like it matters, like you are waking up, like you are investing and all that with joy!

Time Capsule of this post (in under 140 characters–just for fun!): Treasuring it up. Letters. Yet. Live 58. Joy. Our God is Everything. He Provides. He is in the future, making a way…50 years and beyond.

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Letters to My Family

I’m making a list…I’m checking it twice…..

No…I’m not going to find out who’s been naughty or nice.  I am, however, going to make a commitment to the people on that list.

A commitment to pray for them in 2012.

My list has 34 names on it.  Some of them I see every day, once a week, once a year, or never.  It is a list of my family members (immediate and extended).    I’ve listed my husband, my children, my son-in-law, my father, my brothers, their families, my aunts, and my cousins.  My commitment to them is, not just to pray, but to write them a letter….a handwritten letter on stationary, mailed through the US Post Office, with a stamp, during the year.  If I write at least one letter a week, by the time the Christmas card season rolls around, I’ll be ready to send them all a card, too.  I’ve used a basic Excel spread sheet to make my list.  It will give me room to add addresses, birthdays, a check-off system, even a place to add gift ideas with their likes/dislikes.

Why would I write a letter to my husband or my children, you may be asking?  I see them every day, almost.  If I don’t see them, I at least text them daily or “facebook” them, especially the extended family.  My son asked me one day why had I certain messages locked on my cell-phone so that they couldn’t be erased, the messages from him and his sister where they had texted me that they loved me.  I told him that one day, he might not feel like texting me that message.  We might have a falling out, or he just might be mad at me for some unknown teenager’s reason.  I wanted to be able to look at those to remind myself that they did in fact love me, even if current actions weren’t showing it.

However, the main reason I am committing to write each family member this year comes from my journey from the previous year.  As many of you know, I lost my mother and my grandmother in 2011.  As we have been going through their estates and belongings, I have become the keeper of all things photographic or written.  I’ve spent the last year reading journals and looking through photo albums, and scanning pictures into my computer so that I could share them with the rest of my family.   Every picture, no matter how blurry or out of focus, of my mother, I scan.  I want to remember her every look and I’m doing that through the pictures.

In the midst of going through some of my things, I found the cards and notes that she had sent to me over the years.  I cherish those notes now.  I look at them over and over again and remember how much she loved me.    I understand that there are lots of people that never received such a note from their parents; they never felt genuine love from their parents, never even heard the words spoken.  My heart aches for them.

I want my family to know how much I loved and prayed for them.  When the day comes that I can’t speak the words myself, I want these letters to remind them….they were loved.

Also, for right now, I want them to know that I am praying specifically for them.  So many times we say “I’m praying for you” and then go on our way.  The person trusts that we did indeed stop and pray for them…but too often, we don’t.  We say it and then go on about our business, never giving that prayer another thought.  With this list, I am committing to stop and pray specifically for them.

How can I pray specifically for them, especially for those that I’m not in close contact with now?  First I will pray that they are growing spiritually (who doesn’t need that pray?!) and for their physical safety.  As I learn of more specific areas I can pray, I will add those.  I am hoping that this will open lines of communication that have been closed for too long.  I hope that they will contact me back and ask me to pray in for certain areas of their lives.  I’ll add those requests to the Excel spreadsheet as a constant reminder of their needs and a place to chronicle answered prayers as I hear of them.

For my immediate family, I’m going to be writing them on a regular basis, maybe sharing insights from Bible studies that I come across, ideas to help them in their spiritual journey, encouragement for dreams being dreamed.  For those still living in the house with me, I’ll leave the letters in places only they will find them (under their pillow, in their office, in their car).  For my extended family, I’m going to send them copies of some of the pictures I’ve scanned, maybe pictures of them that they never saw before or pictures of those grandparents that connected us together.

You know, this isn’t a new idea.   God did it.  He wrote letters to me and to you.

The Bible.

The signature is written in blood.

It’s to remind us that we are loved.  It’s to encourage us, help us in our spiritual journey.  It’s to remind us that we are being prayed over.

John 17:9, 15, 17, 24….I pray for them….that thou shouldest keep them from the evil…{that God would } sanctify them…{that they will }be with me where I am

Who’s on your list to pray for in 2012?


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Family Favorites

Our family is ALL about family night–we call it pizza pajama night.  When the holidays roll around, we spend days on end working puzzles, playing games and reading books aloud.  It is what we do!

Perhaps in your home, with your family or even in singleness, you find that these kinds of events never happen.  Well I can guarantee you, invite some from the youth group over or your neighbors or even a family at church. It is something that is well worth the few extra steps it takes to do it. Then just do it!

If you are of the mind that games, read-alouds and puzzles are things you despise, then I might question your joy-o-meter!  But I would suggest, too, that you give it another try and give the experience a NEW and FRESH place to grow.

There are few things that match what laughter and a bit of  shallowness can provide in the way of whole-health and wellness.  Oswald Chambers warns, “Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow concerns of life are not ordained of God; they are as much of God as the profound. To be shallow is not a sign of being wicked, nor is shallowness a sign that there are no deeps: the ocean has a shore. Our safeguard is in shallow things. Determinedly take no one serious but God.”

So do laughter.  Enjoy some shallow. It is life handed out to others and health and joy welling up in yourself. Stop taking yourself so seriously!

Here are my top picks for some great holiday family games, puzzles and reads (not an exhaustive list or I would exhaust you.).


  1. Settlers of Catan (If you have more than four, get the expansion pack)
  2. UNO Spin (My family LOVES this game, though it is not my favorite.)
  3. Whodunit (Find it on Ebay.  It is a great game of logic and clues–more challenging than just regular Clue.)
  4. Monopoly (If you have a long time to play…)
  5. Farkle (Easy peasy dice game)
  6. Pictionary (We found one on the Wii that is really fun, too!)
  7. Sorry! (Simple for 5 and up)
  8. Cranium (Fun and lots of laughter)
  9. Apples to Apples (For older kids, but they LOVE it!)
  10. Sequence, Mexican Dominoes and Pit (Couldn’t decide which one, so added all games! Pit gets pretty loud, just to let you know.)


  1. Times Square
  2. Night Before Christmas (Can You See What I see?)
  3. Trump’s General Store
  4. On the Porch
  5. A Joyful Celebration
  6. Moonlight Funning
  7. Sunday Evening Sleigh Ride (Holiday Hidden Messages)
  8. Keepsakes on Santa’s Desk
  9. No Room at the Inn
  10. Wet Your Whistle and Warm Your Toes


  1. The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. Chronicles of Narnia series C.S. Lewis
  3. The City of Ember Jeanne Duprau
  4. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief Rick Riordan
  5. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz L Frank Baum
  6. Henry Higgins Beverly Cleary
  7. Trixie Belden #1: The Secret of the Mansion Julie Campbell
  8. Betsy Tacy Maud Hart Lovelace
  9. Anne of Green Gables Lucy Maud Montgomery
  10. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Mark Twain

How about you?

Do you have any recommendations for games, puzzles and read-alouds that we should check out?

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Listen, My Son….

At some point in time during the journey of being a parent, we all have that moment where we throw our hands up and wonder if we are going to be able to survive parenting young children.  I was no exception.

I was blessed with two beautiful children, Sally and Adam.  While I was pregnant with Adam, my husband decided to move us from my hometown in Tennessee to his hometown in Florida.  We waited until Adam was at least 3 months old before making the move, then we packed up everything and took off for the coast and white beaches.

I was afraid of leaving home.  My family was just a few miles from me at the time and I relied on them as my support system.  In Florida and later Alabama, I would have no one.  During those “terrible two” years that Adam seemed to stretch into about 6 years, I was constantly calling my mother and seeking her advice on how to handle this wild child.  He was one of those that “pitched a fit” with hair pulling, throwing things, and all out assault on anyone or anything in his path.  These “fits” lasted well into the year that Adam was in the first grade.  I remember that year as having lots of tears, for all of us.

The phone calls to my mother were pretty regular, with the same question…”how do we survive this?” I knew she was the expert because she had raised two fine young men.  I offered to make a deal with her, she could raise Adam and I would take him back once he was through that season of his childhood.  (I was only half joking when I suggested that.  We had just left Wal-Mart, where Adam had attempted to jump out of the buggy, was pulling everything off the shelves, hitting at me, screaming bloody murder…simply because he wanted to look at the toys before we got groceries.  We left without anything that day and somewhere there is a surveillance video that could possibly win us $10,000 on some TV show.)

The other fear I had in raising a son was how to raise him as a godly man.  Not to belittle my husband in any way, but to speak a truth that many women find themselves in….my husband left the spiritual training of our children to me.  Over the years, he has taught Adam many things, how to shoot a gun, work on a vehicle, how to build things…you know, guy stuff.  However he’s never spoken to him about spiritual matters.  So as we traveled into the season of time when Adam was most formidable and acceptable of spiritual matters, I worried and prayed.  My greatest fear was how to show honor to my husband, and yet teach my son to do things he didn’t see his dad doing.

Adam was just starting middle school when God answered my prayer and placed in my husband a desire to move us again….back to my hometown, back to my family.  When I asked him why he wanted to move, his words were always the same.  He wanted for our children what I had growing up, life on the farm, with family all around.

My mother reminded me about my comment years before regarding having her raise Adam.  She never took me up on the offer, but she knew that now I could get the help I needed….but not from her….from my dad.  I don’t know if it is a proven fact or not, but it has been my experience that mothers raise daughters and dads raise the sons.  My son needed a godly dad to raise him and my dad stepped up to the plate.

Adam will graduate from high school in May.  I was at a recent community event and several mothers came to me to speak praise over the man they saw my son becoming.  They talked about something they saw different in him than in most kids his age.  His dad had taught him lessons that will take him through life, I will not discredit those lessons.  But as I have watched over the past few years, it is Adam’s grandfather that I see having the most godly influence on him.  Those lessons added to what his dad has taught him are making him not only a good boy, but a godly man.

I know that there are other women in the same situation as I was in, either with a spiritually absent husband or raising their children on their own completely.  If you have boys, I fully believe that they need a godly male influence in their lives.  I’ve watched something happen in my son, a maturity that comes, not just from years of physical  and mental growth.  I’ve seen him talking over life with a man that has learned that no matter how much money you make or what your professional title is, success in life depends on spending time with the Lord, seeking His guidance in decisions, following His will for your life.

Adam doesn’t tell me what he and his Papa talk about when they are working on the tractors together or in the hay field together, or working the cows.  But my dad tells me he never misses an opportunity to speak godly wisdom over him.

That’s what a boy needs in his life, a man willing to talk God with him.

I snapped these two pictures of my son and my dad.  The first one was when Adam was 3.  We were on a short nature walk in Colorado and Adam had just “thrown a fit” and refused to go another step.  My dad encouraged Adam to walk with him.  Daddy never let go of Adam’s hand and helped him over fallen trees, small creeks, and through the woods.  The other photo was taken this spring on another nature walk in Gatlinburg.  I see this scene played out over and over, and I am so thankful for how God answered some prayers of a worried mother and He sent a godly influence into my son’s life.











Listen, my sons, to a father’s discipline, and pay attention so that you may gain understanding…..Listen my son. Accept my words, and you will live many years. I am teaching you the way of wisdom; I am guiding you on straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, when you run, you will not stumble.

Proverbs 4:1, 10-12 HCSB

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