Children, Expectations, God's Grace, God's Promises, Pregnancy

God Will Have The Last Laugh

Mother’s Day just passed and once again I was blessed with the opportunity to bless my beautiful mom. She means the world to me and I always make the effort to show her how grateful I am that she is my mom.  I hope that every mother out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day and realizes how special she is in the eyes of God!

However, there are many women, like myself, who are not yet mothers.  They may be waiting for the husband, the dog, and the two kids, or perhaps they have the dog already.  They may be unable to have children or may have put off children due to career and now they hope to one day be able to have a family.  Maybe they are mothers who have lost children.  Whatever the reason, we are without children but are also special in God’s eyes.  I repeat what God has told me, “you are not forgotten.”

Maybe someone has laughed at you or approached you with bewilderment or maybe you have laughed at yourself or even God at the notion of one day finally becoming a mother because the world tells you your biological clock is ticking.  Maybe you and your husband have tried numerous times to get pregnant but the end result has ended in frustration, heartbreak, confusion, grief and hopelessness.  God has not forgotten you!

Sarah can testify to this!

He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,[a] do not pass your servant by.   Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree.  Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”  “Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”  So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs[b] of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”  Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it.   He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.   “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.  “There, in the tent,” he said.  Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”  Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him.  Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.  So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”  Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’  Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”  Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”  But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.” (Gen 18:3-15 NIV)

Sarah was old y’all.  Her biological clock wasn’t even ticking, but God likes to show us He can do the impossible!  She even laughed at God when He told her that she would have a child.  Mine you, this wasn’t the first time God told Abraham and Sarah that they would have a child, and he laughed too.  Abraham fell facedown; he laughed…., the Bible actually says.  And before that incident, Sarah took matters into her own hands to try to solve her barrenness issues (read Genesis 16).  Let’s just say it was a mess. We all have tried to solve our own problems at one point or another, causing shipwreck.

But God!  His word does not return to Him void! Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised.  Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.  Abraham gave the name Isaac[a] to the son Sarah bore him. (Genesis 21:1-3 NIV)

I said all of this only to say be patient, trust God, rehearse His Word to yourself, and remember His promises.  He doesn’t lie!  Everything you have lost, God will restore and give you twice as much as before if you do not faint.  Believe!  It may sound crazy and impossible to your flesh but nothing is impossible for God.  Believe!  Whatever you are trusting God for and if it is to be a mother, then God will make it happen according to His time, His perfect will and His way!  Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait till 90, but wait with joy and expectation!  Neither sit on the sidelines position-less and hopelessly nor disobey and get in God’s way.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for being Mr. Impossible for nothing is impossible for You!  Thank You that You are mindful of us all and thank You for every mother, godmother, grandmother, stepmother, mother-in-law!  In Jesus name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to remember that God will have the last laugh!  I EMPOWER you to trust God and remember His promises to you!  I also EMPOWER you to acknowledge and honor your mother and your Heavenly Father who gives every mom that nurturing ability!  I also EMPOWER you to be a spiritual mother to someone out there; encourage, disciple and nurture someone in the Lord!

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Ms. Tannika Moore loves the Lord and loves to write! Besides writing or editing, she currently works for a Trio program helping high school students prepare for college. She loves to build people up through God’s Word, encouragement, mentoring, and her writing. In 2014, Tannika published her first book, a book of her poetry, titled Setting The Captive Free. She  also launched her Christian clothing and apparel brand called Fruitful & Fabulous, inspired by John 15:8. Her favorite scripture comes from Philippians 1:6, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you shall perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

 

Children, Faith, Health/Sickness, Miracles, Testimony Series, Trials, Trusting God

My Testimony: Life in Seemingly Dead Situations

Happy New Year EmpowerMoments family! We have surely missed you! As we kick off the new year, we are beginning with a series entitled “Testimonies & Lessons”. We believe Revelation 12:11 when it says that we overcome by the word of our testimonies. We pray that our testimony and lessons from last year will EMPOWER you to triumph this year! May God bless you and make 2014 the greatest year of your life thus far!

The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.  He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.  I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. (Ezekiel 37:1-10 NIV)

February 7, 2013 is a date that will forever be sketched on the canvas of my mind. The events that took place about 6:00 p.m. that evening left such an indelible mark on my memory board that I couldn’t forget them even if I tried.

I was home alone with my three daughters, who were ages 7, 5 and 6 months at the time. If you have followed EmpowerMoments in the past, then you may be familiar with my youngest daughter’s story. (See Not By My Own Might & The Definition of Miracle) After her heart surgery, she was released from the hospital with a feeding tube to aid in her eating while she recovered and gained enough strength to do so on her own. Before she was discharged from the hospital, my husband and I had to learn how to insert the tube via her nose. Once home, we found ourselves constantly having to re-insert the tube because she would quickly snatch it out. That evening I was dropping the tube as I had done at least 2 dozen times before.  However, that day something went terribly awry.

Per the usual, she was screaming and throwing a fit as she tried to resist the tube insertion. I restrained her and continued with the insertion and she immediately stopped crying. Shocked that she was no longer screaming, I paused to check her out. That’s when I saw that her face was blue and she was no longer breathing. I am sure my heart stopped for at least 3 seconds as I held my lifeless baby in my arms. After I recovered from my initial shock, I sprung into action. I remember praying two short prayers: “God, don’t let this baby die on me” and “Please bring to my remembrance how to do CPR.”  As my older daughters frantically searched for the phone to dial for help, I laid my sweet baby on the floor and attempted to breathe life back into her body. After what seemed like a million years, she finally let out a feeble cry. She was breathing, but her skin was still purple so I knew she was not completely fine. Moments later the paramedics arrived and whisked us away to the local hospital.

Upon arrival every resource in the emergency room was at my daughter’s bedside trying to save her life. I sat outside the room alone crying and attempting to pray, as no one had time to explain to me what was happening. If I tell you that I was scared at that moment, I would be lying. Scared can’t even begin to capture what I was feeling. That was the most terrifying experience of my entire life.

Today, I am beyond blessed to report that my little sunshine is still here and is the busiest toddler in history! The doctors could not pinpoint exactly what caused her breathing to stop and each time they made rounds to her room, it was expressed how great she looked to have been through such an ordeal. She was discharged from the hospital 2 days later and she has been moving and shaking ever since!

This little ball of LIFE was once a SEEMINGLY dead situation!
This little ball of LIFE was once a SEEMINGLY dead situation!

There are so many other facets to this story that I would have to spend more than a mere moment to empower you. But there are some lessons that I learned from that situation that I want you to remember on your journey this year.

  1. The most important thing that I want you to understand is that seemingly deadly situations are nothing for God because He can breathe life back into anything that He so desires. My daughter appeared lifeless, but He breathed life back into her nostrils. So as you deal with circumstances that will come your way this year, remember that nothing is too hard for God. Your health, your marriage, your children, your finances, your brokenness, your depression, whatever your dead situation – nothing is too hard for Him to revive.
  2. Even if you see just a glimpse of hope, hold on to that! When I heard her faint cry, I knew we were not out of the woods just yet, but it was enough to let me know God was listening and answering! This year rejoice in the small battle victories while you wait to win the war!
  3. As I sat outside that hospital room alone, I had no other choice but to wait for the outcome. Sister, you are going to face some trials this year and some you may have to face alone. Things will be beyond the scope of your power and you are just going to have to sit back and wait while God does His work. Pray if you can; cry if you must. But whatever you face, be still and let Him do what He does best!
  4. Never succumb to the notion that you have to look beat up, even when you’ve been in a fight! My sweet baby was up bouncing around, laughing and speaking her baby gibberish the very next day. If you weren’t privy to her story, then you had no idea what she had just gone through. This year, I want you to not allow your circumstances to steal your joy, your smile or your swag! Even when the walls are closing in all around you, look your best so that you can feel your best!

Dear Daddy,

As I stand at the beginning of this new year not knowing the things that I will face, I ask that You help me prepare to fearlessly face anything that will come my way.  I know that You are the same God that brought life to my seemingly dead situations in 2013. Help me to hold on to those thoughts when my faith needs rejuvenation for challenges that I will endure in 2014. I know that You have the final say so! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to remember that your valley of dry bones may seem like a cemetery to you, but it’s the newborn nursery to God—it’s full of life! I EMPOWER you to remain encouraged this year as you go through trials and tribulations, wait on God to move on your behalf, and choose to never look like what you’ve been through!

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Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant-leader. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and three lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

Children, God's Promises, Strength

Just Stand!

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (Ephesians 6:13-15 NIV)

I like to fix things!  I actually, oftentimes, have a YEARNING for fixing things.  No, I am not talking about fixing broken things around the house; I am talking about fixing a problem or situation.  For the most part, I am pretty good at fixing situations (if you ask me) and I feel good after I have fixed one.

Recently, I ran into a situation that I have not been able to fix. My 8 year old son has become the ‘bad boy’ at school.  I have received phone calls from ALL of his teachers, the principal and vice principal about his behavior, behavior that is so out of character for him that I have asked on more than one occasion if the right parent has been called!  “Is there another Dion in the third grade?”  “Did you actually see him do that or did another student tell you he did that?”  I tried all the normal ‘fixes’ that I use when he misbehaves (which is hardly ever the case especially in school): no TV, no video games, no extracurricular activities, talking to him until I am blue in the face, and praying. Still, the phone calls and write ups continued.  Things came to a head about a week or so ago when I got a call saying that he was being suspended and I needed to pick him up from school NOW. I hung up the phone, sat at my desk, and cried. Literally.  Who was this child, and what had he done with my Dion over the past month and a half?  Why is he going to school embarrassing his self and me?  What can I do that I haven’t already done?  “…..take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:16-18 NIV)

Now this EmpowerMoment is obviously the abbreviated version of the story, and while I mentioned that I prayed, if you paid any attention to the list of things that I did, prayer was at the end.  Don’t get me wrong; I pray for my children every single day, all day, but I had allowed this situation to beat me down so badly that I was exhausted.  On many days I felt that the situation could not be fixed, but when I hung up the phone, God reminded me that there are certain situations that only HE CAN FIX!  He reminded me that when I have done all that I can do, I need to JUST STAND!  Finally, be strong inthe Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:10-12 NIV)

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for entrusting me to be the mother of two of the most awesome boys in the world!  Thank You for Your word and for being there to fix what I can’t!  Lord, please continue to guide me and my children on the paths that You would have us take, and when we are unsure, please remind us to stand on Your faith and Your word.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to JUST STAND when you have done all that you can do!  Stand on your faith, the word of God, and know that His armor is all that you need to get through the broken situation or all you need to repair that problem that is too big for you!

If you are in your JUST STAND period, what promises of God are you standing on?

Read a related EM:  Who Can I Run To?

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Ms. Tiffany Huff is the devoted mother of two boys, a blogger, lover of food and travel, and aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for helping others live out their purposes. She is looking forward to growing in her walk and honoring God through sharing her EmpowerMoments. One of her meditation scriptures is Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Children, Faith, Health/Sickness, Strength, Trials, Trusting God, Victory

Not By My Own Might…

Do your best, prepare for the worst—then trust God to bring the victory. (Proverbs 21:31 MSG)

Recently I have been in one of the most serious faith tests of my life thus far. I have been challenged to believe God for some truly supernatural things and to take the limits off of Him like never before. And while I have always had crazy faith, my current issues are testing to make sure that what I say I possess I truly do. A tremendous part of having faith in God for your life is trusting that He is truly going to do what is best for you. As the retire president of Control Freak Anonymous, I know how easy it is to want to intervene when God is busy working on your behalf. Sometimes our little handiwork makes us think that we have really assisted God and accomplished something. Then God gets jealous because He wants to get the glory from our situation, so He permits circumstances that we have NO power to transform. Even if we tried with all our human might, called in family and friends to help, and exhausted every resource we had, we still wouldn’t be able to rectify the situation. That is where I am today…

My newborn daughter is facing some serious health complications. Initially, we only knew that she wasn’t gaining weight as a baby her age should. We later found out that her failure to grow properly was linked to an extra large hole in her heart. Her tiny little heart is working so hard to meet the demands of her body that she is burning more calories than she is consuming. The doctors are not optimistic that the hole will close on its own because it is such a large one. They have suggested that the only way for her to be healed is open heart surgery. Of course upon hearing this news I was devastated, as any mother would be. I sulked in my sadness for a day or two, but then I got it together. (Ladies, it is ok to pause and get in your feelings for a moment, BUT you HAVE to get back up quickly. If you don’t, the enemy is going to wear you out. After all, the devil can’t hit a MOVING target!)

After I got up and got back on my post of praise, prayer and worship, I had a nice talk with Jesus. I felt helpless because I couldn’t fix my baby. This was more than a past due electric bill issue or relationship problem—I could handle those with my own power. I am believing God for a supernatural, miraculous healing of her heart and that would require His help. In prayer, the Spirit whispered these simple, yet powerful words to me: You do your best and let me handle the rest. What exactly does that mean? It means that my job is show up for the fight; it’s His job to get in the ring and battle on my daughter’s behalf. My best is wholeheartedly trusting in God’s word. When it says that He heals the broken in heart and binds up their wounds, I trust that. (Psalm 147:3) Knowing that He sent forth His word to heal my daughter, I get peace of mind. (Psalm 107:20) When I read that He is watching over His word to perform it, I relax because I don’t have to perform it. (Jeremiah 1:12) When I recall that this will only be successful with heaven’s help, I don’t have to rely on my own might and power. (John 3:27)

I know the hole is the same size it was when it was first discovered.  I know that the surgery has been scheduled. I know that with a surgery such as this comes many risks.  Those are the facts. However, my faith dictates what I believe. I believe in the power of prayer. I believe God’s word is true. I believe God is STILL a healer. I believe God can close the hole so tightly that one would never know that it existed. Should He not choose to close the hole, I believe God to keep her through the surgery. I believe that however the plot of this story goes, God is going to get the glory! Simply put, I just believe God!

Dear Daddy,

As I face situations that are beyond my control, I rest easy knowing that I have You on my side. You control everything; the wind and seas halt at Your command, so I know that You are able to calm my storms as well.  Lord, when my faith begins to falter, please remind me of Your word. Please remind me how You saved me before and didn’t need anyone’s help. I thank You for being what I need to be successful and victorious. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to rely on the strength of God, not your own might. If you are in a very challenging situation right now that is truly testing your faith, pause to thank Him right now! He is perfecting your faith and ensuring that He gets the glory out of your life. When this storm passes (and it will pass), you will be able to say without a shadow of a doubt, “Nobody did this, but GOD!!!

A host of prayer warriors have joined me in praying for a miraculous healing of my daughter’s heart. This EmpowerMoment is dedicated to each of them. May God blow each of your minds with His mighty power!

After realizing that you can’t do it yourself, what have you released to God?

Read a related EmpowerMoment: She is Me: Sarah

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Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant. She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments. As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and three lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

Back To School Series, Children, Prayer, Speech

Back to School: On the Way to School

School has begun for most students across the world so EmpowerMoments is featuring a series entitled “Back to School”.  Read this week as our writers will share stories and learned lessons from their school-related experiences.  So, come and get on our EmpowerMoments school bus!

This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. (Psalms 91:2 NLT)

This morning I noticed my daughter was really hyper or as I call it, “on 10”!  I’m sure part of it had to do with her NaNa coming to visit this week and the sweet tea she allowed her to drink for breakfast.  Can’t trust Grandmas!  At any rate, I wanted to snatch her in the midst of her speedy transitions throughout the house, but I remembered a promise I made to God when she first started attending school.  I promised to never yell at her before she went off to school because I didn’t want her to have a bad day.  I knew that my words could speak either life or death to my daughter (see Proverbs 18:21) and I eventually took yelling out of my discipline strategy all together.

My daughter continued her morning routine of talking seventeen miles a minute (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) and dancing throughout the house.  I sternly redirected her towards getting dressed to avoid being late.  She was obedient and we then proceeded to our vehicle.  When I strapped her in, I told her we were going to pray all the way to school, and we did.  We thanked God and prayed about her behavior this morning and her future actions at school. As we pulled into the parking lot, we sang our school song as we do every morning and she hopped out into the arms of her teacher.  I was confident that she would have a good day!

I share this story because it is imperative that we not only send our children off to school on a good note, but help them recognize that God is a present help when they need to learn self-control. Furthermore, they need to know that God is not just at church, but He walks with them during school.  I remember getting on the bus every morning to face this girl that used to bully me all the way to school.  I hated riding the bus because she was so mean to me.  I felt so alone and contemplated telling my Mom, but I didn’t think it was that serious to tell anyone.  So, I prayed every morning that the mean girl wouldn’t try to start a fight with me.  I recall another incident in high school when I failed a try-out for the drill team captain.  That loss hurt me to my core because I wanted it so bad.  I cried for days and the only thing that allowed me to move forward was the prayers my mother shared with me during that time.  During those instances, I imitated what I saw my mother or other Christians do in times of grief and trouble.  They prayed.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for my children.  Thank You for trusting me to be their guide here on earth.  Lord, I ask that Your Spirit cover them with Your precious blood.  Father, I pray that every encounter is used to build and enrich them.  Help them to be a leader amongst their friends and to share the love of Christ.  Lord, I pray they remain focused while in class, obedient to the rules, sensitive to those that need them, and strong when they face challenges.  Father, please protect the teachers, staff, and administration.  I pray they operate under Your anointing through order, fairness, humility, love, kindness, and intelligence.  Lord, please protect my children on the playground, at practice, and to and from school.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to pray over the child in your life before they go to school.  Pray with them and for them.  They need to know that God is their refuge in times of confusion, fear, trouble, misbehavior, bullying, and defeat.  When they recognize that you go to the Father on their behalf, they’ll imitate you.  I refuse to accept that prayer has been removed from schools.  Teach your children to pray!  We do not know what they face every day and the burdens they carry.

What are some ways you incorporate God into your child’s school life?

Read a related EmpowerMoment:  Take Time for Them

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As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She and her husband serve as Co-Service leaders and Co-Group leaders of SustainedLove, which supports marriage get-a-ways from Family Life. Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They attend Vaughn Forest Church. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Attitude, Children, Growth/Maturity, Relationships, Salvation, Sin

Time Waits For No One

In 11 days my son will be starting kindergarten. I’m trying to figure out where time went. I remember him doing karate kicks in my belly. Now in just a few days we will be holding hands as I walk him into his kindergarten class. He’s super excited and I’m excited that he’s growing up and experiencing life as a big “little” boy. At this point he is blind as to what the real world is about. We shield our children from this because we want them to focus on being happy and feeling loved. Even at the young age of 5, it’s important for my son to understand who God is. He should understand that he can trust God, and that the blood of Jesus has set us free.

As I teach my son what my mother taught me, it makes me realize how the corruption of this world made me lose track of how to trust God and believe that He will do just what He said He would do. Instead, I wasted precious time leaning on my own understanding, worrying, breaking God’s heart with my sins and not believing in His word. I’ve heard my pastor say, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground.”  This is so true. That’s why it’s important for us to keep our hearts and mind on Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8 NLT)

I see how quickly my son is growing up before my eyes and I want to do nothing but experience and cherish every moment with him. I can’t help but to think that is what God sees in us. He sees us growing with Him or growing away from Him. God’s grace is succifficent, but God will not wait forever for us to get it together. Time waits for no one. And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert. (Mark 14:33 NLT)

Watching my son grow I understand how important it is for our relationships to continue to be strong. For my father in Heaven, my relationship should be unconditional. God is so good to me, to my family and all of my friends. I love God so much. Although I’ve made some mistakes, He loves me like no one else. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:9 NLT)

Dear Daddy,

I love You and I’m grateful for Your grace and mercy. You’ve been with me through the good and the bad. I know You’re not through with me yet, because You are shaping me to be more than I can imagine. Thank You for Your guidance and Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to believe that today is the best day of your life, cherish it and do not waste time. God is waiting on you because He loves you just that much.

Are you certain that if your number was called today, you would be ready to go home and live with God?

Read a related EmpowerMoment: You Must Click Submit Before the Deadline

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Ms. Hassanah White is a dedicated member of Faith Walkers Church in Birmingham, Alabama where their motto is to “Walk it out by Faith.” She also serves as a member of the Praise Dance Ministry. Hassanah is a true professional in the realm of marketing and customer service. She’s a proud mother of a very energetic little boy named Jaden. Hassanah believes laughter and prayer are the best medicines for any situation. Her favorite scripture is Hebrews 11:6: “And without Faith it is impossible to please GOD, because anyone who comes to Him must BELIEVE that He exists and that He REWARDS those who earnestly seek Him.”

Children, Faith, Trials, Trusting God

The Faith of a Daisy

In April I decided to embark on one of the most rewarding and fulfilling community service projects ever. I decided to become a Girl Scouts Troop Leader!!  In efforts to teach my girls more about God, I decided to open and close each meeting with a prayer.  The first couple of meetings I led the prayer because the girls were still getting warmed up to the entire idea, but when I asked for a volunteer there was one Daisy that eagerly raised her hand.  She thanked God for allowing us to meet and have such an awesome time, asked Him to protect us until we met again, and right before the amen she declared that “we ALL were healed!”

“Therefore, anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18: 4 NLT)

That day I thought it was the funniest thing that I had heard in a long time, but in reality the faith of that six-year-old little girl was ten steps ahead of many of us.  She decided to take our moment with Jesus and trust Him to cover our bodies from any afflictions.  After we dismissed and I stopped laughing, I took a moment to thank God that she truly believed that He would do what she asked of Him.

“Let the children come to me.  Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I assure you, anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14-15 NLT)

As she spoke the words so passionately it was as if she was certain that the atmosphere was getting ready to shift.  Interestingly enough, that is where we tend to make a mistake. We lack passion in our faith!  We know that God is able to answer our prayers, but we must learn to believe the way that young girl does.  Since passion is defined as any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, there is nothing wrong with having passionate faith in the Master.  Most of the time the things we encounter in life increases or decreases our faith level, but we have to remember how high the stakes were when we were mere children.  Now is not the time to lose it, but rather gain the faith of a Daisy!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for allowing my faith to be strengthened and renewed daily and allow me to see the learning opportunities in everything that I do.  Help me to get the passion back into my faith that I may trust You like never before.  Keep me believing that my faith shifts the atmosphere and causes my prayers to come to fruition.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you to trust Him like you use to and bring the passion back into your faith.  God has not changed; however, our faith level is constantly wavering when it should be our solid foundation.  Have blessed week! 🙂

Read a related EmpowerMoment: My Faith Building Summer

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Ms. Latasha Sampson is an accomplished writer who is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management.  She resides in Nashville, Tennessee where she is a faithful member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. She serves tirelessly with the Evangelism Team there.  Latasha also works at Mt. Zion as a member of the Administrative Support Staff. Her favorite scripture is “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.” Isaiah 54:17

Children, Prayer

Take Time for Them

“All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace.”  Isaiah 53:13 NIV

As parents, aunts, cousins, sisters, and friends we are charged to love our children. Not only are we charged to love our children, but we are charged to train them. “For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” Genesis 18:19 NIV

I do not believe in “bad kids”; I believe in “desperate kids”. I also don’t believe “bad parents make bad kids”; I feel that “desperate parents make desperate kids”. Sometimes parents are desperate to please, desperate for quiet, or desperate to not be interrupted, which results in children being desperate for love, attention, and affection. As an educator, I’ve seen the results of this.

My purpose for this EmpowerMoment is to EMPOWER you to start praying for your children. I don’t mean saying “grace”. You know the quick, “Lord, thank You for my kids, help them to have a good day and be safe, Amen.” I’m talking about specific prayers that speak life into your children and your home. Let them “catch” you praying for them, let them see you making a purposeful effort to pray for them, and let them join you in praying for their problems and accomplishments.

Let us pray for our children, those we’ve birthed, adopted, care for and love. Join me:

Sunday: Pray for your child’s obedience at home, at school, and towards authority. Pray for you as a parental figure in their life that you are able to show them Godly obedience and encourage them to honor God through their obedience. Teach them: “If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.” Job 36:11 NIV

Monday: Pray for your child’s attention. Pray that they are able to focus at school and that they can hone in on discerning the difference between right and wrong. Pray for you as a parental figure to give them the attention that’s healthy, non-materialistic, and authentic. Teach them: Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Psalms 37:3 NIV

Tuesday: Pray for your child’s protection. Pray that your child is able to stand up for him/herself and show courage when they know the situation is not right. Pray that they are protected from injury, harm, and danger. Pray for you as their parental figure that you can provide security and safety in the home or within your relationship with them. Teach them: “The LORD will keep you from all harm –  he will watch over your life.” Psalms 121:7 NIV

Wednesday: Pray for your child’s Christianity. Pray for you as their parental figure that you are able to share age appropriate Christian morals and values. Teach them how to love their friends through sharing, how to respect their friends by being kind, and teach them how to pray for themselves, in their own way. Embed this in your heart: “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NIV

Thursday: Pray for your child’s character. Pray that they are able to freely grow into the person God has designed them to be. Pray that they grow to love themselves and to accept what God has created. Tell them that they are beautiful or handsome. Lavish (to their face) over their hair, the color of their eyes, or the nubbiness of their fingers. Pray for you as a parental figure that you are able to support their character grounded by Christian principles and that you do not force them out of your own desires to “be”, but out of how God leads you to nurture them. Teach them: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:14 NIV

Friday: Pray for your child’s health. Pray for you as a parental figure to teach them good hygiene and healthy eating and exercise habits. Pray that you are able to be a healthy example and that God shows you how to nurture and heal your children through His power. When you pray, pray boldly: “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 NIV

Saturday: Pray for your parenting. Pray that God teaches and reveals to you how to parent, love, correct, and discipline your child. Pray that God shows you the time to say “No”, the time to release the rod and when to correct them through mild correction. Ask God to give you discernment that you are able to sense when something is wrong with your child and that you have the strength to intervene through Godly guidance. Remember: “Whoever fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.” Proverbs 14:26 NIV

Dear Daddy,

Parenting is a gift You have given us as mothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, and friends. Lord, teach us how to parent in a Godly fashion by imitating You.  Help us to be Godly parental figures to the children You have placed in our care. God give us strength to chastise when we don’t want to and give us boundaries and self-control when we feel the need to show our love through material things. Help us to give You honor through our children. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to do three things: 1) Pray over your child daily. 2) Pray with your children daily beyond the “grace” song. 3) Stop in the parking lot of a daycare or school that you are not familiar with and pray over the children and families that walk in and out of its doors.

I only listed 7 prayers. Post on our Facebook page or Tweet us more ways that we can pray for our children.

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend Vaughn Forest Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here

Children, Gifts/Talents, Mentoring, Mother/Daughter, Motivation, Teacher/Student

A King Josiah Anointing for Our Kids

“…But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.” 1 Corinthians 7:7b ESV

My 6-year old daughter is the epitome of over exaggeration and dramatized behavior. She can produce a tear at the drop of a dime, she has a facial expression and body gesture to appeal to any situation and she has the power to convince you that something is much more serious than it really is entirely through actions. It is so evident that our family has coined her ‘Drama Mama’. I must admit her behavior is sometimes extremely annoying because I don’t know what to take seriously and what to just brush off. I often remind her of the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” But recently I have come to the realization that God has given her the gift of drama for a purpose and it is up to her father and me to channel that energy into positive experiences. Only God knows how this gift applies to her purpose and destiny in Him but the last thing that we as her parents should do is extinguish the fire. Yes, she is only six years old but God is already starting to reveal who she will be in the Kingdom. He has a mission for even the youngest of them…

In the first book of Kings we are introduced to a baby named Josiah, “…This is what the LORD says: ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David.” (1 Kings 13:2 NIV) Just a few short years later in the second book of Kings, Josiah’s father, King Amon, was murdered and Josiah became king in his place. Guess how old Josiah was when he began his reign? “Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years.” (2 Kings 22:1 NIV) Imagine that! At only the tender age of eight, Josiah was already ruling a nation. What great things God must’ve placed in that young lad to equip him for such a position! I imagine that as a young boy he possessed superior leadership skills (that some mistook for bossiness). He was probably an excellent decision maker (which was probably confused with being opinionated). I am sure he had the ability to persuade the people (and most may have viewed that as manipulative.) You get the point? God has given our children what they need for where He is taking them. It is our responsibility to ensure that we are encouraging and cultivating those gifts.

Outlined below is a simple three-step plan to help us help our children become everything God intended for them to be:

(1)    Ask God to reveal your children’s gifts and talents to you. Before my daughters were even born, I would pray for their futures and ask the Lord to show me a glimpse of what He had planned for them. Part of that was to know what special things they would possess so that I could help to protect and nurture their gifts. It is not too late for you to seek God about your children’s hidden treasures.

(2)    Once you know what is on the inside of your children, you MUST assist in the cultivation of those gifts. After I realized that all of my daughter’s drama was not just to get under my skin, I made a choice to help her develop her craft. I have been searching for the perfect drama and acting school to enroll her in. It is imperative that we encourage our children to be who God has created them to be!

(3)    Speak into your child’s future. “You are going to be an awesome actress one day!” That is an affirmation that I speak over my daughter because I understand that it somehow aligns with her destiny. I don’t have to know when, where or how that statement will affirm itself, I just have to believe. So it is with your children. Speak over them daily. If your daughter loves to talk (aka talks too much), tell her what a great news reporter she would make. If your son insists on bringing every stray animal in the neighborhood home, affirm his future as a veterinarian.

It is never too early to begin helping your children reach their God-given destinies. Remember Josiah was only eight years old! Your children’s hidden gifts and talents may not look like everyone else’s. They may not be straight ‘A’ students or musically talented, but God has given them SOMETHING to work with. It is your responsibility to identify it and help them utilize it!

Dear Daddy,

I thank You for blessing me with my wonderful child(ren). I ask that You would begin to reveal to me the special gifts that You have placed inside of them. Please give me the wisdom to recognize who You created them to be, the ability to affirm what You said and the resources to aid in their development. I ask that You give my child a King Josiah anointing that they may make huge impacts, even in their younger years. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to EMPOWER your children! Find their gifts and maximize their potential for the kingdom by helping them grow those gifts in the Spirit. I EMPOWER your children to walk in a King Josiah anointing!

Mrs. Kristen Harris is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and dedicated servant.  She is extremely passionate about women’s spiritual advancement, hence the founding of EmpowerMoments.  As an avid reader, Kristen enjoys reading the Bible and other non-fiction pieces. Her driving inspiration is when God says to her: “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11) She currently resides outside of Chicago, Illinois with her wonderful husband and two lovely daughters where she is an active member of New Life Covenant Church.

Children, Generational Curses, Growth/Maturity

You Know Better!

Do you find yourself saying the same things over and over to your children?  My oldest son wears glasses, but only at his leisure so I am constantly asking, ‘Why do I have to keep telling you to put your glasses on?’ My younger son is infamous for missing the trash can, the laundry hamper, and on the rare occasion, his mouth.  So to him, I am constantly saying, ‘Why do I have to keep telling you to pick stuff up?’  Both of them are NOTORIOUS for leaving the water running in the bathroom, either before they get in for a shower, or waiting for several minutes to start brushing their teeth while the water is on. Therefore, it is a daily occurrence for me to yell, ‘How many times do I have to tell you that I pay for water?!?!’ And, of course the never-ending question is ‘Why do I have to tell you to do the same thing or not to do the same things over and over again?’

The other day, immediately after asking this question, I heard God say to me: ‘That’s the same thing I keep asking YOU!’ I was floored! Who? Me? Really? Yes, REALLY! God is asking me why I have to constantly be reminded that a little gossip is gossip nonetheless and not a character trait that He would have me display.  God is asking me why I think its ok to tell a ‘little’ lie here or there in an uncomfortable situation, or to make someone feel better. It’s not!  Oh, and the list goes on.

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. (1 Peter 1:14-15 NIV)

I hear people saying all of the time, ‘If you know better you do better’.  I had to seriously ponder this statement.  Do I do better with all that I know? Apparently not.  If I am not doing what I KNOW I should be doing, how can I expect my children to?  Our children are a reflection of us in so many ways.  Now, I am not saying that I leave garbage on the floor, and Lord knows that if I didn’t wear my glasses, I would have made the news long ago, but God is calling me to be as obedient as I would have my children be.

If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. (John 15:10 NIV)

Just as I am constantly telling my children, God is also telling me, YOU KNOW BETTER!

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for entrusting me to raise the children that you blessed me with.  I pray that You will strengthen me with a spirit of discernment that I might recognize behaviors that are not pleasing to You, without the need for constant reminders. I pray that the desire to be the woman You created me to be will become apparent through life that I lead, and that my children will be a reflection of all things pleasing to You.  In Jesus’ Name Amen!

Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to live your life as if you know better!  As a mother, daughter, sister, friend, AND follower of Christ, He has called us to be an example to those around us, and there is no better time to start than today.  Today we know better and we will do better!

Ms. Tiffany Huff is the devoted mother of two boys, a blogger, lover of food and travel, and aspiring entrepreneur with a passion for helping others live out their purposes. She is looking forward to growing in her walk and honoring God through sharing her EmpowerMoments. One of her meditation scriptures is Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”