Howdy gals! I’ve been busier than a honey bee in a field of clover! I’ve got my apron and pearls on, my 1940′s music is blaring, a tall icy glass of sweet tea nearby, the vacuum cleaner is humming, the bathrooms are squeaky clean, and a menu is being planned. Yes, my home is bustling with activity! We are sprucing up the old homestead, getting ready for company! My hubby’s family are coming from the west ( San Francisco) and the east (New York) for a good-old-Summertime family re-union. My daughter Ashley, and her hubby Glen, are also coming from California! Yay! My three sister’s-in-law, a mom-in-law, my daughter Ashley and daughter in law Kimmy and myself will all pitch in together to prepare the meals…..you can bet there’s gonna be a lot of hootin‘ and hollerin‘ in the kitchen! These gals are a hoot and a half!! There will also be a lot of hungry men-folk around so we will have to do the old flour on the nose trick! (Read the Beulah story below to understand what that’s all about!)

In the midst of tidying up and making my home sparkle, it rained and rained and rained!! Just the other day we got 6 inches in 7 hours! My goodness! But what a blessing to look out on our back deck to see this magnificent rainbow! It was stunning!

I grabbed my camera to capture this take-your-breath-away masterpiece from our Creator, and I and took a moment to praise Him and thank Him for His promises, provision and blessings. Indeed, I’ve been blessed with a wonderful family. My faithful, loving, hilarious husband of 30 years (did I say 30? How can that be, if I’m 30 years old? Huh! …If you are trying to figure out my age, I’m pretty sure I was 13 when I got married….wink!) and my four fabulous kids! All of which…by the grace of God, are serving the Lord and doing well. Blessings indeed!

I thought about something that our 21 year old son J.J. told us that happened recently. As a mama, it warmed my heart and blessed my soul.

J.J., pictured above with his adorable girlfriend Tiffany Rose, lives in California and attends College, he is working toward becoming a Teacher along with Tiffany. He flew out to visit us and told us about the man that sat next to him on the plane. This man was in his late 30′s, dressed in rocker-hip leather, and from what J.J. gathered, was not married. He was on his way to see his estranged, dying father. His father was diagnosed just two weeks prior with Cancer, and was thought to have more time, but took a turn for the worse and was not expected to live much longer. He was worried that he wouldn’t make it in time to see him before he passed.

J.J. could see how distraught this man was and asked him if he could pray for him and his dad. Through tear-filled eyes the man said “yes, thank you so much”. So J.J. prayed for him, without hesitation, right there in the plane. That’s my boy! I was so proud that he had the compassion and the courage to offer comfort and encouragement to a someone he did not know.

This is the same little J.J. boy (with Teddy Jing-a-ling) that brought comfort to a hurting young man. (J.J. still can’t believe we gave him a mullet haircut…you know, business up front, party in the back! Hey it was the 1980′s!)

I thought about how my husband and I would make it a point to pray with our kids and for our kids daily. We would often gather around the kitchen table, on the family room floor, or on our bed and ask for prayer requests. Their requests were mostly for other people that were going through a difficult time (they learned compassion). Then one by one, holding hands, we would take turns praying aloud (they learned courage).

We would stop and pray if they were upset or had an owie. We prayed for their day at school. We prayed when we heard an ambulance, that the Lord would be there to help those in need.We would pray and ask for forgiveness if their behavior was unacceptable. They learned that we could go to our loving, gracious, generous, forgiving, Heavenly Father for anything and everything. Prayer became as natural as eating chocolate cake.

I have a notebook where I have traced the hands of my husband, my kids and their spouses, so I can hold their hand when I pray for them.

The chain of a mother’s prayers can link her child to God. ~unknown

We would pray a blessing over them when we tucked them in bed at night, thanking God for giving us “the most wonderful kids in the whole wide world!” then we’d kiss them a dozen times all over their face. We let them know that Jesus was always with them, and His angels were also watching over them. They fell asleep feeling safe in their comfy warm beds. Of course we still do this with our little Summer Rose!

I love this picture of J.J.! Oh Honey!! Come on now,

this is a face that’s begging for lots of kisses!

(even if he looks a little sticky with frosting!)

So may I encourage you mama’s out there to pray for and with your children. Much to my heavy sighing, our children do grow up. (boo-hoo!! Teddy Jing-a-ling above shares my sentiments! He seems to be saying…”where did baby J.J. go?”…oh, he grew up to be a man that blessed people’s hearts.) A daily habit of prayer and reading God’s Word, will instill compassion, hope, integrity and courage in the tender hearts of our treasured children. It will also give them the realization that we all are in desperate need of God. Prayer helps to develop the most important relationship we will ever have, a relationship (not religion) with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Making prayer a normal part of everyday life will prepare our kids to accept the assignments that God has purposed for them. They will begin to discern God’s voice when He is speaking to their heart, and be courageous enough to follow God’s leading.

And when you see God’s work in your children’s lives, and their obedience to His calling…well, it will bless your heart like nothing else!

“For we are God’s (own) handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, (born anew) that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us (taking paths which He prepared ahead of time), that we should walk in them (living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live).” Ephesians 2:10

Although I focused primarily on J.J. in this post, I am equally proud of all of my kids!

Summer Rose, almost 10, is a delight, sweeter than pie, and adorably talented. Here she is after a dance recital (her make-up was just for the performance) she loves the Lord, is so helpful and compassionate, plays the violin, and is an honor roll student and an incredible artist. Dusty is my first-born dream come true, (we prayed for 3 years to conceive), he teaches in children’s church with his wife Kimmy, whom he adores. Dusty is an amazing graphic artist and Web site designer.

The other morning, Summer came to me and said “Mama, I had the best dream ever!!” I said “really, was I in it?” sheepishly she answered “no.” I teasingly replied “Oh, thanks!” But then I encouraged her to tell be about it. She said “Well, I was at Disneyland and no one else was there except for the workers and Jesus. I got to spend a whole day going on all the rides with just me and Jesus, it was so fun!!”

I can’t imagine anything more fabulous than to spend the whole day at Disneyland with Jesus! Yes, that was the best dream ever!

Sweet Ashley lives in California with her husband Glen. She is a hair stylist and is extremely artistic. She delights my heart and astounds me with her wisdom and humor. Her and Glen recently spent a year volunteering at a Christian home for troubled teens. A difficult yet rewarding job for sure! When Ashley was about 5 she also had a dream about Jesus, he came to rescue her from something scary, and the one thing she noticed besides his big smile, was that He was wearing red shoes. Red shoes! I love it!!

“The family that prays together stays together, and if you stay together, you will love each other as God loves each one of you. So teach your children to pray, and pray with them, and you will have the joy and peace and the unity of Christ’s own love living in you.” ~Mother Teresa

Along with prayer, we must also include thanksgiving, praise and worship. Whenever there is an amazing sunset we always call the kids outside the “see the beautiful picture Jesus painted for us in the sky!”. “Wow! thanks Lord” we’d say.

If you are reading this and your child has taken a dark path, keep praying! Don’t give up! The Bible says that Prayer changes things.

So on this gorgeous and blessed summer day I think I’ll bake me a Thankful pie.

Thanks for stopping by!

Hugs!

RuthAnn

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