Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Never Chasing Now

Almost 5 years into marriage and from moving into our home and you will find our house has yet to be decorated. I'm an aspiring photographer with a hard drive full of the cutest photos of our kids, but yet not one to grace our walls. I keep putting off my nesting instincts as we plan to remodel the e.n.t.i.r.e. house within the next year ::fingers crossed:: and I'm sure to change everything, but I'm dying to make this nest cozy, remodeled or not! So last Saturday, I decided we needed to hit up some neighborhood sales in our area for all kinds of wall goodies on a dime, which then turned into Hobby Lobby spending to accent the items I bought. Ha!

I had a plan. A plan to fit in as many sales in these 2 neighborhoods in the most skillful of time. I wanted to get and go home to enjoy the rest of our Saturday activities. One of these neighborhood sales happened to be in my in-laws neighborhood. The hubs wanted to visit their house first for coffee. After arriving, the kids could not be parted from Mimi & Papa's so the two of us ended up walking to each sale together. 5 minutes in and I was already discontent. Of course, that's when my hubs likes to chime in with his brilliant, loving wisdom, 'Stop trying to chase the next thing. Enjoy this time we have alone together right now without the kids. It's not often we get these moments.'

After a few minutes of soaking in the fact he was right, I laid my expectations down and we had a great walk. It ended up being my favorite part of the day.

Had he not shared his perspective, would I have been able to see through the morning just as clearly?

So many times, that's all I (hemmm, hemmm, we) do. I'm always trying to chase the next thing. It can be in big or small ways. It can be waiting to make it to the weekend or that fabulous beach trip next month. Or I'll finally enjoy my house and making it home-y when it's all remodeled and pretty. Or I will only be happy when I can lose the rest of my goal weight and look fabulous again pre-baby era (but with the added curves).

As a SAHM, I often notice the enemy thwarting my ministry as a Mom. He messes with my contentment and tells me 'I'm not significant' and that 'I'm not doing anything of worth.' 'Look at that Mom who can go to work and come home, she's more fulfilled, rounded, and accomplished.' 'One day you can do something valuable too.' These lies cloud my vision. It deflects the most important accomplishments I have in front of me.

On those long, tiring days, where I'm just frustrated and spent, the enemy notoriously, like clockwork, comes along and tells me once again, 'I'm not significant,' 'Way to go on losing your patience with the kids, you need to learn to be a better Mom,' and with that I drop the ball on my Mom joy adventures. I find myself beginning to chase the next thing.
When the kids get bigger, I can do this...
                                             I'll be good at...
                                                 and accomplish this...
                                                            I can finally serve in my church & community...
                                                                          I'll start this ministry....
                                                                                    I'll be able to make a difference doing....

Sure, those thoughts are great aspirations and shouldn't be discounted. I'm a dreamer at heart and know they are God given, but I can't let them wish away the precious time I am currently living out.

I think Jen Hatmaker said it best in her new book, "For the Love:"

"To the Mama at home with a bunch of littles, you can live a life worthy right now. Your calling is today. God makes you worthy as you desire goodness for your children, meeting needs and nurturing little souls. No future calling is any more important than your current station. Every good, meaningful possibility is yours today."

I have to be able to chase today. I need to be aware of what the Lord is doing and has for me now in the present. This stage is as important as the next season.

A couple weeks ago, I received a note from a lady in our small group. It absolutely filled me to the brim. I want to share her words because they are just too good and puts everything into perspective:

"Dear Ashley,
        I wanted to write to simply encourage you! It seems not that long ago that I was in your stage of life, a tiring stage. In that place, it is hard to see beyond the day. Let me promise you the time and love you are sowing into your children...a harvest will be reaped! They will reap such confidence and a sure foundation. As you love them and teach them of Jesus as you walk with them daily you are imparting far more than you can realize from where you sit today. I will never regret one moment that I stayed home with my kids. We had less stuff and did without things others had. But now I am overwhelmed by the people my children have become. God has done a work in each of their hearts. The work is His alone but He granted that our home be a place of futile soil for the gospel to take root and grow. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and love those babies well! Before long your time will be more your own... I promise." 

Did her loving words wash over you the same as they did me? 

Gosh, how many times am I already ahead of the crop trying to reap the harvest. I'm not stopping to invest in the worthwhile moments. This also goes the same for how we invest our time, the choices we are make, or steward the things God has already given us. I've been so convicted on every one of these levels lately, not just with being a Mom.

(Or how we don't have the prettiest house on the block because we do choose to make sacrifices for me to be able to stay home with the kids and to pour into their souls. It puts contentment in it's place.) 

Some days may not seem significant when I am living the SAHM dream day after day, but I am imparting much to my kids. It is in those small seemingly insignificant moments or small acts of just talking with our kids or reading them a Bible story over lunch and asking questions. 

All of our small moments add up to a lifetime.

This time, whether with my kids, the food I eat, the words I speak, the relationships I make, the Facebook time I take, or the money I spend, these are all things that God has entrusted to each and every one of us. He is trusting us with our now moments to enjoy with Him, to reap, and to harvest. We just need to soak up our day and see what the Lord has in it. It is not to be wished away to chase tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

1st Day of Preschool

This week I was promoted to a Mom of Preschoolers with one toddler left in my nest. As this day approached, the more it pulled at my heartstrings. These milestones make me realize just how much this time is so fleeting and will be gone all too soon. Some days can feel never ending, but Preschool marks my numbered days with them. Realizing this, my ordinary days have just become my most treasured of time.

As much as I fight to overcome the tug in my heart, I'm also excited about this new adventure. It means 2 days a week, I get some Ty time. He being my youngest, we have never had that special one on one time. I can tell you he's all too happy to have all the toys & Mommy to himself.

I also get a taste of what it feels to have a Singleton on my hands. (This is going to be easy!) I'm looking forward to the chance of being refreshed. I feel I will be able to value and monopolize my time better when the twins are home with me, giving me better focus and quality time with them.

The first day went better than I expected. Although, not without tears. Anna cried and grabbed hold of me to stay. She was fine as soon as I made it out the door.

Usually, when one twin starts crying the other joins in too. They sense this in each other, but not today. Esther was cheerfully waiting to give me hugs bye as Anna's tears started flooding. Es has been excitedly counting down to this very moment. She was giving Anna a look as if to say, 'Don't ruin this for me! [I'm not crying with you this time.]'

1st Day of Preschool!!

The girls are in the same class together this year. We thought it would be best for them to have the security of each other in this transition time and split them up into different classes next year.

After orientation, I walked by to take a peek in their room before leaving home. The girls were happy sitting in Circle Time with all the other kids.

Since it was orientation day, Tyler went to stay with his Mimi, so I got to have a lunch date with my Hubs. I can't remember the last time we had one of those, so it made for a sweet morning.

At pick up, the girls were so excited to show me their papers from their day, but Anna hurriedly came over to tell me, "You took a LONG time." We're not used to being away from each other this long.

The school day included a story of the Gingerbread Man, a Gingerbread Man hunt, Gingerbread cookies for snack, and Gingerbread Man craft.
I was impressed with how well their craft turned out for the 1st day. There must be something to this Preschool thing. Esther told me her Gingerbread cookies ran away. Smiling, she continued to repeat, 'You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!'
I don't know about you, but Gingerbread makes me think of Christmas, not a 1st day of school theme.

Although, they were exhilarated the rest of the afternoon about their right of passage. The true sign came when we got in the car to run errands, they would ask if we were going to school
'No, not today.'
"Whyyy? I want to go to school."

This is all going to be okay. I have big girls now, little Preschoolers that is! ::sniffles::

Esther's Back to School Photo

Our Post 1st Day of School Photo

Anna's Back to School Photo

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Summer Reading

Okay, who am I to be endorsing some good reads?
I am one of the worst readers out there. It's just never been my thing. I'm even more shocked it's making it into my blog archives. Reading has always been hard for me. I can't stay focused and my mind starts wandering. Often times, I will start a book, get halfway through, and just never finish.

However, I'm finding it's place in this Mom season. My Littles are growing and learning to do and play more on their own. There are parts of my day where they are busy in play and I don't know what to do with myself in these small increments of time, I mean, when I'm not picking up, doing laundry, dishes, or being some kind for zombie robot.
I'm mentally bored, but still not in a stage where I can throw myself into something because I still get interrupted every few minutes to referee, fix something, help put on Cinderella's dress, find her other glass slipper, 'read book,' or 'I show you somp-ting.'

So, I'm in the middle of reading several books all at once. My attention span and dedication to each one is short in this life stage, so throughout the day, I have been picking up and reading one chapter at a time in each book. It's been keeping me focused and growing me deeper.

These books have all been too good to keep to myself. Plus, who doesn't need a good beach or poolside read this summer. :)


The Author is right here in Memphis. "Wife School" is by far, hands down, the best marriage book I have ever read!! It's so easy and fun to read, but sharing insights and wisdom into marriage I have never heard from anyone, anywhere.

This lady is in the mind of every woman and gave me a guidebook to learning my husband and how to really communicate and treat him respectfully. It is now on my gift list to any of my friends who are about to be married. If you're married, you need this book


I finished this book in a women's study this Spring with some ladies at church. It has dissected me down to the roots and spiritual core, for sure!

I opened the pages and couldn't stop reading. I thought I looked to God in every aspect of my life, but quickly realized I am an idolater. I rely on idols of control, security, comfort, and the perfect family more than I do my God. Yikes! Really, I discovered I worship myself.

As I identified this repulsive nature in me, I also found how much the Lord is still calling me to Him. His loving, forgiving nature draws me in and brings me in pursuit of Him.

"Arise my love, my beautiful one, and come away." -Song of Solomon 2:13

P.S. The more you put into this book, the more you will get out of it. I  recommend doing the study guide and discussion in the back of the book even if you aren't in a small group setting.


This has been a great follow up to "Idol Lies." I discovered one of my idols was comfort. Comfort comes in so many forms, but also includes my love for food. I wanted this book to be an extension of my "Idol Lies" journey to fully seek the Lord. I want to crave Him more than I do any of these other things I have built around myself.

Already starting out strong in Chapter 1, Lysa compared our want for food (or insert any idol struggle here) to the rich man in Matthew 19:

"Jesus responds, "If you want to be perfect [whole], go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
The rich, young man then goes away sad because he won't give up the one thing that consumes him. He is full with his riches he can't see how undernourished his soul is.

Jesus meant this for any of us who wallow in whatever abundance we have. I imagine Jesus looked straight into this young man's soul and said, "I want you to give up the one thing you crave more than me. Then come, follow me."

It's not about the riches or the food. It's a heart issue. Is He the one, true thing that satisfies us to the deepest places of our soul? Is He alone enough?


I'm only in the 2nd chapter of this book, but it is already making it to my list. I can't tell you how skeptical I was opening this book, or how corny and somewhat intimidating this idea sounded, the practice of family worship in the home. I always cringed, I mean, seriously cringed when the pastor of the church I grew up in repeatedly said this was a must in every Christian home. I died at the very thought of my parents starting it in ours. Well, guess whose family will be starting it..... 
(I guess, you run from the things you are most called to.)

I have been rolling around an example in my mind to sum up what I have read so far: you don't send your kids to school to learn discipline, respect, and how to act, it starts in the home, just as it's not the church's sole responsibility to be our child's only source and teaching of worship in their life, 
it starts in the home. 

I'm not sure yet what this will look like. It seems so awkward to think about at first. I don't want it to be something we just do. I want it to be a heart act, not a religious one. I want our family to commune with the Lord together.... 
                                         Maybe it's laying on the floor in the middle of our living room with our eyes closed while we listen to worship music together, aligning our hearts to His. Maybe it's sharing our daily life and the Word together at the dinner table and praying for each other at the end of the meal after everyone shares their heart... 

Worship should be a lifestyle. It should be flowing out of our hearts, filling our homes, and pouring into our corporate worship in the church. If our children see us living in a constant state of worship, it's not such a forced and stiff family tradition. It should be what our children seek to experience.


We are currently reading this book with our small group. I feel so inadequate to describe this book. Most of what you will read in this book has not been taught from the pulpit or has sadly been misunderstood. It has reminded me who The Holy Spirit is all over again (as a person) and to welcome Him into my everyday. I want to be in constant relationship with Him and not an aspect of the Godhead I am missing out on. Jesus said, 'it is better that I leave you so that I can send the Helper to you.' (John 16:7). 

"As a Church, we've chosen to view Him as a 'holy entity' rather than as One who is most holy. His desire is to be our closest friend, yet we have limited His involvement in our lives. The sad truth is we have inadvertently rejected the most fulfilling relationship available to us." -John Bevere.

My NEXT reads

Find yourself reading any of the books on my list? I would love to know your thoughts and experience with the book!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Struggle

We are just starting to find a true normal in our household. We are starting to get out and do things again. Live life. Feel the breeze.

After Tyler was born, I dealt heavily with postpartum depression, and then found after getting through it, I still wasn't myself, but kept going, thinking everything was normal. I mean, what is normal after having kids, right?

Test results found that I had Hashimoto's, a form of hypothyroidism. It explained my constant energy deficit, depression, weight, and other symptoms. Parenting, or disciplining, during all of these times was whatever wasn't going to cause a fight. I was too exhausted to fight or push forward most days.

Fast forward now to the other side and there has been quite the power struggle in our house lately.
(Mmmph....I hate admitting, talking, discussing the dropped ball here because we are still picking it back up....)

We have such good kids. The best. I love them so, but there are certain discipline issues that have got out of hand. I have to repeat myself 10x to get anyone to listen. If I discipline for not abiding or bad behavior, it becomes the biggest meltdown, no one who has ever met our girls would believe, so it's easier to give in and negotiate. And then there is Tyler, who now has full blown, on the floor, tantrums almost every time we visit the grocery store.

I said, ' I will never be that Mom! '
But that's me. Yep.

Disciplining our kids or acquiring their respect has become my biggest challenge. The one I thought would come easiest to me.

We took our dilemma for prayer in our small group and they shared their wisdom and prayers. Someone hit the mark about disciplining them from a place of love. And there it was. I had listened to other's advice, but with no real basis from which I could start because picking a tactic was not supposed to be my starting point

I first had to realize I forgot my purpose. I lost myself in the every day. I forgot what I was doing. I forgot it's not about surviving through each day, or having my kids listen to me, or get through a store run without public stares. It's about loving them and honoring the Lord. 

And then, of course, comes the disciplining out of that.

Gary Thomas, in his book "Sacred Parenting," said it well, "When God does not supply our motivation. We may raise a more courteous and obedient child, but we won't pass on what is of ultimate importance. If parenting were only about behavior modification, Jesus would have praised the Pharisees and kicked dirt on the adulterous woman. In other words, I'm saying that our own spiritual quest must drive our parenting. Unfinished or neglected spiritual business inevitably works its way out through our relationships in a negative fashion: we become more demanding, more controlling, more intolerant, more resentful."

Those words have been a huge heart sinker.

This week, I'm starting at the bottom up, putting my hands back on the ball. I have been aligning myself to the Lord, asking Him for my purpose each morning and asking for Him to impart more of His love to me and for me to give, playing more, instructing less (Thanks, Dad).

These past few days already feel fuller (in the joyful, purposeful way). I'm noticing a little more listening and already a lot more love. I'm building new connections and communication with my kids that is hope to last. ::crossing fingers::

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


My parents made a visit this past weekend and bringing with them spoils for the kids. Tyler was the most proud receiving a tricycle with his name in vinyl lettering on the back. Finally, a bike all his own as he has been coveting for like his big sissys.

Entitlement is a big deal in our house. When you have twins that have to share everything down to the same clothes and shoes, it is a no sharing zone if their name or initials is written on any one thing. Tyler learned the rules fast and knew immediately the importance of his bike.

The next morning as everyone was waking, Esther came into our room to inform us: 
"Anna's widing Tywer's bike."
Me: "It's okay. Tyler isn't up yet." 
Esther: (With her arms flailing, jumping up and down, spouting off in a cracked voice) 
"Noooo! Noooo! Mommy!"  
Me: "Esther, I said it was fine. I will take care of it. Tyler isn't up yet to ride his bike, so it's okay. He's not riding it." ::Protesting cries in between:: "Go sit down and eat your breakfast and I will be there in a minute." 
Another "Nooo!" insued with fussing, protesting, and stomping as she walked out of the room.
As soon as she left, my husband piped up, 
"She's Jonah. 'No, God! Justice! Justice!" 

Being that I had just recently finished reading the book of "Jonah" in my Chronological Study, I found the analogy a bit humorous. Reading it, like some of the other books in the old testament, especially those that include the Israelites, I think to myself (with pride and self righteousness, might I add) how hard is it to follow the Lord after He has done A, B, and C, but yet you forsake him, follow other false gods and practices, or when you're a follower like Jonah and God audibly tells you to "Go" to Nineveh, you go, right?!

...so about that pride and self righteousness, I was talking about....

I'm finding in my own life I am much like Jonah and my Esther. Many times my protests for control, justice, selfish pride and righteousness stand in the way of loving others, exemplifying true forgiveness toward others and myself, and keep me from the Lord's promptings.

It's the things that God calls us to everyday that I find myself resisting with my own selfish agenda. I don't allow the Lord's full will to take over my life in trusting surrender.

'Lord, it's not fair for her to keep treating me like this. I deserve to hold on to this and not let it go.'
'Why should I always have to be the bigger person? I get burned every time!'
'I'm justified in feeling this way. I know I'm right.'

Sure, I don't get swallowed by a giant fish in my objections, but I miss out on full intimacy with the Father. I eliminate the full fruits, joy, and freedom in relationships that God would love for me to enjoy or use for His own glory. Often, I would rather cling to bitterness, resentment, control, and comfort, making them into little idols to build around myself, just like the Israelites did even after God parted the Red Sea and all his other marvelous wonders. Ouch! Indeed!

Not only am I hurting myself and causing separation from the Father, but I'm putting God in a box. I'm forgetting His true nature to be faithful and just and ultimately working together for the good of His people who love Him and are called according to his purpose.

I am Jonah. I am an Israelite. I am a 3 year old with a tantrum on the inside.

The ones I think about so harshly while reading the Word, I am now looking at harshly in myself. The Lord is opening me up. He's doing surgery on my heart, cleaning out all the ick. As much as it's scary to let go of the deep, secret things in my heart, it's going to be a refreshing journey of joy and freedom I have yet to experience and instead of clothing myself with bitterness and resentments, I will be blessing others with abundant mercy and grace by the one who abundantly wrapped me in His. I don't want to wither away under God's great goodness (see Jonah 4).

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
-Psalm 51: 7-12

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

To My Hermana

Amy, remember those "feelings" we used to get when we little girls watching Disney movies? The ones no one else on the planet Earth would ever know what we were talking about and would think we were crazy if we ever tried to explain it? It wasn't until the other night I felt like I had full revelation of our experiences.

The Holy Spirit was actively in our childhood instilling in us a higher calling for love, romance, and deep intimacy in marriages. I believe those "feelings" were Him being present in our moments. 
(Stick with me here before you find me absolutely ridiculous. I know you probably have a big smile on your face, shaking your head with that look you give me when I'm full of it.)

We grew up in a magical childhood before 4th grade hit, 2nd for you, and maybe a little bit more me with all my singing in the trees stuff. Ha! But thinking about it, we never had a real glimpse of true love and romance. We never saw it in our parents or in those around us. Most marriages we saw were normal or passive, nothing in the 'dreams come true' category. On top of it, our parents separated and you would think our security blanket of trust would be completely shattered, but it wasn't. After having no basis of 'happily ever afters,' we should have stopped believing such romance can exist. Many will still remain skeptical.

When we were caught in the pit of relationships, the farthest from any 'fairy tale,' we never stopped doubting it could still be found. In a way, I think it has kept us unsettled in the mist of terrible choices to keep us searching...it's out there. God has been prompting us to find it all along.

When I had lost sight of the dream, I remember closing at work one night with Erin at the Envy. She had come a long way since I worked with her at the Lobster and she was sharing her story with me. I will never forget her words to me: 'You can have it all. Your own fairy tale too.' It was a huge game changer to put things in fresh perspective after seeing our sweet friend find true happiness.

It wasn't until I met Kyle that all the silly things I had dreamed of started falling into place. You of all people know I had some pretty crazy expectations for a husband. Oddly, I have a husband who loves looking at stars through a telescope with me on warm summer nights, laying in the hammock under the stars (with the kid monitor feet away), or baking pumpkin pie while watching old black & white classic movies in sweet snuggles. And regardless of what Mom said every Sunday lunch, I found one that will cut my steak for me too. ::Inserting your, "Dork" comment here:: Haha!

My future husband knew from the moment he saw me, that I was everything he had been waiting for. He pursued me, romanced me to the moon, and couldn't wait to marry me (with big tears in his eyes at the sight of me). Even with spontaneous romance on the back burner with a house full of toddlers, love is much sweeter and I love being desired every day.

God didn't intend for just one of us to experience great love. We (me & you) were meant to have it and now it's your turn!!

Your love isn't going to look the same as ours. It's going to be just as God designed for YOU.

I know you are contemplating a lot right now, but in this time, I pray God will reveal His heart and His romance for you. Let it be so much that when you meet "The One", you will recognize him because he came straight from the Father's heart.

I love you. We were created for Big Dreams!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Breaking the Bad

This past week, as the kids and I have been taking walks through the neighborhood, we have stopped at a curb to sit and watch passing cars and trucks at a nearby intersection. Tyler especially loves watching all the loud dump trucks go by. In the afternoon, there are lots of school buses that pass through and come into the division. The kids get excited to see the big yellow bus drive so closely and honk. Then, Esther exclaimed, "I want to wide [ride] the chool [school] bus, Mommie." I told her when she was old enough to go to school, she could ride the bus. Of course, that started a conversation that she wanted to go to school now. When we got home from our walk, she went in, put on her backpack and informed me she was going to school. How in the world she knew she needed her backpack, I would certainly like to know.

Thinking about my girls starting school makes my heart ache a bit. It will be here in just a couple of years, which will fly by like months. Next year, they will start preschool a couple days a week and I will find my day not filled up with little toddlers anymore, but little girls.
As I think about these stages being so difficult on my heart strings, they still get bigger.

I have listened to other mothers recently who have been sharing their struggles with teenagers and young adults. I can't imagine being in that place. I can barely think of my little ones as kindergartners let alone young people with a free will and mind. It's kind of scary. There is a lot of weight in being a parent. We have such a small window to make a huge impact on the rest of their lives.

The challenge, for me, comes in not wanting my kids to walk in the footsteps of my past experiences and mistakes. 
How do I keep that from happening? 
Will my life exemplify something they long to have and cling to what is good despite what this world has to offer?
It's something that has been weighty on my heart and talk with my husband often.

This week, I found myself full of questions studying up the end of David's life in my chronological study. It was late. I was staying at my grandmother's house, longing to have a coffee date with a bff, who is a chronological buff, to pick her brain with all my inquiries, but since that wasn't an available option, neither was a wifi network, might I add, I decided to ask the Lord. James 1, says ask away, right?

Honestly, I was surprised how fast He seemed to answer me. So fast, I was kind of skeptical that maybe the answers were just deep inside myself. Fascinatingly, one of His answers I found in the next day's reading plan almost word for word. Ridiculousness!

I can't remember one of my exact questions, but I began questioning along the lines of what good came from David's sin (with Bathsheba)? It seemed like he messed up one big time and paid for it over and over again (lost the confidence of his kingdom, banished by his son, Absalom, the 3 day plague on Israel after the census, fill in a bunch more etcs here). It didn't seem fair (as if any of us are deserving) especially when he truly had a heart toward God. Why did he have to go through so much? Wasn't it enough that he was on the run most of his life after defeating Goliath and then to do it again? Why did he have to suffer so much distress over an entire lifetime before and after sinning?

 The Lord told David:
1 Chronicles 22:9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. 10 He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’
The answer goes far beyond just David, himself. It's as though Solomon received David's ultimate earthly inheritance. It was passed down to the next generation.

Solomon received abundant blessings when acquiring the crown. He was given all his heart desired and the ultimate honor and responsibility of building the Lord's temple, which David had always longed to do, but the Lord refused him on account he was a warrior with too much bloodshed on his hands. ::Insert more questions:: Ha!

It felt as if the Lord was assuring me that my many years in sinful struggles would not go in vain. I struggled years in the desert and in earthly warfare so that my children would not. They would be blessed with what I am now passing on with my life.

I have truth to share. Truth that scares me to share. Truth I don't want my kids to see in me, but wisdom that may keep them close to the Lord, and that is true treasure to pass down to the next generation.

As many times as I have wondered, 'why did it take so long for me to be rescued,' I would have not left a day sooner if that's what it meant for my kids to be cut free from any replicating attachments, any generational bondage. I will no longer look back at my past with the same perspective. I was fighting a battle my children won't have to, so they can live in peace.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
    for the Lord has anointed me
    to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
    and to proclaim that captives will be released
    and prisoners will be freed.
He has sent me to tell those who mourn
    that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,
    and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
To all who mourn in Israel,
    he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
    festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
    that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins,
    repairing cities destroyed long ago.
They will revive them,
    though they have been deserted for many generations.
Foreigners will be your servants.
    They will feed your flocks
and plow your fields
    and tend your vineyards.

You will be called priests of the Lord,
    ministers of our God.
You will feed on the treasures of the nations
    and boast in their riches. 
Instead of shame and dishonor,
    you will enjoy a double share of honor.
You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land,
    and everlasting joy will be yours.

“For I, the Lord, love justice.
    I hate robbery and wrongdoing.
I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering
    and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be recognized
    and honored among the nations.
Everyone will realize that they are a people
    the Lord has blessed.”

I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
    and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding
    or a bride with her jewels.
The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world.
    Everyone will praise him!
His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring,
    with plants springing up everywhere.
-Isaiah 61