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Wallflower or Wildflower @ Christiandevotions.us

by KimHarms 0 Comments

I had the opportunity to write yesterday’s devotion over at christiandevotions.us.

Wallflower or Wildflower

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV

Photo courtesy of morguefile and jyxana.

“Why am I not more like her?” You’ve thought it before, haven’t you?  She is beautiful and poised and confident. Everybody loves her. If only you could be like that.

Then you step in front of a mirror and you see your mousey brown hair, your freckled face, or the body shape that’s always left you feeling insecure—and your initial thoughts are reinforced. God obviously has big plans for the one who looks so composed, but I was born to hide in the shadows.

You don’t let yourself think about the possibility of big things. Instead, you settle into your wallflower mentality, believing this is what you were made for. You were created to be the one who just hangs with the crowd … never stirring the waters but never making your mark either.

It’s a lie. We often find ourselves so entranced by the world’s deception that we not only believe the lie, but we also think it’s good. We think it’s right. . .

To read the rest of the devo head on over to Christian Devotions  – Wallflower or Wildflower.

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Boy Mom Monday – Proverbs 4:1 INSTRUCTION

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Photo courtesy of sideshowmom at morguefile.com

Proverbs 4:1

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.

We were getting ready for an overnight backpacking trip the week that Grandpa gave the boys a unicycle.

The night before the trip, our middle son was out trying to figure the darn thing out. His father wisely advised him to put it away and pick it back up after we had completed our backpacking adventure.

He’s got a smart daddy, that boy. His daddy knows Owen’s deep-seated need to take risks and try crazy stunts. But he also knows the boy’s tendency toward injury. Broken arm, staples in the head, ankle strains, sprained thumb…I could continue but you get the picture.

If he had injured himself that evening while trying to ride a contraption with one wheel and ZERO handlebars,  it would have not only been a bummer for him, but could have potentially ruined vacation plans for all of us. Backpacking and concussions don’t really mix.

Owen wisely put the unicycle in the garage and went on to a less dangerous task. We all were able to enjoy our backpacking trip injury free. (He hasn’t started back in on the unicycle yet, but I’ll let you know when he has it mastered. I don’t doubt he’ll figure it out.)

Prayer: Lord help our sons to follow the instruction of their fathers and help them to see beyond themselves and into what that their obedience can mean to others. Amen

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BOY MOM MONDAY – Proverbs 3:27 – DO GOOD

by KimHarms 2 Comments

Aging Guitar

Proverbs 3:27

Do not withhold good when it is in your power to act.

 

Many years ago my husband gave free guitar lessons to a young teen he met through our church youth group. That teen came to our house once a week to play guitar and often stayed afterwards to eat dinner with us.

I didn’t really like the boy.  (Sometimes I’m just a jerk on the inside while I’m serving on the outside.)

I didn’t like the idea of Corey giving his time to him, and I struggled with my attitude as I passed him the potatoes.

But Corey saw something I didn’t. Where I saw an annoying boy taking up my family time, Corey saw a vulnerable boy who needed a safe place to be himself. Where I saw an extra mouth to feed, he saw an opportunity to be Christ’s hands and feet.

That’s one of the many things I love about my husband. He sees in others things that I don’t. And he is a great example of Proverbs 3:27; he does not withhold good when it is in his power to act.

I hope our boys will recognize that quality in their dad and grow to exemplify him in his attitude and actions. (If they end up anything like their daddy, they will be pretty incredible men.)

Lord, Give my sons eyes to see people the way you see them and to look for opportunities to love others. May they not withhold good when it is in their power to act. Amen

 

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Boy Mom Monday – Proverbs 2:1-6 WISDOM

by KimHarms 0 Comments
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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net

Proverbs 2: 1-6

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom ad applying your heart to understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

 

One of my boys had a tough stretch in school last year. A particular subject was kicking his butt, and by midterm of the first semester his grade was faltering.  But here’s the deal. He wasn’t studying much. In the past he got by with doing his work in class and going with the flow. That wasn’t working with the teacher he had, and we had to commit to studying with him almost daily. It felt kind of torturous; to him and us. But he pulled that grade up and finished out the year with a high B.

Wisdom doesn’t just happen. Forming uninformed opinions never made a man wise, just like throwing answers on a page just to get done never made an A student.

It is by studying the subject matter that the good grades come, and it is by studying God’s word that we grow in his wisdom. I pray that my boys will learn to see the value in both.

Dear Lord, Give my sons the discipline not only to study in school, but to study your word and grow in their desire to know you and become wise. Amen.

 

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Boy Mom Monday – Proverbs 1:33 SAFETY

by KimHarms 7 Comments

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Proverbs 1:33

But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease without fear of harm.

“You really let your kids shoot nails?”

My friend and I were drinking coffee on my deck, and a few minutes prior she had witnessed the workings of my middle son’s most recent project.

A handmade blow gun with little picture frame nails for ammunition.

I may be a little on the crazy side, allowing my kids to do riskier things than some people are comfortable with. But I struggle living in a culture where we are hyper-concerned with physical protection (things like safe playground equipment) and not concerned enough about the protection of the innocence of our kids.

Many folks who won’t send their kids down the sidewalk without a helmet don’t blink an eye when the those same kids are exposed to questionable TV shows and sensual movie scenes.

We send our kids out into the world with phones that give them access to a plethora of porn and other unseemly websites. Did you know that according to Huffington Post, porn sites get more traffic per month than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined? But you don’t have to go to a porn site to see porn. Even some of the online video games designed for youth have soft porn ads running down the sidebar. (Ugh…cartoon porn. Seriously???)

My kids have phones and tablets, and I’m pretty sure half of their education comes from youtube “how-to” videos. I know it is impossible for me to protect them from every bad thing the Internet has to offer, but I can pray for their online safety.

I definitely don’t want my kids to break a leg on the playground or impale themselves with handmade blowgun ammo, but I think prayers to keep their purity safe and protected are more important than prayers to keep their bones in tact.

I’d so much rather see my son go through the pain and healing of a broken bone than the pain of broken innocence and lost purity.

Dear Lord, I pray for the safety of my sons. Safety from physical harm, of course, but over and above that I pray that you will protect their purity and innocence in a world that wants to take it away from them. Amen.

*A good read at Today’s Christian Woman – When Internet Filters Are Not Enough

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Boy Mom Monday – A Devotional Journey Through Proverbs

by KimHarms 0 Comments

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Join me on Mondays starting September 14, as I begin a journey through Proverbs in prayer for my boys. Each Monday I’ll share one verse, a short devotional story and a prayer on behalf of my crazy beloved man-children.

I’d love to have you come along and pray your boys through Proverbs too.

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Nature Proclaims – christiandevotions.us

I am excited be the writer of the August 5 devo at Christian Devotions. If that site brought you to this blog, welcome.
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My devo, Nature Proclaims, was a result of the first backpacking trip my crazy husband convinced me to take with him. (We’ve since gone on 4 additional trips; 2 as a couple and 2 as a family.)
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I went through my old writings and found a few photos and a list I wrote after completing that first trip. Turns out, you can learn quite a lot when you step out of your comfort zone and into the great outdoors.
Here We Go
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A few things I learned or was reminded of on our journey:
1. God is a God of tremendous beauty.
2. God is big enough to make lakes so big you can’t see across them, but he still cares about little things like lost cameras (ask Corey about the extra 6 miles he hiked for me).
3. God provides. – Thank you to Kristin and Amos, who allowed two stranded hikers to set up camp on their site.
4. God, not the weatherman, is in control of the weather. Rain was forecasted for our whole trip, and we had sunny upper 60s and 70s all day Saturday and Sunday.
5. I am capable of more than I thought. I hiked 16 miles in one day!!
6. Flush toilets are a beautiful thing. I almost cried when I sat down on an indoor toilet with FOUR rolls of dry toilet paper just waiting there to be used!!
7. The $50 you save by getting a cheap motel at the end of the hiking trip is NOT WORTH IT! (Think dirt, a roach on the curtain and Brady Bunch era bedspreads.)
8. My husband is my VERY BEST FRIEND.
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I so enjoy these trips, because they make me appreciate everyday things I normally take for granted.
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The Cheese Confession: An Accountability Devotion

I’m happy to have a devo at christiandevotions.us today. If that devotion brought you to this site, welcome.

I love checking out the stock photos that go with my devos and articles online. You never know what you are gonna get. In the instance of The Cheese Confession, it’s a photo of a really cute kid, but it’s not my kid. Below is the wild, crazy and wonderful kid whose cheese confession turned into a devotion.

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The Cheese Confession

By : Kim Harms

It was the night before parent-teacher conference that our kindergartener, Lewis, nervously made his cheese confession.

“Mom, I forgot to tell you that I had to go to the principal’s office. It was at lunchtime. I wasn’t trying to be naughty.”

Since disruptive behavior is not common for my youngest child, I was more intrigued than upset by his statement. It turns out that his friend was having trouble getting his shredded cheese out of a container at lunch, and with Lewis’ “help,” that cheese flew in the air and landed on three of their classmates.

I can visualize Lewis’ goofy grin as he pounded on the plastic cheese cup. I can also imagine him enjoying the attention of this little stunt enough that it drew the notice of his principal. I don’t know all the details, but I do know my little boy’s guilty conscience would not let him sleep. Or more likely, his guilty conscience combined with thoughts of a looming parent-teacher conference. The fear of being found out often seems to influence the decision to fess up. Whatever it was, Lewis knew his best move was to confess his minor transgression to his father and me. And I’m thankful he did.

We could all use some healthy my-teacher-is-going-to-tell-on-me fear in our lives. We need someone to keep us accountable for the times our actions cause us to deserve a trip to the principal’s office. I know there are times I’ve tossed some stinky cheese in the way of unkind words or ugly thoughts. And I know when I am accountable to someone else for my actions, I’m far more likely to guard my mouth and my actions.

Keep accountability in your life. You’ll grow stronger in character and your Father in heaven will be proud.

(This devotion was originally posted at christiandevotions.us. Check out the site to find a new devotion daily.)

 

 

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The Rotten Apple that Helped Me Believe I Could Write

In honor of heading to Chicago for my third Write-to-Publish Conference, I am posting the very first non-newspaper item that I ever had published. It was a children’s devotion called The Rotten Apple, and it was the result of a writing exercise at one of the classes I took at my first Write-to-Publish Conference.

Because Terri Kelly (then editor at Devokids) chose to publish it, I started to believe I could do this writing thing. Now several years and many acceptance letters (and many rejection letters) later, I am looking forward to soaking in as much writing knowledge as I can in my whirlwind two-day Chicago trip.

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” —Larry L. King, WD

The Rotten Apple

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My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight.

Proverbs 3:21NIV

“Ewww. Gross!” Jeff hollered from the deck. He had just watched his little brother Paul sink his teeth into an apple he found on the ground beneath Grandma’s apple tree. Jeff rushed to Paul’s side just as the five-year-old grimaced and spit the bite of rotten apple into the grass.

With a trickle of apple juice dribbling down his chin, Paul looked from the discarded fruit on the ground up into Jeff’s eyes. “That apple looked yummy, but it was gross.”

Many things look good at first glance. Just like the apple. Paul saw a shiny apple on the ground, but he didn’t look close enough to discover the underside was rotten.

Sometimes we do that too. Bad things can seem attractive simply because we don’t look close enough. Like buying a magazine just because our favorite athlete is on the cover only to find that the advertisements inside are inappropriate. Or watching a television show because the kids at school say it is funny only to find out that the content is not pleasing to God.

It is always wise to take a serious look at opportunities before we make decisions we regret. No one wants to mistakenly sink their teeth into a rotten apple.

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Upper Room Devotional

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I had the honor of being today’s devo writer at The Upper Room. In conjunction with the devo that I actually wrote 2 years ago  (the road to publication is not often a speedy one 😉 ) I was asked to provide a post for their blog.

Here’s where you’ll find the devo – Counting to Ten

Here’s where you’ll find the blog post – The Little Things and The Big Things

While preparing the blog post, I was reminded of just how much God loves me personally. If I pay attention, I find so many instances where he takes a simple small act that no one else even notices, and he speaks right into my soul.

Sometimes God puts a spotlight on what he’s done for us for all to see. But other times, he takes these things and whispers them for us alone to hear.

Those whispered moments are my favorite.

Similarly, when Corey says nice things about me to others, it makes me smile. But it is when it’s just him and me and he looks into my eyes and says things like “You are a good mommy to our boys” that I feel the most loved.

Sometimes the littlest things are really the biggest.

If you have found your way to this site by way of The Upper Room, thanks for stopping by to take a look. If I would like a glimpse of the things I write about, I suggest clicking the Today’s Christian Woman link in the right-hand column. It will take you to a list of my stories there.

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