As a mom, I set the tone in our house.

My attitude, work ethic and enthusiasm directly influence my children and husband. If I am centered in Christ and actively engaged with my family, even if their attitudes stink, our day isn’t sunk. However, if I am short-tempered and distant, we’re bound for failure.

I am just coming to grips with the power God has entrusted to me as a mom. As I am gaining traction and becoming more comfortable in my role as a stay-at-home mom, God is beginning to open my eyes to the incredible opportunity I have to shape my family in our walk with Christ.

Though sometimes it feels like I am learning by trial and error (and often more error), God always brings me back full circle, helping me to understand how my attitude is paramount to my family’s stability, peace and even joy in our daily lives.

This morning was one of those cases of learning from my mistakes.

Per usual on the mornings I take Jackson to school, we were running behind. Really that means I didn’t get everything moving early enough, which increases the likelihood that drama will ensue. I also have a child (Jackson) who refuses to be rushed in any way. So, when it took 15 minutes for him to take two bites of waffle and then decide he didn’t want to eat any more, I allowed my patience to run thin, and the situation quickly escalated. My demeanor met his bad attitude, and instead of setting the tone, I lowered it. It became a battle of the wills, which usually results in everyone losing. Each task Jackson had to complete became a fight, from brushing his teeth to putting on his shoes. As I hurtled us out the door with just enough minutes to arrive at school on time if I hit it hard on the gravel road, we were all strung out and Jackson was in tears.

I quickly buckled Lauren in and came around the other side of the car to do the same for Jackson. Then I stopped. I couldn’t let Jackson go to school like this. Yes, Jackson was disobedient this morning, but I was the one driving the drama. So, I chose to be the one to reclaim the morning and make things right.

I asked Jackson to forgive me for the way I had been responding to him and told him I was sorry I wasn’t acting the way I knew Jesus wanted me to. He forgave me, and we hugged and kissed. Immediately, his attitude changed, and we laughed and prayed as we drove to school for us to have a great day and be the boy (and mom) God wanted us to be.

Just like that, the day’s outlook changed!

I’m so glad that in my parent/child relationship with my Heavenly Father, He is constant in His character and consistent in His great love and mercy. He is always faithful, and is never swayed by my attitude problems and frustrating behaviors. His mercy never ends, and He responds in every situation with the grace I need to bring me back to His protective and loving arms. It is Christ who gives me the strength I need to be the mom He created me to be. It is because of the prompting and power of the Holy Spirit that I can help guide my family to grow in our love for God and for each other.

When it comes to my faith, it is God that sets the tone. And through Him, God is helping me to learn how to do the same for my family.

Good Morning

Bench Sunrise

When you are having a difficult day and are struggling with what to do or say or how to react or cope, go to Jesus and open up His Word for you. Very recently, I found myself doing that very thing after a night of little sleep.

In my devotional reading time, the passage of Scripture next up for me was Matthew 28. Before beginning my time with God, I silently asked Him to speak and to prepare me for what would lie ahead that day. Through His Word, God did answer my prayer.

First God reminded me that He is the resurrection. In Him is life everlasting.

After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached [the tomb]. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his robe was as white as snow. The guards were so shaken from fear of him that they became like dead men.

But the angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. In fact, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there.’ Listen, I have told you.”

What a shock for these women approaching the grave of the person whom they loved so deeply! An angel proclaims to them that their Lord isn’t there…He is risen, just as He said! Jesus is alive!!

For God, it wasn’t enough for them to only hear that Jesus had resurrected and witness evidence that His body was no longer there. God wanted them to be able to see and touch Jesus, for them to truly know their Savior lives.

So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell His disciples the news. Just then Jesus met them and said, “Good morning!” They came up, took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him. Then Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there.”

The first words Jesus spoke to them was, “Good morning!” And, Jesus spoke those same words to me as I read His Word. “Good morning, Jill. I know what today holds, and I am here.”

This is my prayer for you: that each morning you will hear the voice of Jesus greet you, and you will know the depth of His goodness and His love that compelled Him to complete His work on the cross and defeat the grave.

When you are dreading what is ahead of you, take hold of Jesus and worship Him by casting all of your hurt, fear and doubt at His feet.

Jesus is alive! There is hope and a glorious ever after that awaits.

Good morning.