Tuesdays with Sarah – Parent Probs: I Have Some

Singing “We Are the Light of the World” with my girls at Union City FUMC 🙂

Back in February, I was writing in my prayer journal, just catching the Lord up on what all had been going on with the Smyth fam (yes, I know He is already well aware, but I always feel like I need to tell Him!)  As I was writing, something came to the surface, which I feel strongly that I should share.  FYI, it might hurt your feelings.  It hurt mine.  But sometimes we need our feelings hurt.  Especially when it’s the Holy Spirit that is hurting them!  I’m going to write it just as I wrote it that day.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for another day.  It is cold and rainy and yucky though!

A lot has been happening around here lately.  On a physical level and on a spiritual level.  I’ll start with the physical –

Thank you Lord for getting us through this past weekend.  We had FCHS Coronation for Zoe and the basketball championship tournament for Elsie. We had lots of family in town to see and support our girls, and I’m so thankful.

Zoe did so well and looked beautiful.  She interviewed and walked in front of everyone – totally outside of her comfort zone – and I was so proud of her for that specifically.

Zoe at FCHS Coronation 2019 with her friend Kayla 🙂

Zoe and her escort

Zoe and her friend Jacie 🙂

Elsie won her ball game on Friday, and then another on Saturday, which put them into the championship game Saturday night.  They lost that game by 1 in overtime.  I am so proud of how hard she hustled and played and how she never gave up.

Elsie after the championship game

Fayette 12U Rec Basketball Team – 11-1 Record, Lost by 1 in Overtime! So proud of these girls!

As I think about all this in relation to my girls – I think about all the prep that went into these events.  The dress, the alterations, the makeup, the hair, the practices, the uniforms, the shoes, the money… ALL PHYSICAL, EARTHLY THINGS.  Which in and of themselves is not bad.  Especially for Zoe who hasn’t “done” many things due to her shyness, but still – in comparison –

​What are we doing to prep our girls on a spiritual level?  Not much, I regretfully admit.

  • We pray.
  • We drag them to church – A LOT.
  • We talk about church – A LOT.

But we don’t talk about You and your goodness and your Word nearly enough around them.

Scott and I talk to each other about You all the time – but we rarely engage the girls.  Or we may make half-hearted attempts, get shut down due to their non-interest or cell phone distraction, and then just let them be.

Lord, let us be intentional and deliberate with our girls about raising them up to be mighty women who are deeply in love with You!

If I made time to make sure Zoe had a practice run with her make-up, then I better make time for her to know what true beauty is – which is a girl who loves the Lord!

Getting make-up done for Coronation by our sweet friend Devon 🙂

Time for hair! Thank you Mrs. Julie!

If I made time to get Elsie to all her basketball practices, I better make sure she has time to study Your Word about running this race of life with the Lord!​

Getting ready for Samford Basketball Camp 2018!

Loved Ronnie McCollum’s Basketball Camp in Fayette!

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 makes this very clear…

​“Hear O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is One.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

Oh Lord, I have failed you often in regard to raising my girls like this.  I have spent YEARS trying to minister to other kids so that they know You – let me not fail/ forget my own beautiful gifts that You have given me!  I claim in your name that my girls will be Christ-followers who love You the most – more than ALL.

In Your powerful and precious name,


Disney – February 2011 – Zoe, 6 years – Elsie, 4 years

Taking a break from fussing to pose sweetly for Momma!

After I wrote that post, I went back and read over the sermon notes I had taken from Scott’s message from the prior Sunday.  He was in the middle of a sermon series called ‘Called Out’, focusing on the life of Joshua.  He was preaching on Joshua 4 that Sunday, and how they built a monument to the Lord when they crossed the Jordan River.

They built the monument to show others of what a powerful, mighty, and loving God they serve.  About what happens when the impossible becomes possible and the inexplicable becomes known.  That monument then told the story of the goodness of God.

The fam 🙂

He wrapped the sermon up with these questions:

  • “Do your friends, family, kids, grandkids know your story?”
  • “Do they know how good the Lord has been in your lives?”
  • “Why Not?”
  • ​“Have we forgotten God?”

Then he followed up with the scripture I had described above out of Deuteronomy.  But Scott included (and emphasized) verse 12:

​“Be careful that you DO NOT FORGET the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” – Deuteronomy 6:12

Don’t forget Me.  That’s what He said.  I don’t think the Israelites intentionally forgot.  And that’s what Scott said in his sermon.  They just got busy.  Busy with all the things.  All the things that moving an entire nation entails.

And that’s what He’s still saying.  Because we get busy.  Busy with all the things.  All the things that living in 2019 entails.  And in the context of raising children, all the things raising children in 2019 entails.  The coronations, the rec league basketball, the travel baseball, the gymnastics meets, the all-star cheerleading competitions, the baton-twirling recitals (are they called recitals?), dance recitals, instrument recitals, tennis tournmaments, Science Olympiads, Tech Fairs, Drama Festivals…  and none of that includes the practices, prep, or money that go into them!

Zoe playing tennis at the regional tournament

Elsie at her Christmas Band Concert with Anslie

I am guilty.  I got busy.  So busy with the things to prepare my girls on a physical level that I have neglected preparing them on a spiritual level.  And I’m fairly positive I’m not the only forgetful parent these days.

The other night, I realized I had let something so precious slip away from me.  The one main way that I used to connect with the girls spiritually .  The one thing that my parents did for me my entire childhood and that I swore I’d always do for my children.  Praying for them before they go to bed.  And the reason is two-fold.  Forgetfulness and laziness.

In our new home, the girls bedrooms are on the second floor.  They often go to bed at different times.  Plus add on to that the fact that they are getting older and don’t necessarily feel like they need momma to pray for them, I just let that precious moment slip right out of my hands.

I was too lazy to hike my tail up the stairs to tell them good night (we have been on the same floor for many years in our past houses).  Needless to say, I was definitely too lazy to do it twice since they go to bed at different times!  And as their ‘growing up and making me feel like I wasn’t needed’ grew, I began to forget how very important those moments were/are.  They may think they don’t need their momma to pray for them, but oh they so do need their momma to pray for them.   Not just privately, like in my prayer journal, but out loud, over them, verbally speaking God’s promises over their lives.

Zoe fell asleep doing her quiet time… sometimes I guess they do get it… even in spite of me!

Me and Elsie at a Secret Keeper Girl Event 🙂

It’s time y’all.  All you moms and dads, aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers, Nanas and Papas, whatever other words your children call you.  It’s time to remember.  It’s time to not be lazy.  God has entrusted us with these precious gifts and it is our great responsibility and honor to prepare them for life – physical and spiritual.  I don’t mean we need to cut out all of the extracurricular activities that ours kids love (and we do too!).  But I’m saying we better take at least the same, if not more, time investing in their extra-eternal activities as well.  Pray aloud over your children.  Tell them your story.  Rehash the pastor’s sermon on the way home from church.   Say the blessing over your meal – a real one.  Let’s set our kiddos up for success – not just physical, but spiritual – and not just to survive, but to thrive.

My Beautiful Zoe Porter

My Beautiful Elsie Mae


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1 Response to Tuesdays with Sarah – Parent Probs: I Have Some

  1. Patti says:

    Time is precious, you are a great role model for young and old girls. You are so right, life gets in the way and before you know it they have moved on. We all need that lesson! Thanks for sharing as always, step on my toes anytime ❤️❤️

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