“Just” A Child

Have you heard people say that before? Oh, he’s “just” a child. They usually say it in some snarky tone or with a meaning of “he has no influence!”

I pray The Lord would allow us to see with supernatural eyes, instead of merely natural eyes.

A child is way more than “just” a child. The investment you make into a child’s life – be it your own, or others – goes far deeper than you have room to imagine.

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Natural eyes see “just” a child…

They see dusty blond hair, skinny boyish arms, lack of vocabulary, and short attention spans. Truly, they are seeing a child as exactly how he is in that moment… But I believe that’s often a trap of the enemy.

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he who keeps the law, blessed is he.

Proverbs 29:18

What’s funny about that verse is a handful of verses above it is talking about disciplining your children. This verse to me, while it can be taken so many ways, is about raising children!

In verse 17 it reads,

Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your heart.

What I’m trying to say is, you need to grasp the vision for each child. A vision where they are grown, they can speak clearly, they have patience, and understanding…

 

Supernatural eyes see an eternal soul which has to spend eternity one of two places. And if, by your teaching and example, they submit their lives to Jesus and are washed by His blood then you get to spend eternity with them!

Supernatural eyes see gifts and talents that need to be grown into, developed, and honed. These talents are God-given and can literally be anything! Imagine the ministry and the influence this child could have!

Supernatural eyes see the child’s wife/husband. The wife/husband role is at the very front of all that we do, top of the list! Being a good wife/husband is a ministry to the other partner, as well as a light for other couples to see Jesus through! Which leads me to…

Supernatural eyes see that child’s children, and children’s children. When you look to caring for a child you hardly see their great grandchildren in them, but they are there! This life goes SO fast! By your love and correction you are literally shaping generations!

 

I believe the enemy wants you to see a child as “just” a child. They are so much work! They are messy, they need constant watching/discipline, they need to be schooled, fed, washed, taken to appointments… They need time around the dinner table. They need Mom’s uninterrupted attention. They need birthday parties and christmas presents. And the list rattles on, and on, and on…

Yes, these things are sometimes great joy.

But, sometimes they’re not.

And that’s when you sacrifice for them.

You literally say in your head, “I’m not going to do what I WANT, I’m going to do what’s best for my child by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

To be a good mother, I believe that’s felt A LOT.

To the child who is abandoned, in foster care, or special circumstances… abused, shut out, seen horrible things, felt the unwanted touch of others… That child should not be forgotten, or discarded, or excluded.

Yes, you take practical precautions, but it should never stop you from loving…

Because that child can be touched by God, too.

God is a perfecter, our Healer. He makes all things new.

Next time you look at your child, your grandchild, ANY child… They’re not “just” a child. The seeds of your loving care will produce fruit for years to follow. Be diligent and intentional and never stop the love of Jesus from flowing through you!

 

 

 

A Prayer For Home

Dear Lord,

Fill me.

Fill me with Your perfect love so I can overflow with that love to my husband, my children, and everyone else that crosses my path.

Fill my womb with new life, a blessing, a baby, a new revelation of Your handiwork.

Fill my children with awe and devotion to You. Fill them with compassion for one another and deep sibling love.

Fill my home with an atmosphere of tender warmth and kindness. Of learning, of exploring, of songs, of prayer…

Fill our pantry with food and our oven with home cooked meals. Fill my table with palm branches and an endlessly growing family.

Fill my mornings with quiet prayer and my evenings with songs of praise.

Fill my life with friends who need me, and I, them.

Even though it is so hard, fill my days with the anointed work of being a good wife and mother.

Of praying on my knees until they sore. 

Of homeschooling energetic preschoolers who bore. 

Of homemaking, of sweeping, and mopping the floor. 

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Fill my days with work that lasts, of shaping little hearts to love You, of molding little souls to know You.

Fill me up when I am running low. Fill my readers, the mothers who are giving all of themselves to the work of the family.

I love You, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Preschool Homeschool 

  
Yesterday we went shopping for some of Braydon’s school supplies. I got three books (preschool workbook, sticker learning, and ‘I can paste’book), construction paper, folders, scissors, tape, sharpie highlighters, colored pencils, crayons, markers, glue sticks, pencils, dry erase markers, a dry erase letter practice tool, and two pencil pouches. I still need to grow our art supplies, so I will be adding to these supplies all year. Plus, I am heavily relying on Pinterest preschool printable and activities this year. 

  

Brady didn’t want to wait for school! So this morning we had circle time (sang, counted, prayed) and then worked on the first ‘I can paste’ page. I cut out the meatballs and he practiced gluing them to the plate of spaghetti! Then he wrote his name!!! This is the first time I’ve asked him to do that, and we have not learned our letters yet! I think his first try was AMAZING! I can’t wait to see his progress throughout the year. Monday we will start homeschool preschool officially! 

Chicken Burrito Boats


I just realized the majority of my recipes include stuffing a variety of winter squash, but I will not apologize. There is something magical about an oven roasted squash stuffed with yummy flavors on a cold winter night.

I cut two spaghetti squash and spooned the seedy gunk out of the middle. I placed them on a cookie sheet meat side up. Then I drizzled them with a little olive oil and covered with aluminum foil. Bake at 400 degrees until soft.


Next, I simply scooped out the meat with a fork. It is stringy like spaghetti. I put in a large mixing bowl.


I chopped some bell peppers, garlic and onion and sautéed in a little bit of coconut oil.


I had some plain crock pot shredded chicken left over so I measured out four portions and added it into the bell pepper mixture when they were translucent and soft.


Next I added a pack of taco seasoning and some water.


In the meantime I have added a can of kidney beans and a can of fire roster tomatoes to the spaghetti squash mixture.


Then I added the taco seasoned bell pepper mixture. Mix well.


Then I measure out a blue container of cheese for each boat. Once I filled the boats I topped with the cheese and placed in the oven to melt


Chicken Burrito Boats 

  • 2 spaghetti squash, cut length wise
  • oil (olive oil or coconut, whatever your preference)
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped (I used different colors)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
  • 1 sleeve taco seasoning
  • 4 red containers shredded chicken or about 1 lb chicken (you can boil it in water and then shred if you don’t have left overs like me)
  • 4 blue containers cheddar cheese
  1. Scoop the seedy gunk out of the spaghetti squash and place on a cookie sheet meat side up. Drizzle with oil and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hour or until soft.
  2. When squash has cooled take a fork and remove the spaghetti squash meat. Place in a large bowl.
  3. Place chopped belle peppers, onion and minced garlic in a pan over medium – high heat. Add a touch of oil.
  4. When the onion is translucent and the peppers are soft add in the cooked shredded chicken.
  5. Next add the taco seasoning and a touch of water. Incorporate well.
  6. In the mean time, add the kidney beans and diced tomatoes to the large bowl of spaghetti squash. Make sure you rinse the beans and drain the tomatoes.
  7. Add the chicken mixture to the spaghetti squash mixture and mix.
  8. Next, fill the spaghetti squash boats with this mixture. Add 1 blue container of cheese to each boat and place back in the oven for cheese to melt.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes for Meal Prep

I have to share with you a secret to how I have been so successful in my weight loss journey. It’s simple really! My secret is meal prep. 

Without meal prep I find myself reaching for the fasted or most convient thing. Usually, those things aren’t healthy. They are frozen pizzas or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Ehhh.

But when I make all my lunches on Sunday night/Monday morning and place them into nice Tupperware containers I set myself up for success. All of a sudden it is more convient to grab a container, toss it in the microwave, and eat it!


I wanted to share with you my sweet potato recipe. It’s a subtle change to how I was making it before and it has changed my world!

First, I rub my sweet potatoes down with some olive oil and bake then at 350 degrees. They come out looking like this,


The skin becomes a little bit crispy and can easily detach from the meat inside. I let them cool and then scrape the skin off with a knife like so,


After that I dump all the skinless sweet potato into a big bowl,


Then I whip them with a cake beater,


Then I add a generous sprinkling of cinnamon spice,


And beat again. I paired my whipped sweet potatoes with steamed broccoli and leftover holiday ham.

Maple Sausage & Apple Stuffed Zucchini Boats

  
I wanted that stuffing flavor without all the carbs. Here is a winner! 

  
I cooked the Maple Sausage until it was no longer pink and started to brown. Smells of heaven . . . 

  

I took the seeds out out of the zucchini. I was a little too rough on that little guy . . . 

  
Then I cooked the onion and apple in a little grease from the sausage. You can add another oil if you want (olive oil, coconut oil,) I added some of the zucchini pulp in once I squeezed out the excess water.

  
When the sausage was done I put it into a bowl and added some pure maple syrup! It really adds to the over all maple flavor of this dish.  

  
When the onion/Apple mixture was soft I added to the bowl full of sausage. 

  
I also added the eggs and salt.

   
 
Then I stuffed them. I covered the pan with tin foil and baked for 35 minutes. 

  
Added cheese at the end. 

  

  • about 4 zucchini, cut length wise 
  • 1 pound maple sausage 
  • small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 small apples, peeled, cored, and chopped 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/8th cup pure maple syrup 
  • salt to taste 
  • mozzarella cheese for topping 
  1. Cook the sausage in a pan over medium high heat until it begins to brown and is no longer pink. 
  2. In the meantime scoop out the seeds and pulp in the zucchini. Reserve about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the pulp. Squeeze out the excess water in the zucchini pulp and chop.
  3. In a new pan add the chopped onion, apple, and zucchini pulp. Cook until tender. I used some of the grease from the sausage to coat the pan. 
  4. When the sausage is done put it in a large bowl and stir in the maple syrup. 
  5. When the onion mixture is done add it to the bowl as well. 
  6. Salt the mixture. Add the eggs. Stir well. 
  7. Place the zucchini boats on a cookie sheet and stuff them. Cover with tin foil and cook them on 400 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes. 
  8. Top with mozzeralla and put back in the oven until melted. 

  

For the Momma Feeling Discontent at Home

Dear Momma,

I have been where you are and have felt what you feel. It’s a heavy load to bear and sometimes you cry hot, angry tears.

Your husband gets to work in quiet solitude all day, while you chase small children and clean never-ending messes. You change poppy diapers, give bathes, and dress un-cooperating children. You sweep, wash, and vacuum on repeat. You fill sippy cups, mop spills, and prepare food endlessly. Maybe you’re pregnant on top of all that and are dealing with naseas, fatigue, and sore breasts and back. Your body is climbed on, nursed on, and hugged on all day long. You can’t even use the bathroom by yourself. Can’t you just catch a break?

You don’t feel content inside these four walls. It feels more like a cage than a home. When you feel this discontentment it leaks out of you and begins to infect the atmosphere. You wear it on your face, your coutenence changes, and everyone picks up on it. Your home runs ridged, crooked, and unorganized. Your children are irritable and your husband is grumpy.

And if you’re anything like me you hate that you’re feeling this way because you know God has called you to be a mother who is content at home.

I don’t have all the answers, but I can offer up this bit of encouragement and teach you what has made me content to be home. When I feel myself slipping back into discontentment I have to remind myself what I’m living for, or who I’m living for.


The Bible clearly tells us to be content no matter the circumstance. Webster Dictionary defines the word content: pleased and satisfied : not needing more. 

. . . For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance. Philippians 4:11

I’m reminded of these scriptures,

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 1 Peter 2:11

Make it your goal to live a quiet life . . . 1 Thessalonians 4:11

My thinking changes when I meditate on these scriptures. Sometimes I have to read them over and over. I usually have to remind myself often of these truths when I find I am slipping back into discontentment. 

If you believe the Bible then you know we won’t be here for very long. If my life is like a vapor or a mist compared to all of eternity then what should I be focusing my time and attention on? In my heart I know it’s the training of my children who are my first ministry (husband and children). 

I won’t be able to bring anything with me when I die. But my children’s souls are eternal. I need to be diligent and intentional to practice a life of love and devotion to God. I need to live in grace, contentment, and joy not matter the circumstance! The Bible tells us our children will not depart if we train them in the way they should go. What an awesome promise!!!

 Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

You may need to switch your thinking. It’s a choice everyday to realign yourself with The Word of God. 

Our children are watching us all the time. They watch how we react to situations, how we do our day in and day out work in the home, how we discipline, and how we react to our husbands. And weather you like it or not they are learning and imitating you! So react with grace, work with joy, discipline in love, and treat your husband with respect and kiss him often! 

Chances are if you’re discontent at home when you know you’re called to it, you’re not spending consistent time with God. Ouch! I know, but it’s a hard truth you need to accept. 

Spending time with God through Bible study, prayer, and worship is vital to have unwavering peace and joy. It changes the atmosphere in your home! Don’t think your babies and small children can’t feel Him, they can and they do! His glory is like a flame that burns hot and dissolves all worldly attitudes and desires. He de-clutters the heart. He’s the only thing that can truly change you. Above all, you need to find your contentment in Him. Nothing else will satisfy.

In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11

For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. Psalms 107:9

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:35

I’m praying for you, Momma. 

Love, Ashley 

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