You Put Your Whole Self In…

June 16, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Robin J. Steinweg –

“Is this your youngest? He’s so tall! When did he mature so much?”

Startled, I looked at my son through my friend’s eyes. He had grown tall. How had I missed this latest spurt? How long was I not really paying attention? Once I’d had every eyelash, every mole, each dimpled finger memorized; his hairline mapped out; the pitch of his voice was the refrain that wound through my mind like an 8-track loop.

What things had I put my whole self into instead? A novel or a project can capture my focus, so my attention and energy converge to one point. The external world fades. I even forget meals. Most often it’s the pressure of my To-Do list.

Now properly jolted, I reacquainted myself with the features of this young man of mine. I contemplated his choice of words—the things that make him laugh or concern him—listened with care. I saw and jumped on the opportunity to ride with him in the car once a week to his choir and art classes. This had been my free morning; now it was the morning I was free to spend my most precious commodity on him.


Two captured hours with my son in the car one morning a week until the end of the semester. I’ve been told that I’ve made a sacrifice. Hmm—balance this one on the scales: my son on one hand, a few hours of my time on the other. In terms of sacrifice, I feel as though God has provided the lamb. He has gifted me with an opportunity to “put my whole self in,” as the song goes. My full focus and attention can converge to this one point. The external world can fade. My To-Do list can wait, my son’s maturing won’t.

Seconds expire the same instant they spring up. I’ll put my whole self into these!

QUOTE: “You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by; but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.” –James Matthew Barrie

“For everything there is an appointed time, and an appropriate time for every activity on earth” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV).

Today’s devotional is by Robin J. Steinweg. Robin’s life might be described using the game Twister: the colored dots are all occupied, limbs intertwine (hopefully not to the point of tangling), and you never know which dot the arrow will point to next, but it sure is fun getting there!


June 11, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Donna McCrary –

The crackling voice over the intercom said, “Look to your left and experience a rare privilege—the best view of the Grand Canyon.” I quickly grabbed my camera and snapped some pictures. The different shades of brown, rust, and black helped my eyes distinguish the depth of the ever expanding crack in the earth’s crust. The layers of brown tones in the landscape created beautiful contrast against the deep blue hue of Lake Mead. The view from the plane was breathtaking!

I sat in awe—but the beauty didn’t stop there. Traveling from Las Vegas, Nevada to Atlanta, Georgia, I found the landscape continually changing below. As the sun descended, the plane flew over pillows of clouds. The fuchsia shades seemed to sparkle and dance on the white cotton balls below. Then a dark sky settled in as we neared Atlanta. The twinkling city below glowed like a shimmering sea of lights. My husband leaned over and said, “Mind boggling!” After a thoughtful pause he whispered, “Makes you feel small in this giant world.” I chuckled because small is not exactly the best word to describe just how insignificant and tiny you feel at 35,000 feet.

As the wheels of the plane touched, I stopped to thank God for such a wonderful trip with my husband. This quick prayer moved me into a surreal moment of worship. This cross-country trip captured a glimpse of God’s handiwork, from the Grand Canyon to the manmade city lights of Atlanta. It is hard to put into words the picturesque views from my day; even harder to grasp the phenomenal concept that my God is in control of it all. He created the landscapes. He gave man the ability and the material to build the city of lights. He controlled the sun traveling across the sky. Not only is God in control of all this but He chose to love small, insignificant me! He knows every hair on my head. Just as He controls the sun and clouds He orchestrates the events in my life. He is in control of every aspect, every situation and every minor detail. From His viewpoint, everything in life is designed for the single purpose to draw us near to Him. Now that is perspective!

PRAYER: Father, today, I want to pause for a moment to truly worship You. May I never forget   how much You love me and how You long for me to live with You one day in heaven.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV).

Today’s devotion is by Donna McCrary, a co-founder of Walk of Purpose ministries. Read more of her inspirational devotions in DIVAS of the Divine: How to Live as a Designer Original in a Knock-Off World study or check out her blog at

Skip the Wipe Warmers

June 7, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Hally Franz –

Recently Natalie Portman accepted the Oscar for Lead Actress in a Motion Picture for her performance in Black Swan. She looked gorgeous in her designer gown and jewelry—a stunning mother-to-be on the red carpet. Pregnancy is very stylish for women today, including those who aren’t celebrities. Maternity clothes are now available in a range of colors, rather than plain pastels with bows, and they have shape, unlike the old-fashioned smock.

Not only are future mommies donning trendy clothes, their infants are living in style upon arrival too. In my circle there has been a run on babies lately. Consequently, I’ve attended several baby showers in the last few months. These precious little ones have it made.

There was a time when baby shower gifts included basics like diapers, sleepers, pacifiers, lotions, baby blankets, rattles and bottles. Now, newborns are welcomed home to private baby-sized bathing spas, state-of-the-art music and security systems, nurseries decorated with the most soothing and, simultaneously, the most stimulating walls, mobiles, and playthings, and environmentally-friendly and organically-inspired diapers. My favorite of the modern baby necessities are the wipe warmers, designed specifically to prevent the little love morsels from experiencing the traumatizing chill of a straight-from-the-box wet wipe. Wow!

At the risk of sounding terribly old school, could we be taking things a little far when it comes to pampering (pardon the pun) our children? I remember my sister and me begging Dad to turn on the air conditioning by the time July rolled around, and wearing layers all winter. My children dwell in a temperature-controlled environment. When I was a child a Saturday evening treat meant a ride to town and an ice cream cone, but today meals at McDonald’s are standard operating procedure. My summers were long and boring; my children’s are busy with camp and pool visits, the county fair and family vacation.

Honestly, I would probably use the wipe warmers if I had a baby in my home too. The truth is most children are blessed and comfortable, more entertained and worldly-wise than they need to be. Parents naturally tend to do and give more where our children are concerned. So our real challenge is to instill in them a grateful and giving spirit, a sense of appreciation for the blessings they’ve been given and of responsibility to serve and give back to others.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, how You have blessed us in America! Please help me to always be grateful for those blessings, to be giving to others, and to raise children who are appreciative and generous Christians.

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6-7 NIV).

Today’s devotion is by Hally Franz. Hally is a former high school guidance counselor, turned homemaker. Hally sees each day as a new exercise, where routines change and weights vary. Her goal is to maintain all-around fitness for service, while training her children to be competitive, compassionate and Christ-like in the world in which we live.

Backward Thinking

June 6, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Cynthia Ruchti –

A woman with an often high stress job as a nurse in a small hospital gained a reputation as the town’s go-to person for all things medical that didn’t require a doctor. Decades before the advent of nurse hotlines, she created her own by default.

Before people began to refer to it as 24/7, she remained available night and day. Laboring women showed up at her door to ask if it was too early to go to the maternity ward and what they could do to ease the backache. Phone calls split the night with the question, “What can I try now? Jerry’s cough is worse,” or “The baby has this rash…”

The woman with the homemade hotline attended to every need with uncommon patience and compassion.

That came as a surprise to her children.

After long hours at the hospital and middle of the night ambulance runs and too little sleep, after tending to the needs of others, she was sometimes short and impatient with her own family. She ran out of patience because she’d spent it all on other people.

We know God is able to expand our capacity for patience to meet the breadth of our need for it. But fatigue too often wins out. And too many times the world outside our front door gets first pick of the patience.

It’s clear though that the Lord intended His life lessons to apply to the way we treat one another at home as well as how we treat people outside the walls of home. Not instead of, but in addition to. By His power.

That thought hit close to…home…this week. Am I only patient with my family members if I happen to have some left over after serving others? That can’t be what the Lord meant.

AUTHOR QUOTE: Home is a proving ground—not a scrap heap—for the kindness we show others.

“I will try to walk a blameless path, but how I need your help, especially in my own home, where I long to act as I should” (Psalm 101:2 LB).

Today’s devotional is by Cynthia Ruchti, whose debut novel—They Almost Always Come Home (Abingdon Press)—explores the “proving ground” of loving when it doesn’t make sense or seem fair. Cynthia writes and produces The Heartbeat of the Home radio broadcast. Read more about these and other projects at

The Trumpet of the Lord is at Pizza Hut?

June 4, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Aubrey Spencer –

My family eats at the Pizza Hut in our small town at least once a week. We always sit in a booth. We know all the wait-staff. We even have the menu memorized. We’re regulars. Recently our local restaurant decided to add a paper towel roll to each table in order to cut down on the excessive use of napkins. Not a bad idea. Except these “napkin savers” sit on scrolly, black metal holders. Holders that completely fascinate my three-year-old son and his vivid imagination. He can’t keep his hands off of them. Before we have been there even five minutes, he has removed the paper towel roll and has transformed the holder into anything from a microphone to a gun to his favorite thing—a trumpet.

Not long ago, we were eating pizza and visiting with a friend who’d stopped by our booth when Oliver grabbed his “trumpet,” stood up in the booth and loudly started to sing “when the trumpet of the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more, when the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there.” I’ve got to be honest, I was half impressed and half worried that he was making a scene. It was funny. It was cute. It was loud. It got me thinking. Am I that bold? I mean, do I stand up—in front of others no less—and profess my faith? Or do I, at times, worry too much what others think of me and miss opportunities to be an instrument for Him? Honestly, I wish I was a little more like my three-year-old. He wasn’t concerned with what anyone thought. He was just excited to blow his trumpet for God. He taught me a lesson that day. And now every time we eat at our local Pizza Hut and I see one of those paper towel holders, I am reminded of my sweet little boy’s boldness and I’m inspired to grab my trumpet as well.

PRAYER: Father, please help me to be bolder in my faith. I oftentimes find myself timid and worried about what others think, and I know I miss opportunities to be used by You. Help me to stand strong and to be effective in Your kingdom.

“So don’t throw away your bold faith. It will bring you rich rewards. You need to be faithful. Then you will do what God wants. You will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:35,36 NIRV).

Today’s devotional is by Aubrey Spencer. Aubrey is a minister’s wife and a stay-at-home mom to two little miracles, Oliver and Ava. She has a passion for writing and entertaining but realizes her greatest ministry at the moment is to raise her children to be people after God’s own heart. She loves to see how God shows up in everyday situations. Read more of her writings at

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