Lessons from a People Mover

Lessons from a People Mover

It’s funny what kids remember.

“Mama, remember the time when we sat next to the elevator and ate a cookie?” My son smiled as he repeated the story.


He must have been four or five when we took that afternoon outing to the mall. We started out at the play place, then headed to the food court for a candy-filled cookie, sitting next to the glassed-in elevator as we ate.

My little man stared in awe. I marveled that a people-mover could be so fascinating. He studied it ever so carefully, trying to figure out exactly how it worked. He wanted to ride it a few times, but just watching it seemed to thrill him the most.

Fast forward several years, and he still recalls that day with affection.

Such a little thing – a simple date which cost all of five dollars, a mom who didn’t understand his fascination with elevators but loved watching her son learn, and a memory he still seems to treasure.

It’s funny what kids remember…

Of course, the big stuff builds memories, too – like our unexpected cross-country drive one Christmas when the Atlanta airport shut down and we still wanted to spend the holidays with my family. Or the planned-out birthday parties that leave parents exhausted but children feeling loved.

Those things are important, but so are the everyday moments we invest in our kids. We cultivate an atmosphere of love and security by doing the little things.

Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:

  • Our day-to-day ministry helps shape their view of God.

Cooking meals and keeping a home isn’t the least bit glamorous. But when we meet their everyday needs, we paint the picture of a God who provides. Kids are free to thrive when they know we’re looking out for them.

  • Our day-to-day ministry helps shape their view of themselves.

We affirm their God-given worth and value when we prioritize time with them, setting aside our agendas (and our devices) to show our kids they matter more. We validate their opinions and feelings when we ask questions and listen to their hearts.

  • Our day-to-day ministry helps shape their future.

I’m often surprised at what my kids remember (like elevator-watching at the mall). They see more than we realize. Our consistent love helps them grow into the men and women God designed them to be.

But let’s be real. We parents do undeniably more than our kids could possibly notice. Yet God sees. He “is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them” (Hebrews 6:10, NIV). As we serve our families, we serve Jesus. I’m so glad He provides His strength, wisdom, and grace to help us love them well.

Yes, it’s funny what kids remember. In the big stuff and in the small, we’re making memories, building relationships, and shaping our children’s hearts for eternity.


The Blessing Box: Cultivating Gratefulness All Year Long

The Blessing Box: Cultivating Gratefulness All Year Long

“I’m writing a note to God,” my preschooler announces proudly.

Blessing Box Inside

She thoughtfully scribbles her message on a 3×5 card, then opens the hinged lid of our ”Blessing Box” and adds her note to the jumbled mess of index cards. It looks disorderly, even confusing, but to me it’s a beautiful mess. 

Each of those mismatched cards is a record of something important to us – a three-year old’s note to God, a list of things we’re thankful for, a prayer request and its subsequent answer.

I wish I could say we are systematic in adding cards to our blessing box. I wish I could tell you how often we take it out and read its contents. But, alas, this busy mama is far less organized and consistent than I like to admit.

Despite my unfulfilled great intentions, however, there it sits on my grandmother’s hutch in our bustling dining room—a constant reminder to count our many blessings, an ever-present invitation to recall the faithfulness of God.

We add to it at random. We open it up and read on occasion.

Like the other night when my oldest daughter put the box on the table before dinner. She gave each of us a blank card and instructed us write something for which we are thankful. Then she passed around the box for us to drop in our card and pick out another to read aloud.

Or the other morning when the kids and I all had bad attitudes and needed to reflect on God’s good gifts—our family and friends, an air-conditioned home, clothes and shoes, food and clean water, and the fact that Jesus loves children (my three-year-old’s contribution). Our focus shifted as we remembered the good things we’ve been given.

Or that season a while back when money was tight and work was slow. I recorded a very specific prayer request for provision and was thrilled to record God’s answer the very next day.


Many a memory is preserved in our treasured blessing box.

Do you have a place to record things for which you’re thankful? In case you’d like to create your own blessing box, here’s how we did it:

  1. Choose a box – I picked one that fit our décor, because I planned for it to have a permanent home in a prominent location. I love the hinged lid because it’s easy for little hands to open (and can’t get lost!)
  2. Stock up on pens and index or thankfulness cards. — We keep these in a nearby drawer so they’re always handy when we have something to record.
  3. Get everyone involved — Our family knows that anyone can add to or read from our blessing box at any time.

This has been a great tool for us in cultivating gratitude and making memories as a family.

How do you count your blessings? I’d love to hear — please leave a comment below!

Memorable Mealtimes

Memorable Mealtimes

eat-2469303_1920“I’m glad we eat together as a family,” said my pre-teen daughter as she served up a second helping. Her comment warmed my heart. I, too, love our shared moments around the table.

Sometimes they’re rushed as we squeeze in a meal before Wednesday night AWANA or some other obligation. But most often, our dinners are times of sweet fellowship as we experience life together.

Mealtimes provide a regular opportunity for us to touch base and talk about what’s going on in our everyday lives. Relationships blossom as we listen to each other’s hearts and respond with acceptance and love.

(Read the rest of this post over at Intentional Parenting, where I’m honored to be guesting today.)