Friday, August 22, 2014

Protect Him, Lord: A Prayer for My Child on His First Day of Kindergarten

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Matthew 19:14


Lord, bless Ben as he starts school today.  Be near my son.  Help him to feel Your presence.   Help him to be brave and strong and courageous.  Help him to make new friends.  Help him to feel confident as he starts to learn new things.  Protect him, God, against discouragement, frustration and negativity. 

Guide him in all he says and does, and give him a very strong conscience to help him make the right choices.  Show him how to stand alone and do the right thing even when it’s not easy or even when others choose to do the wrong thing.  Put positive friends in his path, but also allow him to show love to those who need You in their lives.  Give him a heart to include others and encourage them.  Give him a heart to love, to be helpful, to be kind.  Allow him to be a positive influence on others. 

Guard his heart and his mind against the bad things that are in this world.  Protect him each and every day while he’s in that school building or anytime that he is away from me.  I know that You love Ben even more than I do, so God I give Ben to you.  Put him in Your loving, protective care. 
In Jesus’ name…Amen!
**For a printable copy of a prayer to pray over your girl or boy, visit my website at:

Monday, August 11, 2014

To Ben, My Almost Kindergartener

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."
Numbers 6: 24-26

Dear Ben-
In a couple of weeks, you will be going to kindergarten.  I’m sure that it will be harder on mommy than it will be on you because even as I’m typing this, I’m getting tears in my eyes.  Why, you ask?  It’s truly hard for you to understand until you become a parent.  It’s so true.  I love you so much!  It’s a love that is so big that I can’t even begin to describe it to you.  It’s a love that is so pure that it can only come from God Himself.  It’s a love that is so real that I know it will never leave…it will only grow as you grow. 

I waited for nearly 5 years to be a mom, so when you finally came along, I was in awe of you, and I still am.  You were my precious miracle, and you still are, and so I have to admit that it will be hard to let you go. 
Even though I would love to have my little miracle stay at home with me and never go out into this big and sometimes scary world, I know that I have to trust that God will protect you because He loves you even more than I do.  But it’s so hard!  I want to be there for your every need.  I want to be a part of everything you do and see and learn.  I want to get your snacks for you and eat lunch with you and answer your questions for you and play silly games with you and laugh with you and go to the park with you.  I want to be near you all the time!

I want to protect you like when you were a baby.  I don't want you to get hurt.  I don't want you to be bullied or teased or ignored.  I don't want others to treat you unkindly or break your spirit.  I don't want your precious love for nature or your sensitive heart be made fun of.  I don't want you to learn bad habits or mean behaviors.  I don't want you to be exposed to the evil that's in this world.  I want you to stay inside our little protective bubble here at home.  (Ok, Here come the tears!)

Here's the truth:  I can't even begin to protect you from those painful and hurtful moments in life.  I wish I could, but it's impossible.  Sadly, those things are just a part of life...for all of us.  So here is where my prayers and my faith have to come in.  I have to trust God to protect your spirit and give you guidance and wisdom to make good choices.  I have to trust that God will give me wisdom to know how to teach you, guide you and love you as a parent as you do go through those difficult times.  I have to trust that God will use your experiences to build your character so He can use you in His Kingdom.  I have to trust that you are God’s Light, and He’s going to use you to shine His love on others.  And as much as you’ve blessed our family, He’s going to use you to bless everyone you meet especially your classmates and your teachers.  Let your Light shine, my little man!


Being at home with you over these six years has been a huge blessing to me.  I’ve seen you learn and grow so much.  In the blink of an eye, you’ve changed from a tiny infant into this amazing, loving, problem-solving, creative and inquisitive little boy.  I know that as you go to Kindergarten, I will watch you learn and grow even more.  I will learn to treasure the time I do have with you.  I will love look forward to seeing your smiling face when I pick you up from school.  I will value our time together in the afternoons and evenings and weekends.  I will appreciate you even more than I already do! 
As a kindergartener, you will experience new things.  You will make your own choices.   You will find out more about who you are and who God created you to be.  As you learn your ABCs in your new classroom, I want you to always remember the ABCs you've learned at home!

I love you, Ben!

Always have a good attitude.  Smile. 
Be brave and be willing to try new things.
Be caring toward others.  Don’t leave someone out.  Try to include others.
Show determination by not giving up too easily.  Learning can be hard sometimes, but don’t get frustrated.  Keep trying!
Be empathetic towards others.  Try to be understanding towards their feelings.
Everyone makes mistakes.  Be forgiving towards yourself and towards others.
Share.  Give others a turn. 
Don’t lie.  Always tell the truth even if you have consequences.
Have integrity.  Do the right thing even when no one is watching.
Find joy!  Be happy and have fun.  Always make the best out of your circumstances.
Be kind with your words and with your actions.
Be loving.  Remember the Golden Rule:  Do to others what you would want them to do to you.
Use your manners.  Always say “Please” and “Thank you”.
Be nice.  And remember what Grandma says, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Don’t be afraid to share your opinion.  Don’t just follow the crowd.  Respect that others’ opinions may be different than yours.
Be patient.  When you ask for something…wait patiently.  When you need something…wait patiently. 
Be quiet.  Take time to listen to others.
Show respect to others.  Respect their differences.  Show respect to yourself.  Respect your differences.
Have self-control.  Don’t just do something because someone else is doing it.  Follow directions.  Do what you’re supposed to be doing.
Be thoughtful.  Look around and help get done what needs to be done without being asked.
Be understanding.  Know that not everything is going to go how you want it to go.  And not everyone is going to do what you want them to do. 
Very Helpful
Be helpful.  Help clean up.  Help someone pick up something they dropped.  Open doors.
Be full of wonder.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
X-tra Encouraging
Be encouraging.  Uplift others.  Help them see the good in themselves. 
Your Choices
Make good choices.  You will be presented with opportunities to make good choices and bad choices.  Sometimes making the right choice isn’t always the easy choice.  Make the right choice anyway!
Zest for Learning
Have the desire to learn.  The world is a fascinating place.  Seek knowledge.  And be humble.  There is always someone that knows more than you do.  Be open and willing to learn from them. 

Remembering your ABCs is great for all of us!  To get a printable copy of "Remember Your ABCs go to:

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Blessed in the Mess

“A false balance is an abomination to the Lord,
but a just weight is his delight.”
Proverbs 11:1

You call this a mess?  I call this my life…and I’m blessed!   Yes, this is an actual picture of me with my 3 kids.  I have no make-up on.  I haven’t showered.  My daughter is crying about something.  My oldest son is complaining about who knows what.  And my little man is dropping drool all over me!  And that is my messy kitchen.  I know!  It’s a mess!  In my defense, I was in the midst of major multi-tasking:  cleaning out the refrigerator, putting away groceries and trying to make lunches all at the same time. Oh who am I kidding?  This is how my kitchen looks often without all of the excuses!

Even though I’d like to think that my house is nice and tidy most of the time, in reality, it’s not!  Now, if you ever come over and visit me, I would definitely take the time to clean up for you—I don’t want to subject you to my mess (but don’t arrive early and whatever you do, don’t open my mud room door…most likely if my house looks clean, I stuffed everything in there!)  It seems that no matter how hard I try to keep up, I’m just surrounded by mess…messy dishes, messy floors, messy bedrooms, messy mirrors, messy faces, and lots of messy diapers and underwear (my almost 3 year old is finally potty training…that’s another blog in itself!) 

Do I like the mess?  No!  Do I value a clean house?  Yes!  Do I have time to keep my house clean and organized all the time?  No!  But I try, and that’s all I can do in this stage of life and that’s what being a real mom is all about…admitting, accepting and embracing imperfection!  In a perfect world, I would spend as much time with my kids as they ask me to; I wouldn’t have a speck of dust or a crumb anywhere; I wouldn’t have dirty clothes soaking in the bathroom sink (again, potty training), and the laundry would sort, wash, dry, fold and put away itself (hey, I said “in a perfect world.”)  Because this isn’t possible, I shouldn’t even strive for any level of perfection as a mom when it comes to a clean house, but instead just strive to do the best I can.

So today I pray that you will be able to find what works for you in your own mess, but more importantly, I pray that you will love your kids, strive to find balance, and be blessed in your mess!
 **4Real Moms is having a "Blessed in the Mess" Kitchen Contest!  Let's be REAL about the sometimes mess we can all be surrounded by at times whether we like it or not!  Post a picture of your real kitchen at #blessedinthemess at 4Real Moms on Facebook or Twitter for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks Gift Card!  Contest ends tonight, July 30th, 2014 at midnight Central Standard Time!**

**Check out my website for a Top 10 List with helpful, practical ideas for Balancing the Mess of Motherhood at: **

Friday, August 1, 2014

4Real Moms: What is 4Real Moms All About?

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
Thessalonians 5:11


What is 4Real Moms all about?
Many people have asked me, "What is 4Real Moms all about?"  My answer? 

Simply put--Connecting moms, changing lives and being real! 

Our mission statement is to love, support, encourage and empower moms in life and in leadership. 

We do these things in a variety of ways--

CONNECTING MOMS:  4Real Moms is on a mission to connect moms with other moms so that they know that they're not alone in the joys and especially the challenges of motherhood.  We invite ALL moms to everything we do--married, single, divorced, stay-at-home, working, expecting, experience, etc.  We want every mom to learn from and encourage each other.  Locally, we provide 4 opportunities for moms to connect through our elegant events like our Moms Nights Out.  We teach free Mommy Classes.  We organize Community Service Events, and we mentor Moms Groups to help them get started or improve.

CHANGING LIVES:  Being in a moms group changed my life, so I know how important it is for moms to be together.  Being a mom can be so isolating and lonely, but once I started spending time with other moms, I soon realized that I wasn't alone in all of my struggles of motherhood.  It was inspiring to hear the testimonies, stories, and challenges that other moms faced.  Immediately, I felt freedom, and it soon became my passion to help moms connect with other moms so that they, too, could see that they are not alone in how hard motherhood really is.  MOMS NEED OTHER MOMS!   Simply being around other moms can help change your life! 

We want to encourage moms to be the best moms they can be without making them feel less.  Our 4 fundamentals of faith, family, friendship and fun allow us to provide opportunities for moms to grow in their faith, learn to love and serve their families, build friendships with other moms and have fun along the way!  We are also very passionate about allowing moms to serve others in our community. 

BEING REAL:  4Real Moms wants to encourage moms to be real.  Motherhood isn't easy.  It's REALLY hard and SO worth every amount of time and energy we as moms put in to being the best moms we can be.  Let's all drop the Pinterest image and expectations of ourselves and other moms and just encourage each other on this journey! 

The exciting part is that God has grown this vision to encourage moms all around the world through this blog, our website, our monthly newsletter, and social media (facebook and twitter).

We hope that through 4Real Moms, you can get connected with other moms.  We pray that your life would be changed.  And we pray that you will feel comfortable just being real about being a mom!

Christine Leeb