Barefoot Devotions

Life Lessons from Children

Last night at dinner my husband and I were commenting about our three-year-old and his amazing attitude that he has about life.  Some of my greatest lessons have come from my children.  In fact, we can all learn many qualities pertaining to thoughts about life, attitudes, and characteristics that adults should take notes on.  If we lived in the mindset of a child, perhaps we would find our lives more fulfilling and lead the way to discover the purpose of our lives?


Children show us how to:

LOVE

Jack will always say, “Hey Mom, I love you.” or “I love you, Dad.” (He actually says it “Dab”) When he says it, it’s random.  He doesn’t limit himself to a one time a day, “I love you”.  He says it at least 20 times a day because his little heart loves.  It’s not because we made him his favorite peanut butter sandwich or we did something for him.  It’s because he was led by the love inside of his heart to say, “I love you.” As I am writing this and tears are coming to my eyes, Jack just said his usual line, “Hey Mom, I love you.”  He is sitting beside me on the floor playing with his toys and he decided to say, “I love you” because it came to his mind and he wanted to express it! Even at a young age, he understands the benefits of love and and importance of love.

They LOVE without conditions. Without even thinking about it. And they do it freely without any strings attached. It’s open and it’s free.  It’s a gift that could make someone’s day or even their life around.  

We are called to love like a child does. 

1 John 4: 7-8 | Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13 | So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


TRUST

This is a hard one, isn’t it? We have all been hurt and have put up walls to protect ourselves.  Once trust is broken, it’s hard to rebuild the bond because it is hard to forget but may I tell you what I have learned from my children?

Naturally, children trust their parents to care for them, make them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, ensure they have clean clothes, and that we will protect them from harm when situations arise. Their not having to second guess if their needs will be met or if they will be cared for. They anticipate us to take care of their needs, prepare their meals, and kiss their boo boos.

They trust us. Even when we let them down. After all, we are human.

Obviously, my kids LOVE peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  However, my three-year-old does NOT like jelly on his sandwich. The other day as I was making their sandwiches and a tiny drop landed on Jack’s piece of bread. I thought that it was a little drop, no big deal, maybe it will get the kid to like grape jelly!

Nahhh.

That was definitely not the case. This poor child was so upset that I put jelly on his peanut butter sandwich. You could tell that he felt betrayed that I gave him jelly. All is well in our house and Jack has since forgotten the day a drop of jelly was on his sandwich. He never even questioned the next peanut butter sandwich I made him. He continued to eat his sandwich as if nothing happened. Trusting that it was peanut butter only.

This is the kind of trust God desires from His children. Anticipating in His ways without distractions of the mind.

God is the only being we can place our full trust in and anticipate His goodness and know our needs will be met.

Just like I know my children need peanut butter, jelly, and bread before they do, we can trust that God is aware of our needs before we know what our needs are. Physical and spiritual. We know that He will meet them.

Matthew 6:26 | Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Psalm 37:5 | Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.


CARE

Children are sensitive and when someone hurts, they hurt. My three year old is not afraid to express his care for others when they are hurt. It is instant and now natural. The first time he was in a new nursery, there was another child that was hurting. He got down on his knees, making eye contact with her and trying his best to communicate with her. As his mom, I knew he was asking, “Are you okay?” It is absolutely heart warming to witness the act of kindness. It is pure and genuine concern for another person’s wellbeing.

Just as God cares for us, we should care for each person that has been placed in our lives and even those we have not met!

Galatians 5:14 | For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Philippians 2:4 | Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.


When we examine the actions of a child, we can see the pure and genuine love in their hearts for others. They have concern, compassion, and kindness for others. For they are so little, they are so wise in their ways. They demonstrate Christ’s love and show us how to show the love of Christ and fulfill the most important commandment Jesus gave us. For love is powerful enough to drive out darkness and cover a multitude of sins.

Though they are little and rely on us to provide them with their daily needs, they perfectly demonstrate how we should trust our Heavenly Father to care for us. He wants us to be anticipating and relying on Him to provide for us spiritually and physically. By trusting Him with our needs, current situations, and the things we need a supernatural healing on, our faith begins to grow as we witness God taking care of us.

Colossians 3:12 | Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

Mark 10:15 | “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Xoxo,

Hannah B.

P.S. I hope you enjoyed this lesson from the holler. If you did, leave a comment below and share on your social media networks.

The How To Series

How To Deal With Gossip

Well, this is so complicated that it’s a simple 3 word answer. Don’t Do It. Not to mention it just sounds like a nasty word.

However, it is easier said than done. Especially if we harbor ill feelings like jealousy, envy and resentment toward a person. Perhaps we find that our feelings and actions are justified and you tell yourself it’s okay to gossip. It’s not okay because thinking this way causes you more pain and starts a vicious cycle fueled by negativity. It begins to gain more momentum until it feels uncontrollable and before you know it there is someone else looking back at you in the mirror. Exactly where the enemy wants you and as someone whose heart reflects these verses:

Romans 1:29-32 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Ouch. Gossips are lumped in with God-haters filled with every kind of wickedness. That hurts and seems a bit extreme, doesn’t it? If you think about it, the same God who made you, made the person you are talking about. That same God loves that person just as much as He loves you. If you claim to love God, how can we hurt someone made in His image?

It’s so hard when we get wrapped up in situations that life has thrown on our path and we forget that our tongue is the most damaging weapon we have. We can speak life and we can bless or we can speak death and curse. Our words have a powerful way of coming to life and reflecting who we are and what we stand for. Words have the ability to affect our mind and spirit in a way that taints us if we allow ourself to use them to speak death and destroy our spirit.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Proverbs 15:4 The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.

I am guilty and you probably are too. I have gossiped, I have listened to gossip, and I have allowed someone’s gossip to influence my thoughts about a person. Isn’t it ironic when they turn out to be a perfectly wonderful human being?

There I owned it. I have prayed and asked for forgiveness for my transgressions. I’m not perfect because I am made of human flesh like you but if I am around gossip, my spirit feels uneasy and it’s a situation I want to avoid. Why? Because I’ve been on both sides. I know what it feels like to be the one being gossiped about. I know God allowed the tables to turn so that I would experience the other side of it. Even though it was painful and friends were lost, I thank Him because he extended me mercy so I could correct my behavior. He showed me that I don’t want to be that kind of person and He fixed my heart. He can fix yours too! You just have to ask Him.

Luke 6:45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

It is important to speak life, show love and kindness especially in today’s society. Hearts are filled with ugly characteristics that want to hurt others. The rewards of being kind are far more greater than the alternative.

I will leave you with this verse:

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Xoxo,

Hannah B. (2)

Barefoot Devotions

A Perfect Stranger

Hey y’all! I wanted to write about an experience I had yesterday with the sweetest lady that really made me think about life and the important things in life. Here goes…

The kids and I made a trip to the local Walmart for a few items and once we had everything we came for, we headed toward the check out area. Of course, my two-year-old was running around getting into everything and the lady behind me said, “He is the cutest thing.” I politely said, “thanks” and wanted to continue toward the checkout line but she wasn’t done talking. She preceded to tell me about her broken heart. Mind you, she is a complete stranger that I’ve never met. I understood her broken heart to a degree but I couldn’t fully understand what it’s like to lose a child. She continued to tell me about his life and the way it was taken from him. She was crying, I was crying and we were hugging each other in the middle of a Walmart aisle. My heart broke for her. I talked with her and just wanted to be a listening ear and to encourage her. All I wanted to do was speak life into this precious soul anyway I could. We talked for a good 30 minutes but it was the best part of my day. She apologized and thanked me in the same sentence but I told her that I absolutely loved meeting and talking with her. We finally exchanged our names, yes, at the end of our conversation. Hey, when it’s a divine appointment, it’s divine.  I am so glad that she approached me. Why did she? I am not really sure. Maybe because I looked as if I wasn’t in a hurry and on a Walmart mission? I didn’t have anything else to do for the day. 

As I was heading home, I was trying to contemplate the meaning of this encounter and the reasoning behind it. She clearly needed a listening ear from someone who would just listen and understand but what about me? What’s the purpose of this meeting for me?

My biggest take away was how her faith has remained after having a child taken from her. It is beyond me but I know the only way is Jesus. She was hanging on even on the days she didn’t want to. I admire her.

The most important take away for me was the reminder to slow down. Slow down so that you enjoy the moments of your two-year-old terrorizing Walmart, someone may think it’s cute! They do grow up fast and life is like a vapor. 

Slow down in case someone needs you. Someone may need exactly what you have to offer even if you don’t feel like you have anything to offer. It may be a hug or even a smile. It could be a 30-minute crying session in Walmart but whatever it is, don’t be too busy to let it pass you by. Are you missing moments like this? How many have I missed because my eyes were not open? I honestly think it would have been a lot more if my family hasn’t moved to the holler.

How fast are you running through life? When was the last time you truly stopped and took a look around and experienced the little moments in life? Are you too busy? Perhaps you are but is this what God wants for you? Think about it. 

Xoxo,

Hannah B.