Carla McDougal


Does not wisdom cry out? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud: “To you, O men I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding. Listen, for I have worthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness…”

––Proverbs 8:1-7


As moms, we long to connect with our children. A hug. A smile. A laugh. It’s funny how moms continually push the Memory Recall Button––I remember your first step. Remember the vacation when you…? It seems like yesterday when… Do you know what I mean? In my opinion, if doctors could X-ray a mom’s soul, they would probably find it full of sweet memories and unconditional love for their children.


When God opens a window to our children’s souls, we experience inexpressible joy. Just a glimpse beyond the physical, a quick view of their spiritual growth, spurs us forward. I must share this story with you…




“Love, it’s more than just a word or statement. Love comforts the lonely. Love feeds the hungry. Love saves a life. A child without love is like a heart without blood. How can a child know how to love, if they’ve never been shown love themselves? Parents are the vessels used to show real love to their children.When Carly Jo, the youngest of our four children, was a senior in high school, she read her English essay to me. The love and wisdom poured out on an 8 x 10 piece of paper overwhelmed me. May the Lord bless you through Carly Jo’s heart of love…



“Typically, a child’s first words are “mama” or “dada.” Oh, what pride a parent experiences when they hear these words. Parents make the difference in a child’s life. Involved parents are dedicated to teaching their children wisdom as they grow in life. They are there for them when they scrape their knees, for soccer games, piano recitals, and theater performances. They help their child realize she is a priority and special. Parents teach their children how to make wise choices early in life.


  A parent’s love helps nurtures their child’s life. But, ultimate love comes from the Father above when He gave His son Jesus to die for us and  redeem us. He has such unconditional love; our human minds can’t fathom how deep and how wide His love is for us. He will never leave nor forsake you. You may leave Him, but He will always be waiting for  you with open arms. Allow God’s love to shine through you as parents. The ultimate gift is God’s love.”

By Carly Jo McDougal


Tenderness enveloped my heart and soul. This essay reminded me of God’s love for His children. Just like Carly Jo’s letter focused on a parents’ love, God writes His love letters on the tables of our hearts. His Word is filled with encouragement, affirmation, and confirmation of His love for us. In fact, the book of John opens the door to understanding God’s ultimate love gift––Jesus.


Again, praises flow. In her teenage heart, Carly Jo recognized God as the ultimate gift giver of true love. His truths abound throughout her essay.


Fast-forward a few years. Fred and I have moved into what the world calls––The Empty Nest. But, I choose to call it––The Place of Rest. Even now, questions arise, “Did we equip her for the real world? Will she keep Jesus the center of her life––even in college?” Again, God re-enforces my heart’s cry, “Lord, help all my children to enter the world armed with Jesus’ love, wisdom, and truth. To love Him with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength.”


What a privilege God gives us to pray for our children and grandchildren. As parents, it should be a priority to pray for them to experience a real, personal relationship with Jesus. Not a religion, but an intimate relationship. To help them grasp the role of God––The Father; Jesus––The Son; and The Holy Spirit––The Spirit of God and Jesus. The Trinity. All in one, yet individual. All the same, yet with different roles. Pray for your family to desire to live sold out for Him in and through their lives. In return, through prayer, our labors of love strengthen our own faith and trust in Jesus.




Do you long to see inside your children’s hearts? Ask God to open a window to their souls. Watch for ways He offers you a “behind the scenes view” into their lives. Be their prayer warrior throughout the day. As you clean up their messes, wash their clothes, or sit in carpool lines––pray for their relationships with Jesus. This labor of love strengthens your walk with the Lord. And, don’t forget to praise God, not your children, for the spiritual growth in their lives. Let them always hear and observe you giving God the glory for all He is doing in and through their lives.


*Excerpt from Carla McDougal’s newest book project: SOLD OUT: Live for Jesus. Due to release in June 2015.

carlamcdougal Award-winning author and speaker, Carla McDougal founded Reflective Life Ministries in 2008. Her true passion is her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It humbles her to realize His love, grace, and mercy go beyond her understanding. She truly believes laughter is medicine from the Lord that breaks down walls and removes the masks in our lives. As a result, God has taken her around the world to encourage others to live every day for Him. Her latest book, My Prayer Chair, won multiple awards in 2013 and is now available in Spanish. Carla and her husband, Fred, live in the Houston, TX area and have three sons, one daughter, and two daughters-in-“love.” She smiles to think of the experiences God has allowed in her life to teach and remind her “He is in control.”

Connect with Carla Here…

Facebook & Reflective Ministries



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