Tag Archives: mother

momma’s heart

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momma’s heart

We Moms love our children. Each one holds a special place in our heart. God gifts our children with His special gifts and a uniqueness all their own. My son is no different. I love him to pieces and treasure time spent together and occasionally, we get to enjoy a date when Daddy’s away.

We had one such date recently. Admittedly, I was a tad nervous about how it might go since he’d been disrespecting me by not listening when I call for him. I had discovered an outdoor event at a favorite park some distance away. While I knew he’d enjoy going, I was a bit reluctant that he might pull a Houdini and run away from me. My husband’s encouragement and prayers turned my fear into faith and dismissed any fears I might have.

We had a great time together that beautiful spring day! The sun was shining and we ventured to the park. He bounced in bounce houses til he was dizzy, scored lots of swag, learned quite a bit of history, and enjoyed the towering tree house in the park. My heart was full because he listened, obeyed and had “the best day ever”. Before we’d left the house that morning, I encouraged his behavior by dangling a carrot: “If you behave by listening to and obeying Mommy, we can have a slumber party tonight.” He was beyond thrilled at the thought of it!

We had such fun! He obeyed “right away, all the way, and with a happy heart,” meaning we would have that slumber party. We piled into Mommy’s bed and watched his favorite show, Arthur, til we both fell asleep. It was a memory I won’t soon forget. After all, the window for a little boy sleeping with his Mommy isn’t very long. He was so excited to snuggle up under the covers in the ‘big bed’ and watch tv. My heart was full! We were making memories!!

We had another such day! It was a full day of cross country, lego club, play at the gym, followed by a trip to a favorite restaurant with his friends for some lunch and yummy custard. I felt so grateful to have this time with him, to see him enjoy his friends and play til he was completely drenched with sweat. As we were leaving play time at the gym, his friend’s Mom invited him to ride in her van with the other kids. You’d think he was invited to go to Disney World! As I gazed into his beautiful blue eyes paying particular attention to his newly missing front teeth, he begged me to let him ride with his friends.  Hesitant at first as he’s not ridden with anyone but Mommy & Daddy, I agreed to let him go. He excitedly hopped in her van, his little face all aglow at this newfound freedom. Meanwhile, I hung my head as I climbed into my car all alone. It was a short 10 minute ride to the restaurant for heavens’ sake, but to me, it seemed much longer.

All at once, my emotions hit me like a slap in the face! I realized our special times together won’t last forever. Soon enough, I will fade into the background as he chooses his friends over me. He’ll be too big to have a slumber party, and more often than not, I’ll be riding alone while he rides with his friends. I encountered a little whiplash from the reality of what’s to come. As they say, the days are long but the years are short.

I decided to ask God to help me CHOOSE joy. Joy in the moments peppered with frustration and disobedience. Parenting is about living one chapter, one stage of life at a time. As parents, we get only one shot with our kids. I don’t want to miss out on the good days by allowing the hard days overshadow the good ones. So, seize the day shall me my motto, as I learn to live with purpose and joy, drinking in each moment asking for grace all the way.

 

 

 

 

 

What steps?

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What steps?

I love time spent with my closest of friends. Whether we shop, have dinner, drink coffee, or talk on the phone together, I am blessed to have a very small gathering of close, godly, prayerful friends in my life. I am confident that I could call on any of these select few and they will be available to help. What a privilege to have a friend! The Lord is so good to place those in our lives to help encourage and pray for each other. He certainly knew what He was doing when He created us for fellowship.

While having dinner together, one of my “besties” and I were sharing our hearts and prayer requests with each other, as we typically do whenever we meet. We both were feeling a little fearful of the future and where it might take us. My friend reminded me of a scripture. It’s a fairly common scripture and one I’ve read dozens of times throughout my life but the Lord must have known it was then that I needed to be reminded of it. It brought me so much comfort and encouraged my soul at a time when I desperately needed this truth planted in my heart.

We make our own plans, but the Lord decides where we will go.              (Proverbs 16:9, CEV)

This scripture reminded me of the truth of God’s Word, which I was desperate to hear. You see, my emotions were starting to take over, threatening to drag a dark cloud over me. Overwhelm was trying to sneak into my mind, causing my already anxious heart to fear the unknown. Once again, the enemy was on the ready to deceive me, cause me to doubt, and throw the spear of fear my way. Reminded of His Word, I was quickly jostled back into God’s economy, where peace overcame me once again.

I needed to be reminded that sure, I can and should ponder, pray, prepare, and make some plans based on how the Lord is leading me. Having a constant awareness of His presence helps me to see His perspective, rather than my distorted, short-sighted one. I need to know that it is He who directs me and orders my steps. Also insightful are the additional references that Matthew Henry’s Commentary provides on this particular scripture:

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:14-15, NIV)

Now may our God and Father Himself, and Jesus our Lord guide our steps to you [by removing the obstacles that stand in our way]. (1 Thessalonians 3:11, AMP)

So, as you forge ahead in the new year, remember to ask Him to yield your will to His, and to open and close doors of opportunity according to His perfect plans for your life. His way may look completely different from the plans you’ve desired for yourself; in fact, they may initially look absurd. Rest assured, He knows best, so we can release our desire to control into His very capable hands. As I continue in my daily reading of His Word, I feel more confident of the unknowns in my life for it is He who goes before me.

 

 

a great read!

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Sure, we all have books on a myriad of subjects that we enjoy reading in our spare time. Spare time….Wait, does a Mom have spare time?!

Call me crazy, but within the past year I’d say, I’ve become a reader more than ever before. Well, except for maybe high school and college; even then, I was always on the hunt for the CliffsNotes version. While I’ve always been interested in self-help type books, I often feel overwhelmed or even a certain heaviness after finishing said book. My husband has encouraged me over the years to pick up a good fiction book now and then to help balance my reading. Now, I never really had much time for fiction reading. I suppose I had considered it a waste of time. In my mind, self-improvement reading was reading for a purpose. Since digging for some fiction that might capture my attention, I have changed my opinion and enjoy a few here and there weaved into my reading diet.

As a Mom, I have a library of sorts within the confines of my home on every subject under the sun as it pertains to raising children. Quite honestly, I believe I burned myself out on the subject. Everyone has his or her own opinion on the subject, Christian or non-Christian and frankly, I had my fill of it. Quickly I discovered that there is not a “one size fits all” when it comes to parenting. What works for one parent, may or may not work for the next parent. It was then that I came to the conclusion that I needed to permit myself a hiatus and pick back up on my newfound, yet limited love of fiction.

Recently, however, I discovered a book that has quite challenged me in my role as a Mother. Now, I had a wonderful godly Mother who raised her girls well by training and example. If only she were here to help me through some of the pitfalls of the hardest job on the planet we call parenting, I would be so happy! I have searched for godly women in my life through the years to grant me the wisdom I was searching for as my own Mom is years deceased. I believe one such wise woman was brought across my path via a MOPS meeting. This woman shared principles with us that day which she had learned from a mentor mom herself and consequently employed with her own 3 children. When she shared that she had written a book full of these treasured principles, I was among the first to attain one.

Once I began reading the book, I very quickly read the first 4 or so chapters. Raising  A Temple: A Mother’s Guide to Raising Godly Kids written by Lori Jane Hensley, is chocked full of rich biblical truths to aid in training your child(ren) to become a temple. Much of her writing points back to scripture. She teaches young Moms, or older ones like me, how vital it is to have your own heart right before you can teach your child(ren). One nugget I read pertaining to the Proverbs 31 woman:

We all want to be the Superwoman of Proverbs 31, juggling everything, doing it well, and having everyone singing our praises at the end of the day. As a young woman, I would read that chapter, and if I wasn’t performing at Superwoman status, I would begin to feel like I was not measuring up. A very wise woman told me years ago that the Proverbs 31 woman didn’t accomplish it all at one time. There are many seasons of life, and her accomplishments were over time.

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with comparison, as I believe most women do. The Proverbs 31 woman is like THE ultimate woman. I mean really, who can measure up to this woman? Reading Lori’s book helped me to see this seemingly perfect woman in a different light. Sure, she is someone to be admired and esteemed, but as Lori so beautifully stated, she didn’t just become this person all at once, it was over time. Freedom! Perspective is a great thing, isn’t it?

Being a great Mom requires yielding to the calling of motherhood and that taking our children to church every Sunday or having them in Christian school is not nearly enough. We must be intentional. We must saturate our minds with God’s truth daily to renew the mind and strengthen God’s spirit within us. We must call upon Him for wisdom and invest time in prayer with Him both privately and corporately. We must ask God for wisdom and knowledge to understand our role as Mother, to look for opportunities for teachable moments to build character in our children. Ultimately, we are raising temples, not just “good kids”.

Whether you choose to read this particular book, or another on parenting, be sure to seek out God’s wisdom in choosing the right book. Speak to God often to fully realize and understand your purpose as the Mother to the children you were blessed with. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. Be the best you can be by consulting daily with the One who created you. Most importantly, have a teachable spirit. He will not disappoint.