- Family and Parenting»
- Parenting Skills, Styles & Advice»
From My Mom Heart to Yours
Because Every Mom Needs the Strength of Her Savior
Being a mom is hard work. Running after children, laundry, meals dishes, the list never ends! It's really easy to neglect our relationship with Christ. But it's that relationship we need the most.
Through the years my relationship with Jesus has seen me through. As we raised three girls and moved more than a dozen times, faith kept me strong. With the pressures of parsonage living, working outside the home and having a music ministry all at the same time, my time with my Savior is what kept me sane. In fact, the Messiah has given me so much it's leaked out into my writing. So I share them here with you.
I pray each short reading will inspire you and keep you focused on Christ to give you strength to be the best YOU you can possibly be!
Devotions on this Page
A Refection of Christ's Beauty
Pencils, Shoes, Socks & Swords
The Gift and the Giver
When Life is Too Much
Helping Our Children Find Christ
More Than Just a Helper
A Reflection of the Beauty of God
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Right now I’m reading “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge. It was written for men, but I had so many influential people recommend it. And even the author admits he knew there’d be women like me read it. If you get an opportunity, I hope you’ll read the entire book. Until then, here’s a short excerpt from the first chapter and how it inspired me.
And yes, God has a beauty to unveil . . . Eve is the crown of creation. If you follow the Genesis narrative carefully, you’ll see that each new stage of creation is better than the one before. First all is formless. . . With a word, the whole floral kingdom adorns the earth. Sun, moon, and stars fill the sky. . . Next come fish and fowl . . . the wild animals are next. . . Can you hear the crescendo starting to swell, like a great symphony building and surging higher and higher?
Next comes Adam, the triumph of God’s handiwork . . .Adam bears the likeness of God in his fierce wild and passionate heart. And yet, there is one more finishing touch. There is Eve. Creation comes to its highpoint, its climax with her. She is God’s finishing touch. And all Adam can say is, “Wow.” Eve embodies the beauty and the mystery and the tender vulnerability of God.
As I read Mr. Eldredge’s description of the creation of Eve, I knew I wasn’t completely living to my potential. I think he’s pretty accurate in his retelling of the first couple chapters of Genesis. But that means I have to believe that I, as a daughter of Eve, am “God’s finishing touch.” I have to embrace the fact I’m created in the image of my heavenly Father which means I “embody the beauty and the mystery and the tender vulnerability of God.”
So many times as wives and mothers, we buy into the lie that we are less. It begins as early as our tweens. And while many would like to blame Barbie and the media, it has to be more than that. Why would Anne Boleyn have covered her hands with extra fingers if it were merely media hype that causes us to feel less? Why would Leah have been described as having “weak eyes” if there weren’t some underlying premise of perfect? The enemy has been lying to everyone for millennia, and worse than the lies is the way that humanity has been caught up in them . . . hook, line and sinker!
As we begin a New Year, I want to start to look at myself in a new way. Not with arrogance, but with honesty. I have been created in the image of the Almighty. That should be as awe-inspiring as it is exciting. Within me lies the potential to show the world the wonder of the Creator. I want to give up the lie and embrace the truth, and I pray you do too. I want the world to look at me and see the “beauty and the mystery and the tender vulnerability of God.”
Pencils, Shoes, Socks and a Sword
For our battle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers,
against the authorities,
against the world powers
of this darkness,
against the spiritual forces
of evil in the heavens.
If your son came home tonight and said, “Mom, I’m out of pencils at school,” you’d make sure there were new ones in his book bag tomorrow. And when you notice holes in your daughter’s socks, you put “new socks” on the shopping list.
I worked hard to make sure my wee ones ate enough protein. I helped them learn to read before they went to school and helped with homework. We immunize, sterilize, deodorize, organize, maximize, mathematize, individualize and civilize our children and everything around them as much as we possibly can. Our goal is to make sure these kids God gave us are prepared for life beyond our front door.
We try to prepare them for the bullies and battles. We know they’ll get hurt, so we stand prepared to wipe tears and give pep talks. We try our best to teach them to guard their heart. These are the things good parents do.
Do we, however, give them everything they need to fight the real battles of life?
“Our battle is not against flesh and blood.” My fingers are crossed my girls learned this lesson. “Put on the full armor of God.” I hope I showed them how. “The sword of the Spirit is God’s Word.” I pray they’re learning to wield that weapon better and better every day.
Let’s face it, our kids won’t always listen to the things we tell them, so the primary way to equip them for spiritual battle is to live it out in our own lives. Let your kids see you read your Bible as often as they see you fix healthy meals. Show them your relationship with the Father is as natural as buying pencils. Give your children all the tools they need for life. Instill in them a love of scripture and give them good Christian examples; just like you’ll make sure they have sharp pencils and sturdy shoes.
Every woman has within her the potential to be "A Reflection of the Beauty of God." Unfortunately, the busyness of the day to day causes us to forget we are made in the image of our Creator. These 52 short meditations are designed to bring inspiration to moms in every season of their lives.
The Gift and the Giver
When they had finished eating,
Jesus said to Simon Peter,
“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.
Christmas was almost three months ago. One Quarter of a year has passed. I’m wondering how many of those gifts your kids are still playing with.
I remember when my kids were small, it seemed as though we spent a lot of money for things they were going to play with for such a short time. Every now and then we’d find just the right gift whose usefulness would outlast the winter.
Even though we wish we could feel better about how we spent our money, aren’t you glad at the end of the day your kids still prefer you over any gift you’ve given them? I know, as they get older, sometimes we wonder. But deep down we know they love us more than any of those toys, gadgets or thing-a-ma-bobs.
They may need a blanket or a bear to sleep with, but when that comes up missing, we discover they’d really rather have a parent. The cuddly thing is just a replacement until they learn to be more independent. Eventually they’ll give up the binkies and the bottles. Even the dolls and the electronics will someday be replaced, but you will always be the center of their existence. The gifts are expressions of your love, not replacements for it.
I wonder how God feels when we love the gifts He’s given us more than we love Him. It’s important for us to remember, our children, our spouse, the house we live in, every good thing we have is a “perfect gift from above.”
Our Heavenly Father loves us, and He gives us gifts as an expression of that love. When we love the gift more than the giver it becomes a problem. Not only do we hurt the One who loves us most, we miss out on the joy and beauty of all the blessings He wants to give us including the best moments with the gifts we love.
This might be one of the most difficult aspects of being a parent. We love these little ones more than our own lives. We’d give anything for them. The sacrifices we would make on their behalf are too many to be numbered. But the question Jesus asked Peter looms large before us as we consider our children, “Do you love me more than these?”
When we love our children more than the One who gave them, we will worry. The worry will rob us of joy and steal away precious moments and memories. God gave us these mini replicas of ourselves to enjoy. As with every gift, they come with a responsibility to care and to love. But their status in our lives can never become greater than the Father of the heavenly lights.
When Life is Too Much
30 Even children become tired and need to rest,
and young people trip and fall.
31 But the people who trust the Lord
will become strong again.
They will rise up as an eagle in the sky;
they will run and not need rest;
they will walk and not become tired.
Isaiah 40:30-31 (NCV)
Burnout. Nearly every person I know has faced it at least once in their life; and I know some who seem to live in this state perpetually. But, did you know it’s not a Biblical place to be?
As moms, it’s tough. The Nyquil commercial has it pegged, “Mom’s don’t take sick days.” Those wee ones can’t feed and dress themselves, and if they’re old enough to manage those tasks, there’s a whole list of other activities to keep us busy.
But one thing I’ve learned over the years, and unfortunately, too late to apply it when my children were small, is when I’m in a constant state of overwhelmed anxiety, I’ve taken on something God didn’t ask me to take on. I don’t mean a bad day once every few months when you’re ready to hang it up. And I’m not talking about clinical depression, that’s a real thing that God gave us counselors for. I’m talking about that feeling we get when our kids are in too many activities or we can’t say, “No,” when asked to help at school or church.
I spent years fighting feelings of inadequacy and mild depression. There were a few days I couldn’t get out of bed. I probably should have seen a Christian counselor, but time, money, and probably pride kept me away. However, prayer and studying scripture showed me those were signs I was doing more than God had asked me to. When I trust Jesus to lead my calendar, I become strong. As I seek Christ’s will for my life, I can “run and not need rest.”
I have discovered when I’m following God’s plan, I can sometimes do more than I imagined. Two years ago life forced me into a role I never envisioned myself. I leaned on Jesus through every moment, reading scripture even more than ever before. And although I did have a few pity parties throughout the duration, the majority of those months, I had a Philippians 4:7 sense of peace. I had strength to accomplish the task I never thought possible.
Don’t wait on your children to grow up to soar like an eagle. Get into God’s Word more, set aside time to pray and discover your Heavenly Father’s perfect will for your life. And when you start to feel overwhelmed, step back, decline invitations to serve, and examine every event on your calendar to be sure your schedule matches the one the Almighty has for you. Walk with Him and you will not grow weary. Run by His side and you’ll need no rest. Trust in His goodness and His timing and watch yourself soar like an eagle.
Helping our Children Find Christ
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
will draw all people to myself.”
Teach them to your children,
talking about them
when you sit at home and
when you walk along the road,
when you lie down and
when you get up.
One of the things I hear moms express concern about often is their children’s salvation, especially parents who came to know Christ later in life or who haven’t been living out their faith. As a Christian parent, our heart’s greatest desire is for our child to have a personal, saving knowledge, a firsthand relationship, with Jesus.
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. We’ve all seen children of the most dedicated Christians head down the wrong road. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do everything in our power to introduce our sons and daughters to the One who gave us freedom and truth.
John 12:32 has been rattling around in my brain the last few days. I think Christ is trying to remind me I can’t save anyone. Yes, in this sentence Jesus was talking about His death on the cross, but I think He used the phrase lifted up because it could have two meanings. In addition to being lifted when He was on the cross, I can lift Him up on a daily basis in my life.
This verse reminds me my only responsibility is to lift Him up. Deuteronomy shows us lifting up Jesus is a lifestyle, not a few words here and there throughout the day. Moses told the people to use every moment to teach their children. As a grandmother, it’s imperative my Savior gets credit for everything. When my grandchildren see me read my Bible and pray, I lift the name of Jesus. When I live my faith, I lift the name of Jesus. When those children in my care feel the peace I get from Christ, it lifts up the name of Jesus. This is the reason being active in a Christ-centered church is vital. We sometimes need help. It’s important to surround your child with other adults who care about them and live out their faith so they are continually in the presence of Jesus being lifted up.
Jesus said, “If I be lifted up . . . I will draw everyone to me.” Our job is simply to lift Him up, to make sure Christ is woven into the fabric of our mundane life. Because when our Savior is lifted up, they will be drawn to Him. Jesus will call your children, and the One who came to save will do just that.
More Than Just a Helper
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.
I will make a helper who is right for him.”
I finished reading that book I told you about last time, “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge. And I want to share with you one more “aha” moment I experienced.
For a long time I’ve known the translators of Genesis didn’t do the role of Eve justice in their description. The word translated helper or help mate in some translations has often been reduced to describing a servant rather than the position God intended. So, let me share Mr. Eldredge’s description of the word:
Eve is given to Adam as his ezer kenegdo . . . it means something much more powerful than just “helper,” it means “lifesaver.” The phrase is used elsewhere of God, when you need Him to come through for you desperately. . . Eve is a life giver, she is Adam’s ally. It is to both of them the charter is given. It will take both of them to sustain life. And they will both need to fight together.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the course of my Christian walk, it’s that the enemy does not want me to realize my true worth. He hates it when I discover God created me to be more than the world encourages me to be, and this verse confirms it.
In the marriage relationship we were created to be partners with our spouse, working together, not as servant/master, but as one body (Genesis 2:24) with a single objective in mind. Paul reminds us the husband was set up as the head (Ephesians 5:23) because someone has to be in charge. However, he is in charge as Christ is in charge of the church, loving, protecting and always looking out for the best interest of the entire body.
How might our outlook change if we lived our life as though we are a “lifesaver” rather than just a helper? What would change in our marriage if we lived as our husband’s ally and partner instead of his servant? Even if he isn’t on board yet to the truth of the created relationship, how might his perspective change when he begins to see us simply living to our potential?
The longer I journey with Christ, the more I understand I have been formed by hand by a master designer. The potential within me is endless, and the only thing standing in my way is me. When I don’t believe His truths, I stand in my way. When I try to do it myself, I stand in my way. When I listen to the lies of the enemy and the world, I stand in my way.
You are a lifesaver! You are a life giver and an ally to your husband. The potential within you is just waiting to escape. Don’t let anything keep you from becoming everything your heavenly Father created you to be. Become an ezer kenegdo to someone today!
More Devotions for Busy Moms
If the devotions on this page have given you some inspiration for your busy day, I invite you to get this book. It has more than forty similar meditations to help you keep focused on Christ as you carry out the extremely important mission of Parenting.