Still More Devotions for Busy Moms
Because every Mom needs a quiet time with God
Jobs (even the job of stay at home mom), children and husbands leave very little time for a woman to devote a significant amount of time to her spiritual growth. Even though a devotion is only added here twice a month hopefully, they will help mothers have just a moment or two every now and then to reflect on Christ, their relationship to Him and His calling on their lives.
List of Devotions Found on this Page
Giving Our Children to God
Summer Water Fun
I Need Directions
Built on the Rock or the Rules
As families get back into the swing of school, many parents are starting to feel overwhelmed. By the time everyone gets home and winds down for a bit (if there's time), eats some dinner, goes to lessons, sports or whatever other extra-curricula activity there may be and finishes homework, the evening is shot. If laundry needs done or some other chore is staring her in the face, Mom might not get into bed until very late. After two or three weeks straight, the schedule can feel very overwhelming.
Because most moms are forced to work outside the home, they often feel guilty because instead of spending any extra time they have with their children, they end up doing laundry, packing tomorrow's lunches or some other task that can't be put off until tomorrow. It often seems like the most "quality" time we have with our children is in the car!
So, it becomes natural for a mom to read Luke 5:16 and assume that verse has nothing to do with her life. After all, what does Jesus stopping and praying those prayers have to do with my life and the way I raise my children?
Jesus knew the need for "me time." He often withdrew and prayed. He understood that in His human form, His body needed that rejuvenation that came from being alone and in prayer. This is only one instance when Jesus withdrew and spent some time by himself. Other times he would go off to a quiet place with his good friends. I think these pictures of Jesus in His humanness can give us permission to set aside "me time."
As a mother it's important that you have time to spend with your Heavenly Father each day. If Jesus needed that time alone, we obviously do too. Plus, the lesson you will teach your children by your actions might be the most valuable one they'll ever know.How would your life change if you made "me time" a priority? Time for prayer and scripture . . . time to gather with friends for Bible Study or just for fun . . . time with your spouse just having fun . . . time to put all the "day to day" worries out of your mind for 15 minutes . . . a couple of hours . . .Jesus needed that kind of time and so do we.
Giving our Children to God
1 Samuel 1:1-28
As I read this story of Hannah, I am amazed at her faith. All she wanted was a child. She prayed frantically for a son or daughter. Her prayers were so desperate that Eli thought she was drunk. After years of such prayers, she finally gave birth to Samuel and then, when he was still a very young child, she took her only son to the temple and gave him to the Lord. He would forever live in the temple and be a servant of the God.
Many of us have had a service of dedication for our children or participated in infant baptism for our precious wee ones. However, if we had to leave our child in God's hands forever, could we? How difficult would it be to do as Hannah did and forever dedicate our child to God, to put our tiny bundle of joy in God's control? And a tougher question . . . what if God is calling you to do that today? Would you be able to do such a thing?
I think God does indeed call each of us to give our children to Him completely. We are tempted to think we can give them everything that they need. But taking our children to church and praying with them before bed is just the beginning of what it takes to make sure our children are on the right track. While we may not be required to leave our children at the church next Sunday, there is something about completely giving over our children to God in our hearts that makes an eternal difference in our own lives as well as the lives of our children.
I remember so well the day I gave my girls to God. I was worried to the point of illness about what would happen to them if I died. I didn't want my parents or my in-laws to have to take them. It was good for them to be able to just be grandparents without the added burden of day to day caring for kids. My husband is wonderful, but I wasn't sure he could really care for them on his own. Looking back it seems like a very irrational fear, but in my mind at the time, it was a genuine concern.
So, I prayed. And as I talked fervently to God about who would care for my children, I felt as though he asked me, "Don't you trust that I can take care of them if you aren't here?" The thought stopped me in my tracks. I really believed I had a deep trust of my heavenly Father, but right at that moment I wasn't sure I could leave it all in His hands. The girls needed meals cooked and diapers changed. They'd need help with homework and someone to read to them. I believed Jesus was all I needed, but somehow, I think I believed the girls needed more. They needed me or at least some other capable human to love them and care for them.
But that thought kept echoing in my brain, "Don't you trust that I can take care of them?" And finally I remember telling Jesus yes. It was one of the most freeing moments in my life. I told my Savior that I did believe He had the best in mind for my children, and I honestly believed with all of my heart He would take care of them. I let them go in my spirit and gave them to God to raise. I would just be here to care for them and love them, but they would from that moment on belong to Christ to lead and guide wherever He chose. I told God that I wouldn't worry about them being left alone without me. I trusted that He could care for them and give them everything they would ever need.That was one of the most difficult choices I've ever made in my life. However, it was also one of the most wonderful. It was the best decision I made for myself spiritually, and the most unselfish I ever made for my children.
I encourage you to be like Hannah in these next few weeks. Evaluate how much you actually trust God with your children. Examine your heart and your spirit to see if you really trust God to take care of the most precious gift He's ever given to you. Release them in your heart. Give them to your heavenly Father. He will care for them better than you could have ever imagined.
More Devotions Created Especially for Moms
- Devotions in Your Inbox Twice a Month
Each of these devotions was originally an e-mail sent to more than 150 readers. This link will allow you to get them in your inbox too!
- Quiet Times For Busy Moms
Devotion readings for moms. Moms need a break, and a Quiet Time with Jesus is one of the best ways to get that rest!
- More Inspiration for Busy Moms
Mothers and all Women need to reserve a quiet time with Jesus at least once a day. These devotion readings are designed to inspire you to enjoy that time and hear God speak to you.
Summer Water Fun!
Something for those warmer days
Wasn't it just a few weeks ago we were snowed in and enjoying the excuse to take the day off? Despite that fact, here we are running the air conditioning in our cars and homes and hoping to catch a little sun on our days off. Because of all the heat, water becomes one of our favorite things this time of year. We drink more, and we love beach or lake vacations. We dream of the sounds of the ocean and even a cool rain is welcome on those sweltering days.
Water, it brings to mind so many pictures. Water refreshes and quenches, it cools and cleanses. Brooks babble, streams surge, rivers roar. The sounds of water are so soothing that they have been recorded and put in white noise machines to calm us after a long day or to help us sleep. And God uses water to illustrate our need of Him over and over.Water refreshes. In Jeremiah 31:25 God told the people of Israel, "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." God wants to refresh us. But much like the refreshing we receive from water, if we want a spiritual refreshing, we have to put ourselves in a place where we can feel the refreshing. It's difficult to stay water refreshed if we are never near the source of water.
Likewise it is difficult to stay refreshed in Christ and feel the promise of His good gifts if we don't draw near to the source.Water cleanses. We use it daily to wash our dishes, our clothes and even ourselves. Throughout the Old Testament we read story after story telling what the Israelites needed to do to be clean. "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" may not be a phrase from scripture, but it certainly is a theme. Leviticus is a book full of rituals the people of Israel were expected to perform to stay right with God. Many of these consisted of a ceremonial washing followed by a time of separation.
Although Jesus' death on the cross did away with all of those ancient regulations, the fact that God instituted baptism reminds us that God expects us to be clean. Water is an obvious symbol for the purification we need to be people of a perfect and holy God.And water gives life. It's said that the human body can live for at least 2 weeks without food. Water, on the other hand, is necessary at least every 2-3 days, and most doctors and weight loss experts recommend 64 ounces every day! Our body is made up of 70% water, so it's a huge part of our survival needs.
In Revelation 21:6-7 Jesus says, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son." As important as liquid is to our earthly existence is Jesus to our eternal. Plus, Jesus' life giving water is available to us even before we reach our final home.So, this Summer as you head out to the water park or pool, when you wash the car or run through a sprinkler with you children, be reminded that Christ wants to give us this cleansing, refreshing, life giving water, and He wants to give it you today.
I Need Directions
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don't lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
Some versions end with "He will give you success." Either way, isn't that great news? Juggling kids, a husband, a job or an education, household chores, volunteer work, animals and all the other stuff on our plate every day can seem impossible. Just yesterday I asked on Twitter if anyone had 20 hours extra I could purchase really cheap!
To know that God wants to direct my paths and give me success is encouraging. But wait! There are three things in these two little verses that I have to do first before I get direction and success. First I have to TRUST, trust Jesus with all of my heart. I have to believe that He really does have the best in store for me and have confidence in God's ability to take every situation and use it for good.
Which brings us to the second directive . . . Don't Lean on Your Own Understanding . . . When we learn to trust God, we begin to see that our own plans don't quite cut it. We grew up with common sense thinking, we've learned all the rules, the right way to do things. But when we begin to trust in God and lean on His understanding instead of our own, we start to see that a lot of what we thought was common sense is merely human understanding. In that list I have in the first paragraph, I didn't mention my quiet time with God, my church attendance or my discipleship "program" (for lack of a better word). But when I lean on God's understanding, I learn that these are the most important things.
My understanding says, "The laundry has to be folded first." God's understanding says, "Take time for me, and I'll make time to fold the laundry." My understanding says pay all the bills and then take an offering out of what is left. God's understanding is the opposite, "Bring the full tithe . . . and see if I don't bless you so much you don't have room for it." (Malachi 3:10) Tithing and taking time each day to put God first in our lives are only two of the many ways we can "acknowledge Him." This verse says, "In ALL your ways acknowledge Him." In every single thing we do every moment of every day, we must acknowledge our Father in Heaven. Realize He is the Creator of all things. Believe and live like He is the Lover of my Soul. Look for ways to bring Him glory in front of all of your friends, family and co-workers, and most especially before your children.
It's sad, because when we live out the priorities of our own understanding each day and don't acknowledge God, we are teaching this way of life to our children, robbing them of the peace they could have much earlier than we did if they grab hold of this verse while they are still in their youth. We have been given a daunting task in just being made a woman. God has created us to care a little more, work a little longer and give a little bigger. It's easy for us to burn out and get overwhelmed by all we think we should do. But, if we can learn to truly trust, completely lean and daily acknowledge with joy the one who made us to be who we are, then we have a great blessing . . . because He, our loving Father and gracious Provider, will direct out paths.
Built on a Rock or Built on the Rules?
I recently talked to someone who was having a real problem with this passage. Why, after years of teaching her children how to live a Christian life, did her husband and children walk away from the faith? She'd built her house on a rock, but it seems as though when the storms came it "fell with a great crash."
Her observations made me really begin to consider this scripture and ponder exactly what it means. "Everyone who hears the words of Jesus and puts them into practice" . . . what does that mean? Doesn't that mean living right? Isn't that what happens when we live the ten commandments and teach our family to do the right thing? I guess we really have to look at the "words of Jesus" to be sure. Jesus said, "love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind." And if we look, we'll see these few verses fall right after the "Sermon on the Mount." In that famous passage he told us we can't serve two masters, forgive as we want to be forgiven and that where our treasure is our heart is. Jesus told us not to worry about anything, not to judge and that not everyone who claims to follow Him will have a place in heaven. Jesus told us to be the light.
There's not really anything in there about the rules . . . just love, forgive, treasure, be light. But not one word about any of the big ten. In fact, when He did talk about the commandments to a rich young ruler, Jesus ended the conversation with "follow me."
And I think that might be the secret. So many of us want to build our house on the rules. We want our children to learn how to be good people. Church becomes a place where we separate ourselves from the rest of our lives. It's almost like our penance for the rules we break the rest of the week. But Jesus said our house should be built on the rock. More than 35 times in the Old Testament, God was called "the Rock." If we want our children to be strong enough to withstand the storms, we must teach them to build their lives on the Rock, not the rules. The first step in this endeavor is to live our own lives on the Rock. The key is to love Jesus, and then to allow everything we do to be an expression of that love. Rules are difficult to keep, the Israelites proved that. They spent hundreds of years trying to be righteous before God by following the rules.
That's the whole reason Jesus came. He came to fulfill the law. When we love Him, the rules change. In fact, they disappear. True love causes us to WANT to live a life that pleases Him. True love for Jesus fills us with love for those around us. Church is no longer the price we pay for the rules we break, it's a celebration of the blessings that our Savior has poured out on us. When we bring our children up learning to love Jesus, to appreciate His precious sacrifice for us on the Cross and understanding that our surrender to Christ as a response to His love for us actually brings real life, then our children will have a chance to hold up through the temptations of being a teenager. They will have to step out on that Rock for themselves at some point. Our foothold can only keep them safe for so long. But the chances of them finding that truth increase one hundredfold when they see the peace, joy and firm foundation taking their place on that Rock brings. So, spend some time this week looking at your life. Are you built on the Rock or the rules? And if it's the Rock, then stand strong, love large and live life like you know you can weather any storm that comes your way. Because on the Rock, you can!