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More Devotion Readings for Busy Moms
Time with Jesus is so refreshing
Mom, when you take five or ten minutes every day to be quiet with God, you do more than just nourish your soul and get yourself ready to face the day, you also teach your children the importance of giving God the first fruits of your time. A passage from the Bible and a short meditation are a great jump start to a busy day. If you heard that skipping breakfast is a bad idea, you won't believe how disastrous skipping time with God can be.
Over the years I've had to adjust my morning devotions many times. Every time we moved, every Summer and Fall, each grandchild and then my mother-in-law moving in all created a need to adjust that time; however, I've learned through the years that in spite of the need to adjust, there is a greater need to make sure it happens.This is the sixth in a growing list of devotions for busy moms. Below you'll find 10 devotion readings to help you as you try to start your day by focusing on Christ. You'll find links to the other devotion lenses below. Plus, you can sign up to get them in your inbox about twice a month. Just fill out this Mail Chimp Form to get on the list. Meanwhile, keep growing closer to Christ!
How often do you use devotional readings?
How often do you use devotional readings?
Appreciating the Small Things
“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?” ~ Zechariah 10:4
The people of Israel were a bit upset because the foundation of the new temple Zerubbabel was in charge of building wasn’t quite as grand as the old one, originally commissioned by King Solomon. The fact that it had been destroyed and there had been no place of worship in Israel for 70 years was lost on the chosen people of God. So God found it necessary to remind them that He rejoiced in the small things.
Even after all these years of reading Zechariah, this verse stuck out to me as if I’d never seen it before. “Who dares despise the day of small things?” I wrote in my notes for that verse, “People should not think that small things are unimportant.” And as I pondered that verse, I thought of you.
Moms, grandmas, aunts and anyone who cares for others may often think their work is small. It’s easy to look at the piles of laundry and the sink full of dirty dishes and “despise the day of small things.” We often feel overworked and underappreciated. But Zechariah reminds us that God sees and appreciates even the smallest of efforts.
It’s a phenomenon that we see repeated over and over again in scripture. Jesus said the last shall be first. (Matthew 20:16) God chose Gideon, the smallest guy from the least likely family from the tiniest tribe in Israel. He called David, the youngest of seven, “a man after my own heart.” God said that a “child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6) and Jesus said, “bring the children to me.” (Matthew 19:14)
So much of what women do seems small, menial and often futile, but God notices. Nothing is too small for Him. He cares when a sparrow falls (Matthew 10:29), and He sees everything that you do. He saw you stay up late to make sure the socks were clean, and He watched you get stuff ready for lunches tomorrow. He noticed that while everyone else was relaxing you were getting stuff done. God knows that you never walk directly from the couch to the bed, because there’s always one more load of laundry, one more dirty glass that needs carried to the kitchen or one more child that needs checked on before you lie down for the night. And He wants me to remind you that He rejoices in you!
We may never be famous; our children may not become “great” in the eyes of the world. But none of that matters to God. He only asks that we, like Zerubbabel, lay a strong foundation, one that will stand over time and trials. For Zerubbabel that meant choosing excellent stones from the quarry, for us that means making sure our children trust in Jesus Christ, teaching them the bedrock of the faith, helping them understand that nothing is ever to small when it is done for the glory of the Lord.
The first forty devotions I created for moms are now available in a book. This link will take you to the print version.
Training a Child Up in the Way He Should Go
Matthew 10:16 & Luke 16:8-9
I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
Training your children to live out Matthew 10:16 and Luke 16:8-9 may be one of the most tremendous challenges in Christian parenting. We want our children to be successful, but more importantly, we also want them to live a life that honors and mimics Jesus Christ. It’s almost like a balancing act. Fortunately, these two verses give us the Biblical background to help our children become successful, Christ centered adults. For my own daughters, I believe the key was spending the first ten years of their lives allowing them to be innocent as doves. We sheltered them from explicit and violent television and were very picky about who they called “friend.” We made sure they were in church every Sunday, because we believed that if they formed a healthy habit in a church that was truly Christ centered, they would be more likely to make it a part of their future. They knew at a young age that they couldn’t participate in school or sport activities that interfered with our worship time, and that even on vacation, we’d be finding a church to attend. Teaching them to make healthy and Christ centered choices as well as respecting themselves, others and God were a couple of our goals during their first ten years. One of my sons-in-law calls our daughter naïve, but I prefer to call it “innocent as a dove.”
It was in those pre-teen/early teen years that we began to help them be as shrewd as snakes as well as use worldly wealth to gain friends. Building on their “innocent” foundation and reminding them of the priority to be Christ-like as often as necessary, we used those next six years or so to teach them a few “street smarts.” This is when they began to be allowed to choose their own friends (with a few rules to keep them safe). It’s during these years that we began to help them see the value of dressing for success (although modest clothing was the norm from the time they could walk). We encouraged them to find odd jobs around the community and discussed college as if it were a requirement not an option. By the time the girls were 16, each knew how to do every single household task relatively well. They had learned to tithe and budget.
My son-in-law might call my daughter naïve, but it’s only because at age 18 she’d still never seen “The Simpson’s,” not because she didn’t know how to defend herself when necessary or watch her back when dealing with people in the world. Training a child up in the way he or she should go is tricky business, but the Bible gives us plenty of solid advice on how it should be done. And while many folks would not apply those two verses to training a child, I think they are tremendous advice for helping raise a child who is successful by the world standards as well as Christ’s.
And if you’re wondering how this kind of training works, we currently have in our midst a 30 something entrepreneur who owns several successful businesses, is well liked in the community and is the VBS director and Sunday School teacher at church, an almost 30 something math teacher who began being a trainer in her district during her second year of teaching who is also the youth leader at the church, and a 20 something professional assistant and certified Turbo Kick instructor who, with her husband, built their own home (with their own hands, not just their own money). This third daughter has chosen to be a stay at home mom and is one of the Children’s Church leaders in our congregation.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to go against the world and teach your child the importance of being in worship every week by being there every week. Help him be as innocent as a dove by restricting the television and video games he’s allowed to play and watch. Teach her to use the wealth of this world by helping her learn how to dress for success and work hard to get ahead. But most importantly, teach them that Jesus loves them more than you do, and when they walk with Him, He will help them become everything He created them to be!
More Devotions for Your Busy Day
- Still More Devotions for Busy Moms
More Readings to Inspire Your Day! Including: Me Time - Giving Our Children to God - It's Humpday - Who Am I? - HELP!!
- Devotions for Busy Moms
You'll find Devotions with titles like: Delight Yourself in the Lord - Learn from History - You Are Somebody - Win the Gold - Children of God
How Old Are You?
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom
When I was young, my family had a little inside joke. We were all pretty certain that my great grandmother on my mom’s side had no idea how old she was. She’d spent so much time lying about her age that we weren’t sure she remembered, and none of us knew for sure. The courthouse in the county she’d been born had burned long ago, and the census records from right after she was born weren’t released until after she died. On the other hand, my paternal grandmother never worried about her age. She shared the number of her birthdays whenever someone (often a child) asked.
Every time I read this familiar verse, I can’t help but think of these two beautiful women and the contrast of their attitudes on aging. One worried about her years and aged early, the other never took a day for granted and never showed her 90+ years. Women, even more than men, worry about the wrinkles and the age spots. We tend to try to hide our years (hopefully not to the extent you’ll lie about them). And while I think it’s perfectly acceptable to try to look nice and keep ourselves in good health, I wonder what God thinks about those women who tend to be more like my great grandmother.
As I ponder what it means to “number my days,” the word “appreciate” keeps coming to mind. What if we reworded that verse just a bit, “Teach us to appreciate our days . . .”? How might our lives change if we appreciated each day so much that we were excited to tell people how many we have lived?
I was only 27 when my age bothered me for the first and last time. Suddenly baseball players were younger than me, and I felt as though I was on my way to accomplishing nothing. I didn’t really care about hiding my age, but I certainly didn’t appreciate all of the days I’d spent on this earth. I had no sense of the graciousness of my heavenly Father in giving me life and teaching me lessons along the way. On my 27th birthday, God gave me a tremendous gift that helped me with my struggle. It was my own personal accomplishment, something that might mean nothing to everyone else, but it helped me understand how much He loved me and how much I should treasure each and every day.
As I write this I’m just about a month past my fifty-first birthday. I still don’t feel much older than twenty seven, but I do feel much more appreciative. I am grateful for each day that God has given me and tremendously thankful that He gave me that appreciation while I was still young enough to demonstrate a life lived “numbering my days” to my children.
If you find yourself struggling with the pressures that the world puts on women to be young and beautiful, I encourage you to remember today that God loves you! He thinks you are beautiful, and He wants you to appreciate every moment of your life. There’s a song by Mercy Me called “Beautiful.” A couple of years ago God just kept singing it over and over again to me in my heart. It was stuck in my head! But during those seven to ten days when it was the only melody my brain would sing, the message became clear. I hope you’ll get these words stuck in your head today because God loves you, you are precious to Him. You are beautiful!
You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His
"Beautiful" by Carole King - as recorded by Mercy Me
Beautiful as performed by Mercy Me
You are a Supermom
Last weekend I was invited to go to the taping of an episode of “Dance Moms” with my daughter and granddaughter. I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the show before and really wasn’t all that interested in the program itself, but it was a good day with the two of them! We had a lot of fun, but one thing truly bothered me, and has continued to gnaw at me ever since.
I was truly distressed at the way the moms who were there to view the taping went nuts over the television dance moms. All of those audience mothers had girls there who were dancing, too. Every single one sacrifices to get their daughter to dance class, as well as pay for those classes and costumes. Those television moms weren’t any more talented or attractive than those who’d come to view the taping. In fact, most of the audience moms probably deserved a lot more applause than those television moms, yet the bulk of them were taking pictures, shouting the TV moms’ names and carrying on like Beetles fans of the sixties. The whole scene made me want to give a standing ovation to the moms I know who actually deserve the admiration.
So, to all of you who forget that you are worth more than rubies: I applaud those of you who work with your hands, as well as those who get up while it’s still night to provide for your family! I am thankful for those who use your talents to honor the One True King with very little recognition. I stand in awe and admiration for those of you who are business women working around the clock to make a profit and sharing it with the Kingdom of God.
Highest honor goes to the one who gives to the poor and works with the needy, volunteers at school, the hospital or your church or give of yourself in some other way unselfishly for others.I lift up all of you who protect your household and give your children comfort in the storms. I praise God for you whose reputation goes before you to the extent that people respect your husband more because of you!
It’s all of you moms who speak wisdom and teach your children the ways of faith who warrant the photo ops and the shout outs! And whether they do it or not, you deserve to have your children and your husband rise out of bed every morning with words of appreciation on their tongues.
Finally, to all of you who trust in Jesus Christ and put God and His ways first, remember that “many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” You, daughter of the Living God, are worth more than you can possibly imagine, so please consider this your very own personal standing ovation, from me and from Jesus! We appreciate your strength and dignity, your love and compassion, your faith and dedication, and most of all . . . we appreciate YOU!
Our Children and the Community of Believers
a Lesson I Learned at VBS
All the believers were together and had everything in common. . . .And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Last night we celebrated day four of our five day annual Vacation Bible School. I've led music at VBS at one church or another for the last 25 years or more, and the last two days always make me smile. By Thursday, the kids are singing those songs with all the gusto of the fans of the winning team of the Super Bowl. I expect this evening to be much the same, and I have to say, I can't help but smile just thinking about it.
As I sat back and enjoyed the songs lingering in my brain last night, I considered the impact these five days would have on the rest of these kids' lives. For them to discover that church can and should be a fun and safe place could be the turning point in their faith walk. At least half of them I won't see until next year at Bible School, many of those attend church someplace else, but for some this is their only exposure to the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
And all of this contemplation made me appreciate all of the believers who had shared in my own children's faith journey. I believe that the Bible is clear that we were not created to walk this walk alone. God intended us to lean on each other, to share with each other and to be there for one another. I praise God for those parents who bring their children to more than one VBS during the Summer because they understand that the more people our children meet who will love them with the love of Jesus Christ, the better the odds that they'll walk with Him for themselves one day.
My own girls attended at least three Vacation Bible School programs every year. We always had one at the church we served. I always took them back to my mom's house the week of our home church's VBS and there was always at least one neighboring church that had a fun Vacation Bible School for my daughters to enjoy. When you add to that all of the beautiful people who loved Jesus that nurtured them every Sunday, men and women who allowed the girls to call them grandma and grandpa when they weren't even related and leaders who served with joy and fun and never out of duty or drudgery, it's no wonder that all three of my beautiful adult daughters are now leaders in our VBS and servants of Jesus Christ.
The Bible tells us clearly, and my own experience is evidence of the fact, we are not meant to live our Christian life isolated from the body of Christ. It's imperative that we expose our children to people who are joyful in their worship of Jesus Christ and honest as they praise Him. Just as the early church worshipped and shared, we must meet with our own church family as often as possible and allow those adults who show fruit of God's love to help us as we attempt to raise our children into adults who love and follow Christ. I believe if we are neglectful in our fellowship with others in the faith, we are robbing our children of the exposure they need to become lifelong disciples of the One True God.
So, today, I encourage you to make sure your kids, the little ones as well as the teens, are in a wonderful Sunday Morning class, and maybe even a mid-week small group, with a leader who loves Jesus. I pray that you are staying after worship so that your kids can get to know those adults who lead your service, and I hope that you are being an influence in another child's life so that we, too, like the early church, can "add to our numbers daily" the children who know and live for Christ Jesus, our Lord.