Devotions for Busy Moms
Daily Readings for Busy Moms
After raising three girls, I understand the time constraints of taking care of a family. By the time you care for your children, clean house, get involved in PTA, take your kids to their extra-curricular activities and volunteer at school or church, you barely have time to shower and dress. If you happen to work outside the home, too, the juggling act can be completely consuming. The first thing to go is our quiet time with Christ.
Over the years I've had to adjust my quiet time to fit my family's schedules. Not being a morning person, it's often been difficult for me to get up early enough to read my Bible and pray before everyone gets out of bed and starts needing my attention. The shower has become one of my favorite places to spend quality time with Christ. There have been times in my life that have seen my devotion time robbed and others that have allowed it to be rich and full.
I'm hoping these readings will give busy mothers an opportunity to spend a few extra moments with Christ at least once a week as well as have something extra to reflect on throughout the week. Stop back here often or fill out this form to get these readings weekly (or almost weekly) by e-mail.
Cover photo courtesy of MorgueFile
This link will take you to the Kindle version, but if you're interested in the print version, you'll find it there too!
Learn from History
The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, "I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land that I swore to give to your forefathers. I said, `I will never break my covenant with you,  and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.' Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this?  Now therefore I tell you that I will not drive them out before you; they will be thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you."
 When the angel of the LORD had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud,  and they called that place Bokim. There they offered sacrifices to the LORD.
 After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to his own inheritance.  The people served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel.
 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten.  And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
 After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.  Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals.  They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to anger  because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.  In his anger against Israel the LORD handed them over to raiders who plundered them. He sold them to their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist.  Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the LORD was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.
Verse 10 says "After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel." As I read that I wondered how a generation could serve the Lord throughout their lifetime and the next generation all completely turn away from God. For parents and those who minister to children, this passage proves the awesome responsibility we have to our children. We can't assume just because we serve the Lord, they will figure it out.
We can't really tell from these few verses what went wrong in the Israelites' lives that made it so difficult for their children to learn to serve and love God. However, one can assume they probably were so busy following the rules, being good people and "serving" that they forgot to teach their children the greatest commandment, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your mind and all your soul and all your strength."
And in our lives we have even a greater love to teach our children. Paul tells us in Ephesians that Jesus "abolished the law" in His flesh. He did away with all the regulations. Not that there aren't standards that followers of Christ should follow, but if we can teach our children to love Jesus first, the standards He set with the way He lived his life will automatically follow.
As parents, we teach our children to love Christ with our actions even more than our words. Our priorities about worship, work and family will train those young ones much more quickly than even what they hear in their Sunday School teachers' lessons. It's up to us to make sure they see us earnestly worshipping and loving our heavenly Father so our children aren't part of that "next generation" that falls away from God.
As we prepare to raise these precious young ones that God has put in our care, look closely at your relationship with Christ. Do you love Him with all your heart, soul and mind? Or are you serving Him by following the "regulations"? Is you life a reflection of one that the "next generation" will want to imitate? And if they do, will they also be imitating Christ?
For your Kindle
Win the Gold!
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
As I sit here and watch the Olympic Games, it's difficult not to think about this verse from 1 Corinthians. Paul reminds us that everyone competes, but only one gets the prize. Then Paul tells us to run in such a way as to get the prize.
So, I thought it was time to ask ourselves, "Are we living life in such a way that we might win the prize?" And "are we training our children to run in such a way to win?" Often life gets so busy that we forget we're in the race for the long haul. It's easy to begin to just "go with the flow" and become content with the status quo.
But God wants more for us than merely the "status quo." Just like the folks in the stands are routing for their home country's Olympians to win the Gold, God has nothing than the best in mind for us. In fact, in Hebrews 12:1, God reminds us that we too have a cheering section. He says, "since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses" meaning the saints who've gone on before us. And because those onlookers are rooting for us, we should get rid of everything that holds us back and run never giving up.
God wants us to succeed, to become the very best we can possibly be! Christ is our championship trainer. He gives us all the advice we need. He is our choreographer and the one who watches our moves and tells us how to perfect them.
The problem arises when we forget we can't win the medal without the strict training. We often think because we personally know the trainer and have read the instruction book, we don't need the strict training required. Even more sad is that this lack of training has probably reinforced the idea for our children. When they don't see us reading the Bible, they don't think they need to. If they never see us praying, they'll believe it's not necessary. It doesn't matter what we do in private. They only know what we do in public (or at least in from of them).
So, what kind of training are you in? Does your spiritual training meet the Olympic standard or is it more haphazard? Or perhaps it's really non-existent. Spring is in the wind. These warmer days are giving us hope of something new. Take this opportunity to begin or beef up your "training." Become a Christian Olympian!
Children of God
1 John 3:1
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
We are so blessed that we are the "children of God." John reminds us that God loves us so much that He calls us His children. But I'm not sure I completely understood the enormity of that love until I had children myself. I mean, I loved my parents and siblings, my grandparents and aunts. When I fell for Steve, I thought that I'd never love anyone more than that. And I always knew that I couldn't love as much as God did, I still know it. But then I had children.
I don't think I even knew I had the capacity to love that much. Children changed everything. But they also began to teach me more than I would have ever imagined about the nature of my heavenly Father. Yes, being a parent was one of the best things that ever happened to my Christian walk.
One of the first things I learned was how much God loved me. As I mentioned, I thought I knew about
God's love, but I was in total awe when I began to realize that my Creator loved me even more than I loved my children. I couldn't even imagine a love that big.
When my girls were young, I learned lessons about God's nature at least weekly. Each time one of them did something to make me proud, it made me consider, "Am I making my Father proud?" When their arguing caused me to feel anxious, and I just wanted them treat each other with love, I wondered if the way I treated others may have caused God to be disappointed in me.
Have you ever wondered what an adult fit looks like? My girl's stubborn times, when they talked back or were obstinate, those times made me look at my life and my attitudes. Of course, I never laid on the floor and kicked my feet, but how often was I defiant when God showed me something He wanted me to do? Parenting a strong willed child forced me to evaluate my actions in light of scripture.
I could go on and on sharing the lessons Christ has taught me through my children, lessons about truth, integrity, spending time with Him and priorities. But the best part is the fact that these lessons have not only made me a better person but a better Christian.
So, how are you doing as a child of God? Have you considered His love for you based on how much you love your children? How does the way you forgive your children or discipline them help you understand God's forgiveness and discipline for you? Never forget you are a child of God. He loves you more than you can ever imagine!
Even I Can't Mess it Up that Bad!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
For those who know me even relatively well, you're already aware that this is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. My personal translation is, "I can't mess up anything so bad that God can't fix it." That's a pretty ro/ugh interpretation and a bit too simple, but those few words often help push me forward.
"In all things God works for the good . . ." That doesn't mean that everything that happens will always be good. But it does mean that even the bad things that do happen can work in our favor, including the things we mess up ourselves.
How might your attitude be different if you really believed that? Would you be more likely to try something new? How often do you miss out on an opportunity because you're afraid you'll make a mess of it? What are you not doing for fear of looking silly or failing? Will truly believing that God will fix all of those mistakes and mess ups give you the courage to step out of your comfort zone and do something new?
There are also a lot of things we go through in life that this verse can help us through. We wonder what good can come from our children being tormented at school. How can losing our job possibly have a good outcome? What can God do with our illnesses, overspending or bad choices?
Those are really good questions! And perhaps you have even more examples of situations that hold very little promise of "good" anywhere in the future. Does the hope God gives us in Romans 8:28 help you go through those times? When you're in the midst of the hopeless, will remembering that God has something good in store help you?
There are a couple of things we need to remember about this good news that God gives us. First, He doesn't promise the good will happen immediately or even in our time frame. He just assures us that we can be confident good will come. Don't be impatient, trust that God is at work! Second, we have to realize that the Bible says God works good for "those who love Him and are called according to His purpose." This isn't a promise for everyone who lives. These words of hope are conditional. They're only for those of us who love Christ and are living for Him.
So, if the good is difficult to find, do a self check to determine if you're truly living your life like you love God. Just saying we love Him isn't enough. God doesn't look at our actions or our words, He looks at our heart. He knows whether or not we truly love Him, whether we are living out His purpose in our lives.
If you pass the self-check, then be patient. Have faith that God has everything under control. Use this assurance to give you the courage to move forward into the things that Christ is calling you to. Remember, if you act out of love for Christ and your heart is truly focused on Him, even if you don't get it quite right, He'll work it out for your good!
More Devotions for Precious Moms
- Still More Devotions for Busy Moms
Number three in a continuing series of weekly devotions written with busy moms in mind. Jobs (even the job of stay at home mom), children and husbands leave very little time for women to devote a significant amount of time to their spiritual growth..
- More Devotions for Busy Moms
Every Mom needs some time to relax and enjoy Christ. These short readings are designed to help a mom do just that!
Be Still and Know that I am God
That's got to be one of the most difficult lines in the Bible for a busy mother. We generally can't even find time to visit the toilet alone. God must be kidding when He says, "Be still and know that I am God." How is that going to help me? It's more likely that meditating on this verse will cause me more stress instead.
It's been more than 10 years since I first meditated on this verse. My children were in 2nd, 4th and 8th grades. We had just moved. And for some reason each time we moved caused me to have to find a new routine for my daily devotion. For several weeks, this was the only verse I read each day. There are several lessons. I learned while meditating on these few words.
- I learned that my day goes so much better when I begin with just a few moments of being still and just remembering that God is God. It seems so obvious and so simple. However, because of its simplicity, it's also a concept we often take for granted. This week start each morning with a simple moment of quiet reflection. Even before you get out of bed, breathe slowly and take just a moment to remember that God is in control
- I learned that stressful moments can be overcome or at least "managed" when I stop for a moment and reflect on God being God. Before I yell at the kids, when I'm ready to blow my top, I take a deep breath and for a moment just praise God and enjoy Him. Often I'm only able to devote a few seconds to this practice; however, when I allow it, this small discipline gives me a peace that otherwise I'd have never known.
- I learned that when I make time for Christ, even if it's just a few moments, Christ blesses my time.
Being a mom is a difficult and rewarding calling. It's hard enough to keep up with things when our lives DO revolve around Christ. Without Him it's an assignment that is more than I can imagine. If your heart's desire is to raise Godly children and come out somewhat sane on the other end, and at the same time become the best you God created you to be, take time to Be Still. Make time to be sure, without a doubt, that you know God is in control . . . that He is God.