Inspiration for a Mom's Walk with Jesus
Becoming a Christian isn't a stopping point. It's just the beginning. And the answer to making sure we don't have a stunted growth is to be in scripture as often as possible, preferably at least daily. Devotion readings can help in the pursuit of growth.
Below you'll find several short meditations designed to help mom specifically in their attempt to become more like Christ. Raising kids is tough, and raising Godly kids is impossible unless we're living in Christ.
I pray these short pieces will help you as you grow and walk in Jesus!
Devotions You'll Find On This Page
Take off the Life Vest
Just Let Go
Bullying . . . What's a Christian Mother to Do?
Giving Good Gifts
When God is in Control
Take Off the Life Vest
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8
And my God will meet all your needs
according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life
through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
2 Peter 1:3
Elizabeth is six. She wears a life jacket in the pool and she’s been swimming like a fish for the last month. On Friday, her Daddy took the life vest. He told her she didn’t need it anymore. The poor first grader was devastated. She wouldn’t leave the steps. Finally by the end of the day her dad had convinced her to go into the water with him and have some fun, but she wouldn’t even try to swim by herself.
The next day when she came back to swim, I explained that God had given her a built in life vest. Every time she breathed in she filled her lungs with air, and just like the ball floating around the pool, that air in her lungs would keep her up. God had planned for this. All she had to do was trust that God’s life jacket would hold her up.
She sat on the steps for at least 20 more minutes before she finally raised enough courage to ask an adult to watch her and let her try to swim to someone. Three hours later she was jumping in and diving for rings on the bottom of the pool free from the cumbersome load of the flotation device.
I’m not sure it’s my pep talk that made the difference, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized what I’d told her was a life truth. Everything we need for every task God calls us to is right there in our hands.
Too many times we believe the lie of “you can’t.” We buy into the illusion that we’re too poor or too busy. Our past failures try to convince us we don’t have enough knowledge or we’ll fail again. We listen to the voices of fear and worry instead of the Spirit as He tries to remind us we “can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.” (Philippians 4:13) The plain truth is God gave Elizabeth a built in flotation device, and He’s empowered each of us with gifts and abilities, some we haven’t even tapped into yet.
So the next time you hear God call you to something new, if you find the words “I can’t” forming, stop and ask yourself, “why not?” God has equipped you. Perhaps you’ve never used that equipment, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. His Word promises to give us everything we need. We just have to take off the artificial face saving contraptions we’ve come to trust and believe God’s got it!
Just Let Go
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Not long ago I watched my six year old granddaughter cross the monkey bars on the new play set her Daddy built for her and her sister. She’s pretty small, and the bars are at least seven foot off the ground. The second time across her hands started slipping because dad had done a demonstration with some sunscreen on his hands. There she was hanging from the third bar begging for help down, but Dad told her to fall. He’d put a lot of sand right under the bars for just that purpose. All she had to do was let go. Since her feet were just about my chest level, my natural instinct was to rescue her. But my husband and I have resolved to not override our daughters and sons-in-law when it comes to the grandkids. She held on for a while waiting for the rescue, but her dad kept coaching her to let go, and when she finally did, she discovered she was fine.
I thought about it most of the afternoon. She’d learned a good lesson and jumped down on purpose a few times after the forced fall. My son-in-law would’ve never let her get hurt. She and I both had to trust he knew what he was talking about. Had I saved her, she may have never had the fun she experienced in that half hour following her brave moment.
It reminded me of the way God allows us to learn lessons. Often he lets us get right in the middle of things so we’ll trust Him enough to let go. It’s not generally easy, but those scary moments make the next task easier and sometimes even fun! The key is to be like a six year old and trust our Father knows what’s good for us and always acts in our best interest.
But there was a second educational moment in those monkey bars. As a mom it’s especially hard to see our kids in the middle of those lessons God needs them to learn. Even our friends can manage to get themselves in a mess sometimes. And whether it’s our child or our BFF, we’re always tempted to bail them out. So often we think we’re helping, when actually we’re standing in the way of a lesson God wants the person we love to learn.
God’s ways are higher than ours. He knows what He’s doing. He sometimes allows us and the ones we care about to get into precarious situations so He can teach. When it comes to our kids and our friends, we’re tempted to make their life easier. But it’s important we pray and make sure our Daddy in Heaven isn’t giving them scary instructions. Sometimes when it seems they’re hanging on for dear life, our Father is telling them to let go. We have to trust that our Savior meant it when He said, “. . . I have . . . plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Sometimes we have to do the hardest thing . . . stand back and do nothing.
Don’t worry, there will be times we’ll be needed to swoop in and rescue, you don’t have to give that up altogether. But unfortunately for us fixers, there are a lot more occasions when God has a plan that’s bigger than we can imagine. He just needs someone to let go.
Bullying . . . What's a Christian Mother to Do?
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
No mother can stand it when her child comes home from school in tears. But it’s happened to nearly everyone. Bullying is an age old crime, and because it usually affects the weakest among us, it seems to be a horrible evil.
I remember when my middle daughter came home from school to tell us someone had put a pig’s heart (yep, the real thing) in her locker. She’d spent the whole day at school after finding her books and papers a bloody mess first thing in the morning. A sarcastic note accompanied the organ, and the administration hadn’t called us to tell us about it. My husband was furious, as was her younger, but pretty ferocious, sister.
It took us about a week to discover there were two or three boys behind the incident. Two were her friends. A senior mastermind had convinced them they were playing a funny prank. My husband called the whole thing bullying bordering terrorism.
But bullying is almost as old as time. The first bully in recorded history is Cain. Let’s face it, that deadly stone in the field couldn’t have been the first time he’d tormented his brother. There were murderous bullies in Sodom, and David was bullied by his siblings and then Saul. It’s not a new problem. My own family received its share of gum in the hair and other bus related bullying forty years ago, but what can Christian parents do about it?
First, we have a responsibility to make sure neither we nor our children are the bullies. Titus 3:2 tells us “slander no one, avoid fighting, and be kind, always showing gentleness to all people” Sometimes that’s really hard, but it’s important.
It is a bit easier if we can follow Paul’s advice: “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.” (2 Corinthians 5:16) On both sides of the bullying, if we start looking at people the way that Christ sees them it’s easier to stop bullying, and we can begin to forgive, and even care for the bully.
My daughter chose to forgive her bullies even before she knew who they were, an act that impacted her life as well as the life of those boys for many years to come. In two other tales I’ve heard of bullying, one boy spent a Summer praying for his bully, and by the next fall, the bully, still not the nicest in the class, told my young friend he was trying to stop being so mean. The second boy offered a ride and then a coat to his bully when he saw the need, and the bully became his friend.
In all three instances the one being bullied decided to be like Christ and see their bully through the Savior’s eyes, not an easy undertaking. But each one of them saw the issue resolved in some way. And each knew a peace that passes understanding even before the resolution.
It hurts Christ to see our children bullied too. Cruelty was never part of the plan, but Christ and my young friends are proof that we have the power to overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)
Giving Good Gifts
And my God will supply all your needs
according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Today I was folding clothes. There in my basket were several pieces of clothing that my husband and I got for Christmas, and I smiled. I thought to myself, “If only more children could learn the lesson of these Christmas presents, the world would be a more content place.”
You see, during the first 20 years of our marriage, Steve and I were broke. We officially lived beneath the poverty level for many years, even a few while we were in pastoral ministry. We were on government assistance programs for a time when we were young, but as soon as we felt we could afford it, and even though we still qualified, we decided to trust God to keep His Philippians 4:19 promise to supply all our needs.
During most of the time our girls lived at home, Christmas giving was at a bare minimum. Each year when I took the girls shopping, they rotated the gifts they bought Daddy. He needed underwear, socks and slippers every year. So, those made for practical gifts. The girls got to pick out the gift even if it was just the color or the package, but that was the gift. Steve acted surprised and was genuinely appreciative to replace the holey socks and underwear in his drawer.
Today we’ve moved into a more blessed place financially, as have our children. But still, nearly every year, we’ll find socks and underwear in our stockings or under the tree. When I find those staples on the lists of the worst gifts, I wish I could explain to the world how blessed they’d be if they learned to appreciate those necessities as appropriate gifts.
I know they aren’t exciting, and perhaps in my family, they’ve become tradition, so they’re dear. But even in my extended family, as we grow to understand every good and perfect gift comes from our Heavenly Father, we want less and appreciate more. Even though we can afford bigger and better, we still find handmade gifts, jars of home canned food, homemade noodles, pierogis, cookies and more. One of my grandchildren got a bucket of rocks and painting supplies this year. It was simple and inexpensive, but she loved it, and she’ll paint rocks to hide for the next six months!
I pray this year more families will begin to appreciate the simple things in life. As children begin to see socks and underwear, crayons and drawing pads as beautiful, thoughtful gifts, they’ll become even more appreciative of the big ticket items. When we truly believe God supplies all our needs, we’ll begin to notice we have very few “wants,” our wish list gets shorter and we cherish the presents the world thinks are worthless. And isn’t that attitude a tremendous gift to pass down to your children?
When God is in Control
Be Still and Know that I am God
Today I picked up notebook I used back in 1994. It reminded me of a night I was supposed to go to a Carmen concert with my band. All of our families were going, so there were probably 15 or more on our bus ready to go. But things didn’t go as planned.
The night before this concert I’d been sitting on the floor of the bathroom with my head over a bucket. I don’t get the flu often, and on that night I prayed and begged my Heavenly Father to take it away. I wrote “I believe in my heart that had He chosen to do so, He could’ve and I wasn’t sure why He’d chosen not to, but I finally just gave it to Him to do with as He pleased. (And He still pleased NOT to take it away.)”
Just that morning, before the flu debilitated me, I’d gone to work, but I’d spent most of the thirty minute drive in tears. We’d had no water for at least 36 hours, so I’d had to leave early to shower at my mom’s. I felt like my job was consuming my life and my family dictated any free time I might have found. I wrote, “My music has gotten lost in the shuffle. Where will it end? I’ve managed to keep my hurried prayer time and weary Bible time, but this morning I spent most of my drive to work crying out for God’s help to slow things down and give me some control of my life. The only thing keeping me sane at this point are the words of praise He’s taught me to lift up to Him in times of trial.”
I believe God’s tardiness in answering what I called my “bucket prayer” those 23 years ago was so He could answer my cries of earlier that day. If He had delivered me from the flu right away, I’d have been at work on that Friday then rushed home to get ready to get on that bus. I would have been exhausted. And according to my little journal, I’d have had just a few hours on Saturday to prepare for two or three concerts on Saturday and Sunday and a birthday party for a nine year old on Monday.
I needed to slow down, and I didn’t know how. My thirty something self learned a valuable lesson that day, but I think I’ll let you hear it from her perspective.
“In the recovery time He forced me to take, I heard God’s voice. I was awake much of last night and in bed until two this afternoon. During this time He spoke to me, and I realized this illness was really His gift. I couldn’t seem to slow down, so He slowed me down. . . Hopefully I learned a lesson today, one I won’t quickly forget, and one that God won’t need to teach me again soon. What exactly is that lesson? Let God be in control of your life. When life gets too hectic and seems out of control, it probably is, so give it back to Him.”
Discipline isn’t Fun for Anyone
Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son,
so the Lord your God disciplines you.
Our parents disciplined us for a little while as they thought best;
but God disciplines us for our good,
in order that we may share in his holiness.
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.
I learn so much about my relationship with God from children. When one of my girls was about seven, she had an exceptionally bad morning. These weren’t unusual for her. She always had a hard time focusing on getting ready, and on this particular morning, she’d fussed around so much that my husband had to leave without her to get the other two to school on time. She’d almost been left many times before, but this was the first time she was really left behind.
This seven year old was quite upset about being left, but when she discovered school absences not related to illness or doctor’s appointments meant being exiled to the bedroom all day, she regretted missing school even more. The surprising thing about the day was how difficult it was for me to just ignore her all day and force her to suffer the consequences of her actions.
I imagine our Heavenly Father has the same feelings when we must be disciplined. How difficult it must be for Him to separate Himself from us for our own good. He loves us so much.
Our children can’t learn from their mistakes if they never any ramifications; and I’m confident God knows it’s the same with us. Even after we repent, it’s still sometimes necessary for us to live with the consequences of our sin so we’ll learn the lesson.
So, when we’re going through those seasons of discipline, remember the times you discipline your children. Remember that true discipline is done out of love, and it’s just as hard on the parent as it is the child. Your Heavenly Father loves you. If you hurt when your child hurts, God suffers when you suffer. But He allows it to happen so you might share in His holiness and because He delights in you!
I hope you'll stop back soon as I add inspirational meditations to this page every couple of weeks.
More in This Series
- Devotions for Busy Moms
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- And Until the Next Devotion is added here . . .
You'll find even more devotions written especially for busy moms. I know it's difficult to find time to squeeze in one more thing, but your time with Jesus is important!
© 2018 Lynne Modranski