More Inspiration for Busy Moms
How Can I Have a Quiet Time When Everyone Else is Screaming?
As a mom, having your regular quiet time with Jesus can be a challenge, but it is possible. Did you know that we train people to expect us to perform on command? Part of our challenge may be retraining the ones that we love. It will take a few weeks, but after your spouse and your little ones begin to see that Mom's time with Jesus is too important to interrupt, they'll begin to give you that 20 minutes without hesitation. Plus, you'll be teaching your children a valuable lesson, Time with Jesus is more important than anything else.
Below you'll find five short readings to jump start your prayer time. Read the scripture, then the devotion. Use both to focus on what Christ is speaking to you about your own life. Give Him time to tell you (and give yourself time to hear). Use the time to praise your Father for who He is, and enjoy sitting in your Abba's* lap for just a little while.
*(Abba is the Hebrew word for Daddy)
Below you'll find these devotional readings:
- God Often Speaks in a Whisper
- Letting Go
- Sorry I'm Late
- Generation to Generation
- Martha & Thomas' Bad Rap
God Often Speaks in a Whisper
1 Kings 19:1-14
12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Last week, I felt a lot like Elijah. You see, the aging prophet had been serving God with his whole heart. Yet he felt completely alone, abandoned by everyone who claimed they knew the Creator of the Universe. If you read verse four, you might hear a prayer that sounds familiar. The man of God says, “I’ve had enough, Lord.”
While I don’t face death or persecution in my service to Jesus Christ, I still find myself feeling like Elijah from time to time. It’s usually when I’ve taken on more than my Heavenly Father has asked, or I have a week when everything happens at the same time. Last week was one of those weeks. I was feeling very overwhelmed. There were times I had to just stop and pray and take time to breathe to survive.
When I have those days or weeks, I will occasionally just break into tears. I’m not a crier by nature. Any other time it takes a lot to make me weepy. But during those times when I feel like I can’t breathe, when the little things don’t go right, I’ll find myself losing it. I can usually handle the big mishaps, it’s just the small things that bring me down. I know, it’s crazy, but it’s the truth!
But last week God used the little things to help me hear Him whisper. Like Elijah, we often have to pay attention if we want to hear God speak. We look for Him in the storm and the fire, but generally He’s a tap on the shoulder (check out verse 7) or a gentle whisper.
For me last week, my Provider came to me as a clear path on the road. I get nervous pulling across multiple lanes of traffic, but twice when I needed to do that, I got to the intersection and it looked as though Moses had parted the Red Sea. Traffic was coming from both directions, but it was far enough away that I had plenty of time to get across. One of my appointments got moved without any word from me; and my very old car started even though the engine chugged hard in that sixteen degree weather. When I was running late, what I thought would take 10 minutes to scrape from my windshield was just crystallized fluffy snow. And when I arrived home late at night to my very steep snow covered drive that I must walk up many times in the winter, my little car made it all the way to the top. So many little things that could (and generally do) go wrong fell into place.
I felt as though God was whispering, “I see your need. I hear your silent cry, and I am right here watching out for you.” I realized that in my younger days I may not have recognized all of those tiny miracles as whispers from God. Generally when things go right, especially the small stuff, I don’t even think much about it. That’s just the way it’s supposed to happen.
But as I heard God whisper in these small everyday occurrences, I wondered how often I miss the still small voice of God. How often am I too busy to hear Him or to see His works? How many people would discount my story as happy coincidence or just having a good day?
I don’t want to ever overlook those times when God is trying to ease my burden. I don’t want to pass off His kindness as coincidence. And I want to make sure that I am always paying attention to every small thing that comes my way so that I can hear God when He whispers my name.
- Devotional Readings for Moms
One of eleven pages with at least five devotions each, all written with moms in mind. Something to encourage and inspire!
- More Devotions for Busy Moms
Moms need a break, and a break with Jesus is the very best kind. Ten readings designed to inspire moms to be all they can be in Christ.
1 John 4:18
Perfect Love drives out fear . . . As a mom, are you ever afraid? I don't mean afraid of spiders or snakes, storms or the dark. Have you considered what fear you have for your children?
We love our kids. On all the days we aren't sure about anything else in life, we are sure we love our children. Even when we aren't sure we like them much, or we wish we could legally drop them by the side of the road, we are still sure we love them. And this love, while it is the most wonderful gift we can give our child, can prove to be as negative as it is positive if we aren't careful.
Perhaps you're confused at that last statement. It really doesn't seem to make sense. But the truth is, the love we have for our kids can cause fear. We become afraid when it's time for them to play sports. We're afraid they won't do well and just as afraid they will because that might mean they'll be injured. The fear rises when they stay away from home for the first (or seventeenth) time. There's a fear that they'll become homesick or even physically ill, yet often we're just as fearful that they'll have fun and need us less. There's the fear to send them on field trips and fear that they'll miss something.
But if "perfect love drives out fear" what is this love we have for these small people in our lives? Our love is less than perfect and perhaps it always will be while we live here on earth. But God's love is perfect. If we learn to accept Jesus' perfect love and trust that He has everything under control, these fears we have for our children will lessen. I'm not sure they'll ever fully disappear as long as we live in this human tent; however, Christ's perfect love will help keep us from passing our irrational fears on to our children. Our creator's passion for us will give us the strength to let go and trust that He has our children in the palm of His hand.
As much as you love your son, God loves him more. For all the tears, pain and fear you've felt for your daughter, her Heavenly Father loves her enough to take care of all those things you're worried about. Today and every day, put your precious gifts into the hands of the One who loves them more than we can imagine. Let them go. Trust the One who created them and gave them to you to watch over them and do what's best in their lives.
Have no fear . . . Your Heavenly Father loves you and His perfect love will drive out your every fear.
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Sorry I'm Late
2 Peter 3:3-9
Earlier today I realized that it's Wednesday, and I hadn't written anything for you to have in your inbox this morning. So, here I am better late than never. But that happens to me a lot! It seems I'm quite often late. In fact, my girls tell stories of my tardiness, sometimes I was so late they thought I forgot them. (Although I only forgot one time!)
Realizing I was going to be late in delivering this made me wonder. How many of you, like me, are time management disabled? It also caused me to think of this scripture from 2 Peter. Peter knew that a time would come when people would think that God was slow, forgot about them or wasn't coming at all. 2000 years ago Peter wrote to reassure us that God is not late, slow, tardy or forgetful. No, instead God is hopeful.
When I'm late, I hope no one ever gives up on me. I've generally tried to squeeze too much into too short a period of time, slept in or wasn't watching the clock close enough. But what about God? Do we give up on Him? Do we think He's decided not to return like He promised? And even more relevant, when we pray, and the answer doesn't come immediately, do we run ahead or try to fix it ourselves?
I hate to admit it, but I'm terribly guilty of having fallen into the "fix-it" syndrome. I want immediate answers and instantaneous results. So there are moments when I have a difficult time waiting for God. On so many occasions it seems as though God is moving much slower than I think He should.
Fortunately though, God's timing is perfect. When we think God is slow, He's merely waiting on the perfect time to respond. On those days when it seems like our Heavenly Father has forgotten us, He's often being patient with us as we learn the lesson He's been trying to teach. Perhaps you've been praying for your children or your spouse, and you're wondering if God has heard. 1 John 5:14 assures us that if we ask according to His will, God hears us and will answer that prayer.
As you wait on the Creator of the Universe in the next week or so, be reminded that God is not slow. He's not sleeping or running late. God is waiting, hopefully waiting for the perfect time because He knows what's best and has the best in mind for us.
I need a quiet time with Jesus every day. Growing in Christ is what keeps me going. This book has more than forty devotions for busy Moms. Each one is based on scripture and connects our real life with our relationship with Jesus. You'll find this available in Print and for Kindle. Plus Check out Barnes and Noble if you have a Nook.
Generation to Generation
I've missed the last couple of weeks writing. It got a little hectic around here. Our middle daughter got married on Saturday. It was a beautiful wedding! Steve and I felt so blessed. We have so much family that surrounded us and made our day wonderful. Plus, each of our daughters and her unique family is a huge blessing.
This weekend caused me to pause and consider once again, "why?" I don't deserve to be blessed to the degree I feel my Creator has poured out His love. And if someone were to ask how I did it, I'm not sure I'd have a good answer. It's not that life is perfect or we have no mishaps, problems or sorrows. But on occasions like these when the blessings are so obvious, it truly does cause me to ponder.
And then I wonder if my ancestors have placed me in a spiritual place that I am going to be able to pass on to my children and theirs. In Exodus 20:6 God says that He shows "love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." I know that my grandmothers were lovers of the Almighty, and I've heard stories of Steve's grandmother and her faithfulness to her Creator. In doing genealogy, I've discovered one of Steve's great-great grandfathers was a missionary to Africa. For at least three generations our families have been serving and following God. I'm sure they didn't get it right every time, but when it was all said and done these women and men of faith turned to Christ, their lives bearing witness to their love of their Savior.
I know from reading about all the Kings of Israel, it only takes on generation to mess up all the goodness that God wants to pour out on His children. Despite the Father's attempts to bless us beyond imagination, our free will can and will get in the way if we don't keep it reigned in.
When I spend a day like Saturday, constantly reminded of the goodness of God and the blessings He continually pours out on my life, it causes me to commit my life over again to "loving Him and keeping His commandments." I know firsthand the beauty and wonder of living in God's love, and I want my children, grandchildren and future generations to experience it too.
I believe the faithfulness of my grandparents has allowed me to live this doubly blessed life. I am confident that my grandmother prayed for me, probably even before I was born. My grandparents' life of faith created a sturdy footer on which I have been able to build my life. All of the blessings I have because of these faithful who have gone before me, I am able to "will" to my descendants. What they do with it will be up to them, but my faithfulness, prayers and thankfulness for the life I now live are building on the foundation of bedrock my ancestors left for me. As Joshua said, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." It's an awesome responsibility this spiritual inheritance we leave for the future. But it's one I intend to pass along, generation to generation.
More Devotions to Help you with Your Quiet Time
Martha and Thomas' Bad Rap
Mary and Martha . . . all over Christ's Kingdom, the story of Mary and Martha is heard, preached and used as an object lesson. Not this story from John 11, it's usually their story from Luke 10:38-42 that we hear. Martha's in the kitchen working hard, Mary is sitting at Jesus' feet soaking in His message and when Martha gets frustrated because she's doing all the work herself, Jesus says, "Mary has chosen what is better . . ." Mary is always portrayed as the faithful one who loves Jesus more and Martha as the hard working sister who'd rather serve. But I'm not sure it's fair to only use this familiar story to form our impressions of these friends of Jesus.
And what about Thomas? The only reason we really know anything at all about the fellow is the fact he wanted proof that Jesus had risen. This one sentence that managed to get recorded in scripture gave him the nickname "Doubting Thomas" for all eternity. I wonder, though, did Thomas get a bad wrap, too.
I think Thomas and Martha are good examples of real people who loved Jesus. Let's look closely at John 11 today. We are most familiar with these verses because Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. When we read them, we focus on the miracle Jesus performed or the compassion He had for his good friend. However, if we look closely at a couple of the details of the story, we learn more about what it means to be a follower of Christ and a human at the same time.
Thomas . . . "Doubting Thomas" . . . I don't think that Thomas really was a "doubter." Thomas had a strong faith in Jesus. He knew that Jesus faced death if they returned to Jerusalem. He also realized that anyone who aligned himself with this man who called Himself the Christ would also be in danger of stoning. Yet, when other disciples were worried about going back to the area for fear of the crowds, Thomas was willing to follow Jesus, even if it meant death. Thomas' faith was strong. He was courageous. Poor guy, all he wanted was a little proof before he stuck his neck out, and he's forever labeled "the doubter."
And Martha, look at Martha! When she hears that Jesus is coming she goes out to meet him. What happened to the sister that sat at His feet? She stayed behind to mourn. Martha, on the other hand, not only goes to Him, but it sounds as though she got to Him before He even had an opportunity to get to the house or the tomb. And when she finds Him, she confronts Him with the truth, "If you'd been here my brother wouldn't have died." That's the hard truth! She had a strong faith! Martha believed that Jesus had the power to heal Lazarus. And more than that, she believed that Jesus could raise Him again. Martha didn't understand why Jesus didn't come earlier, but it didn't matter. Regardless of her circumstances, Martha believed in the power of Jesus Christ, her friend.
I'm not sure why Martha and Thomas have reaped such a bad reputation over the centuries. Perhaps it's because there's a lot to learn from their doubting and overworking. However, I think that one lesson we neglect to take from those stories is the authenticity of these two friends of Jesus. In every circumstance, these two were real. It would have been easier for Thomas to just believe the other 10 guys. Going with the majority is more convenient. But Thomas didn't do it even when it would have made life simpler. It would have been much safer to stay where they were and not go to Jerusalem when Lazarus needed them. That's what the other disciples wanted to do. And believing that Jesus had risen would have been equally satisfying, but Thomas wanted to be sure before he offered to lay down his life again.
Martha believed. She had a strong faith. I wonder if her frustration in the kitchen grew from a desire to sit at Jesus' feet herself, but someone had to feed all those people and Pizza Hut hadn't been invented yet. Martha knew that her friend, Jesus, was mighty and powerful. She knew that Jesus could heal and raise her brother. One of the most difficult things we do in life as Christians is hold onto the faith when we know that Christ has the power to keep evil at bay, yet it seems as if He's staying in a town far away. But much like Lazarus' death, if we believe and watch for it, God can be most glorified and people can come to know Him when He doesn't use His power to stop the evil. We don't understand it, and we don't have to. Martha made her statement of belief BEFORE Jesus raised Lazarus. Do you think her faith would have dwindled if Jesus would have only brought her comfort in her time of mourning?
I think that the greatest lesson we can learn from Thomas and Martha is that it's OK to be real. It is all right to doubt. We have permission to get frustrated when we feel like we're doing it all by ourselves. The key is to never quit trusting that Jesus is powerful, mighty and able in the midst of the doubt and frustration. I don't think Thomas doubted Jesus' ability to live again. He did doubt his friends. What if they were hallucinating in their time of great grief? What about the times that you doubt? Do you question the ability of God to do what you ask? Or are you just being real? Do you realize this might not be God's will or His timing? Are you convinced that God can do even more than we can imagine and you will believe and trust in Him regardless of the outcome?
There are times in our life when it's good to be more like Martha and Thomas than Peter and Paul. During these times we won't make great orations that cause people to flock to the faith. Instead we'll take opportunities to just be real. We can live our lives confronting Christ when He doesn't do what we know He can, trusting the Father even when it seems as though there is no way out and believing, much like Martha, that no matter how bad it gets, God can do the impossible.