Discipleship · Mentoring · Motherhood · Parenting

Loving Your Child Through It All

Adorned Series #13

Hectic school routines, multiple discipline issues, outrages and temper tantrums, messes, stresses, spills and strong wills might describe your mothering yesterday, but I’m here to remind you that there is grace for the task in front of you today, dear mom!

Many women feel so overwhelmed at their task of mothering.  I can remember wondering what it would feel like to just hop in the car mid-morning and head to the grocery store.  That’s my high energy time!  I thought about how fun it would be to be able to just GO!  But I was a homeschooling mother, with two girls to train and educate.  Our days were full and I usually went to the store at the end of the day when I was weary.  However, it was not a sacrifice!

Those kind of situations feel like they’re lasting FOREVER.  But guess what I did yesterday?  I went to Kroger early in the day!  

I’m here to encourage you moms not to lose sight of the important task you’re facing.  Your job as a mom is such a high calling!  When Adam named his wife Eve, he was saying she is a life-giver.  That’s what you are!  It doesn’t matter whether you gave life to the children in life naturally, through foster care, or adoption…you are a Life Giver!  What could be more important than that?  You are on assignment from God to pour into those children the Truth about their God and about their need for a Savior.  

I think it’s important that we keep connected to the days when we were asking God for these children.  Or even if they were “surprises,” God says they are blessings from His hand! 

Psalm 127 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:

God said to Abraham of Sarah in Gen 17:16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.

Too often, we take the blessings of God and turn them into cursings.  We bemoan how our life has been put on hold, how sleep-deprived we are, that we are always on-call, that we don’t have a life outside of cooking, teaching, and cleaning up spilled milk.  

In her book Adorned, Nancy said,

You wouldn’t be human not to wear down at times under the strain…and most people will never see the sacrifices you make to parent your children.  But if you’re not careful, if you’re not prayerful, if you let the days just pass by without being determined to sue them for God’s highest and best purposes – to remember the real reason you’re doing all this – then the blessings He intends for you in this season may slip through your fingers.  And your children may miss out on the vision of God’s love you were intended to give them. 

The answer is doing what you do with God’s help. 

Hear some fresh reminders from an older mom:

First, let me remind you that the children in your home are blessings.  When older women are teaching the young women to love their children we remember that the word for love is  Phileo, the friendship kind of love.  We are not their buddies, we’re their mother, but we have the kind of love for them that enjoys them.  Do they feel that coming from you, or is it more resentment?  Ask God to help you enjoy them TODAY. Enjoy them when they’re loveable.  Enjoy them when you have to discipline them again.

Secondly, let me remind you that your children are in your home for a relatively short period of time. I know…it feels long right now, but trust me, you will soon be watching them march in graduation or walk down the aisle to be married and you’ll wonder how that ever happened! Make the time while your children are in your home count!  Have fun!  Be spontaneous!  Laugh! Smile at them!  Play games.  Craft.  Bake together.  Hang out in the back yard. Pray with them. Read God’s Word to them.  (The psalm for their age) Put your phone away.  Look at them.  Hear them speaking to you!

Thirdly, let me remind you to show loving affection.  Do it with your words.  Say, “I love you.” Do it with your gestures – give the hug, the pat on the back. Your children need your motherly affection. Even if your children are older, they still need your love and words of affirmation. Notice not just the bad things, but notice the good! 

Recently after I’d spent time with one of my girls I sent her a text and told her how proud I was of her and that I loved her.  She responded, “You don’t know what that means to me.  I feel like I’m so self absorbed and unpleasant most of the time. I love you, too!”  I had no idea she was feeling disheartened, but when the Holy Spirit prompted me to write her, I realized that those words were just what the Lord wanted her to hear.  (I miss those opportunities many times! Ugh!)

Fourthly, realize that they must be your priority. People are more important than things.  An immaculate house, a perfect yard can wait.  Let them play in one room.  Let them hang out in the yard.  Be the cookie mom who invites the neighbor kids over!

Nancy reminds us that sometimes the best way to prioritize our children is to prioritize time with God.  I have my Quiet time in the morning.  Often one of the girls would need something while I was praying.  They would knock, then come in and find me on my knees, praying for my own heart, for them, and for our school day.  Without that time, I would have fallen apart even more often!

Always remember that your husband is your priority above your children.  He will still be with you when they leave! How does this happen? When they’re young the children need you almost constantly, but as they grow and mature, make sure that you are making time for your husband. Make sure you’re spending MORE and more time with him as the years pass. Go out on regular dates. As the children age, make them more and more independent so they are ready to step out, and you are not their crutch and they are not yours.   Spend MORE time talking, dating, praying, dreaming as each year passes.  You don’t want to be looking at a stranger when your kids are gone! This was not God’s plan. 

Motherhood is a roller coaster ride.  It’s full of joys and sorrows.  If you have a child away from God, spite your efforts and prayers, don’t give up.  It’s always too soon to quit. God loves them more than you do!  Keep living out that overflowing life of a believer.  Show them the joy of a Christian who walks with God.  Be there for them.  Keep loving them.  Text them.  Talk to them.  Don’t be afraid to speak of biblical things…it’s to be overflowing from your life.

Keep on being a life-giver.  By our responses, our words, our affection, our encouragement to our children or the children God puts in your path, we can be life-givers all the days God gives us on this earth!

Refresh your love for being a nurturer to the children in your life by remembering how well your God loves you, how patient He is with you, and how He disciplines you in kindness and mercy.  Then in good days full of praise and achievements, and in difficult days full of correction and biblical instruction keep on loving your children well.

Biblical Womanhood · Motherhood

A Mother’s Strong Influence

The following is not my post, this is from Our Daily Bread, but I was so touched as I thought of the great impact mothers have on their children’s hearts. I wanted to share it because I thought you would be encouraged by it, too.

My son, keep thy father’s commandments, and forsake not the law of thy mother.

As I read Proverbs 6:20, which refers to “the law of your mother,” I recall some of my mother’s unique “laws” that have helped me many times.

The first I call “the law of the warm kitchen.” When we got home from school on a cold winter’s day or when the holidays rolled around, the kitchen was always so warm from baking and cooking that the windows were steamed. It was also warm with a mother’s love.

A second law I call “the law of a mother’s perspective.” When I would come to her all upset over some childish matter, she would often say, “Pay no attention.” Or, “Ten years from now you’ll have forgotten all about it.” That helped me put things into perspective.

But above all was my mother’s “law of faith.” She had an unswerving trust in God that kept her strong and gentle amid fears, pressures, and sacrifices of the war years and of the 1950s.

Mom’s been with the Lord now for many years. Yet I’m still grateful for her “laws,” because they have helped me through many difficult days.

Christian mother, you too are writing “laws” for your children. Are they worth remembering? – D C Egner

That question is truly worth considering…”What ‘laws’ are you writing on the heart of your children?” Are they the kind of laws that will help and encourage them as they mature and move on in life? Your personal life has everything to do with whether or not you have anything to pass along to the next generation. Walk with God today. Let Him fill your heart with His joy, His Word and His directives.

Refresh the heart of your children with your “laws.”

children · Motherhood · refreshment at home

Mom, Show Love To Your Child

This week were some great reminders to slow down and take one day at a time. Being a Gigi is a blessing because I can stop everything I’m doing and just be with my grandsons.  When my girls were home, it wasn’t possible to do that every day!  There were meals to cook, laundry to wash, floors to sweep, school lessons to prepare and a million other things!  I was a busy woman, just like you, Momma.  Do you ever wish it was different?

It’s easy for moms to wish away their child’s life.

“Things will be so much easier when she’s walking!”  “I can’t wait for her to start pre-school.”  “I’ll be glad when these terrible 3’s are over!”

And so on.  Each day as a mom is challenging, but you can’t imagine how fast it will be before you attend their high school graduation and are staring into the face of a young adult.

I’m not kidding.

Everyone tells you those things, and you nod and smile because you’re going home to a toddler who will have wet their pants for the fifth time today, poured their finger paints into the toilet, and refused to eat a bite of anything because they consumed a whole bag of potato chips while hiding in the pantry!  But trust me, friend, the years will fly by and they will be gone.  Graduated.  Married.  On their own.

And you won’t lose your marbles about all that IF you spent those 18 years or so loving them, spending time with them, and teaching them about your Jesus to the best of your abilities.  Oh, you will know that you made lots of mistakes, but you know those are covered by God’s grace, and with that, you are okay!

In the meantime, you have today.  What will you do with it?  How about just love on those little and big ones?  How?  Let me give you a few suggestions:

  • Show loving gestures – hugs, pecks on the cheek, a pat on their back, a hand squeeze
  • Spend time playing with them each day.
    • Play a game
    • Go outside and push them on the swings
    • Ride bikes with them
    • Play store, library, or Sunday school
    • Have a scavenger hunt
    • Bake together
    • Work in the yard together
    • Work on a dinner for Dad together
    • Take a walk
    • Jump rope
    • Blow bubbles outside
    • Help them with homework.
      Just be together each day.
  • Leave notes of encouragement.  Write on their mirror with dry erase, or leave a sticky note where they’ll find it.  Leave a note in their lunch.  Mail a card to them.
  • Allow one child to stay up late for time with both Mom and Dad once a week.
  • Have a bed time routine that is special.  Tuck them in.  Read a book or Scripture.  Sing a song.  Pray with them about their concerns.
  • Do a chore they are assigned as a gesture of love.
  • Stop and pray with them in the day about something that is troubling them.
  • Talk to them and sing to them about Jesus!
  • Love their daddy!
So love on those children God’s given you and enjoy the day.  You don’t want to regret tomorrow what you wished you had done yesterday!
How do you show your child you love them?
 
With love,

denise a