Encouragement · Motherhood

The One Tool Every Mother Needs

Hey moms, I know your plate is full, and so is your day. You have so much responsibility on your shoulders and there are days you wonder if you can get it all done. Today’s Refresh Her podcast is meant to encourage you in your role of motherhood. It’s not about doing more, it’s about the one tool that will make what you are doing really matter in your children’s lives. Do you think you know what it is?

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A Heart of Motherly Affection

When a woman becomes a mother, life changes, but you know what? She still has the same heart that she was born with; it’s that sinful one that needed redemption! It’s for that reason that God gives instruction that the older women are to teach the young women to love their children! It’s not always easy to love that child who asks a million questions (and that’s just before lunch!), the one who destroys her well-kept home, or the one who speaks disrespectfully and acts unappreciative of her sacrifices.

Love is tested, therefore, love needs to be taught.

Continue reading “A Heart of Motherly Affection”
Child training · Motherhood

The Heart of a Godly Mother

We move today from our role as wife, to that as mother as we review Elizabeth George’s book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart.

When Elizabeth George heard someone say that there was no greater place of ministry or position or power than that of a mother, her heart sank, It certainly wasn’t how she thought of motherhood. She had two busy preschoolers whom she loved, but she agreed that they were untrained and undisciplined. Their home was filled with tension because she didn’t know how to control them or train them.

 Maybe you find yourself in that same position? I hope to encourage your heart today and give you some direction about how to have a heart for your children.

It also took a hard lesson for me to learn the value of me being the one who spent the most amount of time with my daughter. When my oldest daughter was four, I was offered a teaching position in the Christian School in our city. Believing that it would help us financially, my husband and I decided that I would teach at the school, and our daughter would go with me to school and attend the preschool in the morning. At noon my husband came and picked her up and took her home with him. We had it all figured out in our head, but in reality, it was a nightmare!

 I found that I missed my time with my daughter so much. Other people were having to pick up what I had dropped. In the afternoons when my husband had hospital calls or a funeral to officiate, someone else was called on to care for my daughter.

Those nine months were months of learning that the best thing that I could do for my family was to be present for our children

In her book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George also found that spending a great amount of time away earning a degree in family counseling was not helping her family! She was trying to help everyone else while her own home was in disarray. How can we have a heart that reflects a heart that truly loves her children?

!.  We must have a passion for teaching God’s word. The most important thing that we can teach our children is to love the Scriptures. We might wish to have a ministry at church, but it’s not the children at church that we should be focusing on. Nor should our focus be our friends’ children or our neighbors’ children. Our own children are to receive the first fruits of the burning passion that we have for the Scriptures. Proverbs 1:8 says, My son, hear the instruction of thy father and forsake not the law of your mother. Who is teaching this child? Their mother is! Proverbs 6:20 says, My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of your mother. This indicates that you and I are on assignment from God to teach our children His Word. We can do so many things for our children, but teaching them God’s Word is to be the greatest passion of our heart and life. Why? Elizabeth says that God’s Word (the Hebrew for Torah which is the Divine Law, the Word of God) has value for salvation and for eternity!

How will they know who God is without the Scripture? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Romans 10:17. II Timothy 3:15 teaches us that Timothy was taught the Scriptures as a child that made him wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. God’s word will always accomplish the purpose for which it was sent. (Isaiah 55:11) We cannot teach our children God’s Word if we do not know it. It must be in our heart before we can share it with our children. How well do you know God’s word? Your children will not surpass your understanding of the Scriptures. We need to saturate our own hearts and then teach them what God has taught us.

2. We must have a passion for teaching God’s wisdom. This is closely connected to teaching them God’s Word. The second meaning for the Hebrew word Torah is wisdom. In other words, this is Scriptural wisdom for daily life, and who doesn’t want their child to have that?!

Proverbs 31 1-9 gives us a peek into a mother who treasured God’s Word. King Lemuel records the prophecy that his mother taught him. Think about this king as a young child sitting at his mother’s knee being taught by her. She’s passing on wisdom that she has learned from God’s word. Now all these years later, he is a king and he’s using that wisdom to guide his leadership..

Deuteronomy chapter 6:6, 7 says that we are to teach our children diligently and talk of his word when we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up. It has to first be in our own heart, and then we must deliberately and diligently teach our children all through the day in every activity that we participate in.

We need to be teaching our children the essentials of loving God and knowing Who He is. How do we do that? 

  • We bring him into everything that we’re doing throughout the day. When we sing our little baby to sleep, we should be singing Bible songs and hymns and songs that teach them about the character of God. Elizabeth shares an example about a woman who has such a passion for memorizing scripture. She would recite the scripture she was memorizing to her little ones each night as she tucked them into bed, when one of her children grew up to be a college-age student, she had learned so much scripture by memory that she didn’t even really attempt to memorize. She had heard her mother say it over and over so often that it just embedded itself in her heart as well!

We need to be relating God to our child all through the day and all the decisions we make. Relate every tiny thing to God. Talk to your children about the Lord  whether they like it or not; whether they think it’s “cool” or not.  We talk about things that we value. How much do we value the Lord and his Word?

The first way we teach is by our words, but the second way we teach is by our walk Or simply the way we live. They are watching us and we are teaching them either positively or negatively. Do your children hear you say one thing to them and then watch you do the opposite? They are very wise to see duplicity. You be the real deal and live a life that is so compelling and your children will follow.

What are some practical ways to do this?

  1.  Make some serious decisions. Will you take time in your schedule each day to teach your child God’s word? Will you talk about him? Will you turn off the television or lay down your phone so you can spend time pouring truth into your child? Proverbs 14:1 says that a wise woman builds her house, but the foolish plucks it down with her hands.
  2. Recognize your role as teacher. Ruth Graham said that the nicest, most rewarding job in the world is being a mother and a homemaker. She said it was second to none not even preaching! Then she added, maybe it is preaching! Preaching is simply instructing and imparting truth and every opportunity, and that is what every mother must do.
  3. Consider some Godly examples.
    1.  Jochabed had Moses probably for only 3 brief years before he went and lived with Pharaoh. His mother knew that she only had a brief time to teach him about God and His truth. She took it seriously!
    2.  Hannah. She took Samuel to the temple when he was probably only around 3 years old. He was going to live with an old priest who had rebellious sons. But she had taught him God’s  Word and he lived to be a godly prophet and leader of God’s people.
    3.  Mary. She took her assignment from God very seriously, having Jesus in the place where He needed to be at all times. Our task is no less important than hers was!
  4.  Memorize Scripture and read the Bible together . Corrie Ten Boom who was imprisoned during World War II in the Nazi concentration camp, was sustained and used by God through the Scriptures that her parents taught her while she was a young child. Her storehouse of God’s Word helped her to survive the Nazi concentration camps. Her father had told her, “Girl, don’t forget that every word you know by heart is a precious tool that God can use through you.” God used his word as an instrument of evangelism as she offered the hope of the Gospel to other suffering prisoners.

Read God’s Word together as a family  How could you implement that into your family? I love reading the psalm of the child’s age each night as they go to bed. They are usually very short Psalms, and by the end of the year before their next birthday, they will probably have that psalm memorized… and so will you!

  1. Follow the model of other mothers . It’s so valuable to spend time with a mom who has been where you are. Learn from her, ask her questions, talk to her about issues that you are struggling with and get some good counsel!

 Remember that you cannot pass on what you do not already possess. If you want to have a child who loves God and His Word, you must be a woman of the Word, then let that spill over onto your family.

 What will you do today to pour truth from Scripture into your child’s heart so that they will know God’s Word and have His wisdom? 

Refresh your love for God’s Word!

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.”