I think that God chooses one thing from nature to remind each of us individually of His love for us. He uses that thing to woo us and to remind us that even though He is the Creator and we are the created, He’s totally smitten with us. I’m not sure if it’s a theory that works across the board, but I do know that God has always used one specific creature in nature to affirm His love and remind me of His sweetness.
A precious young mom shared with me last week that she had to ask her son and the rest of his eleven year old soccer teammates for their forgiveness. She loves the Lord, loves His Word, but in a moment of frustration, she lost her cool in front of the team. The next week, she gathered them together so she could look each one in the eye and explain why she needed to ask their forgiveness. Many of these kids are from non-Christian homes and had probably never seen or heard a gospel demonstration like that!
One summer when my two youngest boys were in grade school, they ran inside and said, “Mom, it’s so hot outside! Can we see if it’s hot enough to cook an egg on the sidewalk?” The practical side of me started to say no, but I caught myself. Why can’t theytry it? Why is my first thought always no? Why can’t I say yes? Is it “wasting” an egg, or simply using it for a different, but just as valuable, purpose?
When child number one threw a fit in the grocery store one day, screaming at the top of her lungs in this very public place, I was so embarrassed. I’d witnessed a scene like that before I had children, and I swore my kids would never do that. Since becoming a mom, I’ve found myself in all kinds of situations I never thought I’d be in.
Of all holidays, Mother’s Day is probably the one that evokes the widest spectrum of emotions. Perhaps it’s warm thoughts of your own mother or joy that you ARE a mother. Perhaps it’s pain and disappointment if you are enduring infertility. Perhaps it’s heartache if your relationship with your mother is strained or she’s gone. Perhaps it’s angst if your current season of motherhood involves more pain than joy.
In the spring of 2008 I first prayed for a baby, and in the spring of 2011 God answered that prayer with the birth of our beautiful daughter. My joy was full but so were the fears I wrestled. In some ways I felt like a baby Christian again, caught in a whirlwind of emotions, learning and applying what I have known and trusted into a completely new life – I know I’m definitely not the first to feel that!
Friends of ours had given us a card when their first son was born; it was full of prayer requests for his little life, a prayer for every day of the month. My prayers were not quite as coherent as those, especially at first, but the urgency of the moment drove me to my knees. “Help her, help me” baby prayers at 3am; prayers as I heard the baby monitor light up in the morning; prayers when I thought of her safety, her soul, her future; prayers with my husband; prayers while Eliza listened in.
One of the things that troubles me about raising kids in the current cultural climate is the trend toward blurring gender lines. In the eyes of the majority, what makes girls girls and boys boys is all up for negotiation. The implications of this shift seem huge in the lives of my children (and their children, and their children…).
But frankly, I’m a little too swamped with bedtimes and temper tantrums to find time to figure out how to instill Biblical gender roles in my sons. I don’t have a clue how to cut the Truths in God’s Word up into pieces small enough for my littles to digest and embrace. Most days I just tell them to go play in the mud and hope that somehow translates into an understanding of who God wants them to be. I recognize that it it’s important to teach my kids about God’s design for who they are, but I need some tools to make it happen.
As we start celebrating Mother’s Day around here at Beyond Bath Time our heart goes to those want-to-be moms. I know there are many of our friends and sisters who are dealing with infertility. This following post is from a young woman who is hoping for two pink lines!
“When my husband and I first started trying for a baby, we were ecstatic. We picked out names, thought of fun announcements, started planning around certain dates- we were ready for an addition. But month after month has passed and we’re not the ones making a pregnancy announcement- everyone else is. Feelings of despair and fear set in.
I received a text from a new mom recently. It took me right back to those first few weeks I navigated the waters of motherhood. Everyone else made motherhood look easy! But now, with this 7 pound bundle, I felt clueless!
8 years and 3 kids later, I read the text from my new mom friend and just smiled thinking, “Oh the newborn stage goes so fast and yet everything seems so overwhelming!”
Romans 8:37-39 … in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“We are soldiers of the Lord”, I told my children one day. “You mean were going to war mom?” This was the start to a very interesting conversation.
I pen these words the day after a bomber took out an 8-year-old as he waited for his dad to cross the finish line of the Boston marathon. There’s not a single day that I drop my son off at pre-school that I don’t think about Sandy Hook and have to fight the urge to do a U-turn in the school parking lot, bring him home and lock all the doors. Then there are super viruses, bacterial infections, and childhood cancers…It’s enough to make me want to say this desperate prayer all day, every day “Jesus, keep my kids safe. Jesus, keep my kids safe. JESUS, PLEASE KEEP MY KIDS SAFE!”
“For we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us” Luke 11:4.
Kids make mistakes. Lots of them. Sometimes those mistakes are pointed squarely in our direction as moms. We understand that missing the mark is part of the learning process but when we are extra tired, extra stretched or extra raw as we mother all of that disobedience, anger and loss of our personal property can sting. Continue reading →