A Weary Woman

Just when I get in my complaining mode and think of people to invite to a personal pity party, the Lord of my life steps in with a special world for me. He doesn’t like it when I have these parties (smile). Yesterday I was led to clean some areas in my home that have been neglected. I can’t blame it on football season because these areas were neglected before the boys’ practice season began. There was so much to do and I’ve allowed the dust bunnies to have their way. They are the ones having the party!! Anyway, after a full day of cleaning, it didn’t look like I had accomplished much and I was quite tired. This morning I looked at my unfinished mess and immediately felt exhausted, so I sat down to have my morning meditation. I was reminded how we are promised rest. The Lord said he would give us rest, so I decided to marinate on His promise. Most of our weariness is internal and as I concentrated on the fact that Jesus lives within me and He is my rest and peace, my weariness began to lift. Yes, I’m ready to begin another day of home-keeper responsibilities. It’s true that a woman’s work is never finished; yet thank God we don’t have to depend on our own power and determination. There is a higher power source that we can plug into!

One Minute

Is it wrong to desire to be alone for just a minute? I don’t need all day – just a minute or two would suffice. A minute to put my feet up, read a book, watch a show on television (I like the Food Network), or just look at the walls without being disturbed would be nice. Many mothers feel guilty when they voice their desire to be alone, yet we are human – not super-human. We give, give, and give, so why would it be wrong to desire a minute of quietness to refuel so we can continue giving? It is a blessing to be needed by our family and friends, yet if we aren’t careful, they can drain us of every ounce of energy and time we have. Sometimes I wonder if my family wants me to have time alone. They seem to always find something to ask or show me, yet I’ve learned to turn them away until later without feeling guilty. I really get time alone in the shower. I escape to do-nothing, hear-nothing land in the world of aromatherapy and it is heaven! My husband says my showers are getting longer and longer, yet I come out feeling renewed and refreshed! If we don’t care for ourselves first, we are in no condition to care for others. We don’t have to leave the house to find a minute alone either – everyone doesn’t have this privilege. The important thing is to understand how beneficial a minute alone is to you and your family. Once we understand the value in this minute, others will value our minute alone also.

Extra Ounce of Grace

Before football season began, I would try to have the boys in bed no later than 8:30 p.m., now we aren’t getting home from practice until after eight! Last night as I sat on the sofa folding clothes at almost 9 p.m., I knew I had a couple more active hours in my evening, yet I was already drained. A full day of schooling the children, cooking, laundry, cleaning, plus I kept my two month old God-son who was uncomfortable all day because of gas – bless his heart. I was TIRED! My husband was working out and asked for something light to eat, so instead of being selfish and going into the kitchen to make myself a sandwich, I decided to make us both a salad. As I washed the lettuce, I asked God to give me a filling of His Spirit to get me through the rest of the evening. The boys were winding down from practice, yet were as chatty as if it were the middle of the afternoon. My prayers allowed my irritability to turn into calmness and my anxiety to get the boys in bed turned into contentment for the moment – nothing BUT the grace of God. I know God gives Mothers an extra ounce of grace to do all we are called to do. His grace is sufficient! I didn’t get to spend time doing what I wanted to do, yet I was at peace and grateful that I completed what was necessary. Our Lord is definitely a present help in the time of need if we just remember to call on Him. We were on our knees saying our family prayer at ten o’clock. This was a little later than I’d care for, yet this is just for a season – football season.

An Intimate Moment

Saturday morning I got out of bed shortly after 5 a.m. and quietly showered and dressed, so I wouldn’t wake my sleeping husband. I felt like I was being sneaky because I was preparing to spend some time with my first love and my husband wasn’t aware of this. I sat in my living room fully dressed and mentally preparing myself for the unplanned visit. This isn’t something I normally do on a weekend morning, yet my friend called and I didn’t hesitate to answer. My friend’s name is Jesus. We usually meet every weekday morning, yet He wanted some consecrated time Saturday. It was extremely quiet in the room - no television, radio, telephone, children laughing, husband talking, no Bible reading, no praying…just His powerful presence and imagining myself at His feet. After a while, my husband came looking for me and I had a big smile on my face – I was refreshed, rejuvenated, renewed and ready to tackle the day before the sun came up. Throughout the day, I smiled as I thought about how my first love touched me very early to spend time with Him. He loves me! It was a very spontaneous intimate moment. It leaves me speechless that Jesus desires to spend time with me more than I want to spend time with Him and I need Him! If it were up to me, I would have slept in. His unconditional love is mind-blowing. I think back on the day I accepted Him in my heart...my every thought and word was about Jesus. Nothing else mattered except being in His presence. This weekend I was reminded that the same love and quality time I want from my husband, Jesus wants from me - consecrated, contemplated time.

Labor Day

Laundry, cooking, cleaning, laundry, cooking, cleaning…it goes on and on and on. Labor Day is every day for mothers and if we aren’t careful, we can obtain an ugly attitude around the house as we pick up for and behind others. It’s a challenge everyday, yet having the right attitude about our never-ending tasks sure makes them a lot easier to deal with. I use to pray to find joy in cleaning toilets and washing the dirty laundry and dishes that never stop coming, yet realizing I have the ability to do laundry and dishes for my family is enough to be excited about. Everyone is not able. Thank God I have a washer and dryer! Knowing I have laundry to wash means we have clothes to wear – many clothes. That is something else to be grateful for. Dirty dishes? We had food to eat! I think we get the message. Instead of complaining about our Labor Days, be joyful that we have them and have the strength, energy, and power to labor!! We might as well make peace with our labor days because they are here for the rest of our lives. Happy Labor Day!

How Will I Know?

Two of my young friends left for college this weekend and I felt sick to my stomach. I couldn’t imagine what the mothers of these girls were feeling as they left for the real world. I often wonder about my sons leaving home and I’ll probably need a sedative. Will I have said and done everything I was supposed to? Did I prepare them properly? I always tell myself I have one chance at raising my boys – there is no rewinding the clock. With this in mind, I glanced at the clock and realized it was late and also dark outside. The boys know to be on their way inside when the streetlights come on, so I decided to test them to see just how long they would stay outside. I practically beg them to do the right thing to prevent punishment, but it doesn't work. My dear husband has a habit of protecting the boys from their mother’s wrath, so he used his signature whistle for them to come in, yet his defense backfired because they didn’t answer. Much later, they finally came in. I stared at them without a word as they stood before me. The youngest had a look of guilt and the oldest looked at me as if I was the one with the problem. I don’t expect them to always obey, yet they will have consequences for their actions. When it’s time for my children to leave home, I may not know if they’ll make the right decisions, yet I’ll know I’ve taught them right from wrong. I may not know what the future holds for them, yet I know if I do my part, God will do His – He promised! Just as God corrects us, we must train and correct our children - it only makes them better.

Proverbs 22:15 (NKJV)
"Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him."

Babbling Brooks

I have a ten year old who is a true talker and an eight year old who still asks why I do and say the things I do. Auuugh! I’m basically a quiet person and being around someone who talks all day is definitely a growing pain for me. I’m actually growing to learn to listen and yes, it hurts. Everyday is a new set of creative stories and this morning my youngest asked me why I sighed. Help me, Lord! Do I have to answer to every move I make and every breath I take? I’m so grateful that they enjoy sharing special moments and ideas with me and I refuse to let them know that sometimes I don’t want to listen. As they grow older, I’ll be praying they come to me with their joys and pains and want them to confide in me, so I better not bend the bond we share. We have what I call ‘space time’ and the three of us go to separate rooms for quiet time. I’m sure they get tired of me also (smile).
My own selfishness of not wanting to be bothered can definitely get in the way of a genuine mother/son relationship. I am their sole confidant for now and although I’m not here to be their friend, I want them to know they always have a friend in me. I’ll gird up and be prepared for the next creative story from my babbling brooks!

Make the Call

A woman’s hormones can make some days better than others. Before you know it, our mind can be overcome by evil thoughts, our spirit feels vexed, and our moods swing up and down like a see saw. Our hormones affect our tolerance levels, patience, and coping skills. Some women have it worse than others, yet there is a possibility of chemical imbalance in each of us at least once a month. Thank God we have minute-by-minute access to the one who can given us the stable manner we all desire. Calling on our Creator invites a sense of calm needed to get through the next minute. The key is to remember to call on Him! If we prolong the call, the unstable minutes keep coming and our actions and words tend to get out of control. This can become a pattern and before you know it, our disposition becomes a hostile one. Our minute-by-minute access to the throne is the key to our stability and peace of mind. Don’t wait until you’ve done something you regret to call; make it a habit to call on him and keep Him on your mind at all times. When we get out of control, somewhere along the day, we’ve taken our focus off Him. Have you called on Him today?

Prayer and Children

Our children will take us to our knees if we’ve never been there before. The developmental years, adolescent years, and the teenage years plus everything else in between brings issues, situations, and concerns capable of knocking us off our feet or dropping us to our knees. I believe in the power of prayer over our children’s lives and I’m also aware of the consequences in the lack of prayer for our children! Already, mothers are stressing school year attitudes, dispositions, and moods. We can turn our stress into rest through prayer. Talking doesn’t change anything; discipline lasts only for so long, yet prayer invites lifestyle changes. Pray for and with your children before school, pray and thank God for their safety when they return home, pray with them when they begin their homework, pray with them over dinner, pray with them in the evening as they recap their day, pray for their friends and teachers, and pray with them at bedtime. It doesn’t matter the age - prayer is powerful. Children need to know the power of prayer as they deal with peer pressure, encounter personal self-esteem issues, and the changes their minds and bodies experience as they mature into adults. Imagine your life without prayer – a child’s life is just as important.

A Mother's Love

A Mother’s love is the most influential love on the face of the Earth. God has placed within the woman the responsibility to nurture His own, so surely He would give us the resources to get the job done. When a woman acts in her own will with her own determination, she will surely falter, yet when we allow Christ to be the Lord of our life and allow Him to work through us and with us, the love we offer and the power of influence is matchless. A Mother’s love is closer to God’s love than any other. Once we realize we can’t effectively fulfill the role of a mother without God’s power flowing through us, we are on our way to touching and empowering the lives in our care like we never imagined. God is all-powerful and to choose a woman to mother His own, is powerful in itself. My greatest accomplishment was admitting that I am nothing and can do nothing without God. I needed help to do all that God expects me to do – there is no other way. Once we surrender our life and our will to God and allow Him to control our thoughts and actions, our mothering skills will change, our attitude will change, and we'll realize the power placed within us as a woman and as a mother is supreme!

A Burning Desire

I had plans for the upcoming months, which have been put on hold due to my husband signing both our sons up for a very busy season of football. My plans are now to sit at the football field and watch the boys practice four days out of the week with games on Saturdays –two separate teams I might add. Yes, I’ve been silently complaining because there is a burning desire within me to get busy for the Lord. Okay Lord, if this is where you want me, so be it. Needless to say, the Lord assured me the football field is exactly where he wants me. There are so many mothers at these practices that are waiting to be connected or reconnected to the Lord. Many of these mothers are hungry for love and unknowingly desiring an invitation into the family of God – there is work to be done. I had no idea this desire to get busy would result in evangelizing at football practice – how strong is my desire now? So you mean I have to actually talk to these women? I thought this would be my time to find a corner to sit and relax after a full day of teaching, cooking, and cleaning. Yes, the Lord has a sense of humor! He’s allowing me to get busy for him without the busyness. I don’t have to go out to do His work, yet I can do His work while I’m out! The Lord wants me outside the walls of my church, outside my prayer circles, and outside my home. He wants me on the battlefield – the football field. Down, set, hut! I’m looking forward to the assignments before me; is there an assignment waiting for you today?

Foster Parenting

I always wanted to have the house that all the neighborhood children would want to come to and I believe it has happened. Be careful what you ask for! We live in a small neighborhood with very few children and it's very quiet on my street until my children go outside. There is another little boy a couple houses down and he spends alot of time at our home along with their friends from past soccer and baseball teams, church, and friends met through home school activities. It somewhat irritated me that there was ALWAYS someone else in the house and of course I had my favorites that were always welcomed. I began to realize that most of the children that spent time with us were here for one reason - love. My selfishness almost got in the way from the blessing God wanted to give these children through our family. It's always about me isn't it? (smile) Anyway, after working through my self-consumed emotions, I've realized how wonderful it is to be able to spend time with children outside of my own sons and express love. All children are not blessed to live in a healthy family environment, and I've learned to not assume they do. Whether they eat dinner with us or just come over to play, there is always an opportunity to show love to another child - we may be the only expression of love they see. I've always wanted to be a foster parent, and with the number of children that come in and out of our home, I believe I'm already doing it!

School Time Prayers

It’s almost that time of year again and our children, regardless of age, may have a little adrenaline and anxiety running through their veins. Mothers also experience a variety of emotions as we prepare our children for a new school year. Who will their teacher be? What friends will they meet? Will they have trouble this year? Are they ready for a higher grade? Am I prepared for this year? It sure takes a lot more preparation than purchasing school supplies! Ensuring our children are mentally and spiritually prepared is the most important. They’ll be confronted by different personalities, various degrees of morals and values, peers with unconcerned parents, and peer pressure to match the day and age we live in. If you haven’t already been doing this, try praying with your children before they leave for school or before you leave for work. If this doesn’t work in the mornings, pray together at night. Knowing your children are covered in prayer is more than comforting and it makes them aware they have someone higher to answer to besides Mama. Yes, attitudes and disobedience must be confessed. Let your children know God sees everything they do even when parents aren’t around. Just because prayer is taken out of the schools doesn’t mean prayer can’t be in the children. Teaching them the power of a consistent prayer life prepares them for the world. Prayer for good study habits, good friends, good teachers, plus good ATTITUDES are just a few things that should be on our prayer list with our children. Let them see the power of prayer by showing them the power of God as he answers your prayers and begins making wonderful changes in your children.

Peace and Prayer

I use to underestimate the power of prayer. If prayer is our only means of communicating with God, how in the world can we afford NOT to pray? If we have a full day of giving, giving, and more giving to our children, husbands, and other family and friends, it is crucial we begin our day in prayer. Asking our Heavenly Father to give us the strength and energy to get through the day gives us an edge on the day. Asking the Lord to give us an extra portion of patience and understanding increases our border of tolerance – those around us will be grateful (smile). Prayer keeps us focused, sane, and steadfast in our purpose as a woman, wife, and mother. Prayer gives us a calm attitude as unexpected incidents occur throughout the day. Praying in regards to our everyday responsibilities gives us a peace that can’t be explained! Prayer keeps us connected to our power source - God! When someone crosses your mind, say a prayer for him or her! When our children do foolish things, pray for them! When our husbands act like husbands, pray for them! When hormones act up, pray! When the telephone rings with a problem on the other end, say a prayer! Negative thoughts are destructive and they sometimes pop in our minds uninvited, yet they can be kicked out with a simple prayer! Mothers and Prayer are inseparable.