Check The Calendar!

Are you feeling irritable and just a little on edge? Check that calendar! One day we can be mild mannered and the next day we feel like crying because someone stepped on our toe. Hormones can take a toll on a woman’s mind and before you know it, we’re out of control and can SNAP! I felt a little edgy this morning and just didn’t want to be bothered, so I checked the calendar and sure enough…I’m a week away from the wonderful visit of The Curse! I know, I know…it’s not a curse and should be considered a beautiful thing, yet I don’t feel so beautiful during that time (smile). I decided to exercise a little and I immediately felt better. I drank my soy drink and that helped a lot also. Sometimes, if we take care of ourselves a little better, we don’t have to deal with that other person within us that enjoys creeping up when we least expect!

Labor In Love

How I would love to go into the kitchen sometimes and prepare myself a meal without having to consider others in the family. Mothers don’t ask for much – we just want to enjoy a simple snack alone every now and then. Our family depends on us like we depend on Jesus and our mission is to serve. As we labor in love for our family, we have to remember all our acts of kindness, sacrifice, and serving are for Christ’s sake. Although it would be wonderful to cash in reward points for our everyday deeds, we are not here for personal gain and recognition - we were created by Jesus for Jesus. I pray to develop a strong spirit of humility and self-denial in order to erase the common question, “What about me?” God has placed the woman in the most demanding role of all times – to keep the world in order as we stand by our men and raise up our children. A woman is one of God’s most precious and invaluable possessions and surely He will take care of us – He promised! As we often wonder if anyone notices or thinks about our heavy burden, we have to remember Jesus is The Burden Bearer. He is fully aware of what we do on a daily basis and He knows our particular situation. Self pity and stubbornness blinds our blessings and Satan enjoys this. Yes, nurturing a family is a challenging charge for us, yet our family is a blessing not a burden. God reminds us daily that He loves us and He promised to never leave us as we continue to labor in His love!

No Breaks Allowed!

As I prepare to speak at an upcoming Women’s Retreat on the topic of marriage, Satan is revealing a side of himself I’ve never seen before. He is always on his job and I’ve had to be on my job, plus work overtime - in prayer, praise, and fasting. I’ve been exhausted with the enemy’s trifling tricks to cause confusion in my marriage and attempts to take my mind off Jesus. The more my husband and I strive to live our lives for The Lord and glorify Him in our marriage, the more time the enemy spends at the drawing board trying to come up with a more clever plan than the last to cause division in our home. It amazes me how a carefree conversation can turn sour in a matter of seconds. What happened? Did I say something? Did I miss something? My goodness, can I take a break from the battle? No! There is absolutely no time for taking breaks. I must always keep my mind on Jesus, maintain a praying spirit, and continually praise God regardless of the situation. Taking a break is a breakthrough for the enemy!

My husband and I have been led to lead the Couples Ministry at our church, which means the battle gets bigger; yet praise God it’s already won! God has prepared us for battle and we are more than conquerors. All that we have gone through and will go through is God’s perfect plan for our marriage and for His glory – it’s not about us. We are together today because of God’s grace and mercy – not because we are such a strong couple, yet we must be strong in the Lord! Yes, I get tired sometimes and wonder if the constant matrimony battles are worth it, yet if the suffering Jesus endured for me was worth it, so are my light afflictions for Him. My job in these endless battles is to diligently pray and praise God from the sidelines, remain Christ-controlled in my thoughts and actions, and share His awesome power with others as it is repeatedly revealed to me.

Psalm 34:1 (NKJV)
I will bless the Lord at all times and His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Encouragement for Mothers

Visit MOMSWEB for more encouraging articles!

Take A Break

Have you stopped to catch your breath lately? The mad rush of the holidays is over and homes are finally getting back to normal – sometimes it takes a while. We have a tendency to push our bodies to the limit without realizing the toll it’s taking on us. We usually don’t realize what is going on within our bodies until we notice the physical results of fatigue, stress, and busyness. Stop for a minute (a whole minute) and exhale! One minute of quietness can make a difference in your entire day. Stop, relax, and renew your mind. Be good to your body because it sure has been good to you!

Spare The Rod

My husband and I have been blessed with well-behaved children. We receive compliments everywhere we go on their conduct and we’re quick to give God glory because we know they are who they are by the grace of God. We are well aware they act differently when we’re not around, yet we’ll take whatever compliments we can get! It’s been a while since either of our sons has been ‘touched’ in regards to discipline. Taking away privileges and other forms of punishment has sufficed, yet recently we’ve noticed our eleven year old being a little more forgetful than usual and covering up his mishaps. I guess this is called deceit huh? No mother likes to attach a negative word to her child, yet I must call it what it is. My husband and I had a long discussion about our son and as difficult as it was for both of us to “touch” our child after so long, we knew there was nothing else to discuss. It hurt me and it hurt my husband more because he delivered the pain, yet it would hurt our son more if we were not obedient to the Word of God in regards to disciplining our child – the situation needed to be addressed and our son needed to be “touched.” Our obedience to God’s Word and the lack of is a cost to others – not only in the home, yet outside the home as well. As our son quickly approaches the demanding teenage years and then adulthood, there is no room for disobedience on our part. I must obey God and raise my child in the admonition of the Lord without compromise, thought, or discussion. Parents have one shot at raising a child and the blueprint, The Word, is not up for discussion. The following morning, my sweet eleven year old gave me a big hug as he does every morning with his sweet morning smile. The pain of punishment lasts a short while, yet the results are for a lifetime.

Proverbs 13:24
He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.

Walk the Talk

This weekend I witnessed a candlelight ceremony of six young girls, from my church, making a commitment of sexual purity including sexual abstinence until they enter a biblical marriage. To desire to make such a commitment in a world driven by sexual immorality is truly remarkable. Not only are these girls chosen by God to reach their generation and generations to come, they will challenge mature Christians to live a life of holiness. We can sure talk the talk, yet are we walking the walk? I assessed my own walk and the intensity of my light. Is my light vivid enough to attract and win souls for Christ? Is my light a magnet that draws believers and unbelievers? If I never spoke or typed another word, is my light visible? Is my light bright enough in my home for my children to know something is different about their mother? I challenge you to assess your walk as these six young girls have challenged me. As we all share daily devotions, scriptures, meditations, prophetic words, and other spiritual emails, let’s remember no word is more powerful than God’s Word and He told us when He would heal the land – when His own children turn from wicked ways! Are we set apart from the ways of the world or do we blend in with the world, which causes our light to dim? As I run to the throne of mercy and grace this day, I will ensure my walk is aligned with my talk. I thank God for these six girls who have been set apart to be bright lights and attract others in our church, the community, and the world!

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Worth It All

Submitted by:
Kimberly Allison, Oklahoma

Some years ago, I was braving the icy hill that is my only means of escape from my dead end road. We were headed to piano lessons. It was always a struggle to get everyone dressed and out the door on time, but I wanted to leave early that day due to the ice. After we had driven about half the way to town, one child piped up and said, "I forgot my music books." I gritted my teeth and pulled over to turn around. This wasn't the first time someone had forgotten their books. There was no need to go on to class without books.
As we drove home, I made ugly resolutions in my mind. "We will just quit music lessons. It is not worth the hassle. Our family is too disorganized. There are too many of us to pack up every Tuesday and leave home. We live too far out of town, anyway."
But then, the more spiritual side of me said, "What kind of character lesson do I want to teach the children? Quit when things are hard, or creatively work around your roadblocks? Have a joyful outlook, or grumble and complain when things don't go your way?"
As I approached our driveway, I mentally added up the extra miles this blunder had cost us, and tried not to frown. Maybe I could find some uplifting music on the radio. I didn't feel like singing "Victory in Jesus," but I knew I needed to. I turned on the radio and heard this chorus playing:

If just one more soul
were to walk down the aisle,
It would be worth every struggle.
It would be worth every mile.
A lifetime of labor
Is still worth it all
If it rescues
just one more soul.

I couldn't believe the timeliness of God's message to me through that song. It even mentioned the extra miles! It brought me back to the realization that it's not about what's fun and easy, and it's not about me. It's about eternal souls.
We have been chosen and set apart to do a great work for the Kingdom of God. Music lessons (on time, with smiles and books!) are just one of the disciplines God can use in our lives to prepare us for His service. May we moms never lose sight of the bigger picture.

2 Chronicles 15:7 "...your work shall be rewarded."

PS: One of those children is now the assistant pianist at our church!

Encouragement for the New Year!

Our Beloved MOMSWEB Readers,

Greetings in the name of Jesus, HE IS THE CHRIST!! For some of us, 2006 has been a tumultuous year, but praise God, we’ve been blessed to cross over to 2007; a New Year of hope, joy, prosperity, peace, and love. As you prepare for another year that only our sovereign God has predestined for you, remember the prolific words of the Apostle Paul, “to be content” in whatever circumstance you find yourself; knowing that our Savior in His providential care and infinite wisdom is perfecting in you a marvelous work! Be steadfast, unmovable, and observe how all things DO work together for good to them who love HIM!

Happy New Year 2K7!!

Tori W. McCollum, Editor In Chief