Because I am a Mom

There are moments when I feel more like a mom than others….like when I desperately want to end the day and go to sleep but can’t. Why? Because I am a mom.

Tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday and I am baking brownies for her to bring into school. Unfortunately, the mix I chose serves only 16 brownies, so I had to go back to the store to buy a second box. I realized this, of course, at 9:00 p.m., just after I had put the kids to bed, finished washing dishes, preparing next day’s lunches and launching one batch into the oven. Have you ever had to gear up to do something when all you wanted to do was collapse into a horizontal position?

When I am tired and longing to end the day by dropping my head onto the nearest pillow, I have to remember to thank God for the gift of motherhood He has bestowed onto me…it’s now an integral part of who I am. Motherhood doesn’t completely define my identity but brings definition to how I spend my time and prioritize responsibilities. And I have responsibilities that I didn’t have before…because I am a mom.

There are moments when it’s natural to feel tired…tired of having one more thing to do and feeling as if  you can’t possibly add one more task to the nearly-toppling-over pile on your plate. We add and add and by God’s grace, we are able to take away from the pile and reduce its size.  But in that adding and removing, we must pray for wisdom and  discernment and ask, “Do I really need to get this particular job done or can it wait? Does doing that task mean that I won’t be able to spend time with my child in a meaningful way or perhaps nurture my soul in a meaningful way?” Maybe the task at hand is truly time-sensitive, in which case, something else has to wait in an effort to prevent your day from becoming a jog-a-thon through the to-do list. God knows our abilities, what we can handle, what we can accomplish and gives us His strength to draw on in that process. We have endless responsibilities because we are moms, and we are moms because we have children.

The next time I am longing to put my head down when I am trapped in a kid-related task, I need to remember that the task is at hand because I am a mom. Then, like in the case of waiting for a dozen brownies to finish baking at 11:15 p.m., wait for the oven timer to go off with a yawn and a smile.

Recommended Scripture:

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:29)

 

Is Your Husband Getting Godly Attention?

Our marriages have an identity of their own but they do not operate exclusively without our active help and contribution. There is often little time to feed our marriages….as busy moms and working women, we are all about the time sensitive and urgent. The things that are the most timely and important, receive our focus….could be anything from driving the kids to their activities, to feeding the baby to getting the next meal on the table.

Last weekend my husband and I attended a Weekend to Remember Marriage conference sponsored by Family Life Today. I  left thinking that just because our marriage isn’t attached to a gas pedal, stove or homework assignment, its existence is still in need of immediate care and attention…like all the other aspects of our lives that call for our time and receive it. Not only can our homes and children fall prey to the unhealthy effects of a marriage that doesn’t have unity at its foundation,  but the marriage ultimately will and the two people if not cared for in the right ways. The marriage relationship is  easily neglected in the ways that are meaningful and significant, and often, is left to fend for itself. How can the relationship that should take priority over all the others be at the bottom of the list in terms of what is getting my time and attention?

Today, my kids will make it to their gymnastics class after school. Dinner will be prepared. Dishes cleaned. Homework finished. Baths, teeth,  stories and prayers done and said.  Will demonstrating respect and support to my husband? Will an attitude of unconditional respect and honor be demonstrated? Words of gratitude said? Perhaps words of silence if I need to hold my tongue? Will forgiveness be sought and granted if an issue arises? Will I pursue oneness with my husband and seek God’s design for my marriage and model that for my children?

I better.

“A wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.” (Proverbs 14:1)

 

What’s Your Must-Have Coffee or Tea?

We all have our favorite one…you know, that drink that drives you to go or preps you to relax. Whether curled up with a good book, running errands or spending meaningful time with a friend, what’s that must-have drink that nurtures your soul in the moment? I know I can’t seem to settle unless I have a flavored cup of whatever Coffee Bean and Teal Leaf is brewing! Vanilla, Butterscotch or Caramel. And always with cream and sugar!

When “Just Doing” Is All I’m Doing

I think the days that I struggle with my identity most of all, are the days when I am going through the motions of “doing.” Doing the laundry, doing the cleaning, doing the routine picking up, doing the mundane and not doing, selfishly, what I would like to be doing…because doing what I like to do, helps me feel more like me.

I am learning that when I don’t start my day with prayer,  my attitude is really not doing well. Subsequently, the domino chain can fall faster than a lit match burning through paper. If  I am not doing well, then guess who else doesn’t do so well? My husband. My kids. My home.

My attitude can help strengthen or weaken the spirit of my family and I can  easily rob them of the nourishment they need by a single response or word. In order to protect my kids and husband from the attitudes that can besiege me, I need to make sure I am nourished and starting each day with prayer. And in that prayer, it is acceptable to ask, “Lord, how would you use me today? How would you have me use my time? I would really love to do _____, can you show me what you have for me? Can you help stretch my time? Can you give me wisdom in knowing how to manage my time and all that I need to do against all that I want to do?” How would our days look and what would our attitudes be if we approached our days with this submission and willingness to be directed?

So yes, there are things I want to get done…things I want to finish, and God knows that. There are also things God wants to get done in me and accomplish through me,  my family and the people in my circle who might be affected by my attitude. So before I get caught up in the disappointment of not doing, I need to make sure I get started with the praying. Only then will my attitude be the right one…not just for my benefit, but for the Lord’s, my family’s and for whomever He chooses to put on my path.

Recommended Scripture:

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” (Psalm 5:3)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)