Knowing how to go about being a Godly example that will be kindly remembered is not easy for all. Especially for those who did not have an example set before them as they were being raised. It’s really not a difficult thing to do, but figuring out where to start can be a challenge, as with anything unfamiliar.
My personal advice would be to start praying with your children. Not just for them or quick bedtime, illness, or meal prayers. All of those prayers are important also. However, when you pray with them you are teaching them how to pray and feel comfortable praying in front of others.
Another idea that would be wonderful is to begin a family devotion time. Whether it be daily or weekly, it gives you a chance to sit and discuss the Lord with your children. Think your little ones wouldn’t enjoy? You might just be surprised! There are quite a few options as far as devotional books and Bibles go for kids and families of all ages. Even toddlers!
The obvious suggestion: Attend church and take your children. This will give them a good habit to have when they’re older. “Sunday means church time” will be instilled in their hearts and minds.
I know all of these things seem so simple, but they really do make a world of difference!
How about you? Is there anything you’re doing to help create your legacy? I’d love to hear about it!
Okay, first of all: We’re all mommies here, so we all know that to call motherhood a “simple” calling is really kind of a joke. Being a mom is one of the most difficult and most rewarding jobs one can ever have. But my point can be explained here.
Some of us knew from a young age that we would one day answer the call. We played with dolls, dreamed of having a family, and played “house” every chance we got. Others? They had no idea that motherhood would be a part of their life’s journey. Either their perspective changed or it “snuck up on them”, so to speak. At the same time, some of us came about it very easily and for others it was a full on battle to acquire.Regardless, the call is still the same. In reality, it is not simple at all. We are responsible for a new generation that will take over after us. The future is literally on us. The morals that the next generation will have or not have are in our hands. Should we not do our best to bring them up right, we will be the ones who have to answer. Like I said, far from simple.
Let me stop right here and point out I am NOT an expert. I don’t even consider myself an amazing mother. I do my best from day to day, and pray that God leads me to what he wants me to do in this ministry to my children.
So while we are not leading millions to The Lord, we are making a big impression. What can we do with this ministry? Well, here are just a few things, in no particular order…
Yeah, I know this all looks great in print but another story in reality. Trust me: I have 5 kids, 2 of which I do not have full time physical but only joint legal custody over. In addition, my other 3 that live with me are all ages 3 and under. I definitely know. Some of this that I’ve listed are really things I’ve only learned recently. Others, things I’m learning right now. Some, I knew from the beginning. But ALL are a challenge.
Once again, motherhood is not easy. But it is call of God. Never think otherwise. Do your best, as it’s all you can do. Before you know it, our babies will be grown and have babies of their own… and we’ll miss this. Deeply.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
A very special THANK YOU to Diania for her insight on this post… You’re the best!
We’ve all been there: Awake in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, and all that keeps playing through your head is that dumb annoying song that the most annoying toy your child owns plays repeatedly… Over and over and over… No matter what you do, the song is there.
It really makes you wonder… What if our praise to God was like that, except for not annoying? If we were constant and not ceasing. LOUD and not soft. Consistent and joyful. I’m sure he would be really proud, and would love to have our praise “stuck in His head”.
This is my sticky handed challenge to you: Be the noisy toy! And remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease! Your praise is never unnoticed to God!
Tupperware. Mary Kay. Pampered Chef. Premier Jewelry. Avon. BeautiControl. Lia Sophia. Thirty-one. I’m sure we’ve all been to or hosted our own party-enjoyed an evening with friends, munched on appetizers, gabbed on and on over this and that, maybe even left with less money than we had when we arrived.
Recently I was sitting there and out of no where an idea began to form. Yes, believe me, I do know how dangerous that can be.
Most of the time, I only have fun at these parties because it’s a small chance for the girls to get together and fellowship. Here lately, though, I’ve noticed that many of the women I know have been battling with hurt, discouragement, bitterness, etc. I have even dealt with these issues myself. And that’s when it hit me. A new kind of party. A party where everyone can still get together and fellowship, and not have to worry about spending any money. That’s right. I’ve invented a new fad party and I hope you will all take the time out to host your own one day. It’s called the Encouragement Party. I will be launching my very first party next week for the ladies at my church and I cannot wait. I’ll let you know how it goes. 😉
Below, I have included the plan and purpose I have written out for the Encouragement Party. If you want to host your own, have at it! There are no requirements other than having fun, encouraging others, and being encouraged yourself. Just pray about it, put your own spin on it, and encourage away! I’m praying that this ministry of encouragement hops from my heart to yours and women everywhere can realize their worth.
Oh yeah, my Facebook status from a year ago, “Encouragement is a much better tool to use than judgment.” Chew on that!
What is an Encouragement Party? It’s a chance for women of God to get together and lift each other up, strengthening one another in the Lord.
My plan is that each lady leaves refreshed and knowing that she is worthy of God’s love and favor after an evening of fellowship with her sisters in Christ.
This is one of those cases where if you can’t say anything nice, then pray Psalm 141:3 over yourself before you come: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” After all, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”- Proverbs 21:23 🙂
There is already too much division, back-biting, bitterness, hate, and an “I’m better than you are” attitude going around-especially in our churches. Have you ever noticed that most of the time this has more of an affect on the women? Most of us are the emotional, sensitive, I-wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve kind of gals. It’s time we come together and use these strong emotions to build each other up, rather than destroying and tearing each other down. I’m tired of seeing the battles of our thoughts and minds win over us-ruining relationships, ripping away love, wounding us and leaving us to die. It’s time that we realize where are strength, joy and AUTHORITY come from and declare that we are going to triumph victoriously over every demonic attack that comes against us; for we do not wrestle flesh and blood as many of us think, but against powers, principalities and rulers of darkness. (Ephesians 6:12)
I hope that you will all join me in my desire to see women of God from all over band together in unity, carrying out the will of God peaceably. “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men (women).”- Romans 12:18
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”- Psalm 133:1
Please come prepared to encourage one another and be encouraged yourself.
How do you view your children? Are they wonderful to have around? Do you enjoy their presence? Or do you dread the moment they wake up, complain about them all day, yell nonstop, call them names, constantly try to pawn them off on others, and dream of the day they move out?
Unfortunately, many mothers view their children as the latter. We live in a day where children are disposable; Where those that are unwanted can just be dropped off in a “Safe Haven” or aborted before they even have a chance .
The Bible says this:
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5 NKJV
Children are never “No big deal”. They should not be seen and not heard. They should NEVER be forced to grow up too quickly because you’re just tired of kids running around. They are a privilege, not a right. It is time for people to wake up and stop treating them as such! Don’t like it? Get a dog. Not a baby. (Oh boy, don’t get me started on people who treat their animals better than their children…)
I guess this is more sensitive for me, given my circumstance with my older 2 children. What I would give to have my kids nagging me and being loud all day, every day. HA! Okay, maybe not to that extent, but you do know what I mean. Also, being the mother of a 10 1/2 year old, I have finally realized that these years do fly right by. As Momma Ann, Karen and Emily’s Mom, always says, “Don’t blink!”
It is natural for us to become tired from time to time, and that I understand. Call a girlfriend and go out to dinner or find a baby sitter so you can have a night out alone with your husband. We’re all going to have bad days. Just don’t get in the habit and find yourself taking your child for granted.
I pray that each of you realize your potential as a mother, the gift we’ve been given, and that God will never give us more than we can handle.
Now we all have our ups and downs and battles and bad days. I depend on my Heavenly Father to get me thru those times. And boy, do I have a lot of them!
That said, (let me pull out my soap box right quick), OK, I can not stand a nasty attitude, especially in a grown woman. It looks nasty and sounds nasty when woman go around bad mouthing, threatening to whoop somebody, and always trying to tell somebody off. It’s a big turn off for potential friendship.
In Ephesians 4:29 says,
“Let no corrupt communication come out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use if edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
Lying, gossip, telling someone off, and bad language all fall under corrupt communication.
2 Corinthians 6:17 & 18 –
“Wherefore, come out from amoung them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
Being a Christian, I can not live like the world. I have to set myself apart from all things that are not of Christ. Which means that I can not pop off at the mouth or tell everything I know about someone. I have to live a separated life and ask God to “create in me a clean heart.” (Psalms 51:10)
“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Blessings and cursings do not come out of the same fountain. I can not stand it when people say that they are desperately praying for this or that, or praying for someone, and in the next breath, they are cursing someone else or putting someone down. I do not believe that God honors prayers from a heart that does not honor Him. It stinks in His nostrils. You want Him to do something for you, but you don’t have time to live for Him? You don’t put Him first but you want things your way?
Strive to spread the good things in life and of God and to speak the gospel of peace, not corruption. When you find yourself falling being and into old habits, just cry out, “Oh Lord Jesus, help me!”, and He will be there for you.
I have a close friend, Crystal, who strives to keep her home clean. I often wish I had it as together as she does. Her home is in a central location for a few of us to meet up for gatherings and play dates, during which she can often be heard proclaiming, “HAND CHECK!” at which point all of the kids line up and she inspects their hands for cleanliness. When done, she helps the messy hands get cleaned up and sends them all back to playing. We often tease her for it, but in reality, it is a genius idea.
From time to time we have things on our hands that we are not so proud of. Things that shouldn’t be there. Other times, everything on our hands are good things to have, but something is missing.
As moms, we are all guilty of this. We get so busy with the kids that we compromise, allowing things in our lives that shouldn’t be there. We also take short cuts, not doing exactly what God tells us to do. Ask yourself, and examine your hands: Do you need to wash them? Do you need to put something on them? Good hand care is important! Spending time in the word, giving attention to our husbands and children as we should, and making sure to pray and thank God for his many blessings are just a few.
Once upon a time I was a different person. I rarely doubted anyone. I took each person for what they said they were. I forgave most simply because they said they were sorry for some of the most hurtful heartbreaking things that had been done to me. And I dropped everything at a moment’s notice to be there for friends who needed me.
Sadly, like most people in this world, I have changed. I was hurt, deeply, in several different instances where those that I loved and considered dear friends betrayed me in one way or another. I didn’t change overnight, it was after being hurt repeatedly to different degrees by various loved ones over the course of years and allowing the hurt and frustration to build up.
In trying to move past the pain, I blocked out the memory, sometimes almost “deleting” the person from my memory to the best of my ability and pretending the hurt never happened. “They’re dead to me” I would so easily exclaim if someone asked me when I last talked to the person, proud of my hardened heart and letting the world know that my ego was not bruised but instead stroked.
Obviously, this is ineffective as the hurt is still there, growing, causing me to be doubting, flaky, and distrusting of others. Besides, as soon as in some way or another whether by running across an old picture of different people, hearing another speak of them, or running into them the pain was quickly remembered as though a bandage was ripped away from the wound, taking the stitches with it and leaving all my anguish exposed. I talk myself down from the anger. “That person has no idea. And look who I am now in spite of all they did to hurt me! They have suffered such a loss to not know me any longer! All of the happiness they claim to have now is fake, because they certainly don’t deserve it. I dare them to attempt to do the same thing to me now. They’d have another thing coming!” Only to realize very quickly “They probably could care less about anything to do with me.”
And here is where it comes full circle…
The reality smacks me right in the face because I KNOW that there are people out there that I’ve hurt, whether intentional or unintentional, that I could care less about what is going on in their lives or where they are now.
Ouch. “What kind of person am I? That’s just disgusting! I wasn’t raised to be this way! Forgive and forget, love one another!”
It seems just in the last few months I’ve been tossed in with memories of many different past hurts and had to deal with them. Sometimes so overwhelming, not understanding why, my only option was to cry and have a pity party. Just a few moments ago I was asking God “Why do I have to go through all this, dealing with all of these people so close together?” I wasn’t even done asking when I realized it’s because something needs to change. I learned at a woman’s conference I attended years ago as a teenager that in order to move past the hurt, grow from it, and heal you must forgive those that hurt you.
Now, I’m going to be honest, as much as I say I forgive everyone for whatever they did to me, there are probably 2 or 3 that I don’t want to forgive. 1 of those people I forgave for one of the worst things a person could do to another mother only to be betrayed nearly the same way all over again months later. I realize that forgiveness doesn’t mean I have to be friendly, but just the simple act of letting go of the hurt and sometimes anger seems impossible. Why should that person be forgiven for such a horrible thing? I guess the answer is simple, because if I don’t I’m living in sin and as long as I carry this burden around I’m going to be unhappy. I don’t want to be this person who doesn’t take people for their words, doubts every single persons motive for being nice to me, assuming every friend I have secretly hates me. Why should everyone in my life now pay for the sins of those that were in my life in the past?
If only everyone had a stamp on their foreheads to state whether they were trustworthy, and meter to show just how real or fake they really are…
That’s not how it is, though. This is real life. Time for me to pick myself back up, again. Time to dust off my genuine smile, and know that people are being nice to me because they simply like me, not to dig up dirt on a myself, a friend, or family member. Time to take people for their words, and not second guess every other statement.
It might take a little time, and that’s okay. I’m damaged, but through forgiveness of others and forgiveness from God, I can be whole again.
Originally written by Angie as "If Only..." on February 4th, 2010
Every few months or so we have what we call a “Young at Heart” night at church where anyone that wants to come can show up to eat, fellowship, and play games. Our last event doubled as a surprise 40th birthday party for my sister-in-law, who got to celebrate with a cake that had black icing. This black icing was extremely messy. So my mother-in-law, also known as my pastor’s wife, decided to have fun with it. She smeared the black icing around her lips and began to let everyone see. As she headed toward our table, Naomi (my 3-year-old) said to her nana, “What the hell is that on your face?!”
We were all in shock. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I was torn between the two thoughts of “Oh my gosh, I cannot believe my daughter just said that,” and “OH. MY. GOSH. I canNOT believe my daughter just said that!!!!!” Naomi, however, had no idea that what she said was in any way wrong.
I kept thinking, “Where in the world did she hear that??” No one in our family uses that kind of language. No one she is around uses that kind of language. Then I thought to myself, “Surely she hasn’t heard it from tv enough to say it….surely not.”
A week or so later brought along another curse word. I was flabbergasted. I finally realized that she had to have heard it from tv because NO one in our family uses those words. Then I kept thinking, “Are the shows we watch really that bad?” Many of times I watch entire episodes of shows and never hear anything bad. Why? Because I don’t pay attention. After Naomi’s own two “episodes,” I became very aware of every word said on whatever we were watching- especially when she was in the room. I found myself saying, “Naomi, don’t say that,” or “You can’t say that word,” or just turning the channel because it was all just inappropriate.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking tv. But I’ve learned from experience and chatter with other moms that we tend to overlook things of this world and let them in our home without realizing it. It then interferes with the upbringing of our children and we’ll more than likely pay for it in a later situation. I decided I was going to start paying close attention to the things in my everyday life and since then, I’ve noticed a closer relationship with God…..and less tv. Not only has it made a difference in my life, but also in the lives of my kids. And let me just say, I do not miss it as much as I thought I would.
Okay, I know we are all guilty of this. Sure, there are mothers out there who are not. However, the simple fact that you are reading this post right now tells me you don’t fit into that small lump of women. What am I talking about?
Putting yourself last.
For some of you, it may just be a few areas in your life. For me, it’s ALL areas. My laundry is done last, my doctor’s appointments are put off and then cancelled, my preferences take a back seat to that of my family’s, and my kids are always dressed cute while my husband is looking handsome and I look like some hobo clown that broke in and photo bombed the family photo.
A few weeks ago I decided something needed to change. I told my husband that for my birthday next month I wanted to get my hair cut. Nothing special, just cut. “No problem!” he replied! But the biggest dilemma was that I desperately needed clothes. I’ve had 3 babies in less than 3 1/2 years. As a result I’ve put on weight and my structure has changed. (We’ll leave it at that, sounds nicer.) To say “I need a few things” is an understatement.
Last week I prayed two separate times for new clothes. Just twice. I didn’t mention my prayers to anyone, though I’m sure my need was obvious to those who looked upon me. I figured all I really needed was 2 or 3 outfits to rotate when I need to leave the house looking decently. We’re talking bare necessities here. I decided I would save up some pennies and either hit up some yard sales or visit a few thrift stores next month. In the mean time, I stopped praying. I thought of all of those in worse situations and felt as though I was being ungrateful. I would just make do with what I had.
Then yesterday I received a call from one of my closest friends, Crystal. Her parents own a dry cleaning business and was visiting them at their store. She wanted to know what size clothing I wear. I couldn’t imagine why, and while I did NOT want to admit to my skinny mini friend what my large size was, I answered the question. She then went on to tell me that a customer had recently lost a great deal of weight and asked her Dad to find someone that could use the clothes. To say I was shocked and excited is an understatement. Today I went through the clothes. All name brands. Really nice things, for all seasons. We’re not talking about a few things, we’re talking about an entire wardrobe. Most amazing thing of all? Each item fits perfectly. Nothing too big or too small.
My God Provides!!!
It is the everyday miracles like this that prove that God loves his children. The need for clothing, having children all nap at once so Mom can pray, the weather being just right so the family can get out and go for a walk, talking to the right representative on an important call, the kids getting along, the wrinkles on a baby’s foot, being treated to a nice dinner, and so many other ways. Now don’t get me wrong: terminal illnesses being healed and such are proof also. But the fact that God knew the need even though it wasn’t necessarily needed to survive and fulfilled the prayer speaks volumes. He loves me so much that he didn’t want me to be embarrassed when I leave the house. He knew that I needed just a smidgen of attention to refresh my appearance so that I could better care for my family.
If God cares so much about our everyday problems to perform everyday miracles, imagine what else he can do? Instead of looking at the big problems in your life, look at the little miracles. The everyday works that God does for you. Never forget to say “thank you”, and have faith. He’s not done with us yet!