Do I believe that God has a plan for mankind or not? Do I believe that that plan
includes me? If I do, can I trust Him with the 'dailiness' of life? Not so much
what to have for supper, or what brand of soap to buy, although if He knows how
many hairs are on my head, He might care about that. But how about the prayers
that I have prayed for my children, and yet don't see fulfilled. How about the
health issues I'm still praying about for my husband? How about… It could
go on and on.
The longer I am a Christian, the easier it becomes for me to walk in faith. To
believe even though I can't yet see. Not yet easy, but easier.
We need to have faith in God's love for us and in His interest in our lives. He
loves us and our children more than we ever could.
If we are still breathing, this chapter of our life is not yet finished.
I will choose to keep praying and believing that my prayers are powerful and effective.
God has a plan for me and allthose that I love! Jesus said in John 10:10 "...I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly."
I was given a wonderful book by Holley Gerth entitled, You're Already Amazing. Ms. Gerth
had placed a bookmark inside of the book. These are the words that Ms. Gerth
has written on the bookmark:
"You are a woman of strength-more than a conqueror, able to do all things, a warrior and princess in the
kingdom of God. You are called to persevere, to minister, to pray, to change the world.
The Lord has given you all you need and made you all need to be for victory."
Sometimes I think that we are our own worst enemy. We can find fault in almost everything we do. We can feel frumpy and undesirable if we compare our looks and figure with the numerous celebrities featured on the covers of magazines as we check out of the grocery store. We can look at other blogs and wish that our homes looked like theirs, or that we could write like they can, or that we can take beautiful photographs like they do. It can go on and on.
We can compare our children with other people’s children, and assume that if we were better moms………wait, what does better mean?
When my children were very young I found myself comparing my abilities or lack of, with almost every mom that I met. I was so insecure. I felt so inadequate. When I look back on it, I think lack of sleep played a big part. I also felt very alone, and couldn’t find an older woman that could help me learn to do a better job in my role as a Christian wife and mother.
As time went on, and I learned more about what God says in His word, I began to accept myself, flaws and all. I did start reading books to help me learn how to be a better parent and wife, and my husband and I joined several Bible studies and took parenting courses. All of those things helped. But the bottom line was, and in fact still is, I am flawed. I am a sinner saved by grace. I need a Savior. Romans 3:21- 27. God presented Jesus as a sacrifice for my sins. How wonderful!
I also learned how dangerous and harmful it is to envy and covet.
A girlfriend helped me learn to laugh at some of my mistakes and shortcomings. That was so freeing!
I’d like to end this post with a true story.
God his given me many gifts, however, cooking is not one of them. Here’s a story in point. I received a phone call one morning from my son’s kindergarten teacher. She said that she just wanted to fill me in on something that happened because my son might be coming home quite upset. Each week she had been teaching the children about a color. They learn about flowers that had that color, uses for the color and foods that shared the color. She went on to explain to me that this was the last week, and they were talking about the color black. As she prepared to end the session, she asked if there was any example of a black food. She was very surprised to see a hand raised. That had not happened in the 20+ years she was teaching. It was my son. She asked him what food he thinking of that was black. He quickly and confidently answered, “Grilled cheese sandwiches.”
He had no idea why the other children were laughing at him and she was afraid he was quite offended.
I’m laughing about it even as I type it. My children thought all grilled cheese sandwiches were black on both sides! When I explained it to his teacher we both laughed, almost uncontrollably.
That experience actually helped me learn to laugh at myself more often!!
Let’s ease up on ourselves. Let’s give ourselves a break. It’s certainly a lot more fun than being our own worst enemies!!!!
Every day is a gift. The Bible instructs us to choose to rejoice every day. I can blame a poor attitude on hormones, or lack of sleep, or many other factors, but the truth remains….I have made a choice to be grouchy. That realization became evident to me when my youngest two were 3 and 2 years old. The day started out with a whiny two year old in pain due to teething, a husband who had been out all night helping lambs give birth, and now needed my help, a pantry void of oatmeal and a refrigerator empty of milk and eggs. Any one of those could have caused my rotten mood, but the combination made me unfit to be around.
Then, the phone rang. My best girlfriend had an idea. She was given a gift certificate to a local restaurant and had asked her 16 year old niece to babysit her children and mine as well so that we could go out for lunch and then some shopping. We would have two WHOLE hours to play and eat. All of a sudden my mood changed! My circumstances at home did not. I helped my hubby, showered and left. Woo-hoo!!
What was the difference?
Had my children done anything to deserve a grouchy mommy? Had my husband ? Even if they had, as a Christian I now have the power to CHOOSE my attitude and thoughts.
I understand that I live in a flesh body in a fallen world, and I all fail, but I needed an adjustment!! Know what I mean?
I’ve been posting about what I have learned about walking by faith as a busy, often tired mom………..
I think that one of the most surprising ways that I have learned to increase my faith, is to increase the number of times that I am thankful during the day!!! It’s just like the song little children sing, “Count your blessings name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done. ” Being thankful causes me to remember how faithful God has been in the past, and how I can trust Him to be faithful today and in the future!! Phil. 4:4-7
This post is a continuation of a series exploring how a busy mom can walk by
faith during a typical 24-hour day.!
Dreading tomorrow or regretting yesterday, steals our joy and makes walking by
faith very difficult. It's not okay to worry, and second-guessing usually leads
to confusion and fear. We have to learn not to let the mistakes or failures
from our past. cause us to fear, or doubt our ability to walk differently in
the future Every day is a gift and an opportunity to walk by faith. Matthew
Another factor in walking by faith is walking in love. That's a tough one. God
is love, and the Bible says that it's impossible to please God without faith,
and that we are to walk in love. Why is it so easy to think that we are lovable
and others are very hard to love? I was not a nice wife the first year that my
husband and I were married. I had no idea what submission meant, and a very
warped idea of what godly love looked like. It wasn't until the birth of our
first child, a son, several months after our first year of marriage, that I
acknowledged how horrible my behavior towards my husband had been. As I glanced
at our son, just several minutes old, I realized that he was someone's son. Did
I want my precious newborn son's future wife to treat him the way I was treating
someone Else's son?
Our marriage greatly improved!! Walking in strife and bitterness, and not being
willing to forgive is incompatible with walking by faith!
I'll post more tips that I learned about walking by faith tomorrow!
This post and those for the next couple days will deal with walking by faith. Yesterday’s post was the introduction.
Before I could fully meditate on what my life would look like if I walked daily by faith, I had to understand what my purpose and daily life on this Earth should look like.
Colossians 3:23 and 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 pretty much sum it up for me. With a slight paraphrase the verses say,’ whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. You are not your own, you were bought with a price…………’
If that is true, and I believe it is, then each day has a purpose. It changed my attitude and my focus. The goals for my day were not merely to survive, but to thrive, and accomplish what God would want me to that day with joy.
Here are some tips that have helped me over the past 20 years since I started walking this narrow road:
Have a heart that honors God. Proverbs 3:5-6. I ask God each morning not only to direct my day but to help me fulfill His will for my life that day. There is nothing that is too small or insignificant in my day to matter. I believe everything matters.
I must be very careful not to envy others. Proverbs 14:30, and many other verses in the Proverbs talk about the dangers of envy. I don’t think it’s possible to be envious and jealous and walk in faith the same time.
I wanted to always be prepared to open my house, hand, and time to those in need. One day I was feeling sorry for myself being alone with young children all day. I cried out to God and told Him that if I was ever going to be a missionary or evangelize, He was going have to send people to my house, because it felt like I would never be able to leave my house in a sane state again. I didn’t realize that I was already involved in the most important missionary work possible, my own children. I also didn’t really believe that He was going to answer that prayer. But He did. Cars broke down along our busy road right in our driveway. People walking or hitchhiking would come to our door asking for help. Although we didn’t have children in our immediate neighborhood, children showed up almost every day in the summer at our house to play. It would take me hours and hours to post all of the wonderful stories and experiences that we had because of the fulfillment of that prayer!
One of the biggest problems that I had as a new Christian involved my mouth. I hadn’t realized it, but one of the biggest problems I had as a Jew was controlling my mouth! I had to learn that the tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21. The Bible is very specific about the power of our words. Walking in faith but speaking words of fear, doubt, or unbelief, will not bring about the results that we desire. I still have to make a conscious effort many times a day to respond with words of love and grace, as opposed to react with the tone of voice and words that I later regret.
Along that same line, I had to learn to control my thoughts. Philippians 4:8. The Bible is very specific about the thoughts that we are to have. If I take thoughts that the Bible says I should not take, I can’t expect to be walking in faith. Joyce Myers describes it as ‘stinkin thinkin’ I still struggle with thoughts that I shouldn’t have.
Can faith be real in the life of a busy mom today?
When I first became a Christian, and started reading the Bible, even the most simple words like faith would confuse me. I had no idea what the word faith really meant. I had always used that word to be synonymous with trust. But I wasn’t sure if that was the way I was to understand it now.
I used my concordance to look up all of the verses in the New Testament that contain the word faith. It was quite an exhaustive search. By the end of my search I was more confused than ever. I had no idea what Hebrews 11:1 really meant. “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see..” Really? What in the world did that mean?
My next question to God was how do we get it?
Romans 10:17 told me “that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
Romans 12:3 explained that God has given each of us a measure of faith.
I felt a lot better that I had been given some faith, but now was wondering how important it really was. I was shocked to learn that ” the righteous will live by faith” Galatians 3:11 and most especially by Hebrews 11:6 ” and without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe that he exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him”
A s I continued reading the Bible, I understood that I didn’t want too little faith as explained in Luke 12.
I finally began to grasp the concept after reading Luke 7:1-10. It is the story of the centaur in a servant is sick. The bottom line was that I needed faith to believe that God’s Word is true and powerful and will work in my life, if I only believe. I knew that I had enough faith to believe in a God that I couldn’t see because I knew that I knew that I knew that I was born again. I knew that if I could believe Isaiah chapters 53, 54 and 55 and Romans chapters 10 and 11, and John chapter 3 in order to be born again, I could believe all of the word of God. That was the beginning of my faith walk.
I still encountered many trials and many times that I questioned my faith and how to walk in faith as a busy mom of a five-year-old, four-year-old, two-year-old, and newborn. I needed God’s word and my faith in it, to be real in my physically and emotionally demanding and sleep deprived state!
Over the years, slowly but surely, I began to grow in my faith walk. Tomorrow I’ll share the first five of 15 tips that helped me in this journey!
Thanks to everyone who commented and sent me messages concerning our stillborn son Marc!!!!
That’s one of the many reasons I have learned to appreciate the many friends I have made through the Internet! We need each other. Husbands are wonderful and I do believe that when we marry we become one, but we also need the input and friendship of women in our lives!!
I’ve posted several times about the wonderful resources from Focus on the Family. I don’t even want to think about what my life might have been like without their daily broadcasts and their resources.
One of the articles in the December 2011 issue of the Thriving Family magazine, from Focus on the Family, is so powerful, that I consider it life changing. I cried and cried at the end of the one-page article. It is written by Dr. Juli Slattery and starts with this simple statement:
“Imagine that someone handed you a blank journal and a pen. Your assignment: write the script for your child’s life.”
She goes on to write,” What if you were told that everything you wrote in the journal would come to fulfillment? You could choose the perfect career, lifestyle and spouse for your child. You could even determine exactly when and how your child’s life would end. What would you write?”
It is such a sobering thought. As my children have now all entered the teenage years and above, I see some of them making some choices I probably would not have made for them. I understand, or I’m trying to understand, the letting go process. It’s an interesting time in my life.
Dr. Slattery continues asking some interesting questions in the article. She compares modern day moms with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and raises some very thought provoking issues. Like this paragraph:
” Mary’s story challenges me to ask myself, what crosses do I keep my children from bearing? Out of the depths of my love, what aspects of God’s plan to I fight to protect my sons from? What pain, difficult choices and persecution do I train them to avoid?”
Out of our love for our children, are we hindering or altering the path that God would have them travel?
I don’t want to give away the end of the article. If you live near me, I will gladly share my magazine with you! But I strongly encourage you to subscribe to Thriving Family! It’s wonderful!
I receive no compensation I am not part of Focus on the Family the ministry has been such a huge blessing in my life, I just want to pass the information on to you!!!
You can find out more about Focus on the Family here