Workers at Home – Day Four: My Journey to Becoming a Christian Mom
by Deb Weakly
“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”
1. Call your prayer partner for your 10-minute prayer call. Keep trying to connect until you get to pray together. This tiny habit of praying with a friend regularly will truly change your life! Done:______
2. Start your day with God. Grab your Bible, your journal, a pen, and a chair. Ask God to speak to you as you read his Word about the importance of a Christian mom.
3. Read Deuteronomy 6:4-7. Write these verses in your journal.
Many years ago, when we were expecting our first baby, I was placed on bedrest due to preterm labor. I was only twelve weeks along!
I remember feeling anxious at the thought of spending months on the couch with lots of time on my hands and nothing to do but lay on my left side and count contractions, so I decided the one productive thing I could do during this time was to read. This potentially depressing season turned out to be one of the biggest blessings of my life!
I began to read the Bible more than ever and learned new things about what it meant to be a Christian. I read the Old Testament, Proverbs, and Psalms and all about the life of Jesus. The Bible was starting to make more sense to me because I was able to regularly spend time with God.
I also read books which taught me about Christian motherhood by authors like Ruth Bell Graham, who was committed to her children and raised them up to serve the Lord with all of their hearts.
I read biographies about women like Susanna Wesley (the mother of John and Charles Wesley), who diligently prayed for her children an hour each day with an apron over her head. The children knew when the apron was over her head, not to disturb her because she was praying. She also spent one on one time with her 10 children every week, teaching them about God and memorizing Scripture. I saw the beauty of life as a Christian mom, and the unlimited potential and importance of the Christian home, and the joy of raising godly children.
I remember reading Deuteronomy 6 for the first time and being convicted about teaching our children about God:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7
From then on, I found myself on a quest to learn all I could from the Scriptures, spending time with Christ-centered moms, and life-giving books. I remember going to older women’s homes and crying because I deeply wanted what they had- a Christian home. I was learning but still felt like I didn’t know what I was doing because I didn’t grow up in a Christian home. I decided to put my whole heart and soul into learning all I could about raising up children who love Jesus. I was hungry to learn as much as possible and I prayed constantly asking God for help.
Now 23 years later, I am still learning more every day about how to be a Christian mom at each stage of my adult children’s lives. I am now in a season of letting go, but continually seek the Lord for wisdom and grace each day in order to know how to love well. I still make lots of mistakes, but I know God is with me and helps me to keep going. As moms, we are always learning, and never outgrow our need for the Lord to teach us what we need to know.
Thankfully, we have a God who longs to help us every step of the way in motherhood!
“For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a NASB.
God promises to “strongly support” you in your endeavor to raise up children for the Lord. Pray and ask Him to give you everything you need. Ask God for understanding as you read the scriptures, and to lead you to life-giving Christian women who can help you to learn what you need to know. Ask God for discernment as you are reading, and to help you to stay away from legalistic and worldly philosophies.
A good rule of thumb is this: if what you’re reading makes your heart angry or turn away from your children or husband, it’s not life-giving wisdom. Any philosophy which seems legalistic or makes you upset or feel hopeless with your family is not productive in my opinion.
Below, I am listing some of the books I read and enjoyed immensely. They encouraged me in my hunger to be the best Christian mom I could be.
As always, the best book ever is the Bible, and the best teacher is the Holy Spirit. You can learn everything you need to know there. I look at the other books as side dishes to my main meal of the Scriptures.
Workers at Home – Day Five: The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me
by Mari Jo Mast
“The Holy Spirit is the most influential mentor in your life. He is always willing to teach and guide you in all Truth.” ~ Alisa Hope Wagner
1. Do you need answers today for one or more of your children today? Open your Bible, and be encouraged! There is ONE who is able to bring hope!
2. Read Isaiah 61. Highlight verses 1-3 and if you like, read them out loud a second time.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…
If there is one thing we mothers often do not realize, it is the powerful influence we hold in our hands every day. We have a large, difficult and strong mandate from the Lord, whether we feel, know or like it.
The mission Jesus had to set the captives free, didn’t stop with Him but is meant to be continued with us. How often our very own children are brokenhearted, poor, blind, captives and prisoners to themselves and other things. They mourn and grieve, and we need to be anointed by God to help break them free from the chains that keep them bound. This is our greatest and most important work!
When God blesses us with earthly and heavenly possessions, he always equips us to steward them no matter how overwhelming it may seem. Children are our most valuable possessions here on earth. If he has given these precious gifts to us, then it is only fair for him to make available the wisdom it takes to raise them.
The good news is, Jesus loves and wants our children to be free, even more than we do. He is able to open our eyes and ears as a parent, so we can see and hear like he does. His answers always bring lasting change. Our own hearing and vision are not enough, it is seriously lacking because our flesh has no good thing to offer.
We cannot set our children free all by ourselves. Apart from God, we are also broken, helpless and impossible, and without him, the chains will never be broken. We need to be baptized with his baptism, the Spirit of Jesus himself. The Bible says he will gladly give the gift of his Spirit to those who ask! (Luke 11:13) This is key.
Many parenting self-help books give “good” or “perfect” advice and formulas for our children’s problems, but there is no substitute for the Holy Spirit in our parenting. We ALL have access to Him, the best teacher, and listener ever! We just need to ask. God created all of us to be able to hear him, not just a few select people. His voice becomes more familiar as we spend time with and get to know him better.
In our parenting, it is often necessary to repent and ask God to change how we feel about our own children. It’s difficult to see clearly when we are in the middle of a crisis or problem, but he can reveal the root of what we’re seeing only the fruit of, which often manifests as sinful or bad behavior.
Sometimes we may hear Jesus speaking something about our child/children that is completely different than what we have been believing. Often the way we are responding is not how we hear him respond. An exchange then has to be made. Our natural inclinations must be traded for his will: A laying down of our own flesh before we do what he tells us.
Moms, our children really need us to be Jesus to them. A timely word in season, a firm hand with grace with truth, a listening ear, an affectionate hug, a smile, a tender touch, compassion, a soft answer, eyes that see. To our relief, Jesus can help us do all of these things effectively!
The One who sees, knows and understands all things, will anoint us to do what he so beautifully does. Yes, as we release the Spirit of Jesus (by obeying his voice), he anoints us to free our children to walk and experience God’s love! Together we can change the world through our children!
Jesus brings beauty for ashes, gladness instead of mourning, and garments of praise in the place of despair….all through us! With him, we are the best answer for our children’s problems.
3. Questions to Ponder: Write the answer to this question in your journal.
- Can you believe today there is hope for your child/children? That Jesus holds the key to your problem? Do you believe the Spirit of Jesus in you can help set your child free? Can you surrender your own “want to’s” for his will? Do you really believe all things are possible and that Jesus cares? Pray and ask God to help you understand his truth about the answers to all of these questions. Ask him to help replace any lies with His truth, and to fill you with hope.
4. Faith-Filled Idea
- Repent if you have any doubt in your heart that God can change your child. Ask Jesus for forgiveness if you have been going your own way or going to others for advice before going to him.
God is more than able, dear Mom.
Workers at Home – Day Six: Using Our Time Wisely
by Rachel Jones
“Do not squander time, for it is the stuff life is made of.”
1. The most important part of your day is upon you. Make it count! Grab your Bible, a journal, a pen, and a mug of something yummy. Come with an expectant heart. Every day the Lord has something to teach us; we need only to sit at His feet and listen.
2. Read Ephesians 5:14-16. Write verse 15 on an index card and read it throughout the day. Commit it to memory.
Using Our Time Wisely
It is now officially 2016 and how are you feeling? Overwhelmed and stressed? Or are you ready to conquer this year with new goals and extra productivity? Today I would like to address the topic of time. Remember that every minute of every day is either wasted or wisely invested. There is no in-between. That statement is defining my new year! I have been learning the Lord cares deeply how we spend our time and he also cares what we are God created time and gives it to us as stewards. If we don’t wisely use our time, we will find we have little left over to do what is important. Time is a precious gift, and we each have a responsibility for how we spend the time God has given us. We should all echo Moses’ prayer to God in Psalm 90:12 as he cries out, “teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
If we use our time inappropriately or ineffectively, that time is lost forever and cannot be reclaimed. Time that is used unwisely reveals our weaknesses and also reveals what is truly important to us. After all, we always make time for what we enjoy the most. But what should be the most important to us and how can we manage our time better and use it more wisely.
~Set Priorities – Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us, “There is time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” In essence, we either set our life priorities or allow circumstances and other people to set them.
~Schedule Priorities – There is a right time and a right way to carry out our priorities.
Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 warns, “For a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every delight.” We must schedule time for solitude every day, spending time in God’s word and in prayer.
~Stick to Priorities – We already read in Ephesians 5:16, “Make the most of every opportunity.” Every challenge we face will either affirm or destroy our priorities. Right priorities stand firm in the face of change.
Precious mamas, I encourage and invite you to examine your time. Initiate schedule changes that honor God, commit this year to invest your time wisely, and pray for God’s wisdom to live a balanced life.
3. Questions to Ponder: Write the answer to this question honestly in your journal.
-Are you feeling convicted right now? How and why? If you answered yes, that is great! This is a very difficult subject for me personally and everything I wrote here is me learning right alongside you. I would also like to add that the Lord has pressed upon my heart for everyone reading this to not feel bad about themselves, or compare how their time is spent to anyone else’s time! We all have our own puzzle and the Lord knows exactly where we all are at.
4. Faith-Filled Idea:
Carve out an hour or two after the kids go to bed this week to seek the Lord in prayer regarding your time. Pray specifically about the year ahead and what activities and relationships your family is going to invest in. Write out some family goals and a few personal goals. Also, pray about a goal or a thing to focus on for each one of your children this year. Do this with your husband or share your ideas with him afterwards.It is critical that the two of you are on the same page.