“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me— watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
“If the Holy Spirit were to leave your ministry [your home] today, how long would it take you to notice?” Francis Chan
- Today, the invitation from the Holy Spirit is to come to Him, and He will give you real rest. God invites us to walk with Him and to learn from Him. Choose, in this moment, to block out any distraction and keep company with Him so that your burden will be lightened.
- Open your Bible and read about God’s Holy Spirit in John 14:15-21 and John 16:7-15. What do we know about why Jesus gave us His Spirit?
The Holy Spirit & Abiding Motherhood
Motherhood is a commitment of epic proportions! As moms, we spend our days accomplishing a vast list of important and…not so important things. These tasks are time-consuming and taxing!
Consider the sheer volume of resources available to “help us” in our duties. There are books that deal with ADD, bedtime, discipline, defiance, curfew, complaining, bed-wetting, biting, finances, friends, fighting in the car, manners, media, potty training…you name it!
Someone once said that “in raising children, the days are long, but the years are short.” As a young mom, I wondered, “Will I make it through this day alive and sane?” and yet, now as an empty-nester, I can’t help but wonder how it all happened so fast!
Although necessary duties fill our days, there is something spiritual about our mothering that often gets lost in the mundane. What does the Bible say to us about “true help” from the One Jesus called the “Helper?” The Holy Spirit is the One who can help us capture a glimpse of eternity in the midst of the ordinary.
John 15: 1-5 tells us that Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches. This means that we find our power and strength, our nutrition and life source, from Him. We are told in verse 5 that apart from Him we can do nothing. In the chapters before and after John 15 (John 14:15-21 and John 16:7-15), we learn “how” to abide.
Jesus is telling His disciples that He is about to leave them but that He is not leaving them alone. Essentially, He’s telling them that they can’t do it alone! He tells them that He is sending the Holy Spirit (the Helper), and that it is through Him that they will be empowered to live the life He has imagined for them.
I can’t tell you how many times I struggled through the day in my role as a mother “apart from the Vine.” I foolishly tried to parent alone. And as a result, I felt alone. I felt weary. Anxious. And yet, because of His kindness, my Savior would lovingly beckon me…reminding me that I was not alone and that He was available for strength, perspective, and comfort.
It was in those moments that I stopped striving and simply would pray, “Holy Spirit, help me. Give me the strength and wisdom I need in this situation. Grant me Your peace and Your love so that I can have those things to give to my children. You have entrusted these children to me, but You have never asked me to parent them without you! Refresh me in the midst of chaos. Renew my mind and give me Your clarity. I worship You and abide in You alone.”
Abiding in the power of the Holy Spirit is not something we do once; it’s something we choose to do continually. As soon as we begin to come unraveled or sense that we are trying to muster out our motherhood in our strength is the very moment we must stop. Stop whatever we are doing or the thoughts that consume us and ask Him for help. It’s something that will happen dozens or even hundreds of times in a day. And don’t be afraid to bring your children in on this narrative. Allow them to see that mommy needs to go to God’s Holy Spirit for all her needs. As you model abiding, your children will learn from an early age the importance of this discipline.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- In what ways are you trying to “go it alone?” What circumstances or triggers cause you to disconnect from your source of strength in the Holy Spirit?
- Have you bought into the lie of “perfect parenting?” Are you drained and discouraged trying to impress everyone…including yourself?
- Identify some practices and/or people that will encourage your dependence upon the Holy Spirit both in the posture of your heart and the actions you implement.
Here are some ideas that helped me as a young mom turn the routine duties of parenting into a life that had a more spiritual perspective:
- Determine to worry less and pray more.
- Recognize that worry is an energy zapper!
- Set aside time each day for a few minutes of quiet reflection in God’s Word and time in prayer.
- When a difficult situation arises, ask God’s Holy Spirit for wisdom and strength before acting.
- Write out prayers or verses and place them around your home for encouragement.
- Pray with and for your child.
2. Abandon the idea of perfect parenting.
- When you fail, ask for forgiveness. Model how your children should respond when they fail.
- Dismiss the urge to impress everyone…including yourself!
- Set realistic goals and communicate them to your family members.
- Resist the “Super-Parent” lie…and ask for help!
3. Be involved with like-minded parents.
- Get or stay involved in a local church and “mom” groups.
- Meet neighbors with your same values to create play dates or outings.
- Take time for yourself to have “adult conversations”…guilt free!
Start putting these things into practice today! At the end of the day, you may still feel exhausted as you drop into bed, but you will know that you have invested in what really matters most in this life!
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