At iBelieve.com, we strive to offer authentic and real life stories for women in all stages of life. Being a mom can be one of the most rewarding yet most challenging time in a woman's life. Find timely advice for raising your children to love God and follow a Biblical worldview while escaping for moments of mommy encouragement and refreshment! Whether you’re a mom of 1 or 10, single mom or step mom, we want to supply you with the tools you need to be an effective example of God’s love and grace in your home!
It doesn’t matter if you are a brand-new mother or if you have been mothering for decades, we all want to be the best we can be. I desire to encourage you and help equip you for the great task with which God has entrusted you: motherhood. We truly do raise them up to send them out. So how do we rise above the blur of activity into which our culture seems to drag us? How can we savor each moment and slow down enough to celebrate each day? How can we grasp the wonder of each life, created in the image of God, in the midst of our over-committed and over-indulged culture?
My desire is to help you navigate this high calling with greater confidence. My husband likes to remind young mothers that the days are long, but the years are short. With our four children grown and now having children of their own, we can express this with the certain knowledge that only experience brings. When we were raising our children, I wanted to freeze certain moments—times when I was more aware than usual I would never have that particular moment again. Those moments occurred most often around our dinner table where talk of our day or teasing and laughter lifted me above the daily routine, and I would almost catch my breath at the wonder of motherhood. I would look into the faces of those I loved around the table and marvel that God had allowed me to help shape these magnificent creations of His.
But I also remember those days when I was too weary to function after being up with a sick child or a new baby. I would trudge into the kitchen, where dishes from the night before greeted me as I tried to clear a space for breakfast and school lunches, only to hear one of my children gasp as they remembered they were supposed to bring cupcakes for the school party. You know those days. We have all had them on occasion. So how do we treasure instead of dread the daily?
The only way to rise above the mundane is to live from an eternal vantage point. I want to encourage you to spend time becoming the woman God has called you to be so you can imprint a love for Him into the hearts and minds of your children (Deut. 6:4–9). Set aside a specific time and place to meet with Jesus daily in His Word and in prayer. He is the only one who can give you insight into your children, to help you see who He has created them to be so you can train them in the way they are to go. We cannot pass on what we don’t possess. May you live in such a way that even if your children run from God, they will never be able to deny His existence because of what they have seen in your life.
My youngest daughter, Bethany, wrote a blog for Mother’s Day a few years ago. She expressed thanks so beautifully for all the things I have done for her through the years. (They really do notice!) Her conclusion about what was most important really brings it all together, though. It is the same thing Jesus commended Mary for choosing—Him! He is the “one thing” no one will ever be able to take away from you. Sitting at His feet in His Word and prayer changes who you are. Christ molds you into the woman He has created you to be as you reflect Him accurately to your family and a lost world.
These are the words of our youngest daughter from her blog, Struggle to Surrender:
“It all came to me a few years ago when we went to Evangelical Christian School to share with the 5th-grade girls and their moms. I was supposed to address the 5th-grade girls about how to be a good friend through middle school and high school. At the end, I was supposed to address the moms about what was important to do for their girls during their school years. I immediately had to choke back tears that I was not expecting to come. I stared at the moms of these precious 5th-grade girls, and all I could get out was, ‘Your daughter’s greatest need from you is for you just to love Jesus.’ I choked out some more things but had to sit down before I lost it. As I think back to your impact on my life, I really do appreciate all of the things you have done and do for me. But the way you love Jesus has impacted me the very most.”
The best advice I can pass on to you mothers is choose Jesus! Rearrange your schedule so you choose Him! He is your greatest need and your heart’s greatest desire. He is the One thing. Choose Him, and He will help you become the woman and mother you desire to be. Choose wisely, and you will live fully!
Lord, I pray now for the moms who are reading this. I pray you would instill in them a deep hunger for yourself. I pray you would drive them to have a holy hunger for you. Help them Lord – their plates are so full and their schedules are so busy. Give them eyes to see when they have time for you. Give them the energy to spend free moments with you. Help them make time for you through the day, by praying as they live out their days, and by pointing their children to you in awe, wonder and appreciation. Help these moms live out their calling faithfully and joyfully. It’s in your name I pray, Amen.
Donna Gaines is a speaker and author of Choose Wisely, Live Fully. She is also the founder of Arise2Read, a nonprofit organization that recruits churches to adopt and provide tutors for inner-city elementary schools. She also teaches Bible study at her home church, Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church, in which her husband, Steve Gaines, Southern Baptist Convention President, pastors. Learn more at www.donnagaines.org.
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