She is Blessed

Her children rise up and bless her.
~Proverbs 31:28a

There is no shortage of blogs dedicated to motivating underappreciated mothers. You know what I’m talking about: the kind that remind you that changing your child’s vomit-soaked sheets for the third time in the third watch of the night has eternal weight. The kind that draws tears down your nodding face as it applies inspirational Scripture to your triumph in NOT locking your bedroom door and burying your head under your pillow as your two-year-old mashes poop into your carpet whilst in the throes of the worst tantrum this side of the Pecos. And that side, too. Way to go, Momma – that little monkey will surely rise up and be the next Mother Teresa because of your patience through The Crap Catastrophe of 2014! 

I appreciate these types of posts as much as the next mom; truly, I do. Tears stream down my nodding face when I read them, too, because it really does remind me in those mundane moments that I’m sowing eternal seeds — that anyone would be hard-pressed to think of a more important mission than shepherding little hearts and teaching them big truths about the God who loves them with a love even bigger than Momma’s. The vomit and poop aside, there is no greater job.

And of course, my little goose rises up every morning and blesses me, just like the verse predicts.

He says, “Thank you, Mom, for always being there. I know you work hard to make me food five times a day, and to keep my environment clean and enriching. Oh and I know that cleaning my booty isn’t fun. But it’s so great that you do those things, because I’m just a little kid and otherwise, I’d be hungry and bored and stinky and really upset all the time. Oh and the best thing? I LOVE it when you tell me about Jesus! Tell me more about Him, Mom! Right now, while you change my diaper!”

(Or some variation thereof. This is just a general idea.)

Or, maybe it’s more like this:

I hear him call, “Ma-ma! Ma-ma! Ma-ma!” through the monitor when he wakes up. He knows he can trust me to be there.

If he’s feeling happy, he smiles and laughs when I open his door.

If he’s feeling grumpy, he whimpers and cuddles in close when I pick him up.

He tells me all about his dreams as I change his diaper, and then he sits sweetly with me as we watch Imagination Movers before breakfast.

He shows me every day that he’s learning new things, like words and letters and numbers colors and how to follow directions and — oh this one’s the best — how to pray with me. (“‘Sus, kank oo. Wub oo. Mama. Da-ee. Bobo. Mahmen.” Which translated is “Jesus, thank you. Love you. Bless Mama. Bless Daddy. Bless Bobo. Amen.”)

He trusts me. He knows I’ll help him when he needs it, and he knows I’ll kiss his boo-boos. He comes running up to me for no reason, says, “Mama!” and hugs me.

His eyes sparkle when he looks at me.

He rises up and blesses me — every morning.

All kids do, in some way. We’ve got to cling to those precious gifts — those little affirmations that it’s worth it. We must persevere through the defiance and the attitude and everything that makes parenting hard and remember that every morning that they rise up and look to us, trusting us for whatever they need, they are blessing us. They can’t help it.

It’s our job, then, to recognize every victory — no matter how small — as the blessing it is. If you look out for these blessings, you’ll see your child(ren) blessing you even on the most difficult of days and through the most difficult seasons. Persevere; keep doing what the Lord has called you to do, keep learning how to do it better and how to be more faithful, but don’t miss how your child(ren) already bless you, despite your mistakes and theirs.

 

♥ ♥ ♥

My Son, Not only are you blessed, but you are a profound blessing to me. Every single day, even the hard ones. Thank you for being you. 

My Love, Thank you for all the support you’ve given me in this journey of parenthood. This post is about Bennett, but you bless me every day, too. Your post is coming soon. :)

My God, What a magnificent array of blessings You’ve bestowed on me through my guys. I am so thankful and so humbled that You gave them to me. Give me the strength and the wisdom to be for them the wife and mother they need and deserve!

♥ ♥ ♥

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(This post is part of a series on Proverbs 31. Click here to see all posts in this series.)

She’s a Spy!

She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
~Proverbs 31:27

Before becoming a full-time homemaker, I taught middle school for six years. We moved twice during that time, so my experience comes from three different school districts in two states, and I served students from many different backgrounds (including religious, racial, socioeconomic, national, etc.). A sadly common thread:

So many parents have no idea who their children really are, what their children really believe and value, how their children spend the majority of their time, or with whom they’re spending it. (Or they’re in denial.)

We could go down a road here talking about why that is, but that would be a never-ending road. There are so many factors, including the child’s own will and the enemy’s active work in his life. Not all of these children had lazy or careless or absent parents.

This is scary to me. It’s scary to look at my charming 18-month-old son and realize that I cannot ultimately control his choices or ultimately ensure his joy. Does that mean I’m powerless?

No!  

It means I have a lot of work to do! The verse above says that I am to look well to (look out or about, spy, keep watch, observe) the ways (goings and doings) of my household.

We’ve got to be spies, y’all! And what’s the first rule of being a spy? Well, I don’t know because I’m not one, but I’m going to say that it is this:

You must not accept what is merely apparent as being the full picture. (She looks well to the ways of her household.)

Accepting things at face-value makes for a terrible spy. “Well Mr. President, I personally met all the people on this list you gave me. They are all really charming, hospitable people. Some even bought my dinner and chatted with me about the merits of our country. I don’t think you have anything to worry about.” Someone’s going to end up dead if that spy is trusted! I submit to you that we need to take our roles as mommy spies just as seriously, because “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

We’ve all heard of those families that seemed to “have it all,” or that were “so happy,” or that were “Christian,” but that ultimately fell apart. Or the children strayed and never embraced the values and beliefs of their parents, bringing them much grief and heartache. Well, what’s merely apparent is not really ever the full picture. We must have our eyes and ears open; we must be alert. This doesn’t mean we need to be creepy stalkers and control freaks. It simply means that we should be active students of our husbands and of our children, so that we know when something is amiss. We may not know exactly what is wrong, but we should be perceptive enough to pick up on the fact that something is.

This brings me to the second rule of being a spy:

You must pray your knees off. (She does not eat the bread of idleness.)

(This would be rule number one, except that it’s easy to have your head in the sand, taking things at face value and praying shallow or misguided prayers. How often do we pray idle prayers just out of habit? You need to have some understanding of what’s going on around you — as well as the gravity of what’s going on — before you can pray anything useful about it.)

The Power of a Praying Parent   -     By: Stormie Omartian

I have been reading and praying through The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian for a few months now. Every day during nap time, I pray through one chapter for my son. In this book, the author mentions a few times how she prayed regularly that God would reveal to her anything about her children that she needed to know in order to be a good mother to them. She has several stories where those prayers were answered, and areas of sin or struggle were revealed to her in unexpected ways. She was then able to pray more specifically and also to take specific actions when necessary. I very strongly recommend this book to parents of children of all ages; it’s never too early or too late to start praying specifically for them!

Christian ladies, we have the God of heaven and earth in our hearts. There is amazing power in that! He is the source of all wisdom and all truth, and our prayers through His Spirit are mighty! We must not be lazy or idle with our time, for “laziness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle man will suffer hunger” (Proverbs 19:15).

So many people are asleep spiritually. They are blinded to what’s happening in their hearts and in their homes; they’re oblivious to the active work of the enemy, who prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may destroy. The idle man suffers hunger, and hunger can and does lead to death. Let us then be diligent, watchful spies!

♥ ♥ ♥

My Son, I’m watching you! 

My Love, I’m watching you, too!

My God, thank You for watching over all of us. Make me an excellent wife and a wise mother, who watches not to be in control, but to be effective. Help me to love my men well and to see when something needs special attention. I know this is an immense responsibility — this wife-ing and mothering — but I also know that never once have I ever walked alone.

♥ ♥ ♥

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(This post is part of a series on Proverbs 31. Click here to see all posts in this series.)

Splishy Splash! {Kid Video}

Recorded this two months ago, but he still does this almost every time he takes a bath! He puts his little index fingers on his cheeks (“happy,” though that’s not the real sign) to show me he wants to sing the song and splash!

How My Love Loves Me – Day 12

Love NEVER ENDS.
1 Corinthians 13:8

Before Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross start singing “Endless Love” on your mind’s iPod, I want to step back a bit. I do believe that my Love and I will eternally love each other as fellow heirs of salvation, but I don’t believe that we’ll be in this blissful state of eternal romantic love together with each other because, well, Jesus said that we won’t. While I like to imagine that my Love will hold a special place in my heart for all eternity, I know that eternity will be all about God: worshipping Him, loving Him, enjoying Him, and honoring Him with my gifts. So to me, that’s what this verse is ultimately about. That endless love.

John told us that God is love, and that the only way we know how to love is because He loved us first. So that’s how I see our marital love: it’s a symbol of the eternal. Inasmuch as my Love loves me and sacrifices for me and shows me that I’m worth fighting for, I know that God does all of that and more. Over the years, my Love has been painting a picture of how Jesus loves His Bride, the Church, and gave Himself up for her. It’s a beautiful picture, and it’s serving to help me love not only my husband more, but my Savior more. That impacts eternity, don’t you think?

I love you, my Love! Happy Valentine’s Day!