Tag Archives: faith

The Mommy Wars: Who’s Really Winning

Holding Hands

Stay-at-home moms v. Working moms. It’s an ugly battle. It rages in the media, across Facebook pages and in articles written by women who accuse each other of being less-than-women because of their personal choices. It’s a battle filled with venom-laced words, accusatory tones and emotional tirades.

I’ve been the victim before. I’m sure you have, too.

Moms. Stop it.

Stop it right now.

This “Mommy War” business has to end. Mostly because no one is winning and no one ever will. Satan is winning.

For too long now we’ve pitted our sides against each other, ignoring the sisterhood of mothering that binds us, strutting around with our “to do” lists hanging out of our over-sized bags, judging each other based on who can accomplish the most tasks.

Well accomplishing tasks has nothing to do with mothering.

Nothing at all.

Working moms can be terrible mothers. Stay-at-home moms can be terrible mothers.

Working moms can be amazing mothers. Stay-at-home moms can be amazing mothers.

So why are we intent on abusing each other verbally and emotionally because of what we DO?

Why not instead lift each other up because of who we ARE?

Because we are too busy listening to The Deceiver who tells us that in order to be fulfilled we must find happiness.

So he robs us of the joy that we have in our family, our situations, our lives in the moment. Instead this Deceiver forces us to acknowledge what we don’t have instead of what we do. He tells us that the focus of our lives is perfection that can be attained—we can have it all and that getting it will bring us happiness. He tells us that our lives are not for living, instead they are for achieving. We must do more, accomplish more, make more.

But what if we could just be more?  Woman Walking

What if, no matter our “profession,” our time, talents, and energies went into glorifying God in every moment of every day?

What if we stopped looking at the “to do” list of another woman, judging her based on her accomplishments, and focused on ourselves and how we could be more for God?

Who would benefit? Those around us. Our husbands. Our children. Our families. Our co-workers.

Too many times we burn our candle at both ends because we’re too busy trying to please everyone but the One who matters.

What if our candle was lit at both ends to shine a brilliant light for the Only One who has ever lived Perfection?
What if, instead of judging each other because we have a career or stay at home, we held each other accountable for our glorification of God?

The Deceiver would have us believe that we can have it all. That desire is the under-running current of the Mommy Wars.  It’s draining.

What we need, moms, is to be filled. Filled with joy. Filled with love, compassion, and sisterhood. Filled with success and encouragement, filled with desire and motivation.

Want to be fulfilled as a mom? Turn to the Only One who can fill you.

Then share that joy with another woman. Lace your words with encouragement and delight. Motivate another mom today with the happiness that comes from joy in the Lord.

Share with me: What is the most encouraging piece of advice another mom or woman has given you?

 

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Please Don’t Tell Me You’ll Pray for Me

Please Don't Tell Me You'll Pray for MeI don’t want you to tell me you’re going to pray for me.

That’s right.

I don’t want you to just tell me.

What I want is for you to actually pray.

When it comes to prayer, your follow-through is much more important than your good intentions.

There is a disease within the church that manifests itself in good-intentions, presenting in kind words and affirmations but rooted in symptoms like selfishness and broken trust.

We’re quick to promise our prayers to the needy, quick to confirm that we will lift their concerns and hurting souls up to our great and mighty God, but we hide within us the truth—we have no intentions of doing so.

We say we will because it’s the “Christian” thing to do.

“I’m going to pray for you.” “I’ll be praying.” “I’ll add you to my prayer list.” “Praying!” “I’ll take it to the Lord.”

Those are promises. Promises that come with mighty weight.

People depend on those promises of prayer.

Their comfort comes from the thought that their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are going before the God of Healing and Comfort and presenting their requests before the Lord.

Prayer, Praise, & Dirty Little SecretsThose who need the prayer seek the security of knowing that there is a unified, praying army beseeching the gates of Heaven, presenting requests to God on behalf of those who are weary, weak, and hurting. On behalf of the lost.

But perhaps the army of prayer warriors isn’t as strong as one might think. There’s a chink in the armor—that chink is you.

Perhaps you are too busy. Perhaps you are forgetful. Perhaps you don’t really believe in prayer at all.

You are the one who said you would pray, but you haven’t. You don’t. You only said those words because that’s what one says to someone who is hurting.

After all, what more can you do?

But that’s just it—praying for someone is the most powerful, life-changing, loving thing that you can do.

Praying for someone demonstrates not only your love for that person, but God’s love.

You are a manifestation of Jesus Christ, loving that person through prayer. You are handing their brokenness, their pain, their anxiety and weakness to the Healer, the Provider, the Creator of all things.

So don’t let them down.

Praying for someone requires no fancy words or mammoth time commitment. What it requires is a loving heart of truth, the follow-through of loving someone in Christ beyond the capacity of your forgetful mind and your busy schedule.

It requires devotion to a Christ-like walk that loves by following through.

So don’t just tell me you are going to pray for me.

Do it.

Share with me: How can I pray for you this week?

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For Those of Us Who Are Bad At “Quiet Time” — How To Do It

Bad at Quiet Time 2

Yesterday I posted about how I’ve always been pretty slack at having a regular Quiet Time.

It’s only been in the past calendar year that I’ve established a Quiet Time, but it has made all the difference.

Yesterday I discussed Why We Need Quiet Time.

Now that you know why you need it, here are some tips on how to make the most of devoting daily time to God.

Tips for establishing your own Quiet Time:

— Become a morning person. Okay, I’ve probably lost some of you now. I know that for some of you it’s impossible to find time in the morning for this. I also know that some of you are murderous before 9 am. But it’s worth it.

I’m going to tell you what you need to do. And you won’t like it. And you know it’s coming. Yes. You have to get up earlier.

I know, I know. I happen to be a morning person (don’t hate) but I also love and cherish sleep. So when my alarm goes off and it’s still dark out and no one in my house is stirring, it’s painful. The bed is warm. I get little sleep as it is. It would be so easy for me to hit that snooze bar again and roll over.

But Jesus is more. He is more important. He is more precious. He. Is. More.

Isn’t he? If I believe it, am I willing to get up early to show him? If I’m not willing, what does that say about me– about my dedication to following him?

Some would argue that Quiet Time at any time of day is acceptable. Let’s be clear– I agree 100%. God doesn’t care what the clock says, as long as you are spending time with Him.

But having quiet time in the morning isn’t as much about God as it is about you.

When you establish your quiet time in the morning, before your day has begun, you set a precedent for your entire day. Your focus is on the things of God, and your day begins at the feet of God, hopefully in peace, with your mind and heart resting in His presence.

Imagine that– starting your day peacefully with God instead of rolling out of bed and scurrying to get out the door on time.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8

Since I began getting up earlier to have regular quiet time, there has not been one day– not one— that I have regretted getting up early. The promises He has revealed to me and the prayer time I have had have made it more than worth it.

This is the part I crave– what I’m learning about God and in return, what He’s revealing to me about myself. I look forward to my quiet time because I know it’s the time of day when God holds me close and whispers His love to me.

Some days I need those whispers more than others, but the time is always a blessing.

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 59:16

— Find a quiet place to focus. No matter what time of the day you devote to God, try to get away to a spot where you are truly alone, even if it’s just behind a closed door to the bathroom. Do what you have to do to find solitary time.

— Dive into scripture. You can do a “Read the Bible in A Year” plan or pick a chapter and just jump in. Grab a devotional and read that along with your scripture. There’s no “correct” way to spend your quiet time in scripture, just make sure that you’re reading God’s word.

I am currently reading Jesus Calling (by Sarah Young), one or two pages of Jesus Today (also by Sarah Young) and I’m reading through the Psalms. When I finish those, I’ll move on to another book of the Bible and another devotional.

— Make time for prayer. Make sure that some of your moments of quiet are dedicated to praying.

— If you have kids, make sure they understand that this is your time with God and they need to let you have it. Boy1 and Boy2 tend to be early risers, so I have had to set some boundaries for them so that I can make sure I get my quiet time done. They have a clock in their room that lights up– when it turns green, they are allowed to come out of their room. If they wake up before the clock is green, they have to stay in their room and play quietly until it does turn green. This is the perfect way for little ones, especially those who don’t tell time, to understand that Mama needs moments to herself. When they do come out of their room, I often tell them about what scripture I was reading and what I was praying about. I want them to see that I value my time with God. (If you want a clock like this for your kiddos, check this one out.)

— Journal. Write out your prayers, concerns, emotions, what you are learning about scripture, etc. Sometimes I find that journaling really helps me focus, especially on prayer requests.

— Extend yourself a little grace, but not too much. It’s okay to miss a day or two, but make it a regular part of your routine and don’t make excuses.

Show God how important He is to you and He’ll show you His majesty.

Spending time with God has become a highlight in my day. After all, he’s the One who knows me best.

This song by Meredith Andrews is perfect for setting the tone for your Quiet Time.

Share with me: What devotionals or quiet time readings can you recommend?

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