(30 Day of Bible) Mothering- Filling the Waterpots

 

da848cf5165a6d9391d4bcfe93e2a624Parenting…
Mothering…
One of the hardest things I have ever done.

Oh, I knew how to be a mom…before I was one. I could have held seminars, classes and counciling sessions about how to be a godly mother. Before I was one. I would look down on the mom that had a screaming toddler in the grocery, or the messy faced, dirty child with the mismatched clothes and think to myself “That will never happen to me!”

And then I had a child, and another, and another, and another….and 8 of these precious tiny humans. Oh the joy! Oh the blessing! But guess what? I had once, ok more than once when my child was on the floor of a store and fit to be tied. My children sometimes dress themselves in mismatched clothes and yes, they have dirty faces (gasp!) And you know what?

I realized mothering was hard. You see, it is far more than keeping them fed, safe and warm. It is dealing with hearts. It is pouring into eternal souls. And yes, it is a spiritual battle. A fight for my children’s souls against a wicked, perverted world. Dealing with hearts requires wisdom, self- denial and a constant dependance upon Christ…

Join me over at 30 day of Bible to hear my thoughts on how Christ’s first miracle applies to our mothering!

Also make sure you enter into the wonderful giveaways that are over there as well!

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Working for the King

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“These were potters, and those that dwelt among plants and hedges: there they dwelt with the king for his work.”
1 Chronicles 4:23

“Potters were not the very highest grade of workers, but “the king” needed potters, and therefore they were in royal service, although the material upon which they worked was nothing but clay. We, too, may be engaged in the most menial part of the Lord’s work, but it is a great privilege to do anything for “the king”; and therefore we will abide in our calling, hoping that, “although we have lien among the pots, yet shall we be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.” The text tells us of those who dwelt among plants and hedges, having rough, rustic, hedging and ditching work to do. They may have desired to live in the city, amid its life, society, and refinement, but they kept their appointed places, for they also were doing the king’s work. The place of our habitation is fixed, and we are not to remove from it out of whim and caprice, but seek to serve the Lord in it, by being a blessing to those among whom we reside. These potters and gardeners had royal company, for they dwelt “with the king” and although among hedges and plants, they dwelt with the king there. No lawful place, or gracious occupation, however mean, can debar us from communion with our divine Lord. In visiting hovels, swarming lodging-houses, workhouses, or jails, we may go with the king. In all works of faith we may count upon Jesus’ fellowship. It is when we are in his work that we may reckon upon his smile. Ye unknown workers who are occupied for your Lord amid the dirt and wretchedness of the lowest of the low, be of good cheer, for jewels have been found upon dunghills ere now, earthen pots have been filled with heavenly treasure, and ill weeds have been transformed into precious flowers. Dwell ye with the King for his work, and when he writes his chronicles your name shall be recorded.”  Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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Are we loving our children?

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For many years I was the “younger woman”.  Marrying a man ten years older made me very comfortable with the 30’s crowd when I was still in my 20’s.  Often in a group I was the younger one, the less experienced, the newlywed, the young mother.  How quickly those years pass!

I now am rapidly reaching the stage of the “older woman”.  In fact, in many ways I already am one.  My oldest will soon be nineteen, I have several teens in the house and even though my youngest is three there are many things that appear to be changing.  No more diapers, breastfeeding, potty training, baby food.  No more middle of the night feedings and diaper bags.  It’s sad in a way.  But in another way, there is an exciting adventure ahead as I raise older children and watch them learn to fly.

I find myself surrounded by younger women still enjoying their pregnancies, caring for their little ones and in the thick of all things baby. And I realize with mixed emotions that those things are getting further and further away for me.  As I sit and try to rock my three year old with his legs hanging over the chair I cling to those baby moments that peak through still now and again.

But, there is no doubt…I am entering the stage of the older woman and with that comes a new responsibility. And I ponder as I think about my role as an older woman. The scriptures say I am to teach the younger woman to love their children.  This makes me consider…what does it mean to love our children?  In pondering this I am so convicted within.  So this post is for me as well.

What is loving our children?  For many of us the definition could encompass many different things.

  • Is loving my children having natural childbirth instead of getting an epidural?
  • Is loving my children breastfeeding over bottle-feeding?
  • Is loving my children scheduling vs. demand feeding?
  • Is loving my children feeding them all organic and fresh baked bread everyday, or maybe it grain free- or is it heating up a frozen pizza at the end of the day?
  • Is loving my children homeschooling them or letting them go to school?
  • Is loving my children living on a farm and having animals and chores or being in the city with a small plot for my child to play?
  • Is loving my children allowing them to watch netflix and have a cell phone or is loving my children banning them from the internet?
  • Is loving my children making sure they are in all sorts of extra curricular activities or fostering creativity and study at home?
  • Is loving my children running in the park with them and playing tirelessly with them or is loving my children caressing their hair and speaking tender words to them while I am on my sickbed.
  • Is loving my children having a well ordered clean and tidy home or a well lived in home with messes from loving activity?

Do you see a pattern here?  All these things there can be many debates about, many different opinions and feelings on how we should raise our children.  But, you know what?  We can major on all these things above and make those things our hill to die on…and forget what is really loving our children.

  • Loving my children is pointing them to Christ each day
  • Loving my children is training them in the ways of the Lord
  • Loving my children is leading them in family worship each day
  • Loving my children is looking into their eyes, listening to their tiny hearts, holding them and just being there.
  • Loving my children is wrestling with the Lord in prayer for them everyday.
  • Loving my children is sacrificing my needs for theirs.
  • Loving my children is providing for their physical needs as well as their spiritual needs.
  • Loving my children is nurturing them, protecting them, giving ourselves for them, guiding them and supporting them.
  • Loving my children is displaying 1 Corinthians 13 to them and the fruits of the Spirit.

So do we love our children in these ways by feeding them organic or making them a sugary dessert?  Am I doing that by scheduling my baby’s feedings or using more of an attachment parenting approach? Here lies the question?  And the answer is, I think we can love our children in all of the above.

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I believe the Lord has given us liberty to raise our children, care for our families in these many different ways.  Many times we want to put God in a box and create labels and make judgments on how our family has to look if we are true servants of the Most High.  But, He guides His people on different paths, directs them sometimes in ways they never thought they would go. When I was training to be a midwife I never would have thought one day I would have a voluntary epidural for my 8th baby.  Our life decisions change as we grow and learn to listen to the Lord’s guidance.

So ask yourself today, are you putting expectations on yourself that might be from others rather than the Lord?  

As a Titus 2 older woman it is my desire to encourage you in the second biblical list above, rather than the first man-made list. Pray and ask the Lord to direct you in all those practical things from list A that take second place to list B.  And He will give each family different dynamics, different practical applications, different lifestyles….And that’s ok.  

I pray the Lord will give each of us grace to TRULY love our children!

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14

~~Feeling weary and worn down physically or mentally? Make sure to read my health testimony and some of the things that are helping me on my journey of healing from chronic and extreme fatigue!
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

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Sun, Sand, and Memories for a Lifetime!

It’s been a long time since my last post.

But, that’s ok. Because when I came back to blogging I had decided that I would run my blog, not the other way around.

I wanted to share with you some wonderful memories that we have built this week. Memories of a lifetime with my dear children. I am very much aware that times with all 8 of my children are going to be few and far between since my oldest will be 19 in July. And so we took a mommy trip. I have NEVER done this before, taking off with all the children without daddy or anyone else. But, I had two men for protection and help and young lady helpers that made this trip something I could not have done when they were all young. And not to mention my health would not have allowed it in the past but now I feel strength I have not had in years.

We went to Destin, Florida to spend five days at a beach house with my friend and her little ones. There were so many firsts for my chidlren. First time swimming in the ocean. First time being in Florida. First time playing on the sand. First time crabbing, boiling and then eating our catch. :) It was SO much fun! Here are a few pictures of our adventures!

My little man thought he would help with the packing

My little man thought he would help with the packing

FLORIDA!

FLORIDA!

 

Just about 10 minutes from the beach house our tire blew! It was SO loud, we were in the left hand lane on the highway and my son was driving. He pulled over and we limped to a safe spot and my three sons changed the tire and put the spare on. Later that day my two older sons drove to a tire store and put new tires on the van. So thankful for the Lord's protection and for adult sons!

Just about 10 minutes from the beach house our tire blew! It was SO loud, we were in the left hand lane on the highway and my son was driving. He pulled over and we limped to a safe spot and my three sons changed the tire and put the spare on. Later that day my two older sons drove to a tire store and put new tires on the van. So thankful for the Lord’s protection and for adult sons!

First impressions of the beach!

First impressions of the beach!

Traveling and playing at the beach are exhausting!

Traveling and playing at the beach are exhausting!

 

 

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Imitating his big brothers

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This sums up what my three year old did most of the time on the beach--he loved it!

This sums up what my three year old did most of the time on the beach–he loved it!

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The sky was blue, the water crystal clear and the sand so white...it was perfect!

The sky was blue, the water crystal clear and the sand so white…it was perfect!

My handsome son!

My handsome son!

 

Crabbing at night was a huge highlight!

Crabbing at night was a huge highlight!

And then boiling them and enjoying the freshest crab you will ever get!

And then boiling them and enjoying the freshest crab you will ever get!

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We managed to get in a little thrift shopping too :)

We managed to get in a little thrift shopping too :)

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Some of you who have followed AMH for many years will know that for a long time I had the children’s and my feet in the sand as part of my header picture. We had stopped on a trip and made that first picture but this was the children’s first time of real beach experience- so before we left I wanted to get another feet in the sand pic

Virgin Pina Coladas!

Virgin Pina Coladas!

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Plexus beach power!

Plexus beach power!

 

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The gorgeous condo complex where our special friends let us stay!

The gorgeous condo complex where our special friends let us stay!

 

It was an amazing trip!  And the best part of all?  I was able to enjoy it to the fullest with my children.  You see, since my many years of health issues I do not take this for granted.  My facebook post says it all…

End of VACATION thoughts: As we are driving home from a week full of making memories I am so thankful to the Lord for his mercies. The other day, as I was getting ready to take my children out for a third day on the beach, my friend Sara was reflecting on the change since two years ago. I could never have done day after day of activities with my children, let alone take them by myself to Florida. Just one day of activity could’ve caused a meltdown crash in the past. But here I am taking my children almost 500 miles and back withoutSteve. We are returning with the best memories of enjoying the sand and sun on the beach, splashing in the ocean waves, trudging our beach equipment back and forth each day, swimming in the pool, crabbing after dark, playing games and watching movies into the night. I never imagined when my friend Jen told me about the pink drink that the Lord was answering years of prayers and giving my family their mommy back!

I am thankful to the Lord for this trip full of memories!

I am thankful to the Lord for this trip full of memories!

~~Feeling weary and worn down physically or mentally? Make sure to read my health testimony and some of the things that are helping me on my journey of healing from several and debilitating fatigue!
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

 

 

 

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