What Mom Never Told Me

What Mom Never Told Me

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I ran into the grocery story with one thing in mind. Bread.

All I needed was one pack of hamburger buns to complete a last minute dinner idea. Instead of buying the generic ones in the bread isle, I decided to splurge and get the freshly baked rolls from the bakery section.

After a quick check-out in the self service line, I walked back to my car with those warm sesame seed buns in hand. I barely made it out of the parking lot before tearing off a piece and slipping it into my mouth. If only I had a stick of butter ….

Bread is one of my weaknesses. I absolutely love it! But, I have to be careful because eating too much bread is not a good thing for me. It has an interesting way of making my pants too tight. 🙂

Speaking of bread … check out this interesting verse found in Proverbs 31:

“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed …” Proverbs 31:27-28b (NIV)

Have you ever tasted the bread of idleness?

As moms, I think most of us have from time to time, but only in tiny portions. We spend most of our days rushing from one task to another – feeling the pressure to get it all done in record breaking time.

Instead of idleness, we run ourselves ragged. But neither choice is healthy – not for us or our families.

Today, I have a devotion featured on the Proverbs 31 Ministries website about a woman who rarely ate from the bread of idleness. How do I know this? Because I lived with her.

She’s not the Proverbs 31 woman in the verse above. She’s my mother and was an extraordinary woman of faith. I adored her in so many ways! She was a mom-on-the-go, but never too busy to lose sight of what was happening in our home.

Mom taught me important things about being a great wife and momma. Every day she lived out examples of motherhood at it’s finest. However, Mom didn’t tell me how hard it would be at times.

When my boys were little the demands of raising a family and working full-time was overwhelming. I certainly didn’t see myself as a great mom or wife. I felt more like a exhausted mom and an insufficient wife.

Often I would ask how she had the energy to raise four children, since I was barely surviving with two. Her answer was always the same.  She’d remind me of a Bible verse or promise in God’s Word and tell me that the joy of the Lord was her strength.

Spending time with God each day in Scripture was mom’s way of receiving the strength she needed to embrace motherhood – day in and day out – and experience joy in the midst of all those demands.

It was the best advice she ever gave me.

Every morning, I do the same thing and never walk away regretting my time with God. He always gives me nuggets of truth that prepare my heart for the busy day ahead. His Word comforts and encourages me. He teaching me how to live out motherhood … one day at a time. It may not be perfect, but it’s good. Very good and I’m grateful for it.

Check out the nugget God gave me this morning from Colossians 3:12 (NLT):

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

My strength for today comes from knowing God chose me, loves me and clothes me with His own attributes that reflect His goodness to those around me.

Do you have little ones at home all day? A child with special needs? Tweens or teenagers who think they know everything, but don’t want to be responsible for anything? Adult children who heavily rely on you? Grandchildren that you’re raising?

Where do you find strength? How do you hold onto joy in the midst of all those parenting demands? What nuggets of truth are you believing today?

Are you investing in yourself first, so that you have the energy to encourage, love and dedicate time to others without feeling constantly drained?

Instead of living on empty, spend time with God each day so He can strengthen and fill you up again.

Leah

Comments

  1. Thank you for your encouraging words. I was surprised to see your question about parenting that included :”adult children heavily relying on you” as this pertains to me right now. I feel such a burden from them, and my husband competes for my time when one of them is sick or very needy. Its crazy like that right now. I am depending on God, daily in His word and still feel horribly inadequate. I spend most of my time cooking, which I do enjoy, but find it hard to get other things done. I have 3 sick right now and one who just had major surgery. They are adults..

  2. Thank you, Friends! I love reading your comments and celebrating your momma stories. Your words are such an encouragement to me. I’m praying for your today and thank God for all the amazing things He’s doing in each of your lives. Be blessed and stay in the Word! 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I have read all about connecting with everyone from First5 and you are the one that I felt most connected with. I am following you on Facebook & Pinterest. Can’t wait to continue to read your insights, blogs and the ways God is working in your life.

  4. Leah,
    Thank- you so much for sharing your beautiful story in your Proverbs 31devotional! What a wonderful heritage your sweet mom has left you.
    I was very encouraged by your devotional as well – to keep investing in my children, but also to start my day with God – which I really need to do. So often I rely on my existing knowledge of Him, but I really need to keep learning and growing. So, thank-you for your ‘Encouragement for Today’!

  5. I am a 23 year old single momma to a precious baby girl. I was a herion addict for years. living for the world, trying to impress people, sprinting from God. After being 7 months clean I found out I was pregnant. I went to my prayer warriors and we talked prayed, & prayed some more as abortion was out of the question. I thought about adoption for a brief few moments but knew in my heart that God blessed me and would equip me to raise her in His ways. But now I feel so much pressure to soak up all that I can from God Waze and therefore I can pass them onto her..but the pressure. I want my relationship back not just a religion. Please pray for me and if you have any advice feel free to email me @: Ashleechrist86@gmal.com
    I need some encouragement or some ideas of how to start teaching her even now at 7 months. Thank you Leah!!! You are so inspiring and such a wise woman of God. I would love your input.

    • Ashley, you and the baby are precoius in God’s sight, you made the right choice. God will see you through each and everything, just lean on Him, He will direct your steps. Dig into His Word and soak it in everyday, meditate on it. Oh, how you will see the goodness of the Lord. He is trustworthy in all His promises and faithful in all He does, His love endures forever. Be blessed Ashley.

  6. Thank you for sharing.Im a mother of three kids-6,3,10months.As i read your blog im so reminded of how much as moms we need to also be attentive to our kids.My 6 year old is a pretty picky eater, its really hard to know if he is just avoiding eating what i have prepared and wants me to get something else for him which is usually not always healthy, or may be cant simply eat the food i have made.

    I really decided to make him eat what i had made just to see what would happen.We all had our dinner and left him at the table.For two hours he kept stirring his food, picking out onions and tomatoes, moving food on one side of the plate then the other but not eating it. When i couldnt take it anymore i came to check on whether he had eaten, asked him to put a spoonful in mouth but then gagged, and that was it! he had to eat ceraeal wha t he loves and then bed.
    This morning he cme very early into our bedroom and asked if i could make him mac & Cheese for dinner instead. I quickly said yes! he was already thinking abt his dinner!
    I tell you we need lots of wisdom in raising kids

  7. My husband and I raised three daughters . We adopted three more children from newborns, born addicted to drugs. They are all A.D.D and can be a challenge . They are now Danial 19 delayed ,Brian 16 , very gifted and a straight A student,and Layci 11 and also a very smart and a beautiful girl. We are retired and just reached 70. Today you touched the very thing that troubles us every day, are we teaching them right ? and for me am I a good mother?
    They all have been raised Knowing a loving God, and going to church. most days I feel like that exhausted mom, then God opens up the joy they have brought us and I give it to God, and go on doing the best I can. Thankyou for todays message,and Gods grace thru the day.

  8. Enjoyed your post today. I consider myself so blessed. Not only did I have a beautiful daughter many years ago, but we have a wonderful bond and now we collaborate to create books. I love to write, but being able to share this with my daughter is…well, it’s like you and your mom sharing a love for painting. Your post touched me in a special way.

  9. Creating memories with your children is important & fun to do even when they are older and have their own families. It is really great now because we encourage each other. I love to give and receive encouragement. Thank you for the scripture verses.

  10. I’m also noticing that creating enough time to not be rushed is really essential to not be snappy!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your story, it was just what I needed. I was on a pity party from last night, going to bed angry at my husband. Your words made me realize that he needs as much encouragement as our two youngest. Having raised 5 children, 2 of which are still at home and in there teens, having your mom moving in with the beginning stages of Dementia can be tasking on a family. Your words made me realize that I need to encourage him and let him know how much I need, love, respect and appreciate all he does for this family! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    • Wendy, I’m so glad God encouraged you today through my post. Remember to take time for yourself – to be with the Lord and receive His refreshment. You have a lot going on, especially being the caretaker for your mother. My mother had dementia and I remember how mentally and emotionally difficult that season was. The more we allow God to pour into us the more we have to overflow His goodness into others.

  12. Thank you for your words in the Encouragement Today devotional this morning! It was such a necessary reminder for me as I have 5 children, ages 17-9, and have recently gone back to work full time. Needless to say there is not much time to spare in a day! My 8th grade daughter has been having a difficult year – and has an older sister similar to yours when you were in high school. So the story of how your mother handled that struck me – I love it. And I needed to be reminded to make extra time with her, just the two of us. Thank you, thank you. God has opened my eyes and blessed me through your words (and also convicted me :)). May you have a wonderful day!

    • Amy, I’m so glad God used my devotion to encourage you today. I too have to remind myself that family comes first and my husband/kids are my first priority – even before work or ministry. I’ve never regretted turning down a work project or ministry opportunity to spend more time with them.

    • Thank you for your post on spending special time with your daughter. I have 3 teenage daughters and I really related to your story as my 8th grader is struggling to find her way. In this world of technology it is a good reminder that nothing takes the place of quality time with your child. Thanks for reminding me to start with God each day and to be available for my children.

  13. I am a single mom of an amazing 15-year old guy on the autism spectrum. He’s smart, hard-working and for the most part polite, courteous and generous. He takes anxiety meds which wear off in the evening. So, thankfully, his high school teachers see the above described child. At night, when we do homework and, well, life, I see the anxious, stemming, child. Although I do most of my Bible study and quiet time with the Lord in the a.m., it’s at night, that I summon all that I learn in the a.m. and apply it to my family. I summon the Lord’s joy and patience mostly and, of course, love. God blessed ME with this young man–and I’m grateful for the opportunity to watch him grow. I’m grateful to find activities for us to share. Fortunately, I was/am a tomboy, and we are on a quest to visit all of our state parks. I want to show God’s majesty to John through nature. I’m thankful for this journey, but it’s God’s promises of goodness and faithfulness that get me through the rough spots.

    • Janet, as I read your comments I was reminded of the famous architect who designed the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. His name was Antoni Gaudi and his story is quite remarkable. He had a learning disability when he was a child and couldn’t go to school. So his mother schooled him at home. She would take Gaudi for daily walks through parks and forest areas, teaching him all about God’s creation as they looked at towering trees, blooming flowers and streams. His inspiration to build this magnificent cathedral came from those daily walks with his mother in nature. The inside of the cathedral is filled with beautiful “hints” of nature all throughout and the detail of Gaudi’s design was so extraordinary that it’s taken decades to build. They started construction in 1882 and is estimated to be complete in 2026!

      I think your quest to visit all of those state parks with your son is an inspired gift from God and I have no doubt your son will grow up to do great things to give God glory, just like Antoni Gaudi.

    • Janet,
      Spending time viewing and admirng God’s creation is such a wonderful way of spending time with your son! I learned all about God through my dad taking us for nature hikes on Sunday afternoons and by him showing the beauty of our created world. He taught me all about who our God is through these walks. My favourite way to spend time with my kids is by going for walks in a local forest. It always refreshes me as well.
      I loved hearing about your quest to visit all of the state parks! Even though your evenings may be hard, stay strong knowing we have a God who loves us deeply and sees everything we go through.
      ~ Linda

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