Motherhood

Second Chances

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Start children off on the way they should go, and even when. They are old they will not turn from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

One of the things we can be so very thankful for as mothers is that we get the privilege and opportunity to teach and train our children in the ways of the Lord. What a difference we can make in our families and communities! What a difference we can make for the Kingdom! God chooses each of us specifically for the children He brings into our lives.

For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring to Abraham what he has promised. (Genesis 18:19)

God promised Abraham descendants more numerous than the stars. We are those descendants. And as we parent our children, we continue to pass down the precepts of our Father. What an absolute honor to be chosen for a purpose such as this. How grateful we should be that God sees us as worthy of this calling.

God chose me to not only guide and teach my four biological children, but also three through adoption. They are extra special gifts to me because they are “second chance” kids. What do I mean when I say “second chance”? Obviously, they are getting a second chance with parents who can love and provide for them, who can nurture them, who can teach them about Jesus and his great love and sacrifice. But, I too, get a second chance. Like all mamas, I have made a lot of mistakes in my parenting. I have learned many lessons the hard way. But God is so good! He gives me a second chance to parent children, to utilize what I have learned along the way, and to make a lasting difference in their lives. Oh, what a blessing that is to this mama’s heart!

Guiding our children towards Jesus isn’t always an easy task. This world is a little crazy sometimes, and it is often difficult to find the ribbons of love flowing through the fabric of hatred. But if we look hard enough, we will find it. Then we can point our children towards the light of Jesus Christ. We can offer them the hope and promise that walking with him brings. We can share salvation with them and direct their eternity.

If you feel you have been failing in this area, don’t despair. God is a merciful God and He will give you more opportunities to be that lamp post for your children. He is a God of second chances…and for that I am very grateful.

Motherhood

Childlike Faith

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By:  Betty Predmore

She is 8 years old and she just danced out of the house, excited for her new adventure at gymnastics camp. Her childlike exuberance and confident expectations are refreshing to my heart. Oh to be a child again!

Jesus put such great value and importance in children when He said, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for such belongs to the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a small child shall not enter it.” (Mark 10:13-15)

Children have this ability to look at things with hope and promise. They anticipate goodness and have trusting hearts. That is exactly how we are expected to look at our Lord…with hope and promise, anticipating all the goodness He has for us and trusting our entire lives to Him. We are to have childlike faith.

Do you have CHILDLIKE faith today? Are you looking towards the goodness of God and trusting that He has you in his mighty arms? Or are you being CHILDISH…expecting what you want, not what He wants, and having a little fit when you don’t get your way?

If we are honest, we will admit that most of us have a bit of both. We have those moments when we fully trust in our God and His purpose for our lives. Then we also have those times where we just want to scream, and kick, and get our own way. Praise God that He knows us so very well, and is so forgiving of our childishness.

Let’s approach this day with childlike faith. Let’s trust in the One who made us. Let’s bounce out the door this morning with the same attitude as my 8-year-old. Let’s make it a good, good day!

Motherhood

Bend, Don’t Break

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By: Betty Predmore

Motherhood is an incredible journey. There are so many emotions we experience as mothers, so many opportunities to grow. From the moment they are born, our children hold a precious place in our hearts. We want only the best for them, and we do all we can to make life wonderful for our little darlings.

Motherhood brings so many happy moments, filled with love, laughter, secret whispers, and butterfly kisses. It brings special bonds that nothing in life can break apart, and a sense of unity and security. I wish our minds had the capacity to clearly remember every moment of laughter and joy that comes from being a mother. I wish I could conjure up in a moment every time I felt that sense of fulfillment that my children bring me. But the moments are too many to corral into a thought or a memory. They are as numerous as the stars, and I consider myself to be a very lucky mama.

Amongst all that joy and laughter has also been some pain. No matter how hard we try, our children are left to experience the tough stuff. Childhood illness, death, bullying, mental illness, fear, abandonment, broken homes… and the list continues. If only we could protect their hearts from all pain! But the reality is that life is life, and part of life is struggle and hardship. If we are honest, we know that we tend to grow, change, and learn the most through our moments of trial. It is through those hard times we realize that God really does walk with us, never leaving our side. Of course, we want our children to have that realization, that sense of security.

As mothers, our prayer should be that through it all, the rain, the sunshine, and the cloudy days, that we have grounded our children in their faith and gave them a knowledge of someone who is far greater than any of us, and who is far more capable of easing their hurts and troubles. Have you pointed your child to Jesus? Have you hit your knees time and time again on their behalf?

Life is sometimes difficult. Motherhood is often challenging. Many times we experience pain and concern for our children, and sometimes a fear that is almost crippling. As strong women of God, as mothers of His precious children, we will not let those moments define us. When the tough times come, we do not break….we bend. We bend our knees, we call on our Father, and we intercede for our sweet precious babies. Oh, what a mighty power we have because of Jesus! Oh, what a glorious difference we can make in the lives of our children! Oh, what a precious gift it is to be a mama!

 

 

Motherhood

Our Beautiful Gift

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By: Betty Predmore

My mind knows it but my heart cannot conceive it. My baby girl….the beautiful little angel that came to our home to be our daughter when she was 14 months old….is eight today. How did that happen? I turned around for just a second and time passed me by. She is becoming so self-sufficient….braiding her own hair, picking her own (very stylish) outfits, and pretty much managing every one in the house. She is a fiery little ball of energy, into everything and always full of excitement. The Lord really wanted to teach me something new when He gave me this precious girl and I have learned so much. I have learned about patience, about learning issues, and about attention deficiencies. I have also learned a great deal about devotion, courage, and indisputable love.

Psalm 22:30 says, “Our children will also serve him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.” This little girl loves Jesus. She says He lives in her heart. My prayer is twofold….a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessed gift of this sweet girl who makes our family complete, and a prayer of hope that she continues to love her Jesus and grows to serve Him with her heart and her life.

Thank you Lord for blessing us with this little “hot mess” who keeps us on our toes, challenges us daily, and gives us more love than we deserve. We are truly blessed.

Motherhood

Sharing With the Poor

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By Diana Rockwell

My neighbor knocked at the door, graciously returning some money my son Dale had in his possession and had shared with their family. Dale was about six years old and this family was struggling to make ends meet. We don’t know how Dale knew his daddy had some money in his drawer, tucked away for a rainy day, but he decided to share. What do you do when you need the money just as bad?
The Lord said in Deuteronomy 15:11, “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.”
My heart is conflicted when I see the homeless person at any intersection. Do you give them money? Most feel that you should not give the person money. I have assisted the homeless with gift cards, water bottles, and yes I have given money and food.
I have a book ministry where I give books away to women who can’t afford the book but want to participate in the study. Also, I have given Bibles away to women who have accepted the Lord.
I recently cleaned out my closet and gave some very nice clothes to the Good Will. Reaching out to others is the only way I know how to be the arms of Jesus, whether that is helping someone with their gas and electric bill or buying them a new bible.
What can you do to help the poor? Donations of food to the local food closet is an easy option. Serving at your church or in a soup kitchen is another area to think about. I was thinking of labeling water bottles with John 3:16 to give to the homeless and to have some gift cards so I am not tempted to give money that can be used to buy drugs. Another way to help the homeless is to be kind and smile at the person. Sometimes kindness can really make a person’s day. I have asked on my way into 7-11, “What can I buy you?” and usually a cup of coffee and a donut is the answer. Don’t be afraid to engage in conversation.
Dale shared that day. We ended up becoming really good friends with that family and shared many meals. Of course, there was a conversation about not getting into daddy’s drawers and a thank you to the man for returning the money. How can you be the arms of Jesus to the poor today?

 

Motherhood

The Great Healer

image.jpegBy Betty Predmore

I stumbled down the stairs this morning, barely able to see out of my watery eyes, and coughing with each step I took. The last thing I wanted to do was get out of bed, but the kids needed to get ready for school….and that is just what a mama does. I roused them out of their slumber and headed for the couch, where my new fuzzy blanket awaited me. I curled up in that blanket and proceeded to cough my way through the next hour. My kids aren’t used to mama being out of commission. They have hovered over me, checking on me, asking how I was feeling. My teenager even wrapped her arms around me last night and told me she loved me. (Yes, I actually have to get sick for that to happen!). I guess kids think of their parents as strong and invincible, not sick and in need of rest. But we DO need rest. We DO need times of refreshing, times to just sit and be still in the presence of our Savior and feel the Holy Spirit wash over us. And that is OKAY.

When we think that we are invincible, that we can fight through our sick days and our weary hours, we need to remember that even our Almighty God rested. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And in the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.” Genesis 2:1-2. God had done the work he set out to do, and so he allowed himself to rest. Do you allow yourself to rest? Or do you keep pushing through, trying to prove to yourself, and maybe others, that you are invincible?

As Jesus was walking this earth, preaching and teaching, he also sought out times of rest. “But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” Luke 5:16. Jesus sought out those empty places to go and rest, to be still before his Father and have his soul restored. Are you making time to be still before your Father in Heaven and have your soul restored?

Being a mama is a lot of work. It takes a rested, healthy heart and soul. If that means you curl up with your soft fuzzy blanket and let the day pass by while you regain some energy, then do so. If that means you find a quiet place and sit in peaceful stillness before Him, then do so. God is waiting to soothe our aches and comfort our hearts. He is waiting for us to come to Him and pour out what is troubling us, either physically or spiritually. He wants to heal sick hearts and He wants to heal sick bodies. If you are physically ill or spiritually unwell, I encourage you to seek the Great Healer today. You may not be able to reach out and touch his cloak, but you can come before him in confidence. He will hear you and heal you. He will give you the eneegy you need to be the mama He calls you to be.

Motherhood

Invite Jesus to Join You

imageBy:  Diana Rockwell

Roller skating with Randy my oldest son, we live at the top of a cul-de-sac at the top of a steep hill. Our drive way has a good size parking area in front of the garage. Dale, my five-years-old, decides to ride his skate board and not his roller skates. The mail box at the bottom of our driveway: the rule to stop the skateboard and come back up to the top of the driveway and start over. Randy shows his skating ability and skates to the bottom, and Dale races him several times. Giggling we share such a fun time until Dale picks up his feet and at the mail box he gives himself another push and down the hill he goes. Oh No! What’s a mom to do,? I’m in skates and he is flying down the hill in danger! I am scared to death something is going to happen to my son.
Jesus sends the disciples off in a boat, there’s much wind and Peter takes his eyes off Jesus in Matthew 14. They had witnessed the feeding of the five thousand, they had picked up the left over bread and filled twelve baskets. They are scared. The disciples were reluctant to participate in this miracle. If you remember this story, the people following Jesus, Jesus saw the people and had compassion on them. The disciples wanted to just let them go to their homes, but Jesus said, “No way! What resources do we have?” One little boy came prepared with his lunch. Five loaves of bread, two fishes.” Beloved, these were not huge mackerel fish. They were small fish like trout. Jesus had a plan. He has them sit down and He prays, blesses the food and the food feeds more than the five thousand because there were women and children.
But the disciples still did not understand the miracle of feeding of the five thousand, so when Jesus comes walking to them in the windy night they think he is a ghost, they are afraid. Peter gets out of the boat to walk to Jesus on the water but he takes his eyes off Jesus and he sinks. The disciples needed to invite Jesus in the boat, then they begin to absorb and recognize Jesus for who he as the Son of God.
Praying for Dale’s safety and struggling to get my roller skates off, Randy had his off, he is three-years-older than Dale and he ran down the hill ahead of me. Dale managed to make it down the hill without being hit by a car. Of course, I’m relieved that Dale is safe hugs and kisses came before the lecture.
Beloved, what problem do you need to invite Jesus to join you? Are you a single mom raising your children on your own? Are you struggling in your marriage? Are you raising a special needs child?
Father God, let us never forget to include you in our struggles. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Diana Rockwell