Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Intentional Motherhood: Raising your Children for Christ {Intro}

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I 've been muttering it under my breath, repeatedly, day after day.

"These children are sucking the life right out of me."

Some days I feel guilty for saying it; others day I feel completely justified.

It appears true on the surface, but deep down to the core it is a lie.

That one day, weeks back, when we hugged good-bye in the morning and off they went, it was out of the ordinary and really I wasn't sure I could get used to it or not.

With these children of mine being home educated, we don't have good-byes in the mornings. So on that morning they left and I tidied and everything stayed in its place for the rest of the day.

Not days later, I was exasperated with the toys and socks and pajamas and books and legos all strewn once again all over a particular bedroom floor. I mumbled how it wasn't like this the other day.

But it is more than that, really. It is the habits that have developed over time and they haven't been good.

Oh, were not just talking about picking up your socks kind of habits. Were talking about things like honour and respect. And building one another up and edifying. And obedience.

I realized how short I've fallen and it really is this battle that is draining the life right out of me.

I've given into a spirit of fear and timidity in my mothering. In the name of mothering in grace, I was really just fleeing from the battle field hoping that we'd win the war.

2-Tim-1-7
Motherhood isn't for the fainthearted.
And I have to admit that there are definite challenges when mothering with only one lung and a heart that won't allow the blood to flow efficiently to the rest of my body. But, I do not have to do it  in my own strength {even though this is what I try to do far too often}.

But, it is really this sanctification process in me that happens right in the midst of it that is so painful and beautiful at the same time.

I have seen the need for repentance.

I've claimed a promise to continue on in this role that I really am so blessed to be in: to be a Mother to these precious children that have been placed in my care.

For was it not the children that Jesus gathered around Him and took them in His arms and blessed them.

I have the amazing responsibility and privilege to bring my children to the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Although it was over eleven years ago, on a Good Friday, with much pain and agony, I brought my firstborn into this world, now more than ever, I see the need to intentionally mother, not to shirk what I have been given because of laziness or selfishness.

My work wasn't done when I finally heard, 'We have a girl!!!' or four and half years after that when I heard, 'A son!!!' and again another four and half years later, when on a cold winter's night, "Another girl!!!'

I need to be committed to persevere in the small things and stay consistent on what really matters: their hearts.

Not to hinder them because of my mothering in the spirit of fear and timidity. No, but to continue on with a spirit of power, and love, and self-discipline.

*****

IMG_2469-sz-250There's a little book, 'Raising Your Children for Christ' by Andrew Murray, on my shelf that I keep bringing down and leafing through and, Lord willing, over the next number of Wednesdays I hope to share snippets of my gleanings from it.

I don't claim to know all the answers. I need to dig deeper so that I can be even more equipped to be the mother that God intended. Andrew Murray wrote from the perspective of both the Father and the Mother, but I will be writing from my perspective as a Mother. I am so thankful that this task of raising our children has not been given to me alone.

Is there something in your life that makes mothering hard?

Join me on this journey? It is not a list of rules and how-to's but rather a chance to look into your own life and heart and be challenged to live a life wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord



For all posts in this series you can read them here.

Thank you for your comments. They are an encouragement to me.



12 comments:

  1. You might has well been in my home, heart, journal. And that book, Andrew Murray's, I forgot I had that! How could I? He is my favorite author and when I discovered he had a parenting book at a used book sale I was amazed. Thank you for these words.

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    1. Michele,
      Yes, his words really make you ponder and be challenged. Good find at a used sale!
      Thank you for sharing the journey!

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  2. Oh my, this poured light into some dark spaces in my heart ... ones that I haven't been able to name, until now.
    This was the line that did it:
    "In the name of mothering in grace, I was really just fleeing from the battle field hoping that we'd win the war." Not that I want to abandon mothering with grace, no. But I want to once again mother with conviction.
    Thank you for sharing your heart here, in the great wide open, so that others could be set free.

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    1. Holly,
      Oh no, we can't abandon grace - amazing grace! Where would we all be if it wasn't for God's grace! Thank you for your encouragement to share, like you said, in the great wide open - it's such a vulnerable place. But if God can use my life for His glory, then praise Him!!

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  3. That book- such a gem- I need to find my copy again. And to your honest admissions, I can just say AMEN. I'm always amazed at the drain of motherhood, and equally amazed that Christ offers to fill me over and over again. Love your thoughts here today. Blessed to find you through Emily's link.

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    1. Alicia,
      I am with you ~ amazed at how draining it can be and yes that He renews us by His strength! Thank you for stopping by and your encouraging words.

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  4. I've been encountering that word a lot lately: intentional. If we're not intentional, life drives us. Thanks for this - found you through Imperfect Prose

    www.holdingthedistaff@blogspot.com

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    1. I have been thinking about that today ~ that if we are not intentional then life will drive us. By faith in Christ, we move forward!
      Thank you, Gina

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  5. Thank you for sharing! This is a wonderful challenge and encouragement to me! =)

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    1. Kathy,
      Glad you came over! I pray we can be challenged and encouraged together in the Lord as we raise our children. Who would have known 30 years ago that we would be able to connect like this!!

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  6. Rebekah,

    Your writing is inspiring and very well done. I look forward to following your challenge. I love your comments about children "sucking the life out of you"...I too feel this way, but the ironic thing, is that I can not imagine my life any other way.

    When I was young and my sister and I were impatient about something, my dad would pull an old poem, called The Station, (http://www.robertjhastings.net), out of his wallet and have one of us read it. As annoying as I found this practise at the time, what I learned was that life is about the journey and how we embrace all that it offers, and not about getting to the next "station". I will just need to remember this the next time a certain 1 year old is hanging on my leg when I am making dinner.

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  7. Krista,

    Thank you for your encouraging comment. I cannot imagine my life without my children and would never want it any other way either.

    What a great recollection of your Dad. I looked up the old poem; I love it.
    Especially these words:
    'It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad. Rather, it is regret over yesterday or fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.
    So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.'

    I think I will print it out too!! Thank you.

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