Things that are shaping us.
Since I have been in ministry, I have encouraged parents to remember the simple truth that parenting their child is the most important job they will ever have. I have loved to encourage them to number their days so they can make the most of the time they have, and reminded them of the importance of scripture. Beyond influencing kids myself, I have loved seeing families be the primary influence in their children’s lives, and effect their current and future faith in a way that will leave a legacy of God’s love for generations to come. Last March, I got to flip the coin and begin my own journey of parenthood… so yeah, the biggest thing that shaped me in 2016, was becoming a mom.
Another one-liner I love to remind parents is to give their children the best of them. This one I take to heart in my own style of parenting, which makes balancing full-time mom and part-time Kid’s Director quite challenging. There is little time for anything else, so as I go through the list of things that are shaping me, please know I do not have time for all of these everyday.
Mom life is shaping me.
Prayer, this is a vital part of my relationship with Jesus and everyday life! I love talking out everything with God, from "eww that poop was gross" to, “please, let me know how to discipline my son so he is a man of God." I love the prayer acronym, P.R.A.Y (Pray, Redo, Ask, and Yield). This is such a wonderful way to remind myself that God is amazing. He created everything I love on this beautiful planet and He sent His son to die for me on my best and my worst days... that is incredible! Praising him for who He is is something I try to do daily! I am also constantly asking for forgiveness for my imperfections, that is the R. Ask is an obvious one, and I am always asking God for something. I am asking Him to heal my grandmother and other hurting family members, I am asking Him to calm my fear, I am asking Him to help my son sleep, the list goes on and on. I love that God knows what is best for me even when it is not what I want, the Y in the acronym is all about bending what I want to what God wants for me. Psalm 37:4 is my favorite verse, so although this is rarely easy I know in my heart it is right.
When I have time for more than prayer, I also like to get my #MomLife on by reading these wonderful books:
I have not finished the first two, but find them very helpful for different reasons. “Real Moms… Real Jesus” by Jill Savage is awesome because it reads almost like a devotional and reminds me of how real the job of mom is and how valuable it is to God. “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp is great because a mom I admire recommended it when I asked about discipline models in her home. (Because again, I thought she was pretty great at it.) And “Praying Circles Around Your Children” by Mark Batterson is one of my favorites. I go back to my highlights frequently because it is chalk full of fantastic ideas and wisdom.
Studies are shaping me.
When I get the opportunity, which is infrequent these days, I love to just read a verse or chapter of The Bible and its correlating study notes. Although it is my favorite way to study, I find that sometimes it is easier to do something hand held and that is one of the reasons, “She Reads Truth” and “Jesus Calling” are my go-to’s. “She Reads Truth” is an app and website that puts out some awesome studies. You can do the study they are on or go back and do anything they have produced in the past. I have struggled with a bit of anxiety since my son was born, so I especially like the “Mourning and Dancing” study. “Jesus Calling” is a book by Sarah Young, but they also have an app so it is easily accessible. I love the simple way it is written and it almost always speaks to the moment I am in.
Peace shaping me.
Jeff Henderson preached a sermon in 2016 called: “This is my year… I promise”. The challenge of the message was to focus on one fruit of the spirit characteristic for the year. As I mentioned before, anxiety is something that I have added to my plate with the birth of my son and since I know that is not from God, I easily choose “Peace” as my fruit of the spirit to focus on this year. My intention is to spend time studying what scripture says about Peace. So far this year I have had better success at starting off my focus fruit with a Passion City Church sermon series entitled, “Psalm 23”. I love it, and highly recommend it.