The Kind of Mom I NEVER Want to Be

About 6 months after Morgan was born, I went through a weird phase where I decided it would be a great idea to start a hair bow business.  It lasted about a year and after some tired fingers and lots of 2 a.m. coffee,  I decided It would be best to leave the hair bow business in the hands of the professionals…in China.

Needless to say, I still have lots of supplies left over including an organizer with every size and color of rhinestone imaginable.  Morgan discovered my collection and has since adopted it as her own.

A few days ago, Morgan told me she had a surprise for me.  She opened her little hands and revealed the three biggest rhinestones in the box.  “These are for you Mommy!” – she exclaimed as she held them up to my face.  I put them in my jewelry box and gushed over them as if they were real gemstones.

She then proceeded to get more for me to put in my jewelry box.  I soon realized that to Morgan these gems were not just acrylic rhinestones that cost less than a dollar at any craft store.  To her, they were her most priceless possession and she was giving them to me…

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The parable of the talents is a passage I have heard since I was young, however, I missed an important aspect.  In Matthew 25:14-30, a man entrusts talents to 3 different servants.  “To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.” 

From the passage, we can see that talents and abilities are not all equal.  While we are born with various abilities, God gives us different opportunities to use those abilities.

The first two servants were both faithful and doubled their talents, so they both received the very same reward (vv. 21, 23).  God was just as pleased with the servant who doubled 2 talents as He was with the servant who doubled his 5 saying in both situations, “Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!”  

Each servant was faithful with what He was given.  Whether your resources and abilities are small or large, what counts is your faithfulness with whatever you are given.  The Christian who is faithful in his or her sphere of service, though it be small, will get the same reward as the person who seems to have a great ministry.

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But there was a third option in this parable – the man who was fearful and buried His talents.  To him, the master’s response was “You wicked, lazy servant!”  The master scolded him for burying his talents because, to him, self-preservation and fear came before putting his resources to use.

As I reflect on my bow-making “career”, I realize I started it out of my own insecurity.  I felt like being a stay-at-home mom of one child was not enough.  I believed the lie that more was better and felt that my station in life was inadequate.

The reality is, however, that God rewards those who are faithful with the resources, blessings and abilities He gives them – no matter how big or small.  Whether you are a working mom of three or a stay-at-home mom of one, whether you breastfeed or formula feed, whether you do public school or home school, our goal is to seek God’s direction in motherhood – whatever that looks like for us.

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Moms spend far too much time comparing themselves with others.  That kind of thinking can only result in feelings of either inferiority or superiority.  There is no ideal mom because God directs us differently based on what is best for our(His) children.

Just like with my bow business, when I make my own plans without consulting my Maker, my pride interferes with my usefulness by building my own mini “towers of Babel” that He will have to topple over in order to make me useful to Him.

 

He wants us to give Him our best – whatever that may be.  My pastor’s opportunity on a Sunday is to preach to a congregation but my opportunity on a Sunday might be to be a Godly example to my daughter as we get ready for church.  Our audiences are different but what is important is being faithful with the role God gives us.

Colossians 3:23 states, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”  No matter the task, whether I’m scrubbing a toilet or writing a blog post, as long as I do it to honor Him, it has more worth than gold in His spiritual economy.  God is not as concerned with our perceived sphere of influence but our faithfulness with what He gives us.

The parable of the talents makes me realize the kind of mom I never want to be…

the kind of mom who looks her God-given dreams in the eye but then looks away in fear

the kind of mom who is too inundated with lists and projects to remember her main focus is her children

the kind of mom who thinks more about the sacrifices of Christianity than its exponential privileges

the kind of mom who judges another mother because her God-directed choices are different than her own

the kind of mom that seeks what is best for herself instead of what is best for her Heavenly Father…only to realize in the end that the latter fulfills the former.

In Matthew 26, a woman breaks open an alabaster flask of precious perfume to rub on Jesus’ feet.  The flask of perfume had to be broken to access the highly expensive perfume inside.   The extravagance of this gift was not lost on her…or on Christ.   She gave Him her very best in the same way my Morgan gave me her biggest “jewels”.

That’s the kind of mom I want to be.

‘Til Next Time,

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In God We Trust

So many reactions to this election swing between the two pendulums of fatalism and panic.  While one person dismisses our role in voting, feeling that God’s sovereignty deems it as irrelevant, another supports the idea that an individual simply cannot be a Christian if he or she does not vote for a certain candidate.

Matt Morton, our teaching pastor at Grace Bible Church’s Creekside Campus in College Station, Texas spoke on the role of God and government yesterday.  It provides a lot of clarity to the above views and gave me a peace about what lies before us this Tuesday and in the years ahead.

Please find some time to listen to the sermon at the link below.  God blessed me through these words and I pray they give you peace and comfort in these chaotic times.

http://www.grace-bible.org/resources/sermons/god-and-government-creekside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Contentment Seems Out of Reach

A few months ago, I made some curtains for a friend and I had several things to take to my car when it was time to leave.  My friend’s daughter Cate sweetly volunteered to help with a bag of curtains to take home and hem.  I handed her the bag and suddenly saw a wave of frustration come over my daughter Morgan’s face.  She had helped me bring the same bag before, and now that I had pinned the curtains, she wanted to help me take it to the car also because it was “her job”.  I told Morgan she could hold my purse and she belligerently agreed.  For the next 20 minutes, she had the melt-down of all melt-downs.  Morgan didn’t like the job I had given her and was determined to make it known.  Not willing to belabor the topic any longer, I told her, “You just need to hold what I tell you to; it doesn’t matter what it is – I need you to do the job I give you”.

I felt a sting of conviction as I heard these words come out of my very own mouth, because I knew I had heard the same message recently.  I wouldn’t say I have been very content about my station in life at the moment and unfortunately, God has heard me whine about it more than once.  In the last few years, I saw my daughter through a very difficult autoimmune disease/blood disorder.  Soon after her remission, my mom, who is my best friend, found out she had a very aggressive form of breast cancer.  Both of the situations were life-threatening and brought me to a place where I had to completely rely upon the Lord.

Although God probably used me in both circumstances, I would have much preferred to grow and be used in a different fashion with everyone healthy.  I wondered why He couldn’t have used me in some fabulous ministry endeavor, where I can visually see the fruits of my labor, with a little more sparkle and a little less suffering on behalf of those I love most.

However, as I stated those words to Morgan, God reminded me that it is not about me…it is not about the fruits of “my” labor but about producing fruit for His Kingdom in a way that He chooses.   God was telling me, “You just need to hold what I tell you, it doesn’t matter what it is.”  It isn’t my role to question my given task or its purpose.  I don’t need to complain about the service opportunities He has given me “to hold onto” in a specific life season, but I need to remember it has a purpose – to glorify Him.  I so easily forget that God loves me more than I can mentally comprehend and He knows what is best for me long-term.  He knows what is ahead and how He is working for my good.  In the end, my earthly sufferings will be the eternal equivalent of a mosquito bite.  Complaining only gets in the way of the task at hand, making it harder and possibly less effective.

Sometimes you find yourself in a hardship you never dreamed would have become reality, but there are certain things God can only achieve through hardships and suffering.  Sometimes God places you in a certain position in order to grow you.  As difficult as the last 4 years have been, I wouldn’t change them.  During this phase, I have grown more in my faith than any other time in my life including when I grew up in the church and also years of seminary classes.   Ironically, there are certain blessings God can only  unlock through suffering.  Would I like to go through it all again?  No.  However, the blessings that resulted from these events were well worth it and He was faithful to protect us through it all.  Thankfully, Morgan’s immune system is fine now, and Mom finished her treatments with a good prognosis.  God will never allow you to walk through something that will not be worth it on this side of heaven or the other.

There is one sure thing about life’s seasons – they always change.  While the next season may not include today’s hardships, it also may not include today’s opportunities.  We have an opportunity for others to see Him through us and when we are discontented about our station in life, we distort that message.   What an opportunity to show them how God carries us through even the hardest of seasons.

In Genesis 37, we read about Joseph being sold into slavery by His jealous brothers.  Potiphar, the Egyptian, takes Joseph under his wings and Joseph was very successful in his role for many years.  Joseph was falsely accused of a crime and found himself in prison.  Instead of focusing on his unfair circumstances, Joseph knew God had a plan and there was a purpose for his imprisonment.  Joseph showed himself to be faithful and kind to the other men so he was put in charge of the prison although he was a prisoner himself.  Later in Genesis 45 we find that Joseph’s family and the nation of Israel were preserved because of his obedience.

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At the time, God often spoke to people through dreams and Joseph was able to translate these dreams God had given them.  Because Joseph made the most of this opportunity, years later he was asked to translate Pharaoh’s dream.   Because of Joseph’s wisdom, He was put in charge of all of Egypt under Pharaoh.  Although, his time in prison was difficult, he knew it was necessary and allowed God to make the most out of His situation.  Joseph became wealthy as he was in charge of the kingdom but His greatest wealth was His wisdom – even to the point that He was able to forgive his family for abandoning him.

Contentment cannot be found in grasping for tomorrow’s dreams but only through resting in God’s grace for today.  While it is encouraging to know that things can improve, we cannot make that our “soul” focus.  We must remember that “This is the day that the Lord has made” and know our trials are not a mistake or just bad luck.  God allows them because the payout is much greater on His part and ours.   If we are too preoccupied the future, we will miss the blessings He has for you today.

Application:  What trial are you currently in?  What opportunities do you have now to grow or help others grow because of this difficult time?

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