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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Divine Coincidence

As a stay at home mom, I’m often tempted to believe the lie that I’m not capable of making a big impact in God’s Kingdom.   I was wallowing in this assumption on my way to Walmart with Morgan one morning.  When I got there, I kept seeing the same Indian woman over and over.  I almost ran into her with my cart accidentally, because it seemed every turn I took, she was there.  This was shortly after the Paris attacks so couldn’t help but wonder how it made her feel.  I must have seen her at least eight different times to the point that we chuckled and smiled at one another the last couple times.  It was then I realized this wasn’t a coincidence (actually, I’m not sure if there really is such a thing) and I knew it was my job to pray for her…to pray for her salvation and whatever she might be dealing with at the time.   So, as we walked back to the car, I prayed for her, knowing that there is tremendous power in prayer.  1 John 5:14-15, states “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”  Therefore, God tells us that ANYTHING that we pray that is in accordance with His Will, will come to pass.

My parents live in our neighborhood and I had to drop something off at their house one morning.  I noticed an Indian woman walking down the sidewalk.  She was wearing a coral top, button-down top, black pants and a head covering.  I said hello and walked up the driveway.  Not 5 minutes later, I was back at our house.  At the same point on the sidewalk I noticed an Asian woman wearing the exact same colored, button-down top and pants walking down the exact same point of the sidewalk at our house.  I thought, “That’s a weird coincidence” and realized that maybe I was supposed to pray for these two women.  James 5:16 says that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective”.  Because of what He did on the cross for me, I am righteous in His sight and my prayers are backed by His power – the very same power that created the heavens and the earth.

I may never know the eternal outcome of those prayers, but I do know that if I would have been too hurried about my to-do list, I would have missed seeing them altogether.  God wants us to be still enough to notice “coincidences”.  For, if He knows the very number of hairs on our heads and stars in the sky, then He is working behind the scenes in more intricate ways than we can ever fathom.  I am now convinced that such coincidences are God’s way of inviting you to play participate in the eternal.

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Often I get so preoccupied with my to do list or trying to become efficient and effective for His Kingdom that I forget to watch for “coincidences” and listen to what the Holy Spirit is really trying to tell me.   Our American culture is not conducive to concept of stillness.  As I type this, there is a phone sitting next to me that is like crack cocaine for someone as myself with a short attention span.   Our world feeds us layer upon layer of distraction and our American culture tells us that if your life is not hurried and overcommitted, you have no life at all.  What’s interesting to note is that Jesus was usually busy but He was never hurried.  He always gave proper attention to what the Father gave Him in that moment.  He was never too hurried to talk to the women at the well or have the little children sit at His feet.

What’s ironic is that by human terms, Jesus was never really efficient or effective in doing ministry.  If He was, he might not have sent a small band of inadequate men to evangelize the entire world.  Also, Christ’s main ministry was most successful after His death. My point is this – God does not limit himself to human plans, efforts and concepts.  As high as the heavens are from the earth, so are His thoughts than our thoughts and His ways than our ways (Isaiah 55:9).  So it is a much better use of time and energy to sit and wait for our Father’s instructions than rush ahead of God’s Will.

It is ironic that stillness is the ultimate time-saver.  What God can accomplish through us in 10 minutes of prayers is more than we can do on our own in a lifetime.  I’m so very thankful that God does not work in human terms and His ways are perfect.  I’m also grateful that God does not call the qualified, but he qualifies the called.  Our most important job is not to plot how we can be effective for ministry, as that is a great recipe for getting in the way of God’s perfect plans.  But our role is to sit at His feet, to be still and know that He is God.  When we are still enough, we begin to become in-tune with how God is continually working around us, we come to how God has intricately positioned us in His plan.  Our highest calling and greatest role in life is as children who sit at His feet and listen attentively.  When we are hurried and preoccupied with our to-do lists, we might miss out on being a part of how God is working around us and most importantly, how He wants to work through us.

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