I recently I blogged about my word for 2019, the Scariest word in the Bible for a woman, Submission. So, today I will hit on another somewhat touchy subject that goes along with Godly submission, Mothering. Yup, that’s right the not so basic skilled job of Momming. Seriously, it’s a tough gig. Especially if you are attempting to do it right. You may be a soon-to-be-mom, a new mom, a step-mom, adoptive mom, foster mom or not yet a mom. However, you came to be or will become a mom, mothering is the Hardest. Job. Ever. I promise it’s the hardest job there is. There are no days off. There are no vacations. No sick days. No retirement, or 401K. The older they get, the more you worry. Tough gig, just sayin’.
I am forty-one years old, I have five children (24, 21, 19, 17, 12) and two bonus kids (25 & 18). My eldest is twenty-five this year, and my youngest will be thirteen this summer. When I turned 31 I had been a mom over half my life. So, I have been momming for quite some time. Does this make me an expert, not at all. Does this make me perfect, uh not even close! I can say I have probably made every mistake there is to make as a mom, some of them more than once. Because, if you have been following me long you know I am as stubborn as they come.
When our children are born we want nothing more than to cuddle, hold them, love them and protect them. We want to protect them from everything there is bad out there. We nurse them, we sing to them, we kiss boo-boos, we make sure vaccinations are always up to date (if you are a non-vaccinations mom, that’s ok) bottom line we do everything in our power to make sure they are healthy, loved and happy. When they cry, our heart breaks. When they laugh we laugh. Their heartache is our heartache and their happiness is our happiness. When they celebrate victories we feel proud and accomplished as a parent. When they fail, we feel like we failed them as a parent. Normally, there is no middle ground.
Then there is the hard job of disciplining them, there is providing for them, and the hardest thing of all I think is the big fat mother of them all, the lie of the enemy, the mom GUILT! It’s a real thing!! The mom guilt is something the enemy uses to cripple us. He knows as women we are “weaker” vessel and uses the good ole’ fashioned tactic of mom guilt to enable us to fail our children.
I spent eleven years as a single mom. My ex-husband relinquished his rights and I raised them for eleven years by myself. So, as a single mom not only are you the bad cop and good cop, provider and disciplinarian, but you are also the sole proprietor of the mom guilt supreme.
See, God gives us instruction on how to be the right kind of mom, just as he does how to be the right kind of wife. Some women have known since they are small little girls they were made for mothering. Destined to be a mom. I was not one of those. I always said I was never having children. God’s got jokes! I have five, yes, FIVE. Each one loved just as if I was one of those destined to be moms. It doesn’t matter how you came to be a mom, Moming is hard no matter the road you took to get there.
Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.4As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:3
They are a gift, even when you’re hiding in the bathroom eating the last cookie with little fingers under the door, asking you for the 900th refill of the day. Regardless of how God made you a mom, this scripture applies. No matter at what age you become a mom it still applies. I learned later in life it is a ministry. One of the most important ministries there is. No one told me as a child my children would be gifts. No one told me God doesn’t make mistakes and there are no accidents when it comes to the children we have. No one told me each child is on loan, entrusted to us by God, to use for his glory and to return when he needs them back. I am not even sure I would have been prepared if they had told me.
See, I’ve always had in my mind if I am not a doctor, lawyer, president of a company, a pastor, evangelist or someone else with a title I was nobody. I never thought as mothering my children as a ministry. It was a long hard road to reach that conclusion. Let me tell you, Mom is a title. It is one of the biggest most import titles there is out there. Every man, woman, doctor, lawyer, preacher, evangelist, Sunday school teacher, pianist, pastors wife, or author had a mother or mother figure. Some female who influenced their lives. Let me say, even knowing they are gifts I still, have days I understand why animals sometimes eat their young and have to remind myself it’s my ministry.
One year, I attended Arise Ministries in Oklahoma City is a huge single mom supporter especially around the holidays. This particular year Wanda Pratt, Kevin Durant’s mother was the speaker. As well as Pam Kanaly and Shelley Pulliam co-founders of Arise Ministries. I was privileged enough to get a front-row seat to hear these ladies speak. One of the challenges for us was to stand firm on the word of God. Literally, we wrote scriptures, meaningful, steadfast scriptures and placed them in the shoes of our children. It sounds silly, I know. But, let me tell you it works. It works wonders in the lives of our children. To teach them scriptures, to memorize scriptures and literally stand on the word of God. Try it, you can even remove the inner pads of your shoes write the scriptures and place the pads back where they go. Well, from that moment I knew to mother menat more. I spent time reading books from Christian Authors addressing Motherhood. Then one day my sweet friend in Flordia
sent me a book By Tommy and Thetus Tenney, How to be a God Chaser and a Kid Chaser. It was a life changer in the mothering department for me. After this particular book opened my eyes to the bigger picture of mothering, with the importance of chasing God while chasing your kids, I wanted to read more. So, I went to my local Mardel’s store and looked for all the books I could get my hands on. I couldn’t always afford to purchase them, so on my lunch hour I would go and read them. Sorry, Mardel, I was a single mom on a budget. I found several books I loved. Books that made an impact on a young single momma’s heart and gave her a desire to serve God by caring for her children.
Here are a few other books that made an impact on me and the way I parent my children.
Let me tell you if you know a single mom or any mom struggling to find her place. A place where she fits into God’s picture when she is drowning in laundry, crying babies, ear infections, dinners, sports, and piano practice, or trying to balance it all. I recommend all of these books. They are amazing. Truly, wonderfully, without a doubt all anointed writings from talented Christian authors. Several, of these books I no longer have because I have passed them along to other moms who needed encouragement.
One thing all these books have in common is Prayer. Pray fervently, frequently and constantly over your little or not so little ones. Nothing will come close to what God can do when you cover their little hearts and minds in prayer. Standing firm on the word of God and teaching them to do the same will be the best thing you will ever do for them. I could have been so much better in this area than I was.
So while you are out there momming here are a few things an ole’ Mimi like me as learned along the way.
- Being a mom is hands-down the most important job you will ever have. Even on the days, you want to hide in the closet and cry.
- Let them see you read your bible, study and pray. Monkey see monkey do
- The time flies faster than you realize.
- Children are forgiving and resilient.
- We will never obtain perfection in our lives in any aspect, especially as a mom. There is no way to be a perfect mom, but a million ways to be a good mom.
- Prayer is your number one weapon against the enemy for your children.
- If you don’t know what or how to pray over them, pray scriptures over them. Prayer in any form is never wasted.
- Read as much as you can, or listen to a Christian podcast, books on tape/cd/online that are in line with the word.
- Surround yourself with positive prayerful encouraging women.
- Join a bible study for moms at church. Most provide free daycare if needed.
- If you are a married mom, ask your husband, your mom or his mom for help on the bad days. It’s okay to ask for help.
- If you haven’t been the mom Christ requires you to be, pray, ask him for forgiveness and then explain to your children (and your spouse if you’re married) the changes you are making and why. Your number one job is to raise Children after God’s heart.
- Do not feel guilty for disciplining, for asking for help, or having a bad day and losing your cool. It happens to everyone.
- Do NOT compare yourself to the filtered strangers on the internet.
- Never ever compare yourself to other moms.
Above all allow yourself forgiveness for past, present or future mom mistakes. We all have made and will make mistakes, that is life. We ask for forgiveness and correct our mistakes and move forward. My oldest is a dad himself. One of the best things that have taken place since he became a parent himself is the some of the conversations we have shared and he has told me “I now understand why you did what you did!” Nothing helps a confirm a moms job until she has heard her grown child say that himself. It’s very encouraging especially if you are still shepherding smaller kids. So, remember why you have the toughest most important ministry there is it’s not forever, but the results are eternal. God made no mistake choosing you to be their mother.
Remember to keep your coffee hot and your prayers hotter,