Moms Are Modern Day Shepherds

All you dear Mamas are going to be so blessed by this encouraging word from Angela!  Yes, a shepherdess by calling…. ~ Lisa

{My own personal little “flock”}
{Image credit: Marie Kelley Photography}

God treasures those who the world sometimes doesn’t see.

I LOVE that God REVEALED the birth of His Son…..Jesus, to common everyday…..shepherds.

His first “birth announcement” was sent to a group of men who didn’t have “degrees”, didn’t have it “all together” and probably weren’t in their “dream job…” Yet God used them right where they were at and now, thousands of years later we are reading about this heavenly birth announcement God decided to start with them.

Shepherds, these were men who:
… held an occupation that didn’t hold respect.
… go unnamed…..yet were chosen by God to be the very “birth announcers…” the first ones to share and tell others about the “good news of great joy that will be for all people…”
God chose them, the unseen, unnamed…..to tell of the “Good News.”

I love that He sees and chooses those who no ones else does.

If God would of had a marketing committee……I think they would have laughed at His idea of sharing this important birth announcement with these lowly shepherds……yet I love that my God’s ways are not man’s ways……for God looks at our hearts.

I LOVE that about God!

I believe God has a tender spot for those who care for His “lambs.”

Many times as moms, whether we work inside our outside the home, we feel our work done in our homes goes unnoticed.

Unseen……

Unappreciated.

Yet I know that is not the case because God sees everything!

We, as moms, women who are raising the next generation for Christ……are modern day shepherds. Our jobs, our workload, our sleepless nights may go unnoticed by some…..but not by God.

He sees it all…..

Some of us might not hold the degrees we wish we had. Some of us might think we are not in our “dream job”, yet it’s in this job, this occupation, that we learn to touch eternity as we invest ourselves into our families…..tending to our own personal “flocks.”

It’s in the tending to our little lambs, that we can help spread the “good news of great joy for all people” …..one life at a time.

Have you ever specifically considered that, in being a mom, ( or a grandma, a daughter, sister, aunt) you have been called……YOU have a calling!

Tend to the lambs who are in your flock…..you never know what God has planned for your life.

Or who one day, may pay you a visit……

Modern Day Shepherds2

{Image credit: Marie Kelley Photography}

Love God Greatly!

 

 

 

AngelaAngela is the wife to her high school sweetheart and mom to her 3 adorable little girls. Some of Angela’s favorite things in life are dancing with her daughters, laughing with her husband and loving her Lord with the amazing life He has given her. You can find Angela at GoodMorningGirls.org where she blogs with her good friend Courtney,from WomenLivingWell, together they encourage women to be in God’s Word on a daily basis through tech accountability groups. Angela’s goal in life is to inspire her children and others to love God greatly with their lives one day at a time.

 

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Taming Mama’s Angry Birds

preparing to fly

Angry birds. Yes, I’m quite familiar with them.

Oh, not those cutesy ones from the game, but the real ugly ones that swoop down on a mama’s life. The ones who sneak up to discourage, defeat and ruin the spirit of your home. When mama goes around M~A~D.

It’s rather funny (is funny the right word?), but I never realized I had a problem with anger.

Until I became a mother.

Motherhood revealed things that I didn’t even know were in me. Irritation. Sharpness. Impatience. Ugliness that had been hidden up until then.

But it became increasingly apparent when my husband’s new job meant long hours and moving across the country – far from friends and family. We also happened to have three children under the age of three.

I felt alone and overwhelmed.

And angry.

I’m not saying that I acted out my anger. I “merely” went around with an angry spirit. I was uptight and snappish with my little ones.

How horrible. I was an oh-so-different kind of mama than the one I’d always pictured. What I wanted was a kind and patient lady for these sweet babies of ours. Calm. No matter what the circumstances.

Not the frazzled, irritable woman that I’d become.

So after one particularly difficult morning, I cooked up a box of Kraft macaroni & cheese for lunch and put everyone down for naps. As soon as it was quiet, I knelt down at the bottom of the staircase and cried out to The Lord in desperation.

I poured out my grief over my sinful spirit. Tearfully, I pleaded with Him – for the sake of our little ones – to help me get a grip on this anger thing. To help tame these ruffled feathers of mine.

And He so graciously answered. Over time and in a variety of ways.

How the Lord Can Help Soothe a Mama’s Soul:

Cling to The Lord. Trust Him to give what you need to overcome. The Enemy wants you to think you’re helpless and on your own. But you are NOT.

Be Determined. Don’t make excuses for sin, but face it squarely for what it is. Commit to making whatever changes are necessary.

Evaluate the Circumstances. This might seem to contradict what’s above, but it doesn’t. An explanation is not the same as an excuse.

Watch for trigger points you can avoid.  For me, the worst time was usually mid-morning. Mornings were extremely busy with three small children and I rarely ate much breakfast…so by their 10:00 am snack-time, I was crazy-hungry.

3 Clamoring Children + 1 Ravenous Mama = Flock of Angry Birds

A somewhat simple math problem. Solution? Make myself a protein snack at about 9:30 am – yes, even before my children.

Then my husband weighed in and urged me to rest while the children napped. I hesitated to “waste” that precious quiet time (so many other things I’d rather do), but reluctantly agreed. A better rested mama made for a better Dinner Hour. For everyone.

Put a Plan in Place. Another reason mornings were so challenging? I didn’t have a good plan. So my children set the agenda for the day, instead of me (not too great when the oldest is only three years old).

With this in mind, my husband and I sat down one evening and sketched out a basic, workable schedule that took into consideration all their many little needs. And some of my needs too.  For instance, getting a shower in helped my crabs immensely.

Embracing His Mission for Me

Ultimately, my anger was a spiritual issue. Even though I’d been in ministry and on the mission field before marriage, most of my giving had been on my terms and in my time.

Motherhood wasn’t like that.

Motherhood demanded from me, whether I was up to it – or not. Whether I was ready for it – or not. These seemingly unrelenting and incessant demands put me on edge. Clashed with my flesh. Made me angry.

So here’s what it came down to:  I had to learn to embrace what The Lord has for me in each day. These children. This home. These challenges. They are all from Him. For me.

I needed to change my mindset away from seeking what Mama wanted right now, to receiving what The Lord wanted for me instead. That way, when children or events interrupted my life (constantly?), it wasn’t nearly so grating or irritating.

When I consider that this is His life for me and these are all things from His hand – how can I help but rejoice in that?

Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice (Psalm 63:7).

In His grace,

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What’s the Best Way for A Mom to Show Love to Her Son?

What's the Best Way for a Mom to Show Love to Her Son
What would you say was the best thing I did for you?

He didn’t reply.

….you know, as your mom?

Soon to take off for college across the country, I couldn’t help asking before he left. In our years together, what had mattered most? Between mother and son.

He remained silent, but I could see now that he was thoughtfully considering the question.

Eventually the answer came.

You listened to me.

Really. Out of all the things I’d done for him over the past 18 years? Funny, that listening would stand out in his mind.

Not the meals.
Not the laundry.
Not the lessons, nor the lectures.
Not even the stories read aloud.

It’s that I’d listened – merely listened while he spilled out his everyday thoughts, his fears, his hopes, and his plans. I heard his little boy’s heart and, later on, his young man dreams.

But at the time?  I didn’t realize that all that quiet listening would speak so strongly to him. That my listening would speak love louder than my words.

Such a revelation to receive only a short time before his leaving home. I found myself wishing that I’d have understood this all along. It might have helped to have known. So if you have a young son – or even a growing man son – don’t underestimate his need for you, his mom, to simply listen.

Listen to his thoughts. Like what he’s thinking about and what’s on his mind. Don’t only save your ears for the “deep” because, if he’s anything like mine, the profound gets mingled in with the other strings of thought. He rarely just comes out with it. No, I have to be quiet and ready to catch it when it comes by.

Listen to his ideas. Be interested and positive. It doesn’t matter so much if they are rather far out – just go with it! Let him dream and dream big. Hear him out as he imagines where he wants to go and what he wants to be. Don’t judge whether it’s a “good” idea or not – at least not at this time. Aspiring men need a strong sounding board.

Listen to his fears. While we mamas need to be careful that we don’t coddle our sons, we can listen sympathetically to his concerns and then encourage him to conquer and overcome. Often when fears are spoken out-loud, they lose much of their power.

Listen to his frustrations. I’d never encourage my sons to whine – not ever. Yet there’s a time where listening to his frustration in an understanding way can help him work it out too. Talking it out can usually help sort it out.

Listen without lecturing. If he can fairly count on a lecture every time he comes to me? He’ll stop coming after a while. While I’m not saying that there’s never a time to speak up, there’s something to be said for biting your tongue. Just because I know exactly what he should do in a given situation, doesn’t mean I need to share it – especially as he gets older. Maybe I’ll use my wisdom to pray for him. Or pass it on to his dad to talk further about it with him. And sometimes he concludes what’s right without me ever saying a thing.

I’m so glad now that I asked my question on that late summer day.  Because I’ve got three more good reasons to know about the love spoken by a mama’s listening heart.  They’re ages 10, 8, and 6 and, believe me, they’ve got plenty to say!

So I’d better sign off for  now….I’ve got lots of good listening left to do. Maybe you do too?

In His grace,

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A Special Note to Moms With Sons

Guest Post by Christy Fitzwater

Thirty seconds.

That’s how long I made it from the time my daughter pulled away in her car to head back to college to the time I started crying. Pretty much rips the heart from a mom to watch her kid drive away to another town.

Then from the front seat of the car came my son’s hand placed gently on my knee. No words –just a look of compassion and a touch of love.

And I wondered when this child became a young man who would care about how I feel, instead of me just being the mom and taking care of him. Did I teach him this compassion somewhere along the way that all of a sudden it would return to me?

Because as mothers we must teach our children how to treat us –a strange job demanding behavior from them that we hope someday will become their natural action toward us and toward others.

I remember purposefully teaching him to say thank you and to compliment me for a good dinner. I taught him to clear his place and open the door for me. I taught him to bring in the groceries and hang up his wet towel.

But I don’t remember lessons in a compassionate touch. I never said twenty or sixty-seven times, Reach over and touch me lovingly when you can tell I’m sad. Maybe it’s simply a return of the love I’ve been giving him for 15 years.

So to the moms who have sons –those sons who take things apart they shouldn’t and who turn even a crust of grilled cheese sandwich into a gun and who enjoy more than anything to talk about bodily sounds and excretions –keep loving them. Love them and hug them and discipline them and clean up after them.

Some day that love will come back to you –a good return on your investment.

“Be completely humble and gentle;

be patient, bearing with one another in love.”

Ephesians 4:2

Christy Fitzwater is a pastor’s wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She is the mother of a son in high school and a daughter in college. She enjoys when the days get shorter and the weather nasty so she doesn’t feel guilty about not going outside. Days where she can just read books and write words all day. She can even tell you the plots of 15 missionary biographies without batting an eye. You can read her personal blog at http://www.christyfitzwater.com. Also find her at http://pinterest.com/fitzh2o/ and Twitter at christy_fitz.

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