A Mom’s Daily Battle

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Lamentations 3:22-23  “The Lord’s lovingkindness indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

The morning has broken, the alarm has sounded and your feet are swinging to hit the cold floor. It’s the moment where you begin choosing the way your attitude for the day is going to go. We can begin one of two ways, with a heart thankful for the new day to serve the Lord or a heart drudging the day with an unwilling heart. I imagine you stumble to the kitchen and you switch on coffee pot, the kids come bleary eyed out of their rooms, and the bickering begins. (I’m not even kidding! I am in my kitchen right now and this is seriously happening!) One sticks out their tongue, the offended yell, “MOOOOM! She is sticking out her tongue.” I ignore the offended, who then chooses to retaliate, not with words but with a sneaky elbow punch.

***Freeze frame it in your mind now*** ( Excuse me while I switch to a first person account, because I am battling this out right now!)

I get to decide how I am going to respond on this one.

“God, help me!” I cry inside.  I had a fruitful, beautiful time in your Word and now these kids are putting me in jeopardy of sinning, or are they?

So, the quick answer is, No. They are not causing me to sin in my possible response. I get that responsibility. Seriously, it is on my heart to respond with an answer that is God honoring and pointing them to the Lord in how they should treat one another. This time I was able to not lose my temper, it’s early in the day and I am still meditating on my quiet time. My desire is that they day will continue in this pattern but I can assure you that it will digress at some point. I am stuck in this sinful flesh that I battle until my weary head hits the pillow at night. It’s then this sinner gets to rest and turn off her mind and tongue until the next morning.

We have a gracious God, who is acquainted with all our needs, our thoughts, and our weaknesses! What hope we have as we walk through this thing called, Motherhood, with Him as our strong tower. He is the one who can filter our thoughts and words for us as we try to saturate ourselves with His life giving Word. The Word is the guide for us in how we should live and move and have our being! Oh, that we would run to it in time of need or that He would bring to our minds what we need when we are at a crossroads of a response to others.

Proverbs 16:24  “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Lord, I am in need of your guidance on how I should respond to my family today. I am so easily frustrated and I turn to my flesh before I turn to you. Help me to be more like you in how I speak. I give vent to words that should not be said. Forgive me, and help me to point my children to you. Help me to show them, by example how to treat one another and speak words that are full of Your Word.

The Lord Sustains: Psalm 3

Read Psalm 3

Psalm 3:5 “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.”

There is NOTHING like the sustaining hand of God! He is a God who keeps, supports, comforts and helps those who are in Him. What hope and joy are found in the knowledge of this while walking through life’s trials. Our sovereign God is able and willing to save you out of times when all seems lost. (Psalm 3:8)

I know of this sustaining hand and it has held me through many difficult, heart-wrenching times.  My God has kept me when my daughter was diagnosed with a life long, life threatening illness. He has upheld my head as my teenage daughter walked to the end of the driveway to leave home with her boyfriend, and He continues to keep me and encourage my soul having unbelieving children or some who are not walking in His ways. He is a God who keeps me even when life seems to be crumbling around me.

How the flesh tries to wage against the Lord when trials come and instead of flying to Him for rest in comfort, one flies to worldly pursuits to sooth their aching mind and heart. Why lay with the pigs when the Father stands ready to receive you and embrace you?  Luke 15:20 “So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Oh dear one! How our Father longs for us to turn to him in the hour of our greatest need! Run to Jesus, and live!

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!
Now your burden’s lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!
And like a newborn baby
Don’t be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we fall, so
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!
Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!
O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can’t contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!
And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory’s side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!
by Chris Rice

Oh gracious Father, sustainer of all life and the world, who continues to graciously sustain me, a begger and poor sinner, always in need of your strong. keeping hand. You are merciful and loving and able to keep that which you have sought, bought and redeemed! To your great name be praise and glory! Amen!

Resources:

John MacArthur Commentary

Desiring God, by John Piper (This book has helped me tremendously in growing in my love for Christ.)

Delighting in the Word: Psalm 1

Read Psalm 1

Psalm 1:2

“But His delight is in the law of the LORD,  And in His law he mediates day and night.”

Psalm 1 is one of my favorites. When I read chapter 1, I am always immediately hit with the word DELIGHT. Delight is a word that speaks of a  high degree of pleasure towards something. Can you say you are delighted to read the Word of God?

There was a time in my life when I did not delight in God’s Word. In all honesty, there was a time when I would rarely read it,  and so it meant nothing to me. I would go about my life claiming Christ but never really knowing Him or desiring to learn more of Him. Once I bent my knee to the Lord, I went to a Ladies Salad Supper and the speaker spoke on how much she loved God’s Word. She held up her Bible and kissed it and said, “I love God’s Word!” I DRANK it in! My soul broke and cried, “I want to love your Word too!” From that time on I began to hunger after God’s Word and was learning to delight in the gift of God’s Word to me.

How do you meditate on God’s Word? First, you need to pray and ask the Lord to help you. (Matt. 7:8-9) Second, you need to read it! Read it slowly and carefully. Read it again. Read it out loud. Read it with a pen in hand. Memorize from the text you are reading. Study it with a good commentary so you can meditate with a correct understanding.

You will find yourself thinking about what you read throughout your day. It will become a balm to your heart and mind and soul. Once you start reading the Word of God and begin to delight in it, you will never be the same again. So dive in daily and drink deeply from the well spring of life.

Father, thank you for your Word. Forgive me for not loving it and cherishing it like I do other things. I get so tempted and drawn away by the cares of the world sometimes….. I don’t want to do this, but I do. Help me to love you, give me the pure love that comes from a broken and contrite heart. You deserve more love than I could possibly give.

 

Recommended Reading:

John MacArthur Commentary

Treasury of David, By Charles Spurgeon

90 day Psalm Reading Plan

 

 

 

Don’t Give Up!

     

The weather outside has become wintery and the skies have turned a winter gray, but it is a great time to buckle down and enjoy the homeschool journey.  It’s this time of the year that the homeschool BLAH’s can set in and cause us to become a little down in the mouth. I believe the shorter days and darkened skies can make the days seem dreary and move as slow as a child doing their chores! How do you keep yourself from losing your proverbial mind? How can you make it through the winter doldrums?

Get Alone With God, DAILY!

This is an absolute must for you. Get up and get motivated to sit and read His word for a few minutes each morning and PRAY that He will be glorified in your homeschool and life. Perhaps start reading in Psalms, and move your way through that book as winter progresses. There are 150 Psalms and winter will be over before you’re done! I created a reading plan for this and you can download it from here

90 day Psalm reading plan

Psalm 119:15-17

15  I will meditate on Your precepts
And regard Your ways.
16  I shall delight in Your statutes;
I shall not forget Your word.

Recently, I have had to re-adjust my personal time. I was getting lazy and short sighted in it and had to remind myself of the valuable spiritual discipline of personal quiet time. Life gets in the way and before you know it you have set aside the most important thing in your day for the dross of life. Ask the Lord to help you be faithful in this endeavor to know Him and commune with Him.

Pick a Family Project:

                Your kids are probably going as crazy as you are and getting them involved in something more than screen time can be valuable to their brains! (and your sanity!)

Last year our family decided to do a backcountry hiking trip.  If you’re not familiar with backcountry hiking and camping, it’s where you pack all your needed gear in to a LARGE backpack and carry it into the wilderness where you will stay 2-3 days.  We had to plan and prepare for this ALL winter long. There were gear lists and clearance shopping trips, practice hikes, learning about bears and snakes in the area we were going and more! We had a full winter prepping for our trip. The CRAZY thing about this is that last week one of my kids said, “I can’t wait for winter hiking. It’s my favorite time to hike.” **Insert an incredulous face of a mom here.**

Your family project should reflect you and your family. It can be anything. How many puzzles can your family finish over winter? You can take outdoor adventures in national or metro parks in your area. Make foods from different lands and read about that place or watch a library video about it. Learn to paint or sketch as a family. There are so many wonderful things you can do as a family from free to expensive. Your choice!

If you want to read about our outdoor adventures feel free to check out the blog:

Our Adventure Blog

Set A Schedule:

            Winter can make you lazy. The dreary, dark skies may cause you to get out of routine. Make a loose schedule of your day and try to stay with it. I mean LOOSE! No mom can plan around sick kids, nursing babies, and free-lance messes made by toddlers, or teenage drama, so just make a general plan for the day.

Plan a “free” day every week. It can be a day to laze around the fireplace, do an activity or go out to dinner. It gives you something to look forward to and the kids will know there is a day where you are relaxing or working on that family project. Fridays have been our “free” day for years and we use to enjoy the life that God has so graciously given to us.

Homeschooling can be challenging but you can have a successful winter semester. Embrace the cold!! Sing praises to the Lord for a time where you can slow down a bit and work on school. Grab that cup of coffee or tea and sit in the living room and enjoy the crazy. While the weather outside is frightful, winter homeschooling doesn’t need to be!

In His Grip,

Brandy

Open My Eyes:

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. Psalm 119:18

“When we come to hear or read the word of God, let us pray, ‘Lord, open my eyes! Persuade my soul! Bow the neck of my soul, the inner man of iron. Take away my hard heart, and teach me.” ~Richard Sibbes

Have you ever just sat at your devotion time and just stared at the Bible? You know you want to read it but are not sure where to start. There is the nagging discomfort that even if you do read it you won’t understand it. I have personally had times where I would be frustrated before I even started.  How was I to grow in Christ and in His knowledge if I did not read His Word?

When I read the quote by Richard Sibbes, I was encouraged. I was reminded that in the times I do not understand the Word I should pray, “Lord, open my eyes! Take away my hard heart.” It was a simple and gentle reminder to pray to the One who wrote the Bible by inspired men so that through the Holy Spirit my eyes, heart and mind can be enlightened. (Eph 4) Why do we doubt that He can give us understanding? May He take our hard hearts and give us knowledge!

Today, should you be hesitating to read the Word because of lack of understanding or passion, bend to your knees in prayer that He would encourage your heart to read it.  Then let Him do the work in your heart and mind  to understand it and you do the work of obedience by reading the Bible. (John 14:26)

Proverbs 1:10-11 “For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; Discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you.

 

To the younger woman reading this, if you have small children or a lot of children, something is better than nothing (5 minutes)! You may think you don’t have time. Little kids that are up at night and knocking at the door from sun down to sun rise. You run here and there. How is this even possible in my busy woman/wife/mom world? Start small and do not be discouraged!

 

Dear Young Momma,

Psalm 22:20 “The Law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul, the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

Dear Momma,

Oh, what a full plate you have. You are pulled in a million different directions. The phone is ringing, the baby crying, your toddler is dumping out toys, the house is imploding, your husband needs a date night and you probably have not slept well in weeks. You know there is to much to accomplish but everyone and everything is demanding that you do it. I remember these days all to well!

Dear sweet sister, in all the busy don’t forget to nurture your soul. It is vital that you make sure you find time to fill your soul with the Word of God. When I was in my 20’s I began journaling and reading the Bible as consistently as I could. My early attempts at quiet time with the Lord were small, but it was all I had to give. Those little seeds of time have produced fruit that have helped me endure through parenting, chronic illness in two of my children and homeschooling 20+ years. If you don’t start cultivating your heart in the Word of God now you won’t have what you need when difficult times come. Where your set your affections now will determine what weeds will be in your heart in 10 or 15 years from now. Read the Word and cultivate and weed your heart NOW!

I read a quote in, A Woman After God’s Own Heart, by Elizabeth George that said, “Something is better than nothing.” I remember thinking, I can do that, I can do 5 minutes a day and I went for it! I have never looked back and thought, “I wish I hadn’t read the Word and grown in Christ.” It’s quite the opposite. I wish I had spent more time filling my heart and mind and less time on the “little things”. There have been seasons where I have not been consistent. For example, newborn babies, sicknesses, or devastating circumstances. It is during these times I am drew from the well I had previously filled with His Word. I promise you, dear sister, the reward of spending time with your Savior is worth it!

In the end, the dishes will still be there, the messes will remain, but your soul will be renewed and fresh as you rise from your time with the Lord to do the tasks that will be at hand. You’re going to have bad days, but rather to have a bad day bathed in the Word than a bad day without it!

Take care of your soul!

Love,

Brandy

Wife, Mom, Speaker, Writer, Encourager

These are just some of the “name” hats I wear. 🙂

I’ve been excited to launch this website and share what I am learning and growing in. I hope you’ll come along with me! I’m looking forward to sharing my love of Christ with you! If you want to know a bit more about me click the ABOUT link.

Currently I am reading,

Women of the Word by Jen Wilkins

Crossway publishers

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and

Voices of the Past 2 a collection of Puritan devotionals:

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