kids

Is She a Good Mother?

There is a lot going on in the mother's life. She's trying to raise children while she herself is a work in progress. There is sin, there are shortcomings, there are questions that don't seem to have answers. There are crying babies and hormone charged teenagers and often a critical voice deep within picking apart her decisions.  

In the midst of each woman's journey as mom, we look at others and we critique. Others look at us and critique. What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong?

I had a thought today - since all of us fall short of the glory of God, and all of us are being transformed but have not yet "arrived," why don't we start lifting each other up in prayer? 

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11
Being a mother is a weighty responsibility for cracked and broken vessels, yet God still blesses us with children, and leads us and helps us as we love them.

Being a mother is a weighty responsibility for cracked and broken vessels, yet God still blesses us with children, and leads us and helps us as we love them.

God tenderly leads those who have young. Being a mother is no joke. It's a weighty responsibility for cracked and broken vessels (that would be everyone of us). Yet God still blesses us with children and he leads us and helps us as we love them.

As we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, so will our mothering. Do you want that? I crave it - I crave a better understanding of my role, I crave wisdom on how to discipline, I crave patience during a sleep deprived state, I crave the ability to show love toward my kids even when I'm irritated (at them). Other moms crave it too. 

So let us pray for one another, for other mothers. 

Jesus came that we might have an abundant life - that we might know him and follow him and share him. We should long for that for all people - including other mothers. 

Let us pray for one another so that mothers are lifted up, so that this next generation grows up to love Jesus and live for Him. Let us cry out for wisdom, patience, love, and endurance on their behalf to raise our children in the fear the Lord.

Pray for God to bless mothers with wisdom and courage to raise their children; for diligence and peace as they maintain their households.

Let us be for each other instead of against - because we are all works in progress growing in the grace and admonition of the Lord - because it's not about us but His glory.

When you see another mom, with her children, young or old, lift her up in a simple prayer:

Jesus, please lead her tenderly as she cares for her young.

Teaching Little Ones to Know the Word

"Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly."  Colossians 3:16

Sometimes I forget this verse applies to our children. That somehow they are exempt from needing to be filled with the knowledge of Jesus through the Word.

Actually, helping the Word dwell richly in our cherished little ones is part of the great responsibility and joyful opportunity we have as Christian mothers (and fathers). The Word of God roots our hearts in Truth, is an anchor of hope for our souls, and teaches us about God and his great rescue plan. The Word of God matures our hearts, grows our faith, and gives us wisdom - all things I know we long for our children to possess - maturity - faith - wisdom (and more!).

Here are a few tools and ideas to get Scriptures into our children's hearts:

  • Verse of the Week - write a short verse using markers and cardstock (or use a chalkboard) and hang it where you eat breakfast. Teach the verse the first two days and then review it each morning of the week as you eat your eggs. (Click here for a list of verses we've used at the breakfast table - coming soon.)
  • Books with Scripture - read a little devotional or prayer book with Scriptures before bedtime. We use Really Woolly Bedtime Prayers by Thomas Nelson Publishing for our 2 year old that had a little verse and prayer on each page with a fun illustration.
  • Sing Songs about Scripture - songs make it easy to write the Word of God on our hearts. Sometimes we make up little ditty's to help us remember verses (with lots of "woos!" and "yays!" ;) but also use resources like Songs for Saplings. Songs for Saplings has a ton of songs that teach the word of God - they are short, catchy, and very fun.

Do you have a great tool or resource for helping the Word of God dwell richly in your children? Maybe you have older kids and you have other creative ideas.

Please share them in the comments below!

How to Make a Countdown Paper Prayer Chain with Your Kids

We've all made them - the countdown paper chains - counting down days until Christmas, until vacation, until birthdays. It's a great visual for children to see days getting closer to something they are looking forward to experiencing. It builds anticipation and excitement.

But what if we took the countdown chain a step further, adding an element that will focus our hearts on Jesus while we countdown?  We could turn a simple countdown into a discipleship tool to teach prayerful anticipating and expectation to our children.

How to Make a Prayer Countdown Paper Chain

Step 1

Cut construction paper in 1.5 inch strips.

Step 2

Write numbers on each paper strip according to your countdown calendar (i.e. if you have 25 days left, write each number on a strip of paper 1 through 25).

Step 3

Write simple words next to each number to guide prayers or prayer requests for each countdown day.

Prayers can center around things about what you are counting down to, or can be general prayer requests. Consider writing different families or missionaries on each strip as you countdown days until Christmas.

Step 4

Tape (or staple) strip 1 into a circle. Loop strip 2 through the first circle and tape to form a chain. Keep going until all your strips have made up links in a paper chain.

Step 5

Choose a part of the day to rip of a piece of the countdown chain and pray for that particular request.

Pray as a Family

We use the prayer countdown paper chain when counting down to vacation to build anticipation (see more about How to Take a Family Vacation here). Each morning we rip a link off and pray for the request at breakfast. It gets the family excited and keeps our hearts on Jesus. It teaches our children how to pray and wait in eager expectation of the Lord to work.

A simple tool for family discipleship.