Monday, April 26, 2010

The Strength of Mom

It’s amazing what a mom can accomplish in one day. Getting the kids to where they need to go whether it is lessons, school or story time, and making sure they have a good breakfast and a healthy lunch in the process. Laundry, volunteering, carpool, appointments, play-dates, errands, not to mention the priceless moments of listening, caring, hugging, disciplining and helping. Phew! A mother’s job is filled with joy, but let’s be honest, it can be slightly draining at times. In a good way, it drains us of our self-centered tendencies, but in a challenging way motherhood can drain us of our physical and emotional energy.

Where does a mother go to for strength and help? Certainly we must be deliberate about taking care of ourselves physically by eating right and getting the rest we need. We can also find support emotionally through talking with a trusted friend, finding wise counsel or journaling. As believers in Christ, God invites us to come to Him for strength. The Bible talks quite a bit about finding our strength in God. Isaiah reminds us, “Those who wait upon the Lord will gain new strength.” The Psalmist said, “The Lord is my strength and my shield.” Paul said, “For Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Paul also talked about the strength he found to be content in any and every situation, whether in plenty or in need. He said he learned the secret to being content in every situation. Here it is, “I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.” He went on to say, “My God will meet all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Being content doesn’t mean God orchestrates everything to turn out perfectly for you. It means God will strengthen you in and through your difficulties. Lean on Him, look to Him, find your strength in Him. He loves you and will provide for you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Never-Ending Student

This week I had the privilege of going with the wonderful young moms in my connection group from church (Christy, Stephanie, Tandy, Becky – love you all) to hear John Townsend talk about setting boundaries with kids. It was a tremendous time of learning, and I highly recommend any of John’s books ( and especially Boundaries with Kids if you are a parent. It’s funny, but I thought I was going to the event just to encourage and support the young moms in my group, yet oddly I walked away with a wealth of wisdom which I needed to apply to my own life and relationships as well. We never stop learning and growing!

On Saturday I went to speak to the ladies at First Baptist Lewisville and funny thing, God wanted me there so I could learn as well. I attended one of the break-out sessions mainly because I wanted to just hear what the teacher had to say on a certain misunderstood topic in scripture (mainly submission), and once again I not only walked away with a wealth of wisdom, but also a fair amount of conviction.

This morning I picked up my dad’s latest book, Your Daily Mental Vitamin (by Garry Kinder), and the entry went like this: Read and inwardly digest one book each month. Feed the mind as you feed the body. Leaders are readers and readers are leaders. I think the lesson for the week, at least for me, is never stop learning. Be intentional about growing and learning. We learn from books, from the people God places in our lives and most importantly from God’s Word.

As a mom, we want to instill this love of learning with our kids. We begin with our own example. Allow your kids to see that you still love to read, grow and learn as an adult. Every now and then, tell your kids what God is teaching you. Read, read, read. Read to your kids, sit down and read next to your kids, and joyfully talk about what you are reading and learning in life. Begin a collection of classics for your home book shelf. Half-price books is a great place to find treasures. You will find a list of classics books for your kids in my book The Power of a Positive Mom (chapter 18). Enjoy the adventure of learning, and don’t be discouraged if you still feel like you are a never-ending student. Remember that He who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

“Knowledge and experience are the best two feet anyone can have to equip him for successful living.” John Wanamaker

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Greatest Adventure

“Adventure isn't hanging on a rope off the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude that we must apply to the day-to-day obstacles of life - Facing new challenges, seizing new opportunities, Testing our resources against the unknown and in the process, Discovering our own unique potential.” John Amatt (mountain climber)

This past week I went on a little adventure of my own. I drove to Bartlesville, Oklahoma to speak for a Christian Women’s Club luncheon, then drove on to Coffeyville, Kansas to speak at an evening event in the beautiful Brown Estate Mansion. It was wonderful getting to know fellow sisters in Christ in these precious “villes” and it was a joy to share the powerful truths of God’s love and forgiveness through Christ Jesus.

On the way home, I decided to take an adventurous detour to visit the Tulsa Zoo. What fun! That's me riding the camel!

My long drive from Texas to Kansas and back within 24 hours could have been viewed as a burden, but I chose to see it as an adventure. It was an opportunity to make new friends, share God’s love, see new sights and enjoy God’s great creation. The point I want to make is that every day offers opportunities and adventures. The person God places in your path today is a creation of God and a treasure just waiting to be discovered. The difficult detour in your life is an opportunity to trust God and discover new skills. You can always look at a frustration or a challenge in your life from a new angle and look with anticipation for ways God can bring hope and redemption. Yes life has many opportunities for adventure through the good days and the bad.

There is one great adventure in life which is available to each and every one of us. I’m talking about the adventure of knowing Christ. The apostle Paul said, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord….I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings...”

There is no greater adventure than knowing Christ! Not just knowing about Him, but truly knowing Him in a vibrant relationship and as the Lord of your life. Pursuing Christ makes life meaningful, joyful and fulfilling. As we come to know Christ, we recognize we are dearly loved and we experience his strength and power in our lives each day. We can look to Him for guidance and direction. Take a step today toward the great adventure of knowing Christ, seeking His face, and drawing close in His loving arms.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter All Year

Hope it was a great Easter for you. We had a tremendous time with our daughters (and our mastiffs) down in Austin. The bluebonnets were in full bloom and more brilliant than I have ever seen them before.

The week before Easter I was a t lunch with some friends and one of the girls asked, “So what’s everyone doing for Easter?” We all answered with about the same answer: going to church, enjoying a family meal, coloring eggs and giving Easter baskets (yes we still that even though the girls are grown), but after I got home from my lunch with my friends I started thinking about what I really should be doing for Easter. In light of what we are celebrating on Easter Sunday, I wish I would have answered my friends by saying, “I’m going to give the gift of mercy and grace to everyone I encounter because that’s the gift Jesus gave me on the cross. In honor of Him I’m going to die to my rights to hold something against another person. I’m going to love and serve others as Jesus did.”

Think about the beauty of the cross and ponder the power of the resurrection. Romans 8:11 reminds us that the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead, lives within us. He is able to give me what I need to love, serve and forgive the people around me. The power of Christ’s resurrection is the cornerstone of our faith. It is a reminder that we too will live with Christ in eternity. It is also a reminder that His spirit gives us strength and power to love like Jesus loved and live like Jesus lived every day we are here on this earth.

Yes, this Easter I still plan to give out baskets filled with goodies, but I also plan to give something much more significant. I plan to give grace and mercy to the people around me and reflect Jesus’ love on Easter. I plan to walk in the power of the resurrection knowing that God is able to do a mighty and transforming work in and through me.

Positive Mom Moment: Now that Easter is over, encourage your kids to continue to celebrate Easter all year long. Talk about how you can continue to give kindness, forgiveness and love to others to honor Jesus. Use one of the leftover Easter baskets (after they have eaten all the candy of course) to put little pieces of paper with random acts of kindness which you all can do for others. Sit down over dinner one night and brainstorm random acts of kindness together as a family. Holding the door open, being nice to someone lonely, baking a cake for the new neighbor, writing a note to lift someone up…all of these can be written down as acts of kindness. Then pick a piece of paper each morning and look for opportunities throughout the day. Share at the dinner table how you were able to carry out your deeds.