Monday, October 25, 2010

His Power and Glory

“God is not waiting to show us strong in his behalf, but himself strong in our behalf. That makes a lot or difference. He is not out to demonstrate what we can do but what he can do.” Vance Havner

Key Scripture: Judges 7:2 - 4
The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength. Therefore, tell the people, ‘Whoever is timid or afraid may leave and go home.’ Twenty-two thousand of them went home, leaving only ten thousand who were willing to fight. But the Lord told Gideon, “There are still too many!”

Mom’s Reflection:
The super-mom syndrome seems to run rampant in our culture. A super-mom does it all. She is the protector of her children, the coordinator of the overloaded family calendar, and the all sufficient one to meet her kid’s needs. The super-mom believes the livelihood and success of her children’s lives depends on her careful planning, preparation and follow-through. She is self-sufficient.
God calls us to be God-sufficient. Gideon started out with a super-army, yet God was not looking for the army that could “do it all.” He wanted a humble army that would look to Him and recognize the victory was found in God, not in self-sufficiency. He eventually whittled down Gideon’s army to 300 men. God granted the victory and the honor went to Him. God isn’t looking for super-moms who can do it all on their own. He is looking for moms who look to Him for guidance, wisdom, direction and strength. If super-mom’s kids turn out great, then she gets the glory. When children are raised under God’s strength and guidance, then the glory is His.

All sufficient God, I praise you for you are all power and all wisdom. I recognize that I can’t do it all. I praise you that you can. Thank you for loving and caring for my family. Lead me to be responsible, wise and strong. Help my children to grow to be well-balanced adults, so that you may be glorified. Thank you that you are the protector of our family and the guardian of our souls. In Jesus Name, Amen.

“We are not to think that, where we see no possibility, God sees none.” Marcus Dods

This week I will choose to see the God-possibilities, instead of my inabilities.
This week I will choose to be God-sufficient rather than self-sufficient.
This week I will choose to give God the glory and not myself.
This week I will: _________________________________________
Further Reading: Judges 7

This blog entry is an excerpt from my book The Power of a Positive Mom Devotional (Simon & Schuster)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Courage and Commitment

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” C.S. Lewis

Joshua 1:7-9
Be strong and very courageous. Obey all the laws Moses gave you. Do not turn away from them, and you will be successful in everything you do. Study this book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed. I command you – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Sometimes I don’t feel so strong and courageous. Worries and fears can creep up and take the place of strength and peace. In our passage for this week we read that Joshua was about to face a fear-filled task. He was chosen by God to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. God didn’t suggest, but rather commanded that Joshua be strong and courageous. God also encouraged him by saying, “I am with you wherever you go.” What a powerful statement! We may not know the road up ahead, but we do know that God will be with us every step of the way.
God also told Joshua to obey all the laws of Moses. Study and meditate on them continually. It takes courage to stand up for what is right and to obey God. We want to teach our kids this type of courage. We are strengthened and enriched as we study and meditate on the truths of God’s word. God’s word not only tells us how to live, but it reminds us that God is with us. The end result is that our children will be blessed with a strong and courageous mother who is not afraid of the future because she knows the Lord is with her and she walks in obedience to Him.

Prayer: Great and Mighty Lord, I praise you that you are with me always. You guard me and protect me like a Good Shepherd. Thank you for your presence. Keep me from being overcome with fear; fill me with peace instead. Help me to be strong and courageous in my role as a mother. Thank you for your Word and the truth that it has to transform my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Perfect Prescription for Peace

Mommy anxiety hits us all at one time or another. Whether it is a sick child, troubles with friends or challenges in the classroom, we can all relate to the temptation to worry about our kids. Today I invited my friend Caroline Boykin to share her prescription for peace. Here's Caroline...

Her text message read, “I have mono.” My heart sank. My oldest daughter, Amy, a freshman in college, felt crummy over the weekend. My husband and I encouraged her to go to the campus clinic Monday morning. We were thinking common cold, perhaps flu…but mono. UGG! Through broken sobs, she relayed her doctor’s orders: Good nutrition and 6 weeks of complete rest. The nutrition part, not a problem. The 6 weeks of rest, not a possibility! This was my musician, rock-climbing, intramural sports-loving, on-the-go-go-go college student, Amy.

I heard her disappointment and attempted to encourage. Everything would be OK. Not to worry. Her favorite homemade chicken soup was on the way. But between our conversations, my positive words did little to convince my own discouraged heart that this situation was anything other than awful. I inventoried all the great activities Amy had going on at the time (in addition to school work!) and declared silently in my heart: this timing couldn’t be worse.

Oh yes, I knew that God was in control, that He had my precious daughter securely in the palm of His mighty hand. But even so, my “mom anxiety meter” was rapidly escalating, fed by a litany of worries, fear, sadness and helplessness. Late that night, I e-mailed a few dear friends to pray (Karol was one!).

Waking up the next morning, a new list of anxiety-producing concerns for my daughter came rushing to my mind…only to be met quietly, yet powerfully, by simple memory verses I’d learned as a young girl:

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him.
Psalm 37:7 KJV

And then another:
Jesus answered, “It is written:
‘Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Matthew 4:4 NIV

Hmmm. Those verses continued to resonate throughout the morning as I made the 2 hour drive to Amy’s college. And then it became crystal clear. I had a bad case of peace-suppressing “Awefulizing” (just as contagious as mono). God’s remedy for relieving my anxiety and restoring a healthy perspective – good nutrition from His word and complete rest (reliance) in Him. The Holy Spirit wielded the Scripture hidden in my heart to successfully combat my discouragement.
As my mind was renewed, my spirit experienced a deep peace that God’s presence and grace would carry my daughter through this illness and that He would Masterfully use it for good (Romans 8:28).

Good nutrition from God’s word and complete rest in Him. It just might be the perfect prescription for what ails you today.

Caroline Boykin is a frequent MOPS speaker and author of The Well-Versed Family: Raising Kids of Faith through (Do-Able) Scripture Memory.

For more information on how you can give your child the treasure of God’s word tucked inside his heart, visit Caroline at her website,

Monday, October 4, 2010

Living Loved

“God does not love us because we are valuable, but we are valuable because God loves us.”
Martin Luther

There are times in our daily routines when we can tend to feel a little less than loveable as moms. I want to encourage you today with a devotional from the Bible. This is what the Lord said to His precious people, the Israelites many years ago:

“The Lord did not choose you and lavish his love on you because you were larger or greater than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! It was simply because the Lord loves you, and because he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the Lord rescued you with such amazing power from your slavery under Pharaoh in Egypt. Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and constantly loves those who love him and obey his commands.” Deuteronomy 7:7 -9,

Mom’s Reflection:
What a beautiful love note to God’s people. As followers of Christ, we are His precious and beloved people. He lavishes his love on us, not because we have achieved any great status or because we are the most efficient mom in the world. No, he loves us because we are his people, adopted into his family through faith in Christ. He is faithful to keep his covenant and constantly loves those who love him. Aren’t you blessed to know that the powerful God of all creation, faithfully loves you and me?
As believers in Christ, we are his treasured possession, and He showers His goodness and grace upon us. On days when you feel less than lovely because you’ve yelled at the kids or become overwhelmed with activities, remember that God’s love is faithful and abundant. It is not based on your performance, but on His grace. Feel His warm embrace and know that you are completely loved by him, and you can not step out of that love. When we relish his love toward us, we can more easily pour that love out on others.

Mom’s Prayer:
Loving and Faithful Heavenly Father, I praise you for your redeeming love and mercy. Praise you that you are the High King of Heaven and yet you want to have a relationship with me. Thank you for being faithful and kind. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your family. I love you. Help me to share your love with others. In Jesus Name, Amen.
This devotional is an excerpt from my book The Power of a Positive Mom Devotional. This week on my website, I share a message about God’s love to us and through us. Watch my video at