Moms

THE DANGER OF “ME TIME” MENTALITY

me time

by Debbie Huber

Now that I am a new grandparent I am fondly recalling the days when I had young children to raise. Kyle and I were discussing the memories of the baby years, and it was interesting that most of our memories did not have to do with crying and lost sleep. We mostly remember the cuddles and the love, the first smiles and immense happiness.

Our new grandson Wyatt is reminding us that we were sleep deprived, that I often did not get a shower until late in the afternoon, and that parenting a baby is all-consuming — But I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

I recall being thankful for the weekly outing that Kyle would take the kids on to the coffee shop or the library. I would catch up on housework, work-out or go to the supermarket alone.

An occasional break or outing can be refreshing for moms. But many in our culture would press us to believe that we DESERVE “Me-time”, that we are somehow missing all that life has to offer us if we are deprived of “me-time”, that if husbands can get breaks then we deserve them too.

Don’t get me wrong – a break can be helpful and I was thankful for them. But we need to be careful that we as moms do not take the mentality that we deserve them because that can lead to resentment of our children and our husbands. The mentality of having to be selfish first in order to be able to selflessly give to your family is not biblical. That is the mentality that leads to many divorces. Life is not about us and God has made us stewards of the time He gives us.

I thought about this during a recent sermon by Pat Tedeschi. In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus is teaching us not to be anxious about the things that we need. Our heavenly Father knows that we need them all.

In the midst of the stress and busyness of motherhood do not seek “me-time” first, rather keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and run after His righteousness. Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Your rest and peace will be provided by our heavenly Father.

The time with small children that God gives to parents is very short in the whole scheme of things. When our children are adults will we look back on the amount of pedicures we were able to have alone or will our memories be of the time spent with our children?

So be thankful for the small breaks, for the shopping alone, the lunch with friends. But be grateful to God for every hectic, sleep deprived minute that you have with your children while they are young because God has given them to you to raise for this short time. And hunger for God to be your rest.

GUEST MOM: LAURIE ANGERMAN

Ladies, I hope you had a good Happy Mother’s Day!
…I do believe every day is a day to celebrate mothers’, isn’t it?

I am a mother of three grown sons, and a grandmother of 2+ (one is still being knit by God).
However I am not able to write about how to be a good mother.
I could fill the page with advice on what NOT to do.
So, I will just tell you what I have learned since becoming a mother.

Has anyone ever heard this from their child…?
“Mom, everything is NOT always about God!!”

I have heard this from my children many times while seeking to address life issues through the lens of the gospel.

Truthfully, my response to life and discipline is often the same.
“Can’t it be about ME sometimes?”

Being a mother has taught me, well, a lot about ME.
And ME isn’t so wise. But God is!
I am thankful that the Holy Spirit reminds me of this daily.

Being a mother has taught me that The Word must consistently be a part of my day.

It has taught me to wear the carpet out on my knees in prayer, not pacing it while worrying.

It has taught me the value of sisters and brothers in Christ that will speak biblical truth to me, even when it hurts.

It has taught me the value of a church that faithfully teaches me biblical truth.

It has taught me that my emotions often deceive me so I can’t base my decisions on my feelings.

I must base my decisions on God’s word that will not deceive me or mislead me.

It has taught me that from the time I rise until I put my head down on the pillow, my life is ALL ABOUT GOD.

This life is not easy for anyone.
As much as being mother is a blessing, it is very challenging, to say the least.

We become so consumed with our long list of daily duties and troubles that we can easily lose sight of God and His purposes.

Despair often knocks at the door of our hearts.

Right now many mothers are struggling with great difficulties and even severe hardship (joblessness; working full time and feeling stretched to far; loneliness as a single parent; a marriage that is in trouble or has ended; chronic sickness; troubles with children that are rebelling with seemingly no love for God, but instead a love for the destructive lusts of the flesh; children that are suffering physically and emotionally).

Oh, how easily we can fix our eyes on what is seen, not the unseen. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

We often end up joyless, believing a lie that we have been forgotten and forsaken.

We head in the wrong direction, toward the darkness of despair.
If you are going in that direction, what should you do?

You must intentionally STOP, pray, read the Word of God, seek Christ centered relationships, and get to church regularly. You will never be led astray by these common graces God uses for good in our lives.

So you see, I can’t write anything telling anyone how to be a great mother or a great anything….however, through Christ’s example and His mighty power in us, we are equipped to be loving servants to a world that is in need of His great love, no matter what our circumstance in life.

That is what being a mother, sister, friend, neighbor, co-worker, church member, child of God is all about. Whatever road we travel, seek to make it all about Him. He will make your paths straight.

My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
                                                                               Proverbs 3:1-7

 

MOTHER’S DAY BLOG by LINDA LONG

A Mother’s Day Tribute

Betty Hansen

by Linda Long

Motherhood is one of the greatest callings given to women.

Whether you have given birth to a child or are called to be a spiritual mentor, you have the high privilege to impact a life for Jesus Christ. Several women have influenced me, but the person that has had the greatest impact on my life was my mother, Betty Hansen.

My mom was one of the kindest people I have ever met. Her sweet and gentle personality, laced with a quick wit, endeared her to all who knew her. She was a very generous person and her patience in listening surpassed anyone I knew. Mom was born in 1917, raised in Pennsylvania, so life as I knew it, began in Fort Washington, Pa

So many wonderful memories centered around things mom did for our family. She was the sunshine of our home, content, happy, and always singing along to a record album as she did her chores.

She began her mornings early, making a list of what needed to be accomplished. Lunches packed, dinners prepared, marketing ($33 dollars a week for a family of five), making my dad’s favorite homemade pies, sewing, knitting, leading my brother’s cub scout troop, and ironing, which always went to the top of the next day’s list because she hated to iron.

Mom was a busy lady, steady and dependable and a wonderful help mate to our hardworking dad. She was a stay at home mom for 19 years but, almost overnight, her life changed dramatically when my dad got sick and she had to go to work full time. She faced this challenge with grace and without complaint.

Years went by, my brother, sister and I went to college and the three of us began our adult lives. About the same time, my parents moved to Ocean City.

In 1979, mom took on a new role as mother-in-law, when I married Doug (or Don as mom would sometimes call him). Next came a total of 5 grandchildren. She attended all their activities; Christmas Musicals, sporting events, dance recitals, graduations, and weddings. Eventually she became Great Grandma Betty to four beautiful great grand children.

She retired at the age of 81, looking forward to doing the things she enjoyed.

Again, a sudden, unexpected turn of events, changed her life forever. Macular Degeneration, a disease of the eyes, left her with very limited vision. She lived the reminder of her life not being able to read, cook, drive, or do many of the things the average person takes for granted. The next 15 years of her life were a great challenge to her, but how she lived these years spoke volumes to her family.

Although her physical eyes were dimmed, her spiritual eyes were opened. Just as my own mom saw to it that we attended church when we were young, her mother had done the same for her. This foundation of faith in God began to take root and blossom in her later years. She spent quiet time listening to the Bible on tape, and I would often hear her say, “I prayed to God and He helped me.” Her private faith became very public-she was baptized in her 80’s.

Worshiping with her was really special. Standing too long was difficult for mom, but she would hold tightly to the chair in front of her, try her best to stay balanced and then let go to clap along with the music. Her beautiful soprano voice hummed along with the tune. Her last time attending church was so very difficult for her but she insisted on going and said, “I have to go to church and thank God for how good He has been to me.”

On November 1st, 2014, at the age of 97, my dear mom died peacefully and entered heaven. I had the great privilege of being with her when she took her final breath.

Yes, there will be a very noticeable empty seat at our Mother’s Day celebration, but our hearts will be so full remembering our dear mother who lived life well with gratitude, simplicity, contentment, and loving God and her family.

WE LOVE YOU MOM!

10 QUESTIONS FOR MOMS

Moms have a lot going on!

They are juggling all that must be done in their personal life along with the endless details of their children (and husbands)

How do you handle all these responsibilities and keep perspective?

What is the perspective that should lead how you handle all these responsibilities?

As Christians, we know the key to it all is keeping God at the center. This is not only His rightful place; it helps everything else take their rightful places.

The Brown Sugar Toast blog, which is worth checking out just for the name, has this excellent article for moms entitled “10 Questions for Moms in the New Year”.

The purpose of the article is to “help you guide your thinking and actions according to God’s word this year”.

Although the article has moms in the title, I think it is equally valuable for Dads

The Wonderful Value of Stay-At-Home Moms

DEBBIE HUBER: GUEST BLOGGER

Recently in the news controversy has brewed again regarding the value of the “stay-at-home mom”. This is not a new controversy but one that should prompt us to go to God’s Word instead of trying to form our own opinion on the subject.

At the root of this controversy is the loss of the value placed on the biblical definition of womanhood.   God values women and has given women an amazing and unique role in the family.  This is not inferior to the man’s role but complements it. It is working together, each in our unique roles, to raise a family in the way God designed.  His ways are perfect!  When we try to do things our way because it seems fairer in our minds it is treading on dangerous ground because we think our ways are better than God’s.

Titus 2:4-5 teaches us where a woman’s priorities should be:

“train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”

Does this mean a woman should not work outside the home?  No, there are times when that is necessary.  Whether a woman works outside the home or not, we are instructed to be homemakers.  This not only includes housework but diligently teaching our children from God’s Word.  These are not easy jobs that can be done quickly.  Vacuuming the floor and correcting a child over and over again may seem insignificant, but is demonstrating our trust in God to our families and those around us.

It is important that we evaluate where our priorities are found.  Outside of our relationship with the Lord, is our relationship with our husband the most important one to us?  How do we love our children?  Are we physically there for them?  This often requires sacrificing social, financial, and career advances.  Is our home a place of peace and a refuge to our families where the Word of God is cherished and honored?

It is hard to not be pressured by the expectations of the world, the expectations that one is not successful unless she has a “fulfilling career” or “time to find myself” outside the home. Trust that God’s word is best for our families and cling to it to drown out the expectations of the world.

Time goes too fast and we will never get a “do-over” with raising our families.  When all is said and done, we will not look at the short term sacrifices as sacrifices at all. We may wish we had sacrificed more of our own wants and needs for the sake of our families.

Raising, shaping, and caring for our family is the most important and serious job we have as women. We should thankfully embrace our unique God-given qualities as women as a mighty testimony to glorify our great God.