Saturday, July 16, 2011

What I Am Learning

It has been over 3 months since I have written a blog entry, so I thought I would share some of what I have been studying and learning in my time with God. I have been reading a great deal on the calling of motherhood since that is my full-time profession. If you are a Christian mom, I highly recommend these books:

  1. 1.The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

  2. The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

  3. Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham, Jr.

I desperately want to bring God glory in the area of motherhood, and most days I feel like a complete failure. A failure in the sense that Reagan and Gracen are with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I am their constant model of Christianity. We all know that so much more is "caught rather than taught" and I wonder what I am truly teaching them. I know that I cannot stay "up" all the time. I'm human. I get tired. I get frustrated. I get lonely when Gene has to be out of town or works long hours. I get selfish. I get snappy. You get the idea. These are not behaviors that I want to teach my girls.

I want them to learn to be joyful in all things, to sacrifice for the greater good, to trust God in all situations, to be content with what they have, to love one another, to love themselves...knowing that they are fearfully and wonderfully made, to rise above fear, to trust and not worry, to fall in love with a very Holy God who expects His children to live a life worthy of His calling, etc. These things overwhelm me and when I have a day when I am snappy, for example, I feel guilty for not displaying a constant joy and peace before their little eyes.

I am learning in my failures that I have to be quick to go to God, confess my sin, and ask forgiveness, and I have to go and ask forgiveness from my daughters. The second seems to be a much more humbling process. I have done this enough that now when I raise my voice, Reagan will say, "Mommy, you are not using self-control with your voice and that does not please God", to which I would like to respond, "Oh, hush...put a cork in it!" But, I cannot say that because she is right. God uses these moments to remind me that my girls do learn from my imperfections.

The books that I mentioned are changing my view of motherhood from a season that I "get through" to a calling for my life. The calling is to biblically disciple my children. This means that I use the moments of my day to point them to Jesus, to teach them everything that I know about life and godliness, to model Christianity, and teach a Biblical worldview rather than a cultural worldview. As a mom, I can teach them lots of good things like good manners, good hygiene, success in school, excellence in dance or sports.....But if I fail to teach them to love God greatly, then I have failed...plain and simple. I have to focus on the things that have eternal value.

Through these books, I am learning that I have to cling to Jesus through daily Bible reading and prayer. I can NOT pass on something to my children that I do not have myself. I am still committed to rising early in the morning to spend time with my Creator, getting to know Him through His Word, and pouring out my heart to Him in prayer. But, I have also come to realize that my children don't see me spending that time with God because they are sleeping. Yes, that personal time is still vitally important, but to model these spiritual disciplines, I have to have a little Bible time with them during the day, not just at bedtime with Dad, as well as talk to them about my own Bible time. When Reagan wakes up in the morning, I try to say, "Let me show you what I read this morning in God's Word." I then read from my Bible and from my prayer journal to model this back and forth relationship with God. I want my girls to know that God has to consume our lives...not just our Sunday morning. I think that is why so many teenagers and college students fall away from the church. According to researchers, between 70 and 88 percent of Christian teens are leaving the church by their second year of college. That means that 8 out of 10 do not continue in their faith. According to Voddie Baucham, the reason is because religion is compartmentalized to Sunday only and minimal weight is given to spiritual matters in our daily lives. I do not want Reagan and Gracen to be in that percent and so I press on.

Philippians 3:13-14
"Brethen, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

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