Introspection and Affirmation

I haven’t sat down to write in a while. It’s been a busy season for us as a family and as individuals. We have had so many varied and different things going on that my writing has had to take a very far backseat. But this week is my week of rest. Purposely scheduled and really a necessity for me. I am so thankful for the SPACE this gives me to write, to think, to create, to clean and the myriad of things that have been stashed in my backseat. Speaking of backseats..I should add cleaning the car out to the list of things I need to do too! This time of year always causes me a great deal of introspection. I know that’s normal, but I feel it a bit more keenly this year, I think because my oldest has reached adulthood. She passed some milestones this year that when she was a baby seemed so very far away, and yet here we are, and now I see her as a grown person pursuing her life and dreams and remember what 18 was like for me. Filled with hope and bright eyes for a future full of joy and happiness. So as I look back, I see the joy and tears, the hope and fear, laughter and crying and see a beautiful tapestry of life. But it has passed by so very quickly, and I am gripped with wanting to share with young moms today to hold on to these moments. I remember so clearly each stage of my life, waiting anxiously to get to the next stage. In high school, wanting desperately to get to college. In college, wanting desperately to be finished and newly married, starting a new family and racing off to live life. So incredibly fast time rolls and as we pursue living we can sometimes wish our lives away. As a young mom, I couldn’t wait until I could sleep all night again - I remember the overwhelming lack of sleep and being completely spent. I remember the overwhelming fatigue and pressure to get it right. And then just when you feel like you can start to handle life again, number 2 sweet baby arrives and you are plunged back underwater again - only with added weight because there is zero rest. Then if you are completely brave or foolhardy - you pick which descriptor you want to use - God grants you the unbelievable privilege of adding another beautiful child. But now you are completely outnumbered, outflanked and overwhelmed. If you were drowning before, you just wonder if there’ll ever be a time for you to be you again.

Sweet moms of little ones - can I just tell you that you will be you and you will be a stronger version of you. Raising children is not for the weak - it’s the greatest calling you will ever receive and you must be passionate about doing your best and leaving God to fill in the gaps. But in the midst of the overwhelming daily routine that you are experiencing right now, I want you to find the joy and savor the memories. This time is so short in the big scheme of things. The moments pass into days, the days that were just yesterday are faded into the landscape of the years behind us and it gives me such pause. I look back and wish I had done things differently - relaxed and enjoyed and released the pressure and guilt of a perfect life, with things perfectly done, and perfectly ordered. Thank goodness I didn't have the added guilt of Pinterest and Facebook to guilt me into further futile efforts to create the perfect home. My goodness, the pressure is extreme for mamas right now. Please my friends I believe you have the greatest calling ever and a wonderful opportunity stands open before you even now.

If you are still reading - thanks for sticking with me - I promise I have a point even more than slow down and enjoy your babies. You see the last 90 days have been some of the greatest of my entire life as far as consistent daily walk with Jesus. I have always felt like at each stage of my life it would get easier. I would just have the time and space I desired to really spend at Jesus feet. I’ve been able to have times of snatches here and there for years and spent time in prayer for various ministries but always felt the desire for more. So the Lord grabbed my attention 90 days ago and wouldn’t let me go until I made the full on commitment to do everything I could do to create space in my life for that close time with my Lord. I will not walk you through the difficulties and the things the Devil has thrown into our path as I chose to make this very conscious effort to deny myself sleep and instead pursue time with my Lord. That is it’s own post all it’s own! But in my pursuit of space, I have found that allowing myself that 2 hour window each morning has been filled with Bible study, continuing my reading of the Bible through that has languished and suffered up until this point. I started in Psalms and just finished Acts this morning. My prayer list has lengthened and prayers have been answered and specified. I have started memorizing scripture again, which is creating moments of meditation as I try to get my brain to get it! I have studied Bible maps to understand missionary journeys, and the paths Jesus took during His earthly ministry. I have read books on prayer and just spent unhurried, and precious time with my Savior. It has changed me and I pray that this habit will never leave me. I have taken a couple days over the past few months to sleep in and assume that I will catch time later in my day to spend, but the reality is there is always too much to do to allow that space. Unhurried and unpressured and open. So I continue on before the sun rises, while the stars and planets loom large and I thank the Lord for His creation and the beauty of the sunrise and the opportunity to experience it in the quiet with Him.

This morning during this time, I was reading a beautiful book on prayer and the recounted story of DL Moody’s fantastic ministry and the revivals he was enabled to lead. The story was specific of one woman’s prayer during a season of sickness where she was confined to be homebound and was heartsick that she couldn’t do more for the Lord’s work during that time. She found instead a greater calling to a deeper prayer time. She spent time in prayer for her church, for the services, and for salvation. She read a story in a journal about Mr. Moody and the work he was doing in the United States and she prayed that he would come to London and preach in their church. She prayed daily, for over a year without any sign that her prayers would be answered. Then one day her sister came home and told her that Mr. Moody had preached in their church that very morning. She prayed that afternoon and fasted, and that evening many people were saved during that service. During the course of the next ten days, quite unknown and unplanned to anyone but this dear lady a revival broke out in their church and community, and over 400 people were saved. The Lord allowed this lady’s prayer to be answered in a mighty way through Mr. Moody’s ministry in that church and no one but God and this lady knew about what set things in motion.

This got me to thinking that it’s not just those who are ill and homebound that can draw inspiration and encouragement from these words, but my thoughts were specifically what could God do with an army of young mamas who may be homebound with little ones but who would dedicate themselves to praying for those who are out doing the ministry they themselves might long for! You may be homebound for various reasons - whether it’s because you are home with your children all day, or perhaps you have a child sick. Or you may be a mama who works and is a mama who has no extra time for ministry - there are any number of reasons you may have to not always be able to participate in various opportunities your church has for you.

  • Can’t make it to church Sunday morning? Pray for the Pastor and church staff to be filled with the Spirit and for ears to be opened to the truths of God’s Word.
  • Can’t make it to church Sunday night or Wednesday night? - pray for those who work with the children who are there as they study Bible verses, or learn Missionary stories, and the trajectory of their life’s story is shaped.
  • Can’t visit the sick or shut in or widows? - pray for them by name, and ask God to heal, encourage and meet needs.
  • Can’t bake the cookies or the muffins or the meal for the list going out? pray for the family that is receiving the meal, or the visit with the cookies.
  • Can’t make the women’s meeting? pray for the women attending and those who are leading that they walk with God and are lead by His Spirit.
  • Can’t teach a Connect Group, Small group, Sunday school class? Pray for the groups that are meeting and those needs in each of those small groups. Pray for encouragement and spiritual growth for those leading those groups.
  • Can’t sing in the choir, or play and instrument? Pray for those that do - that they dedicate their talents to Jesus for His use and His glory.
  • Can’t work in the nursery on a consistent basis? Pray for those who do - that they stay healthy and well, and that they show those little ones Jesus’ love.
  • Can’t help with that community event or ministry opportunity? Pray for the event to be a success to reach the lost and to join in community with those who are disenfranchised or unengaged and who need Jesus.
  • Can’t go on a short term mission trip, or to the mission field? Pray for those who are on the field already serving - learn their names and their stories, pray for those who do go on those trips that they are spiritually ready for what they will encounter and ask that Satan be bound from destroying the work.

There are so many things that for a short season of life we can’t do and you may feel as I did that you should be doing more. But my friends think of all you can do if you will allow God to empower the words of your lips and your prayers to heaven in petition for those who are now in their season of doing. Oh the power you could wield from your home, on your knees, before The Almighty, All powerful, All knowing and ever present God. You have no idea how strong you are young mom! Be encouraged today - there is so much you really can do for the Kingdom! Enjoy these moments they pass fast - cuddle your bundles, play with your toddlers, bake with your preteens, and play games with your teens, and pray as you have never prayed before and watch the God of Heaven move with power!