3 Ways to Prepare Your Daughter to Live a Rich and Beautiful Life

3 Ways to Prepare Your Daughter to Live a Rich and Beautiful Life

Oh, you must be soooo busy! 

That’s what people often say – with a slight groan – when they learn that I’m the mother of four amazingly active boys.

And it’s true. I am busy. Terribly busy at times.

But you know something?

It’s no less demanding being a mother of four lively girls. In some ways even more challenging than a pack of wiggly, grubby boys.

Oh, they are lovable dears, to be sure. Darling, giggly, charming, determined,  and, well, more complex.

Boys might bounce off the walls, bring home bugs and snakes, but girls . . .

Girls can be complicated.

But now my little girls aren’t so little anymore. Even though we still play and  laugh together, they are well on their way to womanhood and it’s a joy to watch.

So I’ve been thinking about what we’ve learned together over these years.

I’ve been considering what’s equipping them for their future.

And what’s helping prepare our daughters for the rich and beautiful  life God has for them.

Strength

One of our daughters was a screamer.

Whenever she got hurt – she screamed. When she was afraid, she screamed. When she was upset, excited, mad – you guessed it, she screamed. We honestly wondered if we’d find her screaming on her wedding day.

She’s also our intuitive and insightful one and we love that about her. But the girl needed to get a grip in order for anyone to be able to hear all that loveliness down inside her. Not that we wanted to make her tough; we just wanted to make her strong.

Now she often laughs where she used to scream – a much better approach to life, don’t you think? She also boldly shares her love for Christ wherever she goes.

It takes a lot of strength to be a woman.

Serving

If you’re raising a daughter to assume a princess-like attitude (“Like . . . it all revolves around me”), how is this possibly preparing her to be a wife and mother?

Not very helpful, I’m afraid.

I might be queen of my home, but this particular Queen finds she has to scour bathtubs, wipe bottoms, sort massive mounds of laundry, and basically take care of a whole bunch of people.

If you’re grooming your daughter for royalty, she’s likely going to be in for a significant adjustment. With her future in mind, one of the mottos we’re working toward around here is “Service with a smile”.

Being a godly woman involves cheerfully serving others.

Sweetness

Maybe your daughters are naturally sweet, but the girls in our home – including me! –  have had to learn to be nice.

A sharp, biting response. A cat with claws out – who wants to come home to that?

So we’re working on sweetening up and finding it takes practice – and lots of it. When something harsh or snitty slips out, we get to go back and try it again. Often the content isn’t even the problem, it’s the tone we need to change.

A pretty woman turns ugly real fast when she snaps and snarls.

And sweetness makes a woman beautiful.

Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come. ~ Prov. 31:25

So yes, we’re still laughing and having a lot of fun together. With these lively, complicated girls of mine.

And we’re looking forward to the rich life God has in store for them.

Starting right here and right now.

Just beautiful. 

Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women

Meeting Mr. Right and 3 Essentials Every Mom Needs to Know

3 Essentials Every Mom Needs to Know

The letter said, He’s tall, dark, and, believe me, handsome.

Yes, I was intrigued.

What single twenty-six year old (who had been a bridesmaid in no less than 12 weddings) wouldn’t be?

The beginning stages of despair that I would ever meet “the man of my dreams” had begun to set in long before this letter arrived.

As I had had well over a decade to develop this dream man, my list for him was really quite impressive.

Impossible, some said.

Yet, when he walked inside to join us for the dinner party, I knew immediately there he is. Just like I had always imagined it.  There is the man I am going to marry.

The picture is as fresh today as that momentous night. He stood in the doorway: dark wavy hair, blue eyes, tall and strong, wearing black Levi’s and cowboy boots. He strode purposefully across the room and introduced himself to me.

Here he comes. Just like in my dreams, my heart pounded.

I went home and called a close friend to say that I had finally met the man I was going to marry.

After a completely inexcusable eternity of three days, Mr. Right came to the same conclusion: We would marry.

A few short months later we were happily married.

Matthew and Lisa Jacobson Wedding Day

So dreams really do come true.

The one hitch in the dream?

Like many starry-eyed single women, I had spent a great deal of time dreaming of what kind of husband and father I wanted him to be – things he would have to do and be to “measure up” to my standards.

Somewhere in all that focus on what he needed to be, very little time had been devoted to the consideration of what kind of wife, what kind of woman, what kind of mother, Mr. Right would want me to be.

Looking back on it, it does seem strange but, at the time, all of that was taken for granted . . . it would all fall into place when the time came, right?

Yet when I woke up one day suddenly faced with the realization that I was a wife and, what’s more, a whirlwind year later a mother, the shock was overwhelming. It all didn’t “fall into place” – but falling apart was a distinct possibility.

Suddenly woken up, the raw reality presented itself: I was utterly unprepared to be either a wife or mother.

Going in, the world had constantly affirmed the competence acquired by living abroad, graduate degrees, the professional workplace, etc. What wasn’t apparent was that these things were not much help for the high calling of being wife and mother.

Because nothing, nothing, had prepared me for the journey which now lay before me.

So do you ever feel unprepared for the role you now find yourself in? That you’re in a bit over your head? And then that realization that this thing called motherhood . . . it really matters.

Yeah, me too.

But now that I’ve been a mom for twenty years? To 8 children? I see it comes down to these essentials.

3  Essentials Every Mom Needs to Know:

1.     If God has called you, He will equip you. Go to His Word for training and instruction. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

2.     If you ask for wisdom, He will give it. He who “gives generously to all without approach” will provide everything you need. (James 1:5)

3.     If you mess up or make a mistake today, you can always start new tomorrow. We serve the God who specializes in new beginnings – for which I am oh! so thankul. (Isa. 43:18-19)

You can do this. God has called you and He will equip you with all the wisdom and grace you need to be a loving mother.

Cheering for you,

Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women

This post is a part of our “Who We Are” Series. For all posts visit,

“Who We Are: The Stories Behind TBM Writers”

Who We Are at The Better Mom

A Truly Amazing Gift for Every Mother

A Truly Amazing Gift for Every Mother

It was a surprise attack.

The morning was yet dark and all I did was walk out our bedroom door. When suddenly they popped out from seemingly nowhere.

Three tousle-headed little boys all reaching for me at once. The shortest one grabbing my knees and another around my waist. The third managing to hug me from behind. Soon we were a tangled mess of arms and legs.

Of course, I shrieked. Who wouldn’t under such circumstances?

This was just the effect they appeared to be hoping for, this pajama-clad, up-to-no-good gang. But not willing to go down without a fight, I resorted to my own underhanded technique - tickling – while shouting out to my husband for help.

Whom I could see in the distance. Standing at the top of the stairs and not taking a single step toward my rescue. He simply stood there observing the mayhem. Smiling.

He had the strangest expression on his face.

Looking as if I’d somehow done something great. Like I’d done something far greater than merely shuffle out the bedroom door that morning. From his vantage point, he could see a far bigger picture.

It was as though he wasn’t only watching the wife he’d married; he was watching the mother of his children. These were his sons. And those girls over there, his daughters.

And this lady in her fuzzy bathrobe and well-worn slippers? Their mom. Feeling more sleepy than great.

I can’t say that he and I talk about it all that much. This motherhood thing. At least not directly. Oh, occasionally he references the things I “let go” along the way. The sleep I’ve lost. The noise I’ve put up with. The days gone by. The opportunities turned down. The dreams put aside.

Because he knows a woman lays down a lot when she’s a mom.

The world knows it too. And some people think she sacrifices a bit too much.  I’m aware of this because it’s often mentioned whenever I’m out and about. Target. Costco. Even the library. They take pity on me when they see me with my boisterous brood. You poor dear.

Why would someone like me - or someone like you – give up everything? Just to be a mother.

Give up?

Hmmm…That’s an interesting perspective. But I happen to view it quite differently.

A mother doesn’t give up everything. Rather, she is given a gift. 

It’s mom who has this incredible privilege of pouring into these young lives – these small souls who stand before her. Their dear little faces turned upwards. Watching and wondering. Drinking it all in.

She has the honor to teach them right from wrong. To pray for them in the middle of the night. To cool their feverish foreheads or rub their little backs. To wipe the dirt off their faces and kiss their boo-boo’s. To build them up. To hug and to hold.

A mom gets the chance to show her children the love of God. 

What a gift!

So maybe my husband could see more clearly from where he stood that early morning. He could see that in the middle of all that noise and laughter, something really great was going on. He saw that a crew of crazy little boys, in their own funny way, were rising up to call their mother blessed.

And it’s true, I am blessed. And you are too.

So, dear mom, enjoy this amazing gift of yours.

You are doing something truly great. 

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her (Prov. 31:28).

Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women

*Lisa is also the author of the newly released book, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband

That Great Day When We Were Set Free

That Great Day When We Were Set Free

You’re wondering what got into me.

I’m not sure I can even say.

Maybe it was stress that brought it on. Or maybe it was a deep, spiritual insight. Then again, maybe it was just all that garlic in the pasta I’d had for lunch.

In any case, the light went on….

We were burdened with too much stuff.

More than I could handle. More than this mom could manage. And, clearly, more than our children could manage.

I knew this because we couldn’t seem to stay on top of it, no matter what I tried. To be perfectly honest, it had become a source of friction between them and me and I didn’t like it.

I suddenly saw it for what it was. Our stuff was holding us back and weighing us down.

So I called the children together and quietly started talking to them about treasure. This was a word even the youngest could understand. Oh, yes, they knew about treasure.

How much treasure should we really have and where should we keep it?

This sure got the kids thinking. They didn’t want to be greedy. We wanted our treasure in to be in Heaven (Matt. 6:19-21).

Now maybe you’re jumping ahead, “Oh, so she decided to declutter.” But you see, I’d already tried that before and it didn’t seem to work for us.

No, what I’m talking about is quite different. Rather than sorting through mounds of things and deciding what we could get rid of and what we’d hang onto….I did something totally different.

We looked at our pile of stuff and decided what we would KEEP. 

But that’s it. Everything else had to go.

It was so simple and so easy, I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of it before.

We picked out a specific space for clothes and a specific box for toys and that space determined the amount of things they could keep. We then had a big party passing along all the remaining items to others who needed it far more than we did. And you know something? The entire process took only one afternoon. What a great day!

Here’s how we were set free from so much stuff….

Treasure Box
I gave each child a clear, plastic box (a 16-quart-drawer from Walmart) and let them pick out what was most dear to them – as long as it fit in the box. When the box was too full? They had too many treasures and needed to pass along those things to others (or the trash). Each child kept their box under their bed.

Traveling Light
Now if God suddenly called us to the mission field (could happen!) or we invited someone to stay with us (has happened), we were no longer tied down by our possessions. We were free to say “Yes!” and didn’t have this huge management issue on what we should do with All The Stuff.

Freed From the Trap
If you’re wondering if the children felt sad or deprived? No, I’d say it had quite the opposite effect. They felt FREE. They could now clean their rooms in less than 10 minutes. Our house was generally tidy and our evening pick-up took only a few minutes. Mommy was less stressed and we spent far less time looking for lost items. It was a win-win for us all.

So if you happen to be like me and find yourself balancing more than you can manage? If you want to simplify your life, but a big project like decluttering seems rather overwhelming? You might want to consider freeing your family from having so much stuff.

Live free. You’ll love it!

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt. 6:21)

Lisa Jacobson,  Club31Women

*Lisa is also the author of the newly released book, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband.

This post is part of our series Finding Balance as a Busy Mom. 

Please check the series page for all of the posts! 

Finding Balance as a Busy Mom

 

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