Leaving Massah…for Thankfulness

I’ve been in the Valley of Massah lately (Deuteronomy 6:16).
Where I’ve tested the Lord by complaining and grumbling and not seeing–
His goodness.
Back to Exodus 17:7…
Where the Israelites questioned–
“Is the Lord among us or not?”

Oh forgive me for doubting, for missing Your gifts.
For missing Your fingerprints…
On the details of every day life.
And so today

I will give to the LORD the thanks due to His righteousness.
~Psalm 7:17

I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart. ~Psalm 9:1

O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
~Psalm 30:12

I will give thanks to your name, O LORD, for it is good.
~Psalm 54:6

I (will) give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify Your name forever. ~Psalm 86:12

Oh (I will) give thanks to the LORD; call upon His name;
~Psalm 105:1

Oh (I will) give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!
~Psalm 107:1

I (will) give You thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
~Psalm 138:1

And so in this month of Thanksgiving–

I will thank Him for the leaves and the season and the children laughing–
For the food so warm, the blankets cozy,
For His Word that raises my eyes, back to Him.
For the letter-in-the-mail and balance in the bank,
For the comfort in the sorrow and the friend that lifts my spirit.
I will thank Him for my coffee in the quiet morning stillness and for the heartache that causes–
Me to need Him.
I will give thanks for His body, my church family, and for traveling-family-come-close.
And for minds that work and lungs that breathe and for singing voices and orange pumpkins,
And for the smell of baking banana bread.
I will thank Him.
I will look for Him.
I will notice His fingerprints in the morning fog that causes me to wrap my robe even tighter–
To feel His love wrap around me even tighter.

I will thank Him…


~Kara @ The Chuppies

A Not So Perfect Child & Better Mom Mondays Link-up!

It took me a long time to get pregnant with our first child. It was 4 years before “we” got pregnant. I remember how shocked I was to find out that we were having a baby. It was a long and not-so-pretty pregnancy with a long and not-so-pretty labor and c-section to finally have that baby boy. He was precious. We celebrated our fifth anniversary just a few weeks after he was born.

Adam was a particularly difficult baby. I remember days when he would scream off and on all day and I would just stick him in his crib and close the door for a little bit. I couldn’t bear it. I couldn’t seem to console him about whatever that constant back and forth screaming was. He began showing peculiar things about him – he would line up cars and then move them again wherever I went but never really played with the cars. He would turn trucks over and watch the wheels spin, but never play with the trucks. He would scream and throw an absolute tantrum if he saw a ceiling fan moving without the light on. How odd, but we just thought “that’s Adam”. He didn’t talk for along time, never pointed at items…the list goes on. Once he started talking, he would suddenly lose words – how do you lose words?

In the end, we found out he had autism – at 2 years and 10 months old he was officially diagnosed. We could hardly believe it. But God was so gracious – he gave us the grace and we never had this “grieving” we heard so many people talk about when they have a special needs child. He showed us that Adam was still the same child he was before, we just needed to begin working harder at what we had started. God showed us we needed to be content with this son He gave us. We were the chosen parents to raise this boy.

I had to be content to look at my friends’ children and think “if Adam could only talk like that” or “you have four boys and none of them have autism — do you know how your odds are stacked up against you?” and “if he could respond to people the way my friends’ kids could….” Well, it’s easy to compare when your child is behind. Far behind. There were days that I thought we’d never know what it was like to have a typical child.

Do you know that I would never desire that now? Wow, has Adam shown us so much — taught us so much patience. He is not like other kids – and I’m so thankful. He has grown into an amazing teenager. He’s kind and compassionate, responsible and intelligent. He has never once asked us if there was anything wrong with him or if he was different – he doesn’t even realize that he has autism, not because we aren’t willing to tell him but because we have talked with him about how God has given each of us strengths and weaknesses. When he asks, we’ll tell him more and he’ll have an amazing testimony. But, for now he understands that certain things are a little harder for him, but other things are easier! Who’s child IS perfect? Why must we have this yearning to have a typical child? We must be content with the children God gave us, raise them as He has told us to, and love them unconditionally. I would never change the child God gave us. God has taught us to be content in this…and through this is teaching us contentment in many other areas of our lives.

Blessings,

Becky, Organizing Made Fun

This post is part of this month’s series:
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So now it is time to LINK-UP and join the party!!!!

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Better Mom Mondays Link-up is every Monday!!! Every week we have hundreds of posts linked up here from so many beautiful women with beautiful things to share!  I encourage you to visit their sites by clicking on the links and reading all of the fantastic ideas and insights! Also don’t forget to join the fun by adding your blog!!   We request that if you join below -please add the Better Mom Mondays Link Up button to your post so your readers can find us here! (Posts can include the topics of mothering, marriage, homemaking, discipleship, recipes, organization and more!) You can find the html code in the sidebar, or “save as” copy, and paste the button below.

 



Contentment’s Only Must-Have & Better Mom Mondays Link-up!

As moms, we can so often put our hope in well-behaved children, an ironed-out schedule, a better job situation for our husbands, or being caught up with the chores at home. Do these factors seem to affect your sense of contentment? Do you find yourself thinking you’d be content if only your kids responded better to correction or if your bank account allowed for more DIY projects?

It likely comes as no surprise to us that the way of the Cross is countercultural, even counter-intuitive. When the world considers the pursuit of contentment, it prescribes including time for yourself, making enough money for a “comfortable” lifestyle, and putting taking time to enjoy simple indulgences. It rarely makes the suggestion to change your desires, pursue lowlier things, and most definitely never a dying to self.

But that is exactly what Christian contentment is all about:

“A Christian comes to contentment, not so much by way of addition, as by way of subtraction.” -Jeremiah Burroughs, 17th century Puritan

Listen to the Apostle Paul’s definition:

“…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry,whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)

Contentment is a peaceful alignment of the heart to whatever God has given to you.

In this equation, no adding or subtracting of circumstantial comfort dictates the course of contentment for Paul. Instead, it is more of Christ and less of himself that makes the difference in his heart.

So we must ask the question: Are we basing our contentment on the addition of the wrong thing? It is not, as Burroughs says, the acquiring of more time, money, cooperation, energy, friends, help, or even more organization that will help us be more content. All those things will indeed boost and encourage, but ultimately, our contentment will come from NOT trusting in those things for our contentment, but trusting in Christ ALONE. Paul learned the “secret” to contentment because he discovered that he didn’t HAVE TO HAVE any particular circumstance, comfort, or condition to be at peace. He needed but Christ’s strength and enabling.

What is on your list of must-haves for contentment today? Maybe your list has but a few short things, or perhaps it is long with good desires for health and stability. Today, we can take Paul’s example, and CROSS OFF OUR LIST.

All we truly need is Christ.

Blessings,

Ruth Simons

www.gracelaced.com

This post is part of this month’s series:Photobucket

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So now it is time to LINK-UP and join the party!!!!

*****We pin our favorite link-ups on The Better Mom’s Pinterest Board!!*****

Better Mom Mondays Link-up is every Monday!!! Every week we have hundreds of posts linked up here from so many beautiful women with beautiful things to share!  I encourage you to visit their sites by clicking on the links and reading all of the fantastic ideas and insights! Also don’t forget to join the fun by adding your blog!!   We request that if you join below -please add the Better Mom Mondays Link Up button to your post so your readers can find us here! (Posts can include the topics of mothering, marriage, homemaking, discipleship, recipes, organization and more!) You can find the html code in the sidebar, or “save as” copy, and paste the button below.



Can We Give Up the Grumble?

Have you ever enjoyed chatting with other moms when suddenly the conversation turns into a grumble-fest about motherhood?

It isn’t that I don’t understand the stress and strain of raising children. Oh, I do. I was “this close” to carrying the title for the longest reigning Queen of Grumbling Mothers, until the Holy Spirit overtook my soul, showing me that the grumbling beats us down further while disguising our need for help. Yes, there are times we ought to voice our weariness and seek godly encouragement, but often our grumbling spirit reflects a deeper issue that needs confession not discussion:

The mommy-victimhood-grumbling cycle is a cultural habit that overtakes our motherhood mindset. It is too easy to complain, because too many of us are doing it.

Our tendency to grumble isn’t out of the norm for God’s people.  More than 15 verses in the Old Testament reference the Israelite’s noisy, ungrateful complaints (such as Numbers 14:27). But shall we repeat their foolish mistake?

What would it look like if we joined together in an effort to give up our grumble for something better?

It will take moving in a new direction to end this detrimental habit.

Lord, please forgive US for grumbling about OUR responsibilities as moms!

Through confession and a many-year-long study of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31, God enable me to give up my grumble while showing me the opportunity for something better — to think of myself as a mentor mom.

A biblical mentor is a person that comes alongside another, offering training, wisdom, perspective, and experience while modeling the Word lived and teaching of the disciplines of the faith.  

Although I had been involved mentoring teens since my early twenties, I never thought to adopt a mentoring mindset as a mom. This was key in giving up the grumble as I learned how to embrace the calling of motherhood.

To be a Mentor Mom means…

….we live deeply connected to the Lord, immersed in the Word, and submitted to His will, as we model this for our children.

…we recognize that we are not the transformer of lives, but can introduce them to the One who is, Jesus Christ.

…we can’t fix their problems, but we can offer God’s love, listen with an attentive ear, and respond with grace-based consistency.

…we commit to fostering spiritual, emotional, and physical growth, as we train them up with life skills and application of the Word.

My grumbling behavior revealed that I was a mom without a purpose. My focus was on the needs, not the opportunities. 

Is that where you find yourself today?

I urge you to meet with the Lord and study His word, asking Him for eyes to see yourself as a mentor mom so that you may be recharged with purpose in this calling of motherhood.

I’d like to help you become a Mentor Mom!

I want you to experience the satisfaction of mothering with a mentoring heart. Impact My Life: Biblical Mentoring Simplified is written for women like you, who need to be encouraged to mother well and mentor intentionally. It will take you on a journey of discovering your calling as a mentor mom, and most importantly, as a disciple of Christ. 

To learn more, visit http:/www.impactmylife.net or Amazon (available in Kindle and print).  You can also find many free resources to encourage you in  your journey of motherhood and faith at www.moretobe.com.

{click the prayer above for a printable version}

Blessings, Elisa

This post is part of this month’s series:
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