All posts tagged Working Mom’s Devotional

Working Mom’s Devotional: Are You Present in Your Relationship With God

Working Mom's Devotional

This January, we’ve focused on one word:  PRESENT

For most of us, being present doesn’t come naturally.  It’s takes hard work, discipline, and putting others before ourselves.

While I’m working on being present at home at work and with people, I still struggle being present in my most important relationship.  My relationship with God.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that God is always with me.  But even though I know this to be true, I go through moments, hours, and even days where I barely acknowledge him.  And I don’t think I’m alone.

For years, Christians have been trying to figure out how to connect their daily work with their faith.  From Brother Lawrence’s The Practice of the Presence of God to Jesus Calling (check out the January 28 entry this week), we long to connect the spiritual with the ordinary.  We long to feel God’s presence, even though we know he is there.

Most evenings, I tuck my daughters in bed (ages 8 and 11).  After we read and say prayers, they beg me to lay down with them.  Even when it’s too late and I’m too tired, I usually give in.  So we all pile in the same bed, and I lie between them for about 5 minutes.  It’s 5 minutes of pure bliss.  Even though we’ve been together most of the evening, we need this time to really connect.  Last night, I said to them “You know, this is the best 5 minutes of my day.”  And I really meant it.

I’m trying to approach my relationship with God — being truly present — the same way.  Even though we’ve been together all day, I haven’t really given him my undivided attention.  Sarah Young describes it like this:

When My Presence is the focal point of your consciousness, all the pieces of your life fall into place. As you gaze at Me through the eyes of your heart, you can see the world around you from My perspective. The fact that I am with you makes every moment of your life meaningful.  (Jesus Calling, January 28.)

Do you struggle feeling God’s presence throughout your day?  How are you working to be present in your most important relationship? 

********

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ~Matthew 28:20

Working Mom’s Devotional: Time To Push The Pause Button?

imagesCA9RXMWJ

There is a season for everything.

A season to play.  A season to work.

A season to spend.  A season to save.

A season to be a mom 24/7 with a busy house of demanding growing kids.  A season to be an empty nester who can’t wait until the kids come home to visit.

Like many of you, I’m in that 24/7 busy mom stage.  Like you, I ask myself, will things ever slow down?

We used to think things were busy when our kids were in diapers.  Then they went to preschool and started play dates. We used to think things were busy when our kids were in preschool.  Then they went to grade school and started homework and organized sports. We used to think things were busy when our kids were in grade school.  Then they went to middle school and started social events and travel sports.

In answer to the above question – Will things ever slow down? – the answer is (probably) yes.  Just not for a long time. Which means we need to push the pause button repeatedly.

Like it or not, we just can’t get everything done.  We can’t do it all.

For me, I’ve had to push the pause button in an area that is near and dear to my heart. Writing. Sure, I know it’s not forever.  My husband tells me “you’ll have time to write again in a few years.”  I know he is probably right.  I even plan to write some this fall when the kids go back to school.  But that doesn’t make it any easier.  The fact of the matter is this. I have to give up things that I love for people I love.  This is just the way life is.   This is my season as a working mom.  A season I wouldn’t trade for anything.

If you’re a busy working mom, you can probably relate.  Maybe you’ve given up your social life (I did that for about 7 years).  Or you’ve given up tennis or sailing or painting.  Maybe you’ve even given up a Bible study or volunteer work (gasp!) so you can spend more time with your family.

That doesn’t mean it’s forever.  Just for a season.

Where have you had to push the “pause button”?  Have you allowed yourself to put something important on hold for this season?  

*********

To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

 

The Blessing of a Forgotten Cell Phone

I was driving to Abby’s soccer game when I began to panic.  I yelled out a twisted moan.

“What’s wrong Mom,” Abby asked.

“It’s nothing.  It’s just that I forgot my iPhone.  And I don’t have time to go back home to get it.”

No, I wasn’t upset about not having the camera. (I’m not one of those moms that constantly takes video of my 8-year-old playing soccer.)   My panic stemmed from the fact that I would be disconnected from the world for an entire hour.  Maybe longer.

The problem is much deeper than I care to admit.  I utterly felt naked without my iPhone.  Like a part of my body was missing.  Like I was missing.

Don’t ask me why I’m so addicted.  But I am.  If five minutes passes and I haven’t checked my texts and emails, I start to fidget.   Plus, the soccer game is a perfect time to catch up all of those personal messages I’ve neglected all week.

Now, I am going to waste all that down time!  What will I possibly do for one hour? 

Believe it or not, I survived.  I’ll tell you what I did.

Instead of sitting in my self-absorbed la la land, I actually talked to the other parents.  I introduced myself to a few familiar faces and made several friends.  I connected with my son’s former teacher who was thrilled to learn about Nick’s middle school experience.  And I actually watched the game!  It was no coincidence that Abby scored three goals – and I even saw them because I wasn’t staring at my phone!

Am I going to leave my iPhone behind on purpose next time?

Of course not.  God knows I still have a long way to go – and I’m sure my obsession borders an unholy form of idolatry.  But at least I know I can do it!  With God’s grace, I can do it, and so can you!

God, I so much want your peace to fill my soul.  Forgive me for letting technology get in the way of real relationships.  Help me to unplug – even for an hour. 

Have you ever forgotten your phone and panicked?  If so, how did you fill the void?   

***********

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16.33

Working Mom’s Devotional: Should We Force Kids To Go To Church?

questionmark

“Mom, I don’t want to go to church this morning.”  My fifth-grade daughter protested as I woke her from a deep slumber.

“But Anna, you missed church last week.  Plus, next week you have a volleyball tournament.”

“I can’t move, I’m exhausted.”

“That’s because you had a sleepover Friday night.”

“Well, I’m too tired.  I just want to sleep.”

“Anna, please do your best.  This is important.”

I closed her bedroom door and walked downstairs.  This conversation is going no where.  I’m the parent, I just have to set the rules.  It’s not like I let her skip school when she’s too tired.

I thought back to my own mother on Sunday mornings.  She never let us sleep in.  Not in a million years.  I could have been on my death bed, and she’d still drag me out of bed on Sunday morning.  So what if my father stayed home to read the paper and smoke cigarettes, she would never dream of skipping church.  And sometimes I resented her for it.

I don’t want Anna to resent me.  I don’t want her to think that her faith is a set of rules.  That we just need to tick a box and show up to appease God.

But I also don’t want her to miss out.  We make time for the things in life that are important.  Even when we’re tired.

Grace-based parenting is harder than it sounds.   The answers may be simple.  But execution is complicated.  I’ve read the books.  I understand that each child is different.  I understand that as parents we must set an example, and that actions speak louder than words.

I also know that on my own, I lack wisdom.  That only through prayer and the Spirit of God will I have the discernment to know when to hold firm and when to let go.  That God is doing a work in my children through his amazing grace.  That more often than not, I need to engage.  But sometimes, as they get older, I need to get out of his way.

As I cleaned up the breakfast dishes, my husband started the car.  No sign of Anna.  She had slept through breakfast.  As we walked out the door, she stumbled downstairs with messy hair and sleepy eyes.  She was dressed and ready.  Breakfast could wait.

**********

Do you struggle with grace-based parenting?  If we ask God for wisdom, he promises to give generously.  

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  James 1:15

Working Mom’s Devotional: What’s Your Goal As A Parent?

sorry_i_can__t_be_perfect_by_dropxdeadxmodyx-d3d290q

Does the perfect parent exist?

We’ll come back to that question in a moment.

I was sitting in my daughter’s first communion class last week and the teacher asked the parents a different question:

“What is your goal as a parent?”

Everyone had a similar answer.

  • “I want my daughter to be successful.”
  • “I want my son to follow God.”
  • “My goal is to help my child find his God-given purpose.”

These all seemed like good answers to me.  But the teacher continued to press.

“What if your child turns out to be a heroine addict?  Does that mean you’re a failure as a parent?”

[No response.  Group of Yuppie parents become silent.]

The teacher pointed out that all of our answers focused on the outcome of our children, rather than our conduct as parents.   She went on to explain that the perfect parent does exist.  God is the perfect parent.  He does everything right, yet his children are still pretty screwed up.  Does that mean God is a failure?

Of course not.  Even if we were the perfect parents, we would never produce the perfect children.  So instead of focusing on the result, the teacher encouraged us to focus on the process.  We can’t always control our children.  But we can control how we conduct ourselves as parents.  Shouldn’t our first goal be to honor God?

As a working mom, I’m always worried about giving my children more attention. Will they “turn out” if I’m not involved in every aspect of their lives?  If I was home after school, I could make sure they did their homework, cleaned their rooms, and practiced piano every day.  If I didn’t work so much, I could learn how to make bracelets with my girls, plan fun birthday parties, and help my children feel more secure. 

Yet this parenting journey is not about me.  It’s not even about my children.  It’s about God.  Will I honor him in thought, word, and deed – as a lawyer, wife, woman, and a parent?

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:17

******

So, what’s your goal as a parent?