Homemaking, Spiritual Growth

go to bed for the glory of God

In the short four years I have walked through motherhood, I have come to be convinced of one thing: It is always worth the time and effort to go to bed with a clean kitchen. I can imagine few worse early morning greetings than a sticky countertop and a sink full of dishes. (Okay, an empty coffee pot may be worse.)

My very gracious husband has learned that if we have late-night company, I will not be going to bed until the leftovers are put away, the dishes are in the dishwasher, and the extra chairs are taken back downstairs. Of course, there is the occasional exception, such as last night’s family sleepover when ice cream bowls got left in the sink. However, these exceptions are few and far between, and cleaning the kitchen has gained a permanent abode in my evening routine.

Nevertheless, as clean as my kitchen may be at the end of the day, it never changes the fact that a hundred other things remain lingering in my mind, heavy on my heart, and (still) on my to-do list when my head finally hits the pillow.

It’s an honor to be posted on the True Woman blog today! You can read the rest of the article here.

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Motherhood

a boy is born: Owen Ezra’s birth story

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“As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.”

–– Ecclesiastes 11:5

I had never worked so hard to prepare for an approaching special occasion (perhaps even my wedding day!). With a very busy summer behind me, September had been deemed “Baby Prep Month”—and prep I did. With my estimated due date being September 21st, I had just a few weeks to stock my freezer with meals, rearrange furniture, clean like a madwoman, and get every last duck in order before the big day.

Of course, I wouldn’t have minded if Baby arrived early, especially since I was planning to be in my sister’s wedding on October 3rd! However, the weeks passed by with hardly a painful contraction in sight; and though I was grateful for each additional task I was able to cross off my list, I began to face the reality that my precious little one would likely not be arriving by September 21st. Not that it was much of a surprise—lots of women go a week or even two weeks past their due dates, and give birth to perfectly healthy babies. Nevertheless, I began to grow quite impatient. My sister’s wedding day came and went, and the following Monday, October 5th, I had reached the “two-weeks late” mark. What do we do now?

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a good word, Spiritual Growth

a good word

“In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.”

– Ecclesiastes 7:14, ESV

“In thine adversity consider that thou deserv’st it all; that, hadst thou nothing but adversity, ’twere but thy due; that every moment free from trouble is a mercy. Had the full curse been poured on thee and me, our life were nought but sorrow and vexation.–Consider that God afflicts thee for thy profit, to bring thy sins to mind, and lead thee to the Cross. Believer, God chastens thee in love, to make thee still partaker of His holiness. (Heb. xii. 10.) How oft hast thou forgotten Him! But He forgets not thee, and thus He chastens thee.

Consider, how much thou livest to the world–how little to the Lord. How earthly, sensual, and devilish thy nature! Thy thoughts, how vain! Thy service, how unprofitable! Consider, then, God’s love in chastening thee.–Art thou in sickness, consider thy many days of former health–all undeserved by thee!–In sleepless nights, consider how many nights thou hast slept soundly and sweetly–all undeserved by thee!

Consider Him, who gives thee songs in the night–all undeserved by thee! In poverty, consider how all thy former wants have been supplied, food raiment, lodging, and so many comforts–all undeserved by thee!–Hast thou incurred the loss of sight or hearing, the loss of limbs, or power of using them; consider then, thy former powers; how much enjoyment thou hast had in seeing, hearing, moving, handling–all undeserved by thee! Art thou kept from going to the house of prayer? Are all thy Sabbaths spent at home–it may be on a bed of languishing? Consider how many Sabbaths thou hast spent in full enjoyment of the means of grace–all undeserved by thee!

Consider Jesus, the Fountain of all ordinances; the Bread of life; the Shepherd of the sheep; the Prophet, Priest, and Teacher of His people. Still thou hast Jesus–Lord of the Sabbath, the spring of Sabbath blessings–all undeserved by thee! Thou tried believer, CONSIDER, then, thy light afflictions; they are but for a moment; ordered in wisdom, tenderness, and love. CONSIDER Jesus! what sufferings He endured–all for unworthy thee! Then faint not, nor be weary, but consider the “weight of glory”–glory eternal–glory “far more exceeding” than thy woes–glory, all undeserved by thee! (2 Cor. iv. 17.)”

– George W. Mylne

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Motherhood, Spiritual Growth

the most tender mercy of all

“…because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
–– Luke 1:78,79

“…his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning…”
–– Lamentations 3:22,23

It had been a tiring afternoon with my soon-to-be two-year-old, Canon, and I felt as though I didn’t have much left to give. As I finished giving him his bath, I inwardly hoped we could simply get through that last hour before dinner without too much difficulty (e.g. fussing for no reason or testing mama at every opportunity). Just then, my husband came up from the basement where he’d been studying hard all day for an upcoming teaching.”I brought up the computer so Canon could watch Signing Time,” he said with a kind smile on his face.

Now, I certainly wouldn’t say the DVD player ought to be the immediate turn-to in every moment of mama-exhaustion, but I don’t think I would be the first among mothers to say that sometimes just a 30-minute video can be amazingly helpful (and sometimes an absolute lifesaver!). That afternoon, it was exactly what I needed. It was a tender mercy from God, who had put the act of kindness on my husband’s heart in the first place.

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Homemaking, Motherhood

a good read

Both of these articles are quite short, but their unique points have recently made a significant and valuable impact upon my mama-heart. To summarize what I took as a whole from both articles:

If I am so concerned about maintaining a spotless kitchen, having a fancy dinner ready for my husband, or making sure that every. little. thing. is in its proper place every hour, that such pursuits cause me to hastily move about my home and speak to my son (or husband) with unkind or rash words, rather than calmly speaking and acting with kindness and gentleness–then I’d better step back and take a look at my heart and a look at my lists, and get my priorities in right order for the glory of God.

Both of the articles below are encouraging to busy mothers, not because the writers give them some kind of spiritual-sounding excuse to allow disorder, laziness, and chaos in the home. But rather, because busy mothers are encouraged to embrace their daily calling and work (toddler chases, kitchen messes, and all!) with joyful enthusiasm, steadfast devotion, glad-hearted contentment, and, perhaps most important of all, a humble readiness to remember that a mother’s value and success is not to be defined by the world but by God’s Word.

A Clean House and a Wasted Life by Tim Challies

(This article was not written specifically for mothers only, so I would encourage you to read it no matter what season of life you find yourself in!)

What God Really Wants for Moms with Young Children by Lisa Jacobson

(Of course, this isn’t the ONLY thing God wants for moms with young children, but it is certainly one that mothers can so easily lack, especially in our culture where “go-go-go” is the accepted norm.)

*Note: I do not necessarily endorse or agree with the entirety of the various content found on either of these websites.

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