By Karen Whiting, Crosswalk.com
As moms, it’s good to find God’s direction for what challenges us – like getting enough rest. For these and other struggles, as well as joys, we look to Scripture.
“Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm” (Matthew 8:24-25).
Another night of interrupted sleep. I’m speaking about Jesus, but it applies to many moms. He slept in the boat, exhausted from speaking all day. But a storm came and cries for him to wake up started. He stood up, calmed the storm, and said, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!”
How often does a mom wish her children would trust they are safe and have faith in both their parents and God. Jesus gets it, and understands how tiring a day can become. Read Matthew 8:1-22 to see what Jesus did that day.
Other moms get it too. I had a few nights in a row where I had a different child wake up every hour and then rotate through a second time. I tried to bargain with God for sleep, and finally the only though in my head was 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient.” I prayed “may the sleep you give me be sufficient even though there’s only fifteen minutes until it’s time to rise.” I dozed off for those minutes and felt like I had slept eight hours. God can give us rest and peace. He knows our needs.
Reflect on other Scriptures for rest:
Philippians 4:8-9, Isaiah 26:3 - Physical rest, ceasing from work
1 Peter 5:7, Mark 4:19 - Seeds that are choked are compared to worries that distract us. We are encouraged to let go of them
John 14:27 - Focusing on peace from Jesus instead of troubles
Matthew 14:23, Luke 5:15-15 - The need to be alone to pray
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“But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” (1 Corinthians 14:40).
God’s Word reminds us to do things in an organized way. Consider how you could put that into practice. God shared helpful ideas for time management and organization. Children mess things up faster than we can organize our homes, sometimes making us feel overwhelmed.
Read Luke 15:8-10. How often do you need to search for a lost item? When does that force you to clean and organize? That’s what Jesus described with the woman and her lost coin. The ending is great. She found the coin and invited her neighbors over to celebrate. She had a clean home, so it was easy to entertain! It’s good to enjoy our hard work.
God faced monumental chaos in the beginning. He worked at creating order. Read Genesis chapter one and notice his time and organizing principles in these verses:
Verse 3 - What did God create first? How do you also need another type of light, to be enlightened with a plan?
Verse 4-5 - God sorted things out. How does organizing help when you start with separating things?
Verse 6-9 - God separated the water, sky, and land. Think about choices in life and separating the earthly mundane chores from the heavenly callings of God. We need both in our lives.
Verses 11-13 - God created fruitful plants. What can you do to choose fruitful activities for your family and yourself?
Verses 14-19 - God created time with day and night. How can you schedule (separate activities) to have more order?
Verses 20-25 - God made creatures that adapted and moved. How can you be adaptable in plans? This came after the food supply of plants, and we must think about what we need as a priority, such as food to nourish our family.
Verse 26-31 - God created the first person and gave him a purpose. We know soon after God created a woman, a companion. When other things are organized, we can focus more easily on the people in our lives and each one’s purpose. Life is easier if you have food prepared before company arrives or snack ready before snack time.
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“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23).
We want to have our heart aligned with God. We also want to protect and shelter our children and their little hearts from evil and difficulties. We also know that tough times strengthen them. Let Scripture guide your choices:
Psalm 121:8 shares that God guards us as we come and go. Let a doorway be a prayer-way to pray with children as you come and go. How else can you guard your home, such as with locks and electronic safeguards? How can you keep your children safe when they go out?
Read Psalm 51:10 and pray with your children that God will create in them a new heart and a steadfast spirit each day. That reminds us to stay close to God and be loving.
Ephesians 4:29 reminds us to be careful with our words. I kept breath mints near the door as a reminder to both us and visitors to use sweet words.
Motherhood includes joys that we should embrace as we capture the memories! Rejoice with your children! Essentially, sprinkle joy into every day. There’s always a reason or memory to smile about. There’s always a reason to trust God, be thankful he knows what to do next, and choose joy.
Some examples include:
Pray together and when God answers, write a word on a rock as a memory. Build a pile of rocks as an altar. Read about the Ebenezer stone in 1 Samuel 7:11-13.
When you have a tough day, go outside and blow bubbles. Call out the worry you are blowing off. Then praise God and blow a bubble of joy to heaven! Read 1 Peter 5:7 on casting your troubles on God.
Take turns encouraging one another with a compliment or praise for an accomplishment or effort in learning something new. Read Ephesians 4:29 and discuss the power of words and how we build one another up with great words.
Celebrate small achievements and blessed days! Take a walk and praise God for creation. Give group hugs when someone does well. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and share who encouraged you lately and how.
Make crafts or do science experiments together. Laugh at silly things and mistakes and cheer for results that make you smile. Read Proverbs 17:22 and chat about how laughter makes us happy and relieves tension.
Choose joy when things seem bad. A rainy day provides time to cuddle up and read together. Read Romans 8:28 and think about times that seemed hard, but that God used for good. Watch for the next time that happens.
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Somedays it may seem that all you do is broker peace deals and listen to yourself complain. You can create more peace! Keeping things organized and developing good habits actually helps maintain peace as it reduces hassles. One good habit is to put things back when finished using them, from toys and games to coats and hats. Read Proverbs 24:3 and notice that wisdom should be the foundation in building a home.
Resolve conflicts as Jesus did:
In John 21:20-22 Peter asked Jesus about John and was told to focus on what he should do. Stopping comparisons helps children be happy with their own purpose and life.
Luke 12:13-15 and Galatians 5:13 discuss greed and selfishness, as well as how our relationships are more important than things. Pause a fight and have children take turns serving one another. They need to put the other person first.
Matthew 5:23-25 lets us know that it is more important to settle disagreements in the family than to worship. So do it quickly. Once children are calm, sit and chat about what happened and what each person wanted. They come up with solutions.
Ephesians 4:16 reminds us to forgive and not hold in anger. Forgive often!
James 4:2 reminds us we fight when we don’t ask. Children need to be kind and ask to share. We all need to ask God to help us have peace and get along. Have children share a favorite item.
Mark 10:37 reminds us that children want to be given privileges and be the favorites. God wants us to treat each child fairly, so check your actions and words.
In John 13:1-17 Jesus washed the feet of his friends. Let your children wash each other’s feet. They may end up giggling, and will have cleaner feet!
The examples of God the Creator and Jesus, God the Son, plus their words show us they understand relationships and provide ideas for us to live with more harmony. It also helps us know they understand moms and the struggles we face. At times, we can feel alone and that we are terrible moms when we are doing our best. Relax a bit and know that you are understood.
With trusting God, we will get through the hard times and lean on Jesus who tells us not to let our hearts be troubled (John 14:1).
Think of the parable of the prodigal son and that father’s celebration of his return. Celebrate when a child repents after making a bad choice, and let all join in to be happy together.
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