Becoming a Better Mommy

When I was a young mommy, I did my best with what I had been given, and I tried to be the best mom that I could be.

I think that most mommies do that.

But I was still young enough to think I knew so much and not to realize that I had so much to learn.  Plus, I was independent spirited and did not feel the need to do a lot of socializing.

I raised my first three children during the days before internet and google and fast computers, and for about 9 years, I didn’t even live near my parents.  I was often in a place where I didn’t know anyone well enough to feel comfortable asking for advice. And during a few of those years, I was overseas without a phone. Any advice I would have asked from my mom during those times would have had to go through extra slow snail mail.

Whatever good things I did manage to do for my children, I’m sure I learned from having observed my own mom and other women as they interacted with their children.

But there were some things lacking that I didn’t start learning until my oldest was a teenager.

The first of these was that we should praise our children. That was not something that I was raised with. I would get an occasional complement from my dad when I was wearing a pretty dress.  But I don’t really remember my mom praising me, though she may have done so on occasion; I do remember her taking up for my little brother when we older girls were making fun of a picture he had drawn, saying that we had not done any better when we were his age.

So, God had to bring an amazing woman into my life who was so over-the-top in the praise department that I could not help but start noticing and realizing that if I felt better receiving praise, my children probably would appreciate receiving more praise from me as well. And so began the journey of praising my children.

The second lesson was even longer in coming.  It was something that was not able to be released through me to my children until I began experiencing a release in me through the truth of God’s word.

I always loved all of my children and still do.  And I always valued them.  But until I started recognizing that God did not just value me when Christ died for me, He valued me every day, I was not able to value them as much as I now realize I should have.  My own emotional prison kept me from receiving from God, which in turn kept me from giving to my children.

You can’t give what you don’t have.

So, over time I learned that the Bible is not just a dry doctrinal book, but it is a living book in which God speaks to me and tells me ways that He values me.

I started doing Bible studies by women anointed by the Holy Spirit to teach women like myself things that I had not picked up on in all my own devotional times.  For example, I learned (from Beth Moore) that I can’t do anything that will make God love me any more, and I can’t do anything that will make God love me any less.  You can find more lessons I learned by clicking here,  and here.

So, God taught me that I was precious to Him.  Now I tell my children and grandchildren that they are precious.

God taught me that I was valuable to Him.  Now I tell my children that they are valuable to me and to God.

God taught me that He saves, accepts, loves, forgives, cares for, and protects me.  Now I tell my children that God does the same for them.

God showed me that He has created me with gifts and talents.  Now I help my children discover the gifts and talents that He has given them.

So, dear mom, wherever you are, my advice to you is this:  Sit under the sound Bible teaching of Spirit-filled women who will be able to guide you in the ways of God.  Some of those women may come to you via internet (blogs and websites), Bible studies at church, Christian counseling, or good books by godly Bible teachers.

I hope you will learn from my example not to try to wing it on your own.

We need each other, even the independent introverts among us.  God has purposed for us to learn from others.

Also, it is okay to pray for yourself and to ask others to pray for you when you feel weak and inadequate.  These feelings are normal, and God cares about them and wants to help you.

Above all, get to know the God who loves you and cares for you and your children in ways that you cannot even imagine.  He has revealed Himself in His word, and He lives in the hearts of His children.  He wants you to know Him!

And hang in there.  It’s a day by day, and often a moment by moment journey.  Live one day at a time and trust God to walk the journey with you from start to finish.

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Linking up with friends at:

Wise Woman Linkup

Thankful Thursdays

Imparting Grace

Thought Provoking Thursday

The SHINE Blog Hop

Tell His Story

RaRa Linkup

Testimony Tuesday

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Small Wonder Linkup

Moments of Hope

Monday’s Musings

Soul Survival

Fresh Market Friday

Faith ‘n Friends

Grace & Truth

Friday Five

Dance with Jesus

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24 thoughts on “Becoming a Better Mommy

  1. That is a wonderful message. Healing often occurs in community. That’s one big reason that we need one another. One person’s strengths can help out our personal weaknesses and bring us to another level of maturity. There is a small amazing book that biblically explains why we need one another to heal and move closer to God. It’s called “living from the heart Jesus gave you” It has changed my life and given me more grace for others that are working out their salvation in Christ.,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad, Crystal! You are precious, a valuable treasure. You are loved by a wonderful Heavenly Father, cleansed by the blood of His Son, and gifted and strengthened by His Holy Spirit.
      May you be encouraged daily by Him in your daily mommy journey.

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  2. I really identify with this – “My own emotional prison kept me from receiving from God, which in turn kept me from giving to my children.” There are so many things I would have done differently if I had known. If I had dealt with past abuse sooner, I could have better helped my children. We also were in a church where there was more judging than love, and that affected all of us. Our kids tell us they turned out alright, but I still live with regrets. Thank you for sharing honestly, Ruth. Have a blessed weekend! Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Regrets. The good side of them is that it means we have gained enough wisdom to realize that we did something wrong, and enough (dare I say humility?) to admit that it’s true and wish we had done better. But while we cannot go back for a do-over, we can walk close with God in each today and make an effort to encourage our kids in ways that we still can, even though they are already grown. Our grown children still want to hear their parents say that they are proud of them.
      Blessings and hugs to you as well, Trudy! 🙂

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  3. “Sit under the sound Bible teaching of Spirit-filled women who will be able to guide you in the ways of God.” Yes, yes, YES! This was a game-changer for me in the early years of mothering. I still cling to it as we head for the teenage years. God’s Word is a difference maker in the life of a mother. Thanks for linking up! #FridayFive

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Kelly, the teen years…Hang in there. It’s all part of the journey. And yes, it helps to be able to bounce things off of godly Christians who have been there. And during the new parts of the journey, verses and phrases from the Bible will jump off the pages at you as God speaks to your heart through His living Word (Heb. 4:12).

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  4. There were far too many years I tried to do it all on my own without the daily bible reading and community so I can attest to what a difference those things make. Prayer is also paramount! We’re so much better equipped to be mom’s, wives, daughters, etc when we take it ALL to the Lord in prayer and let the spirit lead us. ♥ Happy to have linked up near you at Lori’s site today!

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  5. Even as one who never had children, although I taught hundreds, you have shared some wonderful thoughts and ways to be the best Mommy. We each have gifts and we do the best with what we have and have been given. We also learn as we go sometimes. I had a bad first marriage. I was divorced for 13 years. When I remarried 23 years ago, I had learned much and have done my best to be the best wife I could with what I knew. I was also introduced to Jesus by my second husband and we do our best with the Lord’s guidance. I am so grateful to have Him to lean upon. I have also learned to submit in His grace. I am blessed. Your children are blessed because of who you are in the Lord.

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  6. It is so important to be surrounded by the right people. After all God says we sharpen one another. I’m struck by your comments that praise brings feelings of worth and value. For some reason, I never really connected the two. Perhaps because I, like you, didn’t receive much growing up. Thanks for sharing your lessons and sharpening me today. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome, Liz.
      I think that enemy of our souls tries so hard to drag us down and discourage us, and he does the same to our spouses and our children. God calls for us as Christians to build one another up and encourage one another. And He does not leave that job to just a gifted few. I can testify that I was someone who did not know how to do that very well, but that I was able to learn to do it, because God never tells us to do something without giving us the ability one way or another to do it.
      Blessings to you as well! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I relate to your words here in so many ways – particularly being an introvert. As a young mom, I had the opportunity to stay home with our son, but I also fought to find that balance between wanting to seem like I had it all together and desperately wanting help. You’re right – we aren’t made to go it alone and I’m grateful for the people God brought to walk beside me. I love that we can, and that you are, passing on those precious promises to your kids. It’s a beautiful thing to help them avoid some of the pitfalls we got stuck in!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen, Tiffany! Our children will have the choice on whether to listen to and believe the instruction that we give them, but when we are giving them God’s Word, we are passing on something that is alive and powerful, and God promises that His Word which goes forth will not return to Him void, not having accomplished that for which it was sent out.

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  8. A sweet older lady I look up to reminded me and several others we have the one, true parenting help book within the Bible. I’m an introvert, homeschooling an introvert (in our 12th year) and I don’t have it all together; I hope I don’t give the impression that I do. Thanks for sharing this with Thankful Thursdays.

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    1. Yes, Lori, the Bible is our parenting textbook. But I found that I had a limited understanding of what the Bible had to say about parenting, which others were able to model for me. It wasn’t because I didn’t read the Bible every day nor because I hadn’t been in church all my life; I did, and I had. It was because I needed input from others who had experienced God in ways that I had not yet up to that point and who understood parts of the Bible that I had not yet understood.
      Blessings to you, and thank you for hosting the Thankful Thursday community.

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  9. Such powerful advice here, Ruth! God designed us for community. He created us to need one another. So, often we feel as though we are weak if we need others or need to ask others to pray for us. If it weren’t for some very special people in my life, as well, I wouldn’t know Jesus the way I now do. I wouldn’t be able to love and encourage others with the same heart! Thank you for being transparent. I know that God will redeem those lost years … Your children will know His love, your love, and will pass that onto their children. Thanks so much for sharing hope with us at #MomentsofHope!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

    Liked by 1 person

  10. all wonderful counsel – based in God and His Word and borne out and taught by another – and now you are passing it on! I love how God works!

    Like

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