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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