Secretsofmommyhood

Posts Tagged ‘Faith

 

Today I have the privilege of sharing with you about a brand new devotional book for moms. It’s called Heavenly Minded Mom and is written by Katie Bennett of the blog Embracing A Simpler Life. 

As moms, we become overwhelmed so easily. We try to live up to the standards of those moms around us who we think have it all together and do this parenting thing better than we do. We are easily dragged down by our circumstances and situations. We become tired and weary, desperately trying to find something to cling to that will give us more strength and help us through each day.

Katie puts it this way,

“The lives of moms are all too often consumed with wearisome, empty striving. We work to keep up appearances, meet worldly standards, and find satisfaction in the offerings of this life such as success, admiration, and ease. However, God has set eternity in a mother’s heart, and deep inside, we long for more.”

We desperately need encouragement in our lives. And we need to make sure we look for it in the right place. Heavenly Minded Mom is perfect for those of us who are seeking encouragement and to grow spiritually. It is an uplifting book filled with scripture from throughout the Bible and specifically words of wisdom from the book of Ecclesiastes. Each day has a devotional dripping with wisdom and encouragement and is followed by scripture references and thought-provoking questions to enable the reader to reflect on what they’ve read and journal their thoughts.

Heavenly Minded Mom is split up into three sequential 30-day sections. The first section is designed to “open your eyes to the meaninglessness of the things we too often wrongfully align our hearts with and devote our lives to.” This section will help you realize what idols you (unintentionally) set up in your life. You may not even realize some of these things have become idols in your life. I love what Katie says in her section called The Idol of Results.  She states,

“I watched as my children…grew out of their seemingly innocent baby stages and began grappling with a startlingly rebelious nature…In these, and in so many other ways, we weren’t ‘there’ yet…All of these were an increasing source of frustration and failure in my life. And thus God began to open my eyes to see that I was living for success and results rather than embracing the journey with all its struggles.”

I have most definitely caught myself in that same position time and time again and can most definitely relate to Katie’s situation. Katie also talks about the idols of motherhood, human wisdom, the American Dream, Fairness, and more. Some of these were things I had never thought of as an idol in my life, but in reading this book, God opened my eyes to the realization that some of the areas she touches on are things I’ve made idols. Katie’s words helped me realize some changes I need to make in my life.

The second 30 days of the devotional “Will further cultivate your eternal perspective by demonstrating how to think and interpret life with a mind and heart set on heaven.” I love this section of the devotional! It really got me thinking about ways to better parent with an eternal perspective; how to parent with the idea in mind of how to further my children into the Kingdom of God. It also caused me to reflect on my spiritual life and how I can grow closer to Christ. 

One devotional in particular, Rise Up To Go Lower, hit me hard. Katie very openly talks about how in her early days of motherhood she was not prepared for the level of sacrifice that would be required of her. That is something I believe all moms can relate to. Motherhood can most definitely feel like we sacrifice and sacrifice and give and give but don’t get anything in return. But, as Katie points out, God has called us to “go lower…He (Jesus) lowered himself to identify with us, to serve us, to wash our feet, and to die for us…Now, He has commanded us to follow His example…when we immerse ourselves in God’s love and learn to abide therein, we allow ourselves to be a conduit through which His love can freely flow…It is heavenly minded motherhood as God intended it.”

The final section of the devotional focuses on the things in our life that will endure; faith, hope, and love. Katie intended this section to encourage us and to pour meaning back into the “stuff” of our lives. This last 30 days heavily focuses on being eternally minded and storing up treasures in heaven. Katie also touches on how to parent with eternity in mind; how to strive towards the goal of encouraging our children to follow Jesus each day.

I love what she says in the devotional titled A Mother’s Call to Make Disciples. 

“It is easy for us as parents to set our sights on the wrong goals for our children…good grades, education, athletics, and fine arts…what we, as proud mothers, fail to realize in the midst of our parental ambition is that all these things will not matter in eternity…so let us strive to instill in our children the things that will matter forever.”

This point is further emphasized in a different day’s devotional. Katie states, “When we teach our children who God is and what it means to follow Him in the context of our home, the kingdom of God moves forward.” I love that! Not only are we enabling our children to live for God, we are furthering His kingdom. It’s amazing to think about it that way!

One of my favorite aspects of this book is how open and honest Katie is. She doesn’t sugar coat anything or attempt to make it look like she’s the perfect parent. Katie is very transparent in the examples she gives from her own life. She admits her faults and mistakes she has made in parenting and reveals how God has been working in her life to correct those areas. I found this very refreshing and relatable. None of us are perfect. We are not perfect moms who never make mistakes. Not by a long shot. But if we look to God for help, He will show us how to make the necessary changes and how to grow as a parent and grow in Him.

I have read many devotional books over the years. Some that were geared towards moms and some that weren’t. But I can honestly say that of all of them, this one was the most encouraging and uplifting. Oftentimes I’ll read a devotional book and feel encouraged by what I read on most days, but not all of them. Sometimes I don’t feel as if what I read applies to me or it wasn’t as encouraging as I hoped. That was not the case for me with Heavenly Minded Mom. I felt encouraged and uplifted every day with each devotional I read.

If you are seeking to grow as a mom and to be the parent God has called you to be; if you are looking to find encouragement and know you aren’t alone, this is the book for you.

 

Heavenly Minded Mom can be purchased at the following retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Christianbook.com, and LifeWay.

And be sure to check out the Heavenly Minded Mom website for more information.

 

 

 

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children

Recently, I read something in my daily devotional that hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s from Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. Here’s what it said:

“Entrust your loved ones to me; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one-as well as yourself…I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love, so beware of making a beloved child your idol. When you release your loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand. As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them.” (p. 246)

As soon as I read the first sentence, I felt God speaking to me.

“Entrust your loved ones to me; release them into My protective care.”

As I’ve grown through the years and have experienced a variety of trials in my life, I’ve learned to trust God in many different areas: finances, work, health, family. But for the past three years there has been one area I have really struggled trusting God with: taking care of my oldest child.

My son has life threatening food allergies and it’s a struggle we deal with day to day. My phone is always by my side when he’s in school, ringer volume all the way up so that I can hear it if I get a phone call from school. I monitor every piece of food that goes into his mouth; every piece of food he comes in contact with. When we are in a different environment, I am constantly surveying the area to see if there are any of his allergens around. I carry Clorox wipes with me to wipe down tables at restaurants and the library and the different places we go to ensure no allergen comes near him. These are necessary protective measures in order to keep him safe. And they are OK. But there is one thing about all of this that is not OK. Fear. The fear behind it that drives some of my actions. The worry I feel each day wondering if this will be the day I get a call saying he’s in anaphylaxsis.

Fear and worry. Two of our worst enemies.

So when I read this devotional, God really opened my eyes. He allowed me to see that, while I need to care for Giovanni, I don’t need to carry around all that fear and worry. The paralyzing fear and worry that I had let take control of my life. Fear and worry that caused me to turn parental love for my son into an idol.

If God cares for us, doesn’t he care for our children just as much? If he protects us, won’t he protect them?

entrusting

 

 

God loves us and he loves our children. Think of how much you love your children. Now imagine that love multiplied a million times. That’s now much God loves our children too! Even more! And it is because of this love that we can know our children are safe in God’s hands.

No matter the situation. No matter the health or physical need, emotional need, or whatever it might be. We can trust in God to take care of our precious children. We can put them in HIS more than capable hands and let them go.

 

How do you entrust your children to God?

 

Reference

Young, S. (2004). Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.


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