Squash the Mom Guilt

Have you ever thought about all you should’ve done differently in raising your kids?

Or been visiting with a friend with well-behaved, well-dressed, or wildly successful children while yours look and act like they belong in the wild?

How about when you lose your temper, forget a parent-teacher conference, or can’t afford those new shoes they want so badly?

That feeling that washes over you… it’s mom guilt. 

That’s what I wrote about in this contributor post for Virtuous Mama Ministries! If you’re a mom- you need to read that post and follow their ministry, you’ll be glad you did!

Please share with your mom friends as well, so more women can find freedom from “mom guilt”!

Here’s the link to their website and my article “Squash the Mom Guilt”:

 https://www.virtuousmama.org/squash-mom-guilt/

You can also find Virtuous Mama Ministries on several social media outlets, using the links at the bottom of their website.

Proper Perspective

~Psalm 101:2~ I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

David, the king of Israel, a man after God’s own heart, a lover of the word, and a passionate pursuer of God’s glory, wrote those words. He was concerned about his behavior and his heart as he walked within his house.

That prompts me to examine my own heart and behavior in the home.

As a homeschooling, babysitting, blogging, writing, cleaning, cooking, shopping, chauffeuring, praying, stay at home mom- I die daily.

I have to.

I can’t chase after my own plan and dreams and forsake the needs of those that God has entrusted me with caring for.

When the day goes opposite of my agenda, and I feel so very unproductive, I can respond with peace and joy, or in frustration and anger. I don’t always get it right. The difference is where my mind and will is at.

I have to surrender my day to the Lord and pray for the right heart attitude to serve these precious people with humility. And I have to be intentional to put my mind on  three things:

1) It’s worth it! Whatever you have to give up, or put on hold, to minister to the souls God puts in your life, it’s totally worth it. Jesus is worthy, and the eternal rewards for a faithful and fruitful woman definitely outweigh the temporal sacrifices.

~Colossians 3:24~ Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

2) Your labor is not in vain! You may not see the fruit of your time, talent, treasures, or truth, this side of heaven, but God’s word doesn’t return void, it accomplishes what He wills it to. What you’re doing today matters!

~1Corinthians 15:58~ Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

3) This is just for a season! Before you know it your kids will be grown and gone, your house will be quiet and clean, and you’ll ache for those babies to be back in your arms. Enjoy the season you’re in!

~Ecclesiastes 3:1~ To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

So when it feels like they’re pushing you to the brink of exhaustion or insanity, and your to-do list gets buried under homeschool or homework, be intentional to think on those three things- It’s worth it, It’s not in vain, and It’s just for a season! 

Even if you’re not in the exact same situation as me, I know you can relate. Dying to self is something we all are called to do.

~Luke 9:23~ And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Dying to self daily is painful, but necessary in the sanctification process as God conforms us to the image of Christ.

Praise the Lord we don’t have to try to do it on our own. God supplies the grace, peace, joy, and strength that we need to lay aside our will to follow his.  His Spirit within us provides the power to obey his word and glorify him in every area of our lives.  We just have to rely on the Spirit, rest in the Lord, and remain in his word.

Here’s a great prayer to help us on those trying days:

~Psalm 143:7-8~ Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

Practical tips for proper perspective:

1)Proper perspective comes from prayer. Ask God for help!

2)Proper perspective comes from the word. Take a few minutes to read or listen to the Bible!

3) Proper perspective comes from remembering why you do what you do. Be purposed to turn your thoughts from yourself to your tribe!

4) Proper perspective comes from praising the Lord. Recount your blessings and list them back to the Lord. Turn on the praise music and rejoice in the Lord!

5) Proper perspective comes from lifting your eyes up from yourself and your problems to Jesus as Lord, Savior, Redeemer, and Friend!

6) Proper perspective comes from being filled with the Spirit. Repent of any sin, do the things above, and let the Spirit rule your heart and home!

 

 

Thankfulness 

Giving thanks for so many things today!

From my handsome and hardworking husband, to my four fantastic children who love Jesus, and the team of faithful followers we’re blessed to be able to do life and ministry with- my cup overflows!

Every day isn’t all sunshine and lollipops, but it’s a blessed life.

I’m grateful for the grace of God that supplies the strength we need to glorify him every day. He is so good to us!

There was a time when things weren’t so great though. My husband and I had kids and were married very young. We basically all grew up together.

We loved each other the best we could, but we were two selfish sinners endlessly seeking our own way. Needless to say, it was a rough ride for a long time.

You can click on the link below to read the rest of our story. It’s my first guest post I wrote for Inspirational Life. I hope it’s a blessing to ya! Be sure to checkout some of Rachel Lane’s posts on that blog as well. 🙂

Thanksgiving blessings,

Annie

p.s. If you’re in a troubled marriage, don’t lose hope. Jesus is in the miracle-working business! He repairs, restores, redeems, and revives relationships that are designed to bring him glory. He did it for us and he can do the same for you! Put Christ at the center of all you do, and pray without ceasing.

~Proverbs 3:5-6~ Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

via Thankfulness 

 

Stressed to Blessed- Part 2

Have you found yourself feeling burdened in the busyness of life?  Are you anxious and worried about all of the responsibilities you have?  Do you compare yourself to others who seem to have it made in the shade while you’re sweating it out? Well you’re not alone, and you can most certainly relate to Martha in Luke 10:38-42.  (If you haven’t read my previous post listing 4 Signs of a Stressed-Out Servant, go back and check it out- Stressed to Blessed Part 1 and One Thing Needful are all based out of this story.

Once you’ve identified yourself as a stressed-out servant, there are 4 Steps to Restore Spiritual Serenity:

  1. Snap out of it! Jesus says Martha’s name twice, which means he was trying to get her attention. I’ve always heard this read as a gentle, somewhat sympathetic, and loving reproof. But if you look at the other places where God says someone’s name two times, you will see that their minds are so absorbed in something else, that he says their name twice, with force, to really get their attention. There are eight- Abraham-Gen.22:10-11, when he was about to sacrifice Isaac. Jacob-Gen.46:2, when God spoke to him to reassure him and calm his fears about going to Egypt. Moses-Ex.3:4, when God called to him out of the burning bush.  Samuel-1Sam.3:10-when God awoke him from sleep. Simon-Luke 22:31 Jesus is warning Simon Peter of Satan’s desire to sift him as wheat. God-Matt.27:46-Jesus cries out to God the Father in agony on the cross. Martha-Luke 10:41-Jesus gets on to her for complaining.  Saul-Acts 9:4when Jesus knocks Saul down on the road to Damascus on his way to persecute Christians. To restore spiritual serenity we’re going to have to realize that we’re distracted and snap out of it!
  2. Sit at His feet ~ In verse 39 we see Martha’s sister Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet. This is a submissive servant looking up to her Lord. This reminds me of Psalm 123:1-2- Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us. Our eyes have to be on Jesus, looking to him as our Master, waiting to hear his instructions, seeking his will for us. Assume the posture of a humble servant.
  3. Soak up His Word ~ Mary didn’t just sit at his feet, she also heard his word. She’s not resting, sitting around doing nothing, that’s not the solution for stress (although sometimes a good nap is exactly what we need). The solution is digging into the bible, aligning your thoughts and priorities with God’s. Saturate your mind with spiritual truth so you can be sober, and serve in the Spirit. The word refreshes us and restores us to right thinking.  The Word replenishes what the world has taken away.
  4. Suffer your flesh ~ Mary chose to do this. You have the choice to sit down and read your Bible instead of checking social media, watching TV or whatever else your flesh entices you with. Tell your flesh NO!  Romans 13:14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.  When you make that choice to put Jesus over everything else, you are making an eternal investment.  Your reactions, responses, and your relationships will be governed by the word of God instead of your emotions.  

God wants you to experience fullness of joy as you serve him.  He desires an intimate relationship with you.  The outward warning signs of stress are really an indication of the inward lack of fellowship with Christ.  If you are feeling like Martha today, snap out of it, sit at his feet, soak up his word, and suffer your flesh, and you will enjoy the fruit of sweet communion with your Savior. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance… blessed indeed.

~Matthew 11:28-30-Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

From Stressed to Blessed-Part 1

In my previous post titled One Thing is Needful, I talked about Luke 10:38-42 and how Jesus responded to Martha’s attitude by commending Mary for choosing to do the one thing that is necessary- listening to and learning from Jesus.  Today I want to dig a little deeper into these four verses and give you 4 Signs of a Stressed-Out Servant, and then my next post will be on 4 Steps to Restore Spiritual Serenity, so you can go from stressed to blessed, and live as a Mary in a Martha world.

~Luke 10:38-42~Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.  But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

4 Signs of a Stressed-Out Servant:

  1. A Stressed Out Servant is Cumbered ~ This is the only time in the entire Bible that this word appears. It means distracted in a mental sense of the word, or burdened, carrying a difficult and heavy load in a physical sense. Martha is blinded to the blessing and gets caught up in the busyness instead.
  2. A Stressed Out Servant ComplainsMartha basically comes to the Lord and accuses him of not caring about her and demands that he do something about it.  Now I know 1Peter 5:7 says that we should be –Casting all your care upon him for He careth for you, but the Lord also tells us in 1Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. So, there has to be a balance in our prayers.  Martha doesn’t even say hello, or I’m so glad you came by, or I’m so honored to have the God of the universe in my home, she just lets him have it!
  3. A Stressed Out Servant Compares themselves with others ~ Sometimes we’re working our tails off and look around and see everybody else just sitting around and we wonder why we’re the ones doing all the work! We’re not serving with the right heart attitude and we know it’s not wise, but we still do it… why?  The answer is right here in verse 40.  It’s a little tiny two letter word-ME.  Martha is so wrapped up in her serving and all that she has to do, that all she can think about is herself.   Don’t be judging Martha now, we are all guilty of this!  Just like Martha, we can easily shift our focus from our Savior to our self and our sister, but we have to realize that comparison kills contentment, and repent of that!
  4. A Stressed Out Servant is Careful and Troubled about many things ~ Martha was anxious, worried, and troubled. She’s caught up in her emotions and her circumstances, with a lot on her mind. I can just imagine her furrowed brow, tense shoulders, and sharp tone.  I’ve had this demeanor at stressful times in my own life, how about you?

With all the busyness of life today, I know so many of us are operating as stressed-out servants.  We don’t have to stay there though.  God wants us to be able to minister as blessed daughters of the King, responding with grace, love, and joy, at peace in all circumstances of life.  Sound impossible?  It’s not, read my follow-up post “Stressed to Blessed” part 2 coming soon.

~Galatians 6:9~ And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.