After raising three girls, Lynne knows the struggles and joys of motherhood. She loves sharing her experience and aha moments w/ other moms.
Being a mom is more than a full time job
Hey mom, your relationship with Christ is important!
But you knew that, didn't you? The problem is that time is scarce. Someone always needs you. I understand! I've been there! However, I also know the value of demonstrating to my kids the priority of putting Christ and His Word first.
Below you'll find a few readings that have resulted from my own "aha" moments with Christ. I pray that they will inspire you as much as the revelation did me!
You'll find these Inspirational Moments below:
- How to Live Life in the Promised Land
- In a Fog
- The Spitting Image of Your Father
- A Bible Lesson From Mickey Mouse
- What Are You Feeding Your Children?
- It's the Soil that Makes the Difference
How to Live Life in the Promised Land
18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
I don’t know about you, but I personally have never tied any Bible verses on my hands and foreheads, and we don’t have anything engraved on the doorframe. I want to follow God’s word perfectly, but because this wasn’t something in the culture of my youth, it just seems a little strange. As I considered the best way to honor this scripture, it dawned on me I have been living these verse with a 21st Century twist, and maybe you have too!
For instance, nearly every necklace I own is a cross. One was a gift from my daughter, it’s precious black coral, it’s not only a reminder of Christ’s death, it’s also a representation of God’s creation. Two others were once my grandmothers. Just the sight of them reminds me of her faith and love. Jesus kinda leaked out of her! A tiny green cross brought to me by a friend after a mission trip to Africa speaks of the Great Commission. I could tell you of one made of three nails and another that combines my love of Christ with my love of music. In addition, I have bracelets and rings engraved with scripture and pins in the shape of ichthus and doves. All were gifts, and each is a symbol of God’s Word in my heart.
The key is to be sure these baubles and trinkets remain symbols of God’s Word. The Pharisees phylacteries (boxes on their foreheads) became status symbols and prideful pomp. So many folks today where crosses because the jewelry is pretty.
I think that’s where the last part of the Deuteronomy scripture comes into play. When we talk about Jesus with our children when they lie down and when they get up, we make Christ part of the fabric of our life. Christian music in the car and conversations about the beauty of creation keep our symbols sacred.
For a couple of years when my kids were young, we emphasized the importance of prayer by creating a table tent every week. We wrote down the names of every family who attended church, divided that number by 52 and put the names of three or four families on our table tent. The girls mentioned those names in their meal time family prayer each evening. I hope God viewed it as writing his word on our doorframe.
Developing faith in our kids doesn’t have to be strange like tying a box to our head or chiseling the door jam. It’s not difficult to make our faith a part of every moment of our lives, but it does have to be intentional. Otherwise the crosses are cheap jewelry and the engravings idols. When we make a point of sharing God’s Word with our children and help them understand the beauty of faith in Christ, we open the door for them to avoid days in a filled with evil and sin and instead live “many days in the land God promised.”
My Mind is in a Fog
You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word.
Scattered. That’s how I feel today. I sat down to write, but my brain just won’t focus. I’ve prayed and read scripture. Then I had to let the dog out. There are so many “first day of school” pictures on Facebook, I thought about sharing something to inspire a mom whose kids are returning to school. But then my brain jumps to the next task I need to complete. I think my jumbled thoughts stem from the same thing that has kept me from writing for so long.
Like so many who read this, I have a child in the house. There is so much I want to do before she wakes. As soon as she’s up anything I need to do that requires focus is just not going to happen. I find myself distracted by the clock trying to guess how many minutes I have before it’s time to help her out of bed. By the time I get her bathed and dressed, fed and propped in front of the TV for a couple of hours, I’m exhausted again. Plus, the attention required to be sure she doesn’t hurt herself along with the constant sounds of grumbling, singing, spitting, whistling, yelling, laughing and who knows what else doesn’t allow for much creativity.
I’m pretty sure the only thing that keeps me sane is my relationship with Jesus Christ. I truly don’t know how moms function without reading scripture and being in deep prayer every day. I started my morning ritual almost 30 years ago, before my youngest was born. This verse from Psalm 119 phrases it nicely! Jesus Christ is my refuge. He is what goes before me to protect me from attacks. His Word is what gives me hope.
The child in my house will turn 82 this October. Dementia has stolen her mind making her like a child in many ways. She can’t be left alone, and she needs my attention often, especially when it’s not convenient. Meals and the simplest of chores are impossible, and she walks much slower than my 18 month old niece.
The frustrations are similar to those I remember when my girls were young, though the joys that lightened them are non-existent. I’m not sure I properly appreciated those refreshing moments that brought smiles and made the aggravation worthwhile. I do know in every similar frustration, my strength has always been found in one place, Jesus Christ.
He is so appropriately called a refuge because He gives me a place to escape. Jesus is most definitely my shield as He goes before me with protection. Rock is a tremendous name for my Savior because through the years as life has transitioned and circumstances have changed, Jesus Christ has always remained the same.
When I began to write today, I had no idea how this would end. Those first words were the only ones my mind could come up with. So I decided to just trust Christ to give me the words, and I discovered a truth I knew all along.
When I focus on Him instead of what is right in front of me, I can see clearly. The scattered becomes gathered and the fog clears. What was blurred begins to focus, and I can concentrate and create. And when I rest in is Word I find the one thing I am always looking for, beautiful, hope-filled peace.
More Devotionals for Busy Moms
- Request These Short Moments by E-mail
This link will allow you to register to get devotions just like these about twice a month (never more than that)
- Letters to a Young Mother
30 year old journals inspire these letters to a young mother just starting out
- More Devotion Readings for Busy Moms
Moms today need all the help they can get. These short readings are designed to inspire a mom to be the best mom they possibly can!
You’re the Spitting Image of Your Father
Be imitators of God as dearly loved children
It’s so cute when my granddaughters put on my shoes and try to walk around in them. The adventure usually starts with a sheepish grin and a look my way to make sure I’m not going to be upset. I also have two of the cutest little over the neck aprons for them. They’re the same style as the one I use when I’m going to have a heavy baking session. They love it when they can imitate me. And even though my own children are well into their twenties or older, every now and then I’ll catch a gesture or hear a phrase and I think, “Oh my goodness, that’s so me.”
Those are the things I think about when I read this verse. Good or bad our children tend to imitate us. They pick up those phrases, repeat things they shouldn’t say and more. It makes me wonder, “Do I imitate God in the same way?” There’s a good chance you hear from time to time, “You are your mother’s daughter,” but how often might someone say, “You are your [Heavenly] Father’s daughter”?
We learn to imitate our parents because of all the time we’ve spent with them over the years. In fact, if you were raised with absentee parents, you probably don’t have many of those parental traits you see in other folks. So, it stands to reason if we want to be “imitators of God,” we need to get to know Him, spend some time with Him. This is why finding a Christ honoring church to attend each week is vital to our Christian walk. It’s the reason your pastor keeps bugging you about getting involved in a small group for Bible study. And those Christians you know that sort of “leak” Jesus . . . you can bet they are in the Word every single day soaking up each word, getting to know their Heavenly Father better so they can imitate Him.
If you have a hard time knowing exactly what God looks like, begin by following the example of those whom you can see are walking in His footsteps. (I Corinthians 11:1) Add some new spiritually healthy habit to your walk at least once a month until you are walking as close as possible to Christ. Then, when you know Him better, when you feel like a “dearly loved child” because you are in His presence more often, it will become easier to be like your Father, to be an imitator of God.
A Bible Lesson from Mickey Mouse
“. . . Love keeps no record of wrongs”
1 Corinthians 13:5b
Because my grandchildren visit once or twice a week I find myself watching The Disney Channel more than I ever would otherwise. The other day while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse I noticed, just like always, things that happen on television are really too good to be true. In real life we have a very hard time with the last part of 1 Corinthians 13:5. The entire passage of “Love is” in 1 Corinthians is difficult to live up to, but that last phrase of verse five is a real challenge.
While Mickey Mouse and his friends don’t pretend to be Christ-like, I was inspired as I watched these characters last week. You see, every time something bad happens, Pete is the culprit. If you watch the show even once a week for a few months, you’ll notice the pattern, and there’s a chance that my own childhood memories of this Disney villain cloud my judgment. But with only a few exceptions, Pete is the one who steals and cheats and causes problems.
In this most recent episode, the Clubhouse gang discovered all of their musical instruments were missing. Immediately, I knew Pete was the culprit, but Mickey and his friends didn’t suspect anyone. They just followed the clues and used the “Mouseketools” until they’d found all their instruments. And just as I suspected, there with the last one was Pete. However, when Goofy drives up to meet him, the entire gang seems a little surprised to discover he was the one who took the instruments.
I smiled as I thought of the wonderful opportunity to show a child how 1 Corinthians 13:5b in action. Obviously Minnie and Mickey don’t keep a record of Pete’s wrongs, or they would have started their instrument recovery search by looking for Pete instead of the missing instruments. It made me wonder how often I jump to conclusions, albeit most often very legitimate conclusions, that could really be better identified as passing judgment. What if, like Mickey, I always assumed the best?
It’s still not a good idea to leave your doors unlocked or trust an addict to pick up your prescriptions. But instead of pointing fingers without proof because of someone’s past wrongs, let’s rejoice that Jesus doesn’t hold our track record against us. Just because we fell last week, Christ doesn’t assume we’ll fall into the same pit this week.
Pete is a lot more friendly and less villain like these days. His thievery is more like borrowing without permission, and his trouble making is more annoying than vandal like. When I consider the Pete of my childhood, I wonder if this cartoon character is a good representation of real life. Pete’s been around for ninety years, longer than Mickey Mouse! He’s always the tough guy and usually the bad guy. He was often portrayed as a hardened criminal in his early days. I remember him as the villain. It’s been a long time in coming, but I wonder if Mickey and friends showing this criminal-type compassion and friendship is what has changed his demeanor over the years. It’s hard for us to imagine some of our more “evil” acquaintances even changing their behavior, and like Pete, it won’t happen overnight. But sometimes a 1 Corinthians 13 love is what it takes to make the difference.
So, the next time you’re watching Mickey Mouse (or any cartoon for that matter) help your child find the Bible lesson. I believe God puts them all around us every day. We just have to look for them. And perhaps some of those Bible lessons you’ll be able to implement into your own life too.
What Are You Feeding Your Children?
13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
Between 1845 and 1852 Ireland experienced what has become known as “The Great Famine.” Outside of Ireland, it is often called “The Potato Famine.” A potato blight destroyed much of the potato crop during those years, the staple food in most Irish homes. At least one million men, women and children died or moved out of Ireland due to starvation and disease. Sadly, the country’s grain exports during that time would have fed the nation, but according to every source I found, wheat, as well as other grain, was a cash crop. So, while the tiny country’s food crop was destroyed, while people were dying of starvation related diseases, the export industry never faltered. There is an old legend that I cannot confirm says that during that time parents would peel the potatoes, eating the skins themselves and giving their children the beautiful white inside, in order to make them go further. Little did they know that much of the nutrition of the potato is in that dirty, ugly skin, so those well-meaning parents were actually contributing to their children’s malnourishment.
As parents, it’s hard to imagine watching your child starve when there is food all around, yet I see it happen on a daily basis. Not physically, but spiritually.
Peter, Paul and the writer of Hebrews all referred to the scripture and the message of salvation as nourishment. Peter said to “crave pure spiritual milk.” (1 Peter 2:2) And Paul and the writer of Hebrews were a bit harsh to their readers when they told them that it was time for them to sink their teeth into the meat of the gospel and move past the milk. And as I pondered those verses this week, I couldn’t help but think about the many parents who are “starving” their children.
My heart breaks when I see the decline in church attendance around the nation. So many have the attitude that Sunday School and Bible School are there for when it’s convenient. But how might our lives change if we lived as though these opportunities for learning were vital for our health? What would our spiritual growth chart look like if we filled our hearts with God’s Word as often and as much as we fill our bellies with good food?
Much like the country of Ireland, we have vast quantities of spiritual nutrition, but instead of feeding it to our children, we are exporting it. I’ve heard excellent Christian parents talk about the demands of their child’s sports schedule while they are starving spiritually. Other parents send their children to Sunday School, but don’t attend a Bible class themselves, not realizing that you can’t feed your child food you don’t have. It’s comparable to starving yourself and only feeding your child on Sunday when the opportunity is there to get as much free food as you want.
So ask yourself, if the Word of God is the food, and Bible classes and church services are the free buffet where you can not only fill yourself but take extra to give to your kids throughout the week, how well-nourished are you and your family? What will you do to make sure that your kids get enough to “eat?” Are you feeding your children in a way that they will grow up strong and healthy in the faith? Do you crave Spiritual Milk? What kind of spiritual solid food do you have to sink your teeth into?
It’s the Soil that Makes the Difference
Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop . . . Matthew 3:8
The Parable of the Sower has been preached, taught, contemplated and meditated on as much, if not more, than any passage of the Bible. But tonight as I read it, I considered it from a mother’s perspective. You see, I’ve also heard these twenty verses described as the Parable of the Soil. After all, it’s not the sower that made the difference in production, it was the quality of soil.
This time as I read through those verses I began to think about what it takes to make good soil. From a farming standpoint, it can take years of fertilizer, tilling, removing stones, adding compost and more. Likewise, the good, rich soil in a soul, the kind that produces a crop one hundred fold, requires a similar amount of nurture and hard work.
It breaks my heart when I see a parent being haphazard with their children’s faith. When church is third, fourth or lower on the list of priorities, it’s the same as a farmer skipping the fertilizer; because even though it takes great soil to produce a good crop, weeds and thorns seem to thrive any place! When Sunday School is deemed as unnecessary or parents send their children and don’t go themselves, they demonstrate that tilling is not really important, and the soil will soon become as hard as a path. While parents who don’t teach their children to pray will soon find themselves with rocky soil.
In sermons that have described this as the Parable of the Soil, nearly every orator has explained how it is our responsibility to make sure our “soil” is ready to receive the “seeds.” Pastors everywhere are trying to help people fertilize, till and “destone” their soil. There’s just so much more work when we start later in life. Every hurt and every negative action causes a stone or a weed, and the longer we go without “working the soil,” the harder it is to get the soil to the point that it can produce the way God intends.
I’ve heard about parents who want to leave room for children to make up their own minds about faith after they’ve grown. The truth is even those children who’ve been in church every single Sunday, are in regular attendance at Sunday School and youth group and pray continually will still have to make their own decision at some point. Just as our heavenly Father will not force us to follow Him, we have no power or authority to make that decision for our children. Their only hope is that we have taken the time to create good soil.
So, I challenge you to look at how you are caring for the small garden God has placed in your care. How are you fertilizing and tilling? What are you doing to get rid of the stones and the weeds the world is adding to your child’s life every day? And what will you do in the coming weeks and months to do all you can to ensure that your child has soil that will produce a crop a hundred, sixty or thirty times what is sown?
Lynne Modranski (author) from Ohio on September 16, 2016:
Thanks so much for your words of encouragement!
Sabrina Dean on August 07, 2016:
I just fall in love with ALL your posts...taking time to scrutinize each one and each word daily in my free time cz busy all of we may be yet we all have 24 hours daily to manage. Thank you so much. May our Mighty God imspire you more through the Holy Spirit in Jesus name Amen.
Yvette Stupart from Jamaica on August 06, 2015:
Thanks for the timely reminder, Lynne. As Christians, we really need to ensure that we "sow" the Word God in our children's heart.