These words and images are from a talk I recently did at a mother/son event at our church. Enjoy!
I’m so excited and grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord with words of encouragement for each of us in the room.
I stand here as someone in the trenches of motherhood and life with you and in no way have mastered this or figured it out, but I know who has and it’s my prayer that in our time together we moms are spurred on by His Spirit and that you sweet boys grow to know Him more today.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, we find the Shema. Shema means to hear. And what are we to do we do when we hear God’s Words? We are to do. So let’s hear these words and do them.
I think it’s safe to say we all care about these commands and want to live them out. We care about our children’s faith and long for them to know the Lord and follow His will, right? Two ways for us to do this best is to put the O2 mask on ourselves and live life on purpose.
Who in here has been on an airplane? When they’re going over the rules about the O2 mask, they always tell the parents to put the oxygen mask on themselves first and then put the mask on their child. and isn’t that interesting because we would literally take bullets, nerf bullets, real bullets for our children and yet, when we’re in a crisis on a plane, we’re told to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first, and then on our children, why do you think this is?
We must take care of ourselves so we can best care for them. Moms, we must nurture our own faith. If we want our children to truly know the Lord, we need to have a good relationship with Him as well so we can properly teach His character and Word to our sons, fulfilling this command from the Lord.
So how do we put the oxygen mask on ourselves first? (CLICK HERE FOR MORE)
We do a lot of doing, don’t we? Checking boxes of church (which is great), Bible stud (which is great), but true abiding is found in pursuing Him, knowing Him and trusting in Him. It starts in our hearts and will pour out onto our children.
We must know and trust that He is sovereign- all powerful, mighty, in control, over all and in all, always working for our good and His glory. We are going to mess up as moms- I mess up every day, don’t I boys? There is no perfect parent, it’s why we have Jesus. His word tells us in Romans 8 that He causes all things to work together for Good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
Let me just speak to each of you now and say you are called Look at your boy and tell him You are called. Look at the moms next to you and tell them You are called. We are called. He can take us, sinful humans, messy and broken and redeem and transform-it’s what He does best. He does this once and for all when we accept Him as our savior but also every day as we are sanctified through Him working in our lives Guiding us, convicting us.
How many of yall feel overwhelmed most days? Like you’re failing? Like you can’t get it right? Can’t get it together? Those are all lies I tell myself as well. Those days, those moments are when it’s time to draw breath from the Living water and let Him fill us to do His will.
Mamas, we are the heartbeat of our family- have you ever heard the phrase, “If MAMA ain’t happy aint no body happy? “Isn’t it the truth!? We can change this phrase to other things- if mama ain’t know Jesus aint nobody know Jesus. If mama doesn’t read the word ain’t nobody read the word. But also- if mama read’s the Bible, everybody reads the Bible; if Mama goes to church, everybody goes to church; if mama loves Jesus everybody loves Jesus. Now there is no 100% recipe to ensure our children will know and follow the Lord now or when they fly the coup but while they are under their wings, if we nurture and protect our own relationship with the Lord, they will see it and notice and see what is most important in our own lives.
SO moms- may we Love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, minds…. May WE know who He is so we can teach our children who He is. The world will teach them something else if we don’t instill His good character into their minds.
This is how we put the O2 mask on ourselves first.
Let’s talk about living life on purpose. “Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road (who in here is on the road a lot being an uber driver!?) when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”
Ok so we are to be talking of God and his Word ALWAYS to our children. We live life on purpose when we do this. We are so far from the cross, so far from Bible times yet every day we must incorporate his word into our lives, and the lives of our children. (This does not mean beating them over the head with it or shoving it down their throats or using it out of context.)
I’ve always loved apples and remember eating them straight from my grandmothers’ trees. Often tastes and habits developed in childhood go on to adulthood and my love of apples reminds me of the foundation we give our kids in the home will affect their tastes in years to come. We want them to taste and see that the Lord is good, His ways are trustworthy. “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Here are some easy ways we can live life on purpose:
- I love Telling my kids about what I am learning in my quiet time or Bible study time.
- Talk of how God was faithful to you today or where you saw Him working
- We get in the car after church, and I ask them one thing they learned about God. (we call this sticky faith!)
- At night I love encouraging them to pray by going through these 4 things- WOW THANKS SORRY PLEASE: WOW- What’s something you love about God today (teaching them His character) THANKS- What’s something you are thankful for today? SORRY- What’s something you want to say you are sorry for today? PLEASE-What do you want to pray for?
- On the way to school we often watch the You version app kids experience the bible for the day
- We keep a small devo in the car and a child will read it on the way to school
- In creation-praise him and point to him Sunsets, the ocean, animals, etc…
- Serve others; serve at church pray and ask God where He can use your family- door greet. We door greeted for a while, and it was such a blessing. See a need and meet it – Years ago I kept seeing people walking in the rain and it bothered me, so I found some umbrellas for $2 a piece and ordered 50. We handed them out when we saw people walking in the rain. I’ve gone through hundreds of umbrellas. We would always tell the person Jesus loves them.
- Laundry- so much laundry. Pray for them as folding it
- Pray over them at night while they are sleeping
- FAMILY ACRONYM: This is something you and your kiddos can work on together.
- Give gifts on purpose- a water bottle with a sticky note of John 4:13 “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. CLICK HERE FOR MORE
- On Good Friday, we wear red to remember Christ’s blood shed for us FOR MORE CLICK HERE
- On Palm Sunday we wear green to remember the palm branches people waved and laid down as Jesus entered the city
- Instead of just eating family dinner, put phones and distractions away and ask fun questions (Table talk, table topics or come up with your own!) or do a family devotional CLICK HERE FOR MORE
- On Halloween, pass out candy and Bible verse cards. Tell the trick or treaters that Jesus loves them. CLICK HERE for link to free printable to use this Halloween!
- WE each pick a verse of the year and I design a graphic, laminate it and post it on the appropriate bathrooms. They also choose a word of the year.
- Have a dry erase board in a central spot of house and do a verse of the week to look at and memorize. When we did this, I often found the verse was more for me and so encouraging!
- While washing hands, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” Psalms 51:10
- Colossians 3:12 when dressing, “above all else clothe yourself with love”
- All the nerf wars- are we ready for battle with appropriate gear? Armor of God what is it?
NOW to really incorporate His word into your lives, here are some fun activities-
- Bake bread. It starts small but rises into something beautiful. Watch it rise and talk of how we, as believers, as called and equipped to rise against the struggles, fears, and sin of this world. Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to be our Helper! Go over spiritual disciplines like reading the Bible, praying, church, memorizing Scripture, etc… to increase faith and rising up. “I will put my Spirit within you and you will come to life.” Ezekiel 37:14
- Make bacon. Watch it shrivel up. It starts large and the heat causes it to shrink. Talk of certain “heats” your child might be facing (bullying? up coming changes at school? fear? sin?). Talk of how this is where the enemy of our souls wants us, but God has called us higher and will help us rise and not shrink. “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.” Hebrews 10:39
- CLICK HERE FOR A POST ON THIS ACTIVITY
- Make eggs. Plain no salt. Have the kiddos taste them. Then add the salt and have them taste. Remind them of our words and that they should always be seasoned with salt which makes things taste better, brings out the flavor. Colossians 4:6
- CLICK HERE FOR A POST ON THIS
- Mustard Seed- Matthew 17:20 “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, it is enough.” Get a small jar of mustard seeds and give one to your kiddo each day before school. Remind them that small faith can move mountains! CLICK HERE FOR MORE
- Bubble bath- or suds in sink. Spray with cold water and talk of how Jesus takes away our sins and helps us kill sin in our lives as the water is killing bubbles John 1:29
- One of my favorite acronyms-BD. Be kind to one another and build each other up. Do unto others as you would want done to yourself. BD write it on hands, sticky notes in shared bathrooms, etc… CLICK HERE FOR MORE
- Another favorite and something I say to the kids every day when they get out of the car is GLNL. God is GOOD. He loves you and He never leaves you.
These are just ways we try to live life on purpose. I’m sure you all can incorporate even more ways for you and your family to live life on purpose.
I know this is a lot of info thrown your way-please don’t let it overwhelm you. Did anyone attend the Sunday seminar a few weeks ago? I did – it was great- encouraging, convicting and I left feeling a little defeated/overwhelmed (maybe how you feel right now, but I hope not!) and getting into my car was this-A sign of life amidst the rocks. Greenery in the brown. Growth in the hard. It gave me so much hope that the Lord is with me as I parent and raise my kiddos and even though I get overwhelmed and am so imperfect, His goodness grows because of my deep desire for my children to know and follow Him. To have more than just head knowledge of him, but to have a heart knowledge of him. Moms let’s not give up! Let’s wear our O2 mask every day and live life on purpose!
One last acronym to send us on our way. It’s from a notecard of my nana’s from July 1953. HAVE CHRIST, HOLD ONTO HIM, HONOR HIM.