Mommy, Concentrated

Jesus Centered Family Focused

Life from the Rear View

“Back in the 20th century, during the 1900s…” Wait. Hold up. Songbird and I weren’t discussing women’s suffrage or the Model T. We were talking about my childhood. Hubby pointed out that if God blesses us with seeing our grandkids, they’ll marvel that Grandpop was born before cell phones and the Internet; lived during the coming and going of cassettes, VHS tapes, and fax machines; and grew up when cable TV went to bed about the same time as he did. Yes, I felt pretty old in that moment, watching my life flash before my bifocal lenses. But the Super Bowl isn’t the only thing celebrating in a big way. I’m not turning 50, but I’m thanking God for His grace to stand today, looking back at “how I got over.” Each extra pound represents His abundant provision; these wiry, gray strands wave in the air, praising Him like they just don’t care. The extra line on Hubby’s forehead matches the crinkles around my eyes–and they both come from the 20+ years of laughter and tears we’ve shared. I could pull a muscle just looking at a ball, let alone kicking it, so yes, I’m weaker. But I’m so much wiser, too. I look at my little people and mourn the passing of their babyhood, wondering if they grew up between laundry loads and dishwasher cycles. Yet I know that the God Who was with me “back in the 20th century” will be that same God carrying Songbird through the 21st. As much as things change, everlasting God remains the same. “Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry...

Things That Go Bump! in the Mind

The other night M&M woke up, crying about the monster in his room. It took quite a bit of prayer and smooth talking to soothe him back to sleep. And this wasn’t the first time. We’ve found ourselves in his room at 2 a.m. because he’s insisting there’s spiders in his bed–convincingly enough that he had me checking beneath his covers for creepy crawlies. Isn’t that just how our minds work? It’s at our darkest hour when we hear those voices telling us there’s a “monster” under the bed. But my monsters probably don’t look or sound like M&M’s. Mine crouch deep within my mind, peeking out long enough to whisper, “You’ll never make it in the Christian fiction market. Algebra is too hard to teach. You’re too busy to work out so you might as well enjoy the pizza.” My creepy-crawlies–fear about the future, worries about the present, guilt about the past–keep me awake more than I care to admit. Perhaps you’re a perfectionist like me; you stress over not getting it all right. But there there’s so much not to “get right” about motherhood! You and I both need to remember to cast our cares upon the One who can reassure us there’s nothing under the bed and there’s nothing too great He can’t handle. (1 Peter 5:7). You don’t need to fear or worry about doing it all because He’s done it all already, so set your mind on Christ and sleep tight! “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing...

Wait in the Water

Pastor Livingston’s Sunday message painted a beautiful picture of Exodus 2: Jochebed, devoted mother…cradling her infant, hiding him from the world; weeping over him, praying for him; fashioning that basket of bulrushes and reluctantly setting it afloat with her baby inside, all the time fearing the crocodiles, snakes, deep waters, and other unknown dangers that might consume him. Anyone who has read the book of Exodus or seen Charlton Heston play “Moses” knows the outcome: ironically, miraculously, Jochebed is paid to take care of her own baby. Pastor Livingston pointed out that despite her wondering whether she did the right thing or her worries over his safety or the outcome, God had a plan all along that was bigger than Moses, Jochebed herself, and even His people. It was all for His glory. When I think about this story I see myself. Like Jochebed’s, my reed basket cradles my family. I know the world hungers for them, just as Pharaoh hunted down the Hebrew children. Daily, I try to prepare them for it and shield them from it. Eventually, yes, I have to virtually watch them float away on life’s uncharted waters, praying and weeping and wondering “what if?” My basket holds my dreams and hopes as well, plans I’ve sweated over, worked for, and nurtured. Sometimes it feels I must give up altogether, not just give them over to God. But like Jochebed, we parents, dreamers, and workers have to trust that releasing our little people and our plans doesn’t mean that all is lost. Instead, there is everything to gain. When we let them go to God,...

Breaking Bread

Tonight I was in the mood for my favorite cafe. Nevermind the perfectly good dinner I’d already prepared at home. Nevermind the calories and budget. I was going to buy a chocolate chip cookie for Brown Sugar, the Thai chicken salad for Hubby, and an Italian BMT on Asiago cheese demi for me—that is, until the cashier informed me, “Oh, we discontinued that bread. But we do have the focaccia.” It was bad enough when they changed my chocolate duet cookie, but now they’d really gone and done it. While I stood there with my mouth open, she blithely explained how they were getting rid of this whole list of unhealthy ingredients and preservatives and that bread—my bread that never hurt a soul—must have contained at least one of them. I’d rather have a little xanthan gum or microcrystalline cellulose than poor service, something I get in abundance these days from businesses who care more about the junk I consume than the junk they expel. Hmmm…when I put it this way I realize I have my own “cafe moments”: I focus too much on what’s going in my little people—are they eating pop tarts instead of eggs; are they watching the Disney channel instead of the History channel; are they employing new Minecraft moves instead of their math facts? —and too little on what’s coming out—a working faith, a gentle tongue, a yielding spirit, loving service. It’s probably good I’ve had to give up my Asiago demi, but I’m grateful I can feast continually on the Living Bread, the One that feeds the body and the soul. “So Jesus said, ‘Are you still without understanding? Do...

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