Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Build 'Em Up: Bringing Faith to Life

I'm linking up with Erin at Blue-Eyed Bride today. 

Is there anything better than hearing or reading encouraging words as a mother?  Knowing you aren't alone on those days where you feel like you just don't have it in you to be a Mom that day.  Knowing you aren't some special kind of crazy.  That there ARE others that think and feel the same way.  Having relationships with other women that build one another up is a priceless gift.  I'm grateful to have that.  We as mothers seem to want to have it all together.  Especially in today's culture. 

I'm so thankful my Heavenly Father doesn't expect perfection.  Even more than someone else's words; His words encourage me.  They give me peace.  They give me hope.  They carry me through those sleepless nights and the tough days that include lots of no-no's, time-outs, wiping noses and changing diapers.  He knows that we get tired and need a break.  That we're unable to do it on our own.  He wants us to give it to Him.  He wants to carry it for us.

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.
Matthew 11:28-30

God doesn't ask for perfection.  It's through our imperfections that He grows us and He is glorified.  I don't have to have it all together all the time.  I shouldn't expect my children to have it all together either. Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself they're only three and one!  There are many opportunities in parenting to offer my children grace.

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

As a parent I want my children to obey; my Heavenly Father desires the same of me.

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.  But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;
I Peter 1:13-15

I was reading an article yesterday on God knowing our hearts. I know there are days that my heart isn't very pretty. Days where I'm asking my three year old to forgive me for the way I responded and it's only 9am. The beautiful thing about having a relationship with my Heavenly Father is that He forgives. He offers grace.  Asking my children for forgiveness when I've done something wrong in our relationship teaches them early on the importance of repentance and asking for forgiveness from their Heavenly Father. 

I was looking for keys in the kitchen the other day while Amelia sat at the kitchen table. I was talking out loud about how I wish I could find them and she yells, "Jesus, please help Mama find her car keys, AMEN!" My three year old taught me at that very moment. We should take it all to Him. And it doesn't have to be some fancy-pants prayer. Prayer is a conversation between me and the Lord. Just like if I were having a conversation with a friend. One of the sweetest sounds to my ears is praying with Amelia at bedtime. She always wants me to start the prayer and then she jumps in here and there as things/people come to her mind. :)

Stopping to pray before a meal.  Praying for our family and friends. Praying for someone who is sick. Praying for something our heart desires. Even praying to find the car keys. We're teaching them to go to the Lord in every situation. And when He answers our prayers, whether it's the way we pictured or not, we should praise Him!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 
Philippians 4:6

I'm very aware of the little eyes and ears that are always watching and listening.
It's an awesome responsibility to live out my faith for my children.  I can't do it without putting Him first in all I do.  Some days I fail miserably, but I'm thankful He is faithful. His love and compassion never fail. His mercies are new every single morning.

Love to all,


Jennifer said...

Jill, you are always so encouraging! I love the part about Amelia praying for your keys. The neighbors cat was chasing our dog (she's a wimpy little dog) and B was watching from the window. When the dog came back in she said, "Oh no, I didn't pray for her for when that cat was getting her." I love that prayer was her answer!!
Thanks for sharing.

Blue-Eyed Bride said...

Oh Jill. You are my spiritual mentor and you probably don't even know it. You encourage me in more ways that you'll ever realize. But this post is beautiful. Sweet Amelia just praying for your keys made me cry! Thank you for sharing your heart today. Letting go of the need to be perfect is huge-- and asking for forgiveness when I am not perfect is something else. Goodness me. Thank you for linking up with us! I love reading a little piece of your heart!

Kelly said...

This is so good Jill!!! You have such an amazing faith and heart! I love to hear you share! Thank you for linking up!!!!!

Faith said...

Love this. You are such an encouragement to me as I'm learning how to be a mother. Love your heart!