10 Typical Parenting Questions

I have some great good news to share with you my Mom Initiative friends and fellow mamas.  

But… before I do, do you ask yourself these questions?

1. How can I increase my child’s self-worth?

2. How do I build family unity?

3. How can I encourage my kids to be friends?

4. What do I do when my child lies or steals?

5. How can I effectively deal with tantrums and whining?

6. How can I control my own temper?

7. What can I do to be a good advocate for my special needs or gifted child in the school setting?

8. What limits should I establish on media? 

9. What makes my child act the way he does?

10. How can respect be put back into my family? 

Each of these questions would require at least a chapter’s  worth of words to effectively answer.

That is why Becky Danielson and I wrote, Raising Little Kids with Big Love. I’m excited to tell you, it has just been published and is available on Amazon (coming to brick and mortar stores soon) .

hot off press little kids 2


The book is geared for parents and grandparents of kids, toddler-nine. It can also be read in a book club or small group setting. There is a companion study guide that accompanies the book. So if a family ministry leader or children’s pastor wanted to lead a parenting class the material is provided. 

Becky and I know this book will be a blessing to parents of young kids because it provides tried and true, practical faith-based tools and tips to assist  moms and dads to be the parent they want to be.

And.. if you have a tween or teen,our book Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love is coming soon. 

Please help Becky and me spread the word to those with young families.

Thanks for sharing my joy!

~Lori Wildenberg



What is August to You?

What is august to you? I’ll bet you think that August is just a word for the eighth month of the year. Nope! It’s more than that.

August…not the month but the word. Do you know what it means?

According to the dictionaries, it means inspiring reverence or admiration, of supreme dignity or grandeur, majestic, venerable, eminent, worthy of respect because of age and dignity, high position, having exalted birth, character, state, or authority.

Sounds pretty descriptive of God, doesn’t it?

God exhibited all those august attributes when He spoke creation into being. Each seed of God’s Word stood positioned at conception’s gate, primed and eager for the Starter’s pistol to sound its commencement, and when God spoke His Word of power, He released the seeds of life and reaped the harvest of creation.

Scripture says, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all their host by the breath of His mouth.” (Ps. 33:6 Amp)

All matter came alive at the sound of God’s voice.
Within that matter is His voice imprint, His Word, still to this day, resonating in the entire universe, within every molecule, every atom, and every cell of every created thing – plants, animals, planets, sun, moon, stars, mankind, everything.

God’s Word never dies. Peter said, “The word of God which lives and abides forever…the word of the Lord remains forever.” (1 Peter 1:23b, 25 Received Greek Text) Would that just be His written Word or would that include His spoken Word?

David said in Psalm 33:9, “For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.” (NIV) Meaning it remained, endured, continued.

And the writer of Hebrews tells us, “The word of God is living, and powerfully working.” (Heb. 4:12a RGT) The Greek word for “powerfully working” used here is energes, which means active, operative, effectual, at work, or powerful. The living, breathing Word of God is active and operative, giving “life and breath and all things to all.” (Acts 17:25 RGT)

Not ordinary words, God’s words are unseen, living entities,
actually working energy and living matter of the eternal kind. A part of Himself.

And that part of Himself came to earth as the Word, for Jesus is “the Word of life.” (1 John 1:1b NLT) He graciously shares His Word with those who love Him. Just as God’s Word gave life to the universe, His Word gives life to body, soul, and spirit because Jesus said, “The words which I speak to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63b RGT) If we have invited Jesus to rule our hearts, we have that living Word within us.

However, do we who know God appreciate His majesty and grandeur?

Step out into your backyard, or go to the outstretched ocean, or a gorgeous garden, or a flourishing forest, or the majestic mountains, whichever may be your favorite scene of nature, and just look around you. What greets you?

*Does the morning dew comfort you with the thought of drinking in God’s mercies or of His showering you with blessings?
*Does the mist of the ocean kiss your face with soothing relief, offering you God’s vast supply of living water to restore your tired body?
*Does the garden’s produce reward you with gratitude for the harvest of nourishment or fill your senses with its floral bouquet?
*Does the lush green of the forest refresh your soul as the trees unfurl emblazoned boughs as a canopy of shade and as a pavilion for the feathered set to convene their songfest?
*Does the purple mountain’s majesty fill you with awe for inspiration, stimulate your creativity, enliven your dreams?

All these are the entities of God’s voice imprint, surrounding you… pulsating in every living thing.

How can our hearts not feel gratitude to the One Who made this magnificent world and surrounds us every day with His august presence? Who pours out new mercies every morning? Whose Spirit is generously shared with all who love Him? Should we not bow in awe and pour out worship, thanksgiving, and unrestrained praise?

So, now, what is august to you?



How To Change Your Stinking Thinking


Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~ Philippians 4:8

Mom, it’s so easy to get stuck in some stinking thinking. Believe me, I know…I’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt. Trust me on this though, this is one place you just don’t want to hang out in because it will start to affect every single aspect of your life. We’re going to jump in today and talk about how to change your stinking thinking.

Your marriage, your kids, your job, your health, all of it is affected by what starts off in your thoughts. There have been several amazing books on this particular topic, so I won’t even try to restate what’s already out there, so I’m taking us straight to God’s Word, specifically in this verse (I call it the Whatever verse), to start to get rid of some of our, and maybe our kids, stinking thinking.  It’s my hope that by taking them one at a time we can get real practical on making a difference today.

  • Whatever is True –

Definition – being in accordance with the actual state of affairs
God’s WordFor the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. Psalm 33:4 NIV

  • Whatever is Noble -

Dictionary – admirable in dignity of conception, manner of expression, execution, or composition
God’s WordA wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Proverbs 31:10 NIV

  • Whatever is Right -

Dictionary – conforming to facts or truth
God’s WordThe precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19:8 NIV

  • Whatever is Pure -

Dictionary – free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind; freefrom extraneous matter
God’s WordBlessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8 NIV

  • Whatever is Lovely -

Dictionary – of a great moral or spiritual beauty
God’s WordHow lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! Psalm 84:1 NIV

  • Whatever is Admirable -

Dictionary – excellent; first-rate
God’s Word - His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys. Matthew 25:21 NIV

  • Whatever is Excellent –

Dictionary – possessing outstanding quality or superior merit; remarkably good
God’s Word - You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever. Psalm 45:2 NIV

  • Whatever is Praiseworthy –

Dictionary – Laudable – worthy of praise
God’s Word - We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. Psalm 78:4 NIV

You see mom, everything we need to know on how to get rid of that “Stinking Thinking” is right there in Philippians 4:8. It’s not necessarily easy, but it can be simple enough if we take the time to walk through it together.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be a mom, a woman, a wife (whatever hat you wear) that has this “stinking thinking’” thing under control. It’s time we to let the words of Philippians 4:8 soak up into every fiber of our souls, and while we are at it, let’s share what we learn with our kids too.

What about you…

  • Which of the “whatever’s” do you need to work on first?
  • How do you think you can start teaching this to your kids? 


JOIN US at our FACEBOOK GROUP PAGE and continue the conversation there! 


Praying Paint and Other Back-to-School Tips

Back-to-School Tips

It is that time of year, so I have some Back-to-School Tips for you!  

Some of you have already begun your first week. Summer is shorter every year, it seems.

This year we have two in our local public high school, one in sixth grade (in our school, they still have 6th grade in elementary, which I LOVE) and one in second grade.  I am homeschooling her.  So back to school in the Smith household can be rather crazy, trying to get everyone established–forms filled out, doctor and dentist appointments, school supplies, new clothes and curriculum gathering and planning.

It kind of makes my head spin, you know? But once we are established in a new routine, it seems to all come together somehow.

So I thought today I would share a few ideas that may help you in your back to school doings and goings, from someone, who has walked out this school journey with four kids in various stages of life for over 14 years now.

First, keep it all in perspective.

Not everything is the most important thing to do.  We tend to go in crisis mode (and boy does that affect how our kids respond) and our blood pressure rises and we try to get it all done in one day.  That is a destructive day waiting to happen, right there.  Rather, keep in mind that some items are due early, but some things can be put off without any trouble.  So in bits, do the first thing that needs to be done and then move on from there.  Write a list and make an asterisk by the most important items.  Make it workable–with your daily schedule.

After all, some things really can wait.  Do they really need a new backpack the first day?  Or new shoes? Or their teeth cleaned? Probably not.  So why keep up appearances?  Be bold and let some things like this slide to next week or next month, now and again.

For instance, we just returned from family vacation, having driven 17 hours over two days. We returned late in the evening and had an early morning registration for one of our high schoolers.  Our printer was out of ink, and I had forms to complete. It could have been really stressful, but rather we figured out how to print it, and he filled out all that he could, while I wrote a check for the fees. Then I signed and completed them.  At sixteen, he can do his own registration! So, I sat in the car and figured out a menu for the week, went to the grocery store – a neighbor happened to offer to drop him at home–WIN-WIN.  It was productive and stress-free time!  God is in the details, my sisters.  He really is.  

Let God be MORE in your dailyness–and your stress will begin to go way down, bringing peace and joy to your heart.

Second, take time and LOOK for the laughs–then WRITE them down, so you don’t forget!

Laughter is the best medicine.  And back to school offers much fodder.  So be on the look out for the absurd and the funny.  It will keep your heart lighter.  And your kids will also begin to look for the laughs, as well.

One thing I am so glad I wrote down is about “praying paint”…
As school began in fall 2005, we had just moved to Colorado from the South (Texas), and I had this discussion with my daughter Kylie, who was beginning kindergarten.
This is what I heard:
Kylie: Mom, I need some praying paint.
Me: You do? Why?
Kylie: For school…my teacher says I need praying paint.
I pause a moment and consider where the source of praying paint might come from…Heaven, perhaps? Lord knows, I pray enough when Kylie, Tabor or Noah begin to paint. In fact, when Noah was four, he designed a wonderful painting on his wall…behind his door. I considered writing “Noah’s Art” on it and leaving it at that…but decided that it might encourage him to paint more walls behind doors. Back to the story…
Me: Kylie, do you have a supply list with praying paint on it?
Kylie: Yes Mom, here it is.
I read it and sure enough it said, “Prang paint.” How else could it be pronounced?

Finally, begin a system of stewarding and organizing that will help you throughout the years.

I love in Mary Poppins how she says, “Well begun is half-done.”!  It is a statement to live by, I think.  
So now, as you are buying school supplies (especially if you are just beginning with your first child in kindergarten), create spaces and places for those to go when the year is up–for next year, you will likely need them again (and can save money in the process). As you find them on sale, too, you can pre-purchase them and put them away for later.
For clothing, I think it is best to have a system of totes and sizes–listed on the outside.  As they outgrow one size, pass those along to someone else (or put away for your next child even).  Having a group of friends at church or even neighbors, who pass along clothing and shoes is SUCH a GIFT!  
For many years now, as we have experienced different levels of abundance and lack, we have found that AGAIN, God is in the details.  He provides AND He uses US to provide for others, as well.  
f3e93c8b-e71f-4012-b891-7b66a7269f97_zpsb40e941eIt is a great way to get to know these women, too…maybe even begin a Mommy group and trade ideas about what works for others!  You can even begin using The Making of a Mom, as a springboard for conversation!  
I also keep totes for each child, for all those SAVE papers, report cards and artwork.  I don’t keep everything. But some things are worth keeping and passing on to them later, too.

I will talk more about why we are homeschooling our youngest next month.  

But today, what back-to-school tips do you have that work for you?  Share them in the comments!


Become the Mom You Want to Be


Have you ever felt like the mom you are is very different from the mom you thought you’d be… from the mom you want to be?

Me too! 

Motherhood seemed so much easier before I had kids but it didn’t take long to realize that although being a mom is the biggest blessing on the planet, motherhood is messy and harder than I ever thought it could be.

So, how can you become the mom you long to be… not a perfect mom, but a mom that is the best mom she can be?

It’s about knowing Christ, embracing your own uniqueness as well as your child’s, embracing your God-given role with passion and persistence, and discovering how to parent on purpose using a biblical foundation for intentional parenting.

To become the mom you want to be, you…

1. Don’t go it alone

2. Embrace the fact that God created you and your children on purpose and for a purpose

3. Understand having children means your life is no longer just about you

4. Discover loving your children well is more than butterfly kisses and overwhelming emotions

5. Give your children the attention they need without making them think the world revolves around them

6. Wield your words well and consistently speak life into your children’s lives

7. Instill character not only by what you say and how you teach them, but most importantly, by how you live

8. Overcome the tendency to be overwhelmed, don’t dare compare, and understand that there are no cookie cutter moms, or cookie cutter kids or cookie cutter solutions… and there is no such thing as a Pinterest perfect mom

9. Parent on purpose and live intentionally not randomly or reactionary

10. Choose the imprints you leave on your children’s heart, on your husband’s heart and on the heart of your home

11. Remember, motherhood lasts a lifetime and that you never stop being a mom no matter how old you or your children are

12. Fight for your family foremost from your knees

More often than not, the mom we are doesn’t look like the mom we want to be and we spend our whole journey as a mom trying to get to where we wanted to be in the first place.

My motherhood journey was like a messy experiment and my kids were the Guinea pigs… I wrote The Making of a Mom so yours wouldn’t have to be. The list above highlights each chapter of The Making of a Mom to give you the tools I wish I would have had when my children were young.

I wasn’t the perfect mom and I didn’t do everything right. The Making of a Mom wasn’t written by someone who successfully navigated every area of motherhood and did everything right.

It was written by someone who learned a few things along the way… more often than not from her failures as well as some of her successes. And the 12 keys listed above will help you become a more intentional, more determined mom to those precious children God has gifted you with.

They are looking to you, sweet mom. Be the best mom you can be… be the mom you long to be today!

If you’d like to know more about how you can begin a M.O.M. Group to help other moms become the moms they long to be, click here and get started today! If you’d like to join the MILLION MOMS community and connect with a M.O.M. Group in your area, or help us start one in your area, please click here.

If you’d like to learn how to start a M.O.M. Group in your area and you wonder what it might look like, CLICK HERE.



Are You a ‘Steel Vault’ Kind of Mentor?

The Making of a Mom Quote

We all need someone we can trust…the kind of friend who has our back and who knows our secrets, yet treats them as if they are their own.

We all need someone like that in our lives. And we all need to be someone like that for others.

Mentoring is a mixed bag. It comes with the joy of walking through life with others, but it also comes with the responsibility of guarding those relationships and stories others share with you well. 

Recently, I’ve had several conversations with women who were walking through a painful place or facing difficult challenges. They didn’t need someone who had all the answers, they just needed someone that cared enough to listen without judging and speak the truth even if it was hard. They needed someone who was willing to hear their hearts and join them in the journey of a season that was too hard to go alone.

I couldn’t help but wonder how many women have someone to turn to that they know they can trust. How many women have been burned because they confided in someone who sold them out for the mere urge to divulge what they know.

Do you have that kind of mentor? Are you that kind of friend?

Or do you run out and tell the tales that were told to you in confidence?

We all need each other and we are definitely better together, but if we don’t guard our hearts and mouths, we compromise our relationships and undermine our own integrity.





are you addicted to your child’s approval?

people pleasingFor years, I was a nice, Christian girl. 

I didn’t make waves. Gave in rather than cause a fuss. I decided early on the peace was worthy of any cost. 

I considered this a virtue.

Or at the very least, not a problem. 

Good Christian girls don’t make waves. Making other people happy was the right thing to do.

I thought I was noble.

And then I had children.

Two beautiful, amazing, extremely strong-willed, quite vocal, opinionated children.

My “noble” people-pleasing tendencies had hit a crossroads. The only way that I could avoid conflict and make my kids “happy” was to give in to them.

However, the more I tried to appease them, the more unhappy and demanding they seemed to become.

And I became more angry and resentful. It made me so mad that they kept putting me in this uncomfortable place. Why couldn’t they just obey?

My parenting approach during their younger years was truly the definition of insanity. You know, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

I gave way too many second chances. “No” didn’t really mean “no.” It was just the starting point of negotiations with Mom.

I required far too little responsibility of them because it would often cause full-blown drama.

The quest for all this “happiness” (cough) came into ironic full bloom in the middle school years. All those “yeses” that should have been “no’s” resulted in a lack of respect. The responsibility that wasn’t given gave way to an air of entitlement.

Not much bliss going on in my house.

I had to make a crushing acknowledgement: I wanted my children to be happy. However, my overriding desire was for my own happiness. That was at the root of my people pleasing. Their approval, their happiness was really about filling a void within myself.

A void that only God can fill.

Gradually, this approval-addicted mama came to her senses. God slowly showed me how to quit looking to my kids for my worth. It has been a long, painful — and incredibly freeing — process.

The road to a healthy, respect-filled relationship with my kids hasn’t progressed in a straight line. Sometimes I still fall back into old patterns. But not nearly as often as I used to.

When I’m unsure about whether to say “yes” to one of my kids’ requests, I’ve found it helpful to ask myself a few questions:

  • Is this about my comfort? I ask myself if I’m saying “yes” — or letting something slide — because I don’t want the conflict. Is my decision in their best interest — or mine?
  • Will saying “yes” to this bring my kids closer to being an adult that is responsible, giving and loving? Letting our kids have what they want feels good — for the moment. I’ve had to train myself to take a long-term view in my decision-making. I’ve learned the hard way that the self-serving decisions I make today have a negative long-term effect on my kids.
  • Is this an area where I can give grace or do I need to stand firm? Knowing when to give grace or stand firm often depends on the unique strengths and weaknesses of the child. If a child is generally very responsible in an area, but makes a mistake, perhaps you can give grace. However, if it’s an area of weakness and/or one where they are consistently pushing boundaries, it’s important to stand firm. No matter how loudly our people-pleasing nature is screaming. The bottom line is that answering this question really requires asking for Divine wisdom daily — sometimes moment by moment!

Setting new boundaries — and enduring the resulting pushback — has been hard for me and my kids. But we are all better for it.

And while I still hate conflict, this “nice Christian girl” has learned to fight.


when time is fleeting



Like summer, for instance. Where did it go? How is it already time to buy the new shoes, meet our teachers, and begin the busy days of fall?  

It amazes me that at the beginning of the summer, my girls’ hair was just below their shoulders and now it is flowing down their backs, desperate for a trim. And my baby boy, he’s already outgrown his six month clothes, some barely worn. Wasn’t he just born? I blink, and February is now August. Time is passing, quicker and quicker.

Sometimes I panic. New routines, tuition payments, schedules – they stress me out. I wonder when I’m going to have time to get everything done, be the mom, the wife, the friend, the daughter. I’m busy. So, so busy.

I’ve just turned thirty, my husband just a year behind. It was a great birthday, not nearly the big pill to swallow as I had imagined, but it has marked the end of one era and the beginning of another. No longer am I fresh out of college, living in a big city with time ahead of me for kids and family. I smile, thankful to have had those dreams fulfilled. 

Yet, with all that I’m thankful for and all that is going on around me, time still shakes my core. Maybe it’s because I know now how quickly age happens to youth. How one day, I woke up with a gray hair and dark spots on my hands. Or, as hard as I work out, my stomach still has a little hump in it from my two c-sections. 

But, what really rattles me the most about time is this haunting question: Am I spending my time well – while I have it – here on Earth? 

There is this urgency, you know, to accomplish and fulfill dreams and goals and ambitions. However, there is also this pull, this slow, downward pull to kneel hard with my face pressed against the floor and admit to my God that He is my everything. My soul yearns for more of him, to settle in his presence and not worry about time moving all around me. 

I’m learning that time with God will reveal parts of myself that are unsettling. So much so that I want to scream and curse and just be rid of him. I think that’s the devil and my flesh resisting this commission that he gave me to love him above all else. Loving God is demanding and it takes time. But I believe that after the truth is revealed, he shifts my spirit to a place centered on hope. 

Since I don’t know how long I have here on this planet, I want to hope that I’m spending my time well. That I’m not always looking to the next season, anxious and tired – instead I’m resting in today, which for me involves cleaning up after messy four year old girls and blowing kisses on my baby boy’s belly. 

There are things that I want, things that I don’t think will ever go away. But I don’t want to always be wishing for more time. The facts of my schedule are clear and I don’t see it changing any time soon. Sometimes, time runs out. When time goes by too fast, we can either run and never catch it or stand in the road and watch its’ taillights disappear. We have to be okay with letting time go. 

Babies will turn one, preschoolers will start kindergarten and eighteen year olds will leave for college. Daughters will get married and sons will propose. Our parents will age, sickness will strike. Whenever our hearts hurt for time, God is there, assuring us that this too shall pass. 

Our time here is precious and must not be wasted. Because when our time is up, we will be judged on how we spent it. May we spend our time here well – loving God, loving others, and being obedient to how we were uniquely made to serve him. 

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, Christen 


Where Was God?


Have you ever gone through something so devastating and painful that you look back and wonder where was God? If God was really there why didn’t He intervene? Why did He allow such tragedy take place?

I don’t think there’s ever been a time in my life where I’ve personally witnessed so much tragedy and pain.

A godly mom, who has given her life to serving her family and others gives birth to a beautiful still born baby. Oh, the agony! They leave the hospital with empty arms, and the nursery they’d spent weeks preparing every intricate detail … empty.

Where was God?

Another godly mom, who gave her life supporting her husband’s ministry, and raising her children, receives a call that would cause her to fall to her knees and question everything she once knew to be true. Her husband, in a moment of hopeless despair took his own life.

Where was God?

A little girl chases after the ambulance that is carrying her mom’s lifeless body. Five days later, she stands over her mom’s casket crying, begging her mom to wake up. Her dad, unable to handle the responsibilty of his children, walks away after the funeral. Never to be seen again.

Where was God?

What’s your story? Betrayed by your husband? Prodigal child? Financial loss of epic proportions? Betrayed by a trusted Pastor … best friend … parent? Memories of abuse torment your mind night after night? Violated by someone you trusted? You’re only dream in life was to become a mom, but, month after month you’re met with the pain of barrenness?

Where is God?

I have the answer for you!

He was there all the time. He never left your side. Not for a moment.

If you’re anything like me, your first question then, would be, “If God was really there, then why didn’t He intervene?” 

Well, only God can definitively answer that question; however, I can presuppose from Scripture that there are several reasons He allowed you to endure what you endured, and continue to endure.

  1. He trusts you. He trusts you so much, knowing that you will use your painful experiences to magnify Him and make His name more famous. I’ll say it again … HE TRUSTS YOU!
  2. He is sovereign. God planned out your days before you were even born. (Psalm 139). His plans for you were good, however, the enemy also had a plan for your life. While God’s plan is to prosper you, Satan’s plan is to destroy you and to make you as ineffective as possible for the cause of Christ. But … remember … GOD TRUSTED YOU enough to allow the pain and suffering into your life.
  3. He will never waste your sorrows. Not in a million years. He chose YOU to endure the pain of the fire so that you could understand the pain of others and comfort them and walk with them through the pain of their fiery circumstances. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

Where was/is God? He was/is there all the time. He is there when you cry into your pillow at night for your prodigal child. Bottling every tear you’ve cried over the betrayal of your husband, and lost love. He is there when no one else was there to hold you. He was there weeping with you as you stood over the casket of your precious momma. He was there as you sat in the rocking chair of your baby’s nursery, with empty arms. 

He was there!

He IS here!

He is El Roi. The God who sees.

He is Rapha. The God who heals.

He is Immanuel. God with us.

Soak in the words of this song. He was there! He IS here. No matter what your circumstances look like now, HE IS THERE WITH YOU. It’s His PROMISE.


If you can’t see the video in your reader, please click the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnNxP2k4Nn4

Have you ever felt like the Lord didn’t see you? Wondered where He was? Where are you looking for him to show up in your life today?


Where does mom find back-to-school peace?

Are you ready for the lessons that come with a new school year? It’s the time of year when so many moms prepare to head back into the school year with all their might. Hoping to capture treasured moments and launch kids well, we try to make special Back-to-School traditions as deposits into the hearts of our children. We do our best to buy folders on sale, notebook paper in bulk, and extra crayons to share. We determine to be a parent teachers will love and commit to being real moms praying for real teachers. We hope there won’t be teacher trouble, but if there is, we determine to ask our mentor, hold our tongue, have a good attitude, and submit to our husband.

School officially started yesterday in hometown. The first day of school touches something deep within me, as I’ve experienced it as a student, a teacher, a public school parent, a private school parent, a home school parent, a substitute, and a professor. No matter what the size of desk or style of chair to fit my part in “school,” I’ve learned more lessons about what’s NOT included on the syllabi and curriculum guides than what IS included. If you’re about to start a new year of “school,” you’re about to be stretched. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Excited? Worried?

Where will you find your peace? Where will YOU learn your greatest lessons this school year?

School may be for kids, but  it comes with a lot of lessons for moms.

School brings a backpack full of distractions with the potential to consume us and shut out valuable “subjects” like worship, rest, husband-loving, and fellowship. Our culture (even our Christian culture) rewards moms who let school swallow them whole! What PTA wouldn’t shower the President with flowers and applause because she gave her whole self to the making of “school?” Applause doesn’t always follow wisdom.

Back to school peace

Martha of Luke 10 was a great candidate for room mother of the year. Even with Jesus in her house, she was “distracted with much serving” and consumed with her to-do list. Sadly, when work (in our case:  SCHOOL) consumes us, it makes us a likely candidate for drying up inside.

Martha’s sister Mary didn’t sign up for every task she was asked to take. Instead, she “sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.” (Luke 10) When our work  threatens to overwhelm us, we need to sit under the tender teaching of our Lord Jesus. ““Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Sitting at His feet, we find Back-to-school peace. It’s a peace that comes from learning how He has it all under control, hearing how He is working for the good of our children, remembering how He promises to give us wisdom, and enjoying how He loves us for who we are … even if that isn’t the PTA President.

Teacher, mama, professor, bus driver, coach, principal, PTA President, or ________? 

Whoever we are, we find answers and rewards at the feet of our tender Teacher Jesus.