The screensaver on my laptop is a beautiful floral picture that says, “Be Still”. As mother of four little ones, those words have special meaning for me. I spend so much of my time wiping noses, nursing babies, running this blog and an online store, that I struggle with shutting off my mind from my to do list. These two words remind me to feel God’s presence in the busyness and chaos of my day.
I find myself eager to turn on a cartoon that will keep my older three content while the baby is napping so that I can sneak away to a quiet room for a few minutes. I usually spend this time folding laundry or writing a blog post, but more importantly I use that time to reflect. I reflect on my attitude that morning, or the kids attitudes, and whether or not joy is present in our home.
Some people might think it’s wrong for me to let the television entertain my kids (trust me, we carefully monitor what they are watching), but for our family, we allow a small amount of time each day for screen time. I use this time to prepare my heart for what’s coming after I turn the t.v. off.
By listening to an encouraging podcast or reading scripture for a blog post I’m working on, I am refreshed (even more than by that third cup of coffee). I feel energized and ready to move on with my day.
Being faithful through rest
So today I want to encourage you to find some way to be still. Even if you just zone out while you kids are watching a cartoon, use this time to pray or read instead of scrolling mindlessly through Facebook. We may not always be able to sneak in a nap or go catch up with a friend at the local coffee shop, but I know that you can find someway to rest.
But we don’t just need sleep. As a Christian woman, we must realize that rest means much more than sleep. It’s taking the time to forget about our to-do lists and our meal plans for week, it’s taking a moment to get alone with God and feel His presence. When we take the time to seek Him throughout our day, our day will go so much smoother. Instead of worrying we will train our minds to see what He wants us to see.
We can learn so much from our children if we just slow down and listen. How do they feel when they can’t do something just right? How do they act when we praise another child? Are their feelings easily hurt? Building up and training our children often gets overlooked because we are just trying to make it through the day.
Let’s practice being faithful to God’s calling for our lives and take a moment to enjoy the calling of motherhood.
Practicing gentleness is easier when we make faith a priority
If we want to see growth in our character as mothers, than we must make our faith priority. We are not going to wake up one day and be more gentle and patient with our children. It’s an everyday commitment to the Lord, and we must be willing to change. We must acknowledge that we can’t do this without Christ in us. That’s the only way we will learn to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:19).
So where should you start? I encourage you to find a time during the day to get into God’s Word. I know how hard it is to get going, so here are few tips I have:
- Find an inspiring study (She Reads Truth app, First5 app, and Pressing Pause devotional are some of my favorites)
- Find a scripture writing challenge (Heidi St. John offers a free challenge and practice sheets for you and your kids..this is a great way to get into God’s Word together!)
- Be involved with your church (We need each other! If you aren’t in church, find one and go regularly)
- Pray (We can feel so much more at ease when we lay out our thoughts to our Creator)
I always have people ask me how I do it with so many little ones and my response is, I can’t do it. When I lay down my cravings for perfection (perfect home, perfect children, perfect marriage), than I can truly see what’s important. I shift my priorities to focusing on my children’s hearts more than their outfit for the day. I focus more on encouraging my husband than I do on how well he washes the dishes.
It’s all about our priorities. When we make our faith a priority than we will bear fruit in our lives and in our homes.