The glory of following Christ is not that we no longer have rules to follow, but that we aren't saved by following them. We're saved by following Him (trusting in his death for our sins, his life for ours) and in His light, we learn to see the beauty of His way of life. So all this about love, and all these goals for my own walk with Him and for gentle mothering, this I strive after with all his grace which so powerfully works in me.... but at the end of the day, my joy is that I'm forgiven, not that I've ever reached any goal at all. Ahh, the glory!! He loves! He forgives! Me!... the chief of sinners.
Maybe this seems a little detail heavy to point out, but I'm writing this post about prayers, ideals, goals for motherhood and I don't want anyone to think either a) that we could ever earn salvation by being just so good or b) that I have the least little bit arrived at any of these goals. The reason I'm writng this at all is because I am *desperate* for the Lord's grace in these very areas.... So, although I haven't and really won't ever "arrive" I just can't pitch these prayers, these goals. I am straining towards this nevertheless, with all of God's power working within me...
My Mother Prayers. These words, bullet prayers, to help me remember His grace ways with me and how I long to love them too...
EMBRACE: Compassion before Consequences
ABSORB: instead of rubbing their noses in the list of all the work I do for them, just do it. And for the times when 3 busy mouths are burning with bickering and complaining and requests all at once, "I am a Raquetball Court." Absorb the shock. Don't fire it right back! (This from Rachel Jankovic's masterpiece, 55 star book "Loving the Little Years." I'll write more about this soon... I hope!)
WAIT: not tolerating disobedience, but respecting comprehension & transition time as they move towards obeying... and also, accepting their childish slowness
WORDS / SPEAK: that my words, my voice, my face would show the love and acceptance and tender graciousness of Christ
ACCEPT: Like the "teacup theology" that Linda Dillow wrote about in Calm My Anxious Heart... Lord make me receptive to whatever you knowingly, carefully, sovereignly pour into my life today.
The WORD: Pray it for them and with them. Hide it in our hearts and sing it loud on our lips. Submit to it so that it convicts, challenges, shapes, sharpens and empowers me.
LIGHTHEARTED (LH): the picture in my mind is of that Prov 31 gal... open hands to the Lord, lifted eyes smiling, fearless trust, her laughing at the days to come.
ONE (ALONE): This post from Sally Clarkson blessed me and excites me so much about getting one on one time with the kids.... that I can journey through the next 20ish years being this kind of mom to these precious kids growing up in our home? Grace! Wild, Wonderful Grace!
MARVEL: at His Word, His creation, His character, and evidences of His image and love among us. Go slow enough to notice beauty, to savor moments, to apprehend His majesty with us always in silence, storm or silliness...
DELIGHT: Laugh! with them.... and ok, at them sometimes too...
SERVE: I am so grateful for this talk, this woman who shared the motto she found, "to serve with joy." And doesn't all our training, caring for, disciplining come down to serving these little ones?
PREPARE: Never Rush. As Ann Voskamp says, "only amateurs hurry." Aim to be ready 10 minutes early so as not to press the clock down on them.
GENTLE: may there be a tenderness, a softness in me even if it comes across as weakness, unconfidence, to the world. I can be gentle because I'm leaning into an all-powerful, competent Father to care for all of us. He promises to provide and assures that nothing can snatch us from Him. Rest secure in Him, the True Gentle Shepherd.
Last year 1 Peter was my book for cross-sultural work. This year James is my book for motherhood. James 3:18 "A harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." Lord, by your great grace, please make this harvest and this sowing and this peace true in us, in my mothering, for your glory in their lives and in our home.