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Posts Tagged ‘devotional time’

grateful

A low hiss of frustration might have escaped Martha’s lips as she glanced across the room, taking in her sister’s almost worshipful appearance as she leaned in to hear each of the Rabbi’s words.

Didn’t Mary realize there was work to be done? Dough to be shaped. Place settings arranged. Water to be drawn. Yet, Mary sat. It was Martha who rushed about preparing a meal for Jesus and the disciples who had traveled with him from Jerusalem. It was Martha who filled mugs as quickly as they were emptied. Martha who met the needs of the each guest.

Her flushed cheeks and quick movements became more pronounced as Mary lingered ever longer at Jesus’ feet.

Hospitable and servant-minded, Martha’s penchant for detail overcame the desire to give of her time. Share from the heart. Overwhelmed by the details of presentation and preparation, Martha reverted to accusation.

“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40)

Christ’s words gently rebuked.

Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41)

Turning kind, penetrating eyes her direction she knew he recognized the selfishness of her request. Realized her motive. Understood and still loved.

She, too, loved the Lord but had forgotten, or not yet learned, that Christ prefers worship to works. Martha’s personalized list of do’s and don’ts, designed to prove her worth or express her commitment paled in comparison to the simple act of resting in the company of Christ. Soaking in the words of the Bread of Life rather than fretting over one task and then another in an effort to serve the Imperishable the perishable.

One thing is necessary, friend. All of our fretting, worrying and doing fail to lead us closer to Christ. Instead, our fulfillment comes at His feet in moments of worshipful stillness when our hearts are bent toward the God who requires no more than us.

May we have the wisdom to set aside the temporary for the eternal each day and discover Jesus afresh as we absorb the Living Word.

 

Blessings,

Tammy

 

Also sharing at: Blessed but Stressed, God Sized Dreams

 

 

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 A friend recently told me I was trying too hard to be the perfect Christian mother.  We REALLY need to get to know each other on a deeper level.  She would never have made such a misguided comment if she had witnessed some of my more recent failings and faux pas.  Consider the challenge of spiritual growth.

As a mother of four children it can be difficult to establish a regular devotional time.  First, there is the concentration issue.  All mothers know a nursing baby can be demanding.  In fact, I’m awake so much at night I could hold my own candlelight service!  Unfortunately, because my eyes cross at any attempt to read Psalm 23 (you know, the one that soothes frayed nerves with the verse “He market me to lie down in green pastures”) and drool leaves a permanent wet spot on the Bopp pillow during our nightly nursing sessions—not from the baby, but her mother—I have recognized that 3 a.m. is not the best time for me to memorize Old Testament genealogies.

Another problem is that reading the Baby Bible Book to my two-year old after bath time probably doesn’t qualify as an in-depth Bible study.  It’s true I can deftly perform a perky finger play about most of the major Bible heroes, but I haven’t yet learned about the transfiguration or the implications of free-will versus predestination.

One of the greatest challenges is finding a few solitary moments to thoughtfully meditate on God’s word.  Many times, I will have managed to tuck the two little ones snuggly in their cribs for naps.  I surreptitiously grab my Bible and sneak off to a quiet spot (usually the bathtub where I slink down and draw the curtain in hopes I won’t be discovered) when I hear the tell-tale sounds of my two older boys scuffling and rolling about the living room floor.  I vault from the confines of my hide-away to discover that Ben, my first-born, has his younger brother in a scissors lock rivaled only by the best of the best in WWF wrestling.  Yes, I may have just read about “a gentle and quiet spirit”, but surely God didn’t expect for me to exemplify that sweet demeanor when my children have turned the sofa over on its side as their ring-side boundary.

At face value, this glimpse into my family life may not seem to offer much.    Like many other women, I am just a busy mom who loves her Lord.  But, there are three spiritual survival skills imbedded within this story.

 Matters of the Heart

God commanded Israel in Deuteronomy 6:4-7 to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”   This passage sets a pattern that helps believers relate the Word of God to our daily lives.  We are to love God, think constantly about his commandments, teach his commandments to our children, and live each day by the guidelines in His Word.  God emphasized the importance of parents’ teaching the Bible to their children because eternal truths are most effectively learned in the loving environment of a God-fearing home.’ Life Application Bible, 291

 Hide and Seek

              While it is possible other women don’t resort to hiding in the bathtub in order to study the scripture, the concept of hiding away is an important one.  It can be a challenge to make time for God when your day is full of diapering, disinfecting, and various other pressing duties.    But, in order to develop the heart relationship just mentioned, it’s a necessity.  As one fellow Christian put it, “Every believer may and must have his time when he is indeed alone with God.  Oh, the thought to have God all alone to myself and to know that God has me all alone to Himself!”

Super steward vs. Supermom

Society promotes the idea that a mom should have it all together.  She should, in fact, be Supermom.   Assuming such a role is prideful because it removes Christ from the position He should maintain in our lives. He is to be a mother’s strength.   Children belong to Christ while a parent is only a steward—meant to tend and guard God’s precious treasure.  There will be times in mothering that we are overwhelmed, unsure, or even frightened. But, remember the Lord is the Abba Father. He will calm our hearts as we claim the verses from Philippians that counsel with the words, “The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

So find your quiet place, friends—bathtub, closet, or coffee shop.  Your Strength and Wisdom waits for you there.

Recommended Books for Busy Moms

http://www.amazon.com/Real-Moms-Real-Jesus-Friend-Understands/dp/0802483615/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345775204&sr=1-3&keywords=devotionals+for+moms

http://www.amazon.com/Mom-After-Gods-Heart-Devotional/dp/0736947590/ref=sr_1_21?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345775347&sr=1-21&keywords=devotionals+for+moms

http://www.amazon.com/Taking-Care-Me-Mommy-Becoming/dp/B000O3S39S/ref=sr_1_35?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345775395&sr=1-35&keywords=devotionals+for+moms

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