Update: If you are just joining us we are so excited to have you here with us. You can get up to speed by looking over these two past posts (here and here). You can view all of our posts for this study at the category Women After God’s Own Heart, found here. If your browser is not allowing you to view any attachments email me, and I will send them to you so that you don’t miss out!
Ladies, ladies, ladies. My deepest apologies that this post didn’t hit the web until late, but duties in my household required my attention and I like to have solitude and time to write my studies, which I couldn’t quite find until now.
Our study for this week encompasses Chapters 11 and 12: A Heart Overflowing with Motherly Affection Parts 1 and 2. I hope you single, childless ladies aren’t feeling left out lately. You absolutely shouldn’t be! I can see SO MANY lessons in duties as a wife and mother that can transpose themselves into our everyday lives, even away from our families! I’m so glad that you are adding ammunition to your warehouse well ahead of time to use when the time comes. Less heartache is sure to follow you if you already know the path that you should take, am I right?
In the two chapters that we study this week, we seek to add a fun aspect to mothering, making the order and obedience less of a chore and more of a treat! Since the day that Hattie was born, I have made it a point to never allow myself to be a “grocery store mom”. What does that mean? It mean that I avoid being that mom that you see pushing a buggy with a toddler who is yelping, or grabbing at items on shelves and instead of calmly correcting or shushing them, groans in frustration and slaps or chastises them. I make it a point to go to the store when Hattie is fresh rather than exhausted or hungry. If she misbehaves or screeches, it is usually because I have averted my attention from her, and a quick kiss or song does wonders for her disposition. Loosing my patience fixes nothing for either of us, so working on maintaining that mental balance is very important! Leave a stressful situation before acting unjust! You will never regret it! I had a young women who is mother to a child a bit younger than Hattie ask me, “Is it fun yet?” It broke my heart to nod yes in response when all I wanted to say was, “It’s always been fun”. I know that every situation is different and every child is unique, but isn’t motherhood supposed to be one of the gems in life? I truly believe that fun is the foundation of a prosperous home. I’m so glad that our author does too!
I adored the poem in the first chapter about having a mother who prays. An old favorite song of mine is called “The Wings of Mama’s Prayers” by Jeff Bates (I used to belt it out at the top of my lungs while cleaning my Dad’s truck every Saturday morning). I wholeheartedly believe that God smiles down on praying mothers. He intends for us to pray for the little blessings that entrusts us with, and rejoices when we act according to his will-by praying. How much better are our days when we begin them by praying for our children? We are drawn to love them so much more, and we cast our worries up to the Lord before the day even begins, so that we don’t have to waste time worrying about them throughout the day. When Hattie peeps up from her crib in the morning, even if she slept terribly the night before, I smile all the way down the hall, anticipating her bright smile and wet smackaroo!
Isn’t it exhausting thinking about all of the duties required of a Godly mother, wife, and woman? My dear friend Katie, who I’ve mentioned before smiled one day as she told me how our household chores are considered a ministry in God’s eyes-a ministry within our own homes. She gave me a refreshing perspective when she advised me in saying, “When the clothes pile up and you’re starting the dryer at 11:30, just smile and know that it’s pleasing to the Lord”.
How true are the words of Elisabeth Elliot when she says that we create the atmosphere of the home with our attitude. Think about it, in my home, if I were to be in a rotten mood throughout the day, it would reflect in my daughter’s demeanor once my husband arrived home after work, and eventually in his. We would all be miserable to be in the same house together! We all have our bad days, I just make it a point to pray harder and stop what I am doing, correcting my mindset, until I can refocus and energize myself to restart my day and my heart! Put the chores, your work, your errands, and your phone calls aside until you can find your peace. It will be worth it in the end when your words and thoughts don’t seem so sour anymore.
I think that the author did an amazing job compiling the list of “how” to be an affectionate mother. It is completely relational with our list on how to be better wives, and also, how to be better Christians. The pattern of devotion and love isn’t something coincidental-it is how God intended love to be expressed. Love to our neighbor, love to a stranger, love to an enemy, love to our friends, and love to our family may all have varying degrees of intensity, but the underlying principals are the same. Don’t be surprised to see every aspect of your life sweetening up as you work on one. Emotions aren’t wired separately in our hearts-everything is connected, and thank goodness for that!
1. Readings: Chapter 11 and 12 of our book (Pages 137-153): A Heart Overflowing with Motherly Affection Parts 1 and 2.
2. Activity: Plan a fun afternoon or breakfast, or evening with your children. Childless? Invest in someone else’s child this week. Children are not only influenced by their parents, but from outside sources as well. Aunts, friends, babysitters, and teachers all play supremely important roles in the lives of little sponges, and should be well aware of this! Plan a fun lunch, make them a treat, or roll around on the floor with them until you’re blue in the face. Get down on their level and enjoy the time with them as much as they do with you. Put your phone aside and give them your full attention. The reciprocated love that you will see in their eyes will be addicting. Watch out if you catch baby fever easily! This activity may be terrible for you!
And while you’re at it, please water your plant too this week
3. Verse for memorization: 2 Corinthians 9:6
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
(NKJV-New King James Version)
Download for picture is here
I love this verse. I love that by the end of this week, all of you will have it tucked away in your hearts, ready to pull it out at any given moment to remind yourself or an acquaintance of its meaning in your life. Investing. It is everything. This verse plays a key role in nearly every situation that we encounter. What you invest is what you will gain. It’s the method of life. You give, and you get, but never more than you gave. Give to your children. Give your whole heart, and your whole attention, and your whole effort, and your whole smile, and your whole storybook voice, and your whole ring around the rosy until your tailbone falls off, and your whole chef, and your whole puzzle fixing partner. Give it all, everyday, all day. Give it all, and get it all, and then some.
Feel free to tell us all about the special fun that you planned this week with a little being!
I am always available for questions, whether through email, or through the comments below. Happy studying!