November 13, 2008

Failure and Proud of It!

Posted in MOPS tagged , , at 4:17 pm by timin525

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

As I read the introductory paragraph to chapter 4 of the mommy diaries, the above passage came to mind. As moms we tend to think we can do it all on our own. Many of us are old pros (or so we think) at multi-tasking. We can feed the baby, talk on the phone, unload the dishwasher, cook dinner and kiss the hubby as he walks in the door from work – all at the same time! But when we take the time to look around we realize the baby has been drinking spoiled milk from an old sippy cup, the ingredients needed for dinner are not in the pantry, the dishes in the dishwasher had NOT been cleaned before they were unloaded, the phone is no where to be found (maybe look in the refrigerator), and hubby feels a little dejected – all while multi-tasking. We need HELP!

Now I am not one to think that mothers of preschoolers have the hardest job around. I actually tend to think my job is easy compared to what most people do each day. But I will say that the job of mothering is more difficult than others in the sense that we are on our own most of every day, most days of the week. We don’t have the office staff to back us up when things go wrong in the kitchen or the bathroom or the grocery store or the…you get the picture. We need the help of others to succeed at mothering, just like any other job.

That is why we must not lose the truth found in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. We cannot succeed as mothers unless we rely on God as our source of strength. We were not designed to do this, or any job for that matter, on our own. When we are weak and admit that we cannot do it all, when we fail and cry out to God for help getting through the next day, we are allowing God the opportunity to do and be who He is.  It is at that moment of surrender that we are actually our strongest.  Christ’s power will rest on us in our weakest moments.

If we take this a step further, as Paul does, we can even boast in our short comings as mothers! This may come second nature to most of us. As mentioned above, we tend to try to do it all on our own. We don’t like to admit that we need help. We consider ourselves failures if we can’t do it all and are afraid that others will think us failures. But Paul says, and I paraphrase, “hey, I am a failure and I am proud of it, because it gives Christ a chance to show me and others who He is and what He can do, despite my problems!” I like his attitude, don’t you? A huge weight lifted off my shoulders even as I typed.

So moms, don’t you think it’s about time we stopped pretending we can do it on our own?! We need help! Desperately! And Christ is waiting for the opportunity to show us His power and ability to manage our lives. Why don’t we let Him? Then we’ll actually have a chance of succeeding at this adventure in mothering. “When I am weak, then I am strong.”

 

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October 9, 2008

MOPS Devotional – Identity

Posted in MOPS tagged , at 2:17 am by timin525

Our True Identity in Christ

As moms we can get so caught up in the simple tasks of getting through each day. We wake,  change diapers, help go potty, make food, feed food, clean up food, dress, bathe, do laundry, clean house, play, discipline, drive, help, protect, teach, love, hug, kiss, and we do it over and over and over again. Not one of us would choose to do it any other way. But after doing the same thing day in and day out, we tend to define who we are by what we do. Thankfully, though, the Bible tells us that in Christ we are much more than the tasks we perform. As we think about who we are in preparation for this month’s discussion, let’s take a look at who we are in Christ.

Rom 3:24 – We are justified (not guilty of sin)

Rom 8:1 – No condemnation awaits us

Rom 8:2 – We are set free from the law of sin and death

1 Cor 1:2 – We are sanctified and made acceptable in Jesus

1 Cor 1:30 – We are righteous and holy in Christ

1 Cor 15:22 – We will be made alive at the resurrection

2 Cor 5:17 – We are a new creation

2 Cor 5:21 – We receive God’s righteousness

Gal 3:28 – We are one in Christ with all other believers

Eph 1:3 – We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ

Eph 1:4 – We are holy, blameless, and covered with God’s love

Eph 1:5, 6 – We are adopted as God’s children

Eph 1:7 – Our sins are taken away, and we are forgiven

Eph 1:10, 11 – We will be brought under Christ’s headship

Eph 1:13 – We are marked as belonging to God by the Holy Spirit

Eph 2:6 – We have been raised up to sit with Christ in glory

Eph 2:10 – We are God’s work of art

Eph 2:13 – We have been brought near to God

Eph 3:6 – We share in the promise of Christ

Eph 3:12 – We can come with freedom and confidence into God’s presence

Eph 5:29, 30 – We are members of Christ’s body, the church

Col 2:10 – We have been given fullness in Christ

Col 2:11 – We are set free from our sinful nature

2 Tim 2:10 – We will have eternal glory

(list taken from the NIV Life Application Study Bible)

Oh, isn’t it a relief that God does not define who we are by what we do? He defines who we are by what His Son did for us on the cross! Our identity is not dependent upon a clean house or obedient kids. Pheww! Our identity should be wrapped up in the free gift of salvation rather than our accomplishments as mothers. Take some time in the next few days meditating on the truth of who we are in Christ.

September 11, 2008

MOPS Devotional

Posted in MOPS tagged , , , , at 2:51 pm by timin525

And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:18-19

If you are anything like me, you are probably wondering what this verse means and how it applies to the 2008-09 MOPS Theme: Adventures in Mothering. Does it mean that God’s love is like a roller coaster? Of course not! Does it mean that God’s love will guide us as we navigate the ups and downs, bumps and bruises, and ins and outs of mothering? Well, we are getting closer, but I am still not convinced.

Let’s take a look at what the verse actually says. If you read the verses leading up to verse 18 we see that this “power to grasp” comes from God Himself, through His Spirit. God gives us the power to know Christ’s love – His big, immeasurable love that “surpasses knowledge.” But why does He want us and even empower us to know the hugeness of His love? The end of verse 19 tells us – so that we can be filled to the fullest extent with God himself!

These verses are not about how God can help us. They are about GOD and how we can be more like His Son Jesus Christ! And when we become more Christ-like, we naturally will be better mothers, wives, church leaders, neighbors, and business women. When we become more like Christ, we will be better equipped to respond to life’s challenges, the roller coasters and bumper cars of life. When the highs and lows come our way, we will be so filled to the brim with Christ and His love that HE (not we) will overflow into the situation.

So this is my prayer for us, MOPS moms of 2008-09: that we “may have the power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

August 22, 2008

Random, Sleepless Thoughts

Posted in Random Thoughts tagged , at 3:03 pm by timin525

I couldn’t sleep lasnight. I tossed and turned for a little over an hour before I decided to get up and do something productive with my sleeplessness.

While I was flipping over in bed I started to brainstorm for the next MOPS newsletter.                                 www.mops.org

I didn’t get very far, but I will share what I came up with.  

You know you are a frugal mom when you:

1) feel wasteful if you throw the toothpaste out before you have scraped the inside of the tube.

2) make your husband take the kids’ leftovers from dinner to work the next day. 

3) eat the kids’ pb&j scraps before you make yourself a sandwich.

4) save left over drinking water to water the house plants.

And then I got writer’s block. That is when I gave up on sleep and got up to read. Reading always makes me sleepy and I am surprised I lasted as long as I did. I actually finished a book that I have been trying to finish for at least 6 months. It is called Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper.  www.desiringGod.org

There are so many quotable lines in this book, but I will only share a few that jumped out at me as I read lastnight. 

“It is true that God can be known and enjoyed in every legitimate vocation; but when he deploys you from one place to the next, he offers fresh and deeper drinking at the fountain of his fellowship. God seldom calls us to an easier life, but always calls us to know more of him and drink more deeply of his sustaining grace.”

Piper quoting J. Campbell White – “Most men are not satisfied with the permanent outcome of their lives. Nothing can wholly satisfy the life of Christ within his followers except the adoption of Christ’s purpose toward the world he came to redeem. Fame, pleasure and riches are but husks and ashes in contrast with the  boundless and abiding joy of working with God for the fulfillment of his eternal plans. The men who are putting everything into Christ’s undertaking are getting out of life its sweetest and most priceless rewards.”

These quotes pretty much speak for themselves. This book has been a challenging read, in that it really puts into perspective the things of this world versus the things that will last. For which do we work so hard day in and day out? Will it all just fade away in the end or does our work have a lasting purpose? An everlasting purpose?

With that, I began to feel sleepy and went to bed.