Monthly Archives: January 2012

Ask the MOMS- What Can I Do to Prepare for Motherhood?

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Ask the MOMS

These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.  Titus 2:4-5 NLT

We MOMS cringe at the thought of being “the older women”, but we do find beauty in the culture the LORD ordained of mentorship of women throughout the generations.  There are many women who have come before us who have guided us through the early stages of parenting.  Now that we have a few years under our belt, we carry on the tradition of “training the younger women”.
We received the following e-mail from one of our readers who is not a mother but hopes to be some day:

My husband and I have been married for 3 years. A while ago, I imagined us wanting to have children by now. However, we have recently moved to China to teach at an international school. This throws our previous “plan” out the window, and now we will probably be waiting at least 2 more years before we think about trying to have a baby. We are fine with this decision and feel like it is wise to first transition into our new lifestyle before we add to our family. My question for you is: What can I do to prepare for motherhood? What do you wish you knew before you had children? A part of me always wanted to be a mom, and now a part of me loves the quiet life we currently have. Once I’m a mom, I can’t go back, and I think at this stage, that’s a little frightening. Granted, I don’t know what God has for us, but if children are in His plan for us, I’d like to be spiritually and mentally ready. Do you ever feel like you are “ready” to be a mom? Continue reading

A Spicy Way to Share.

“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”     Romans 12:13

By: Melissa Pope

Here is a delicious recipe for cookies. My sister shared it with me a while back.

Ginger Softs
1/4 c shortening
2 c sugar
4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cloves
2 eggs
4 c flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1/2 c molasses
1/2 tsp salt

Cream moist ingredients. Add sugar and mix. Mix dry ingredients together, then add to moist mixture. Dollop dough onto cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Makes 4 dozen.

Hospitality

“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”     Romans 12:13

By: Melissa Pope

My older girls participate on the Children’s Bible Quiz team at our church. Romans 12:13 is a verse they have memorized. To make each year’s 20+ verses easier to memorize Davonne Lee has set them to music (http://www.hideandkeep.com/). I have many of their verses memorized because of the catchy tunes.

Back to hospitality… I remember a Kay Arthur Bible study years ago that briefly dealt with hospitality. If I recall correctly, it is intended to be a gift that EVERYONE has. There are so many different and unique spiritual gifts God gives us. If we all have to have one gift in common, then hospitality is a great one to have!

Does hospitality mean inviting people to your house for dinner? I hope not. With three kids and a busy schedule I certainly fall short of that definition. Www.dictionary.com defines it this way:
hos•pi•tal•i•ty [hos-pi-tal-i-tee]
noun
1. the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.
2. the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.
Synonyms – warmth, cordiality, geniality, friendliness.

As I go about my busy life, it’s easy to question what God’s purpose for me might be. I know raising children is a very important purpose, but is there something else? If I’ve been given the gift of hospitality, shouldn’t I use it? Have you thought about the people you encounter in your everyday life? How can you be hospitable to the clerk at the store? Your mail carrier? The attendant at the gas station? Are you hospitable to the person who checks you in at the doctor’s office? Do you treat the people greeter at Wal-Mart hospitably?

It’s important for our children to learn hospitality (and its companion thankfulness) from watching and listening to us. So share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality (Rom. 12:13).

Perspectives

“Then God said, ‘Shall I keep back from Abraham what I’m about to do? Abraham is going to become a large and strong nation; all the nations of the world are going to find themselves blessed through him.'”  Genesis 18:17-18 (The Message) 

Last winter and spring my husband and I took a class that literally changed the trajectory of our lives. We’ve taken classes that have impacted how we relate to one another, how we spend (or don’t spend) our money, and how we parent our children. But the change in perspective that resulted from this class is going to impact every aspect of our life. And that is why I want to highly recommend the class to you.

Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is actually starting up this week across the nation. It is typically offered in churches and on college campuses. It’s a 15 week, intensive class that features 15 different speakers who each have a unique and exciting story to share about the history, the purpose, the strategy, the current movement and their personal involvement in God’s desire to spread His blessings to the nations. I love this explanation from the Persectives website:

“YOU HAVE AN EPIC ROLE TO PLAY. Get threaded into the biggest story of all time. You’re about to experience God’s heart for all peoples and encounter the momentum of the World Christian Movement. Perspectives will open the eyes of your heart with fresh knowledge and understanding of God’s unchanging purposes and why they’re relevant to your life.”

Whether God uses it to call you to the mission field, inspires you to pray and give more, or just introduces you to a concept that you’ve never thought about before (God’s heart for the nations) that is between you and God. Whether you’re a missionary on the field, a mature and seasoned disciple of Christ, a recent follower of Christ or don’t even know Christ, I encourage you to take the class. It will challenge and stimulate your thinking in ways you haven’t experienced before.

More than anything, this class forever changes your perspective in a positive way. I don’t know about you, but I want to be a part of something that matters. Something that moves people and ignites passion and purpose for living. I think God’s heart for the nations and His desire to make me a part of His story is that something. I pray you find it to be the same!

For more information or to register for a class, check out the Perspectives website.

Sail Away, Sail Away, Sail Away….

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

By: Kerri Young

This last week my husband and I were in Florida (see here if you want to know why) and I heard a great analogy. The analogy was this: as people we can be speedboats or sailboats. Speedboats, as one might guess, motor through life at full throttle ready to get to what’s just around the bend on their own power, sometimes at the expense of the scenery and their sanity. Sailboats take life a little differently, alternating back and forth between the thrill of the wind in the sails and the luxury of a somewhat more relaxed pace, all the while trusting the wind will get them where they need to go.

Are you a speedboat or a sailboat? I think in a lot of ways I can be all speedboat. I want to get there yesterday. And I can get so wrapped up in looking toward what’s next that I forget about what God is doing today. It’s so easy to spend our time anticipating the next big event—marriage, graduation, baby’s arrival, baby’s first steps, the day you have no more diapers to change, the Holidays, the long-awaited vacation, even girl’s night out—that we miss what’s right under our nose….

From quiet, undivided times with our Savior in the midst of singlehood and sweet moments of anticipation and awe during pregnancy, to blowing raspberries on soft bellies after changing a diaper and falling instantly into deep sleep the moment your head touches the pillow because of the sheer exhaustion of mothering, each season is full of blessings if we can only slow down enough to recognize and treasure them.

The other way in which I can be a speedboat is that I can tend to depend on my own power to get where I want to go instead of depending on the Source to carry me there. The fact is, even when they don’t agree with when or how I would choose, God’s timing is perfect and His plan is better. He can see the big picture. He knows what I need to take in and experience along the way so I am equipped for what’s next. He understands what I can handle. When I try to motor through on my own strength I get worn out because life doesn’t always go the way I want it to no matter how much I’ve planned.

Unlike us, children are so good at being sailboats, aren’t they? They can find delight in the simplest things. They have no concept of time, except that it passes. They also don’t feel the need to spend hours worrying about the plan when it changes or doesn’t go their way. They might be disappointed, but they just trust and move on. No stress, no futile attempts to control something they can’t. Just a wide-eyed view of the world and all it holds. I want to be more like my kiddos in that sense.

So, in light of all the exciting changes coming down the pike for my family in the future, I have decided to embrace today.  Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, anyway. I want to turn my speedboat motor off this year in order to engage in each moment, because I can’t ever have it back. I’m also going to rest in God’s timing and power. No amount of man-made struggling is going to get us gone any faster. God is stronger and will get us where we need to be when we need to be there.

Yes, I am excited about what God is going to do, but I also want to praise Him for what He is already doing and be fully present here and now. I challenge you to do the same. Let’s be sailboats together. I can’t wait to read about what you see and experience and how God is shaping you along the way! (Be sure and share!) =)