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Posts Tagged ‘mother’

I’m a mom and a grandmother (Jeedoo is my grandmother name.)  And all you young moms, I know how weary you can be.  But I tell you, I am weary too–and it has to do with the lifelong nature of motherhood.  So I am thrilled to tell you about a wonderful little resource:  Hope for the Weary Mom by Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin.  Here’s an offer you can’t refuse.

Do you know what is powerful?

Hope.

“Hope” is the kind of word that makes us close our eyes and think ,“I could use a little bit of that tossed my way.” We need it in the morning when we stir our coffee and we need it as we lay our heads down on our pillows at night to drift off to sleep.

I know a thing or two about needing hope.  Last year I was buried by the task of mothering my four girls. I decided to pour out my heart in a blog post called, “Steve Jobs, Me, and Being Fresh out of Amazing.”  In it I said:

“I’ve pretty much fallen short in every category. I am tired and not really good for much right now. The trouble is, Lord, I need to be amazing and I’m fresh out of amazing. At least it sure feels that way. Lord, I’m dry. Empty. Hit the wall. I got nothing.”

To my surprise this blog post resonated with women. Out of it grew a blog series with my friend Brooke McGlothlin and from that a tiny e-book called “Hope for the Weary Mom” was born. Along the way we found thousands of other moms who said, “I could have written this book.”  The only complaint we received about the e-book was that I wasn’t long enough.  So we decided to expand the original e-book by 50%, add new chapters, resources and a Q&A section. The newly expanded e-book released yesterday on Amazon.

Brooke and I are just two weary moms who met God in the middle of our messy lives and found each other. We are pulling back the veil, sharing real stories from our lives and pointing women to the only source of true hope, Jesus.

Our desire is that every mom who needs it will be able to pick up this new book. We are offering “Hope” today (10/24/2012) free for Kindle readers through Amazon. We actually opened up the free offer yesterday and saw the neatest thing happen. Hope began to spread.

We are trusting God with this message. Hope has always been His idea. He is the one who chose to write the story through us. We are humbled to be used by Him in this way.

You can find your free copy of “Hope for the Weary Mom” here.

While you are at it, why not send it for free to a friend? All you need is her email address to send it.

“See, hope is not a wish or a sprinkle of magical fairy dust. Hope is a person. Hope comes with flesh and blood in Jesus. When I call to Him, He comes quickly,” P.22

Let’s share Hope today and watch what happens.

Stacey is Mikes’s wife and the mother of four vibrant girls. She is a believer and writer who loves God’s Word and connecting with women. You can find her blogging at 29lincoln Avenue and on Facebook and Twitter where she usually hangs out with a cup of coffee in her hand.

Stacey Thacker

blog :: 29lincolnavenue.com

:: a place to grow, connect and encourage hearts

twitter :: stacey@29lincoln

my ebook:  Hope for the Weary Mom is now available on Amazon

:: get my newest resource “What God Wants You to Know” free.

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I am a word geek.  I love words.  I can’t remember when I didn’t love words.  Word games.  Crossword puzzles.  Plays on words.  Silly rhymes.  I’ve met very few words I don’t like.

But there are so many words I love! These are just a few of them.

 

Family words

The first is surely my name.  Judy.  My family all just called me Judy.   No nicknames—that I know of.  And my husband always calls me Judy.  I use lots of endearing words for him, but he sticks to my name.  We all love to hear our name—it says we are known, accepted, maybe even treasured.

Oh how I love the word Mom.  My children use all variations (American versions): Mother, Mom, Mama, Mommy.  I answer to all.

And now my grandchildren have given me another wonderful name:  Jeedoo.  Music to a grandmother’s ears:  Jeedoo, tell us a story.

Sisters—I have three of them.  We are so different, but we enjoy each other.  We are about to embark on our biannual get together, this time in North Carolina.  When our mother died, we decided that, unless we were intentional, we might never see each other again.  So first we did Texas, then Colorado.  It’s good to make time for sisters.

Relationship words

Every parent spends years teaching children to say Please and Thank you.  Those little ones do it out of obedience, then habit.  And hopefully at some point from the heart, realizing that these polite words show respect to others.

Good job!  We love to hear that—especially from someone whose opinion matters.  When a parent or a teacher or a coach or a boss truthfully says these affirming words, we gain new confidence.  We believe we can do more, even anything we try.

I’m sorry and I forgive you, unfortunately, are often needed but too seldom heard.  But regret and sorrow for words or actions, when expressed sincerely, pave the way for healing and restoration.

I love you.  Oh the magic words!  Given to a child, offered to a friend, whispered to a lover.  Few words, genuinely spoken, bring more joy, hope, affirmation, contentment.  Surely we can say it more than we do. One of my greatest gifts is a husband who tells me he loves me many times a day.

God words

God is also very fond of words.  He spoke and the worlds were formed.  He wrote thousands of words in the Scriptures.  And He sent Jesus as the Word made flesh.

One of my favorite words from God is love.  His Word is filled with this word.  Over and over He declares His love for you and for me.  Then he proves it!  What amazing love!

Truth.  God’s love requires that He tell us the truth.  Sometimes that truth is uncomfortable, even unwanted.  But He assures us that His truth will set us free.

A God word I couldn’t live without is mercy.  I thought I would be further along by now, and maybe my sins aren’t so “big” as they once were.  But there they are,  day by day, reminding me of mercy purchased at such a high price.

And my favorite God word?  Surely it is grace.  The extravagant gift God lavishes on us, undeserved, abundant, even scandalous—I am so grateful.

Of course there are so many more.  Let me close with three more of my favorite words:  God bless you!

What about you?  What are some of your favorite words?

C2012 Judy Douglass

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It was joy for this mother’s heart!  My younger daughter, Michelle, opening gifts at a shower for her first baby.  My older daughter, Debbie, mother of three boys, warmly giving words of wisdom for her sister.

And words of wisdom for the rest of us.  Here are a few of the thoughts Debbie shared with Michelle:

This child will grow in many ways over the next year/years.  You will not automatically become a selfless, joyful mother.  It will be years of becoming.  You will daily be given a choice to fully embrace this gift by giving fully of yourself in order to be filled again by the Lord.  Or you can daily move backwards in selfish frustration. (This is a choice everyone faces, not just mothers.)

Some pathways to selflessness, still being learned 6 ½ years in:

Prayer—seeking time alone when possible, praying often–especially in the crazy times.

Thanksgiving—seeing each child, each event as a gift, and giving thanks as an act of worship.

Joy—making music in my heart, laughing, singing, playing, having fun with my children

Not only do you get to raise a child in the Lord and get to be transformed to be more like the Lord, but in a way that is a mystery to me, you are bringing glory to God.

Debbie really touched and challenged me with this poem from Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard:

Song of the Water

Come, oh come, let us away—lower, lower every day

Oh, what joy it is to race, to find the lowest place

This the dearest law we know—“It is happy to go low.”

Sweetest urge and sweetest will, “Let’s go down lower still.”

Hear the summons night and day, calling us to come away.

From the heights we leap and flow, to the valleys down below.

Always answering to the call, to the lowest place of all.

Sweetest urge and sweetest pain, to go low and rise again.

That’s what being a mother calls for all the time—going without sleep, getting the last of dinner, foregoing my plans to be part of their plans,  giving up my time to read a book to a child.  It’s about sacrifice, unselfishness.  It’s about going low.

And that’s also the life Christ lived and called us to:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

 

What about you?  What has helped you to “go low”?

C2012 Judy Douglass

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Mary Lee Bright

I had the great privilege of writing and editing with Bill Bright for 14 years.  One my favorite articles of his was one about the three people who had influenced him the most in life:  his mother, a single church leader/educator and his wife, Vonette.  I am going to let him tell you about each one over the next few weeks.

Last week I posted some of his perspective on Jesus’ view of women.  This week we discover how his mother, Mary Lee Bright, had great impact on him.  Elsewhere he has written that he attributes his finally coming to Christ to his mother’s persistent prayers.

The first of the three women [who greatly influenced my life]was my mother.  I remember her reading to our family gathered around the fire when we were snowbound at the ranch where I grew up.  She was familiar with the classics and, as we sat eating popcorn, she read to us.  With seven children in the family, there was always a book report due from one of us for school, so we all benefited year-round from her reading.

But I gained much more than an appreciation for good books from my mother.  She modeled authentic Christianity before me in dozens of ways.  Although we rose early to begin our dawn-to-dusk hard work on the ranch, my mother was always up before the rest of the family, reading the Bible and praying.  I remember her softly humming hymns of worship to the Lord all day long, and after the rest of us had gone to bed, she would again read her Bible and pray.

At the time I supposed all mothers were like that.  It never occurred to me that mine was unusual.  Now, of course, I realize that she was truly one of God’s choicest servants.

Bill Bright with his mother and father

Among the many lessons I learned from her were the importance of hard work, a gracious spirit, humility and unselfishly looking after the needs of others.  Even though our nearest neighbor was at least a half mile away and others even farther, my mother was always there when a neighbor was ill or hurting.

She also had a great love for her family.  We never felt that she singled any of us out as her favorites, but we felt as though we were all her favorites.

We lived about five miles from the nearest community, so I had quite a walk home after athletic practice or school plays.  Frequently my mother would meet me about a mile or two from home and we would walk back to the house together, talking about whatever was on my mind.

My mother had a profound spiritual influence on my life.  She dedicated me to the Lord before I was born, and her prayers, enhanced by her godly lifestyle, undergirded me daily for the next 62 years, until her death in December, 1983.

Next week we will learn how Dr. Henrietta Mears had significant impact on Bill Bright’s life.

c1987 CCCI

What about you?  How did your mother influence you?  As a parent, how are you impacting your children?

<  Jesus’ View of Women   Dr. Henrietta Mears  >   Vonette Bright  >>

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As parents we have responsibility to love and nurture and provide and teach and train our children to become responsible, moral, hardworking, creative, authentic adults and contributors to society.  Most of us try to do something like that, with varying degrees of competency and success.

But I’ve found that God seems to have an equally important role for our children in our lives.  I will try to share a few of the things my kids have taught me.  I’ll start with #1 child, Debbie.

Debbie

Before Debbie was born, I was a magazine editor.  I was totally enmeshed in producing that wonderful publication.  I loved that we had a specific schedule for each month, week, day.  The magazine was so compliant.  Every month it came out on time and it was beautiful.

I stepped away from that responsibility shortly before my lovely daughter was born.  It occurred to me I would need to learn to be a little more flexible about my schedule.  But I read all the books, and I was pretty sure I could get Debbie on a good routine.

Surprise!  Debbie had colic.  Not the evening kind.  Or the afternoon and evening kind.  The all day and night kind.  Her tummy hurt.  She cried.  And cried.  And cried.

And she didn’t sleep.  A few hours each night—maybe 5-6.  But that was it.  No naps.  I read that “your baby will cut back to 14-16 hours of sleep, then 12-14.”  How about 5-6?

My day went like this:  Up by 5 or 6 with a screaming baby.  An hour of nursing (no crying then).  A few minutes of peace—quick put some clothes on.  Then carry her, entertain her, sing to her, anything to get her not to cry until the 2-hour mark when I could feed her again.  Repeat.  Until midnight.

For four months.

I cried almost as much as Debbie did.  I was sure I would never be rested again, never clean and dressed and presentable again, and for sure I would never be in control of my life again.

“Lord,” I said desperately, “this is not working.  I am no good at this mothering thing.  I am not the right mother for this child.”

He was very gentle in His reply:  “Oh Judy, you are exactly right for Debbie—the one I created and chose to love and nurture and comfort her in her great discomfort.

“But she is also just right for you.  I created her to help you learn some important lessons:  People are not magazines.   You are not in control.  Things will not happen according to your schedule.  You need to learn to let go, to flex, to relax.”

“But I don’t like not being in control.”

“Exactly.”

Then:  “Judy, I am in control.  I know much better than you the what and when and how for your life—and for Debbie’s.  Rest in Me.  You won’t be disappointed.

“My plan and schedule and timing are perfect.”

I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swiftly.(Isaiah 60:22)

More from “What I Learned from My Children” series:

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