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Friday, January 06, 2006

Encouragement for (Weary) Moms

I just finished listening to Carolyn Mahaney's talk entitled "The Lord is in Your Boat" (click on the link to download and listen). This is encouragement for moms with young children. I needed this talk.

We had a very rough Christmas and New Year. We got sick two days before Christmas and the virus eventually spread to every member of the family and lingered on for two weeks. It was very hard dealing with my own illness while trying to take care of my whiny, coughing, and snotty kids. To top it off, we got extremely discouraged when others questioned our having more kids (or as many as we have: three under 4yo and one in the oven). After all, with more kids in tow, when one kid gets sick, the illness lasts longer because it gets spread to every member like it did for us. It also translates to more work for the parents, not to mention increased exhaustion, fatigue, and lack of sleep. The truth is, parents of young, healthy children experience all of these difficulties, but when kids are sick, the level of fatigue goes up a couple notches. Our tired bodies and dejected spirits were not met with many encouragements but rather comments that seemed to undermine our morale. Perhaps this was good because it forced us to be more reliant on the Lord instead of on ourselves and others.

I really appreciate Carolyn Mahaney's talk. Sometimes the daily grind and the mundaneness of caring for young children do get to us. We do have meltdowns from time to time. Carolyn calls these "storms" in our lives. She calls us to rely on the Lord and to put our faith in Him. Here are just some of her quotes from the message:
Every time we exercise our faith, our faith grows stronger. This is why God allows storms to come into our lives. They all arrive with a very specific purpose.

Every storm is a divine catalyst to teach us about God and to strengthen our faith. In other words, storms help us grow. Kent Hughes notes that this is a vital principle of spiritual life. Without difficulties, trials, stresses, and even failures, we will never grow to be what we should become. Storms are part of the process of spiritual growth.

Next time you find yourself in the midst of the storm, remember that the Lord Himself is in your boat. He's upholding you by His great power. He's also strengthening your faith.
This encourages me because the difficulties I go through each day are not purposeless. I certainly was made to feel I'm a sucker for pain by having so many kids. So what's the purpose? It's for strengthening my faith and it's for my spiritual growth. And ultimately, therefore, for His glory.

To all the moms out there, carve some time out to listen to this message and be encouraged.