Are you a mama who needs a little encouragement?
We’ve all been there, at times. During my mothering career we have experienced major surgeries, unemployment, funerals. We’ve had school subjects we hated and challenging experiences with friends. On the other hand, we’ve also had great joy, amazing job provision, answered prayers, spiritual growth as individuals and as a family, and fun trips. Through all of these I’ve seen my own trust in God and His hand on my journey in places both strong and shaky.
How does one stay encouraged during times that are good or hard? I have to admit that during our family’s last period of trial, my faith was shaken to a degree I’d never imagined was possible. But after years of struggle I actually began to believe my own experiences over the truth of God’s Word. I have to admit, that was horrible! But God really is faithful. He has shown me some things that I am really valuing and wanting to hold on to. I want to be an encouraged mama. Here are some things that are moving me more in that direction! (Plus, at the end of this post, I have a little giveaway to bless one reader with—some pretty little things that I hope will be an encouragement!)
This Beth Moore Bible study almost jumped into my hand one day at the bookstore! I had just been noticing, after that long time of trial, how very devoid of the fruits of the Spirit I had become. I really was missing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control. Not that those qualities NEVER were evident in me; but they certainly didn’t seem to be the overriding foundation of my personality anymore. How was I going to get back to the place where those were really part of me?
Ta-da! One afternoon, we decided to go to Family Christian Store, which was having a B1G1 50% off sale on books. The three of us wandered around and I started looking at women’s Bible studies. And there it was. A Bible study (which I love) by fellow Texan Beth Moore (whom I also love) on the very topic my heart was crying out for. It truly has been the very thing I needed at this moment.
Maybe the fruits of the Spirit aren’t what you are looking for right now…but there are so many other amazing women’s Bible studies out there. See if you can find something that is speaking to your heart. God’s Word does accomplish so much in us—and it is the only “thing,” apart from people (who aren’t things) that really does last forever. Isaiah 40:8 reminds us of that: “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
All right. I know that I just said that “things” don’t last forever. I know that. But maybe because I really adore teaching art, I find great pleasure in looking at and enjoying beautiful art. A lovely painting; an unusual sculpture; even architecture. (Though I’ve never been to England, I love looking at London’s skyline. It’s just breathtaking.)
Beautiful art speaks to my heart and soul in ways that they actually need. I don’t know why. But I know that this experience is rich, soothing, wonderful to me.
There are so many awe-inspiring things in nature. And it doesn’t have to only be the Grand Canyon or the Pacific Ocean (though those are both incredible!). What about flowers? Cattails? A snowy meadow? A hummingbird? All of these, and more, encourage me and remind me of God’s careful handcrafting for us of “all good things for us to enjoy.”
The common denominator
I realize that the three things I’ve listed that build me up and encourage me all have one thing in common; taking a moment to rest. You can’t really do Bible study while you’re vacuuming; or watch a hummingbird while you’re going to the grocery store; or look at art while you’re teaching phonics. But each one of these doesn’t take hours to do; really, if you can just take a moment they can truly rest your soul. And of course you can take your children with you to the art museum, or to the park or backyard to look at nature. And think of this; if you’re doing these together with your children you’re not just having a sweet moment with them (which is pretty special and important). No, you’re modeling and teaching for them that you CAN take a moment to rest.
That’s not only important for us…but for them as well. We can all use a bit of that in our culture, can’t we?
Finch and I have a sweet giveaway to encourage one special mama. Just enter the Giveaway Tools entry form below. One person will win the following:
- A handmade card from Paper Doll Greetings
- A handmade mini-journal from Paper Doll Greetings
- A delicate blue stone bracelet
Today is the last day of the Crew’s “5 Days of Homeschool 101” Blog Hop. Be sure to check out some of the amazing blog posts on encouragement shared by these wonderful bloggers!