7 Ways Your Family Can Choose to Serve the Lord

serving the LordAs a parent, I strive each day to lead my family in their faith journey and teach them about serving the Lord.  But I’ll be honest….it’s rather difficult.  There are days when I feel like I’m doing a pretty good job and other days when I stink at it.

Yet there is one thing I will not do.

Give up.

I refuse to allow the Enemy to keep me and my family from serving the Lord.  I refuse to stop teaching my kids about Jesus.  I refuse to throw in the towel when life gets hard.  I want my family to serve the Lord.

Here are seven ways I believe that can help my family and your family in serving the Lord:

 1.  Put God First

Joshua 24:15
This sign hangs in my living room as a reminder to our family that we have chosen to serve the Lord.

Parents, first and foremost, must make a conscious decision to put God first in all they do.  They must decide whom they will serve.  Will they serve the world and all its lies and temptations or will they serve the Lord?  I love what Joshua says in Scripture when he is talking to the Israelites:  “Choose this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15).  Joshua made a decision that day for his family.  A decision that affected not only his life but the life of his family.  And what a wise decision that was.  We as parents must do the same thing for our family.  We must choose to serve God and put Him first in our life.

2.  Go to Church    

The church was established by God.  He asks us to come together to serve and worship Him.  I love the church, but I know there are families who struggle with going to church for many different reasons.  No matter what your reason, I believe it all boils down to number one above…putting God first.  When God is first in your family’s life, you will naturally want to worship Him, learn more about Him and gather with other fellow believers at church.

3.  Show Kindness

When we show kindness to others we are serving the Lord.  Kindness can be sprinkled over others through our words or actions.  Teach your children to share encouraging words to their siblings (sometimes that’s easier said than done).  Encourage your children in their school work and sports.  Smile.  Be positive.  Do a random act of kindness for someone else together as a family.  Show kindness because that’s what Jesus did.

4.  Forgive Each Other

It’s so important to seek forgiveness from your family.  Repent to the Lord, apologize to your family members, and then move on.  Don’t be bitter about the past.  Don’t say you’ll forgive but you’ll never forget.  What good is that?  Don’t let the hurt keep you from loving each other.  God forgives us and so we need to forgive one another.  Serve the Lord by showing the forgiveness He gives to other people.

5.  Pray Together

You’ve probably heard the saying, “A family that prays together, stays together.”  Maybe a little cheesy for you, but I firmly believe this to be true.  We must not only be praying to the Lord in our own personal walk with Him, but we need to be praying together as a family:  in the car, at the dinner table, before your child plays in a game, at bedtime, and even at random times during the day.  When a family comes together for prayer, it is powerful.

6.  Have a Family Devotion

Serving the Lord can be done together as a family when you take the time to learn more about God and His Word.  This can be done at any time, but probably the easiest time to do it is at the dinner table.  While you are eating, open your Bible and share your favorite Scripture or even just one of your favorite Bible stories.  You can also buy a family devotion book and read from it.  Just spend time together as a family learning about the Lord.

7.  Do a Service Project

Find ways that your family can serve the Lord by serving others in your community.  Take a Saturday to do yard work for a neighbor, pick up trash in your local park, pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, make no-sew blankets for kids in the hospital, bake cookies for local law enforcement.  Service projects are a hands-on way for your family to serve the Lord.

This month on my blog, I will be going into greater detail about each of these ways your family can choose to serve the Lord.  So be on the lookout for more on these!

What are some ways your family chooses to serve the Lord?

Book Review & Giveaway! Love Letters from God: Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart

Love Letters from GodDo you need a good book or resource to help teach your young daughter, granddaughter, or niece about the women of the Bible?

I have the perfect book…Love Letters from God:  Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart.  Author Glenys Nellist has written another fabulous book in the Love Letters series (if you have never heard of this series check out Love Letters from God, Little Love Letters from God, and Christmas Love Letters from God).  In this series titled Bible Stories for a Girl’s Heart, Glenys beautifully re-tells the story of fourteen different women of the Bible.  Some of the women include Eve, Miriam, Deborah, Mary (mother of Jesus), Martha, Mary Magdalene and others.  Each story includes a Bible verse for your daughter and a lift-the-flap love letter from God in which she can personalize the letter by writing in her own name.

What makes this book a good resource for that special girl in your life?

As a mother of two girls, I want to teach them that God loves everyone, speaks to everyone, and can use anyone to do His will.  I believe it’s important for them to see how God used women from Bible times to do mighty things for Him.  You don’t have to be special, have a lot of money, be important, or even be popular to be seen, known, loved, or used by God.  God loves everyone and can use anyone to accomplish His perfect will.

My 9-year old daughter and I sat down to read this book together.  As we came to every story, she would tell me whether she knew the story or not.  I was surprised to hear that she did not know several of these women.  My initial thought was, “I need to do a better job of broadening the stories we learn from the Bible!”  But then I thought,  “I can use this book to help me teach her about these amazing women from the Bible!”  Our time together reading this book turned into a special moment for me to share with her and teach her about some pretty cool women in the Bible.

I decided to ask her a few questions about the book.  Here are her responses:

Which of these stories was your favorite and why?   I loved the story of Mary the mother of Jesus because I love to hear about the birth of Jesus. 

Which of the Bible verses that are included in the book was your favorite?  I like the verse that was included in the story of Miriam that was from Isaiah 41:13, “I am the Lord your God.  I take hold of your right hand.  I say to you, ‘Do not be afraid.'”

If you could go back in time and visit one of these women from the Bible, who would you visit and why?  I would like to visit Deborah because she was not afraid.  She was very brave.

As I listened to her responses, I could see there was a theme…do not be afraid.  My child was learning there is no reason to fear in this life.  God gave Deborah strength and courage to defeat Sisera and his army.  He also gave Mary faith and courage as she became the mother of Jesus.  God gave my daughter this special Bible verse from Isaiah that showed her when she gets afraid, all she has to do is remember that He holds her hand and whispers peace to calm her fears.  This makes a mama’s heart smile!

I am excited to announce that Zonderkidz is giving away a free copy of this book!  If you would like to enter the giveaway, please leave a comment on this blog post. A winner will be announced on Monday, April 24th.

**All entrants must live in the United States.  Zonderkidz cannot ship to P.O. Boxes.  You must have a physical address.

If you would like to learn more about the author, Glenys Nellist, and listen to her story of why she wrote this book, click on this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jnsp-OL-WCs&t=14s

Also…

To read more about this book, you can click on this Amazon link:  https://www.amazon.com/Letters-Bible-Stories-Girls-Heart/dp/0310753287/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

I know that special girl in your life will be blessed by this book and I hope you will grab a copy of it!  Thank you, Glenys, for sharing the Word of God with all children!

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30 Ways to Have a Christ-Centered Family Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Christmas is probably my favorite holiday.  I love the atmosphere that Christmas brings; so much joy and cheer.  I love that the Atlanta Christian Radio station plays Christmas music beginning on Thanksgiving Day.  I love to decorate my house and absolutely love Christmas lights!  Christmas is so much fun!

But sometimes my love for this holiday is focused on the wrong things.  I tend to pay attention more to buying presents, going to parties, making sure all the decorations are hung, baking cookies, and staying very busy.

If you are like me, you want your family’s focus during Christmas to be on the birth of Jesus, which is the whole reason why we celebrate Christmas!  So, what can you do to keep your family’s eyes locked toward the birth of Jesus?

Here are 30 activities you can do to have a Christ-centered family Christmas:

    1. Celebrate Advent
      Advent is a Christian season where we wait and anticipate and prepare our hearts for the birth of the Messiah.  Advent means “coming”, and we are waiting for the coming of the King.  To help families at my church celebrate Advent, I gave out Family Advent Bags so they could keep their focus on Jesus.  To see more about this bag, visit my last blog post:  http://vanessamyers.org/family-advent-bags/
    2. Help Decorate your Church for Advent
      Volunteer your family to help prepare the church for Advent.  Decorating the church can be a fun family activity!
    3. Set up a Nativity in each room of your home
      Put one in each room if you can.  Use a kid-friendly one (like Fisher-Price) so your kids can play with it.
    4. Hide & Seek with Baby Jesus
      Take the baby Jesus from one of your Nativity scenes and hide Him each day.  Have your kids find Him every morning.
    5. Family Devotion and Prayer Time
      A great time to do this is around the dinner table.  Faith5 makes a great bookmark highlighting ways to have a family devotion.  Implementing these easy ways will help your family keep focused on Christ.  To see this bookmark go to their website:  www.faith5.org
    6. A Stocking for Jesus
      Hang a stocking in your home with Jesus’ name on it.  Fill it with notes of prayers to Him.
    7. Family Pinterest Craft or Baking Night
      Search Pinterest for a fun nativity craft you could make together.  Or try out your favorite Pinterest Christmas cookie recipe.  Hang the craft in your home and deliver the cookies to a neighbor.
    8. Visit a Live Nativity
      Check out your local churches to see who does a live nativity and attend one.  This is a great experience for your kids to see the Nativity story come to life!
    9. Take a Census of your Family
      Talk about what a census is.  Use this as an opportunity to map out your family tree.  Then open your Bible to Matthew 1 and show your kids the family tree of Jesus.
    10. Christmas Card Prayers
      Put the Christmas cards you get in a basket on your table.  Draw out one each morning and each night and pray for that family.
    11. Watch a Charlie Brown Christmas If your kids are able, help them memorize and recite the meaning of Christmas that Linus says in the movie:  Luke 2: 8-14.
    12. Watch a Nativity Story
      This movie would be a good one to watch with your older children.  To see a clip of it go here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GISYw2N6YSY
    13. Give 3 Gifts to Jesus
      On three sheets of paper, have each family member write down one thing per sheet that they want to give to Jesus or what they want to do for Jesus this year.  Wrap them in three boxes and put them underneath the tree.  Open on Christmas Day and share what everyone wrote.
    14. Write a Personal Christmas Card
      Send a handwritten Christmas card this year to someone sharing your favorite Bible verse and a prayer for them.
    15. Bake a Birthday Cake for Jesus
      For a fun recipe, click here:  Jesus birthday cake.  Sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and eat the cake!
    16. Buy Gifts for a Family in Need
      To find a family who needs help for Christmas, check with your pastor or school social worker.
    17. Sing Christmas Hymns and Song
      Break out in song around the piano or put on your favorite Christmas album and sing loud for all to hear!
    18. Read the Nativity story from Luke 2:1-20
    19. Family Blessings     Sit around the fire at home, drink hot chocolate and talk about the blessings that God has given your family this year.
    20. Prayer Hearts        Cut out hearts for each child in your family.  Write a prayer to God on a heart for each child (and spouses can do one for each other or you can allow everyone to write a prayer on each heart).  Wrap them and place them under the tree and open them on Christmas morning.
    21. Christmas Day Surprise        Buy a gift for a family and deliver to them on Christmas Day
    22.  Make a Gift for your Pastor        Take time to thank your pastor for all he or she does to lead your church.
    23. Take a Family Hike
      Pretend like you are Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem.  Ask your kids questions about what it must have been like for them as they prepared to have a baby and had to travel a long way.
    24. Jesus Name Tags
      Place a Nativity set on your dinner table.  Buy a set of “Hello My Name Is…” name tags.  Write down one name of Jesus found in Isaiah 9:6 on each name tag (Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel).  Place one name tag on your family table next to baby Jesus each week of Advent as a reminder of Jesus.
    25. Make a Jesse Tree or a Chrismon Tree
      This type of tree is filled with religious symbols:  cross, fish, crown, shepherd’s crook, manger, lamb, angel, star and many more. To see more about a Jesse Tree go to this website: www.myjessetree.com.  To read more about a Chrismon tree go here:  Meaning of the Chrismon Tree

      This is our family Chrismon tree. Ornaments cross-stitched by a family friend when I was a child.
    26. Attend a Christmas Eve Service
      This has always been a Christmas tradition in my family.  I love going to church on Christmas Eve and celebrating the birth of Jesus.  If your church doesn’t have one, find a church in your area that does.
    27. Make Nativity Scene out of Play-Doh
      This can be a fun activity for your younger kids.  Have them make all the characters out of the nativity story.  Afterwards discuss each person and their story.
    28. Go Caroling with your Family
      Grab a few other families and go caroling!  This is a fun way to spread the joy of the birth of Jesus to others.
    29. Read Christmas Love Letters from God
      My friend, Glenys Nellist, has written a book called “Christmas Love Letters from God.”  It tells the story of the birth of Jesus and provides a lift-the-flap letter on each page, as well as one at the end of the book that allows the kids to write their love letters to Jesus.  Read one story each night the week before Christmas. To buy a copy of this book, click here:  Christmas Love Letters from God
    30. Use The Shepherd’s Treasure instead of Elf on the Shelf

      Don’t like Elf on the Shelf?  Out brand-new this year is The Shepherd’s Treasure.  It’s the same concept of the Elf, but it has religious meaning.  It keeps your children focused on helping the shepherd find baby Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas.  I absolutely LOVE this book!  Unfortunately, they are all sold out for this season!  To learn more about this book, visit their website:   www.theshepherdstreasure.com

I hope this list will give you some ideas of how to keep your family centered on the birth of Jesus this year!  May your family experience His birth and the celebration in a wonderful way this Christmas season!

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Family Advent Bags

img_8734We are in the season of Advent!  Christians around the world are celebrating this season by preparing their hearts for the birth of Jesus Christ. Advent is a season of waiting and anticipating the glorious birthday of our Lord.

At church each Sunday in Advent, we light a candle on the Advent wreath.  There are five candles:  three purple (which represent hope, love, and peace), one pink (which represents joy), and one white (which is the Christ candle and is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day).

Sometimes the only place we talk about Advent is at church.  So what can you do to celebrate Advent every day with your family at home?

One great way is through a Family Advent Bag.  This year I gave the families of my church one of these bags.  This bag was filled with many fun things families could do together to keep their focus on Jesus.  I found some of the ideas for the bag on this YouTube video by Shawn Howell:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyAlu5E9ev4 and others I created myself.

The bag included the following items.  For a printable list, click here: family-advent-bag-list

Family Advent Calendar:  Each day between the first Sunday of Advent and Christmas Day is filled with activities your family can do.  These activities include things like:  doing a random act of kindness, taking a trip to look at Christmas lights, baking a birthday cake for Jesus and much more.  To see the calendar I created, click here: advent-calendar-for-families
Advent Wreath Magnet:  The most simple Advent wreath I found was magnetic!  Families can stick it on their fridge and place new candles on it every Sunday.  I bought these wreaths on the Living Grace website:  http://www.livinggracecatalog.com/product/advent-wreath-magnet-set-nc152/seasonal
Advent Devotions:  I created four Advent devotions for families to use each Sunday in conjunction with the Advent wreath magnet.  They will read together the devotion and place a candle on the wreath each week.
Christmas Morning Envelope:  I wrote a letter for families to open first thing on Christmas morning.  Before they open any presents, they should open the envelope and read the letter together.  To see a copy of the letter, click here: Christmas Morning Envelope
Craft Ornament:  I included an Oriental Trading Nativity craft in each bag.  To find one for your family, visit their website:  www.orientaltrading.com
Glow Stick:   Inside each bag I put one glow stick.  I told families to break this stick on Christmas Eve and sing Silent Night with their family.  This is a reminder that Jesus is the Light of the world.
Sticky Notes:  I put a pack of sticky notes in each bag for families to use to write encouraging words to each other.
Christmas Prayer Cube:  Living Grace makes a wooden Christmas prayer cube that I bought and put in the bags.  On each colored side of the cube is written a prayer.  Families can roll the cube and read the prayer together before meals.  To see the cube go to this site:  http://www.livinggracecatalog.com/product/christmas-prayer-cube-rd001/seasonal
Faith 5 Bookmark:  I wanted to give families a simple idea for a family devotion and I found a bookmark that highlighted a great way to do one.  Faith 5 lists these steps for a family devotion:  share highs and lows, read a Bible verse or story, talk about the Bible verse or story and how it can relate to your highs and lows, pray for one another’s highs and lows, and bless each other.  To see their website and to get a copy of the bookmark, click here:  https://store.faithink.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=4048
Jesus’ Birthday Cake:  I have no idea where I got this recipe, but it was given to me back at the beginning of my ministry career.   Each layer of this cake represents something.  To see a copy of this recipe click here:  Jesus birthday cake

This Family Advent Bag has been a hit with the kids and their parents at our church!  I love hearing the stories of how their family is excited to celebrate Advent!  Feel free to use the printables from this post to create your own Family Advent bag.

Look for my next post in a few days to be on 30 Ways to Have a Christ-Centered Family Christmas!

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Christmas Love Letters from God: A Review and a Giveaway

christmas-love-letters-coverGlenys Nellist has done it again.

The author of Love Letters from God brings you another powerful book for children that will open up their hearts and help them feel God is speaking right to them.

In Christmas Love Letters from God, Glenys tells the magnificent story of the birth of Jesus.  She begins with the story of Isaiah’s good news found in Isaiah 9, when he delivers a message of hope to the people:  a child will be born and He will be the light of the world.  He will deliver us and rescue us from the darkness.  He is our hope.

The book then tells each part of the Christmas story, capturing the hearts of all who read it:  Mary’s song, Joseph’s dream, the journey to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus, the Shepherd’s visit, and the Wise Men’s gifts.

What I love about this book is the simple, yet powerful way Glenys delivers the wonderful story of the birth of Jesus.  Her words make you feel that you are right in the story, experiencing it along with each person.  Her words draw the reader closer to Jesus, making you realize that His birth was meant to save you.

Besides the story, Glenys also provides the reader with two other pieces to this book:  God’s Perfect Promise and a lift-the-flap Love Letter from God.  God’s Perfect Promise is a nugget of truth from Scripture that the Lord writes to remind us of His perfect promise in Jesus Christ.  They are short, easy to remember verses that will allow a child to treasure that verse and recall it when they need to.

To me, the Love Letter from God is the most special part of the book. Every child that reads each letter tucked inside this book can insert their own name and read the letter as if God is speaking right to them.  And at the very end of the book is a lift-the-flap letter where the child can write their own love letter to Jesus, which is their gift to Jesus.

I read this book aloud with my 9-year old daughter.  She and I took turns reading the stories and inserting each other’s names into the letter.  When I asked my daughter what she loved about the book, she said the letters were the most special part of it.  At the end of the book, she wrote a letter to Jesus in the “My Gift to Jesus” lift-the-flap letter.  Here is what she wrote:

Dear Jesus,

I love you!  I am so glad that you were born.  What were Bible days like? 

I love you,  Shelby

That sweet letter brought tears to my eyes. Christmas Love Letters from God opened my child’s eyes and allowed her to see the love that Jesus has for her.  It opened her mind and her heart to wonder what life was like when Jesus was born.  And it also allowed her to express her love to Jesus.

One thing I was not expecting, though, was how this book would affect me.  Let me tell you…this book, I believe, is not meant just for small children, but for all children of God, even 40-year olds like myself. I felt God speaking directly to me through the words of Glenys.  The letter found in Joseph’s dream went straight to my heart:

“Never be afraid to say yes to me.  When you hear those quiet whispers in your heart – whatever I say, whatever I might ask you to do – remember that just like I helped Joseph, I will help you, too.”

I am so thankful for the ways that the Lord speaks to us.  He can use a book designed for children to be the tool He uses to speak directly to our hearts.  And when He speaks, you know it’s Him.

I highly recommend Christmas Love Letters from God . This not only would be a wonderful Christmas present for your child, but it would be a great family book as well.  You could use this book as a family devotion as you sit around the table for a meal or at night before bed.  You could read a section of this book weekly or each day leading up to Christmas Day.  You could speak each family member’s name into the letters.  You could use the verses of God’s Perfect Promise as your Bible verse to memorize each week.  You could also pray that Scripture verse over each child in your family, inserting their name as if God is speaking directly to them.  So many ways to use this book for a child or for your whole family.

I am excited to share that one person will win a copy of this special book! Zondervan is giving away a copy of Christmas Love Letters from God.  To enter, all you need to do is comment on this post.  A winner will be announced on Monday, October 24.

To see a video of the book, check out this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjKR8EQZIMo

Glenys
Glenys Nellist

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Video The Gift That Changed My Life

I have decided to follow Jesus.

That is the gift that changed my life when I was a child.  A gift in the form of a baby born in the town of Bethlehem. A gift that was freely given, not by man, but by God.  A gift that I decided to accept and receive when I was 12 years old.

I even marked that day in my Bible:  October 23, 1988.  I didn’t want to ever forget the day I gave my life to Jesus.  I didn’t want to forget the day that I chose to accept this gift from God.

Making a decision to follow Christ was easy as a child.  I grew up with parents and grandparents who raised me in a Christian home.  I knew God loved me and I knew that Jesus died for my sins so that everyone who believed in Him would live forever with Him in heaven. I went to church, read my Bible, prayed, went to church camp, was a devout member of my youth group, and loved God with everything I had.

Little did I know that on that day in October of 1988, God would be calling me to live a life of complete surrender, a life of radical obedience, a life devoted to Him, a life where my eyes are focused on Him, a life where I have to let go of control, a life of ulitmate trust in Him, a life committed to serving Him by sharing Jesus with others, a life of putting the cross before me and the world behind me.

Would I change my mind if I knew all that back then?

No way.

As a 39-year old woman who has seen happiness and heartache, I would NOT choose to live my life any other way. Jesus is my everything.  He is enough for me.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ, I pray that you will accept the gift of Jesus; that you will give your life to Him.  I pray that you will surrender everything to Him; that you will give up all that you hold so tightly.  Christ is all you need.  May you realize that the only gift you need this Christmas comes wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

 

This song “Christ is Enough” by Hillsong is one of my favorites.  I know it’s not a Christmas song, but it reminded me tonight of the gift God gave us in Jesus.  It reminded me of the day I decided to accept this gift and follow Jesus.  May you give your life to Jesus and know that He will richly bless those who follow Him.

Let Go of the Guilt: A Spiritual Game Plan for Working Moms

“You’re going to another meeting again, Mom?  Why do you always have to go to the church?  I wish you weren’t the Children’s Minister so you could stay with us.”

Those words cut deep.  They went straight to the core of my heart and cut it open.  And in flooded the feelings of guilt.  The guilt of being a working mom.

If any of you women out there work outside the home, then I’m sure at one point or another you have experienced the guilt that comes with being a working mom.  And we all know that the guilt is real.  So real that sometimes we just want to quit our jobs and love on our babies all the time.

Being a working mom has not been an easy road, either.  Working full-time, raising 2 girls, being a wife to a wonderful husband, keeping up with laundry, housework, school work, soccer practices and games, gymnastics, and the many other duties of a mom is overwhelming at times.  Sometimes I just want to blow the whistle and call for a time out.  I need a breather.  I need a minute to rest, to reassess my game plan, for the coach to encourage me, to get focused and not be bogged down with all the million details that encompass my life as a working mom. Some days we get that break and other days we don’t.  But we keep working and providing for our family, even when those feelings of guilt hit us hard.

So how can working moms be rid of that terrible guilt that likes to lurk inside our hearts?

Here is a Spiritual Game Plan for the next time those guilty feelings hit:

Spiritual Game Plan for Working Moms

  1. Start the day with Jesus          As soon as you rise, think about Jesus.  Praise Him.  Then get ready, grab your coffee and your Bible and start your day with Him.  Spend time in His Word.  Be still.  Listen.  Pray.  Enjoy being in His Presence.

  2. Seek wisdom from the Lord          As a parent, we need to seek wisdom from the Lord.  We cannot do this parenting thing on our own.  We need God to provide us with wisdom so we can know how to handle each moment in our lives.  And we know that God will give it to us because it says in James 1:5:  “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  Don’t pass up the wisdom God freely provides!

  3. Stay focused on your family when at home          Leave your work at the office.  I know this is a hard one, especially if you work at a church.  But somehow, find a way to keep your family the center of your attention when you are at home.  Help them with their homework.  Watch a tv show with them.  Go outside and play with them.  Let them help you cook supper.  Listen to them.  Just be the mom who is present with them when you’re at home.

  4. Have family devotion time          We started a family devotion time this school year with our kids.  As we sit around the dinner table, we do a devotion together.  I picked out a family devotional from a Christian bookstore and we read it while we are eating.  It asks questions for the kids to answer, provides Scripture, a short devotion, and prayer time.  I am amazed at the good conversations we have with our kids about God while we eat dinner.  Talking with your children about God is so important and what a better a time to do it then we you are all eating dinner.

  5. Go to church as a family          My mother always said that Sundays are a day for us to go to church and worship God.  We were always there unless we were out of town or one of us was sick.  Unfortunately, in today’s world, there are many activities that keep us from making church a priority.  I understand the pull of the world because I am a parent with kids who are involved in sports.  I know it’s hard, but I believe that church is important for my family and the spiritual health of all of us.  We all need to be a part of the body of Christ.

  6. Pray with your kids          Carve out a time or two in your day to pray with your kids.  Talk with them about what is going on in their lives.  Ask them what they need prayer for.  I always pray with my kids in the car on our way to school and then at bedtime as I tuck them in.  And let me tell you, if I forget, then one of them is quick to remind me.  Prayer time can be a special moment you share with your children.

  7. Remember your kids will always love you, whether you work or not             There will be moments in your life when your kids will make you feel guilty for working.  They will be sad you aren’t there for their game or practice or aren’t home when they go to bed.  But, those are brief moments.  Your kids will not harbor any ill feelings toward you for missing one of their important activities.  They will forget all about it by the next day.  They are going to love you no matter what because you are their mom.

Being a working mom is tough.  You love your family so much and feel torn between your job and staying at home with them.  I encourage you to let go of those guilty feelings.  Know that you are a good mother.  Know that your husband and kids love you. Stick to the spiritual game plan.  Remember that God is your guide and He loves you very much.  Put your total trust in Him.  God will never leave you.

Let go of that working mom guilt.  Replace it with the assurance and peace of God’s eternal love for you.  Remember to ask God to:
“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”   Psalm 25:5