“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” James 4:8
“Momma! Momma!” My five-year-old son’s voice permeated the house. “Yes, honey, what is it?” I smiled already knowing what he wanted. “Could you make me sailboats,” he said with gleeful anticipation. He loved to eat his triangle-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which he called “sailboats” while playing a computer game about the Bible called Church Mouse.
Late one night, I found myself in the kitchen intently listening to the same boy who is now a young man. Sparked by a question I asked him, he explained his greatest memories of learning about God. As he brought up those moments of playing Church Mouse with his sailboats, reading bath-time bible books, and church, I couldn’t help but think back on how I felt. He was the oldest of the two boys, and with three children under the age of five, you guessed it, I was exhausted.
When bath time rolled around, I felt depleted. With nothing left in me, I relied solely on a sack of toys to entertain. As he plopped himself in the tub, his little hands would grab one of the soft plastic books made for the water. He loved the Bible stories of Jonah and Noah. While reading to him or listening to him sound out the words, I remember being so fatigued. I wasn’t always thinking of him learning about Jesus; only that it was keeping him busy while I dried off and dressed the other two babies.
I continued to listen to my grown son talk about Sunday school and how learning and talking about God enriched his spiritual life. Again, I flashed back to how I felt. The hustle and bustle of church mornings felt like a full day’s work in itself at times.
As my son finished sharing about his spiritual highlights from years ago, God tenderly spoke to my heart. Among my flashbacks of weariness, He reminded me of His graceful strength by giving me a precious image of how I made it through those days. The picture was of me sitting on my favorite recliner chair and peeking through the shutter at the sunrise with a hot mug of coffee in my hand and an open Bible cradled in my lap. Drawing myself quietly before the Lord and investing in my relationship with Him gave me the supernatural perseverance to be the Mom I knew God had called me to be. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
Giving in, getting more sleep, or even skipping church are all easier…but not better. As hard as it was, I rarely chose easy. I chose to soak myself in His grace which in return produced good fruit. Reading bath time bible stories and making it a priority to get to church wasn’t done by my strength; it was through God’s mighty power. Looking back, every sacrifice made for my children was worth every lost hour of sleep. Hearing my grown son tell me how much he loves the Lord as we said goodnight before he left for college the next day, gave me another reason to say, “God, you are worthy of it all!”
Even though we can feel depleted mentally and physically, our spirit will respond with abundance as we draw on God’s strength. Investing in time with Him refuels our hearts with fervor to disciple our children well. Giving ourselves grace by relying on His grace will not only empower us, but will create experiences with our children that can prove to have lasting impact.
Your fellow Able Mom,
God, thank you for giving us your mighty strength to lead our children to know you more. Remind us to continually draw near to you, and use us to be a blessing to our children. Amen.