Becoming

Apr
16
- by Andrea Birch - Leave a Comment
Becoming

   I began my journey as a mother in an unconventional way. I was 22 years old, I had just graduated from college, and I had an extreme case of wanderlust.

  I had spent my whole life in the same mid-sized Southern town and I was dying to travel out west. So, as soon as I graduated with my elementary education degree,  three other friends and I packed up our small cars with what we could and set out for the west. The plan was to spend 6 months in certain places we wanted to get to know better: Utah (for skiing), California, Washington State, Oregon, and who knows where else. First stop was Utah because we had heard of a new church plant of young believers who met in a city theater downtown. We were eager to be a part of this vibrant church group of young believers.
     If you can picture me then: young, single, ready to take on the world, ready to live for Christ and eager to do His will. I had no idea what He wanted me to do and exactly where He would take me. But I was willing, and that is all He needed from me.
     The first Sunday at the new church, there was a man behind me holding a beautiful, long-haired blonde little girl lovingly on his hip. She looked to me to be about three years old, and I was right. He was striking because of his dreadlocks, that at that time were so long, they went all the way down his back. I was immediately drawn to this pair and wanted to know their story. Little did I know I would soon become a part of it.
     Spencer, my husband, was living in Utah at the time with my now oldest daughter. His first wife died tragically in a car accident when my oldest daughter was 2. I met them when she was 3, married Spencer when she had just turned 5, and at the young age of 23, in a whirlwind of events that happened in less than a year, I was a new wife, a new mother, and living in the mountains of Utah. I always think to myself: thank goodness I was open to do God's will and that I was young. I had both of those things in my favor.
     I’m not going to lie. It was a hard time, adjusting to being a wife and a mother all at the same time. In less than 6 months after we married, my husband had accepted a job in New York City, and we were living on the Upper West Side in a tiny apartment. And this was only my second time going to New York City!
     Living in a big city, caring for a 5 year old, and learning to be a wife all at the same time was very difficult for me. As I adjusted to my husband’s long hours, and worked on loving and nurturing my new daughter, I spent nights in my small bedroom, listening to the sounds of horns and sirens of the vibrant city, reading books like Edith Schaeffer’s The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Mary Pride’s The Way Home, Sally Clarkson’s Educating the Whole Hearted Child, and Martha Peace’s book The Excellent Wife. I was very lonely, knowing no one, and these books gave me information and encouragement about the kind of mother I wanted to be. Although it was very difficult then, I now look back on those times with much thankfulness. God was preparing me and chiseling me into who He wanted me to be.
     Fourteen years later and four children later, I am still learning about letting the Lord lead me and being ready and willing to do what He wants with me. I am still looking for encouragement and information about being the kind of mother I want to be. I have found that being a mother has satisfied all my wanderlust desires in a way I never thought possible. He has brought me through a unique journey, and I am eager to begin sharing it more with all of you!

They Will Call You Blessed

Apr
13
- by Brenda Nuland - Leave a Comment
They Will Call You Blessed

The above picture resides in a pretty frame on my bedside table, a scene that makes me smile whenever I look at it.  The people in the photograph, a tall man and a precious little girl dressed in Colonial dress, are walking away from the photographer as if in a world of their own.

The man is the grandfather, the little girl his soul-mate granddaughter, and the photographer is the grandmother… that being me.  The occasion was our trip to Colonial Williamsburg last September, where we met our daughter and her family for the loveliest week together.

As I gaze at the image above, I am reminded of all the events of that week...

Wake Up Sleepers! Lift Your Heads!

Apr
10
- by Ruth Schwenk - Leave a Comment
Wake Up Sleepers! Lift Your Heads!

Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.  Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:14-16

Are you awake?  I mean fully awake and aware of the mission God has called you to?  As a mom, I know the struggle when the days are long and the nights are sleepless.  I know the struggle to just wake up in the morning, let alone really wake up to your calling.  But that cannot be our excuse.  God has a purpose and plan for us.  God has a mission for us, and together, we are creating a movement.

Did you catch that?  We are on a mission, and together we are creating a movement. 

“What does this look like?  How do we do this?”  It starts in our homes.  Each of us has a different story and each of us comes from a different place, but our mission isn’t that different, is it?  We have these souls that God has entrusted to us to shape and mold.   As the psalmist says, our children are “arrows.”  We are raising and releasing weapons of God’s love and truth into the world. 

We must not underestimate how God wants to use us.  Yes…you, me… No more thinking “I’m just a mom” because just doesn’t fit in that sentence.  You are a mom called by God to change the world through your life and your family. I want to challenge us as moms in the following three ways:

1. Don’t minimize your role

As I have already said, you are not “just a mom!”  Being a mom isn’t about your place in life right now, it is about your purpose in life.  God has blessed you, entrusted you, and promised to empower you by His grace to live out this mission of motherhood.

2. Don’t misuse your time

What we hear is not always what we believe.  We’ve all heard it, “these years will go by fast.  Enjoy them.”  Only the wise hear AND then act accordingly.  The days are ticking.  The hours are moving fast.  There is coming a day when your house, and mine, will be childless.  So don’t miss the time you have.  You won’t ever get it back.

3. Don’t miss the point

We are not the point.  The Bible makes it clear that we are not at the center of the Story.  Our mission and calling as moms is to raise and release children who, like everyone else in God’s Story, are called to glorify the Creator.  We are tired, at times uncomfortable, stretched, and perhaps in incredibly challenging circumstances.  Praise God, because in all things, He has made us more than conquerors.  All of it is about Him and for Him!

As Sally Clarkson says, “We have one chance to tell a story of faith." So let me challenge you today to ask yourself these questions: Am I awake?  Am I fully awake and on mission or do I need to wake up and lift my head to the calling that God has placed on my life?  

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Blessings,

Ruth at The Better Mom

Wishing you a Blessed Easter Weekend

Apr
6
- by Kristen Kill - Leave a Comment
Wishing you a Blessed Easter Weekend

 "But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.  And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.  And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, but has risen! -The Gospel of Luke

We would also like to announce the winners of our Mission of Motherhood giveaway! Hannah Baldwin, Branson, and MaryAnn, congratulations! Please email your address information to admin@wholeheart.org . Thank you all for sharing about our study and we pray you have a lovely weekend! 

Why the Kids Really Need A Little Red Hen Mama….

Apr
2
- by Ann Voskamp - Leave a Comment
Why the Kids Really Need A Little Red Hen Mama….

The grain mill whirs loud, crushing a stream of kernels. 

I stand in the kitchen by an open sack,  grinding the wheat to bake the bread, to break the fasts. Since the beginning, since the dawn, this, the work of women, the feeding of children. 

 The sun rises.

And I have to ask it straight out….

Why do I feed my kids scraps off the floor?

The High Calling

Mar
30
- by Misty Krasawski - Leave a Comment
The High Calling

Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”  Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” Gen. 2:18-23

 It was the first thing in all of creation declared “not good:” the man, alone.

As Gilda Rudner said, “Men don’t live well alone. They live like ... bears with furniture.”

Many of us can testify to this fact, having known our husbands both before we were married, and after, when we see the evidence every time we leave the house for a few hours....