Tending to Our Own Spiritual Needs

tending-to-our-spiritual-needsDear Momma,
Have you ever had one of those nights that mommas sometimes do?

Last night was one of those for me; restless, sleepless, with endless thoughts running through my mind for hours on end as I struggled to find sleep.   For awhile I just thought, and then I began to pray.  Prayer for my husband, prayer for my kids, prayer for my local church and family and friends.

My prayers for my family ended up centering around asking the Lord’s help during a change of pace for them as I have been laid up for a week with an injury, which still has a ways to go for healing and normalcy.  Things don’t run quite the same when momma is not cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.  After about 2 1/2 hours, a realization dawned on me.  In all of this, I haven’t prayed for myself and asked the Lord’s healing and working in my own life during this time of being laid aside…

{Maybe you mommas can relate a bit here?  Isn’t that what we do best?  It is an honor and a privilege to self-sacrifice daily for our greatest blessings on earth!  I love to set aside my own preferences for my children, teaching them the joys of putting others first.  To a fault, I am sure. My hubby is good to gently remind me when I am going possibly too far, training them to be selfish and allowing me to sacrifice too much rather than them actually learning to be servants themselves.}
…So, I got to thinking.  In my 15+ years of parenting, it’s a lesson I have learned time and again.  In this tremendous task of discipling my little man and woman to grow to be godly mature man and woman, I am powerless and my efforts seem futile when I am not tending to my own spiritual needs. I know. It sounds so obvious.  So basic. And yet, how many days in those 15+ years have I walked around trying to parent in my own strength, in my own yucky flesh making a royal disaster of things?  (are we not so often humbled by, and thankful for, the Lord’s unending grace and mercy, and the willing forgiveness and unconditional love of both our children and the Lord?)
I have been known to be fond of telling how often I remember my own mother reading her Bible. Daily, I am sure. I know she not only had her quiet time with the Lord privately, but she also made it a point to be in front of us in the Word as well. It was such a wonderful example to me, and also a lesson in how much actions spoke louder than words.  After all, the actions are what are so deeply impressed upon my mind. 
But, for as many times that I have told that memory, I have heard the responses of the mommas – myself included!  It’s hard with little ones!  There seems to never be a quiet, undistracted moment.  Even in the bathroom – am I right?!?  We get tired. We get exasperated.  And if we do find a spare moment of silence, we can no longer seem to focus or concentrate. (What was that you were thinking about during last week’s Sunday message?)
And so this vicious cycle goes on… trying in our own strength – failing miserably – asking forgiveness – shooting up those prayers that we know we need yet not walking in the Spirit…  Now don’t get me wrong.  I know.  God is patient, gracious, wanting us to keep in the attitude of prayer… Oh, but how often are we robbing ourselves of the tremendous privilege of basking in His presence daily?  Robbing our kids of the blessings of the Christian home God has placed them in by not overflowing His goodness out of our own lives towards them as we shape their view of God?
No more excuses!  We can teach our little ones to sit quietly at the doctor’s office, in church meetings, at the library, etc… Why can we not teach them to respect a time at home when mommy needs to do a very important thing – meet with God?  I learned that if I consistently worked with my 2 when they were toddlers and spoke with them patiently, they not only ended up respecting that time, but wanting that for themselves as well.   Imagine your own little family. The phone rings while you are reading your Bible and praying at your kitchen table. Your kids are sitting on the couch and floor in the adjoining room, the older ones with their own Bibles, the littles with their Bible storybooks.  One of the kids jumps up to grab the phone.  Another, eyes wide, says, ‘shh. Don’t answer it – mommy is meeting with God.’    You may feel skeptical, but trust me, this could be your experience too!  
Look, I know it’s hard sometimes. I know when I miss those times the Lord is gracious to allow me to find other ways to feast on Him throughout the day – through Christian radio programs, music, encouragement through a friend… But I personally have had enough of  trying in my own effort, enough of robbing my family of the blessing of a mom who is full of the Spirit, enough of trying to raise disciples for Christ by exhibiting more fruits of the flesh than fruits of the Spirit.  
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”  Galatians 5:16,22-25
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”  Matthew 4:4
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”  Joshua 1:8
Lynn =o]
His Mercies Are New Every Morning

This is part of the series 31 Days of Encouragement for Mama that is running through the month of October. Check out all the posts in the series here.

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