Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Mother is...

A mother is your way to life.  A mother is your protector.  She is a teacher, your nurse, your run to.  She can be your best friend, or your critic. She is the one that holds you in the middle of the night when you are scared, the one to pick you up when you fall, the one to dry your tears and the one to help you dream your biggest dreams. She's an example for you to follow, she's the one that keeps your best interest at heart.  She loves you regardless of your faults, your attitude, your ways.  She cares far more then you realize as a child, and the love she has is a love that could never be broken.  There is nothing sweeter then a mother's love for her child.  She is one of the greatest blessings you don't realize that you appreciate so much until you become a mother yourself. 

I shall not sit here and lie, I'll be honest and say I was a stubborn kid (still can be, LOL!) and I gave my dear mother a run for her money so many times.  I'm sure she had her days when she could have threw in the towel and been done with me, but praise God, she didn't!  My mother is a woman of amazing strength, and courage.  She is a mother that prays for her children, and that has become one of the greatest feelings in the world to know that my mom prays for me on a daily basis.  Regardless of the paths our lives took over the years, momma was there.  She kept us going as a family.  She raised three small children and never complained.  She made do with what she had and pressed on.  She was a woman of faith, and would always seek God's will for our little family.  Momma made our lives special even though she has moments when she thinks that she didn't.  Looking back at my childhood, I'm so grateful for the mother God gave me.  

Through the many arguments, the disagreements, she continued to love this hard headed, stubborn child with endless love.  I brought tears to her eyes, but she still loved me.  I said hurtful things, but she still loved me.  I am still amazed by the love that God allows a mother to show to her children.  The instant that she holds that tiny little person, her heart and soul are forever connected to that little tiny being.  My momma still has that burning, aching love.  I remember back to when I was pregnant with Carter and mom first found out, without saying I knew that I had sent her love as a mother to a completely new level.  Then, there came the announcement of sweet Tucker's arrival and once again the love went even higher.  See, she not only loves me with an undying love, she loves my children as much as she loves me.

As I welcomed my first sweet baby into this world, in the days ahead of me, I sat many a night in Carter's room rocking him and thanking God for this precious little person.  It was in those wee hours of the night, that I realized the way my mother had loved me for the past twenty five years of my life.  Those nights I thought of the many prayers my mother had prayed for me and my journey through life, and I started right then praying for my sweet baby.  Then, as I held Tucker and my heart poured with more love then I ever dreamed possible, I thought once again of all the love my mother had given not only to me, but my brother and sister as well.  

I can never repay my mother for being the wonderful, loving, Christian woman that she is.  I am forever grateful for her and the home she provided for us.  I pray that God blesses her in a very special way for taking care of us.  My mothers ways of raising a child, are ways that I now see myself raising my children.  She didn't do so bad with me, so I'm hoping I don't do so bad myself! :)  My children are truly my purpose on this earth.  They are my heart.  I know they are still so young, and we've not hit the rough roads yet, but I've learned by watching my mom that as long as I have faith, and believe that God will see me through.  I want to be a mother that prays daily for my children.  I want to be a mother that my children grow to respect and honor. Most of all, I want my children to grow up as I did knowing that their mother loves the Lord.  It is my prayer that their lives will honor God and that their families one day will also love the Lord and live their lives for Him.  

Momma... I know you are reading this, and I'm sure by this point there are tears streaming down your face (sorry!), but I hope you know what a true, true blessing you are to my life.  I'm so grateful that you didn't shower me, Jason, or Jessica with material things of this world but with values that we could carry with us our entire lives.  You are a best friend to me, you are my support when I need to vent, and you are one of my most treasured gifts on this earth.  I thank you for your many prayers throughout the years, and even today, your prayers are appreciated.  Thank you for the DELICIOUS home made strawberry jam that you and Carter made for me.  Such a sweet, memorable, tasty gift!!  I love you with all my heart.... Jen

To my sweet boys,
God gave you both to me, and for that all I can say is Thank you!  You both are a joy to have in my life.  You fill my heart with gladness, smiles, and warmth.  I pray that God watches over each of you as you grow, and may I be the mother He intended for me to be to you.  It is my prayer that your lives be filled with all the love you can have, and may your days be ones you'll always cherish and remember.  It's not the material things of this world that can bring you happiness, but the relationships you build as you grow.  Always face the world with a smile, and bright attitude.  Keep God first in your lives.  You'll never understand the love I have for you until you become father's one day and at that moment you'll know.  I LOVE YOU very much!!
forever & always... momma

I also wanted to share a devotion that I received earlier this past week about mother's.  It is very touching.  Happy Mother's Day to all of you!  Many blessings to you all!


The Devotion (from
This is a bit long, if you don't have time now to read it, please make time to come back later and read it.  It really struck a few cords with me.  It opened my eyes once again that my I need my walk closer with God, and seek His will more on those days I feel like throwing in the towel.

Today's Truth  Psalm 127:3 "Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him" (NLT).

Friend To Friend  So much of who we are as men and women is rooted in the parent/child relationship. I believe that my role as a mother will greatly affect the kind of woman my daughter will become. I also believe that moms are the primary teachers in a child's life. Yesterday, we identified three steps we can take to be the moms God wants us to be:  

  1. Be a mom who loves God.  
  2. Be a mom who prays continually.  
  3. Be a mom who gives time.  
  4. Be a mom who encourages. 

Today, let's talk about being a mom who encourages her children. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, we find the simple but life-changing directive, "So encourage each other and give each other strength" (NCV).  When we encourage our children, we deposit strength in them.  We need to be careful to keep their emotional deposits in balance.  Many kids are in emotional bankruptcy because constant withdrawals of criticism are made with few deposits of encouragement.  Our job is to study our kids and discover their strengths and weaknesses.  We need to understand that many times, their greatest weakness may very well become their greatest strengths.

As a child, I was very stubborn.  I know.  It is almost impossible to imagine - almost.  That stubbornness often got me into trouble, but it also made me the survivor of some very hard times.  We need to look for the good things in our children and draw them into the spotlight.  In other words, become their "encourager" and their "cheerleader."  Everyone needs a cheerleader.

When our son, Jered, was in second grade, one of the boys in his class was what I would describe as a "sandpaper person."  It almost seemed as if he worked very hard at being difficult and had succeeded.  None of the children in the class liked him.  One Monday morning, he came to school with both arms in a cast from wrist to shoulder.  The teacher explained that he would need a friend for the next six weeks, someone who could help him with homework, eat his lunch and go with him to the restroom.  Get the idea?  The classroom fell silent, no one meeting the teacher's eyes.  Finally, Jered said, "I'll do it."  After a few weeks, Jered begin to see this little boy in a different light. "You know, mom.  He's not that bad. He can play soccer and he is really good at math."  At the end of six weeks, the other children began warming up to this once ostracized boy and even volunteered to help him. However, the most amazing transformation was in the boy himself.  He had become sweeter and gentler.  He just needed a cheerleader.  Maybe that is all your child needs.  Be a cheerleader for your children.

5.  Be a mom who laughs.

Proverbs 17:22 "A happy heart is like good medicine, but a broken spirit drains your strength" (NCV).

Moms, we need to lighten up, or my daughter says, "Chill, Mom!"  Kids are fun!  Find ways to bring joy and laughter into your home.  Jered is a big hunk of a football player, but occasionally, I have to remind him of the fact that I can still take him.  He will make some irritating comment, tease me or poke me in the ribs.  I warn him and then I see the gleam in his eye as he takes one more shot.  I then begin chasing him around the house.  Jered inevitably starts laughing so hard that, when I catch him, he is totally helpless.  It is quite a sight to see!  Moms are the thermostats of the home and need to keep the emotional setting on joy.  Children get most of their first impressions of God from their parents.  I want my kids to know that God is a God of joy and laughter.  Kids need a mom who laughs.

6.  Be a mom who hugs.

Luke 18:15 "One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch them and bless them" (NLT).

Children need moms who touch them in a loving way and demonstrate healthy physical affection.  The reality is that children not only need, but crave physical affection.  It is a God-given need that is meant to be met in God-given ways.  There is healing in a mother's touch.  Start early and never stop!  It is a terrible shock for kids to have the hugging stop just at the age when they need it the most.

One day, I grabbed our daughter, Danna, in a hug and kissed her cheek.  As I walked away, I looked back to see her wiping off that kiss.  She caught my hurt look and said, "Don't worry, Mom.  I'm just rubbing it in!"  I know.  She's good ... and has become an affectionate young woman.  Be a mom who hugs her kids!

7.  Be a mom who disciplines.

Proverbs 6:23 "The correction of discipline is the way to life" (NLT).

Kids want and need discipline -- whether they know it or not.  Knowing is our job as mothers. Discipline is a hedge of protection in the life of a child.  Part of our job as a parent is to tend that hedge, to keep it strong and in place.  If we are not careful, every day can dissolve into a never-ending battle for control.  As parents, we need to let go of what we can and hold our ground on what we can't.

Discipline principles:

1.      Be consistent 

2.      Discipline from love ... not anger.

3.      Pick your battles carefully.

4.      Don't expect children to act like adults.

5.      Teach kids that there are consequences to choices.

6.      Realize that every child is different.

7.      Don't discipline until you have control of your emotions.  This last point is major.  We are the adults who should be able to control emotions.  If we don't, neither will our children. Proverbs 29:11 says, "Foolish people lose their tempers, but wise people control theirs" (NCV).

Pick your battles of discipline and wage them with emotions under control.  Whatever you do, don't put the light out in their eyes.  Kids need a mom who disciplines.

8.  Be a mom who forgives.

Colossians 3:13 13 Get along with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you" (NCV).

We teach children how to forgive others by how we forgive them!  Forgiveness is part of every healthy relationship so when we practice forgiveness, we are modeling healthy relationships for them.  We also teach our children about God's forgiveness by how we forgive.  Be quick to forgive your child but be quicker to ask your child's forgiveness.  My children are very used to hearing me say, "I am so sorry!  I blew it.  Please forgive me."

One morning, I had to apologize to my daughter before she even got to school.  I got up tired and grouchy to find that Danna was not moving fast enough for me.  I didn't like the clothes she picked out to wear.  I didn't like what she was saying or doing or how she was saying and doing it.  I didn't like the fact that she kept her cool while I lost mine.  Therefore, I did what any mature parent would do.  I threw a tantrum and grounded her for it!  Yes, I have provided many opportunities for my children to practice forgiveness.  I pray that it has made them more forgiving of themselves and of others.  Be a mom who is quick to forgive!

Being a mom is the hardest job on earth!  It brings out the best and the worst in you!  I know that motherhood requires great sacrifice and limitless energy!  But to invest your time and best efforts into a child, to watch that child grow and develop, is to be part of the creative majesty of life itself!  Today, commit with me to seek God's power and plan to be a mom who really matters. 

Let's Pray  Father, more than ever before, I want to be a great mom!  However, I often find myself doing just the opposite of what I know is right when it comes to my kids.  Please forgive me.  Help me to apply the truths and principles of your Word as I walk in this high calling of motherhood. Bless my children, Lord, and help them to follow You all the days of their lives.  Amen.

Now It's Your Turn 

  • Review the principles from today's devotion as well as yesterday's.   
  • Choose one area in your role as a mom to focus on.  
  • What changes do you need to make?  
  • Today, celebrate your children.  Give them a call.  Prepare a special meal.  Write them a special note.  
  • Choose now to be a mom that matters.

More From The Girlfriends  A woman recently told me that it was too late to become a better mom because her children were grown and gone. While it is true that she cannot live those years again, it is just as true that she can make a new beginning from today.  Remember ... there is always someone in your life that needs your love and attention.


Lindsey said...

Loved all of this..I was crying right along with your Moma! =) The boys are so big...and I LOVE your hair! Happy Mothers Day!

Creative Captures Photoart said...

Very touching Jennifer. *Sniffle Sniffle*

Kari said...

that was beautiful, Jen!

Love the devotional.. going to have to come back to that one again!

I came across this the other day and thought of you. I thought it was awesome!