Head: I have a little sign in our house that says "With You I Am Home". I bought it soon after we sold our house and moved into our camper while we began building our next house. (You can read more about that journey here) It served as a reminder to myself and my husband that even if it doesn't feel like "home" yet, as long as we are together, we are home. Making such a big move for our 5 kids was not without consideration of how they felt. We did our best to stay aware of how they were feeling during this transitional time of our lives. Our boys were living in a tiny bunk house, my husband and I with our baby girl were in a camper.and while we were very close and clinging to each other during this time, we were still not sleeping under the same roof. Home just wasn't home like we had known it to be. The littlest ones adapted easily. The Bigs, well, they took longer to adapt. Actually, it wasn't until we all moved into the house together that my middle son said he appreciated that we were all under one roof again...except my oldest...
For God so loved... - John 3:16
Head: As mothers, our children look up to us for safety, love, authority, and trust. They find confidence in knowing we are watching to applaud and even to keep them within the boundaries of what is safe. Our children look to us when there is any question of what is right and wrong, it is part of our job as mothers to guide them and show them the way; to navigate this life.
There was a time, prior to Christ, that the world saw our God as One that is strict, with an eye of disapproval and a hand that punished. God was considered an outright tyrant. Even today, those who don't know Him, still believe this about Him. That is why the message of love is so important to share. We can not earn His love because He loved us first.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life. - John 3:16
,Head: The most memorized scripture of the Bible. 25 words. They say dynamite comes in small packages. I imagine this little verse to be a very small little package with all the power of the gospel packed inside. Nothing was left to question. It's clear and to the point. Even an unbeliever, if asked, could tell you exactly what it means. God loves us. This one verse can reach hearts to the end of the earth and it can reach those sitting right at your kitchen table.
I remember watching a the movie, The Passion, and was crushed by the sacrifice Jesus made for us. As a mother with babies I felt the anguish from a mothers perspective. I could never imagine any one of my children suffering such a death because of false accusations and hate. The verse itself came to life before my eyes and my soul grieved for Jesus and all who loved Him. I often wonder, how can I teach my children just how much they are loved. How can I show them the true, deep, profound, good news that they are SO loved.
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. - Deuteronomy 33:27
Head: We all know how life moves so quickly forward. As I stop at moments during my day and marvel at a memory that was shared or a picture of my children from when they were very little, the swiftness of this life is even more real. Sometimes it moves so quickly we can barely keep up. Except, it seems that when the hard stuff follows us it seems to draw out for what feels like eternity and wear deeply on our patience. When we have burdens on us and heavy weight of life, the trials we face seem to keep us on a slow moving road that will never end. We carry burdens we were never meant to carry and it takes our minds off of the future that God has planned for us. "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future." - Jeremiah 28:11
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventhly he rested from all his work. - Genesis 2:1-2
Head: March 20, 2019 marks the first day of Spring and a super moon. As I look out my window at night, it is so bright I can see into the distance, through the wooded area. I'm am always amazed at the night sky and how it changes, yet stays the same. Things we look for are the Big Dipper, the moon, the North Star.. Our eyes search the sky at night for something familiar and still it can look so very different. It's such a beautiful creation. Our God breathed the stars into existence, creating night and day, the sky, the seas, the land, and everything that grows. He created the moon, the stars, men and women, and so much more. He simply spoke, and the all powerful God of the universe and He was not even tired after all that work. He could have done all of that in one breath but He took His time. Possibly, He had something He wanted us to learn from the work. That we were designed to rest.
I am a woman who is deeply troubled...I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief. - 1 Samuel 1: 15-16
Head: Hannah's "great anguish and grief" were the direct result of years of infertility, relentless torment, and social mockery. Then, one day she went to the temple to pray. That day was the day she poured it all out to our Lord Father. She was so tired of just trying to get through her days, her years. She let it all out. It as so intense that others thought she was drunk or had lost her mind. She had had enough of the heartache. There was nothing she was going to hold back from God during that moment. The pain poured with a burst. Scripture doesn't promise us all good days, sunshine and rainbows. What it does promise is, after such pouring out of heartfelt prayers, peace. Peace that is so pure that even if we don't understand our circumstances, we know that we are held by the One who loves us most.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. - Matthew 11:28
Head: Just has handwritten a personal invitation right in His Word to you and to me with such gentle lovingkindness, He calls us to come to Him and receive His gift. He knows that we've been out in the world in all its busyness. He knows that as moms we are weary and burdened. We can feel run down and worry ourselves over our children. He knows that we need Him to help us put it all down. He is strong enough for our heaviest burden so that we can run to Him, straight through the open door into His loving arms. In His arms we can rest, catch our breath and take Him in like the long drink of Living Water that He is.
We are more than conquerers through him who loved us. -Romans 8:37
Head: Self-care and self-improvement...we are all trying to improve ourselves in. some form or fashion. We may be working out to become more fit , eating clean to be healthier, reading to become wiser., or paying attention to others to be more loving. We want success in everything we do from business to personal relationships and we try so hard to be "good enough."
In the end, we sometimes find we are wearing ourselves thin, we are exhausted and we are still chasing that ever elusive "balance". There aren't many self help or motivational books these days that tell us the truth...we will never attain it on our own. The verse above reminds us that we are more than conquerers through Him. The One who saves and gained victory over sin and death, He is our strength were we are weak. It is Christ who allows us to do all the things we are capable of doing.
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work. - Exodus 20:9-10
Head: I want to take you on a little walk down my memory lane. Take a moment to imagine. I often remember when I was a little girl and there were miles and miles of fields and forest behind our house. In that forest were trees that were begging for me to climb them. The best trees for climbing were always the ones that had long, thick branches that hung low and stretched out over the world below. I would shimmy up the trunk a bit and pull myself up until I reached the branch that looked the best for resting, one with a view. I would carefully balance my way out on the branch with each careful step and then lower myself down to sit for a little while. I would rest and take a deep breath. The work to get to the place of rest was...work. The rest itself was so rewarding. The view was always worth it.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Gard of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Head: Just as soon as God created the first human being, Adam, He gave him a job. He had life breathed into him, was taken to a perfect paradise, the Garden of Eden, and put to work as a care taker. He was entrusted with the responsibility and was also given authority. God handed him a precious gift, a treasure, into Adam's hands to watch over and protect as he saw fit. As Adam saw the fruit of his labor, he also found delight and enjoyment in the task of attending well to what he was given.
Here! Hold My Crown! Is a forthcoming devotional for mothers. Written by Aimee Larsen, a mother of 5 children. She walked through having a premie, infertility, miracles, foster care, and adoption.