Fly with the Phoenix


Fuel for thought

My pastor, Janet, gave me a devotional journal that I’ve been using for a week. One of the items each day allows me to list my inspirations–scripture, quotes–that kind of thing. Today, I wrote in those lines, “I got nothing this morning, which is why I’ve made a pot of coffee and plan to read for a few hours.” It didn’t take me long to find the inspiration for today within the covers of a favorite book, my Bible.As a mother living apart from my daughter, and because my family right now is going through a very difficult trial, I’m trying to seek new wisdom as I work through this period of my life. Going to my most reliable source, I sought out my devotional Bible edited by Max Lucado, noted Christian author, and looked up “mothers” in the index. There I found two passages and devotionals that really spoke to my heart, so I thought I’d share them with you. Grab your cup of coffee and let’s talk.

The first devotional passage is based in the book of Genesis (surprisingly, not the well-known story of mother Sarah), chapter 38 verses 1–30. It’s about a woman named Tamar. The devotional is an excerpt from Ann Kiemel Anderson’s book, Open Adoption, and examines how critical is trusting God in our lives.

Ann writes about her longing to conceive and carry a child, but several miscarriages in her 30s left her “completely stripped and broken. I was suddenly empty enough of myself to see God in a way I had never seen him before.” While I never lost a child to a miscarriage and can’t know the pain of that loss, the hurt I felt when my daughter decided to move out of my house and now sharing with me she’s uncomfortable coming over for visitations connects me somehow to Ann and other mothers who are living apart or without their children. These experiences certainly can make you feel naked, broken and helpless.

But Ann suggests this isn’t necessarily a bad thing because when she quit trying to make things happen, she could see God in an entirely new way. I haven’t finished her book, but I’m going to search it out to find out what happened in the end when she “let go and let God” work blessings for her and her husband ,Will.

The second devotional is centered around one of my favorite biblical books, Proverbs, chapter 31 verses 1–31, which describes sort of an ancient soccer mom. You know, the woman with a devoted husband and kids who exudes grace and confidence. Women who deal with their shortcomings like me find it hard to befriend soccer moms, but that’s something to take up with my therapist. Anyway…the devotional is an excerpt from the book, Creative Counterpart, by Linda Dillow and it looks at the source for this ancient soccer mom’s beauty.  It didn’t come from a jar, but from inside and her ability to respect and desire to worship God. “The virtuous wife respects and worships God,” she writes, while reminding us that the Proverbs mother must be a woman who had been married for a long while as her children who heap praise on her are grown. “Inner qualities did not appear overnight, but were hammered out in trials of life as she trusted God and obeyed Him.”

As mothers, are we then called by God to accept the trials and heartaches that come our way, using them to draw closer to God? This is something I’m working through and have been for a few years. I feel very strongly that my experiences centered in divorce, co-parenting and the many challenges therein have helped to shape me, and that I am being called to share this, not because my life has been so extraordinary and I’m a fabulous person, but because through sharing information and stories, I might provide a nugget of wisdom or insight to help another parent. I don’t believe God arranged for me to get divorced, but I do think God has shown me how I can learn and grow from these trials. I’m not the woman in Proverbs, but I can work toward that.

Do you have any opinions about God-centered mothering? I think I’ll explore next what’s in the Bible about fathers. Meanwhile, leave a comment while I go make another pot of coffee. Peace and blessings to you, DRP

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