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Now this is a great picture of a “mother at peace“.  If she is at peace then her children can have peace.  I can guarentee you if this mother senses danger or worry her baby is going to react accordingly.

What a great picture of what it is like for our children.  If I am a “woman at peace” (refer to the blog…..A Woman at Peace) with her God and trusting Him in everything, my children stand a much better chance of experiencing that peace and rest as well.  With all the challenges of motherhood, the sheer daunting task of just taking care of their physical needs can be overwhelming.  Even then I think we can go a little overboard and add more to our own plate than is really necessary.  In this space I love to go to my husband and ask him to balance me out a little.  I need him to be my anchor.  I have such a deep desire to get it right for my kids my tendancy is to go overboard.  Again, do not make the mistake I have made by asking for his help, or advice and then do not do what he suggests.  He will be less likely be there to help out if he sees his help is not needed.  Plus God (who we can fully trust) gave us our men to help bring us balance.

Some of our stress is self-inflicted even though it is birthed out of good intentions.  I believe our enemy is going to try to use our good heart and good intentions and push us into a space that will end up taking us out instead.  If we get taken out so will the very people we are trying to protect.  Our enemy is crafty.

I made the mistake of putting my children first in everything.  I put them before myself, before my husband and even before my God.  Not a good plan.  Without God being first, everything my life is going to be less than what it could be.  If I want the very best for my kids I have to connect with God.  I found ways to worship and praise Him while washing the dishes and vacuuming.  I could get away with Him and have little conversations, or even just offering it up as a part of my living sacrifice and worship.  Worship is a state within your heart.  You can sing all the right songs but never really show an act of worship from your heart.  Worship to me, means to adore and show honor.  Show reverence and admiration to in a selfless way.  I can do that vacuuming and doing dishes.  It is much harder for me when caring for little one to find the time but I found I can in those simplest of things that I have to do everyday.   It almost feels like I have gotten away with something when I can secretly steal away a somewhat romantic moment with God.  It is a very important way that I can tend to my own heart everyday.

I also have to ask God for His wisdom.  A friend of mine spoke at a women’s event at our church several years ago.  Out of her session God released me from my striving.  The jist of the message was…

it is not our jobs as mother’s to convict, or try to be the Holy Spirit for our kids.  We are to be the best example to them showing them how we are at peace with God and how we trust God with everything especially when things are not going smoothly.  Our job is to point them to God and let Him captivate them.  It is through our example that they will be pointed to Him and He can raise them up.

I finally had permission to stop the striving, which leads to control, which is manipulation, which is me trying to make it all happen in my own strength and understanding.  Ugh!

My poor daughter (now 23), bless her heart.  I was a single mom for the first 7 years of her life.  Talk about striving.  I was trying to make it up to her.  I was trying extra hard to get it all right that I controlled and micromanaged her into the ground.  It was ugliness that I gave her as an example.  I take every opportunity to share with her now that I am so sorry that I was so busy striving to get everything right that I missed her heart over and over again.  It was because I missed my own heart and God’s heart first.  I didn’t realize what was really happening.  Our boys (15, 13, and  11) are being raise by a totally different person.  Thank you God!  I am a “mother at peace” because I seek God’s heart, tend to my own heart, listen to my husband and just point them to God and trust Him to captivate them.