This last week I was reading from some women that inspire me, and it really got me thinking – deeply – about the lost art of godly motherhood. I can think right now of so many women in my life that exemplify what a godly mom is, and it’s not their perfection, it’s their sacrifice that humbles me and inspires me to be more.
There was a time in my life when I had more personal freedom. Not that long ago I could leave the house, go grocery shopping, or see a movie without having to do much planning or preparation. I could meet up with a friend, or go out with my husband, and I didn’t even have to call or notify someone that their childcare services were being requested! Now grocery shopping requires carefully planned strategies, and seeing a movie is a rare (if ever) occasion. I have always been a very driven and productive person, working my whole adult life and “getting a lot done” every day, but when God blessed me with more babies, my efficiency seemed to taper off a bit.
At one point in my life I was a “world changing” missionary teaching in Bible College, pastoring women, holding Bible studies every week and crusades every weekend. I was up at 4am, teaching devotionals at 5:30, and leading staff prayer at 1. My days were productive and my nights were filled with sweet sleep!
Now many days are spent making block castles with William, being a cheerleader for Grace as she learns to crawl, and sitting outside naming the different animals we see or all the colors that God made. Hours are spent cleaning up messes, and reorganizing toys that will all be on the floor again in a few hours, and guess what? Nobody sees what you do day in and day out except God.
Is it less glamorous? Yes. Is your work rarely acknowledged? Yes. Is it less important?
In the eyes of the world you are “just” a mom. You are “tied down” by these needy little creatures that need constant instruction and correction; that have meltdowns at the most inconvenient times; that cry until they are taught to communicate, and can’t even comprehend being grateful for your sacrifice until they are much older. Yet laying down one’s life for another is the greatest example of love, and it was Jesus that demonstrated the ultimate sacrifice for us.
In the words of one godly mother,
“Productivity is not God’s highest goal for this season of my life; obedience is. Success in His kingdom is not measured by numbers of people reached, quantity of books written, or worldly accolades received. Rather, He says, ‘…whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant’ (Matt. 20:26)”
It was Jesus that taught us to get down on our knees and empty ourselves of position and reputation, and to value and highly esteem the privilege of serving others. Godly motherhood is a priority to God, and it is in living this poured out life – one that we “lose” for Him – that we truly find a life of abundance.
God has been teaching me to slow down, and to cherish this time that I have with my children. What I invest as a mother now will produce such a glorious harvest in time to come. I have a brief window to give of my time, talent and energy – sowing seeds of righteousness in my children’s hearts. In the words of Paul, “I will gladly spend and be spent,” for their little souls to know Christ.
For all of the moms who daily choose a life of self-sacrifice, and who may think that it doesn’t matter or that it’s keeping you from doing something “more important” for God – be encouraged today. What you do as a mom matters, and it is very valuable and precious in God’s eyes.
There is something about a mother that is so divinely purposed by God – an innate ability to nurture, protect, and love her children. A woman of godly character that sees the value in, and invests in her children is something so precious, and so rare. The quote above is one of my absolute favorites because it recognizes the powerful influence a mother has, not only in her home, but over nations!
I have a confession to make. For the last twenty years I have been a working mom. I always believed it was harder to work outside of the home, and in some ways it is; but, I have been blessed by God to be a stay at home mom for the last 5 months, and I must admit that it seems harder on some days to be at home than it is to be at work! Maybe it’s the lack of adult conversation, the fact that there are no lunch breaks, or the never ending repetition of questions, crying, and correction – but there are some days I want to work just so I can have a break from my 24/7 job at home!
There was actually a video that went viral on YouTube that featured a man interviewing people for a job (the job was being a mom). They didn’t know what the job actually was, but as he described their duties, one by one, they began to declare this job was impossible to do. If you haven’t seen it, watch it below:
In honor of mother’s day, I just wanted to send out a big thank you to all of the mommies out there that give of themselves sacrificially to help mold and shape the character of the children who will be our future leaders, each in their own spheres of influence. Don’t EVER underestimate the value and inestimable worth of a mother in the lives of her children! What you do matters, and though what is done in your home with your children may only be seen by you and by God, it is to be acknowledged and praised!
“Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.”
This week, remember the important place that you have in your home. It is a place of strength and honor. It is a place of value and worth. It is a place given by God, and it is to be highly regarded and highly esteemed! What you invest of your time, energy, love, patience, and strength in this present time will one day be the very thing that is blessing you, and praising you before God and man. Mommy, you are a QUEEN with a powerful scepter, building the character of your children for eternity. You have a VERY HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
This is one of my favorite pictures from my time in the Philippines. We held 3 days of meetings on the island of Camiguin off the northern coast of Mindanao. We flooded the area inviting people to come and hear the word of God, and to bring the sick because God is still the Healer today! We would preach salvation, pray with the people to receive Jesus, and then teach about healing and invite them to receive healing for their bodies. This woman came forward for prayer with her dear husband, had hands laid on her, and then came to testify of her healing.
Our pastors encouraged her, as an act of faith, to rise up out of her wheelchair, and to do something that she couldn’t do before (like standing on her legs). Her precious husband looked so terribly concerned for her. I’d even say there was some fear there that she would fall, but she chose to be strong and rise up out of that chair. As she took that step of faith and put weight on her legs, God answered that faith and strengthened her legs enough to bear her weight. Someone on our team happened to capture the heart of that moment in this picture! Glory to God!
Over 30 times we are COMMANDED to be strong in the King James Version of the Bible! We are told to be strong, be courageous, to not be afraid, to “act like men” and fight! We are told to be strong and do the work of the Lord because He will not fail us or forsake us! We are told to be strong for the battle because God has the power to help us and save us! We are told to be strong in the Lord, and to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus! Are we getting the message??? BE STRONG!
It took strength for this woman to receive what God was ready to give her. If she had chosen to give way to fear, she may have remained bound by her infirmity forever!
God is calling each and every one of us to complete an assignment for Him. Most likely, to carry out that assignment, we will be required to be strong, to have faith, to resist the devil, to “act like men” and fight (or in my case, “fight like a girl,” and I mean that in a very GOOD way!) Why am I so passionate about this? Because I have been on both sides of the fence. There have been times when I courageously obeyed God, and times that I have given way to fear.
Recently I was giving way to fear as God has been really stretching my faith, but when I got quiet with Him I did not get a “pep talk.” I got corrected – firmly corrected. God commands us to be strong – if we choose to be cowards we are disobeying that command! He expects us to get in the word, to pray, to exercise our authority in Jesus’ name. The devil does not exit our affairs because we politely ask him to leave. We must THROW HIM OUT with great conviction – trusting that God is at our back authorizing us to do just that!
I’m telling you, when you tell fear to take a hike, and tell God you are choosing to STAND on His word until you see His promises come to pass in your life, it won’t be long until you see your faith become sight!
Since YOU are reading this, let me ask you, what are YOU afraid of? What is the greatest fear you have in your life right now? Think about it. Now, BE STRONG, take authority over that fear right now! Choose to trust God, to resist the devil, to fight the good fight of faith. Don’t lay down and cry. Rise up and rejoice! God is looking for faith in the earth because He is so eager to show Himself strong in the lives of His people.
I pray that this word today meets you right where you need it and changes your situation. Be strong my friends. Be courageous. God is with us. He is for us. Don’t be afraid. Get some backbone and fight! Ha! With God, you will win every time!
In our home the vacuum has been the dreaded foe of my two year old for as long as I can remember. I don’t know when it happened, but I have a feeling that it was when we were in a public restroom and someone used the hand dryer while I was changing my son’s diaper. I didn’t even realize he was screaming in terror because of the deafening volume of this thing, but the noise must have left a lasting impression on him because every time I would vacuum, the noise would have him running away crying!
Well, even though it was humorous at first we didn’t want him holding on to this fear, so every time we talked about the vacuum we started to teach him to say, “I’m not scared. I’m brave.” Over and over, we would say this every time we talked about the vacuum, but he would still cry and run away or hide in a corner when we got out the beast!
Fast forward to this afternoon, and I am contemplating some things that God has had us step out to do in the last few weeks. There are sometimes temptations to fear when God has you do something that stretches your faith. I happened to be contemplating these things while I was vacuuming! I was lost in thought so I hadn’t noticed that William was standing right there by me with a scrunched up face and a hint of fear still in his eyes, but he was saying out loud as he inched closer, “I’m brave. I’m brave. I’m brave. I’m brave.” He was saying it hard and fast! “I’m not scared. I’m brave. I’m not scared. I’m brave.”
Don’t you love those moments when God teaches you out of the mouth of babes? What great faith was in those words! It may not seem like it on the surface, but this was a deeply spiritual moment! William went with me from room to room and soon he was turning the vacuum on for me (he still high-tailed it out of there when it came on, but then he would return!) Ha!
At the end of our vacuuming hour he was hanging out with the vacuum like it was his old buddy. He even took the attachments and used them like sword and sheath and spent the next 20 minutes relishing in the fact that he had conquered this fear!
William’s new friend!
Moms, don’t ever underestimate the value and importance of your place in your child’s life. What a great privilege and responsibility we have to teach our children to live by faith, and to BE the strong, brave, and bold children God created them to be! You can influence your child’s little spirit even in the daily chores of life!
How about you? Is there something you fear in your life right now? Is it leaving a job? Moving somewhere far away? Making some changes that are going to be hard? Cutting off a relationship? Whatever it might be start saying, “I am not afraid! I’m brave!” If it works for a 2 year old, it will work for you too!
If the goal is to help our children become successful readers, then sight words are a HUGE key in achieving that goal!
Sight words, also called high frequency words, are commonly used words that must be recognized by sight, rather than using decoding strategies to “sound them out.” These words have unusual spelling patterns and cannot be represented using pictures; therefore, young readers can’t rely on some of the core reading strategies that they commonly use to read the text. So what’s a reader to do??
It sounds crazy, but I can distinctly remember being in my first grade classroom during reading time and getting stuck on the word, “the.” It was the very first word of the text and I couldn’t remember how to “sound it out.” While the other students around me were well into their books, I was feeling frustrated and embarrassed!
“The” is a sight word! The astounding thing is that sight words account for up to 75% of the words used in beginning children’s print materials! One can quickly see the great advantage a beginning reader has in being able to recognize sight words automatically. They will be able to identify the majority of the words in the text without having to stop and decode every single word!
So where can I find these sight words!?!
The truth is, there are a number of lists out there, but the most common are the Dolch sight word lists, and the Fry lists. Dr. Fry expanded on the Dolch lists and research and published a book titled “Dr. Fry’s 1000 Instant Words.” Now, before you hyperventilate, you don’t need to teach your Kindergarten student 1000 words before school starts! What Dr. Fry found is that,
- 25 words make up approximately 1/3 of all items published
- 100 words make up approximately 1/2 of all the words found in publications
In our school district, “Fry’s List” of 100 sight words was the standard for 1st grade readers to learn by the end of the year. If you’d like to get in some practice with these words, download the list for free!
Frys First 100 Words
If you’d just like a “Top 20,” more like a “Top 30,” to work on this summer with a little one heading to Kindergarten, here is a Kindergarten Sight Word List:
Kindergarten Sight Word List
Here are a few ideas for teaching sight words!
1. Create a Sight Word Sticker Book
(Earn a sticker for each sight word mastered)
2. Sight Word Bingo!
3. Colorful Flash Cards
4. Word Search
5. Pudding Art
(Write sight words into chocolate pudding spread on paper – YUM!)
REMEMBER: The aim is to help your child learn in a way that is fun! Use these ideas and think of some of your own! You’ve just been given a BIG KEY to reading success: SIGHT WORDS!