Mother’s day Posts

The Three Powerful Prayers of Motherhood by Stephanie Rische

Tyndale Kids

mom-praying


I am far from having a PhD in motherhood; in fact, this is my first Mother’s Day with a child in my arms. But that’s long enough for me to know this: being a mom comes with all the feelings.

There’s something about being a mom that takes any given emotion and injects it with steroids. Sure, I experienced worry before I became a mom. But now if my baby so much as sneezes, I’m convinced that this is the twenty-first-century version of the bubonic plague. I used to feel pain, too, but that was nothing compared to the vicarious pain I felt on his first trip to the ER. I felt delight before, but nothing could have prepared me for the way my heart would swell the first time he smiled at me (even if was just gas).

baby-smiling-with-motherAs I read Scripture, it occurs to me that this phenomenon of maternal emotion is nothing new. In the story of Hannah, we see a woman who experienced the full gamut of mom-feelings—all within the span of two chapters. It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in this swirl of emotion. But even more consoling is that God doesn’t just tolerate our spectrum of feelings; he affirms them.

Maybe you’ve bought into the idea that expects a little, well, decorum when we come to him. We figure that approaching him with our requests is like interviewing for a job or applying for a grant: we need to pull ourselves together first, and we certainly shouldn’t have any mascara running down our cheeks in the process. But Hannah’s story is proof that God welcomes us just as we are, with our full range of emotions.

woman-praying-with-bibleAnd believe it or not, there’s actually a gift that comes with strong emotion: it can drive us to our knees. All the emotion bubbling inside us can drive us to more fervent—and more frequent—prayers than we’d muster up otherwise.

This was certainly the case for Hannah. She prayed three mother-prayers for her child, and all these years later, they are the prayers all of us moms need.


Please.

Hannah’s journey to motherhood was a long and arduous one, having longed for a child for years. At the Tabernacle, she poured out her heart to the Lord, not holding back an ounce of her anguish. She prayed so fervently that the priest assumed she was drunk. “I am a woman who is deeply troubled,” she said. “I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief” (1 Samuel 1:15-16).

expectant-mother-hands-on-stomachGod heard the heartfelt “please” of this mom-to-be and answered the desire of her heart. We, too, can come to the Lord with our requests, both for ourselves and for our children, knowing that he hears and that he cares about the things closest to our hearts.


Thank you.

The Lord graciously answered Hannah’s prayers and gave her a son, Samuel, which means “heard by God.” Every time she said his name, it was a reminder of God’s faithfulness. “She named him Samuel, saying, ‘Because I asked the Lord for him’” (1 Samuel 1:20).

mother-and-daughter-walking-togetherJust as Hannah brought her full grief to the Lord, she also brought her full gratitude to the Lord. In 1 Samuel 2, we read her song of praise, which opens with these joyful words: “My heart rejoices in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong” (1 Samuel 2:1). After God answers our prayers, it’s so easy to move on to the next problem, the next request. We get stuck in “please” mode and forget to say thank you. But Hannah’s example reminds us to bring both the sorrows and the joys of motherhood to the Lord.


They’re yours.

This is perhaps the most difficult prayer for a mother to utter. We’re wired to protect and nurture our children, which is a good, God-given instinct. However, we sometimes forget that these children aren’t really ours. God has entrusted them to us, but ultimately, they belong to him.

willow-tree-mother-and-sonAfter all those years of waiting, it would have been easy for Hannah to cling tightly to her son. He was her miracle-child, after all! But she never forgot that Samuel was first and foremost God’s child, and when he was just a few years old, she brought him to the Tabernacle so he could serve the Lord for the rest of his life. “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:27-28).


Whatever emotions you are experiencing this Mother’s Day, I invite you to bring them to our gracious God, who welcomes our tears and our joy—and everything in between. Let those feelings be transformed into prayers in his presence.

Please. Thank you. They’re yours.


Stephanie Rische is a senior editor and team leader at Tyndale House Publishers, as well as a freelance writer for publications such as Today’s Christian Woman, Christian Marriage Today, and Significant Living magazine. You can follow Stephanie’s blog at www.StephanieRische.com.


Don’t miss these books about motherhood from Tyndale Kids!

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Be the Mom…and Other God Appointed Opportunities {Guest Post}

Today we have a guest post from Tracey Lanter Eyster, author of Be the Mom. She shares some background behind the book and information about a new Bible study she co-wrote with MOPS president, Sherry Sherratt, which is being released in conjunction with the new movie, Moms’ Night Out

TraceyEysterauthorheadshot

There are many of us who struggle to determine just what it is that God has put us on this planet to accomplish for His glory.  I learned early on that my spiritual gift was the gift of encouragement and though I had grown up a very bashful quiet listener, I embraced His prompting to encourage.  I slowly began to realize that my voice used by Him to encourage others actually bolstered my “fear not” muscle and I learned to speak truth, trust and obey!

I have always liked to write and create story, but initially that was something I did just for me.  Few people had ever read the words that filled journals, spiral notebooks and word documents.

Once I became a mom words were my processing mechanism as I was faced with new unchartered territory.  It was out of love and concern for the future mother my daughter would become that I began to write in earnest what I was learning as a mom.  I was finding that motherhood brought with it challenges that proved to be an assault on self, which could lead to some serious attitude problems.

Only God would allow what I initially wrote for my daughter to become a heartfelt plea to moms through Tyndale publishing Be The Mom.  The process of molding those words and finding my true writing voice was a joy and privilege!  I have heard from moms the world over whose lives and homes have been changed for good and for God’s glory after they read my words.  Be The Mom – Overcome Attitude Traps and Enjoy Your Kids, very much teaches moms that their attitude towards motherhood has a lot to do with their ability to embrace their role as mom.  The book gently guides moms to seek God and His plans for their lives and to run to Him when they become overwhelmed!  Attitude is a universal language and once a mom gets that her daily life and the lives of those in her home are affected in large measure upon her attitude…positive life change occurs.

My greatest joy since writing the book are the emails, notes and letters I receive from moms who pour their heart out and share that God has used my heartfelt words to bring them closer to Him and afforded them the blessed ability to raise their children with joy filled days!

Since writing Be The Mom many other doors have opened and I have been blessed to speak at writing, blogging and women’s events across the country.  My favorite part of attending those events is connecting with, talking to and encouraging moms!  (That should come as no surprise!)  I have also been published in various print magazines and on-line blog sites.  Surprisingly the once bashful me has found that being on radio programs is a niche that I am comfortable with and gifted in as I have been a featured guest on several Christian radio programs.  My before unknown radio prowess has led to me becoming a co-host on a syndicated radio broadcast that is titled Encouragement Café.  Yeah, right!  How cool is God?

I was beyond blessed early this year when I received a phone call from LifeWay who after years of “wanting” to write a Bible Study for moms, felt now was the time and they asked me to be a part of the project! Sherry Sherratt, the President of MOPS and I have just co-written a Bible Study for moms titled Beautiful Mess – Motherhood for Every Moment!  This Bible Study is being released in conjunction with the new Erwin Brothers movie Moms’ Night Out.

It has been great fun partnering with the marketing team behind Moms’ Night Out and creating video for them as well as blog posts for their website MomsNightOutMovie.com.  Be on the look out for this amazing movie (with well known actors) that truly is the movie I have been waiting for someone to make!

I have spent two decades serving moms in ministry, seven years in the online space and truly I am beyond excited about God’s desire to minister to the hearts of moms, that they might understand the high calling of motherhood!   Now is the time – go God!

Never in my wildest dreams would I have believed that God could use me in the ways He is and all that is happening is because of Him and for His glory.  I am gratefully able to embrace what God has made this woman to be and the bashful girl that stepped up to encourage is celebrating that God allows me to encourage on a broader scale through the doors He chooses to open!  With wobbling knees I am walking through each one fully dependent upon Him.

What has God called you to do…on wobbling knees?  I suggest you go for it – He is able!

Tracey Eyster (@MomBlog) is dedicated to helping other moms realize that every MOMent counts! Her trademark enthusiasm, encouragement, and “get it done with a smith” attitude have afforded her opportunities for speaking, volunteerism, and travel throughout the United States and abroad. She is the creator/editor of MomLifeToday.com, a website where she has gathered a diverse group of moms who are as fervent as she is about equipping others to thrive in their daily MomLife.

 

Happy Mother’s Day! – A Note from Author Susan May Warren

As you take time to celebrate motherhood this weekend, dear readers, here are some thoughts about motherly love from acclaimed author Susan May Warren.

~*~

As I write this, my eldest son is on his way home from college, having finished his last classes, preparing for finals . . . and then graduation.

It seems like yesterday that I was holding him in my arms, hoping and praying so much for him, longing that he never make my mistakes, that he have an amazing, love-filled life. But it never works out quite that way, does it? Because on the way to adulthood, children make mistakes, break our hearts, and the challenge is when to reach out to catch them and when to let them fall. Being a parent is dangerously wonderful, breathtaking and terrifying.

As I wrote Take a Chance on Me, and as I’m working on the rest of the collection, I realized the thread that weaves through these stories is the hope Ingrid Christiansen has for each of her children. Her hope—and belief—in her children is written in a letter at the beginning of each book. It’s a prayer, really. The words she longs to speak to her son, even though he can’t hear her.

~*~

My dearest Darek,

Even as I write this letter, I know I’ll tuck it away; the words on it are more of a prayer, meant for the Lord more than you. Or maybe, in the scribbling upon this journal page, the words might somehow find your heart, a cry that extends across the bond of mother and child.

The firstborn child is always the one who solves the mystery of parenthood. Before I had you, I watched other mothers and wondered at the bond between a child and a parent, the strength of it, the power to mold a woman, making her put all hopes and wishes into this tiny bundle of life that she had the responsibility to raise.

It’s an awe-filled, wonderful, terrifying act to have a child, for you suddenly wear your heart on the outside of your body. You risk a little more each day as he wanders from your arms into the world. You, Darek, were no protector of my heart. You were born with a willfulness, a courage, and a bent toward adventure that would bring me to the edge of my faith and keep me on my knees. The day I first saw you swinging from that too-enticing oak tree into the lake should have told me that I would be tested.

Your brothers shortened your name to Dare, and you took it to heart. I was never so terrified as the day you came home from Montana, fresh from your first year as a hotshot, feeling your own strength. I knew your future would take you far from Evergreen Lake. I feared it would take you far, also, from your legacy of faith.

Watching your son leave your arms has no comparison to watching him leave God’s. You never seemed to question the beliefs your father and I taught you. Perhaps that is what unsettled me the most, because without questioning, I wondered how there could be true understanding. I held my breath against the day when it would happen—life would shatter you and leave your faith bereft.

And then it did.

It brought you home, in presence if not soul. If it hadn’t been for your son, I might have done the unthinkable—stand in our gravel driveway and bar you from returning, from hiding.

Because, my courageous, bold oldest son, that is what you are doing. Hiding. Bitter and dark, you have let guilt and regret destroy your foundation, imprison you, and steal your joy. You may believe you are building a future for your son, but without faith, you have nothing to build it on. Evergreen Resort is not just a place. It’s a legacy. A foundation. A belief.

It’s the best of what I have to give you. That, and my unending prayers that somehow God will destroy those walls you’ve constructed around your heart.

Darek, you have become a mystery to me again. I don’t know how to help free you. Or to restore all you’ve lost. But I believe that if you give God a chance, He will heal your heart. He will give you a future. He will truly lead you home.

Lovingly,

Your mother

~*~

As I wrote Ingrid’s letter to Darek in Take a Chance on Me, I thought about the times I couldn’t hear God, and I wondered what God’s letter to me might look like. And then I knew. In fact, I have an entire book of God’s letters to me.

This is one of my favorites:

I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. (Jeremiah 31:3)

It’s the cry of a parent, reaching out, not giving up. Willing to let me fall but standing near enough for me to reach out to him, near enough to help me up.

I pray this Mother’s Day you feel the love of God in your life, the kind that reaches out even when we can’t hear, the kind of love that is just within arm’s reach.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Susie May Warren

 

Facebook Mother’s Day Prize Pack Giveaway

You have until Monday morning at 8AM CST to enter our Mother’s Day Prize Pack Giveaway over on our Facebook page. To enter just visit our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/TyndaleHouse and click on the sweepstakes tab on the left side of the page.

Don’t miss out on entering to win these great prizes!