By: Dawn Beauchamp
Many times as we manage the land of motherhood, all we say is NO. The days are full of no, stop, don't do that, and not now. We say it so much it is often our children's favorite word. They are only repeating what they hear incessantly. The true nature of motherhood is a lifetime of saying YES. Saying yes when things are easy and yes when they feel impossible, knowing our yes is what sets the pace on our path and the paths of our children.
Saying Yes To The Impossible
The perfect example of an impossible yes is Mary. Think about the immense courage it took to say yes to God. What if she had said no? Would anyone blame her? When the angel Gabriel came to Mary, she was young, unmarried, and inexperienced in the ways of the world, but smart enough to know the path would not be easy. What if Mary was not the first woman Gabriel visited that day? Maybe there was an Abigail, Ruth, and Laura who said no thank you, that path is too hard. Gabriel came with a request that involved an immeasurable amount of trust in God.
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered, "May your word be fulfilled." Luke 1:38 NIV
When I look into my heart, I see true strength and ultimate trust in our mighty God. A resounding Yes to motherhood is a lesson in saying Yes no matter how difficult the road appears.
Saying Yes To The Possible
Some yeses in motherhood are simple, easy, and natural. Yes, I want to snuggle on the couch and watch my sweet baby sleep. Laughing through silly toddler play is also a pretty easy, yes. Happy, silly, full of fun days are simple yeses. Motherhood is full of natural yeses, but there are also impossible yeses; times, we would rather say NO. It is at these moments that we need to trust God and say Yes to what is possible, even when the path is hard. NO – I do not want to watch my child struggle and feel helpless and inadequate. YES – I will stand by my child as she struggles and seeks ways to lessen her struggle and find some semblance of peace and stability. The following words are my motherhood mantra and how I say yes when I want to say no:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Like Mary, I've learned to trust that the Lord will help me do hard things. God knew what He was doing when He made me a mother, and I will say yes to the good, the bad, the hard, and the scary. I will say yes to all of it.
Remember, Mommas; God knew exactly what he was doing when he placed these babies in our care. He knew we were strong enough, smart enough, and full of Love. Mommas, we all want to say No sometimes. The fact that we keep saying Yes is what makes motherhood the hardest job you will ever love. Love your life, trust in God, and follow your path.
Dawn Marie Beauchamp is a wife and mother of three residing in the great state of Michigan. She currently owns a business with her husband, blogs at Embrace Controlled Chaos, and enjoys spending crazy amounts of time in the kitchen or outside enjoying all nature has to offer. You can connect with Dawn via her blog, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Motherhood. There is SO much behind that one word. Think back to your pre-kiddo days. (If you don't have children, keep reading – motherhood is not a role solely for women with children in their home) What kind of mom did you think you'd be? Did you feel ready? Most of us probably had no idea what we were in for! And, for most of us, all preconceived notions went out the window real quick. Because once that baby was in our arms, everything changed. Priorities changed. Schedules changed. I/You changed – physically, mentally, and emotionally. There are great days, and there are hard, hard days. But on all days, "mother" is one of the most important roles we will play.
So, what does motherhood mean to me? It is my mission field. Stewarding my children well, according to the Bible, is something I can do every single day. Motherhood is a constant opportunity to teach God's word, to show His grace, and to reach the generations to come.
Let's be real – motherhood is often overwhelming! I have to repeatedly remind myself that I am not responsible for my child's salvation nor their future choices. While I am honored to play a role in these aspects of my children's lives, I am only called to take advantage of opportunities to teach and model the fruits of the spirit. Children provide MANY opportunities for this! When I am in God's word and praying regularly, it is easier for me to see disobedience as an opportunity to remind my son to "obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." (Ephesians 6:1) I become thankful that God allows me to witness my children's sins so that I can help them see it and remind them what God says about it. I don't do this perfectly. In fact, I probably fail more than I succeed…but God! His grace applies to me, as well. So when I fail, when I lose my cool, He is there with abundant grace. And these failures provide another opportunity for me to share with my children that I am not perfect, that I too struggle with sin. I get to model asking for forgiveness, and they get to show grace. God can even use my failures for His glory! The mission field of motherhood is a field laden with roaring rivers to cross and land mines to avoid.
I'd love to leave you with a few of my favorite resources.
Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman – It shows how motherhood is a calling for all women, not just those who have children in the home.
Praying the Scriptures for Your Children by Jodie Berndt – This has helped me focus my prayer time and has aided my whole family in scripture memorization. So good!
1000 Generations: A Record of our Faith by Sara Haddox – This beautiful heirloom book provides a place to document how God has been faithful in your family in a way that can be passed down for generations. (picture courtesy of 1000generationsbook.com)
By: Vivy Fomengia
I believe a mother’s role is to pray for, nurture, teach, guide, protect, and encourage her children. Here I will share the unique colors I have used to paint a beautiful portrait of what being a MOTHER means to me.
As my son approaches 11 months, we pray together, and I read the children’s Bible to him. I believe that as I train him up in the way that he should go when he is older, he will not depart. Though I will not always be physically present, I believe the seeds that I am planting will activate God’s faithfulness to protect, provide, and guide him.
Observe. I pay keen attention to my son’s tendencies. I do not want to change who he is becoming. Instead, I want to create a healthy environment that will allow him to grapple through the complexities of life, grow in understanding, and flourish in the fullness of who God has designed him to be. My desire is that he accepts Christ into his heart and submits to God’s plan for every area of his life.
Trust God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3.5-6). I often remind myself of this scripture as I juggle full-time work, motherhood, household responsibilities, family, friends, and ministry. These verses quickly arrest my thoughts of being in full control.
Hard. Being a single, first-time mom is currently the hardest thing I have ever done. However, I truly believe God has graced me for this divine assignment. I love everything about what I am learning and who I am becoming. I know that while the days are long, the years are short. I believe my current sacrifices will count as joy in the greater journey.
Engaging. The moment the Lord placed this seed in my womb, we became inherently connected. This connection has developed during his infancy and will strengthen throughout our lives. Seasons will change as well as the levels of engagement, but the foundation will continue to be spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental.
Role model. My son gazes at me and hears every word that I speak. Soon, he will begin to emulate what he sees; this thought alone, causes me to be vigilant of how I function. It also challenges me to become the best version of myself. I am not chasing perfection but truly seeking progress.
Valerie Fomengia, who goes by Vivy, is a government contractor by day, financial coach by night, and new mom to infant Azariah. Her learning experiences with her finances and her passion to help others become financially aware led her to establish Vivy Motivates, Inc. in 2018. Vivy also loves to eat, sleep, travel, exercise, binge watch Netflix, and sob her heart out to authentic Christian worship music. Connect with her on her website here!
By: Amber Smith
Mothering, the word brings to mind visions of fleshy newborn babes, gauzy blankets, with impossibly tiny noses peeking out—sleepy newborn yawns, outstretched hands, tiny and delicately detailed. At the same time, like my son, feeling much less adorable, in those early morning hours twenty years ago, I, too, was born. In-between joyful tears and searing pain, I was delivered as abruptly into this new life as a Mother.
I have always mothered in my capacity as an older sister, neighborhood babysitter, Sunday School teacher. Yet, in all of those years, I was a midwife to the Mothers of the children I loved. As they handed me, my son, I felt the weight of his future and my own, fall squarely into my labor wearied arms. Playing mother was no longer enough.
I could feel the dappled patterns of my family’s past cast shadows over my future. As a child of divorced parents, raised in a cycle of fear, loss, and approval seeking, I wanted more for this child. Being a mother was to be reborn with a new future and the desire to seek a way to outpace the dark corners of my past.
Every birth story includes pain. My past was full of wounds, failings, and losses. These were my rubble to pick over and choose what was going to be true about me. How was I going to overcome it? By choosing to grow in my spiritual walk, I decided to be honest with myself about my fears and seek healing from the past. I chose to be brutally, honestly, and humbly open to what I believed about who I was.
Like my baby, I have learned to trust and depend on God to teach me about who He says I am.
If I was going to grow in my role as the mother God intended for my family, I was going to stand on an infallible foundation. Not the wreckage of my past. When I am afraid, I have learned to seek God, and His Word has led me in truth.
In Isaiah 43:16-19, says,
“This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (NIV)
If God could take a people who did not choose Him, lay waste to their enemies, and make a way for them in the wilderness, I knew he would make a way for me to raise a family in a way that brings Him glory.
Being a Mom means following the lead of the One who knows the way, even when I do not perceive it. Over the years, God has led me through the deep waters of healing and kept His promises to create streams in the desert. You are not bound to your past. He is doing a new thing by giving us a rewritten future if we choose to seek it.
By: Sharon Fernandez
"Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." Proverbs 31:25-26
From the time you conceive till you deliver, as the child grows up into a fine young adult, the Lord has bestowed an amazing strength to your body and mind, dear Mothers. The confidence you have comes from the Lord. It is He who takes you through all the long sleepless nights. As the child grows, you be filled with wisdom to understand and know just what to do for your child in all the different stages of life. With such grace and kindness, you will teach your offspring the goodness of God by living it out. You shall raise them in the way (Jesus) they should pursue; they shall never depart from it when they grow old.
The reason why you will be able to laugh at the days to come, cause each day is made by the Lord, its crowned with His goodness and grace. As you raise every morning, you enter into the time of worship; in the stillness, you receive the promises of the day. This is the day the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24). Despite the chaos that can take place in the house, never start your day without spending this precious moment even if it were to be just 5 – 10 mins, dear mothers. Truly, it makes a lot of difference, even when you don't have any words to say. Your tears are liquid prayers you offer up to Jesus. He has a bottle collecting all your tears to reward you for all the sacrifices you make to raise this child of God for His glory.
Psalm 54:4 Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.
Being a mother is not an easy feat. It takes a community to raise a child. Not all of us have such a privilege. You may be all by yourself with a newborn baby in your hand, having no place to stay, no one to ask for help. You may find yourself in a very terrible predicament due to wrong choices made in the past, but you still got this little fight inside of you to want to turn things around for the sake of your child. You want to turn over a new life and start afresh.
Seek ye First His kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). This promise never fails.
Shalom to one and all. God bless you dear Mothers!
Sharon Fernandez, 32, is a young Singaporean born again Christian. She sensed the calling of God as a mother of two and now dedicates her life to serve God in the worship ministry and bible sharing. She spends her time studying the word of God fervently and teaches its application in practical everyday situations. She shares her devotions in her blog and daily devotions in her Instagram. She is known for helping individuals to look for divine wisdom to solve life situations and personal emotional matters through her bible studies. She believes with the help of the Holy Spirit, anyone can truly live their life to the fullest as the will of God is done on earth as it is done in Heaven.
By: Amber Weston
We've all heard the saying; Comparison is a thief of joy. Though I know in my heart that this is true; the tendency to want more than I have, to compare myself and my achievements to other peoples' possessions and achievements, and to feel dissatisfied with my lot in certain areas of life, is an ongoing battle for me. I'll be cruising along, all sunshine, smiles, and gratefulness, then bam, I want what I don't have all over again.
At church last year, we had a series on exile. I found the following definition gripping: exile is when what should be, seems to be losing the battle to what is. In simpler words, exile is when life is not what we think it should be. I have lived this time and again.
As a little girl, I always pictured my life as an adult. I would have a ton of kids, a Chevrolet Suburban, and a beautiful house with a big backyard. As a grown woman, what I have is three kids, until very recently a Honda CRV, and an urban condo with no yard at all.
The discrepancy between what I want and what life is, has caused me to battle a lot of bitterness over the years. Does hating my condo make my life any better? No! Do I need a serious reality check from time to time, and a conviction to be grateful? Yes! Ultimately, if I confront my longing, I know better. I have so much more than lots of people do. There are millions of people in the world who would be so excited to live where I live. I'm sure that all of the people I pass each day at the city bus stop would be downright thrilled to have that CRV. There are women out there who are physically aching to be a mother, while I am so blessed to have three children.
I find that comparison and longing for what others have bleeds into my professional desires. I love to write, but when I am not instantly a bestselling author, then I start to compare my achievements to others. Comparing myself to others is only causing me pain. Comparison shuts me down and causes me to pull away from my work. Very few people are overnight successes, and I know this. #duh But the enemy seeks to make me feel small, and I fall for it over and over again when I let it go unchecked.
Unfortunately, like many women, I also play the comparison game when it comes to my physical self. I hate that I want to look different. I see everyone's best versions all around me, and I don't feel like I can keep up. On other days, when my hair falls in just the right wave, my makeup leaves me feeling fresh, and my muscles feel firm from a workout the day before; at those times, I feel on top of the world. But am I vocalizing that in the same way that I vocalize my negativity? Probably not. I can tell myself once that I look nice that day, but on the other has I tell myself a thousand times that I'm bloated. I lose again when I choose to compare.
Comparison is a thief of joy. Negative feelings breed more negative feelings. And there are six eyes on me all of the time. If your kids are like mine, and you never get a moment alone, our kids are watching us at all times. Comparison is not the legacy that I want to leave for my kids.
I recently read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp, which delves into the practice of thankfulness. Thankfulness is not automatic to us and must be exercised intentionally every day. Ann learns to be mindful of the beauty all around her by looking for things in the world to appreciate little things that might otherwise be ignored. The click of a seatbelt, the crackle in the fireplace, new toothbrushes, boys jiggling blue Jell-O. A practice I have taken to.
Colossians 3:17 says:
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (KJV)
Being thankful is the antidote to the comparison game. The one thing that I should be pressing myself on is being faithful in reading and applying God's word. I should live my life with a heart of gratitude. I should be thankful for everything, big and small.
Ultimately there has to be more than me praying, "Thank you for my blessings." My words and actions must align. I don't want to mislead my children about life's disappointments or sorrows, but I want to model a balance, steering away from the should's.
If I am using that word, I want them to hear this:
You should work hard to achieve your goals.
You should expect that you won't always get what you want.
You should try new things.
You should live your life thinking of how to bless others in word and deed.
You should be truly thankful for the life that you have.
I want to be the type of woman who travels the road to gratitude.
Amber is a wife and the mother of three little lovelies, living is sunny Southern California. Connect with her on her blog The Gilted Life or her Instagram!
By: Alexis Newlin
It’s an old frenemy of many of us, one that I would love to be rid of.
Worry says I must ponder a thing over and over again. To not do so means that I am just ignoring it. If I don’t think about it constantly, I don’t care. I don’t want to fix the problem.
I must fixate on it constantly.
These are such lies.
Yet it is my broken belief system. I’m not alone; many people struggle with anxiety and worry.
Worry, which is the ugly second cousin to anxiety is defined as:
I feel this definition defines my breed of worry best: (of a dog or other carnivorous animal) tear at, gnaw on, or drag around with the teeth (Lexico*)
When I am wrapped in the clinches of worry, it feels as if I am being torn at and dragged around. Everything feels ripped away: my joy, my peace, my knowing that God is in control.
I’ve been told that to worry is to rock in a rocking chair, expecting to get somewhere, yet you’re going nowhere. Now, this is the truth. Worry is unfruitful. The only fruit it produces is anxiety, discomfort, irritability, illness.
It is not the way God wants me or anyone else to live.
This morning, my old frenemy decided to visit. I’d lost my debit card the night before, and although I’d immediately reported it lost, I still worried that something could still happen.
As I sat, coming up with every worse scenario possible, even ones outside of the lost debit card, I found myself wrapped up once again in the worry trap.
Thankfully, God came to the rescue. He asked me why I was so anxious. Then he kindly pointed me to Matthew 6:25-34, and verse 27 stood out:
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? (ESV)
Worry does not add to your life. Instead, it takes it away.
Just look at some the symptoms of anxiety:
God knows how damaging anxiety and worry can be to our bodies. That’s why He wants us to avoid it.
So how do we avoid anxiety and worry? We trust God. We have faith that he is in control; we remember he takes care of everything.
If He cares for the birds and the small blades of grass, how much more does He care for us? We have a heavenly Father who loves us so much and take care of every need we have. Every. Single. One. All we have to do is ask Him.
Bring your burdens to God; don’t carry them on your own; we are simply not meant to.
Alexis is a 36-year-old lover of Jesus, loose leaf tea, roller coasters, writing stories and going on adventures. Originally from Marietta, GA, Alexis now resides in Fresno, CA. You can always find Alexis outdoors enjoying a walk in her neighborhood, scoping out the newest food truck, hanging out with friends or planning her next trip. Her church, The Revival Center, and family mean the world to her. They have supported her through the loss of her mother and her own cancer diagnosis. Alexis enjoys encouraging others by reminding them not to look at what they see, but to always look to God, who is working in the unseen. Alexis currently writes for several online ministries and just launchedThe Brave Podcast in January 2020. Connect with Alexis further by clicking here!
By: Angela Lawley
How do you see yourself? What do you see when you look in the mirror?
This is important because it is what shapes how we see others and how we see God. About 5yrs ago, my family and I were living in 400sqft of living space. Before you start feeling sorry for me, this isn’t a tragic situation; it was a necessity. You see, we were building a business and wanted to save money, so we converted part of our building into living quarters. It was very smart of us, but being a family of four with two very fast-growing boys, this situation soon wore its necessary appeal. For four very long years, this situation wore me down. So much so that I hated everything about it. I would find myself in my bathroom, giving myself pep talks through tears. “You can do this, Angela,” “God has so much in store for you and your family. Just keep going!”
But you see, I didn’t see it, and I especially didn’t feel blessed. All I saw was a struggling Momma who was at the end of her rope. I was tired, sad, and hopeless. Then in a time of prayer...ok, let’s be honest, I was complaining to God. He reminded me of a few of His promises. One was every Christian's favorite motivational scripture. Jeremiah 29:11:
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)
Yeah. That’s a good one. We can camp out there for a while. I can still hear myself give God a “yeah, yeah.” Remember, we are being real! The next scripture He reminded me of was another good one from Jeremiah 1:5:
"...before I formed you in the womb I knew you." (NIV)
At this moment, I pictured God as a loving Father who gently lifts Jeremiah’s chin. Looks him straight in the eyes and gently reminds him of this profound truth. As the Father began to remind me of these truths, my heart started to soften because I see Him doing the same thing for me. Then He drove it home with this one, Philippians 4:19:
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (KJV)
I cry thinking about this moment with my God, as the Holy Spirit started to minister to me. All the frustrations began to melt away. I was gently reminded of a few things that day:
1). God never forgets His children. We are apart of a beautiful plan that was laid out before the foundation of the earth, one that will show the world that we serve a faithful God. When he was creating every inch of you, He was making plans and ways out of every struggle.
2). Don’t allow your circumstances to cloud your understanding of who you serve. We serve a mighty God who is faithful. A God who cares about your needs and wants us to be blessed.
3). Being uncomfortable for a season doesn’t mean God has forgotten about you. Take that time to seek the Father with all your heart so that you can see Him in every situation.
4). Don’t see yourself through the eyes of struggle; look at your struggle through the eyes of Jesus! It will change your heart, and it will welcome the Holy Spirit to fill your situation with the peace that passes understanding.
To end my story. As a family, we started speaking by faith that our needs would be met. We worked hard and stood on the truth that our needs were met. We thanked God for the season we were in and allowed Him to help change our perspective. We saw ourselves as blessed because we had each other, and most of all, we had Jesus. About six months later, an old friend walked into our store and asked if we were looking for a house. We told her, yes, and she offered a home that she had available. It was almost six times the size of the space we were in!! Hallelujah! This is where you dance!!
We have been in this house for five years this August. And every time I walk around it, mow the lawn, even do the dishes, I thank God for our blessing. Now when we have a struggle, I immediately thank the Father, and I see myself on the other side, blessed! When I walk into my personal bathroom...(( Mommas, give me an Amen)) I turn and look in the mirror, and I see a child of God who is blessed, who is heard by God, and who is an overcomer. AMEN!!
My prayer for you today is that you start seeing yourself the way God sees you, even though your struggles. You are blessed! You are loved! And God sees you! Don’t lose hope!
Angela Lawley Founder of Giving Hope Ministries. Host of Giving Hope Podcast -Teacher women’s Bible Study. Angela is a 2007 graduate of Rhema Bible Training Center, where she graduated with a certificate in Helps Ministry. Angela and her husband Ryan have been married for 20yrs. They own their own business in their home town of Canton, Tx. Angela is the mother of two amazing boys Nicholas and Aiden. Three years ago Angela decided to start a home ministry where women from all backgrounds could come and hear the Word of God. Her heart was to teach and equipped women to fight for their marriages, children and their God given place in this world! There in her living room Giving Hope Ministries was born and is growing day by day. You can join her live every Sunday evening on the Giving Hope Ministries Facebook page. Connect with Angela further by clicking here!
By: Anita Mckaney
God's love is unconditional. Most likely, you are aware of this. The Bible tells us that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life, according to John 3:16.
He loved us first, but our love towards God must show in our actions. God's love is different from our love towards Him; his love requires obedience. Matthew 5:44 says to love your enemies. Leviticus 19:18 tells us to love our neighbors. Proverbs 17:17 says that "A friend loves at all times." Hebrews 13:1 says, "Let brotherly love continue." You see, faith works by love.
You cannot love correctly until you know God, only when you show God's love are you doing it right! Galatians 5:6 tells us that faith works by love. Love does not work by feelings. God is love. HE did the work on the cross. His sacrifice was our template and example.
Real love requires sacrifice - and sacrifice hurts. It hurts to grow a loving marriage. It hurts to love a wayward child. It hurts to love the mentally ill. It hurts to love the poor. Christ gave His all until it hurt - until he died.
We are crucified with Christ to show the world the love of Christ through our daily living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2). Each time we have a chance to give, to share, or to point someone to Jesus, we are showing love. Anyone can show kindness, but only those filled with God's love can pour it out to others.
Ask yourself if you have a relationship with God first. Secondly, are you sharing the love that you have experienced with others? Lastly, Jesus said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15), so....are you?
"Beloved, let us love one another. For love is of God and every one that loveth is born of God and loveth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love." (1 John 4:7,8).
Mrs. Anita Mckaney is an Ambassador for Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. She is the wife to Maurice and mother of their two boys. She is a Master’s prepared nursing professor, the author of “The Titus Ten” - a discipleship workbook for women in mentorship and the ebook Anointed Devotions. She is also Founder of Wifestyle Image Network - a global discipleship with the mission of Winning Souls and Winning Marriages. Anita is also a certified marriage mentor, bible teacher and friend to many. You can find her multitasking, spending time with her guys or in her war room. Connect with Anita further by clicking here!