Friday, February 22, 2013

Mom Hope

A big part of me wants to begin this by posting my daily schedule on here to rack up some sympathy for the things I'm about to say, but the reality is, we're all busy. Hopefully, the things that follow will give you a hope like the hope I have gotten from it.

My handsome Pastor often reminds us in his sermons that if there was a time in your life that you were closer to God than you are now, you need to get busy working on your spiritual life. While there are a lot of ways that my spiritual life has matured & grown over the past few years, my spiritual "hayday" thus far was definitely while I was in college. At this point in my (Wife, Mom, Minister, Family Business Employee, NEVER ALONE) life, it is very hard to compete with all the free time I had during college, surrounded by students of the Word, & no big responsibilities other than getting that degree. (Did I mention I went to a Bible College w/ Chapel & Bible class requirements? Yeah.) It's amazing how much life can change in 8 years!

Since I know I'm not where I was spiritually in my college days, I know it is my job to seek God more. He's always been as close as He can be to me; I am the one who has to make time for him. It's so easy for me to get down & really hard on myself b/c I'm not spending 5 hours a day doing a Bible Study, reading spiritual growth books, & taking two hour prayer walks. I've had to realize that my relationship with God may not look like it used to when I was in college & I'm learning how to make the most out of my relationship with God the way my life is now. While I'm not able to do all those things I used to do, I must say that nothing has ever brought me closer to the throne of God than I am while feeding my babies & just thanking Him for such miracles...such blessings that I could never deserve.

I mentioned in the last post how I have felt spiritually attacked lately. I described one of those days that stands out over all of them. I was trying to do some of my Nehemiah Bible Study while feeding John (ha...yeah right!) & with Jax watching a cartoon & it totally didn't work. I ended up in tears seeking God's stillness & quiet (& maybe texting my precious Husband to ask for a "mental health" day from my Mommy job). Thankfully, the Lord never fails me. He helped me realize that I was under attack & immediately, He soothed my soul. I randomly went to the Facebook page of the wife of one of Dustie's mentors & she had posted a picture with a caption that should have started with: "JENNI DUNN! READ THIS NOW!" She mentioned how her kids were being wild that day & how she was thankful that eventhough she wasn't getting an incredible in-depth Bible Study, she knew that God's Word never returned void. She added this verse: "It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." (Isaiah 55:11 NLT)

Um...DUH! I'm constantly telling my Husband this when he preaches. I always think about it in the context of a lost person or a congregation hearing the Word, not my poor, ridiculously-interrupted, read-a-sentence-5-times-to-get-it Bible Study! Immediately, an enormous weight was lifted off my shoulders & a lot of my joy was restored.

My disclaimers:
1-This is NOT an excuse to not work on your relationship with God. Quite the opposite really: God honors the effort you do make.
2-Don't use your children or present circumstances as an excuse to not have a relationship with God. (My thoughts are that God can get rid of anything that hinders your relationship with Him.)

If you're regrettably Type-A like I, you may have impossibly high expectations for what your spiritual relationship should look like. I can't attend every Bible Study that sounds wonderful, I can't get into town from work at 5 & go to Prayer Meeting at 5:30 AND be ready for all my Mission Friends rug rats by 6:30, & it may take me twice as long as some people to do my Bible Study (ahem...Nehemiah). If you are like me, not meeting these "good Christian" requirements I've made for myself is just devastating. It just ends up making me feel as if I've let The Lord down & causes me to spend even less time with Him because I feel like a failure. The enemy loves this! Those are exactly the lies he wants me to believe.

I'm still working on and learning what works with my crazy life so that I can grow spiritually. Some things I've found so far:
1-Reading one chapter of the Bible immediately when I wake up & praying for the day (putting my armor on) before getting out if bed
2-Working on a Bible Study during nap time or free time or during down time at work (what this looks like for me: I'm seriously never alone, I always have at least 1 child w/ me at work. I attempt to do a section everyday. Sometimes I don't completely finish. On Mon, Wed, & Fri I can do at least one session & usually finish anything I didn't finish the day before while John is at my Mammaw's. Jax usually cooperates.)
3-Have an accountability partner who you can relate to.
4-Play Christian music in the car.
5-Follow the Lord's lead. The Lord led me to give up the only two TV shows I watched & loved, as well as my morning radio show. These things were not bad things on their own, but they took up precious time of mine that I could use to further my relationship with God.

I now realize that my relationship with God doesn't have to look a certain way, or fit into a mold, & that it will probably continue to change for as long as I'm alive. What's most important to my relationship is that I follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit & allow Him to lead me in each change. There is SO much freedom & joy in recognizing all of this. I'm so thankful for a Father who is forgiving, gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, & rich in faithful love." (Neh. 9:17-18)


  1. Thanks Jenni, I have been struggling with the same issues. Noni

  2. Thanks Jenni, I have been struggling with the same issues. Noni