Now that you all have that song in your head, along with Olivia Newton-John sporting some kinda lycra fluorescent outfit picture in your head…..actually I want to write about getting practical today. But I don’t know of any songs about that. Tricked ya!
So let’s get practical for a moment. Practical. My Mom’s group had a wonderful speaker last week. She shared about her childhood and early adulthood. She overcame some amazing circumstances and is now a pretty inspirational lady. She is a mother to 8, married to a great guy, homeschooling, hospitality queen etc etc. Amazing. I could have listened to her stories for hours because I really respect her – she is doing an amazing job and her heart is so in the right place – she’s a vessel for the Lord. Humble but intentional in all she does.
I do wish that she could have shared for longer…..what I really longed to hear about was how she got from point A in her life – dealing with ‘stuff’, to point B – being a mature woman of God. We’ll just have to have her back to Mom’s group another time….
As she spoke to the group I could kinda feel some angst in the room…..the whole ‘you’re getting your kids to memorize huge chunks of scripture while I just want to pee alone’ kinda angst.
SO. Let’s get practical. I’m on this journey too – the journey of dealing with all the demands that a young family places on you, along with a limited budget and all of the demands that places on you, but, I have this desire like so many of you do too, to BECOME that Superwoman of God. So here are some things I am learning along the way….some I learnt the hard way…others by the grace of God I have gotten right….
1. Getting your people in the right order.
God first. Husband next. Children next and then……ministry/ friends and extended family. I see people around whose lives revolve around their kids. They make amazing Moms in the process but what happens when the kiddos leave home? And what happens when the kids all of a sudden realize they are not the centre of the universe when they end up in a group setting? I’ve found that the times I am most patient, most loving and kind towards my children and husband are the times when I have given God first place in my thoughts and actions. Everything just gels so much better.
2. Quiet time/ bible reading time/ devotional time.
Just do it. In whatever way works for you, at whatever time works for you. And you’ll find it becomes addictive and you realize your days change and you can handle the interrupted shower and the spilt cereal so much better. Don’t be legalistic about it, don’t place pressure on yourself about to do it for certain amounts of time…..we’re all busy – but we all have the same hours in a day given to us. Just do it.
3. Talk to God throughout your day.
To be honest my days do not usually start with saying ‘good morning Lord, how are you going to use me today?’. Nope. Usually my first thought is something along the lines of ‘Lordy it can’t be morning yet’…..but if I can get my thoughts on God and chat to God by the time I’m in the shower, then great! I don’t think I ever understood the concept of praying continually throughout the day until my oldest boy began school. All of sudden he was not under my watch – I had to learn to let go of him in a new and scary way and my prayer life took on new heights.
4. Input. Need more input.
Just because your hands may be engaged in a household task like school lunch making or my favourite – ironing (yes that was sarcasm), it doesn’t mean your mind and soul and ears can’t be engaged at the same time. Come on people – if you’re reading this you are most probably a woman and that is what us women do best – we multi-task. And we multi-task well. So find some great podcasts or online Christian programmes that you can watch on demand – or live. Get some input! There are loads of churches that put their messages on itunes for free.
5. Include your kids in your ‘ministry’ things as naturally as possible.
However big or small you think your ‘thing’ is. The fact that your world is bigger than just those around you, the fact that you are doing ‘Jesus with skin on’ stuff speaks mightily to those kids. Actions speak louder than words. You can create your own teachable moments. It may be as simple as bringing your kid’s teacher a hot coffee on a cold, cold day, or bringing your child with you as you deliver a meal to someone. BUT don’t let this edge out spending time on what is important to your kid. Today I had to fulfill a promise of playing soccer (in between snow showers) with my middle child and I have to tell you I was grumpy about it. Grumpy. GRUMPY. My attitude was not what it should have been. But thankfully I have tomorrow to get that attitude adjusted, and hopefully no snow showers tomorrow. You see if I was too busy doing stuff for others, but not stuff for my own family – then what is that teaching them?
6. Get yourself a mentor.
I can only write about this now because I have finally sorted this out in my own life in the last couple of weeks. I am soooo thrilled to have an older woman say YES to me. She is there for me for those moments when I need to dissolve, when I need a shoulder and advice. When I need a woman’s perspective. And she is sooooo kind and loving – but not gushy, perfect I think for me as I’m not a gushy person. I’ve known for so long that it is so important to have this in my life, but I haven’t made it happen, until now. Here is a fantastic blog post about mentoring. Read it and then do it. I haven’t dissolved on my mentor yet…….but there will come a day when I will….but she will be ready for my tears and snot I’m sure.
7. Practice, practice, practice
Practice listening to God. Practice hearing him, really hearing him. You will get things wrong – but if you and I don’t try and keep trying, then for the times when we really hear a message that needs to be told to someone, or if we hear an instruction that needs to be done to speak to someone, then we’ll miss out. And others will miss out on seeing God’s mighty power. Also practice in your head what you would say to others if you were given an opportunity. You may well laugh at this – this is pretty up there as far as my dorkiness levels go – but I give myself pretend topics and I pretend to prepare messages to share as if I am speaking to a women’s group. I ask the Lord ‘what would you have them know’…..dorky right? But it gets my head in the right space of at least attempting something way out of my comfort zone and ultra relying on God.
8. Be kind to yourself.
I’m not going to become that Superwoman of God if I am a tired, sick mess. And neither are you. We need sleep and decent food – but I’m also all for a few treats too. Moderation, my friend. Peanut butter m&ms are my vice and that’s ok. Oh and coffee. We need bucket loads of coffee. You and me.
But you know – and this is my last point – I talk about becoming THAT Superwoman of God. The truth is – she doesn’t really exist. We’re all on a journey. We’re all at different stages of maturity – but we all need Him and we’re all needing to keep coming before God and as I said in my last post – emptying ourselves of ourselves and becoming more like Him.