Scripture for Moms’ 2016 Challenges
Our Mom Mentors lean on Scripture in their daily —and yearly— outlooks and trusting God. We’re inspired starting the new year with finding out which Bible passages give them a hopeful outlook for 2016 and what it might hold for them:
Q. What passage of Scripture is on your heart starting the New Year, and how do you hope it impacts your child or children?
Jill Williams: 1 Peter is on my heart. I am compelled to study it. I know it will impact my children because I know it’s going to impact me. Verses 3 – 9 of chapter one set the foundation praising God that life isn’t about reward now. Oh how counter-cultural! Rather, we rejoice in God’s promise and power to guard us through faith for the future reward of the salvation of our souls. Such faith is proven in times of grief and trials. We live for a future reward because today in Christ – because of Christ – our soul feels its worth. Circumstances do not change this truth. And knowing this allows me to rejoice and proclaim Jesus in all things; my soul is secure in Him. I hope my children, through our ongoing conversations and their given observation, will more and more understand, trust, live and proclaim this restful, powerful truth as well, especially as they are growing up in an unstable world centered on immediate, temporary, selfish and deceptive gratification that is powerless to save.
Charissa Kolar: In the last months of 2015 our Pastor preached a series on the topic of Legacy. He suggested that our repeated words, acts, and attitudes are what naturally form our reputation. In this way, when Christians decide to live intentionally for God, our God can use us for good. Desiring this in my life too, I have pondered how to be spiritually intentional. The passage in James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” This struck me as my starting place. As I stay near to the Lord I trust that my life can have a good impact. I don’t want to squander my time or opportunities in this life, especially with my children. In just 8 years my son could move away for college (or join a rock band, who knows?). Therefore, I want to use those years to help my son know Jesus for himself. Our home life will have a great unspoken influence on him. Along with that, I can help him develop practices like prayer and Bible study to draw near to God. As I rely on God my hope is to prepare my son for his own spiritual legacy.
Audra Haney: Our family word this year is “restoration,” and it applies in several ways. We have an older home that we are sprucing up, but if I’m being completely honest, our family life needed a little tune up too. We’ve been sloppy with things like how we spend our time, how we speak to one another, our priorities, and our focus on the Lord. We needed refreshment. Yep, even people in full-time ministry struggle with these things (so please pray for your church staff).
Psalm 51:10-12 says, “Create in me a clean heart, oh God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and make me willing to obey you.” You know what I love about this? God is doing all the restoring and we just need a willing, submitted heart. I’ve embraced this word practically by drastically simplifying my schedule, making quiet time and my family a priority again, and focusing on God’s love for me as His child (no performance necessary). Then, from a place of rest, letting my personal restoration authentically flow over into restoring others.”
Chere Williams: I love the beginning of a new year! January 1st always bring renewed hope, fresh goals, and revisited dreams to the forefront of my mind. But, then the freshness of the year wears off, the dreams get pushed to the side and bad habits reappear. God has been heavily laying on my heart that I need to take action, nurture my gifts and start manifesting what He has been whispering to me to pursue. It isn’t that I don’t want to follow my dreams, of course I do! But, I find myself focusing on the impossibility of making it happen. This year the Scripture that I will be leaning heavily on is Psalm 18:29, “With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.” If I rely on myself there are all sorts of limitations, specifically my own walls that I build or imagine. When I rely on God everything is possible! There are no walls I can’t scale! I’ve been depending on myself too much instead of leaning on the One who has the perfect plan for me, who wants to prosper me and will show me how to bring even the most daring dreams not only into focus, but into fruition. But, most importantly when I allow him to carry me over the walls it can be used as a testimony to glorify Him.
Susan Heim: James 1:19 is taped to my computer monitor. It says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” This verse is especially relevant for me because I do a lot of work at home, so my eyes — and my mind — are often focused on my computer. When my kids enter the room and start talking, my fingers frequently keep moving on the keyboard. I can hear what my boys are saying, but I’m not really listening. Sometimes, I become frustrated by the interruption. Needless to say, I should tape James 1:19 all over the house, in the car, and on the back of my hand because I need to be reminded of its message whenever I interact with my kids, not just when I’m working. As I focus more on James 1:19 this year, I hope I’ll learn to give my children my complete attention, really listen to the words they’re speaking, and be more patient when they want my time. Jesus modeled the words of James 1:19 with his followers, and he calls parents to do the same with their children.
Kona Brown: As someone whose “day job” occurs within the creative and sometimes wildly chaotic music industry, I am often surprised by how ordinary my life really is. And let’s face it moms, ordinary is downright hard. The routines, the realities and the sheer relentlessness of the roles we are called to fulfil can so easily suck the joy right out of us. Not to mention leaving us void of inspiration, wisdom, and love. As I enter 2016 there is a specific Scripture that made me recognize that those three things, often glaringly absent in my life, are unique to God’s character—pointing to Him at their source. And if in 2016 the boys can see me looking at my world through the eyes of His Word, noticing more of Him at work in my everyday ordinary life, they just might see authentic faith in action. In The Message Col 2:2-3 reads: “I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know about God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else.”
Tiffany Malloy: Because 2016 is bringing a big change for our family (I’m going back to work full-time), I’ve been thinking and praying through Philippians 4:6-7 with and for my kids: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
My hope and prayer is that God will use this change to deepen the kids’ trust in Him, teaching them to go to Him with every fear, every anxiety, showing them that He cares so much and can give them the peace they need, even without me being by their side all day :).
Thank you, Mom Mentors! Learn more about them here and connect with their blogs. We would love to hear about your experiences, too! Do you have a question for them? Please post it below. And share your answer with us. See children’s books for growing up in God at grahamblanchard.com.
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